Years ago the Laughlin Leap was part of a SCORE racing event, as an opportunity for drivers to show that they had the guts to go the distance. Now with the help of Best in the Desert, UTV Underground has brought back the Laughlin Leap as a test of courage here at the 2018 UTV World Championships.
Thirty competitors lined up on the short course track Thursday night to show the spectators what they were really made of by taking that hopefully record breaking leap. Most of the drivers were pro racers hoping not to break the day before a big race, with a few average guys in “stock” cars ready to prove their worth. There were even two brave little guys in 170cc rigs fighting for the title. It was an intense battle between going big, and going home broken. Out of all the talent stacked up on the field, an underdog wasn’t really looking to make a name for himself, did just that.
Cole Friday came with friends and family from just over the river in Kingman, AZ to attempt the leap just for fun. In his close to stock CanAm X3 turbo R, he got more than he bargained for: in his first ever UTV event, he took the overall win and with it a pay out of $10,000 worth of cash and prizes.
In his post win interview Cole said he didn’t need factory sponsors to win, just a “hold my beer and watch this” mentality. When asked if he would consider becoming a pro UTV racer after he crushed the competition with a whopping 117.9 foot jump he had this to say:
“I love racing! If it has wheels, I will go fast. If I could pick up some sponsors I’ll turn this thing into a race car…I can guarantee you I’d be a front runner.”
With his background in pro motocross and his love for going fast, Cole might have a spot here in the UTV world. He told reporters that he would definitely be back next year to go bigger and win again.