Las Vegas, NV - They say there is no test tougher than desert off road racing. When you think of the toughest races in off road, one that ranks at the top has to be Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno, (V2R). V2R is the longest off road race in the United States traveling over 530 miles through some of the worst terrain in Northern Nevada. It is a race that no team takes lightly. Taking a brand new car here is gutsy; taking that car to a second place podium finish is incredible. Coleman Motorsports beat all but one of the 28 other competitors at V2R in their first race with a newly constructed Jimco Class 10.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ART EUGENIO, GETSOMEphoto.com
Qualifying for the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 was held today just outside Las Vegas in Jean, Nevada, on the site where the old Nevada Landing Hotel and Casino once stood.
Minneapolis, Jan. 15, 2014– Polaris RZRs kicked off the Best in the Desert race season with a win at the THR Parker 250, in Parker, Ariz. 2013 Best in the Desert UTV Champions, Jagged X and the No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900, with Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler and Blake Van de Loo would take the checkered flag, and Coastal Racing’s No. 1934, with Scott Kiger and Mark Holz, taking second.
The inaugural race of the year for BITD saw the largest UTV entry yet with 33 side-by-sides entered. Schueler and Van de Loo would start in thirteenth position. Thanks to some great driving and a trouble-free day, they were able to work their way to the front and pass the No. 1934 Coastal car for the win.
On a bitter cold December day that barely got out of the twenties, mixed in with blustery winds, rain, sleet, snow, and a little sunshine, the Henderson 250 featured super hot racing for KC Dirt Tribe athletes.
The Henderson 250 was the final event on the 2013 Best In The Desert calendar and things really started heating up at the Time Trials on Thursday before the race. KC Dirt Triber Rob MacCachren needed to have a great starting position and an even better race to have even a remote shot at the Trick Truck Championship. On the other hand, fellow Dirt Tribe athlete Jason Voss needed to just finish the race to cap off his incredible year with the Championship. But Jason didn’t hold anything back at qualifying as he grabbed the second starting spot by edging out Rob’s time by a scant .163 of a second. That set the stage for the race with the two drivers starting side-by-side on the second row.
When the flag dropped, MacCachren got the hole-shot on Voss off the line and immediately set his sites on the pole sitter. Near the beginning of lap three, Rob finally chased down and passed the race leader. Once he was out front, he continued his blistering pace, trying to put as many positions as possible between himself and Jason Voss. At the end, MacCachren came in first overall, beating out the second place finisher by just under 40 seconds. Jason Voss managed to come in fifth overall, fourth in class. His finish was good enough to seal up the 2013 Trick Truck Championship. In fact, KC Dirt Tribe athletes took the top three spots in the final Trick Truck standings with Rob MacCachren coming in second and Steve Olliges third.
Jean, NV – Chip Prescott’s victory at the Best in the Desert, Henderson 250 clinched the rookie of the year title for the Alumi Craft racer. Chip took three wins in the six race season finishing first at the Mint 400, Silver State 300 and the season finale in Henderson. He also took a second place podium at what many think was the toughest race in years, Vegas to Reno.
At the finish line after the Henderson 250, Chip was ecstatic when asked about the race. “It’s been fantastic; a bit rough though. We had an unscheduled stop in the pits. I got a flat tire that wrapped around the brake caliper. The crew told me they couldn’t get it off. I said you gotta get it off! It was a rough day but we made up the time.” Chip started 10th out of 11 cars. He charged through the field and made up all the time spent in the pits with the flat tire to take the win.
The last race on the Best In The Desert’s 2013 calendar is turning out to be a real challenge amongst competitors, with so many season class championships riding on it. Multiple car and truck class championships will be decided at the end of the day when the dust settles on this last race of the season. The Henderson “250” is also a “double points” race, so anything can happen in the final points shuffle.
The race course is in compliance and meets all of the environmental concerns by the BLM. We work very hard at Best In The Desert to comply with the rules and regulations and we appreciate our racers doing the same; we all must protect our environment and respect the rules.
A number of Trick Truck drivers still have a shot at taking the season championship crown. Coming into this race, Jason Voss holds a 47 point lead over Steve Olliges, with Scott Whipple hanging just 23 points behind Olliges. Not far back and ready to challenge should something happen to the top three, are Troy Vest, Rob MacCachren, Gary Weyhrich, Steve Strobel and TJ Flores. It comes down to whichever driver and team that can put together the perfect race for the win, probably goes home with the championship.
The KC Hilites/Glass Chiropractic Racing Team recently competed in the BITD Parker Desert Challenge. This round of racing was hyped as the biggest of the year, since Team Ford Las Vegas/Steve Olliges and Kartek stepped up big time to provide the biggest payout of the year. We headed to this round with a plan to pad the points lead, and take home the loot if possible.
This race had an unusual format, with two days of racing over a very short (turned brutally rough) course.
Day one found us starting in the 20th [side by side] row after a less than stellar qualifying run. Crew member Josh Budka navigated. We got a good start and headed out first. It was clear our suspension was near spot on as we hammered our machine to the limit and picked off other racers. The closer to the front, the higher the pace. There were dead racecars everywhere. We hammered on and finished the day 2nd on the road, and in class less than 2 minutes out of first.
The Blue Water Desert Challenge, will go on as scheduled in Parker, AZ, October 12-14, and is hosted by the Blue Water Resort & Casino. This is the fifth event in the six-race 2012 Best In The Desert “American Off-Road Racing Series”. Unlike all of the other Best In The Desert long distance races that are either a long loop race, or a point to point course, as is the Parker “425” or the recent General Tire “Vegas to Reno” courses, the Blue Water Desert Challenge is a 2-day multi-race format that features Best In The Desert’s Car, Truck and UTV classes running both days for combined results to determine the winners.
The Blue Water Desert Challenge in Parker, AZ, October 11-13, hosted by the Blue Water Resort & Casino, is the fifth event in the six-race 2013 Best In The Desert “American Off-Road Racing Series”. Unlike all of the other Best In The Desert long distance races that are either a long loop race, or a point to point course, as is the Parker “425” or the recent General Tire “Vegas to Reno” courses, the Blue Water Desert Challenge is a 2-day multi-race format that features Best In The Desert’s Car, Truck and UTV classes running both days for combined results to determine the winners.
Who’s signed up so far? Only the world’s best! Entries now include Class 1400 Trick Truck: Steve Sourapas, Jim Beaver, Shawn Wanzek, Steve Olliges, Jonathan & John Swift, Shawn Croll, Kyle & Curt LeDuc, Ken Losch, Jaaon Voss, Todd & Kyle Jurgensen, Troy Vest, James Horvath, Adam Lunn, Tracy Graf, Rob MacCachren, Dale Dondel, TJ Flores, Kevin Curtis, Steve Strobel, Scott Whipple, Gary Weyhrich. In class 1500: Chuck Hovey, Glen Towers, CJ Hutchins, Greg Foster, John Martensen, Luke Horschel, Victor Gruber, Sam Berri, Ray Griffith, Tim Hunt, Ben Napier, Levi Rockhill, Shelby Reid, Harley Letner, Garrick Freitas, Tom Wood, Pat Dean, Justin Lofton, Jon Walker…and the list goes on and on!!
Reno, Nevada — It was a punishing 550 miles for all the drivers in the longest race in the United States. More than 250 teams battled the brutal desert terrain in this year’s BITD General Tire Vegas to Reno race. Justin Lofton and Harley Letner led the Class 1500 pack for most of the day, but in the end, it was CJ Hutchins who pulled off the win. CJ’s car, which features an Albins AGB, crossed the finish line in 9:34:58 to place fourth overall and take the top spot in Class 1500. John Walker, also running an Albins AGB, took 2nd in Class 1500.
Banning Motorsports continued their winning ways in Class 1100, claiming their third BITD win this season. Brian Folks drove Banning car 1178, that features a Mendeola MD5, to first place in Class 1100.