Team-KC-Hilites-BITD-10-25-13The 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.

BITD-12-16-11October, 2013 – The Blue Water Desert Challenge  is not on Federal Land, it is all on CRIT ~ Colorado River Indian Tribe Land so the government issues in D.C. will NOT impact this race !

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.

BITD-12-16-11The 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!!

Hutchins-Albins-Vegas-to-Reno-8-27-13Reno, 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.

Mongo-Racing-Off-Road-8-22-13Randy Merritt and Tracy Rubio won the 2013 Best In The Desert Racing Association’s Vegas to Reno billed as the “Longest Off-Road Race in the United States.”  What makes this even more remarkable is this is their 3rd consecutive class win at this event in 2 different classes. Randy and Tracy teamed up in 2011 for this event in Randy’s 2011 Class 8100 ECO Boost powered F-150 built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Fab in Kingman, Arizona and then they returned in 2012 in Randy’s new Class 7200 Unlimited also built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Machine and they drove it to their 1st Class win.

Randy was looking forward to the 2013 Vegas to Reno with anticipation, knowing that most of his team was unchanged and the truck was ready. Since the 2012 BITD Vegas to Reno, Randy has only missed finishing in the top 2 in class twice.

BITD Silver State 300Fort Mill, SC – August 20, 2013 – It’s the longest off-road race in the United States.  The General Tire Vegas to Reno race, put on by Best In The Desert (BITD), is not for the faint of heart.  For nearly 550 miles, teams navigated the harsh terrain of the Nevada desert from Las Vegas to Reno and more than 95 teams attempted to claim victory.  It was CJ Hutchins who took the top spot for Team GT finishing first in Class 1500 and fourth overall completing the race in 9:34:58.  The win marked Hutchins best finish in the famed race.

“Congratulations to CJ and his entire team on their 1500 win and fourth-place finish overall at Vegas to Reno,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire.  “To have four wins with CJ (Hutchins), Steve (Alexander), Banning and Randy (Merritt) – who has now won three times in a row at Vegas to Reno – all on red letter GRABBER’s is amazing.  Vegas to Reno is a demanding 550 miles and I’m proud of each and every one of our teams for finishing.”

Steve-Olliges-BITD-Vegas-to-Reno-8-19-13Las Vegas, NV – After qualifying eleventh at the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno offroad race the BFGoodrich Tires / Team Ford #27 Trick Truck finished fifth in the Trick Truck class. The team’s solid top five finish puts them in second place in the season long Trick Truck points championship heading down the stretch. To be championship contenders with a new truck and a small dedicated team speaks volumes for the crew and everyone who supports them.

“Our team is awesome,” says Steve Olliges, “I just can’t say enough about the entire crew, I’m really proud of the team 27 guys, they did great out there. We ran the FOX shocks John Marking set up for the race right out of the box and they were perfect, just fantastic. Our BFG Baja TA’s and TrailReady Beadlocks took everything we dished out and Mastercraft Safety  supplied us with their new ratcheting seatbelts that allowed me to really put myself firmly in the seats. According to the GPS we got up to 130 mph in several places and they really put me in that comfort zone.”

Vegas-to-Reno-General-Tire-8-8-13There is no better way to start the 543-mile long General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race than at the head of pack and dust free. And on this coming Wednesday, August 14th, 59 unlimited class cars and trucks will be competing for a chance to do just that and claim the “Team Ford” Pole Award.

Best in the Desert is desert racing’s only sanctioning body that holds Time Trials for the unlimited car and trucks at every one of their events and allows them an equal opportunity to compete head-to-head for the first starting position. At this year’s running of the famous General Tire “Vegas to Reno”, the Longest Off Road Race in the United States, an elite group of the greatest off-road racers in the world, 33 Class1400 Trick Trucks and 26 Class 1500 Unlimited Cars, will gather at a secret location in the desert outside of Las Vegas to determine who is the fastest one of them all.

THR_baja-500_SCORE-5-28-13Corona, CA – May 28th – With more than a year under their belts working together as a team for THR Motorsports / Monster Energy / Precision Concepts Kawasaki, Robby Bell, Steve Hengeveld and David Pearson know exactly what it takes to win. And as the defending overall motorcycle champions in the 45th Tecate / Monster Energy / SCORE Baja 500, they’ve added a new weapon: Taylor Robert.

The 22-year-old from Arizona may be new to racing in Baja, but he has years of experience in many other arenas. He’s the defending WORCS champion, where he’s had a solid career having won the WORCS Pro 2 championship in 2008. He’s also represented Team USA abroad, earning gold medals at ISDEs in Mexico and Germany. This year, he’s concentrating on EnduroCross both domestically and internationally thanks to the inclusion of Enduro X at X Games in Brazil, Germany, Spain and the U.S. Racing is definitely in his blood.

TJ-Flores-Silver-State-5-14-13McMurrough Racing crew anxiously waited at the finish line of the 2013 Best In The Desert Silver State 300, as TJ and Stephanie were just mere seconds from making their last left hand turn of the race and coming into the checkered flag. Even though the finish is where winners are announced, it is not where the race is won. “They say the race is won at the shop and I believe it” said TJ, driver and owner of Champion Race Works. After the Mint 400 riddled the truck with a broken transmission, the crew had 6 weeks the turn the truck around and get it prepped and ready for the 298 mile race in Caliente, NV.

After qualifying 16th, TJ and Stephanie knew that they would need to drive smart and not over drive the truck. As the truck staged for the start of the race, the crew was setting up for their fuel pit at RM 148 and other visual pits throughout the course. Another key to winning a race like this is having a flawless fuel stop and no mistakes during the race.

The Class 1 car of Justin Lofton lined up at the start and at 9:30am sharp the race started. Lofton would quickly set the pace of the race and by the time the #80 McMurrough truck left the starting line, they would have 7 minutes and 30 seconds to make up on the leader.  Hairpin turns and cliffs are apparent in this point to point style course and you also have to factor in the silt, dust and 135mph roads. It takes a talented and experienced driver to navigate this race.With half of the course behind them and no mistakes in driving, TJ and Stephanie pulled into pit-4 where the crew was ready. Two new BFG tires and fuel topped off, the #80 truck was on the gas and back on the course in no time. With a 45 second pit stop and no one passing them during their pit, they were now on the hunt for the win. Clear dust didn’t last for long as the top trucks started catching one another; Stephanie kept her eyes on the GPS and navigated TJ through the thick, heavy Nevada dust. “We have learned to work really well together inside the truck” Stephanie stated, “I really trust TJ to get us to the finish safely but also get us a win.”