I've done the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000, been to countless MDR, MORE, SCORE, CORR, and BITD off road races in the States, but never have I been to the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race. That is until now.
The 2008 Best in the Desert TSCO Vegas to Reno race was held on August 22nd & 23rd in Las Vegas Nevada. V2R as it is commonly referred too is touted as being "The longest off-road race in the United States" and at 456.5 miles it truly is. For this years V2R I was fortunate enough to be hooked up with a team campaigning a Class 8 race truck. A colleague of mine had set the whole thing up but due to a set of very unfortunate circumstances had to withdraw at the last minute. With the team planning on someone from Off-Road tagging along for the race I got the phone call to go. I gladly accepted the offer, got my race gear in order and headed out to meet the team.
Thursday August 21st 2008
Dark O'Clock, Thursday morning, I loaded up my gear and headed out to meet up with Chuck Foreman, driver and partner in the RWP Racing Maxxis Ford F-150 I was going to be racing with. I met up with Chuck and we all piled into his co-driver Carl's mighty chase Tundra and headed out to meet up with the rest of the team at the South Point hotel in Las Vegas for tech inspection and registration. After a short jaunt up the 15 we arrived in Las Vegas where we quickly set to work finding Rich Waite and the race truck. Rich was smart and was finishing up registering for the race just as we were arriving so while Chuck, Carl and I went to register Rich took the truck and got in line for tech inspection.
I will say one thing for BITD, they are very organized, very very organized, which made it really surprising when we got to the ballroom where registration was taking place only to see a line wrapped around the room and down out into the hall! Oh well, gotta do what you gotta do right so we waited, and waited, and then waited some more. After what was probably a solid two hour wait we finally get to the front of the line, the three of use signed our lives away, got our wrist bands and headed out to the parking lot to see how things were going in Tech inspection with Rich and the race truck.
Much to our surprise just as we got to the parking lot where tech inspection was going on Rich and the race truck had just finished and were pulling out. Awesome, we didn't have to stand in the sun, it was time for a long over due lunch, back to the casino! After lunch we headed back out to the truck where the crew was working out some last minute issues, nothing big, just charging shocks and working on the radio system. After a quick run down on how the truck worked, the switches and gauges for Carl and I (the two new co-drivers) it was time for a quick team meeting to work out last minute pit strategy.
From a logistical stand point this type of race, point to point, is a nightmare. So like any good team would do we all sat down the night before the race and planned out our pit stops. With a skeleton crew we had to make every truck matter. Chuck and Rich dug right in to the planning while we all watched, listened, and offered advice where we could. The way BITD had the pits laid out made it easy for us to get our meger crew to points they needed to be at with the right amount of tools and fuel.
With everybody registered, the truck teched, last minute bugs worked out, and pit strategies planned we all hit the hay before what was going to be a long day of racing.