LAUGHLIN - Nick Faulks and his co-driver Katrina Riedl are in essence living their dream by participating in their second Rage on the River competition coming up on Dec. '9-10. The race takes place Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10th in Laughlin. Faulks said he grew up in Bullhead City and always wanted to participate in the event, held by the Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts, SNORE. Faulks and Riedl are a couple who share the same love of off-roading and will be competing together in December. Riedl will be Faulks co-pilot or navigator. They are being sponsored by US Southwest, LLC whom they work for and Buggy Whip. In total it will be their third race, Faulks said. There was the Rage on the River, last year and a race back in August in Primm, Nev. The hope is it eventually get in four races a year he continued.
The couple will be racing in the 1450 amateur class. They will be facing 50 other racers in that class. As of Nov 21, there was 450 entries for the entire event. A year ago Faulks finished 16th out of 51 and is coming for a second place finish in the race in Primm. He's feeling all “jazzed up” about the upcoming race, he said.
Faulks is driving a 1997 Ford Ranger that almost nothing what is started out being, Faulks said. There's been an overhaul of the mechanics including having a V-8 engine and work completed on the suspension, he added. The work was all done before he owned it. Faulks said he bought the truck from someone else and it already had a strong history of racing. The truck has been part of the racing series for a decade or more, he continued.
Faulks said the truck is a little underpowered compared to some of the competition but there's been times when he's come up on someone who passed him by but ended up having some difficulties. It's a little bit like the tortoise and the hare, not quick but steady and at a good pace.
Part of it ,he said, is he is getting more comfortable with the truck. The truck is more capable than he's pushed it so far but it's meant getting himself up to speed and the more comfortable he's become, the more he's gotten out of the truck, he added.
Faulks said this year's race will present a good challenge for him and his new co-driver. The first day, which is 14 miles, or five laps, will be the usual clockwise route. The second day will be counter clockwise. He said it does make him a little nervous because while it's the same course, how the bumps hit will be different. But he's all for the challenge and is excited to race, he continued . The good news is he'll have Riedl with him. The pair will have a ,chance to go through the course to log any problem areas, Riedl said. It;ll be up to her to watch the gauges, Global Positioning System, or GPS along with watching for other drivers. Faulks usual co-driver couldn't make the trip this year so it was a good opportunity for Riedl to step up, Faulks said.