Vegas to Reno. The longest stateside race at 543 miles. The combination of terrain and weather made for a challenging race. But we endured and made it to the finish.
Contingency was about as hot as any human could possibly withstand and humid as well. After contingency we needed to make a few final adjustments at which point we were in the most radical lighting storm that I have ever personally witnessed.
Race morning we traveled the 108 miles to the start line. We got the truck staged in our 9th starting position of 24 in our class. Alex and Dave were ready to challenge the desert and their competitors. All the while being reminded to stay patient, as it was going to be a long race.
Alex and Dave quickly caught the truck in front of them once the race began within the first few miles, but stuck to their strategy as to not make any mistakes while driving in heavy dust. They got into their rhythm as usual and began picking off trucks at their own pace.
The brutal terrain caused the guys to get 3 flats during the course of the race. Dave I don’t envy changing those tires in that desert heat with your driving suit and helmet on. Yikes!
The guys were doing great so we went to our first fueling pit and at one point the guys had worked their way up to 3rd on the road. However, a flat caused them to lose a position and coming into and leaving pit 9 they were 4th on the road. Fueled them up and took a quick look at the truck, all was good aside from some body damage which was only cosmetic so we sent them down the road and we headed off to our next stop, pit 13. All the while we had the rest of our trucks leapfrogging down the course so the guys had an option to stop at any of the 14 pits along the course.
Up until this point we were having a good day and we were running strong. But bad luck was about to strike. At race mile 367.5 the race truck was charging through a silt section only to come up on another truck stuck on the course in front of them. Alex tried to get around them but ended up getting stuck as well. This turned into a waiting game of over 2 hours for a vehicle to pull them out. They eventually did get unstuck, however at this point our hopes of a win were gone.
Alex and Dave at that point made the mature decision to get into survival mode and just finish the race. They were able to pick up a few more positions before the finish at race mile 543 and I believe we ended up in 7th. Of the 24 entries less than half of the trucks in our class finished. Not the race we had hoped for but clearly just finishing was a challenge. This was a double points race so finishing was very important to us and the guys did a great job of getting her to the finish line. The points have not been calculated yet, but I’m confident we’re still top 3 in points.