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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 first lap.

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 course.

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 14th. “

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 Racing team!

 


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 championship.

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 important points.

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.

 


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