In only his second season racing in Best In The Desert’s unlimited ranks, Garrick Freitas has made his presence known by winning the TSCO Vegas to Reno race.  Winning in desert racing’s premier Class 1500 and coming in 2nd overall out of 298 vehicles in the longest off-road race in America was anything but easy though.  Freitas was still harboring demons from last year’s Vegas to Reno event.  In 2010 Garrick was running at the front of the pack when he cart wheeled his Jimco Champion less than 100 miles from the finish line.

Knowing that in order to finish first, first you must finish, Garrick took a more conservative approach to this year’s race.  This philosophy netted him a starting position of 26th from Friday’s qualifying, well back from his 9th place qualifying position at last year’s race.  Even that did not cause him to deviate from his game plan though, and the Tulare, California resident knew that he had to remain patient to overcome not only the 38 other Class 1500 competitors vying for the win, but also the 549 miles of brutal Nevada desert.

Reno, Nev.— The Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race brought more than 5,000 people through 16 rural Nevada communities and over 500 miles of BLM desert last weekend.  While race safety is a priority in permitting the event, the economic boost to these communities is vital, too.

There were no major accidents and only a couple of minor medical incidents. The BLM will continue to permit off-highway-vehicle racing on public lands while working with promoters and participants to improve safety and reduce the impacts to public lands.

“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was comfortable permitting this event,” said Leo Drumm, outdoor recreation planner. “The race promoter, Best in the Desert, has a good safety record and planned for all contingencies.”

The race is held annually on established roads on public lands in Nevada. The race has continued running for over 20 years and has become a part of the state’s history.

Starting near Beatty, Nev., to avoid Mojave desert tortoise habitat, motorcycles, quads, buggies and unlimited trucks headed north and traveled through 16 rural Nevada towns along the way. In Tonopah, restaurants were full and gas stations were busy.

Before issuing the Special Recreation Permit (SRP) for the Best in the Desert Racing Association, the BLM analyzed the Environmental Assessments (EA) used for permitting the event in previous years and determined the EAs provided adequate environmental analysis to permit the event for this year.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

The third race on the 2011 Best In The Desert Racing Association Car and Truck schedule is the TSCO “Vegas to Reno”, also titled as the “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States,” was held Friday August 19, 2011. The start of the race was in Beatty, NV, North West of Las Vegas NV, and finished in Dayton, NV, a small city South East of Reno NV. The Course crisscrossed the Nevada Desert, covering 549 miles of the some of the harshest and scenic areas in the western United States.

Randy Merritt and Tracy Rubio teamed up to drive this adventurous race in the General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150, while Chris Golding rode the entire race in the navigator’s seat. Tracy Rubio started the race in the driver’s seat and within a few short miles drove with in 30 – 40 seconds of the lead truck in the class. On corrected time the General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150 was first in class. At mile marker 47, Tracy and Chris assumed the lead, not only on corrected time but the physical lead and didn’t look back.

Randy Merritt took over the driving duties of the General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150 in Goldfield NV with a 100 plus mile lead on the other trucks in the class. Randy made a quick 1 minute stop at the pit in Klondike NV to change fuel pumps as the fuel pressure was beginning to fluctuate at higher RPMs under acceleration. Chris radioed into the crew after the pit stop and said the issue was fixed.

Tracy Rubio got back behind wheel of the General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150 at Millers NV with a 200 mile lead. Tracy maintained the steady pace until Mina NV.

Randy Merritt returned to the Driver seat of the General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150 for the final 190 miles. Driving into the darkness of the Nevada Desert was made easy with the assistance of the 10 forward facing 8 inch 70W HID POD lights by KC Hilites. Randy was able to keep up his pace to Dayton NV where he crossed the finish line in 1st place after 14 hours 5 minutes in the Nevada desert.

At the finish line Randy said, “It’s been awhile, but winning the Longest Off-Road Race in the United States feels great. The General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy 2011 Ford F-150 ran great all day and the Eco Boost 3.5L V-6 Direct Injection Twin Turbo engine again proved to be enough to conquer the harsh Nevada desert, but we need to go back and try to determine what caused both of the fuel pumps in the truck to falter.”

Chris Golding added, “The crew did a great job all day and I didn’t have to get out of the truck.”

Randy added, “I drove over boulders and rocks at speeds that would make most cringe out there in the Nevada desert and that stuff would have destroyed most other tires, but again we finished on the same General Grabber tires we started on, saving us loads of time and energy.”

The Mongo Racing Ford F-150 is sponsored by General Grabber Tires, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy, Sway-A-Way, Trail Ready Bead Lock Wheels, Yukon, EBC Brakes, Optima Batteries, Master Craft Safety Innovations, Lucas Oil, UMP, Camburg Engineering Products, MSD Ignition and Mongo Made Graphics.

For additional information visit www.mongoracing.com

Best in the Desert’s Casey Folks announced today that more than 270 entries have already signed up to compete in the epic TSCO Vegas to Reno race on August 18-20. With more entries continuing to come in, close to 300 are expected by race day. The steadily growing field features big numbers in several classes. Three of the fastest classes have a total of 87 entries so far. There are 27 800+ horsepower Trick Trucks; 39 Class 1500 unlimited buggies, and 21 Class 7200 Mini Trick Trucks. On the powersports front, there are 15 UTVs, 22 quads, and 75 motorcycles registered.

The entry list reads like a “who’s who” of the world’s foremost off-road racers. B.J. Baldwin, Chad Ragland, brothers Tim and Troy Herbst, Larry Roeseler, Mark McMillin, John Swift, Steve Olliges, Jason Voss, Will Staats, Mastercraft’s Robbie Pierce, Steve Sourapas, Rick Geiser, Rick D. Johnson, Jerry Zaiden, Jesse Jones, Roger Norman, Mark Weyhrich, Steve Strobel and Scott Whipple are among the ranks of the Trick Truck racers. The long list of Class 1500 drivers include 2010 defending class champion Chris Kemp, Gary Weyhrich, Chuck Hovey, Sam Berri, Shannon Campbell, Mike Childress, Pat Dean, T.J. Flores and Steven Appleton.

At 549 miles in length, the Best In The Desert TSCO “Vegas to Reno” race is certifiably “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States. It also marks the midway point for the five-race 2011 Best In The Desert season featuring the car and truck classes and is one of the most popular events on the schedule. The challenge and adventure of competing in such a long distance “point to point” race always brings out the top off-road race teams. Not only is this going to be a big event but it’s also the 15th running of TSCO “Vegas to Reno.”

Open to all Best In The Desert classes – cars, trucks, UTVs, quads and motorcycles, following is a list of the 2010 TSCO “Vegas to Reno” defending class winners:

2010 Car and Truck Class Winners by Overall Time

Class 1400            Rick D Johnson/Brian Salee                              Ford                        9:10:42

Class 1500            Chris Kemp/Darron Moore                               Jimco                     9:20:35

Class 1200            Troy Vest/Geno Licitra                                       Chevrolet              10:55:09

Class 1000            Chad Giguiere/JJ Schnarr                   Custom 11:03:18

Class 7200            Al Hogan/Pat Bell                                               Ford                        11:11:47

Class 8000            Macrae Glass/Michael DeHaas                        Ford                        11:35:12

Class 1100            Lee Banning Sr/Lee Banning Jr                        Banning                 11:36:59

Class 2000            Kevin Smith/Brian Smith                  Mirage                   11:50:50

Class 5500            Earl Desiderio/Christian Hammerskjold         Custom 12:14:48

Class 7300            Jayson Strachan/James Burman     Ford                        13:11:12

Class 8100            Tim Casey/Mike Tuba                                       Ford                        13:18:00

Class 4400            Dave Cole/Jason Scherer                   Custom 13:30:51

Class 7100            Steve Rose/Robbie Cockrell                              Ford                        13:31:07

Class 1700            Bob Standage/Kyle Standage                          Jeep                        13:56:44

Class 1800            David Kincaid/Mark Johnson                          Custom 14;41:16

Class 5000            Todd Davis/Mark Bowman                              Jimco                     16:12:08

Class 6000            Louis Chamberland/Jim Riley                          TrophyLite            21:18:10

2010 Motorcycle, Quad & UTV Class Winners by Overall Time

Open Pro               Quinn Cody                                                          Honda                   9:21:18

Open Exp              Robert Patterson/Jesse Canepa/

Clint Braun                                                           Yamaha                9:56:37

O-30 Pro                Michael Johnson/Rex Cameron                       Honda                   9:57:21

4-Stk Exp              Robert Hunter/Kyle Hucklebridge/

Max Eddy Jr                                                         Custom 10:00:01

4-Stk Pro               Zach Watson/Rex Mike                                     Kawasaki              10:21:58

Quad Pro               Greg Stuart/Nicholas Granlund                         Custom 10:26:30

O-30 Exp               Bill Witt/Kevin Johnson/Allan Ashely             Honda                   10:33:07

O-50 Exp               Doug Smith/Dave Potts/Bill Boyer Honda                   11:04:43

250 Pro Lucas Garcia/Justin Criner                                KTM                      11:14:39

Ironman Exp        Leonard Baca                                                      Kawasaki              11:32:51

Open Am               Donald Stark/Peter Marzano/

F Buccovich                                                         Honda                   11:38:02

O-40 Exp               Larry Brown/Lance Horton                              Honda                   11:41:34

Quad Exp              Ken George/Trent Kendall/Joe Ramos           Yamaha                12:07:21

250 Am                 Scott Jacobson/Garrett Tolman/

Eric Caudillo                                                         Honda                   12:16:01

QIM Exp               Gerald Nunes                                                        Honda                   12:17:17

250 Exp                 Jeremy Purvines/Jason Trubey/

Ron Purvines                                                        Honda                   12:18:43

Ironman Am        Sam Longson                                                       Yamaha                12:10:22

4 Stk Am               William Banuelos/Matt Banuelos/

Rigo Navarro                                                        Honda                   12:43:33

O-40 Am               Stephen Orton/Daniel Burkart                          KTM                      13:25:04

O-40 Pro                John Intile/Brett Burkitt                                     Husaberg               14:08:02

125 Exp                 Larry Perkins/Thomas Flores                            KTM                      15:39:31

Quad Am              Michael Zelenka/John Zelenka                        Yamaha                23:24:36

Class 1900            Brandon Schueler/Chad Riccio/West/

VanDeLoo                                                            Polaris                    14:09:18

Class 1900S      Rocker Head/Gary Peterson                   Kawasaki          16:08:24

TSCO “Vegas to Reno” schedule:

Thursday, August 18th – Registration, Contingency and tech inspection, Aliante Station Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas.

Friday, August 19th – Race for all classes starts near Beatty, finishes at the Dayton Event Center.

Saturday, August 20th – Awards presentation in Reno at the Grand Sierra Resort.

The weekend gets started Wednesday, August 17th, for Trick Truck and Class 1500 open class buggy racers as they qualify in the Time Trails to determine their starting positions and compete for the $1000 “Team Ford Pole Award”. Not relying simply on “the luck of the draw” for the starting order, Best In The Desert allows the two fastest classes to compete head-to-head for their chance to be first off the line and the best opportunity for the overall finishing spot.

TSCO “Vegas to Reno” marks the third race of the year for the 2011 Trick Truck Challenge. The Challenge features 23 of the world’s top Trick Truck race teams shooting for a share of the $134,000 in bonus cash and year end trophy. To date, $42,600 has been paid out for the Parker “425” and Silver State “300” top finishers.

Red Bull will be supporting contingency at the Aliante Station Resort & Casino in North Las Vegas, and also at the finish line at the Dayton, Nevada Event Center.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

Casey Folks, director of Best In The Desert, was overjoyed to announce that Husqvarna Motorcycles North America was the new “Official Motorcycle” of Best In The Desert. Casey stated, “Husqvarna has a great and storied history in off-road desert racing and we’re extremely proud to have them on board.” Folks also has a personal and long history with Husky as well. Not only did Casey race and win on them for years, he and his motorcycle dealership, Sportsman Cycle Sales, are the fifth oldest Husqvarna dealer in the U.S. He even has eight fully restored vintage Huskies on display at Sportsman Cycle Sales in Las Vegas. Casey went on to say, “To have Husqvarna join us to reestablish their incredible desert racing heritage is really something special to me.”

Corey Eastman, National Marketing Manager for Husqvarna Motorcycles North America, said, “We are excited to be associated with the leading desert race series in the United States, Best In The Desert. Husqvarna has had tremendous success over the last several decades with podium finishes in major events worldwide.” More than $12 million in contingency awards is available at racing events throughout the country this season. He continued, “Husqvarna is committed to those who choose to ride Huskies. The “Ride More” concept creates an overall racing program that supports both top Pros and average Joes, which was our main goal for 2011! Our “Ride More” concept has found a new home with the racers and fans of the Best In The Desert races.”

Husqvarna’s first event as the “Official Motorcycle” of Best In The Desert will be the upcoming TSCO “Vegas to Reno” race, August 18-20, 2011.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

At over 550 miles in length, Best In The Desert’s TSCO “Vegas to Reno” race is certifiably “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States.” It marks the midway point for the five-race 2011 Best In The Desert season featuring the car and truck classes and is one of the most popular events on the schedule. The challenge and adventure of competing in such a long distance “point to point” race always brings out the top off-road race teams. Not only is this going to be a big event but it’s also the 14th running of TSCO “Vegas to Reno.” This race is open to all Best In The Desert classes – cars, trucks, UTVs, quads and motorcycles and over 300 entries are expected from all across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and even South Africa. The entry list reads like a “who’s who” of the world’s foremost off-road racers.

Casey Folks, director of Best In The Desert, has worked closely with the BLM to obtain the required permits and set up a course that avoids endangered species, and does not harm the environment. The race starts near the town of Beatty, Nevada, with all classes starting off the line on Friday, August 19th. Originally part of the Bullfrog Mining District, today Beatty serves as an important gateway to Death Valley National Park, and is only 115 miles northwest from Las Vegas. The course traverses a part of the legendary Pony Express Trail made famous 148 years ago, and finishes up in Dayton, just east of Reno, Nevada. The TSCO “Vegas to Reno” race takes racers from the high desert floor at 2,500 feet elevation to mountainous heights of over 9,000 feet, forcing competitors to constantly adjust to the changing atmospheric pressures, and endure extreme hot and cold temperature variations. This course features some of the toughest, and most varied terrain in the world. Racers must fight their way through narrow canyons, boulder lined paths, bottomless silt-beds, and across expansive dry lakebeds where speeds well over 100 MPH are reached.

The weekend gets started Wednesday, August 17th, for Trick Truck and Class 1500 open class buggy racers as they qualify in the Time Trails to determine their starting positions and compete for the $1000 “Team Ford Pole Award”. Not relying simply on “the luck of the draw” for the starting order, Best In The Desert allows the two fastest classes to compete head-to-head for their chance to be first off the line and the best opportunity for the overall finishing spot.

TSCO “Vegas to Reno” marks the third race of the year for the 2011 Trick Truck Challenge. The Challenge features 23 of the world’s top Trick Truck race teams shooting for a share of the $134,000 in bonus cash and year end trophy. To date, $42,600 has been paid out for the Parker “425” and Silver State “300” top finishers.

The TSCO “Vegas to Reno” race also offers racing fans the chance to check out the action starting out with contingency on Thursday, August 18th, where they can roam through the huge manufacturer’s midway to see the race vehicles up close and rub elbows with the racers. Then on race day, spectators will be able to check out the race progress from any of the 15 pits located along the course. Most of the pits are right off US-95 with easy access. And with safety in mind, racers must obey a 25 MPH speed limit through all pits.

Red Bull will be supporting contingency at the Aliante Station Resort & Casino in North Las Vegas, and also at the finish line at the Dayton, Nevada Event Center.

TSCO “Vegas to Reno” schedule:
Thursday, August 18th – Registration, Contingency and tech inspection, Aliante Station Hotel & Casino in North Las Vegas.
Friday, August 19th – Race for all classes starts near Beatty, finishes at the Dayton Event Center.
Saturday, August 20th – Awards presentation in Reno at the Grand Sierra Resort.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

Further information available at www.bitd.com.

Minneapolis, May 18, 2011–Polaris RANGER RZRs took another first and second, at Best in the Desert’s Blue Water Gran Prix this past weekend, in Parker, Arizona.

Racers were met with very warm conditions and with only a two-week turnaround between races, were challenged with a very tight, rough and technical course. In the end, Polaris Regional Sales Manager Matt Parks and co-driver Jason Spiess in Parks Racing RANGER RZR 4 800 took the checkered flag in two hours and six minutes.

“We got a good start and had a clean run today,” said Parks. “The course was super rough after several pro and amateur motorcycle and ATV races earlier in the day, but my RANGER RZR 4 800 was fast and handled really well in these tight, technical conditions.”

The new No. 1919 RANGER RZR XP 900 of Jagged X left the starting line a little behind what they had hoped coming into the first narrow hairpin, in the fifth position. Before Brandon Schueler made one complete 11 mile lap, he found his way into the clean air up front and by Lap Three, had developed a lead. In the middle of Lap 4, the car lost a swaybar link which caused some collateral damage and caused the car to quit running. Schueler and co-driver Landon Kubrick with some quick diagnostics had the No. 1919 back up and running in just a few minutes but not before the other front runners were able to get past. With just over two laps to go the team was able to make up enough ground to get past all except the No. 1932 Polaris RANGER RZR 4 of Matt Parks for a second place finish in the Pro UTV class.

“This is shaping up to be a super tight race for points this year with both Polaris cars on the podium at every race so far,” said Bill Schueler of Jagged X.

The next Best in the Desert race is the longest off-road race in the U.S. in TSCO Vegas to Reno, August 18-20.

Parks is sponsored by Holz Racing Products, Walker Evans wheels and shocks, Maxxis Tires, Tire Balls, Kroyer racing engines, Muzzy, Pure Polaris Lubricants, Utendorfer graphics, D.W.O. race prep, UTV Underground and Valley Cycle in Bakersfield, Calif.

Jagged X is sponsored by Polaris Industries, BF Goodrich Tires, CR Designs- Custom Painting and design, Cutting Edge Manufacturing- laser cutting and CAD design, OMF Performance- Custom beadlock wheels, Elka Suspension- Shocks, Simpson- Harnesses & safety products, Total Auto Pros- equipment for support trucks, Affordable powder coating- durable high quality coatings, Summers Brothers- Axle shafts, Walker Evans-Wheels, Vision X- Off road lighting.