Author: Bink Designs Photos: Bink Designs
Best in the Desert’s Blue Water Desert Challenge utilizes a heat race format that pits racers against each other two days in a row. The driver with the lowest elapsed time tallied from both days of racing wins. Racing back to back gives racers the opportunity to dominate with a win on both days or a chance to make changes overnight to better their first day’s results. The Blue Water Desert Challenge saw both.
The Trick Truck class had two different winners but it was Rob MacCachren who took the overall win, his second Blue Water Challenge win in a row. That qualifies him as a back to back winner. Rob had qualified third behind Jason Voss in second and Kyle LeDuc who was driving his Dad Curt’s Trick Truck for the first time in competition. MacCachren jumped out front on Saturday when early leader Kyle LeDuc limped into the pits with a leaking power steering hose that left him with no fluid in the pump. Time lost in the pits dropped Kyle to the back of the field. With MacCachren out front in clean air the others would have to charge through his dust to have a chance. Dale Dondel made a valiant effort getting past Jason Voss for second but nobody would catch MacCachren. Jason Voss finished third followed by the BF Goodrich Team Ford teammates Steve Olliges in fourth and Jonathan Swift in fifth.
The following day it was Jason Voss who would be charging. He started farther back but soon found himself out front. He went on to win the race but MacCachren was a close second giving him the overall win. “It was a great weekend for our Rockstar BF Goodrich truck,” said MacCachren, “We needed that to catch up in the points standings. The track was really rough out there with many square edged bumps but my FOX shocks and BF Goodrich tires were perfect.”
Second place finisher Jason Voss credits his 39 inch BF Goodrich tires as well. “With these new 39’s it’s almost cheating,” said Jason, “We were super excited to out qualify MacCachren but then Kyle came out of nowhere to take the top spot. On Saturday we took what we learned during the race and made some changes to our King shocks overnight; it was like a different truck on Sunday. We chased down Rob and took the win but he finished second so it wasn’t enough for the overall win.” Voss was second overall followed by BF Goodrich Team Ford teammates Jonathan Swift third overall and Steve Olliges fourth.
In the unlimited open wheeled cars, (class 1500) Justin Lofton was unbeatable; taking back to back wins for the overall victory. He had to contend with a bevy of fast racers; Chuck Hovey, Harley Letner, Jon Walker and CJ Hutchins all had a shot but Lofton was perfect both days. “We didn’t qualify as well as we expected but we made it work on Saturday,” said Justin, “We stayed out of trouble and pulled off the win. On Sunday it was all about the start and my General Tire Grabbers hooked up allowing me to beat Hovey off the line. From there we just ran consistent laps till the finish and picked up another win.” Unofficial results have Chuck Hovey in second overall by only 38 seconds and Jon Walker in third.
Another impressive back to back win was had by Trophylite racer and professional stunt man Logan Holladay. He won both days in a Trophylite rental. He simply paid to rent the truck, an option available to anyone. Trophylite does all the prep work and the pitting and apparently, quite well. Logan and his girlfriend Tyler Eubanks had a nice little weekend get-away together and picked up a Trophylite victory while they were at it.
Class 7200 competitor Sean Backus did not win back to back but might have the most amazing story from the weekend. He and his brother were both racing separate trucks in the 7200 class when they each drove through a water hole and blew their engines. Sean was able to limp into the infield but was then t-boned in the dust by another car; breaking his bypass shock in two. His Eleven Western Builders General Tire Rigid Ind. team then got together and came up with a plan. They took a good FOX bypass shock off his brother’s truck and sent his motor to Kincaid Engines in Lake Havasu where they stayed until 2 a.m. to get it fixed. On Sunday he had to start in the back, 31st place to be exact but flew through the dust to take the win on corrected time by three minutes. “It was insane to drive like I was but it needed to be done,” said Sean of his heroic drive on Sunday. You can never assume anything in desert racing but if it wasn’t for the hydro-locked engine on Saturday he might have gone back to back as well. He definitely had the speed.
The Blue Water Desert Challenge is a fan favorite and either despised or loved by racers; it just depends on your results. If you would have asked Sean Backus on Saturday how he liked it the answer would have been quite different from his view after taking the win on Sunday. If you ask Rob MacCachren, Justin Lofton or Logan Holladay they will tell you it’s the Best in the Desert.