COAL TOWNSHIP — The Anthricite Outdoor Adventure Area’s (AOAA) first ever ULTRA4 Series racing event turned out to be quite successful and a fan favorite.
The day, which started off with clear skies, ended with a muddy celebration and many smiles.
Saturday’s race drew an estimated crowd of more than 1,100 fans to the AOAA
park, not including the race teams and their families, many of whom camped out at the AOAA’s Trailhead Campground, was also filled.
The six lap race through a 13-mile course on the AOAA’s eastern reserve proved to be a grueling test of stamina and durability. The challenging track featured a combination of rugged
terrain including flats, hills, tight turns, heavily forested woods and large rocks, mudholes and much more. The degree of difficulty of the AOAA course was acknowledged and evident by the frustrated reaction of several drivers as many of the series top racers failed to fully navigate it.
One of the most challenging areas was
a large rock climb, where drivers had to carefully make their way up a steep incline while at the same time crawling their vehicles over rocks that are difficult to even walk through. The rock climb area of the track was also a spectator favorite as several hundred people made their way off the
beaten path to watch the racers climb up the steep, rocky mountain terrain through several switchbacks and then back down.
In the unlimited 4400 class (big boys) race, local favorite Josh Blyler of Big B Racing from Klingerstown, bested pre-race favorite Erik Miller of Miller Motorsports, Cumberland, Maryland by a mere 14 seconds
to take first place in the inaugural Rock Krawler Suspension Showdown in Shamokin ULTRA4 Series race at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) park in Coal Township. Derek West, of Springfield, Missouri took third place. All three top finishers ran with Nitto Tires, one of ULTRA4’s lead sponsors.
Race coordinator J.T. Taylor announced the three
top finishers at the end of the race, which lasted approximately three hours in its entirety. The top buggies and their drivers made their way to the ‘hot pit’ area and parked their vehicles, which were caked with mud, both inside and out. There were plenty of smiles and hugs to go around for those left standing, especially the local winners.