After a long layoff over the summer due to a shoulder surgery, Marc Ewing came storming back to the Nevada desert with an amazing performance.
“After an absence of eight months he was anything but rusty,” said Team Manager Harvey Knapp. Co-driver Jordan Poole was very pleased with Ewing’s performance as well. “That was the best race that Marc and I have ever run together. We had this one all but won,” Poole said.
“We hit a pesky rock that dinged the drive shaft 26 miles from the finish. We couldn’t run above 74 mph without destroying the transmission. We definitely let people know that Riot can run with the big guys today.”
Ewing was equally pleased with his comeback. “It was great race. We were really gelling together in the truck. It’s a little disappointing not to get a first-place finish this time, but it certainly wasn’t for lack effort, that’s for sure!” Ewing said.
“Everyone on the team worked hard prepping. The pit crews and all the volunteers were great.”
It had been a tough start to 2011 for the Riot team. Both the 68 trophy truck and the 1598 Class 1 failed to finish the first race of the season, Parker 425. Then, a blown motor and an ill driver at the Silver State 300 ended hopes of a BITD championship. After a six-month rehab from surgery, no one was certain how Ewing would fare in the driver’s seat. But from the first turn off the start at Henderson 250, the intention was clear: Let’s kick some ass and try to win this thing!
“I could not have asked for things to go better in my first race back. Jordan and I were doing things a little different in the truck and it just clicked. I can’t wait to get out there again and get my first win!”
It was a cold, but satisfying end to the season when the truck pulled away from the finish line. Smiles faded into the night leaving behind a resounding desire to return to the desert for Marc Ewing’s first win behind the wheel.
- Wednesday December 21, 2011
- By Riot Racing
Team Riot gathered at the Scorching hot pits for the SoCal 250 at Plaster City this past weekend with high hopes of a good finish. They came away with the overall win and first place in the unlimited truck class.
Josh Daniel drove a blisteringly fast race leading the nearest Trophy truck by over an hour and the second place overall Class 1 car by over 4 minutes.
In a race that Riot would receive zero points towards the SNORE championship the Riot skeleton crew were determined to put on a good show despite the absence of the DOR and team manager. The #68 Riot truck took the lead in the first few miles and never looked back.
“We were committed to putting on a solid performance for Marc and Harvey and to come away with a finish, the last mile down to the finish line Josh and I were so stoked when we saw the crowds of people on either side, it was like Mexico”! said an excited Co-driver Jordan Poole. We were yelling and screaming at each other as we blew by the crowd at 115mph! What a way to complete our first win, it was a killer moment.
“The truck performed flawlessly, the whole Riot/Danzio crew did an incredible job prepping and pitting for us. This is the same truck and Dougan’s motor that we ran at the SS300, you couldn’t have asked for more!” said Josh Daniel. “As a team we wanted to perform and finish this race, we were able to do that and then some! Our crew kept accurate time splits of all the competitors. By lap 3, we were already 6+ minutes up on the next overall guy. I decided it would be wise to take her down from the 80% race pace to about 70% to preserve the truck without losing much time. Pacing yourself is probably the hardest part in racing”.
“The only thing that could have made the day better was if Marc could have been climbing up on the roof of the truck with us to enjoy this well deserved victory”, said Poole. “But I’ll tell you something, its not going to be long before he does”!
The whole Riot team was in a celebratory mood, “SNORE does such a great job putting on these races and I just hope that Don and all the guys know how much we at Riot appreciate the hard work that they put into organizing these events and how proud we are to participate” said Daniel as he took the podium at the awards ceremony. Daniel was quick to thank Marc Ewing for allowing him to race in one the best prepped trucks in off road racing, and the incredible talents of the Riot crew members and volunteers, especially Sammy Zaranti and Chris Muzio for overseeing the prep and motor tune. “without these guys, we can’t finish a race. Thanks to you all for giving us a great ride today”!
“I am so proud of our guys, I wish I could have been there to see it”. said Team Manager Harvey Knapp. “I was glued to my computer and phone during the entire race, when Sammy said he felt like an expectant Father I could relate! I slumped in relief after I received word that they had finished, I sent Josh and Jordan a video of me toasting their victory! They really had a great day out there and I hope that Riot can build on this amazing performance”.
“If there is one thing that’s for certain; Josh Daniel is a very fast driver”! Said Marc Ewing, “I am going to sit down tonight and hoist a cold drink to Josh and Jordan for a job well done! He really showed everyone that if the equipment is equal to the task he is going to podium. Congratulations to all the guys on the crew, all of the hard work paid off and Riot has its first win in the books”.
- Wednesday May 18, 2011
- By Riot Racing
The Parker 425 was the first race that Riot participated in back in 2009. “I don’t think we have ever been better prepared to start off our racing year. The team is expecting great things and Parker is the key to a great year” said Harvey Knapp, team manager for Riot. Marc Ewing, driver of the 68 race truck is in an equally enthusiastic mood. “Parker is a crazy race. The first time I raced and completed Parker in torrential rain back in 2009 I was asked how it was. My response back then was the same as it now, ‘Epic!’”
Starting out at the time trial on Thursday, February 3 at 9 am Riot #68 will pull away in the 19th spot. Josh Daniel driving his Riot 1598 Class 1 race car will start much further back at the 65th spot. This doesn’t phase Daniel who has an exceptional record in time trials. “It’s definitely not the ideal place to start your time trial run, but you can be certain Sheila, Allen Hickerson and I will push ourselves to the limit to get a great start position for Saturday’s race” Daniel said.
Immediately after the time trial, all of the race vehicles will be assembling in downtown Parker for a Street Fair. “It’s a great chance for people to get a close up view of these awesome machines and talk to members of the team” added Erica Magda, team reporter for Riot. Friday the race vehicles will go through contingency and tech inspection which starts at 9:30 am and runs through 6 pm. Friday evening will be a chance for Marc, Jordan, Josh and Allen to relax and get some rest before the mayhem begins in the dark of Saturday’s early morning start. Riot will be working hard to provide the best possible updates via Twitter on our website. “We want to ensure that anyone who can’t make it to the race can get information as the events unfold,” Magda said.
During Parker 425 last year the Riot truck was stopped by a mechanical issue for a full 35 minutes and still managed a respectable 5th place finish. “Everyone feels that Marc has the perfect driving style to come out of Parker in a good position to build on for the rest of the year. We are out to win a championship, and we are going to do everything in our power to make that happen!” Co-driver Jordan Poole said.
Josh Daniel is returning to Parker 425 for the first time after a sneaky high speed roller ended his 2009 race with a dramatic crash. “We have never been more prepared for a season” Josh said. “This year the car tested perfectly and we paid close attention to all of the high-speed dangers during the pre-run for Parker. Allen and I want to start this year out by making a big impact for the Riot team!”
Regardless of the outcome, you can always be sure that the Parker 425 will provide some epic tales.
- Tuesday February 1, 2011
- By Riot Racing
Riot Racing is thrilled to announce that Josh Daniel has joined the Riot team. Josh brings his considerable talents and his popular race car “Sheila” to the program. With the new car and Riot’s two Geiser Bros trophy trucks, Riot Racing will compete in the full Best in the Desert series in the Trick Truck and 1500 classes, as well as the full SNORE series in the Unlimited Truck class. For Riot Racing, this will be the first time competing for a championship in SNORE, and the team’s first foray outside the TT/UT class.
Josh’s hard charging style and down to earth personality have made him a favorite with race fans and fellow racers alike. With recent overall wins at the KC HiLites Midnight Special, Rage at the River, and the Battle at Primm — coupled with four second place finishes — Josh is a force to be reckoned with on the race course. Riot team owner and driver Marc Ewing summed it up, “I’m psyched to have Josh on our team, and I’m sure glad I won’t be racing against him any time soon!”
While not changing his aggressive driving style, Josh does plan on adjusting his approach. “I’m going to be more calculated and focused on making the car live,” he said. “This will be the first time that I’ve ever really had a goal in mind. I’ve already won races. Now, I need a championship — or two!”
In two years, Riot Racing has evolved into one of the most recognizable and consistent teams in the sport. With no previous driving experience, Marc Ewing has developed into a reliable top five finisher and a threat for the podium. “With the path we’ve been on, with the addition of Josh, and with three vehicles racing, you certainly expect even better results,” Marc said. “It’s going to be hard work maintaining the rate of improvement we’ve enjoyed for two years. But with the people we have on our team, and the organization we’ve built, I know we can overcome the pressure, have success and really turn heads this year. And most importantly, we’ll have a ton of fun doing it!”
- Thursday January 20, 2011
- By Riot Racing
2010 season started out with high hopes that faded quickly. The crew spent long hours struggling to prep the truck for the first two races of the year, the BITD Parker 425 and the SNORE Battle at Primm.
Marc Ewing managed to baby the race truck through the final half or the Parker 425, even though it was losing oil and threw a belt. A finish of 7th place was a relief. The Battle Primm was a full on disaster. The truck took a DNF on both days, and the crew spent a long night changing out the entire drivetrain in between races.
The BITD Silver State 300 in April was the turning point for Riot with a new crew and veteran driver Rick Geiser behind the wheel. Riot rolled home with a second place finish. Then it was a long wait and there was much work to be done for Vegas to Reno, but the confidence of a second place win kept the team moving forward.
At Vegas to Reno Marc shared the driver’s seat with Josh Daniel in the truck that had been completely rebuilt by Sammy Zaranti, Mike Lucey and the new Riot crew. Coming in 5th was a fantastic outcome in a big field of talented desert racers. It was also a huge relief to get such a great result in the race that meant so much to us all.
The Riot team felt pretty confident going into the SCORE Primm 300 since we practice in that area ninety nine percent of the time. Sadly, the confidence was short lived. The truck lost power steering only a few miles in because a hosing failure that compromised the power steering pump. The truck rolled three and half times at around 80 mph. Considering how violent the crash was, the damage to both truck and the riders was minimal.
With that experience now checked off and under their belts, the crew turned its focus to the BITD BlueWater Challenge in Parker, Ariz. Marc qualified the truck on a day that saw wickedly high temperatures. It was one of the longest days of qualifying we have ever had. On the first day or racing we had to get the race truck to the start line an hour and half before the posted time, which caused many of us to miss the start, including our film crew and helicopter!
After that hiccup, Marc drove well until they got bogged down behind a truck stuck in a silt bed. This cost us a couple of minutes, but was the only blemish on perfectly driven race in conditions that challenged the best trucks. On day two the decision was made to let Josh Daniel get behind the wheel. Marc’s ribs were sore from the rollover crash in the previous race, and he wanted to be sure he would be fit for the final race at the Henderson a little more than three weeks later.
Josh drove the truck as fast as the conditions would allow. Jordan Poole, the new co-driver for Riot payed close attention to all of the gauges to ensure that the truck would reach the finish line. A heavy vibration had the truck in the hot pit on the final lap for a drive shaft change. The crew changed it in good time, but it definitely put us back a number of places. Because Parker was likely to be our drop race in the BITD series, we left feeling like we hadn’t really accomplished anything other than gaining some silt driving experience!
Going into the final race of the BITD series at the TransWest Ford Henderson 250, the Riot truck sat in a great position in the points. Two trucks were tied for first and two trucks, including Riot Racing, were tied for second. All of them with a chance to take home a championship.
The team decided to run both trick trucks. The second truck, #90 driven by Josh Daniel, would work as a helper truck. The hope was that if the #68 truck driven by Marc Ewing had an issue, the #90 truck would be within reach to help them on their way quickly. The team had some issues on qualifying day. The steering locked up and would only turn right. After the truck was towed back to the pit it was discovered that a simple rock had gotten stuck in the steering shaft. Marc and Jordan jumped in and got the truck around the qualifying course.
The race day started sunny with little to no wind. After a quick lap in the sportsman class for a final look at the course, hopes were high. Marc pulled off the line and into some of the dustiest conditions we have seen. The dust hung in great clouds that was so thick it felt as though you were standing in milk. The day went by in a blur with the truck running flawlessly. The one planned pit stop, which saw 70 gallons of fuel, two rear tires, a light bar install and two quarts of oil added all in a little more than a minute was fast and furious!
Marc drove the socks off the truck. The plan for the #90 helper truck plan didn’t really work out for us after it hit a big rock and broke an upper control arm, effectively knocking it out of the race. As the light faded and the darkness grew, the visibility for the racers was terrible. Marc and Jordan were struggling to see through the thick dust, which was compounded by a problem with the lights. They were passed on the final lap at the dry lake bed by BJ Baldwin, who was the eventual BITD series champion.
Everyone was pleased to see the Riot truck pull up onto the podium. Fourth overall in points in the second year of racing, after a difficult start to the season was a great way to finish.
The following Thursday the team arrived in Laughlin, Nev. for the SNORE Rage at the River race, the final race on the SNORE calendar. This two-day event it is one of the team’s favorite races. The first day there was little wind and the dust was thick. Race officials and the BLM were all over Harvey Knapp, Riot’s team manager because the team’s helicopter was flying at a very low altitude for filming. With the possibility of a DQ on the cards it was difficult to fully enjoy the day of racing.
Luckily, the SNORE officials and the BLM understood that this was certainly not intended and they let us off with a chewing. After the race the truck was being worked on and it was discovered that the bell housing on the transmission was cracked. A flurry of activity ensued and the transmission was changed in just over an hour in preparation for the next day’s race.
Sunday saw Riot draw pole position for the start. With clear air Marc was driving like a mad man. On lap two a controversial pass in 25 mph speed zone by Jimmy Knuckles put the veteran racer ahead of Riot, and we finished in second place in the unlimited truck class. The possibility of placing an official protest was quickly put aside because no one wants the team’s first win to come by way of a disqualification. So the Riot team headed back to Henderson with a feeling that 2010 had ended very well. Everyone looks forward to the 2011 season with high hopes and great expectations for the Riot Racing team, which has only begun to flourish.
- Sunday January 2, 2011
- By Riot Racing