2016 Super Truck Champion Turns Gremlins into Hot Steak
Mark Peterson, driver of the Kenda Tire #2 PRO 2, came into 2017 riding high. After narrowly winning the 2016 Super Truck points championship over Eric Ruppel, Peterson was hopeful he could start the season strong and smoothly in the revamped TORC Series PRO 2 class. Unfortunately, at Round 1 in Chicago, those hopes went up in flames – literally.
At the end of the second practice session, the main oil supply blew a hole and sprayed oil on the engine of the Broke-N-Dirty Motorsports truck, causing a fire that burned up wires and lines on the truck. Fortunately the main event was later in the day, giving Peterson’s team, lead by crew chief Curt Greaves, the chance to fix the truck. It took all day and some borrowed lines from the Kleimans and Shawn Morris, but Mark Peterson was able to take the first green flag of the season.
Unfortunately, the troubles had just begun for the good-natured driver from Lena, WI. Towards the end of the race in Round 2, the ring and pinion blew out while Peterson was battling for podium position. Still, the early season misfortune wasn’t done.
“I was in second place on Saturday [in Crandon],” Peterson recalls. “Coming through the Argonne loop, I felt a small vibration, but the truck was still running fine. Then a few turns later there was another fire coming up by the fuel cleaner! One of the fuel line fittings loosened up, and that was spraying fuel that burnt up the distributer, some fuel line, the air cleaner, and spark plug wires. We had to swap those out Saturday night and work through the night to get it cleaned up because fire extinguishers were sprayed all over everything!”
During their repairs, the team discovered that in a way, the fire stopping their run when it did may have been a blessing in disguise. The vibration Peterson felt was a section of the ring gear that had broken off on the flex plate. Had it not been addressed, it could have caused a catastrophic failure in the engine.
B-N-D Motorsports had the truck humming by Sunday’s race, and with that, Peterson may have put mechanical gremlins behind him. His rebuilt truck shone brightly in Round 6, carrying Peterson to a second place finish, his best so far.
Rounds 7 & 8 saw Broke-N-Dirty Motorsports’ hard work pay off in the form of a complete race weekend. After a strong fourth place on Saturday, Peterson showed everyone what he was made of on Sunday, jumping out to an early lead and holding off class front-runners for the first few laps. He ran with the leaders all race long and ended up with a third-place finish.
“This is a great finish for the Broke-N-Dirty truck,” Mark said post-race. “The Kenda tires were awesome today. We’re getting faster and faster every time we go out there.”
Next up, the TORC Series makes a return to RedBud MX for Rounds 9 & 10: Rumble at RedBud. Peterson has never raced at RedBud before and knows he’s in for a challenge. But all drivers will be starting with a clean slate this year, as the 2017 track will be all-new. The veteran has a great team and serious speed – follow along with his team on Facebook as he continues to trend upward in a quest for his first PRO 2 win.
Mark Peterson would like to thank his sponsors: KENDA Tires · Peterson’s Dairy · Vargo Tool & Die · Marquardt Custom Homes · Quartz Graffix · HP53 · KGB Customs · Greenstone Farm Credit Services · EHREN Precision Speed Products · Graef Trucking · Cory’s Crank & Nail · Pella Windows & Doors · Graef Transport · BAM Photography · Beaver Machine · HEC Electric
Special thanks to Mark’s volunteer crew (Curt Greaves – Crew Chief · Bob Marquardt – Spotter · John Schabla (a.k.a. Dawes) · John Peterson · Eddo) and family (Gina (wife) · Brooke · Alayna · Max).
Andrew Pfluger is a longtime race fan and writer for the TORC Series. To offer feedback or make suggestions for future content, please email email@example.com.