2017 BITD Parker 425

Heading into the middle of August, off-road desert racers are gearing up for the 2017 Best in the Desert “Vegas to Reno” event. Scheduled for August 16 through 19, this will be the 21st running of this ambitious event, billed as the longest off-road race in the United States.

The race mashes together a long distance point-to-point course, extreme elevation changes, and a wide variety of challenging terrain. At over 540 miles in length, the battle will start in Beatty, about 100 miles north of Las Vegas, and end just south of Reno. Elevations along the course vary from around 3000 feet to a dizzying (and horsepower-sapping) 7200 feet. Temperatures will range from the high 90’s during the day to the low 40’s at night through the higher elevations. With those challenges, “Vegas to Reno” should rank high on the bucket list of the serious off-road racer.

As of July 24th, a total of 292 truck, UTV, motorcycle, and quad race teams have registered, bringing their entries from the U.S. and around the world. Time trials for a couple of high-zoot classes take place on August 16th, with registration and tech inspection following the next day. The race itself starts the morning of August 18th.

READ MORE: 136 Race Teams Entered for BITD Laughlin Desert Classic

First off the line will be motorcycles, followed by quad bikes. After a timed delay for safety reasons, the other three classes will be unleashed onto the trail. A 24-hour time limit has been set, so racers may still be coming across the finish line well into Saturday morning. Awards will be handed out that same evening. In 2016, Andy McMillin snapped Jason Voss’ string of three straight “Vegas to Reno” overall victories, so fans will be watching closely to see who earns the top finishing spot this year.

This is the first “Vegas to Reno” event since the passing of Best in The Desert founder Casey Folks earlier this year. V2R marked the first race where he added car, truck, and quad race vehicle classes to already established motorcycle classes.

Be sure to watch social media during the event for updates and coverage from the racers and organizers. Catch the dusty and high-speed action on NBC Sports Network later this year.

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