All-Female Charity Race Gets a Reprieve

The 10th Annual Mojave Off Road Enthusiasts Powder Puff Race for the Cure went on as scheduled this past weekend, thanks to numerous government agencies that stepped in to provide personnel to meet the demands of the Bureau of Land Management.

When the race was canceled early last week, MORE promoter Cody Jeffers contacted Congressman Paul Cook of California’s 8th district, the location of much of the land used for racing in Southern California.

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With Congressman Cook’s help, along with the Barstow City Council, Barstow Police Department, and the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Office, the race was able to gain full permits from the BLM, although a shorter, 18-mile loop was used instead of the original 25-mile loop.

As of October 18th, the race has raised $25,712.75 for Cedar Sinai Breast Cancer Center, with more donations coming in every day. The money was raised from entry fees, raffle ticket sales, and with the support of Fiber Care, System XT, Power Edge, Jamar Performance, and racer Madison Dormack, who worked all year selling pink ribbon stickers as tributes to breast cancer survivors, fighters, and victims, placing them all over her car.

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This was my 7th Powder Puff, and while I am always excited to race, it definitely did not go as planned for me.

Fuel issues stopped me a mere 400 yards from the starting line. My co-driver Pepper and I had 4 false starts, where my crew would try one solution, send us out on course, only to have us return to pits within 3 minutes. The crew wired in our auxiliary fuel pump (it wasn’t connected due to a last minute wiring issue. Something had to go and that was it...bad idea), bypassed the filters, and tried a few other possible solutions, but it wasn’t until they opened the carburetor and found it full of, “the nastiest crap ever” did the car get on her feet.

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At this point we were down two laps, so Pepper and I decided to just treat the race as an extended testing session. I’d had some work done to the rear and we hadn’t had time to test properly.

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Now before you go getting your undercrackers in a bunch, keep in mind that I am completely self funded and I fly in to California to race. I have neither time nor money on my side. Frankly it’s a miracle the car is even moving. Testing is often a luxury for me. Is it necessary? Yes. Do I get to do it as often as I should? Negative.

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At any rate, the car fought me the whole first lap. It was all I could do to keep her on track, forget about pinning it through the whoops. A suspension adjustment in pits gave us a much better ride, but we somehow sheered a coil wire off the connector at race mile 8.

We didn’t have the supplies to fix it. Our chase came out and got us going again, but alas it was too little, too late.

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Final result?

Two laps completed. Last place.

My teammates from Martha Lee Motorsports had a better day. Martee Burke in 1602 completed 6 laps for 6th place. Journee Richardson, competing in her first race in a new car, completed four laps in 1628 before her fuel pump died.

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When I did the math, including my entry, air fare, gas, and money I put into the car for this race, I spent $65/mile.

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Quite a bargain when you consider what Mike Meehan of Meehan Motorsports told me after all was said and done.

“Hey, I once spent $20,000 to go 20 miles. That’s racing.”

If you’d like to be a part of this campaign for Cedar Sinai, you can grab a 2016 Women of Off Road Racing calendar. You’ll find shots of me, Madison, Martee, and other ladies young and old who get out there and get dirty. www.indianajoans.com/calendar

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Go here to learn more about Martha Lee Motorsports and how they are making a difference in the lives of kids in Barstow through racing.

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