There are just days remaining until the green flag drops on two full days of non-stop racing action at the exciting Blue Water Desert Challenge. As the event program went to press, there were already 128 entries. With additional entries taken up to the end of registration on Friday, over 150 competitors in 18 Best In The Desert classes are expected to take on the specially designed 26-mile course. Last year, at the end of the race, less than a minute separated Steve Sourapas & Andy McMillin from B.J. Baldwin in a two-day battle for supremacy in the coveted Trick Truck class, won by Sourapas & McMillin. And in the 1500 class, four minutes separated Loren Brown, the eventual winner, from the top 4 finishers. Will this year be as tight – or even tighter?
This race also marks the fourth event for the 2011 Best In The Desert Trick Truck Challenge Cup. To date, $63,900 has been paid out in Truck Challenge Cup bonus cash with three different drivers claiming first place in the three previous races. With two races remaining, that still leaves the ultimate battle for the year-end Cup wide open.
As originally announced just days ago, the sponsor of the Time Trials Pole Award – Team Ford-Lincoln owner Steve Olliges stepped up and is now paying both of the winners of the Trick Truck and Unlimited Class 1500 time trials $1,000 each. PLUS, the winners will also receive specially designed “Team Ford” Pole Award Winner’s Caps, crafted by Jason Beam. He has gained a stellar reputation for creating the most unique custom painted helmets in the motorsports industry, including current Sprint Car Cup champion and former off-road racing star Jimmie Johnson. Keep your eyes open and see if you can spot the winners walking around the Blue Water Resort and contingency wearing their new hats!
Coming into the Blue Water Desert Challenge, class points battles are also tightening up. Steve Strobel leads the Trick Truck field with 333 points. Lurking just one point behind is 2010’s defending champ, B.J. Baldwin. John Swift follows him in third. In fact only 34 points separate the top eight Trick Truck competitors.
In Class 1500, Steve Appleton, with 373 points, holds a narrow six-point lead over “Vegas to Reno” winner Garrick Freitas. Another tight points battle is Class 1100 where Bryan Folks (282 points) holds the lead over Gregg Ryan (2nd, 270 points), Lee Banning Sr. (3rd, 268 points) and Brent Parkhouse (4th, 267 points). With 272 points, Patrick Nirschl holds an 11-point lead over Hank Winter in class 2000.
Other Best In The Desert class points leaders going into the Blue Water Desert Challenge include Michael LaPaglia, Class 1000; Troy Vest, Class 1200 Protruck; John Helton, Class 1700 JeepSpeed; Keith Waibel, Class 3000; Bill Bunch, Class 3700; J.T. Stephens, Class 4400; Blake Henn, Class 7100; David Caspino, Class 7200; Macrae Glass, Class 8000; Time Casey, Class 8100 and Brandon Schueler, Class 1900 UTV Pro.
Here’s the schedule: Thursday, October 13th is Time Trials for 2 classes: Trick Truck and Class 1500, and then from 5pm until 7pm that night in the Dig Lounge at the Blue Water there will be a welcome party where the winners of the time trials will be announced. In addition, General Tire will be supplying the o’deurves.
Friday – Contingency
9:15am – 6pm North Parking Lot Blue Water Resort & Casino
Saturday – Day One of Races
1st race starts at 6:15am
Sunday – Day Two of Races
1st race starts at 6:15am
Sunday – 7p.m. (approx.) Awards Presentations in the Bingo Room at the Blue Water
Plus, there will be a live broadcast of racing action on Saturday and Sunday, log on to www.bitd.com for details.
Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.