The Henderson “250” marked the end of a great season for the world’s largest off-road racing series, Best In The Desert. With many class championships still yet to be decided, 173 racers showed up to take on the challenging course just south of Henderson, Nevada.

The race was split up into three groups, with the first group of motorcycles, quads and UTV’s starting the day by going two laps on a 45-mile course. The THR Motorsports team of Robby Bell and David Pearson, with Pearson doing solo duties this weekend, took the overall and open pro motorcycle win. This also secured the season class championship for them. Nick Nelson and Keith Carlson captured the victory in pro quad class and Matt Parks claimed the Pro UTV class win.

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.

Saturday, April 30th turned out to be a perfect day for desert racing in the scenic back country of eastern Nevada. Racers were greeted with cool temps and the windy conditions made passing a little easier. First off the line at daybreak were the Motorcycle classes, followed by the Quads and then the UTVs. Three and half hours later, the Car and Truck classes hit the challenging 303 mile single loop course.

In the wake of major international events that took place on Sunday following the race, it’s interesting to note that two Navy Seals entered this race to build awareness about the Seals to desert racing and adventure sports enthusiasts. Wes Richey from Coronado, CA and Andrew Wilkins of Winchester, CA raced in the Ironman Expert class. Through special provisions by Best in the Desert, they were allowed to start the race side-by-side. They then raced that way for the entire 303 miles. While they were finishing 7th and 8th in class late Saturday afternoon, their fellow Seals were in the final stages of a special operation that would shake the entire world…taking out the most notorious and wanted terrorist known to man, Osama bin Laden. Now that’s quite a way to gain attention for their cause. We salute these dedicated individuals and all of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.

Mike Childress and THR Motorsports came to the Best In The Desert (BITD) Biltek Silver State 300 (SS300) with high expectations after winning the prestigious Mint 400.  With less than a month to prepare Childress’ Porter/ES Motorsports buggy for the Silver State 300, there was little time to celebrate their victory at the Mint.  Childress qualified 14th at the SS300, finishing less than eight seconds behind the fast time in an extremely tight field of 24 Class 1500 (the equivalent of SCORE’s unlimited Class 1) buggies and 22 Trick Trucks.

 

When the green flag dropped, the wind made dust less of an issue than it was in qualifying and Childress was able to reach speeds up to 137 mph in the #1565 THR Motorsports buggy.  By the first pit Childress was in the top ten overall and advancing on the competition, but brake issues slowed his progress.  With no visible leaks, the THR Motorsports pit crew was unable to determine the cause of the brake issue, so Mike Childress continued on at a conservative pace.  Still, he was the fourth physical finisher in the race.  When all of the times were compiled, Mike Childress and THR Motorsports finished third in Class 1500 and in sixth place overall, less than one second from a Top Five finish!
No one gave Householder Motorsports much of a chance of winning last weekend’s Best In The Desert (BITD) Bilek Silver State 300, but that’s what makes off-road racing great. Anyone can win at any race. Adam Householder had never won a Trick Truck (BITD’s equivalent of SCORE’s Trophy Truck class) race and qualified 28th at the Silver State 300.  Despite the odds, Householder never let his confidence waiver.  “Qualifying was really tight, we were only 18 seconds back but that was enough to push us back to 28th.” Householder explained.  “We ran conservative in qualifying and saved our best for the race.”
Living up to the statement, Householder ran a flawless race to stun the racing community and prevail in a crowded field of 22 Trick Trucks, beating the heavily favored BJ Baldwin by less than a minute.  “This win was sweet for us, it was definitely long overdue,” an enthused Adam Householder explained after the race.  “We just ran our race, we rarely passed people under power but we never stopped.  We just tried to avoid mistakes. We had zero issues today, no flats from our BFGoodrich tires; the only time we pitted was for fuel.”