Cody Wins Best in the Desert TSCO Vegas to Reno Off-Road Dirt Bike Race
Sixth off the start (since he’d entered too late to get into the start position drawing), Cody quickly found himself the beneficiary of bad luck that struck other Open Pros, and by about pit two the only bike in front of him was the privateer RPP Racing duo of Jerry Parsons and Anthony Westbay.
“I got some good breaks, for sure, in the first 50 miles!” Cody exclaimed. “’Til pit two I didn’t see a thing. It was just a wall of dust. [After passing Shane Esposito who’d broken down], just the Yamaha was in front of me, and I kind of reeled them in, then I got in their dust and I sat in their dust until mile 310. I was just eating dust for 250 miles.”
“I didn’t know who it was [behind us] for the longest time,” Westbay said. “We started third overall; we didn’t have too much dust the whole day. Pearson’s bike went down after the first pit (after being first to start). Then the third pit when I went to get back on, I don’t know what team it was, but their partner (Adam Thissen) got lost or something so we got the lead [there]. No dust was nice!”
And that meant forgoing a tire change, Westbay admitted: “I didn’t want to stop and let Cody by us! But I think he started catching us anyways.”
Cody reported, “I got them at around 310, 312; there’s a really rough uphill sand wash. Those guys didn’t change a rear tire and I was sitting back there waiting for them to stop and change a rear tire because I did a rear at pit five, then I did a front and rear and air filter at 12.
“I was behind them, just like, ‘Okay, it’s 300 miles; they HAVE to stop! The tire’s not going to keep going.’ But they kept going. I didn’t want to force the issue--it’s so dusty to try to pass them--so I got behind them in this really, really rough sand wash. The dust wasn’t too bad so I just pinned it and was able to pass them going up the sand wash. I used some energy, for sure, but I got in front of them and I was able to pull a pretty good gap. By pit 12 I had a good enough gap to do my front and rear and air filter and service the bike.”
And that sealed the win for Cody (whose sister Anna soloed the 1000 a couple years ago). “I didn’t come into it with the idea to win it,” he insisted. “I just came into it just to come and ride and have a good time. I mean, I’m always ready for if things go my way, then I’m ready to go, but I wasn’t really coming here to battle [KTM’s David] Pearson and those guys.
“I was definitely thinking it’d be good training for the [Tecate SCORE Baja] 1000 because it’s going to be a point-to-point this year. I’ll probably have a good 450-mile section in the middle so it’d be good training--get my hands tough.”
After 9 hours, 21 minutes and 18 seconds, they probably are. He beat the Parsons/Westbay team by almost 14 minutes, the Yamaha riders finishing in 9:35:06.
Though not physically third to the finish, the Clint Braun/Jesse Canepa/Robert Patterson trio sped to the third-fastest bike time overall at 9:56:37 and easily won Open Expert on their Yamaha, a nice 2-3 overall finish for the RPP Racing team. Braun related one episode: “Rob was supposed to get on, but we were having a battle with [bike number] 345. We were pretty close to them and Jesse overshot our pit and when he came back, Rob was getting on and [Jesse] ended up ripping Rob off the bike and said, ‘No, I’m gonna pass these guys back!’ So he ended up getting back on, he got back up there, and Rob rode a couple sections [later], and me and Jesse split the rest of it up pretty much halfway.”
The Rex Cameron/Michael Johnson duo won Over 30 Pro and were fourth overall aboard their Unique Products Racing CRF450X with Robert Hunter’s team winning Four-stroke Expert and finishing fifth overall. Jake Oswald and A.J. Stewart took third Open Pro and sixth overall followed by the Rex Mike/Zach Mike/Zach Watson team that won Four-stroke Pro, the Greg Stuart-led Quad Pro winners, Over 30 Expert-winning Bill Witt’s team and Garrett Osteen’s crew, runners-up in Open Expert.
Results (Motorcycle and ATV)
1. Quinn Cody (Honda CRF450X) 9:21:18
2. Jerry Parsons/Anthony Westbay (Yamaha WR450F) 9:35:06
3. Clint Braun/Jesse Canepa/Robert Patterson (Yamaha WR450F) 9:56:37
4. Rex Cameron/Michael Johnson (Honda CRF450X) 9:57:21
5. Robert Hunter/TBA (Honda CRF450X) 10:00:01
6. Jake Oswald/Bryce Stavron/A.J. Stewart (Honda CRF450X) 10:03:57
7. Rex Mike/Zach Mike/Zach Watson (Kawasaki KX450F) 10:21:58
8. Greg Stuart/TBA (NA) 10:26:30
9. Bill Witt/TBA (NA) 10:33:07
10. Garrett Osteen/TBA (NA) 10:40:36