Crandon 6-21-2009 Winners Podium

 

Crandon 40th Anniversary

Ridder Fab finishes season with a SUPERFAN celebration.

 

September 1st 2009; most of the Ridder Fab Off Road (www.ridderfaboffroad.com) team assembles at the “Big House” of off road racing in Crandon, WI.  With the 40th anniversary celebration going on there wasn’t a moment to spare during the week. 

Wednesday all present team members and friends of the team went on a Wisconsin Off Highway Vehicle Association (www.wohva.com) led trail ride around the original 25.1 miles of forest road and woods based track where the Crandon Brush Run 101 started 40 years ago. The Sportsman club that runs the existing race track hosted a lunch out on the trail for the over 450 participants.  The trail ride consisted of ATV’s, UTV’s, buggy’s, OHM’s, trucks, jeeps and of course Land Cruisers.  Participants varied from Offroad Superfans to former racers, to current racers with their families to the Crandon area locals as well as first time area visitors.  A great time was had by all.

Thursday evening old race movies were played on the track jumbotron and open racing on the Traxxas RC (www.traxxas.com) track occupied much of the day. 

Friday morning came quickly.  All teams left for down town Crandon for the annual celebration as well as technical inspection and a parade.  Friday in Crandon has been likened to the “Baja of the Northwoods” upholding the long standing tradition of shining up the trucks, drivers and teams.  Sponsors are present, colors are flying.  Team competitions go on all morning with tire changing and truck pushing contests bringing in a huge crowd.  Many sponsors are present to support their teams.  Traxxas RC, the title sponsor of the TORC series (www.torcseries.com) had a huge display, the Monster girls and semi were present, and the Mole Lake tribe was represented as well as the Forest County Potawatomi.  Noon brought the start of the parade which involves the locals and sponsors and ends with the race trucks all firing up and driving back to the track right down Highway 8 with a police escort.  Ridder Fab Crew Chief Ken Fisher takes the honor of driving the #413 down town and back.  He claims he kept the truck under 100mph but we are waiting for video review. 

Friday afternoon the racing started.  The #413 Ridder Fab was staged in a good spot to take the hole shot, first row, inside. Jim took off and gave the truck a good ride but winning wasn’t in the cards.  The back up motor wasn’t up to the task so Jim ran until the engine got hot and pulled off with very good track position when the motor got hot.  After pulling off Jim said “We just didn’t have it tonight, the BFG’s were working great. The J&H transmission is awesome; the short short track is always fun in front of the fans Friday night here at Crandon.  We didn’t want to blow up another motor so I had to pull off.  Hopefully my crew can find me some more power and keep the truck cool for Saturday’s race.”  Friday night John, Ken, Craig, Jeff, Tony, Eric and Dan worked until Midnight to find the overheating issue and the lack of power.  The valves were readjusted, carb was rejetted, and some engine baffling and mud protection was taken off.  We had the best combination we could provide.

With 40,000 off road racing fans present the #413 Ridder Fab Formula 4x4 truck ran out front for the entire first half of Saturday’s race for the TORC season championship ring.  Jim had nearly the entire back stretch in to the famous Argonne Loop lead.  The truck was landing great off the jumps; the track crew had the racing surface in world class condition.  Jim definitely had a ton more power than Friday night.  The Offroad Superfans (www.offroadsuperfans.com) were on their feet as well as Sponsor’s Brian “Woody” Swearingen of IH8MUD.com (www.ih8mud.com) and Greg Prusik of Prusik Livestock as Jim pulled away from the field.  A mandatory caution at the halfway point bunches up the racers again and provides a better show for the fans.  At the caution Jim pulled in behind the pace truck and allowed the pack to catch up.  Spotter Jon Fintleman had Jim check the gauges and truck’s systems while they had a moment to breath.  With the slow down, air flow over the coolers is left to only the six fans on the back of the truck.  The temp gauge went from a happy 190 to nearly 300 degrees.  The back up motor, which had been freshened and installed prior to coming to Crandon, decided it had enough.  The engine got hot and the connecting rods all but let go.  Driver Jim Ridderbush said “The truck was running and performing great.  We pulled the hole shot and took off! At the competition yellow we started to get hot just like Friday.  I radioed John my spotter and pulled off.  It made it back to the pit, never to restart again.”  Jim had a wide lead coming in to the competition yellow.  With bad fortune early in the year for the Ridder Fab team the points battle was already sewn up by the consistency of Dave Demaegd.  Team Ridder Fab and sponsors decided to make a run for the coveted World Championship ring at Crandon, the “Big House” of off road racing but it wasn’t meant to be.

Saturday night the Ridder Fab team was involved in a very special presentation at the Offroad Superfans tent.  The #413 had to be towed back to the tent due to the bad motor.  The Superfans took up a collection and presented Jim Ridderbush a check for $334 in sponsorship money to help defray the costs of this very expensive year of racing.  The entire team was introduced under the tent during the festivities.  The hospitality, food and beverage spread put on by the Superfans is second to none.  The entire Ridder Fab team is very thankful for all the support the Superfans have provided all year long.  We look forward to working with the group for many years to come.

Ridder Fab would like to congratulate Dave Demaegd on his World Championship victory and season points title.    

The team would like to thank the series sponsors Traxxas, Amsoil, Hansen Beverage, Oakley and all the associate sponsors.

Look for future updates, pictures and video on www.ridderfaboffroad.com

Ridder Fab Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors;
Ridder Fab
Jon’s Body Shop
J&H Transmission
Prusik Livestock
Kerstners
IH8MUD.COM
Schaeffer’s Oil
Baumgart Tire and Wheel
Offroad Superfans www.offroadsuperfans.com

Contingency sponsors this year are:
BF Goodrich
Parker Pumper
Leatt Brace
Amsoil
KC HiLites
Auto Meter
K&N Filters
MSD Ignition

Ridder Fab Racing still has sponsorship opportunities available for the 2010 racing season.  Please contact Dan Bergin 920-948-8004 [email protected] for more information. 

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RidderFab Offroad Racing has weekend help from Offroad Superfans.

Some days you are the windshield, some days you are the bug...high hopes for winning were splattered like a mosquito on a windshield in Bark River, MI.

Friday afternoon found the RidderFab Offroad Racing team in Bark River Michigan (www.upoffroad100.com) for the TORC series presented by Amsoil ( www.TORCseries.com) rounds Seven and Eight.  Driver of the #413 Jim Ridderbush and his crew had the truck prepped and ready for Friday night practice with high hopes for a solid weekend.

The #413 completed a lap of practice looking great.  The Bark River Lions track prep crew has made some major changes to the track which helped us go even faster than ever on the 1.5 mile track.  The Bark River International Raceway is home to Upper Michigan's only professional Offroad Racing event.  The 1.5 Mile track is one of the most challenging in the TORC series, allowing drivers to reach speeds in excess of 90 mph.  Ridderbush completed one lap and then heard a bad knock from the 355 cubic inch small block Chevrolet engine.  The truck was shut off never to run again with that power plant.  Connecting rods in the lower end completely let go scattering wasted metal through out the oil system.  Saturday racing was looking to be nearly impossible for the #413 and crew. 

If it weren’t for the hard work, dedication and encouragement of the Offroad Superfans (www.offroadsuperfans.com) and the #413 crew the truck would have been on the trailer the rest of the weekend.  After a few phone calls, Nitro, the ATF director for the Superfan Club located a 350 engine that was supposed to be a runner in near by Powers, MI.  The engine was delivered and the crew went to work along side the Superfans to get the #413 on the track for Saturday.  We received assistance in one way or another from several other teams.  Our fellow Superfan sponsored Sportsman Stock team of Al “The Outlaw” Konitzer lent some product, Nick Byng and crew lent us an engine hoist and many teams stopped by to offer assistance and encouragement.  Once the engine was in and mostly dressed the little details were left for morning.  A nasty rain storm soaked the grounds and track very early Saturday morning.  This gave the crew an additional hour to complete the swap.  Once the details were covered, the engine was fired.  The replacement motor turned out to be as bad.  Several flat or almost flat cam lobes and other issues prevented the truck from running on all eight cylinders. 

Once again hard work and perseverance didn’t pay off for Team RidderFab Offroad Racing.  The team would like to thank all our sponsors and fans for assistance and encouragement through the tough weekend.  A very special thank you goes out to our families that support us but don’t get to see us very much. With out all these people we would have no chance of competing in the TORC series. 

Due to a low number of entries this past weekend the truck was able to claim third place on both days.  This puts the team third place in points going in to the final weekend.  With just seven points separating fellow competitor David Miah and the #413 the intensity will be at record levels.  Crandon International Raceway’s 40th anniversary (www.crandonoffroad.com) week of festivities promises to be an awesome time.  The team anticipates a full field of racers. 

Ridder Fab Racing hits the track next on September 4th and 5th  in Crandon, WI.  The 4th is a Friday night race and Saturday is mid day.  At stake Saturday is the coveted “race for the ring” where the winner is crowned World Champion of Formula 4x4.  This is a prize that has eluded Jim so far.  Come watch as Team RidderFab competes for the ring!

Look for future updates, pictures and video on www.ridderfaboffroad.com

RidderFab Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors;
RidderFab
Jon’s Body Shop
J&H transmission
Prusik Livestock
Kerstners
IH8MUD.COM
Schaeffer’s Oil
Baumgart Tire and Wheel
We would also like to thank our newest sponsors the Offroad Superfans www.offroadsuperfans.com

Contingency sponsors this year are:
BF Goodrich
Parker Pumper
Leatt Brace
Amsoil
KC HiLites
Auto Meter
K&N Filters
MSD Ignition

Ridder Fab Racing still has sponsorship opportunities available for the 2009 racing season and beyond.  Please contact Dan Bergin 920-948-8004 [email protected] for more information. 

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Ridderfab Offroad Racing survives the weekend with a third place podium finish and a hard rollover.

July 24th 2009 found Jim Ridderbush and team Ridder Fab’s # 413 Formula 4x4 from Appleton, WI (www.ridderfaboffroad.com) in Oshkosh, WI for rounds five and six of the TORC series (www.torcseries.com) off road championship. The Speedzone Raceway was converted from a clay circle track oval into a short course off road arena. 

For Friday night’s race the truck was wearing two new rear BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM’s for the first time in over a year.  The Sway Away 2.5” reservoir shocks had new adjustments in an attempt to conquer the jumps and moguls the Oshkosh short course presented. 

Jim got off the start ok but it was immediately evident that the shock set up was not going to allow good handling on the track.  Jim also lost four wheel drive around lap three.  Thanks to Jim’s versatile driving style he was able to settle into third place and hang on even with two wheel drive and compromised handling.  Jim actually got some good racing in with the Classix car of Justin Keener towards the end of the race. 

Friday after the race the team pulled the Sway Away Racerunner’s back off and gave Jim a whole new setup. Saturday morning and afternoon some tuning was done on the engine by Jon Fintelman and a couple issues were resolved on the Holley carburetor.  The BFG tired, Jon’s Body Shop, Ridder Fab Chevy Blazer took to the track for practice on Saturday, with a whole new attitude.  The shocks were working great, the truck was running top notch and the track changes really helped the BF Goodrich tires hook up. Jim was ready to race.

Saturday’s start put Jim on the outside of the front row for the rolling start.  Oshkosh is the only rolling start of the season for team Ridder Fab due to the stock car track not having space for a land rush.  With the drop of the green flag Jim launched out to the front of the pack.  The truck was gaining lead steadily.  With the Sway Away shocks working the Ridder Fab Blazer was able to double two sets of moguls in the infield.  Jim carried more speed than ever into the transition from infield back up on to turn two of the stock car track.  The truck landed and never set for the turn and Jim ended up with a hard roll that bounced him hard on the driver’s side of the roof and landed the truck on the driver’s side.  The race was over for Ridder Fab.  The passenger side rear tire had hit during the roll and broken the axle shaft.  “The set up on the truck tonight was really awesome.  I was really moving out there.  The roll was hard but if the wheel hadn’t left the truck I would have kept right on going.  We will get the truck back together and be ready to get even better in Bark River.”  Jim stated after the races Saturday. 

Jim was able to walk away from this hard roll ever thanks to a sincere commitment to safety and truck preparation.  A good helmet, Leatt Brace (www.leatt-brace.com) and properly installed and tightened belts kept Jim safe.  After getting out of his race suit and looking at the truck, Jim said “I’ll be a spokesman for that Leatt Brace after that roll.  I hit hard and other than bumps and bruises I feel fine.” 

Ridder Fab Off Road Racing is back in Action in Bark River, MI August 8-9, 2009. 

Look for future updates, pictures and video on www.ridderfaboffroad.com

Ridder Fab Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors;
Ridder Fab
Jon’s Body Shop
J&H transmission
Prusik Livestock
Kerstners
IH8MUD.COM
Schaeffer’s Oil
Baumgart Tire and Wheel
We would also like to thank our newest sponsors the Offroad Superfans www.offroadsuperfans.com

Special thanks go to Mike Reusche of Phil’s Inc for hooking Ridder Fab up with an in car camera.  The video will be up on www.ridderfaboffroad.com soon.

Contingency sponsors this year are:
BF Goodrich
Parker Pumper
Leatt Brace
Amsoil
KC HiLites
Auto Meter
K&N Filters
MSD Ignition

Ridder Fab Racing still has sponsorship opportunities available for the 2009 racing season.  Please contact Dan Bergin 920-948-8004 [email protected] for more information. 

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Ridderfab Offroad Racing stays in the chase for a championship in 2009. 

 Bark River, MI (July 12, 2009)-The Traxxas TORC Truck Series presented by AMSOIL took 12,000 of Michigan's off road fans for a wild ride this weekend. Bark River International Raceway was the proud host to rounds 7 and 8 of the national series. TRAXXAS TORC Series driver Jim Ridderbush, owner and driver of the #413 Formula 4x4 based out of Appleton gained two more podium finishes in Bark River, MI July 11th and 12th 2009.

After a Thursday night arrival and pit set up, Friday’s truck prep and practice session came quickly.  After a couple good laps the Ridder Fab Formula 4x4 stopped dead in its tracks.  The truck was towed back to the pits and the team quickly went to work.  The truck was washed and the transmission pan was dropped to find yet another failed turbo 400 transmission.  Sometimes failure is just a stepping stone to great success.  Late Friday night a new partnership was formed.  Thanks to help from the Offroad Superfan (http://www.offroadsuperfans.com/) group and Douglas Motorsports and Roger at J&H Transmission Ridder Fab Racing was given the opportunity to run a J&H built turbo 400 transmission.  With only a few small changes the unit fit right into the Formula 4x4.  The pit crew worked late in to the night to flush out the coolers and torque converter.  It was decided that the team needed some rest so we hopped in the campers around two thirty A.M for a two hour nap.  Most of the team couldn’t sleep, knowing full well that the truck needed to be at the staging area for practice at 9 A.M. and we had hours of work left to do.

Wake up call found the whole crew back to work already.  Not only did the transmission get replaced, the timing got adjusted, the shocks got revalved, a blown radiator hose from Friday practice got replaced.  The truck was up to practice in time to get a one half lap run on the track.  The new J&H transmission absolutely impressed driver Jim Ridderbush and crew.  The technology and build quality of the J&H transmission as well as the support behind the team from Roger is top notch. 

On Saturday Jim pulled the hole shot and gained a commanding lead over the pack.  After leading five and a half of the six race laps the right front axle shaft broke in Bark River’s famous “Cemetery Turn.”  The axle breaking led to a spin which cost Jim the lead and put him in two wheel drive to catch up.  With a quick recovery Jim finished the lap and gladly took a second place.  

The truck got washed and the axle got replaced with in minutes of getting back to the pits.  The shocks were again pulled to do some adjustments.  We have made an alliance with Milan Mazanec to help us tune the ride of the truck to the best our classes limitations and stock style suspension will allow.  After some adjustments to all four corners the team got some time to relax and enjoy the great weather that our hosts the Bark River Lions must have ordered for the weekend. 

Sunday Morning put Ridder Fab Racing on the track again with the hole shot and a sizeable lead by turn five.  Luck wasn’t with the truck and driver though.  Another broken axle spun the truck in mid turn.  Good spotting and careful driving by our competitors avoided what could have been a huge crash.  Once Jim got the truck got back in motion, again in two wheel drive Jim drove it as hard as he could to catch the field.  The Formula 4x4 class has been running with the Classix trucks this year.  The combination makes for some great action on the track. Unfortunately one of the Classix racers got in to Jim in the “Cemetery Turn” where the truck spun on Saturday. This time one of our BFGoodrich tires got punctured further slowing the Ridder Fab truck.  The Pit crew quickly changed the tire and got Jim back out on the track in time for a third place finish. 

When asked about the weekend Jim responded: “If it weren’t for the great people that helped us this weekend would not have ended with two podium finishes.”  Jim went on to thank Roger of J&H Transmissions, Scott Douglas of Douglas Motorsports, Amsoil, Milan Mazanec for the shock work, the Ridder Fab crew and the Offroad Superfans. 

Ridder Fab takes the track in Oshkosh, WI July 24th and 25th.  These are night races at the Oshkosh Speedzone (http://www.torcseries.com/) this is the closest to home that Ridder Fab Racing will ever compete in the TORC series.  Jim is second in points for the series championship.  Please come out and cheer him on in Oshkosh.

The team would like to thank the series sponsors Traxxas, Amsoil, Hansen Beverage, Oakley and all the associate sponsors.

Look for future updates, pictures and video on www.ridderfaboffroad.com

Ridder Fab Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors;
Ridder Fab
Jon’s Body Shop
J&H Transmission
Prusik Livestock
Kerstners
IH8MUD.COM
Schaeffer’s Oil
Baumgart Tire and Wheel
We would also like to thank our newest sponsors the Offroad Superfans www.offroadsuperfans.com

Contingency sponsors this year are:
BF Goodrich
Parker Pumper
Leatt Brace
Amsoil
KC HiLites
Auto Meter
K&N Filters
MSD Ignition

Ridder Fab Racing still has sponsorship opportunities available for the 2009 racing season.  Please contact Dan Bergin 920-948-8004 [email protected] for more information. 

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Ridderfab Offroad Racing takes the podium on opening weekend!

Crandon, WI June 20-21,2009- TRAXXAS TORC Series driver Jim Ridderbush, owner and driver of the #413 Formula 4x4 based out of Appleton, WI took a solid second place on Sunday in the TORC series (www.torcseries.com) off road races at the “Big House” of off road racing (www.crandonoffroad.com ).  This is the first race weekend of 2009 and Jim’s first podium running the TORC series in 2009.

Pre-season testing has been a compilation of rough luck for the team.  Some changes made over the winter were tweaked and tuned for better performance.  ATS has built some solid transmissions for Jim.  Jim never had anything but great performance last year from our ATS Turbo 400.  This year we haven’t been so fortunate.  We have been battling transmission problems often so far this summer.  We appreciate our sponsors and will continue to work to get those issues resolved.   After one last visit to ATS on Wednesday the truck was loaded and deemed ready to race.

Saturday the weather was absolutely perfect for some hard core door to door racing in front of 24,000 of the Off Road Nation’s best fans in Crandon, WI.  Ridder Fab started with a three lap practice at 9am.  The team made a few adjustments to the truck and was race ready.  Team Ridder Fab and Jim were confident we were ready for a good showing in front of packed Crandon International Raceway. 

Saturday the Ridder Fab Formula 4x4 came off the start through turn one in the middle of the pack.  Jim Ridderbush moved the truck up through the pack during the first couple laps.  Jim radioed to the spotter’s tower that the transmission was not shifting properly and the fluid temperature was getting high.  Within a couple turns the truck burst into flames. Jim drove the truck to a track safety crew and got out safely. 

A burned up transmission is not going to stop the hardest working team in off road racing.  The crew cleaned up the truck back at our pit and proceeded to remove the bad transmission and assess the truck for any other damage.  A new transmission was prepped and in the truck within an hour and a half.  With a few other minor adjustments the truck was race prepped for Sunday before dinner was served Saturday night. 

At Sunday’s 8 a.m. driver meeting Ridder Fab found out that we would not be able to run the standard three laps for practice at 9am.  We wanted to break in the new transmission and test our other adjustments. We ran a couple straight line blasts down Crandon’s famous “Land Rush Start” area to test out. The truck was race ready.  The transmission felt good. 

Jim brought the truck into the first turn at nearly 80 mph sounding great and in good running position.  With in two laps Jim had a sizeable lead on the third place competitor and was chasing down 2008 Class Champion Dave Demaegd.  Getting through traffic had cost precious time and Jim wasn’t able to run down Dave for the win but he put the truck on the podium with a clean solid second place effort.  After the race Jim said “We really have the truck dialed in.  Our handling is great; our BFG Tires were working perfectly.  We didn’t run down the leader but our lap times were great.  We are looking forward to racing in Bark River.  Major thanks go out to all our sponsors and fans and families.”

Ridder Fab Racing hits the track next on July 11-12 in Bark River Michigan.  www.upoffroad100.com   

Look for future updates, pictures and video on www.ridderfaboffroad.com

Ridder Fab Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors;
Ridder Fab
Jon’s Body Shop
Automatic Transmission Specialists
Prusik Livestock
Kerstners
IH8MUD.COM
Schaeffer’s Oil
Baumgart Tire and Wheel
We would also like to thank our newest sponsors the Offroad Superfans www.offroadsuperfans.com

Contingency sponsors this year are:
BF Goodrich
Parker Pumper
Leatt Brace
Amsoil
KC HiLites
Auto Meter
K&N Filters
MSD Ignition

Ridder Fab Racing still has sponsorship opportunities available for the 2009 racing season.  Please contact Dan Bergin 920-948-8004 [email protected] for more information.