Chase Rather of CM Racing has been racing the #3747 XJ for several years in various JeepSpeed and Best in the Desert Races. Running on a BDS long arm kit the Jeep Cherokee has had it’s share of glory over the years. Following a recent competition the rig was put to the test and sad to say finally met it’s match. Here’s his recap of the XJ’s final race.
At this year’s Best in the Desert Bluewater Desert Challenge, CM Racing came out looking to make a statement. We had put in weeks of preparation adjusting shocks, plumbing lines, and meticulously ensuring the 3747 Jeep was ready to run hard for front of the pack. Saturday October 15th at 6:15am, with Chase Rather driving and Britt Wolf co-driving, CM Racing left the line side by side with the leader. We set a fast pace and hung with the 3799 Jeep from the beginning. He seemed to be pushing harder than he wanted to run between mile marker 13 and 14 we made the pass to find ourselves in first place. After finding the lead we felt comfortable maintaining this fast pace and quickly put time between us. However at mile 20, a sandy whoop section put 3747 end over end once and rolled once more coming to rest. Within 20 minutes we were upright and moving again. We gave the vehicle a once over and headed out. We were reluctant to find that our BDS suspension system held together with any compromise. We continued on knowing well we needed to make up time and found a second place finish for the day without any further trouble. Even after inspection following the race, we only needed to add a quart of oil to go racing the next day.
At 6:15am Sunday October 16th, with Johnny Rather driving and Chase Rather co-driving, 3747 set out for day two of racing. Within the first quarter mile, we found the lead and were making first dust. We held the lead until mile eight when we were passed by an unlimited UTV. Pursuing diligently, we paced the UTV until a silt bed made it impossible to see. Moving to the outside to find clean air, 3747 found a sheer 40 foot cliff. We hurdled off of the cliff making one huge dent in the side head on, and tumbling to the bottom. Awaiting BITD assistance to remove the vehicle, it was approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds until the next vehicle passed.
After removing the vehicle and returning to the pits it was obvious our vehicle was on its last leg. The Jeep suffered from extensive body and frame damage, an engine that failed to start, bent leaf springs, and a front end relocated 3” towards the rear. In the following days we met and discussed our options to continue racing. We came across a V-8 Jeep Grand Cherokee that would be the perfect replacement vehicle…
We’re glad to hear the Chase and co-driver Britt Wolf are okay. As with all our suspension products, use and abuse them, BDS has you covered. All BDS Suspension products are subject to replacement under the No Fine Print Lifetime Warranty.