View Full Version : New Team for KOH: 4415 Bennett / Robinson Racing LCQ to the Finishline!

January 17th, 2010, 10:59 PM
We are John Bennett and Ryan Robinson from Denver, Colorado. We have been working hard to get out on the lake bed by the 3rd! I would like to first off, thank our sponsors:
Schampa Technical Gear, PROFORMANCE Racing Loveland,CO, Maxxis Tires, King Rock Racing, Torero Industries

The story:
I got the idea to race the LCQ about early October, talking with some friends and deciding a day of racing in the desert was well worth the $250 entry fee. The plan was for me to race an old UROC rig that my neighbor, Bret, had bought about a year ago, with him being the co-driver. The rig was the old Bronco Hut buggy that is pretty well known. I spent most of October rehabilitating the old girl in my spare time, torn down in my garage, to go race it. Meanwhile Ryan and I were working the Lucas Oil and TORC short course truck series with Creighton King of Maxxis Tires. The early Bronco buggy needed a lot of work to get it tech legal and major issues needed to be addressed, while unfortunately, my friend Bret was suffering some health issues. So Ryan and I decided to pool our resources together, since we both have had the itch to go fast in the desert for sometime now. The Bronco buggy had turned into the prerunning vehicle and the focus now shifted to fixing and improving Ryan's buggy that had competed at the Land's End Hillclimb.

We have been working hard in our spare time and going through everything so when we get in the main event, we finish. Ryan and our teammate, Daniel Coggin, have been busy with all the wiring. The 2002 Explorer 5.0 has received a Cobra intake and Mustang injection. Axles have been rebuilt, the fuel system has been improved, bumpers, panels, shock mounts with coilovers (borrowed from bronco buggy , finding parts, finding more parts, fixing this and that, and all the safety stuff that is ongoing...

So here we are. A new team that is scrapping our $ and resources together to go take turns behind the driver's wheel racing in the desert with the best of them. Alot of long nights and tired days at our real jobs. Planning on leaving Denver by the 1st with my '96 F250 I just put a transmission in yesterday as a tow rig, we are borrowing a slide-in truck camper, my old as dirt car trailer that needs lots of love before we leave, and now we will be prerunning on my YZ250 I race enduros on and I am borrowing a YZ426f for Ryan to ride, because we just cannot afford fuel for two tow rigs so the Bronco Hut buggy stays home

The driver plan: Ryan and I will prerun and time ourselves running the LCQ course. The fastest driver will drive the LCQ. We are confident we will be in the Main event where we will be making driver changes and get our buddy Daniel who has never raced, behind the wheel, he deserves it.

This whole thing is 120% team effort. None of us could do it on our own. We just want to go out and have an awesome time going fast in the desert! This is fun! Right?

Progression photos:
Old Bronco Hut buggy I drove out the exit of Indy a few months ago.
Ryan's Buggy:

January 17th, 2010, 11:02 PM

January 17th, 2010, 11:04 PM

January 17th, 2010, 11:05 PM

January 17th, 2010, 11:14 PM
:thumbsup::thumbsup:Good Luck boys!! That's a helluva an undertaking and the Denver gang wished you well....we'll be keeping up on things via Pirate etc...props to you!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:

January 17th, 2010, 11:40 PM
we have been working very hard on this project and im sure its gonna turn out great for us.

January 18th, 2010, 12:32 AM
Right on! Look forward to seein ya out there!

January 18th, 2010, 09:46 AM
good luck john and crew!

give me a call or email and let me know what it costs to run a few Sisneros Speed Works stickers on the rig.

January 18th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Very nice guys. I'll definitely be out there rooting for y'all. And when you're out there please stop buy and let us know if you need anything. John, you got my number.

January 18th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the support!


Eddie- I will call you soon. THANK YOU!

January 18th, 2010, 04:52 PM
nice work guys! See you on the bed.

January 18th, 2010, 07:38 PM
Looks great, best of luck!

February 2nd, 2010, 12:11 PM
Ok..... We have been working really hard, long nights, but now, we are almost ready to leave! My father has been prepping the bronco buggy (pics early in this thread) to prerun with at his house. My brother Matthew has been out in the garage for the past week with us, pulling the AM nights. We are planning on pulling the prerunner out with Ryan's dodge which just got a new clutch yesterday, dirtbikes, going down to Sante Fe where we are picking up an enclosed trailer from a friend, and heading out 40 I think.

We should be out there Wednesday night!


Best of luck to all! HAVE FUN!!!!

Heres a few pics I just took after we pulled in out of the garage:


February 2nd, 2010, 12:11 PM

February 2nd, 2010, 12:29 PM
and we already got harrased by the cops.

February 2nd, 2010, 01:29 PM
Good luck guys! I'll see you out there!

February 2nd, 2010, 04:34 PM
GOOD LUCK GUYS!! LOOKS SICK!! what did the pigs have to say?

February 3rd, 2010, 09:31 AM
Good luck to you guys!

February 3rd, 2010, 10:21 AM
Nice looking rig. Whos going to drive? Good luck out there, wish I could make it out to watch.

not so Quikjeep
February 4th, 2010, 08:37 AM
Looks good.:thumbsup::beer: But I feel sorry for your ass with those plastic seats.

February 4th, 2010, 10:43 AM
Awesome! I'll route for the EB, even if it's only the pre-runner! I didn't see any pics of the race buggy, is that true? Going to run any EB skins on the pre-runner? I love this grass-roots effort here. You guys are doing what you can to get out there, and on a budget. You don't have the big $$ sponsors, but are still making a great effort! One day, I'll get to KOH in person!


February 11th, 2010, 09:17 AM
I have not been able to follow any of the live footage, but I see in the re-cap of the LCQ that you guys did not finish, I'm sorry to hear that! What happened? Let's hear the rest of the story!

February 15th, 2010, 11:57 AM
Yeah, bum deal, alot of work..... The throttle cable broke about 1/4 mile into the race, stopped and kinda fixed it, got up to back door putting up there with only quarter throttle, only to have it break again, winched up backdoor because it was all wet and pretty much undrivable, then had electrical problems in the harness to where it would start if the harness got shaken around, so started up the sand hill still with quarter throttle, electric fan quit working so it got hot enough to kill the motor at the top (gauge only went to 250 and was pegged) coasted to the bottom of that hill where coolant shot out everywhere, and we were done..... Hood came off 4 times...

I'm glad to be home after spending a week and a half in the desert.

I will be back next year with a competitive rig of my own, with out bugs, to run hard out there.....:thumbsup:

February 15th, 2010, 12:13 PM
I watched your guys' run....bummer of a deal!! I couldn't believe how many people had electrical / mechanical problems in the LCQ!

I also met Ryan's mom up in the rocks, she was up there taking pictures of you guys.

Hopefully you have better luck next year! :thumbsup:

February 15th, 2010, 12:22 PM
Man, I was just on the wrong schedule to keep up at all this year via the internet. I am sorry I missed ALL of it! I'll be scouring youtube for videos.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, but it looks like you fought hard. I have seen a few baja rigs with double throttle cables for this reason. Seems strange that a normal car can go completely thru it's lifecycle without a single throttle cable failure and hardcore off-road rigs seem to have these fail quite frequently.


February 15th, 2010, 06:08 PM
Here is a couple pics I got of you guys. I thought I had taken more, but for some reason I can't find them. Maybe they are on my buddies camera..??




February 15th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Nice pics, sorry you had problems we were all rooting for you!

February 17th, 2010, 09:23 PM
nice effort john! Good to see you were still all smiles on the lakebed!

February 24th, 2010, 12:14 PM
I have not been able to follow any of the live footage, but I see in the re-cap of the LCQ that you guys did not finish, I'm sorry to hear that! What happened? Let's hear the rest of the story!

Okay folks Ive had a week or two to unwind and reflect back on this trip.

The wrap up:

Me and Jon left Denver on Tues the 2nd at night we drove straight through to Santa Fe arriving at 4am we sat outside my buddy Mike Lureys house until he woke up where we aquired a 28 foot enclosed trailer. By this time the snow had started and we decide to keep moving to try and stay ahead of it. we traveled south on I 25 to I 40 where we headed west we where in a bad storm the roads where snow packed and everyone was driving like an idiot. we drove for about 7 hours straight in snow before it finally broke somewhere around Gallup New Mexico. at which point Jon took over driving. He got pulled over somewhere between flagstaff and the border for using the emergency lane with the trailer sway. The cop was cool and let us go with a warning. then we where back on the road. we pushed through top Havasu city where we meet up with the Schampa class one team and had a nice place to sleep for the first time in 36 hours. the next day we woke up and went and watched the time trials for the parker best in the desert race. After that we were off into the desert of the mojave.

We arrived on the lake bed at about 3pm on thursday and started to set up. I was totally suprised by the amount of people there. or lack of rather we where probably the fifth team to roll in. We raised the schampa flags high and did some unwinding. That night we went to the fire pit where we meet up with jeff knoll and handed out some schampa gear to the volunteer staff they seemed to be very happy and apreciative. After hanging out there for a while we headed up to back door to do some wheeling in the prerunner. Jon did great he one lined the obstacle. and we called it a night. I never drove that bronco the whole time we where there but it seemed to be a good reliable rig.

After that I kinda spent the next few days relaxing and unwinding waiting for the race buggy to show up(jons dad was bringing it out) having never let anyone tow my buggy before i can say that i was a bit nervous. The race vehicle showed up on saturday and i imediatly started to prep the rig. I ran the rig on a good shake down run on monday night and had some heat to wire problems. so i bought a 50 foot roll of header wrap and wraped all the wiring on the buggy i would sugest this to everyone that has some heat issues in the engine compartment.

The rig was ready for the next shake down on tuesday night the day before the race. we had some last minute fuel pump issues but got it figured out at about midnight tuesday night. Jon had won the coin toss so he went to bed so he would be ready to drive and i stayed up a bit longer working on the rig.

It rained all night on tuesday and we woke up to a swamp. we went and lined up in stagging and waited about 3 hours for our turn. we new we would have to winch the back door obstacle because of the rain so i prepared my strap and winch line provided by master pull. when we got to the line jon did a quick interview while Doug form WICKED GRAVITY VIDEO prep the in cab camera.

The situation we where in when we left the line was that we did not have to beat anyone we just had to finish and we would be in the main event. Just like the snap of fingers we were off the line. we hauled ass up to the hill climbs. This being the first time i had ever riden shotgun in my rig i was very nervous and telling jon to slow down right away. Unfortunatly jon had never driven my rig more than maybe 20 or 30 feet in the parking lot. Looking back on this we decided to flip a coin way back when assuming that jon would have some time in the rig and learn how to adjust to its not so driver friendly aspects. Being that he had never driven it i kept thinking he was gonna turn to me and say " hey man ive never driven this rig and i think maybe it would be best for our chances if you drive these 6 miles there will be plenty of time for me to drive in the main." But that never happened. So anyway he drove up the first couple of hills as if we were in a race against the clock. At one point he came around a turn to climb a hill and ended up driving straight into 2 foot rutts and bycycling it onto two wheels. At which point he stomped down on the throttle to save it which worked. When he stomped the throttle he broke the cable. I have never had a throtle stop in my buggy i guess ive just always known where it ends i just never felt i needed one it never even crossed my mind. so we fixed the throttle cable at which point i gave jon a lecture about how all we have to do is finish and that he needed to calm down. I think that worked a bit cause he didnt seem to be beating the rig nearly as hard.

We made our way up to the canyon and the cable broke again so we fixed this time there were lots of people standing around cheering including my mom and crew chief daniel. we fixed the cable again with cameras in our face. and caried on we aproached the waterfall and began to winch. we winched up no problem and up the next ledge no problem. At some point while i was out of the vehicle the fuse for the fan blew. the temp had already climbed to 230 degrees by the time i climbed back in the rig and looked at the gauge. also at this point the main ignition wire had come loose from the starter solenoid and would not create power to start the rig. we giggled wires and it started back up. then we headed for the sand climb and drove up it. at the top the temp had risen to 240 and was peeged. at this point i told jon to stop and we could fix the fan problem. by this time i had already been out of the rig 3 time to fix and winch. At the top of the hill i decided it was best that we just roll down and try to get some fresh air through the radiator. 3/4 of the way down it boiled over. At this point i was exhausted and now everything was covered in coolant and countinuing to boil over and i looked at jon and we both realized the dream was over.

The rest of the trip was awesome for me i had some good friends show up and i did some good wheeling. jack hammer is an awesome trail so is sledge. i stayed out on the lake bed wheeling drinking having fires and having fun till saturday mid day. At which point me and my boy daniel headed back toward santa fe. monday the 15th was my b day so me and daniel meet up with some friends in diablo canyon and did some awesome wheeling it was non stop boulder fields with 100 diferent lines. awesome day. then tuesday we headed home i pushed straight thru from santa fe and was home by 4pm. wow what a trip.

I learned alot on this trip about myself about my friends and about where i wanna go with this sport. I learned that i am not a good passenger in my rig. I am a driver and i doubt i will ever join into a partnership again where there is any doubt on who will be driving in the event. I learned that the Hammers are probably the best and most exciting wheeling i have ever done i absolutly loved it there. I learned that I can be a total ass when put under pressure to everyone around me except daniel for some reason.

I will keep racing daniel will be my navigator and only teamate. we will be racing in the rausch creek qualifier in may. My goal is to be back at the hammers next year already qualified probably alot less stress. Jon will always be my friend but i think we may be done as teamates. we are both headed in diferent directions and probably fell that its best to part ways while we are still ahead.

I give big thanks To Jon and his whole family we could not have done this without them.

Also big thanks to:

Daniel coggin
schampa racing as a company and as a family
andy and nora meyers
nate dog from scahmpa.
Jons friend nate
Mike from RMB4x4
ben from RMB4x4
Creighton King of king rock racing thanks for the tires
Shawn morris from proformance racing Thanks for the diesel money you paid for all we needed to get out there and back.
Yoda man Jim as a sponser and a friend
The entire Hammerking productions staff for giving us a great race and a great series.

im sure there are many more and i will add them as i think of them

This may not be a great report full of awesome moments and victories. But it is what happened and it is the truth I feel much better about it all have wrote this report.

See you in the dirt.

Ryan Robinson robinson Racing #4415

sorry no spell check.

February 24th, 2010, 07:25 PM
Great recap, I'm glad you have no regrets and enjoyed it!