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Dust, dirt and fun: A day in the life of an off-road race car (Pictures)

Take a look at car 1617 as it battles the high desert at the Mojave Off Road Enthusiasts McKenzies 250.

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Emme Hall
Class 1600
1 of 13 RnR Photos

My car, 1617 runs a 1600cc engine and has a stock VW beam front end. The transmission is a 4-speed manual out of a VW bus and we run 3.0 bypass Fox Shox on all four corners. Stopping power is provided by Jamar disc brakes and when we need illumination we have an LED light bar by Sierra LED Lights.

Class 1600
2 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

I am usually pretty keyed up at the starting line, but this was my co-driver's first race. JR was a natural, calling corners and not getting mad when I almost drove us over a cliff.

Class 1600
3 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

Quick pit stop for some fuel. We have a small, 15-gallon tank and with an estimated 9 miles per gallon, our range is about 135 miles.

Class 1600
4 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

Mechanic Chad takes a break in a spare tire.

Class 1600
5 of 13 Rnr Photos

There was plenty of silt to be had on the course. Even with my face shield down and clean air getting pumped into my helmet, I still got an eyeful of the powdery stuff.

Class 1600
6 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

Clean-up driver Mark waits impatiently for a driver change. My car is one of two cars in the Martha Lee Motorsports mentoring program. Teens from Barstow, California, like Emily pictured here, work on the car and help out at the races. Once they put in enough time in the garage, they are rewarded with a co-driving seat.

Class 1600
7 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

After 120 rough and tumble miles I'm so sore I can only fall into the arms of Radioman Chris.

Class 1600
8 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

All smiles after my driving duties are done.

Class 1600
9 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

Clean-up driver Mark getting in for his three laps.

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10 of 13 Kaylee Guilford

One of the smoothest sections of the 40-mile race course.

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11 of 13

You may not believe it, but 1617 is under that silt somewhere, finally getting her checkered flag.

Class 1600
12 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

Clean-up driver Mark and I came away with the Sabina Motorsports True Grit trophy. We didn't have the cleanest race ever, but we soldiered on and finished...as the last car on the course. Still, it was good enough to take fourth in class out of 10 starters.

Class 1600
13 of 13 Martha Lee Motorsports

It's always a good race when you can drive the car onto the trailer. Even though we had to stop every 20 miles to tighten up the trailing arm and spring plate bolts, the fixes were minor and we expect to be back up and running for a July race.

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