“Fall Fuel Fest” 2013: St. George, Utah in the ILX
Odometer (Legend): 527,669
Odometer (ILX): 58,270
Trip Distance: 860 Miles
The route between Phoenix, Arizona and southern Utah is all-too familiar for my Acura ILX. It knows the way instinctively between these two points after having traveled it so many times in the past.
As daylight dawned on cool Arizona Saturday morning, I had already been on the road for a couple of hours, sipping a Shamrock Farms chocolate milk and listening to some new music in my collection: namely, “Driving My Life Away,” by Eddie Rabbit. Could any song be more fitting for me? Here’s my favorite line:
Those windshield wipers, slappin’ out a tempo
Keeping perfect rhythm with the song on the radio
It took about 6.5 hours, with a stop in Kingman for gas, bu finally I exited Southern Parkway at Desert Canyons Drive.
Ahead, I was in store for an afternoon full of motocross and diesel truck events, sponsored in part by my brother’s business, H&S Performance. The event was called Fall Fuel Fest.
This little guy just turned 2 years old. He’s my nephew Beckam, and he knows enough about trucks to be dangerous. Case in point: my step-mom put him in the driver’s seat of an F-250 and watched his actions. Beckam got the keys from the center console and found the ignition to insert them. This kid!
Vendor booths lined the main alleyway of the Fall Fuel Fest on a perfect November afternoon in southern Utah, with the high temp around 70 with sunny skies.
My brother Bentley was interviewed by a radio announcer.
I last hung out with the H&S crew when they took a Ford Lightning and raced it in Ennis, Texas at the National Hot Rod Diesel Association World Finals.
Just down the way, trucks were lining up to compete in a dyno competition.
Pictured here are my brother Bentley and my mom.
And here I am with my dad and my stepmom — all proudly sporting our H&S apparel, head to toe.
The gray 2011 Ford Powerstroke pickup here has been souped up with some performance enhancements. It’s powered by a 6.7 liter V8 and has a 12″ lift and 40″ tires.
Later that night, it pulled about 550 horsepower on the dyno!
I was tasked with driving this big rig back to the office after the event closed. The instrument panel is information overload! I must say I enjoyed being the king of the road for a few miles.
One highlight of the evening was watching a world-record jump in a four-wheeled ATV. Ryan Piplic drove this ATV at over 80 mph to hit a ramp and fly over a distance of 155 feet. Here’s the occasion on video.
During a break in the afternoon, I visited my other brother Payton who has been playing a lot lately with his 2002 Lexus IS300. I featured the car on Drive to Five back in February when he was just getting started with modifications.
Payton’s car is now an absolute monster when he gets on the throttle, thanks to a turbo upgrade. It was recently dyno tested and achieved 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.
We took this baby for a spin. He picked up so much speed that when he slowed back down abruptly, the brakes were smoking.
A fine sunset awaited us that night.
While I was in my hometown, I took a few minutes to step back in time nearly 14 years by taking a picture of my ILX in the same place on the road as the pictures with my original Honda — the 1989 Prelude Si.
The home color and the landscaping are now different, and I was a little off on the placement, but you get the idea.
Today, I made the drive back to Phoenix, with my step-mom Tanya relieving me from driving duties for about 1.5 hours, between Kingman and Wickenburg, Arizona. She commented on how easy it was to get used to the controls. It had been at least a couple of years since she last drove a stick shift! Her current ride at home is a 2013 Acura MDX.
It was nice to have someone else take the reins for awhile while I kicked back in the passenger seat.
Have a great week!