The Texana Ranch and the Beal family name are becoming synonymous with Texas Desert Racing! Carl Beal takes the overall victory at the Texana Ranch 180 held July 27th in 100 degree temperatures and partly cloudy skies.
The 5000 acre ranch opened its doors to racers and spectators early Saturday morning starting with a Powder Puff race consisting of Trophy Trucks, class 7200, 10, 3000 and 1900’s running a 5 lap race over a 10 mile course. The battle was fierce between the TTs, a class 10 that had a great race at the MORE 500 just weeks prior, and a 3000 car with a short wheelbase advantage, but a rookie driver. Youth was definitely a theme at the powder puff, the #7257 was piloted by 15 year old Rose Pedregon, and her 17 year old sister Claire drove the #57 TT. Rose had never driven in a race before, and Claire had driven 7200 but never a TT. After 5 fast laps, some great air time for the spectators to enjoy over the infield jumps and cheering from the crowd; the dust settled with Krisha Beal crossed the line first in the #25 TT. Following only 2 minutes behind Krisha was her niece 17 year old Claire in the #57. Chrissie Watson in her class 3000 car snagged the 3rd podium spot. All of the lady drivers put on a great show with Brenda Englebert, Lori Chavez, Krisha Beal, Chrissie Watson, Marybeth Turner, Claire Pedregon, and Rose Pedregon proving they are all Texas Desert Racers for sure!
After the Powder Puff race the early afternoon was spent by many pre-running the 43 mile desert loop, planning last minute race strategy, and getting ready to battle the high temperatures, dusty conditions and changing course conditions from the rain early in the week. The rest of the teams and spectators spent time enjoying the swimming pool, food vendors and exotic animals that the ranch has to offer.
As evening fell, with the first TT off the line, the action started early with a great battle upfront between the TT and class 1s. The helicopter’s made it easy for the spectators to know when the lead cars headed towards the start finish line with the leaders just seconds apart. The ranch is notoriously hard on parts and fiberglass and the front runners had to find the line between over driving and taking advantage of passing opportunities! The 4 cyl. Water Cooled class consisted of Class 10 and 3000 cars combined, and also had a great battle all day with lead changes between 3 cars. The winning team of Charles Warne and Grayson Harrist #1044 finished only 9 seconds ahead of 2nd place Allen and Brenda Englebert #1075 with 3rd place going to Randy and Chrissie Watson, Steve West, and David McCreary #3031 finishing 2 minutes later. Air cooled was a great combo of single and 2 seat class 12 cars and 5U with the win going to a 2 seat class 12 car #1261 of Jeff Scott. The track took its toll on the rest of the air cooled cars with problems ranging from CV joints to electrical issues. The Heavy Metal class consisting of 7200, Class 8, 1450, and 4400 started off with 10 trucks off the line but only 3 finished within the time limit, proving that the Texana course is a grueling desert race course. Brandon Gully came in 2nd place in his Ford 1450 truck minus a rear fender, right behind the all-girl 7257 team comprised of Krisha Beal, Claire Pedregon, and Rose Pedregon.
For the 2nd race of the season and first year of the all-volunteer TDRA (Texas Desert Racing Association) the race had larger car counts than expected, a great spectator turn out and fun had by all! Duane McCreary (TDRA Tech Director) stated “This was the best group of Texas cars I have seen and with the car counts continuing to grow, I expect the Penwell 300 October 11 – 12th to be the largest race in the state!”
Texas Desert Racing Association would like to thank all of its volunteers including the Ross Creek Trail Riders, and the Houston Area Raptor Owners for providing recovery throughout the race. TDRA would also like to thank the Beal family for providing an amazing place to race, and for their continued support of desert racing in Texas.
Photos provided by Claire Pedregon, and
PDMokry Photography www.pdmokry.com