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 Championship!

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 leader.

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 Parker.

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 crews!

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 Dooley.

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 Value
 


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!
 


March 25-28, 2010
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!
 


February 5-7, 2010
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!
 


January 15-17, 2010
2010 SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Laughlin, Nevada

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 Spectator team.

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!

 


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