The legendary Parker “425”, the historic Mint “400” and the panoramic Silver State “300”…what better way to start the 2013 Best In The Desert season. These great venues, along with the attention Casey Folks pays to make sure everyone in every class has the best racing experience possible, are just part of what makes “The American Off-Road Racing Series” so popular. Now mix in the world’s foremost desert racers, and you have the perfect formula for the tightest, most competitive and exciting racing that has taken place the first half of the 2013 season.
Super competitive is an understatement among the Trick Truck teams so far this year. With the first three races in the books, there have been three different winners. Jason Voss claimed the victory at Parker, Bryce Menzies took the top spot at the Mint, and TJ Flores grabbed his first Trick Truck win ever at last month’s Silver State “300”. This “anyone can take it” racing has really made for a fierce battle in the class points chase as well. Currently, Jason Voss and Gary Wheyrich are tied for first, with Steve Olliges sitting in second, only 22 points behind. Scott Whipple and Troy Vest are in great position as well, and are ready to shake up the chase should anybody stumble going into the second half of the season.
Participating racers have also been sharing the wealth in Trick Truck bonus earnings. To date, seven different drivers have staked their claim on an extra $66,000. Jason Voss has collected the lion’s share of the payout so far by taking home $16,000. Here are the recipients of the bonus payout for the first three races:
1st – Jason Voss $10,000
2nd – Gary Weyhrich $6,000
3rd – Robby Gordon $4,000
4th – Steve Strobel $2,000
1st – Mark Weyhrich $10,000
2nd – Rob MacCachren $6,000
3rd – Jason Voss $4,000
4th – Gary Weyhrich $2,000
Silver State “300”
1st – TJ Flores $10,000
2nd – Gary Weyhrich $6,000
3rd – Steve Strobel $4,000
4th – Jason Voss $2,000
“Camburg Best In The Desert Award”
Jason Voss also sits atop the “Camburg Best In The Desert” standings for having posted the fastest average speed on all combined race miles. So far, Jason has averaged better than 57 MPH over 1110 miles of desert terrain.
Here are the standings entering the second half of the season:
Jason Voss – 57.11 MPH
Mark Wheyrich – 56.36 MPH
Jon Walker – 53.59 MPH
Justin Lofon – 53.04 MPH
Steve Olliges – 52.67 MPH
The open Class 1500 cars have another tight chase going on where the top four drivers are separated by only 18 points. NASCAR Truck racer Justin Lofton currently holds the top spot followed by Jon Walker, Chuck Hovey and Shelby Reid. An interesting note is that Jon Walker comes all the way from Tamuning, Guam to race the Best In The Desert series. Jon seems to have definitely found the contrasting environment of the Southwest American desert to his liking.
In Class 6100 for the Spec Engine Trick Trucks, Jerry Whelchel, Chase Borden and Jason Ruane closed out the season’s first half with just five points separating the three. These trucks are rapidly growing in popularity and the extremely close competition is a primary reason. This class is definitely one to watch out for as the rest of the season pans out.
The Mini Trick Trucks of Class 7200 are another group to pay attention to the rest of the year. Al Hogan currently leads Sean Backus by 10 points. But Shawn Giordano and Randy Merritt are lurking not far behind and have their sights on shaking up the order before the end of the year.
Macrae Glass finds himself with only a two-point lead over Wayne Miller in Class 8000. Glass has claimed multiple Class 8000 championships, but it looks like he could have a real dogfight on his hands this year for the crown.
Aaron Hawley, Hank Winter and Jasper Dyer have distanced themselves from the rest of the Class 2000 ranks so far. These three drivers enter the second half of the season separated by a mere six points.
At mid-season, Ford holds the lead in Manufacturer’s Points for vehicle type and engines used in Classes 1000, 1100, 1200, Trick Truck, 1500, 6000, 6100, 7100, 7200, 8000 and 8100.
2013 Manufacturer’s Points to date:
Ford – 170
Chevrolet – 123
Volkswagen – 23
Toyota – 18
Honda – 9
Lexus – 6
You can be sure that racers in all of Best In The Desert’s two and four-wheeled classes won’t be sitting idle during the short Summer break. They’ll be making adjustments in their equipment and game plans as they prepare to make the big push for season class titles.
For more information, visit www.BITD.com.