After trimming many pounds of excess metal from his racing truck in the off-season, Laidlaw resident Cody Leach put a few big sacks of potatoes back in the cab, inviting his friends to ride shotgun at the Princeton mud drags last weekend.
“I took out all of my inner fenders and even parts of the frame have been dropped down, to cut weight,” said Leach, Monday, of his 1986 Chevy K-10 4×4, named “Mudd Butt.”
“I’d guess it’s about half the weight of the original truck when it came out of production.”
With nothing but the firewall, floorboards and doors to keep the mud from coming into the cab, Leach’s buddies Corey Baird and Craig Cross were in for a slathering of muck. Baird went along for three rides and Cross for one.
“In my truck it has no glass in it at all, so it gets real muddy,” said Leach. “I wear a fire-proof race suit at all NWMRA races — but in Princeton, we were allowed to wear anything, so at first I wore my race suit but quickly was in shorts and a tank top because it was so hot.
“I’d like to thank Bill Allinot for putting on the event,” he added. “It was great, having it at the Princeton horse race track, as they have the grandstands to get out of the sun.
“Corey and Craig wore t-shirts and shorts, helmets and goggles. Both of them came in clean — and left the truck, filthy! Corey took some awesome videos with his cell phone. They both had a blast and had big smiles on their faces — and some mud, as well!”
“This was sloppy, sticky, watery mud,” said Leach. “Some events, it’ll take about an hour to pressure-wash the mud off. This one took about four hours and there’s still some mud left.”
First thing Saturday, the field of some 50 competitors were run through a time trial, to place them into four classes. Leach was placed in the third class, with eight other trucks, where they got four more runs and kept their best three times.
“I had a disadvantage with the extra weight,” said Leach, “but this was more of a race-for-fun event. It didn’t count for points — and Corey’s been helping me out with every race, right from the start.”
Another friend was along for every ride, his name airbrushed onto the paint of Leach’s truck.
“On Sunday, it was exactly five years since BJ (Amey) passed, so he was definitely on my mind all weekend,” said Leach.
He finished second overall in the third tier but said he would have done well if he had squeaked into the next level up.
“I just double checked our times. Myself and the first-place truck were as fast as the top trucks in class 2. Both class’s top passes were in the five second mark,” said Leach.
He’s doing well in his second year with the Northwest Mud Racing Association and credits some of the success to his moving up to racing fuel, this season.
“I get it at 5-Star Motorsports in Chilliwack,” he said. “It’s $160 for five gallons and it’s way higher octane than you get at the pumps. My timing can be advanced and I get way higher revs out of it. It lasts me about two weekends.”
The $65 entry fee, racing fuel and fuel to get to and from Princeton (and to run the pressure washer) roughly balanced off the $225 Leach won in prizes — but racing with friends was a bonus. Now he’s looking toward this weekend.
“I am 100 per cent in the Brigade Days 4×4 event, racing my gutted Jeep Cherokee that my wife, Allyssa also races,” added Leach.
“I’ll possibly bring the big truck — but I have to be careful with it because the Merritt Mud Drags are the weekend after and it’s for points. As of now, I’m third in points in B class and want to stay on the podium.”