Corona, CA - Zip-Ty Husqvarna racers took to the Nevada desert over the weekend in the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno, where Nick Burson and Ty Davis teamed up to take a podium finish in the Open Pro class.

Burson and Davis piloted their Zip-Ty Racing-prepared 2011 Husqvarna TXC511 to fifth overall in the longest off-road race in America, where they also finished third in class. The race was a first for Burson, who had never run the Vegas to Reno before, and he had a rather tough go of it after a crash early in the race.

“Everyone got lost on the dry lakebed,” Burson explained. “There was a 90-degree corner on a lakebed and everyone missed it except Esposito. I got across the lake and as soon as I turned around, I was looking up to see if I could see any dust trails and I hit a sand bush and went straight over the bars.”

Fortunately Burson wasn’t injured too badly, and the bike was still in running shape, though it carried some damage to the next pit stop.

“We were just going to do a gas stop,” Davis recalled, “and we saw a hand guard broken and he said, ‘You might have to ride. I just crashed.’ I looked at the bike and there was no rear fender, and I was like, ‘Yeah you did!’ That early in the race we weren’t ready to be switching everything over. But we had to swap out the front brakes and then I got on the bike and made it to pit ten.”

Following the crash, Davis ended up riding far more of the Vegas to Reno than he had originally planned. “I was just doing this to be a relief rider for Nick, and I ended up on the bike for over four hours. He was the one who’s supposed to be in shape, not me!” Davis said with a laugh.

Still, Burson was able to get back on the bike and take it to the finish. The durable and fuel-efficient Husqvarna TXC511 proved to be the ideal race weapon for over 500 miles of wide-open racing. Davis commented on putting Husky’s open-class off-roader through its paces at the Vegas to Reno.

“Casey [Folks - BITD race promoter] grates the courses now so it was really smooth and the speeds were extremely high. It was like an 8-hour dyno run on that thing; it was wide open! I guarantee you that bike has never been ridden that hard for that long.”

“It all goes to show that desert racing is not easy, and not for the weak, so it’s no surprise that Ty, Nick and the TXC511 endured to finish strong in the Vegas to Reno,” commented Husqvarna’s National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman. “It’s another proud finish for Husqvarna North America this year.”

Photo by Mark Kariya

San Luis Obispo, CA – The Canidae Off Road Racing team qualified in 34th place out of more than 270 entries at this year’s Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno offroad race. The 34th place starting position put them 19th off the starting line in their Trophy Truck class. Driving hard and powering through the rugged terrain, co-drivers Scott Whipple and Scott Gailey kept pushing the truck throughout the race to finish a strong 5th in their class, only 21 seconds off 4th place, and only 7 minutes shy of a podium finish. The Vegas to Reno race is over 500 miles long and the Canidae Team turned in a 10 hour, 19 minute and 10 second time on course.

The event was blogged live at the team’s website and Facebook fan page and attracted more visits and comments then any other race in the team’s history. “Reports and pictures kept coming in from Canidae as we watched the live tracking at Best in the Desert. We saw them making their way forward through the pack, doing better and better as the race went on. They even lost a cylinder part way through and just kept right on making great time and passing other teams. It was exciting and we’re all really happy for the crew,” said Marlon Coffman, long time supporter of the team.

Driver Whipple started the race with navigator Patrick Gailey. They managed to turn in a smooth and consistent performance, battling through the pack and gaining on the leaders despite a flat fire. At mile 289 co-driver Scott Gailey took over for Whipple and despite a dead cylinder on the team’s 800 HP 454 Dougan small block, he managed to push the truck hard and claim a top 10 finish and a 5th place in class.

Gailey found himself battling not only the course and the other drivers, but also the sun as the team made the decision earlier to not take the additional pit time to attach their normal night-time lighting. As the sun drew closer to the horizon, the team wasn’t sure Gailey would be able to cross the finish line before the lack of proper lighting became an issue. Fortunately, he beat the sun and crossed with time to spare.

At the end of race day, Whipple commented, “What an awesome day. We have the best crew who worked together as a team flawlessly. Interviews are over and we’re loading up so we can celebrate! Thanks to all of you who support us and cheered us on!”
Next up for Canidae Racing is the BlueWater Desert Challenge on October 14 to 16 in Parker, AZ.

Canidae Racing is supported by Canidae Pet Foods, Lucas Oil, BFGoodrich Tires, Magnaflow Exhaust, KC HiLites, Torco Race Fuels, Tap It Brewing, JE Pistons, Fox Race Shox, Geiser Bros. Design & Development, K&N Air Filters, Racepak, CalTex Freight, McKenzies, Specialty Fasteners, XRP Hoses and Fittings, Norco Tires, and GET Performance.

Photo credit Mike Wilson Photography.

Last week Best in the Desert held “The longest off-road race in the United States” in the TSCO Vegas to Reno. The race challenged competitors with 549 miles of rocky, silty Nevada desert.

BITD recently posted the official finishers of the race, confirming Steve Strobel’s overall win and first in the Trick Truck class. Finishing second overall and first in Class 1500 was Garrick Freitas. In the Open Pro Motorcycle class, Shane Esposito earned the overall win. Greg Stuart earned the win in the Quad Pro class, and Brandon Schueler took home first place in the Class 1900 UTV division.

Check out more Vegas to Reno Coverage
Strobel Vegas to Reno Race

Vegas to Reno Photo Gallery

2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Qualifying

With the 2011 Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno off-road race starting tomorrow morning, race teams were making final preparations with their crew and pit team for “the longest off-road race in the United States.”


Race teams also ran their vehicles through tech and contingency today, having BITD officials double-check that their vehicles are to spec. As of this afternoon, BITD told Off-Road.com that 292 drivers were registered for the race, up from the 270 racers announced earlier in the week. There could be over 300 once all the final registrations are in.


Yesterday, Class 1400 and 1500 vehicles qualified for starting positions by posting the fastest qualifying lap near this year’s Mint 400 course outside of Vegas. Kyle Conlon posted the fastest time ahead of Ray Griffith by a few hundredths of a second. For more on yesterday’s top qualifiers, check out the Top 30 racers here on Off-Road.com.

Dirt bikes and ATVs will leave the start line near Beatty, Nevada, at about 5:45 a.m., with cars and trucks leaving at about 9:30 a.m. Check back with Off-Road.com for more on the BITD Vegas to Reno race.

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.