2010 Season Race Reports
December 4, 2010
Henderson Transwest Ford 250, Jean, Nevada
The Vest Racing protruck returned from the Baja 1000
battered and bruised. A full prep was needed and once
again, Troy, Robert and our awesome crew stepped up to get
it done in a matter of days! However, there wasn’t enough
time for the body to be painted, so the protruck was
sporting a new white color!
Troy made the drive to Henderson and arrived in time for
contingency and tech on Friday. There was quite a lot of
talk about his shot for the 2010 Best in the Desert
Race day was cloudy with no wind, which meant the dust
wasn’t going anywhere. The plan was to just drive a nice
pace and get the truck to the finish line to clinch the
championship. Troy & Robert pitted after the first lap to
fuel and change an air filter. Tim Price relieved Robert
of the co-driving duties and the boys were off on the
second lap with the Staats team 4 minutes ahead. Thanks to
our race guests who stepped up to help pit: John McCall,
Steve Miller and Paul and Carol Gertz.
They pitted again on the second lap with no problems,
maintaining a consistent pace. Towards the end of the
race, Troy and Tim picked up their speed and were within 1
mile of Staats.
The team was eagerly waiting at the finish line to
celebrate, when Troy came on the radio and asked Liane for
his General Tire hat. They didn’t know he had finished, so
she ran to find where his truck was waiting for the
podium. There was no other protruck in sight. Troy had
passed the Staats truck when they got a flat and drove
into the finish line to take first place!
The team was ecstatic to get a win and clinch the 2010
Best in the Desert Championship!!
What a season! 8 wins and 3 championships!
October 16-17, 2010
2010 BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge, Parker, Arizona
Vest Racing traveled to Parker, AZ to take on the new
Bluewater Desert Challenge. We were joined by members of
the very supportive Coca Cola Spectator Team; Paul and
Carol Gertz and Jerry Tucker.
The race was a 2 day format, with trucks grouped into 5
separate races by class and running a course of 77 miles
each day. ProTrucks were in the last race of the day with
the 1400 Trick Trucks and the Class 8 trucks. Troy, with
Robert serving as navigator, drew the last starting
position of the ProTrucks with the ProTrucks being the
last class to start the race, so the Vest Racing Chevy was
the last truck off the line that day!
The starting line was exciting to watch. There was a hole
that the trucks immediately drove into and launched out
of, catching a lot of air! It was a sign of things to
come, however, when Troy radioed in and was stuck at RM
.75! Best in the Desert pulled him out quickly, but the
field had pulled ahead on him. They would be stuck 4 more
times throughout the day. The course was so silty and
dusty that there were 4 trucks that lost engines in the
first 27 miles of the race! On the 3rd lap, the ProTruck’s
air filter plugged and the engine sucked dirt and sand
into it. After Robert ran to meet the crew to get a
replacement filter, they were able to finish the day in
the time allotted, but well behind Staats, the ProTruck
They went back to the pits to assess the damage and
decided to clean things up and run the truck the next day.
The plan was just to motor through the course to get a
clean finish for the event. They also discovered that in
the 77 miles of the race, they had emptied the fuel cell!
That equates to 1.93 mpg!
Day 2 and it was time to race again. There were less that
50% of the starters from day one there to race. This race
had turned out to be a challenge, that’s for sure! The
plan was to use the ‘hot pit’ once to get a new air filter
and a splash of fuel on lap 2. After another great launch
of the line, Robert called in they were stuck at RM 4.
Best in the Desert pulled them out, but the field had once
again pulled away from them. There was an unplanned stop
in the hot pit on lap 1 to get a spare tire put on the
rack to replace the one they changed when they got stuck.
They made great time on lap 2 and came into the hot pit as
planned for an air filter, gas and some engine oil. Paul
and Carol had to do more than just spectate and were
pressed into service to help with the pit stops. They did
a great job!! The truck left the pits and finally pulled
across the line about 15 minutes behind the Staats team,
the ProTruck winner for the weekend. Troy and Robert were
thrilled to have beaten the course and said “Seeing the
finish line was like Christmas!!”
Troy is still on track for meeting his goal of winning
three series championships this year. He has secured the
Baja ProTruck series win, will take home the SCORE
championship with a start at the Baja 1000 in November,
and will battle it out in Henderson, December 4th to try
and win the BITD championship! He is the only off road
desert racing driver to do this for 2010!
The Vest Racing Team has a ‘never give up’ spirit. Thank
you to our special guests and our ‘regular guys’ that
stepped up to keep the truck going to earn the finish in
Next up….the Baja 1000!!
August 18-21, 2010
2010 BITD Vegas to Reno, Las Vegas, NV
After a special send off luncheon provided by Jerry Tucker
and the Coca Cola sponsored SCORE Coca Cola Spectator
Team, the crew took off for a very hot Las Vegas. This
race would be different for Vest Racng, as Troy decided to
bring on another driver for the Vegas to Reno race. Troy
has been the solo driver in the Vest Racing Protruck.
They arrived in Vegas early in the week to do some testing
on the new engine and work out any bugs that may show up.
Alan Levinson met them there and got behind the wheel for
some seat time before the race. The crew stayed at the
beautiful Bonnie Springs Ranch in Blue Diamond (www.bonniesprings.com),
owned by Alan and his family, southwest of Las Vegas. They
were able to do some final work to the Protruck in Alan’s
race shop, where they discovered a broken ‘A’ arm. Liane
was a little worried about this particular bug showing up,
but Troy reassured her that changing it before the race in
a shop versus out in the 105 degree desert on race day was
the preferred choice!
The day of the race was gorgeous with just a little wind
to keep the dust somewhat at bay. The crew made the 100
mile journey to the start line in Beatty, where Alan and
his navigator, Doug Poole took off in the race truck. They
started 2nd out of 5 trucks, behind the Staats Racing
team. Around mile 80, Alan and Doug had gained the lead.
They came into their first pit (Pit #3 Cottontail) for
gas, a check of the alternator, and the crew got them back
out on the course in record time!
The second stop, Pit #5 (Tonopah), was a driver change.
Troy and Geno got in and held the lead coming into the
next pit stop (Hawthorne). When they came in, they let the
crew know they had alternator problems which meant the GPS
didn’t work, the radio was dead, and the various fans to
cool the engine and transmission weren’t working. Geno
summed it up, “We weren’t getting any farther than this
pit!!” The team had a 7 minute 58 second lead on the
Staats truck when they came rolling into the pits. Alan
had brought his pit crew, and together with the Vest
Racing crew, they replaced the alternator, fueled, changed
a tire, finishing just as Staats came into the pit area.
The two trucks pulled out of the pits at the same time,
with Staats just in front. What a great job by the racing
It wasn’t long before the crew got word that Troy and Geno
had again recovered 1st place out on the course. They were
losing time following a Trick Truck that wouldn’t let them
by and were eating a lot of dust. They came into the final
pit stop (Top Gun) to fuel and get their lights adjusted
and they were off like a rocket in search of the finish
line in Dayton.
Troy and Geno pulled across the line in 10 hours 55
minutes 9 seconds for first place in the Protruck division
and 20th over all position for the race. Troy said “It was
a drag race with the Staats truck the entire race to the
finish!” This is the 6th win in 6 races for the Vest
Racing team! What an outstanding effort by everyone
involved! Thank you to Alan Levinson and his co-pilot Doug
Poole, and his crew Brandon Brown, Joe French, Kevin
Poole, and Weston Goddare…… also our guests from Alabama
who are from now on known as the IT Guys and the Hood
Boys; Darrell Krueger, Mike Zieman, Jeremy Belcher, & Eric
Thank you to the entire #1242 crew….Robert, Eric, Tim,
Dave, Ben, Dusty, Tina & Liane…..without you, the finish
line wouldn’t be possible!!
**Vest Racing would like to welcome and thank our newest
sponsor, PIAA Lights (www.piaa.com)
Also, thank you to our local sponsors Price Auto Body,
Coca Cola Spectator Team, Oregon Motorsports & Clark True
June 4-6, 2010
2010 SCORE Baja 500, Ensenada, Mexico
Troy and crew made the trek to Ensenada to take on their
first race in Mexico. Only Troy & Geno had raced in Mexico
before, so the crew was a little apprehensive but ready to
take on the challenge, none the less! The team had never
seen a contingency with so many people. It was terrific!
Race day, Troy and Robert were the 2nd protruck to start,
97th position overall. He passed the Mango truck in the
first 4 miles and never looked back. His main focus was
dealing with the Scorelites, Class 10s and Class 8 trucks
that started in front of him. In the first 50 miles, he
had passed all of the Class 8s. He stopped for fuel and
Geno got in at the 95 mile to take over navigation. At
RM100, he got into a log jam of vehicles stuck on the
pass. That kept him still for about 15 minutes. At RM150,
he got behind a Class 10 that was stuck in the silt and
got stuck himself. That was good for 30 minutes of down
time and digging in the hot Mexican desert. He fueled
again at RM200 and headed on over to the Pacific side of
Baja to be pitted by Aaron Guthrie and crew (Thanks guys!)
Troy & Geno navigated the last part of the rocky course
and Troy drove to the team's first SCORE Baja 500 victory
in a time of 12:21:18...putting him 35th overall!
April 23-25, 2010
2010 BITD Bilek Silver State 300, Alamo, NV
The Vest Racing crew headed down to Alamo, NV to take on
the Silver State 300 race. Troy drew the pole position in
protruck and took off in great sunny Nevada weather. The
top 3 trucks were neck and neck coming into Pit 2. Our pit
took a little longer and Staats got out ahead of Troy by
13 seconds. A short time later, Troy was able to get by
Staats and held first place the rest of the day. The Class
10 buggies started ahead of the protrucks, so there was
a lot of dust to be eaten and vehicles to pass! The truck
ran great and only had a flat just after Pit 6. Troy
crossed the finish line 33 minutes ahead of second place.
Another 1st place for Vest Racing in protruck and 18th
overall with a time of 6:24:01! Congratulations to the
Vest Racing team!
2010 General Tire SNORE Mint 400, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Mint 400, the oldest off road race in the United
States, always offers a tough course and 2010 was no
exception. The Vest Racing protruck held together great
for most of the race. Ben, Troy & Liane's son, turned 14
on Thursday, March 25th, finally meeting the age to
co-drive! Ben got in the truck to take care of the
navigating duties on the last lap. About 10 miles into the
lap, an upright on the truck broke. Troy was able to
contact the crew and let them know what he needed to get
going again. Rules state that your team members cannot
come onto the course and help you, so a part had to be put
on another slower race truck and sent out to the guys.
Robert was able to get the part onto a Baja Bug, but when
it got to Troy and Ben, the Bug never stopped to give them
the upright! Robert had to go intercept that vehicle at
the next pit and get it onto a Jeep speed vehicle. Finally,
after almost 3 hours of waiting, Troy and Ben were able to
get the part put on the truck and finish the race.
A memorable time for Ben, I'm sure!
2010 BITD Bluewater Parker 425, Parker, Arizona
The Vest Racing team was geared up and ready to take on
the challenging and unpredictable Parker 425. In 2009,
Parker was the very first race the team tackled. The team
was young and new to desert racing and faced with
torrential rains. Troy was able to get through 2/3 of the
course before he made the decision to not finish for
safety reasons. Tough lessons were learned that year.
Needless to say, everyone on the team had something to
prove heading into the 2010 Parker 425!!
Troy and Geno took off from downtown Parker in last
position in Protruck and 83rd overall. The weather was
great for raceday at the start. 80 miles into the race,
Troy was able to take the 1st protuck spot and hold it all
day. The course was great and the truck was having no
problems. The rains had started to come in, but didn't
affect Troy. The pit crews were in fine form and were
getting him in and out of the pits in great time. The IRC
units were not available for anyone at this race. They had
gotten held up in transit coming back from the Dakar
Rally. Pitting for a truck that you cannot track, is a
tedious and nerve wracking process. Thankfully, we did have
decent radio contact with the truck and a satellite phone
in case of an emergency. Troy came in for his last pit and
the crew discovered some damage to the rear of the truck.
The gas cap and the tubing to the fuel cell had been
ripped off. It took them a little longer to fuel the
truck, but #1242 took it all and the crew was confident it
would make it to the finish line. After the race, Troy
told us a Trophy Truck decided to give him a 'tap'!
Leaving the pit to start the last lap, Troy had a 12
minute lead on 2nd place. He slowed his fast and furious
pace a little, ready to cruise in for the win. Just short
of the finish line, a class 8 truck had gotten crossed up
on the course, forcing Troy to back up and find another
route through a ravine. This cost quite a bit of time and
the Western Motorsports protruck had caught up. Troy and
Geno out-powered them to the finish line to take Vest
Racing's first BITD protruck win and earn redemption
against the Parker 425 course! The Parker race is
notorious for having a high attrition rate. Only 20% of
the vehicles that started the 2010 race, finished!! Vest
Racing was the 17th truck, overall, across the line in
8:51:18! The entire crew is very proud of that
accomplishment on the 1 year anniversary of Vest Racing's
off road racing debut!
2010 SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Laughlin,
In January, Troy and Robert took the Protruck to the
prerun for the Parker 425 race in Parker Arizona. On the
way back, they stopped in Laughlin, NV and decided to test
and tune in the Laughlin Desert Challenge.
It's a 6 mile short course that has it's own unique
challenges. While there, Troy saw a group of people in red
jackets that would cheer for him every lap. They
introduced themselves as the first sponsored Coca Cola
Many of their members, including Jerry Tucker and Craig
Dirkson, are from Oregon. They were thrilled to have a
'home team' to cheer for and Troy was excited to have the
'guys in the red jackets' cheering him on. It was a good
experience for Troy and he picked up his first SCORE win!