December 2, 2012
BITD Transwest Ford Henderson 250 - Las Vegas, NV
Written by Ben Vest
Tim and I took the Protruck off the line last in class with a single vehicle
start. Within the first 1 ½ miles we had caught the next Protruck and passed
them. Tim was on his game, calling out rocks, bumps and turns. In the next 7
miles, we had caught the next 2 Protrucks and were first on corrected time. I
was right on Justin Blower’s truck, but as the dust began to grow so thick, I
couldn’t see and lost him in a tight rock section. I stayed in his dust for the
We pitted the truck for fuel and an air filter. The crew was fast and did their
usual awesome job!!
Lap 2 was solid and I set a pace as the course grew more rough, conserving my
energy for the final lap and to catch my competition. As I began my 3rd lap, the
truck was running great and we began to go on a mission. At the hot pit (rm 30)
I was 11 minutes off the first place Blower truck. Within 15 miles we had
whittled away his lead and were again first on corrected time with just 34 miles
to the finish! Hot on Blower, we were just about out of a huge rock summit when
the truck wouldn’t go anymore. We had broken the driver’s side rear axle. In
frustration, I had to watch our lead fall away. We were right in the middle of
the course, a cliff on one side and a rock wall on the other. There was barely
enough room for the trucks behind us to go around. Every time we would jack up
the truck, someone would drive around and hit our truck, knocking it off the
jack and hooking our bumper. There should have been a lot of damaged bodies
after that pass!
The crew had axles sent out to us very quickly on a class 1 buggy. We wanted to
get to a safer place to change it. I asked almost every vehicle that passed us
to tow us the 20 feet up the summit. Finally, 2 hours later, a class 7 truck was
kind enough to pull us up. I was able to drive the truck a few miles with the
broken axle to a BITD checkpoint to change the axle. The BITD official was
awesome and did all he could to help us.
We had 45 minutes left to cross the finish line before we timed out of the race.
We made it to the podium, the last truck to cross the line!
Ben would love to keep driving the Protruck for the 2013 season, however, he
will need a sponsor to help him with race expenses. Please contact Vest Racing
if you are interested in investing in the next generation of off road racers!
This race culminated with Vest Racing winning the Best in the Desert Protruck
Championship for the 3rd consecutive year! We are so thrilled!
We would like to thank all of our sponsors: Troy’s Diesel, PIAA, Price Autobody,
BFGoodrich, VP Fuels and of course Best in the Desert for putting on great, safe
and fun races every time!
Also, thank you to our crew. Without every one of you, there would be no
championship!! Congratulations to all of you!!!
October 15-16, 2012
BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge - Parker, AZ
Vest Racing headed to Parker with a light crew for the BWDC ready to take on the
super silty, rough course. This was a notoriously bad course for the team. Two
years prior, the engine was dusted and last year a part in the front end broke
and the truck rolled. The team was going with a new strategy. Ben was signed up
to ride in the truck and Troy surprised him by telling him he was the #1 driver
for the first day. Ben chose Robert to navigate for him. It was pretty exciting
to watch them take off from the starting line; the next generation of off road
desert racing behind the wheel and heading out on to the unforgiving Parker race
Ben: “On Saturday, the first day of racing, we took off the line in 29th
position. Our original stock Protruck motor was in 1242 and she was running
good. We picked our way through the field one at a time. We were having a solid
run the first 2 laps, then came in to the hot pit at the beginning of the 3rd
lap to check get an air filter. The rest of the day was great and we finished
As Ben was on the podium having his first interview with George, Troy was called
up to the stage as well. George interviewed Troy and asked him who was driving
the truck the next day. Troy announced it would be Ben again. The truck was in
pretty good shape after a day in the rough, so there wasn’t a lot to do to prep
for day 2 of the race.
Ben: “On day two we started 26th. On our first lap, about 6 miles out we hit a
huge whoop that bucked the truck. It sent us staring straight at the ground but
we kept on going. At the start of lap 2, we pulled into the hot pit for a filter
and alternator belt. The crew was fast in the pit! Lap 3, going into the python,
we were 1:38 behind the KC Hilites truck that had got around us in the pit. By
the end of the python, we were only 26 seconds behind. We were able to pass him
later. Out through the dust, crossing the finish line with clean air, finishing
12th overall! I’d like to thank my dad for giving me the opportunity to drive
this race, Robert for being an awesome navigator, our awesome crew and our
sponsors; Troy’s Diesel, PIAA Lights, Price Auto Body and BFG Tires (no flats!)”
As Ben had his podium interview on day 2, George asked Troy who was going to
drive in the Henderson 250. Troy made the announcement that Ben would again be
behind the wheel of 1242!
The team is looking forward to the final race of the season and clinching their
3rd consecutive Best in the Desert Championship!
August 17-18, 2012
BITD General Tire Vegas to Reno - Las Vegas to Reno, NV
Troy assembled a large crew for the Vegas to Reno race, a team favorite. Troy,
Robert, Dave and Ben headed down to Vegas to test and tune the truck and made
only minor adjustments to ensure that #1242 was ready to race.
Troy drew the #1 starting position in class and was 54th off the line on Friday
morning behind the class 1400s and 1500s. It was record heat in Vegas, so
everyone was trying their best to stay hydrated. With very little wind, Alan and
Doug took the Vest Racing Chevy ProTruck off the start line in Beatty.
They came into the first pit stop at Pit #3 for fuel and an air filter. The
truck looked great. They were still in the lead, with a 1 minute split over the
Blower team and 2 minutes over Staats Racing. The crew turned in a speedy
performance, and the truck was back out on the course in under one minute!
The second pit stop at Pit #6 was a driver change, tires, fuel, air filter and
tightening of the ball joint. Troy and Geno took over the driving/navigating
duties after another great pit by the crew. When they left the pit, the truck
had almost a 6 minute lead over the Staats team. The Blower truck had gotten
stuck and the Trim truck had issues early on.
Troy and Geno worked their way through the field and came into their 3rd stop at
Pit #10 for fuel, air filter and the light bar. Having increased their lead to 9
minutes, they headed back out on the course.
The crew saw them one last time at Pit #14, Top Gun. Fuel, air filter and a
quick once over of the truck and #1242 was on her way to the finish line.
Vest Racing is thrilled to have won the Vegas to Reno for a 3rd consecutive
year! The truck finished in 18th place over all with a time of 10:01:08 keeping
the team comfortably in the championship points lead.
Thank you again to our sponsors: Troy’s Diesel, Price Auto Body, PIAA Lights,
Odyssey Batteries and Maurer Farms!
Vest Racing will participate in an Oregon race, September 15th in Redmond,
Oregon. Ben will be taking the truck through its paces on the short course track
at the Central Oregon Off Road Park.
Our next Best in the Desert journey takes us to Parker, AZ for the Bluewater
Desert Challenge, October 13th and 14th where the team will try to make it 4
wins in a row!
May 5, 2012
BITD Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 - Alamo, NV
After a prep and a lot of testing and tuning, the Vest Racing ProTruck was ready
to take on the fast course of the BITD Silver State 300.
After a 110 mile drive to the newly located starting line north of Alamo, the
crew was ready to go racing.
Troy drew the number one starting spot in class and 48th over all position. It
was a fast course with very few places to pass cars. Troy and Tim had to stay
back out of the dust of the race vehicles in front of them. They came into the
first pit stop in Caliente (Pit #3) running in first, but eager to get around
the Canidae Trophy Truck that was holding them up. The crew did an outstanding
job getting them fueled and on the course again. The truck was running great!
Around Pit #5, they were finally able to get around the Canidae truck only to
catch a Class 1500 buggy that was out for a Sunday drive! Troy came into his
second pit stop (Pit #6) for fuel, air filter and a minor GPS fix and again the
outstanding Vest Racing pit crew had him in and out quickly!
The truck had no other issues and finished the race in 6:01:45 to take another
win in the ProTruck class. They finished 27th overall, which Troy was
disappointed with. “Our truck was fast, but there just weren’t enough
opportunities to pass and not wreck the truck. Finishing and getting those
points are very important to winning the Championship.”
The team would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors: PIAA, Odyssey
Batteries, Price Auto Body, Maurer Farms, Countywide Electric & Troy’s Diesel.
Next up is the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race…..a favorite of the Vest
March 24, 2012
BITD General Tire Mint 400 - Las Vegas, NV
Vest Racing had plenty of prep time to get ready for the famous Mint 400. This
was the first year it was promoted by Best in the Desert, adding another race to
the series for a total of six.
Troy and Tim started in 4th position in class, 89th overall. It was a side by
side start and Troy was able to get the jump on the Swedglok truck off the line.
By race mile #3, he had bumped and passed the Trailready truck. At race mile 32,
they had passed the Blower truck to put them in first place.
Alan and Doug took over driving duties on the 3rd lap. Dave got in with Troy for
the 4th and final lap to bring the Vest Racing truck into the finish line first
in class, 25th overall, with a time of 7:58:59.
It was a rugged course, but the Vest Racing ProTruck was up for the challenge
and had no flats or problems during the day.
Next race, the BITD Silver State 300, on May 5th in Alamo, NV.
February 4, 2012
BITD Bluewater Resort & Casino Parker 425 - Parker, AZ
The Vest Racing Protruck was ready to race, equipped with the new updates; Fox
Shocks, 37” BFG tires, 60 gallon fuel cell and bigger engine. Parker weather was
beautiful with lots of sunshine and little wind. Great for spectating, but not
so great for blowing the dust off the race course.
Alan and Doug took the truck off the starting line in downtown Parker. About 3
miles into the race, the shock bar broke, destroying the hood. They were able to
drive it back to main pit, where the Bad Attitude race team lent their welder to
our crew to make the repair. The truck was down for 1.75 hours. Not a great way
to start the race. Troy made the decision to save the truck and finish the race
to get those important finishing points that are so necessary to win a
Alan and Doug got back on the course minus a hood and had a great lap, despite
having to work their way through the slower classes that had gotten past them
during the truck’s down time. They brought the truck into the main pit after
their first lap and handed the truck over to Troy and Geno.
Troy and Geno had 2 great laps, only stopping for fuel. The BFG tires were great
and held up to the Parker terrain. The truck was positioned in 3rd place 12
miles from the finish. The 2nd position truck of Staats had broken an A arm just
a few miles from the finish. Our team was poised to take 2nd place. Just that
quick, word came over the radio from Geno that they had broken an upright on the
front of the truck and rolled. The team sprung into action and got the part to a
BITD volunteer that took it out to Troy and Geno. They were able to replace the
part and drive into the finish line in 3rd place. A disappointing race for the
team, but perseverance paid off and they were able to finish and earn those all
The truck is worse for wear. Troy and the guys are already giving 1242 the TLC
she needs to be ready for the BITD Mint 400, March 24th.