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Nisley Xj

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Bill, Tom, and Chris Nissley were hoping that the second time at Barstow would be the charm. Their Class 3 XJ Cherokee suffered extensive damage the previous time in Barstow, and the Nissley Racing Team set about building the truck back to better than its former self. "Everything we fixed we made stronger. We were confident that our efforts would be rewarded with a successful race," Bill Nissley reports. Chris and Tom took the green flag and were slated to run the first three laps before Bill got in to drive the fourth and final required lap. The game plan went out the window after only 9 miles of racing. "I was at the main pit monitoring the radio, when I heard Chris come on the radio," Bill comments. "I knew right away something was wrong. Usually, you can hear the noise from the engine in the background, but his voice was perfectly clear." Chris had ominous news: "We broke the driver-side steering knuckle." The Nissleys had fortified their 2WD front axle with 4WD steering knuckles and didn't have a spare. Other teams were asked for a spare, but there weren't any to be found. "Those things don't break," Nissley was told. Without a replacement, the team's new goal was to get the Jeep back to the trailer. Ultimately, the Nissley Racing Team had to wait for an XJ with a 4WD steering knuckle to finish the race so the part could be taken off and loaned to Bill, Tom, and Chris. Getting the XJ back to the trailer was a group effort, with Tony Sato, OC Off Road, T&J Performance, Eric Helgeson, Giti and Andrea Gowland, and F.A.I.R. each lending help, tools, parts, or transportation. "One of the great things about off-road racing is that everyone helps each other," says Bill "I haven't come across anyone not willing to lend a hand, tools, or even the parts off of their own vehicle to help out." It looks as if the third time's gonna be the charm.

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