Team ATK took the class win at the M.O.R.E Freedom 250 night race this past weekend in Barstow, California. Driver Jon Krellwitz along with Co-driver Patrick Smith started side by side with fellow Currie Cup competitor Nick Beal for an exciting drag race start through the Barstow start finish area. Krellwitz in the ATK Wrangler bested Beal to the first turn and never looked back. The first lap was dusty and difficult with Krellwitz picking his way through the slower 7s and 1450 class cars that started ahead of him. While passing a 7s truck in blinding dust Krellwitz hit a large hidden bolder which caused a puncture of his left rear tire. Thankfully pit "B" was just a few hundred yards away and the tire was replaced by desert veterans Ollie Penchansky and Kevin Davis to get the ATK Wrangler quickly back underway.
With the ATK Wrangler back on course, and the sun setting halfway through the second lap, it was time for the new KC HID lights on the ATK Wrangler to light up the night. It was also during this lap that the Barstow roughness started to take its toll on some of the bushings in the suspension. With word from the crew that the ATK Wrangler had a sizable lead, and with the bushings beginning to come apart, the decision was made to back off the pace and keep the truck alive for the remaining few laps. Matt McCallum got in the codriver spot at the start of lap three while expert mechanics Skyler Gambrell and Matt Vogler looked over the truck and crew members Kris Hernandez and Russ Ficker dumped fuel.
Laps three and four proved uneventful with Krellwitz keeping a conservative pace to get the truck home in one piece. At the start of the fifth lap Adam Butterfield, of ATK engines, got into the codrivers seat to see first hand what his 4.7 stroker engine was capable of. The fifth lap went smoothly with Krellwitz and Butterfield crossing the line in the ATK Wrangler for the win. Krellwitz noted after the race "It was a great course out there today – dusty, rough, and rocky – just the way a desert race should be; this ATK Wrangler is great and it still has a lot more potential!"
Krellwitz also mentioned, "More than a substantial thank you is owed to my team this weekend. A prior engagement kept me away from the race until 10 minutes before the start, but the team had the truck and race logistics completely handled. All the credit for the success we had this weekend goes to them."