There’s nothing quite like a redemption act following a disappointing start to your off-road season. Earlier this month, Chicky Barton of Middlesboro, Kentucky experienced this as he took the top podium position at the GenRight Ultra4 Eastern Series season-opener after dealing with problems on his new IFS buggy during this year’s King of the Hammers race. Congratulations goes out to Barton and his co-drive, father Bill Barton, for their incredible win.
According to Spidertrax Off-Road, Barton’s new IFS buggy made its debut at the 2014 King of the Hammers, only to be riddled with gremlins that inevitably come with debuting a new ride, especially at such a tough race as KOH. But between the 2014 KOH race in February and the Ultra4 Eastern Series season-opener, the GenRight Ultra4s at Superlift ORV Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas April 4th and 5th, Barton tackled his new rig’s issues and went all the way for the win.
With 44 competitors in the field, Barton started off in a great position, qualifying fifth for the biggest Hot Springs Ultra4 competition to date. Following the start of the race, according to Bower Motorsports Media, Barton quickly passed a couple front-running competitors only to battle it out for a full lap with fellow front-runner Bill Baird.
Baird fell back when his rig experienced a mechanical issue, sending Barton on to battle the next competitor in the field, Erik Miller. Barton passed Miller for the lead in the pits as Miller addressed tire issues. For the rest of the race, Barton commanded the first-place position.
While Barton crossed the finish-line first, race results came down to total elapsed times of the drivers, with Shannon Campbell also moving up quickly through the field. But when the final results were tallied, it was Barton who took the top podium position.
Now that the race is done, Barton reportedly feels he has the new rig dialed in where it needs to be, thanks in part to his sponsors, BFGoodrich Tires, Branik Motorsports, Spidertrax Off-Road and Raceline Wheels, as well as help from his friends at Bill Baird Motorsports. Barton hopes to make it out to the rest of the Eastern Series races this season and then compete in the 2015 King of the Hammers race, which he is now officially qualified for.