Lazer Star Lights News
Murray Racing Finishes Strong with 2nd Place at 2017 Mint 400
The 2017 Mint 400 is in the books.
Best in the Desert Pro Turbo Team #917 Murray Racing just picked up the 2nd place trophy at awards ceremony Sunday.
It was an early start as Jason Murray takes the car off the line in 9th position at 6am Saturday morning. He immediately started picking up spots through the first lap. After the first lap out of main pit Murrays were up to 2nd physically going into the 2nd of 3 laps. “We had a clean run up until we lost brakes 1/2 way through the 2nd lap, says Derek. We held position up until we had a rookie mistake and our pits did not fill enough fuel and at mile 83 the car died. We were running out of fuel. All I could think about was all the time, effort and results of the past months were out the window. We had to think fast so I flipped fuel pumps and managed to swerve the car back and forth for several miles running 5 to 10 mph. We could see the pits in the distance but it was still miles away and the car kept dying. We limped along until we finally made it to the bottom of the lakebed at about mile 92, it the slowest 10 miles in our racing career.”
As the car came to a dead stop every last drop of fuel gone, Derek was hitting the steering wheel in pure frustration; he knew the day was over. Then, out of nowhere, a BITD official who was working this section of the course walks over and asks what's wrong? They told him they ran out of fuel; they needed a tow off the course. The BITD official said, like some kind of Mint 400 Angel “it's your lucky day, I have 3 gallons!” It takes several more minutes to get the meager 3 gallons in the car. The X3 fired up and they were off but still needed to go nearly 25 more miles. After only 13 miles the car started to sputter. Good thing they were headed down hill and able to coast down into an alternate pit where 5 gallons of fuel were bummed. With over 20 min of delays we knew our hopes of 1st were out the window but now 2nd could also be lost. Amazingly as the team pulled back into the race they still managed to be in 2nd!
Pulling into Main Pit after the long stressful 2nd lap, the car was looked over; brakes slightly fixed and with a quick driver change Jason took off for the last lap. He pushed the X3 hard for the last 116 miles with no issues and brought it in for a respectable 2nd place and 2nd overall out of 110 UTV’s. “This is the 47th consecutive BITD finish and we have finished the Mint in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th in the last 6 years of racing the Mint 400” Said Murray.
They want to thank the crew and sponsors for all the support.
Can-Am Off-Road ITP Tires & Wheels, Lazer Star Lights, Torco, K & N, FOX, Lone Star Racing, Beard Seats
Find them back out at their next race, the Score International San Felipe 250.
2017 King of the Hammers.
Top Racers from around the globe come to Johnson Valley, California every February to compete in the hardest one day off road endurance race in the world! This year there were 122 racers in the 4400 class and only 50 finished the race.
February 2-10, 2017....Derek West and team # 20 left for Johnson Valley, California on Thursday Feb. 2nd after months of preparation for the opening race of the 2017 season, which is also the biggest race of the every season. The week was full of media, photo shoots & prepping for qualifying. Derek qualified on Tuesday Feb. 7th during "Power Hour" taking a great starting position of 19th overall out of 122 racers.
Friday Feb. 10 "Race Day"...Derek and his team had everything in tip-top shape ready to start the race after qualifying earlier in the week. Early Friday morning the #20 car took the green flag and was off to a great start catching other cars until a large boulder appeared out of the dust and damaged some crucial components. A quick stop at pit 1 and they were off again chasing dust trails. An alternator belt came off and the team did not notice it until the battery had been drained to a critically low point. Arthur Richtmyre (co-driver) hopped out and began replacing the belt. Once things were back in order the battery was too drained to start the car, during this process Mel Wade, one of Derek's competitors stopped and give him their jump pack. Art and Derek tried this but the car still would not start. Quickly, Derek cut the battery cables that feed his winch with a plan to use them as jumper cables. Derek stood on the hood of his car and waited for the next competitor to come by and signal them for help. That next person was Jeremy Hammer, a fellow Nitto Tire teamate. He stopped and was successful in getting the car going again!
Things were now going as good as they could for being at the back of the pack. Again, Derek began passing cars again in the rock trails until a rock took out the rear slip yoke on the drive-line. Derek knew he had no choice but to quickly hike to pit 2a, which was 4 miles away through the mountains. He quickly got to the pit and then back to the car with the needed part. From there Derek drove at a conservative pace in order to finish the race and gain series points. They had no more issues and completed the race in 49th place at 9:30 pm just 30 minutes before the time cap. Derek & Art endured a long, hard day in the race car with an ending time of 13 hours & 18 minutes. The team showed their racing perseverance and hard work pays off! Derek and team 20 are looking forward to an amazing season!
Derek West Racing upcoming events:
Feb. 25 - Outlaw Racing Series @ Booneville, Ark.
March 26 - Big Meat Run @ Disney, Ok.
May 6th - Outlaw Racing Series @ Jadwin, Mo.
May 20th - Ultra 4 East Coast Series @ Davis, Ok.
Images provided by Derek West and Bill Bailey
2017 King of the Hammers
Lazer Star Lights Hammertown Recap
It had been a couple years since Lazer Star was set up all week out on the lakebed. The past 2 years have conflicted with Parker 425 which made the double header a tricky juggle of logistics, and we just hadn’t been able to pull it off. Needless to say, we were stoked to have been back out in Hammertown to show off our lights to all the great folks that come out for the festivities.
This year we rolled in on Saturday for the epic King of the Motos night segment; a great kickoff to the week ahead! We were blown away by the start to this night event. These guys are definitely out to prove their worth and give their all to be crowned King of the Motos. Congratulations to Husqvarna's Colton Haaker who started off his 2017 King of the Motos weekend with a fourth place in the Night Race. Even though he didn’t place first in the Night Race, he used that momentum to win Race 2 and 3, which ultimately won him the overall King of Motos title for the second time in three years.
Monday night brought plenty of excitement out at the Back Door Shootout. Thousands of spectators lined the cliffs along Back Door to catch the timed trials and driving entertainment.
Continuing into the week, Hammertown was packed with participants and athletes alike. Our Lazer Star Lights booth was hopping with our LX LED Light Bar Giveaway and product specials being snatched up quicker than we could open every day. Luckily with the 12pm vendor start time each day, it gave us an opportunity to head out to the hot spots to watch the men and women in their crazy machines do what they do best.
Tuesday evening we scheduled our official Lazer Star photo shoot out at the sand wash where we got to catch 3 of our sponsored race team’s (Jason & Derek Murray #917, Derek West #4420, and Matt Lovell #7244) show off their rigs and their Lazer Star Lights. Special thanks to Bill Bailey at Sightline Images for capturing some great shots!
Wednesday was extra exciting for the Lazer Star crew as we got to watch Weller Racing out on the race course. Luckily for us, we got to catch them coming down on the final technical pass at Back Door and watch the checkered flag come down for 8th place. Congratulations to Weller Racing’s Jason Weller and his Co-Dog Mike King for bringing home the #1910 Yamaha YXZ100 to a top 10 finish!
The anticipated Every Man Challenge out on the lakebed came Thursday. This is a run-what-ya-brung type of class, so there were some wild and super stock vehicles out on the lakebed bringing thrills and entertainment to all the hot spots. We had one of our industry affiliates out at EMC banging away on his ’74 Bronco all day, only to time out in the last 20 miles. Congratulations on Andrew and Brett for sticking it out until the end, and to Bertha Ford for holding together for over 100 race miles!
Friday was the final and most exciting race day of the week. The big boys came out with their guns blazing in the 4400 Unlimited class. These guys are the professionals of the crawling/open desert racing we have come to know and love at King of the Hammers, and they didn’t disappoint. With Shannon and son Wayland battling out the final miles, Shannon proved victorious as he came in on 3 tires to win the 2017 King of the Hammers title.
However we had our eye focused on Lazer Star racer Derek West most of the day. #4420 Disco Derek fought hard with intermittent issues throughout the race, one of which had to hike a total of 8 miles to collect parts for his busted rear drive shaft in the middle of the course. We are proud to say that he did in fact finish the race before time out, and got to claim his title as one of the few KOH 2017 finishers.
All in all, the 2017 King of the Hammers was an epic week of busy sales, great people and amazing weather. We can’t wait to see the excitement 2018 will offer out on the lakebed.
Special thanks to everyone that came by our booth and signed up to win our LX LED Light Bar Random Giveaway. We have contacted our giveaway winner, Cody Goodman! If we don’t get a response by 2/27/17, we will be on the hunt for a new winner so be sure to check your emails! Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to seeing your Lazer Star LX LED in action next time, in Hammertown.
Corry Weller and her YXZ
Corry Weller, 2016 UTV TORC Champion and recent finisher at the grueling Best in the Desert, Vegas to Reno race, this kick ass driver has been getting it done, and doing it in style with her Yamaha YZX1000R.
Just 2 short weeks ago Weller and her crew were celebrating in the Nevada desert after completing with a 7th place finish at her inaugural Best in the Desert race debuting the YXZ1000R and all it has to offer the Off Road Race scene. Even with her busy short-course season, she knew the YXZ would kick ass in the desert, and was out to prove it. Keeping the unit close as possible to stock while only adding basic requirements from BITD and some necessary must-haves when racing in the desert, she set out as solo driver on a 2-day mission to prove her skills and YXZ against all odds. Day 1 was a success, she started in 27th so they knew they had a huge battle ahead, but even without power steering the YXZ raced from pit to pit with short fuel stops. The dreaded silt beds were the biggest contender throughout race day 1. Day 2 started with excitement as they learned she had moved up to 12th starting position in class, so she set her mind to battle harder and race faster. With the mixed class start, she got bumped and battered by much larger trophy trucks and other classes, good thing for the sturdy rear bumper on the tough YXZ! All else went great and day 2 proved to be a fun course of exciting mixed terrain putting skills and machinery to good use. The 1-truck chase crew got girl and machine through 644 miles of the Nevada desert and crossed the finish showing 6th, but took 7th in class after adjusted times.
Corry states, “We started in the back of a large and ultra-competitive field, with a YXZ that had a bone stock motor and factory suspension and chassis, that had zero time on it as a new build, in a class full of UTVs that are rebuilt from the ground up. To finish this race is a huge achievement, but to finish where we did is awesome! 7th out of 34 in the Pro Production class, 12th overall out of 70 UTVs total, and 65th overall out of all the truck/car/UTV class entries!”
Labor Day weekend Corry, Team Weller and her short-course YXZ1000R headed back east for the final round of the TORC series. Short course racing is nothing new to Weller and this debut of the TORC Pro Stock UTV Class was a perfect fit for her training, skills and machinery. “As a West Coast racer, it is a great feeling to drive nearly across the country to race the Midwest series and bring home a championship for Yamaha and the YXZ1000R,” Weller said. “We’re not just winning races, but we’re already breaking records in the YXZ’s first year of racing’”. She definitely proved herself and her YXZ as serious contenders in the future for this series, as she proudly is the first and only racer at TORC to podium in the Pro Stock UTV class at every event, and the first female to ever win a TORC Championship of any class.
“This is the first of what we expect to be many national championships for both Corry and the YXZ1000R,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV and SxS group marketing manager. “Leading the Stock UTV class takes the combination of a skilled and experienced driver like Corry, and a truly race-ready and reliable factory vehicle like the YXZ1000R.”
Lazer Star Lights is proud to be part of the Weller Racing team and can’t wait to see what she does throughout the remainder of 2016!!
Team Lazer Star Lights / MLR charged hard for the finish line at Vegas to Reno and snags a 4th place win.
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Vegas to Reno, Best in the Desert decided to put drivers to the ultimate test. Dubbing it "The Longest Race", this 2-day event brought many racers to their proverbial knees with miles of silt bed, pit to pit trailering, and a sleepover in Tonapah; this was a tough one to finish indeed. Racers and their crew had to be focused and prepared to battle, and MLR was ready. With a crew of over 20 volunteers, logistics were tricky and everyone needed to know their place when things got crazy in the pits. After the Mint 400, they learned anything could and would go wrong.
Despite the odds, #7244 had smooth sailing again this year. V2R of 2015 saw nothing but fuel stops the entire race, and this year was almost as pain free, with only 2 tire changes on top of the fuel stops. Naturally, the story from the course was not nearly as simple. Within the first 50 miles, a gnarly silt bed took out a slew of teams from Trophy Trucks to UTV's. The relentless silt made it nearly impossible to see other racers or wrecks ahead of you, let alone the 10 foot ravine (2 in a row in case you thought you could jump it) which brutally took out several teams. All this of course was before Pit 1, when the crew came to learn at the last minute that they would need to haul ass with the trailer, since a helicopter (not race related) had gone down and the course had to be closed. The crew raced their truck to Pit 1 for the pick up and tow to re-start at Pit 2. It looked like it was going to be a very long 2-days.
Without further incidence, the MLR crew raced to Tonapah for the overnight campout.
Day 2 brought an interesting start, as the cars lined up in the order in which they finished Day 1. This made it a smorgasbord of vehicle classes taking off one after the other; a little hairy for those UTV's starting right in front of a Trophy Truck! Another day full of DNF's in the silt bed, but more smooth sailing for the #7244 truck. Matt pulled into the finish line before dark with a possible 3rd or 4th place finish. After adjusted times, Team Lazer Star Lights / MLR #7244 took 4th place home.
Matt would like to thank his co-drivers Rob Nelson and Brett Maister, along with his crew and newly wed wife Jessie for helping make this race a success. None of this would be possible with out the sponsors: Raceline Wheels, Falken Tire, Ruff Stuff, Airaid, King Shocks, PCI Radios, Neo Synthetics, and 212 Gloves.
Lazer Star Lights heads out with the whole crew and their families to the rolling dunes of Pismo Beach, CA.
With the growing staff of enthusiasts over at Lazer Star, it was decided to celebrate with the Inaugural 'Dune Day' company trip to Pismo Beach, CA., otherwise known as the Oceano dunes. BBQ, campfires, family, friends, the beach, and a few vehicles outfitted with quality lights will make any day a success! The 1st Annual Dune Day was just that. Everyone apart of the crew can't wait to get together and do it again... Did someone say Dune Day over in Dumont this winter? Tearing up the dunes, one of the old school buggies got to show off their classic Lazer Star Billet Lights that started the company in 1993. The Billet Lights were originally created for dune buggies (as seen above), but in 1999, they started to extended their reach by making themselves applicable to Harley Davidson and V-Twin motorcycles as well.
Since it was a picture perfect day out, the dunes were packed with off roaders. The more people, the rougher the ride and more chances that someone wouldn't see you. Something as simple as throwing on an LED whip bulb to the top of your pole can make a huge difference. Luckily for the Lazer Star team, they were riding around in some of the most visible vehicles out on the dunes!
One of the most perfect offroad automotive vehicles: The Jeep. How can the iconic Jeep possibly get any better, you ask? Well, by outfitting it with top of the line lights from the LX LED Jeep specific light kits, and boy did they have this one covered! An American flag never hurts either.
Those green accent lights almost put that sunset to shame! New to the Lazer Star family, iStar Pod Lights are the perfect addition to any vehicle for that extra edge. No day comes without a few hiccups, and the Lazer Star Lights family and friends had their fair share! Thankfully, they weren't about to leave this Rhino stuck, so they banned together to dig it out of the sand pit. Experience the Power Of Light, Lazer Star Lights has a solution for all your automotive lighting needs. In closing we bring you a great shot of the riding crew lined up atop a dune at the end of their sunset ride. Lazer Star Lights Dune Day was nothing short of a day well spent!
We are thrilled to announce our Lazer Star Lights contingency program, which will offer cash or product credit rewards to ATV, UTV and Truck racers who achieve racing success while using Lazer Star Lights products! Download and print this form, complete and return to Lazer Star Lights. Requirements
- Must have 4 Lazer Star decals, each corner of vehicle
- Must have Lazer Star Lights installed at time of race in order to claim cash awards
- Must not have any competitor lighting or branding on vehicle
- Must finish in top 3 of class (must have minimum of 5 entries in class to be eligible)
- Completed Contingency Report form must be received within 15 days after race
- Photo of vehicle (300 dpi) at tech inspection must be submitted with form
- Submit a W-9 prior to claiming award, only required once per year (email, fax or mail the completed form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf)
Qualified Race Series & Events
- BITD - Best in the Desert
- SCORE International Off-Road Racing
- SNORE Off-Road Racing
- PURE Side-X-Side Off-Road Series
- Heartland Challenge
- Glen Helen 24 Hours
- 12 Hours of La Tuque Endurance Race
- 1st Place $500 product credit / $200 Cash
- 2nd Place $200 product credit / $100 Cash
- 3rd Place $100 product credit / $50 Cash
Questions should be directed to Suzi Scott firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 624-6234. Visit LazerStarLights.com for your off-road lighting solutions, and join our onlilne community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Paso Robles, Calif. - March 18, 2016 - The Lazer Star Lights sponsored team of Jason and Derek Murray were back in action this past weekend as they took on the legendary Mint 400. It was a rough course that claimed many vehicles, but the Murray brothers’ commitment to consistency landed them a 4th place finish in the UTV Turbo class. Fellow Lazer Star racer Matt Lovell encountered a series of issues in the 7200 class, and was unable to finish the race.
“Normally it takes three to four weeks to prepare for a race, and this was our third race in four weeks,” Derek Murray said after the race. Following the BITD UTV World Championship and SCORE San Felipe 250 in the preceding weeks, the Murrays and their crew worked night and day to get their Can-Am Maverick Turbo ready for an important Mint 400.
Derek started things off behind the wheel and within the first 30 miles was running up in the top five. With so little time to prep, the team’s strategy was to run a smooth race and stay within striking distance of the leaders. By the time Derek made it to the second of three laps, the course was deteriorated and was beginning to take its toll on the car. Derek backed off the pace a bit in an effort to avoid any mechanical failures, and handed off to Jason for the third and final lap.
Jason took the wheel in good position to make a run at the podium, however, the top teams had pretty clean races and did not create any opportunities for late passes. By that point, the car was losing some of its top speed, and after three challenging laps on a chewed up course Team Murray crossed the line in 4th place.
“All in all, we showed up prepared, the car ran well and we finished in the top 5 out of 76 UTVs,” Derek recounted. “Our goal is always to win, but all things considered we’re happy to finish the race and get some solid points. Now we finally have some time to break down the car and get it refreshed for the next race.”
This was the 41st consecutive Best in the Desert race that Team Murray has finished without a DNF. The strong effort puts them in 2nd place in the season standings, and the BITD Laughlin Desert Classic in May is next on the schedule.
By the time the morning races had come to an end, more than 200 vehicles had run the course. Matt Lovell and his crew had spent the two previous weeks getting the Lazer Star Lights equipped #7244 mid-size trophy truck ready for action, but nothing could prepare them for what was to come.
Lovell was first off the line in the 7200 class, but just a few miles into the race he and his co-driver realized they had gotten a flat tire at some point through a tight and rocky uphill section. When they went to change the tire, the jack handle broke off in Matt’s hand, the first of what would be several bizarre events. Shortly after changing the tire and getting back on course, Lovell’s truck got stuck atop a boulder. Upon jacking the truck to clear it from the obstruction, they discovered a gear oil leak. They made it to the pit and Lovell’s crew got to work cleaning up the damage.
After suffering another flat in the next section of the course, Lovell made it back to the main pit. By this point the course was turning into a junkyard, with trophy trucks and class 1 cars strewn about and suspension parts scattered on the course. They slowed their pace and focused on navigating the jagged rocks when they came upon a rolled class 1 car. As Lovell slowed down to help, a trophy truck came up along side of Matt’s truck, damaging the rear end and body work.
The co-driver of the stranded vehicle was badly hurt, so Lovell called in to have his crew call for a helicopter. Shortly after a BITD vehicle arrived and the helicopter was on its way to med-evac the injured racer. Lovell’s willingness to pull over to help saved several precious minutes in evacuating the injured racer.
Lovell returned to the course, and soon after the 3rd member started to give out. They pulled off to inspect and realized that the truck was simply thrashed from a combination of rocks and collisions with other vehicles. Matt started breaking the truck down as his crew went to retrieve a replacement part, but the damage was already done. Matt did what he could to get back to the pit, but by that time he was forced to withdraw.
Lovell has his work cut out for him with extensive repairs and rebuilding to do in preparation for his next race. Lovell may race the BITD Laughlin Desert Classic, and after that will set his sights on Vegas to Reno in August. That will be the last race with this truck, as Lovell will finish his spec Trophy Truck for the 2017 season.
The race season is really heating up for Derek and Jason Murray. Mere days after completing their 40th consecutive Best in the Desert Race at the UTV Wold Championship, the Murray brothers and their crew had to prep the race car and head down to Baja for the SCORE International San Felipe 250. Knowing how committed these guys are, we're not surprised that they pulled off the quick turnaround and totally rocked it in Mexico.
Derek and co-pilot Aaron Juarez got things started off, taking the Murray Racing Can-Am Maverick Turbo through the first 157 miles of the San Felipe course. At that point they were running in 2nd place, just a few minutes behind the leaders. Jason and co-pilot Monty Aldrich took over for the final 100 miles, charging hard in an attempt to catch the leader. As the sun set over the Mexican desert, Jason relied on his Lazer Star Lights LED light bars to pave the way for a final push.
Checkers were not quite in the cards for the Murray boys, however, as they crossed the line just a minute and change behind the leader. With adjusted times, they had secured 2nd place in the SCORE season opener, a great way to start off what will certainly be an exciting chase for the 2016 title!
Another quick turnaround is on deck for the Murrays as they prep the car for the BITD Mint 400, March 9-13 in Las Vegas. We'll be out at the Mint with the Lazer Star rig, so stop by for a special light bar giveaway and swag, and help us cheer on Derek, Jason and Matt Lovell in the Mint 400!
The 2016 race season is heating up for the Lazer Star Lights sponsored team of Jason and Derek Murray. With their second Best in the Desert event in the books and a quick turnaround before the SCORE season opener, Team Murray is on the gas and looking to make an impact this year.
Last year’s UTV World Championship was the inaugural event, and this year’s race drew an even bigger crowd with even more excitement as more than 90 UTVs competed. The UTV Championship course is unique in that it is part stadium short course and part open desert racing. This makes for an entertaining spectator area around the short course section while throwing in all of the rough and unexpected terrain that the Nevada desert had to offer.
New to the BITD rulebook is a starting position procedure. The top 10 finishers in the previous race get to start in that order, which meant that the Murrays got to turn their 4th place overall finish at the Parker 250 into an early start ahead of the massive pack.
Derek Murray took off at the front of the pack with Jason as his co-driver, and the two worked their way into 3rd place in the first few miles. About 8 miles into the first lap, the Team Murray Can-Am Maverick Turbo experienced some mechanical issues, which required some extended repair work on the course. By the time they got up and running again, pretty much the entire field had passed them. In fact, the lead cars were now just a few minutes away from lapping them, which meant there was no time to waste if the Murrays were going to get back into the race.
For the next few laps around the course, Team Murray charged hard and made up time. They picked off car after car and made up as much time as possible, despite being further slowed by mechanical issues on lap 5 and again on the final lap.
Through all of this adversity Jason and Derek persevered, and continued fighting to the end. Their reward was an incredible comeback. Although they were at one point in the race at the back of the 90-car pack, Team Murray managed to finish the race in 6th place in the UTV Turbo Class and in 9th place Overall. This was the 40th consecutive BITD race that Team Murray has completed with no DNFs.
Though the updated series points have not yet been posted, Team Murray should be in the top 3 in the UTV Turbo standings based on the results from the first two races. While Derek and Jason set the bar high for themselves, it’s hard to be disappointed with such an impressive display of willpower and determination. Expect to see the Murray boys on the BITD and SCORE podium this season.
The next race up for Team Murray is this weekend, the San Felipe 250. With as short a turnaround as possible, it will be interesting to see how the Murrays are able to prep their Lazer Star Lights equipped Can-Am in time for the SCORE International season opener.