2011 Season Race Reports

 


December 3, 2011
BITD Transwest Ford Henderson 250 - Hendersen, NV

Vest Racing headed down to Henderson for the last race of the season in the Best in the Desert racing
series, looking to take home a second BITD Championship.

Troy and Tim took the Chevy off the start line behind the trucks of Justin Blower and Staats Racing. All was good with the truck as they came into the first and only pit stop in 2nd place. The crew got them in and out quickly, Dave took over navigating duties and they held their position heading back out onto the course.

Thirty miles from the finish line, the front shocks faded away. Troy had to slow down from race pace to save the truck and make it to the finish line. He finished 3rd in class, 5 minutes behind the 2nd place ProTruck. The class finished within 6 minutes of each other. It was great to see all of them at the finish line at the same time. Troy was very pleased with the placing since the Vest Racing truck was running the old motor and the spec Bilstein shocks. The class has updated to a bigger motor and Fox Racing Shocks.

Vest Racing placed 20th overall and clinched their second consecutive Best in the Desert Championship!

Thank you to our 2011 sponsors: Troy’s Diesel, PIAA Lights, Price Auto Body, WARN, Fuddruckers, Trail Ready Wheels, General Tire and VP Fuel.

We appreciate your support and will see you in 2012!

 


October 15 & 16, 2011
BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge - Parker, AZ

Vest Racing headed south for the BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge. Troy stopped in Las Vegas to do a little testing and discovered the engine had a lot of blow by (back home after the race, he found a cracked piston!) The team made the decision to have an engine driven down from the race shop at home. Josh left Molalla at 2:30pm, drove all night and got the engine to Troy at the Bonnie Springs Ranch at 7:30 on Friday morning. The guys worked hard to get it installed. The team made it to Parker with just a little time to spare to get teched and signed in!

It was a hot one in Parker; over 100 degrees every day with very little wind! Day one of racing for the Protrucks was to begin about 2:30 with the Trophy Trucks and Class 8s in the same race heat. Troy and Dave took the Vest Racing Chevy off the line and took over 1st in class. All was smooth sailing until they got a flat on Lap 1 at RM 14. This left them with one good spare tire to last the rest of the race unless they wanted to stop in the hot pit. Troy made the decision to keep going and see if they could make up the 9 minutes they had fallen back into 2nd place. It was a smooth race to the finish. The guys made up that time and finished in 2nd place by 16 seconds (45 seconds on corrected time) behind the Lennon Protruck and 12th over all in the heat. On the podium, Troy made the announcement that the Vest Racing Protruck would have a new driver the next day, his 15 year old son Ben.

Day 2 in Parker started out with the crew going over the truck to make sure it was race ready. No major adjustments were needed. Troy and Ben suited up. Ben would take the first lap as the co-pilot and then the final 2 laps he would handle the driving duties. Troy and Ben got off the line in 1st place and led the Protruck pack away from the starting line. All was going great, until RM 18.5 when we got a radio call from Troy that they had rolled the truck. Liane called BITD and they went to the truck and pulled them back onto 4 wheels. They had barrel rolled 3 ½ times, landing on the driver’s side. Thankfully, all of the safety equipment did it’s job and neither Troy or Ben was hurt. Troy needed parts to fix the front end in order to be able to drive the truck back to the pit. The crew got them to BITD who relayed them to Troy and Ben. The race day was over for the Vest Racing team. It’s BWDC 2, Vest Racing 0. Redemption will be sought in 2012!

Vest Racing would like to say a special thank you to the volunteers of the Best in the Desert association. They got to the truck quickly to get him towed over and to make sure no one was hurt. BITD is an exceptional racing series to be a part of.

Thank you to our sponsors for the race: Troy’s Diesel, PIAA, Warn, General Tire, Trail Ready Wheels and VP Racing Fuels.

The team is back home and prepping the truck for the final race of the BITD season, the Transwest Ford 250 on December 4th.
 


August 29, 2011
BITD TSCO Vegas to Reno - Las Vegas to Reno, Nevada

Vest Racing traveled to Las Vegas to take on the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race, the longest off road race in the United States. Defending champions from last year’s race, the team was ready to face the challenge again! Troy, Robert and Dave did some testing and had to do a few minor adjustments before the race. It was warm in Las Vegas; 105 degrees at 8:30 pm!

Race day was sunny and warm with a great breeze blowing to help alleviate the dust on the course. Alan Levinson and Doug Poole took the Vest Racing protruck off the line 3rd in class behind Larry Trim (Trailready), the Staats Racing team and 70th over all behind the unlimited trucks (1400) and buggies (1500).

The truck was running great. Ten miles into the race, Staats pulled over with problems. Alan and the Trailready truck were running pretty close together for the first 100 miles. Alan & Doug came into their first stop at Pit #3 in the lead and took on fuel and an air filter. The crew got them back out on the course still holding a 4 minute lead!

Alan and Doug had two flats and fortunately, part of the crew was able to get them replacement tires on board the truck at the next pit. They came into the second scheduled pit stop at Pit #6 in Tonopah. Troy and Geno were ready to get in and Alan had given them a 6 minute lead on the Trailready truck as they went out on the course. The Staats team was able to get their truck going again and were about 50 miles behind the pack.

The crew raced to their next pit stop at Pit #10 in Mina. There was going to be a lot to do at that stop and timing was everything! The team changed tires, an air filter, fueled and put the light bar up. They did an excellent job in a short amount of time! Troy and Geno got back out on the course with a comfortable lead. The crew left for the next pit with no sign of the 2nd protruck through Pit #10.

After a fast and furious ride, the crew arrived at their last stop, Pit #14, Top Gun. Troy and Geno were coming in for fuel and ended up taking a tire on the rack as well. The Staats truck had engine trouble and could not recover, limping their truck into Pit #9. The Trailready truck had problems and fell about 80 miles back behind Vest Racing. Troy took the truck onto the finish line in Dayton for a total time of 11:26:18 earning a first place finish in Protruck and 22nd overall!

The Vest Racing team is proud to be 2010 and 2011 Protruck winners of the BITD Vegas to Reno race!!

Next up, the BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge in Parker, AZ, where the team has a big score to settle with that course!
 


April 30, 2011
BITD Bilek Silver State 300, Alamo, Arizona
With a fresh prep on the ProTruck, the Vest Racing team headed down to Las Vegas to participate in the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. Last year Troy drove to a first place finish and the team was geared up for another win!

The wind was fierce in Las Vegas and at the start line in Alamo. Good for racing, not so much for pitting and spectating! The crew got Troy and co-driver Tim Price ready to roll and then headed for their first stop, Pit #2 in Caliente. Troy led the ProTruck pack for the first 117 miles. The Class 10’s were started before the ProTrucks and Troy passed 8 of them. When one of them got stuck in the silt, Troy came up on him in the dust and got stuck right behind him! It was a horrible place to be stuck. Troy got out and dug and dug and dug some more, finally getting the truck out after about 20 minutes. Others getting stuck in the same spot throughout the day would spend hours there! Of course, that was all the Staats and Blower teams needed to get around Vest Racing. All three ProTrucks ran a smooth race the rest of the day.

Coming into Pit #5 (second and last stop for Vest Racing) Troy was 19 minutes off of the leader Staats and 4.5 minutes behind second place Blower. Tim hopped out and Dave Whinnery jumped in to take over the navigator duties. The crew did an outstanding job at both pits, getting him in and out in superb time!

At the finish line, it was the Staats team coming in at 6:05:34 followed by Justin Blower in 6:21:36 and Troy and Dave in 6:24:26. The Vest Racing team had to settle for 3rd place at the Silver State 300.

Next up, the ultimate Best in the Desert race, Vegas to Reno!!
 


February 5, 2011
BITD Bluewater Resort Parker 425, Parker, Arizona
Vest Racing headed to Parker, AZ to take on the notoriously challenging and rugged Parker 425. Armed with a bigger fuel cell and a new 600+ hp engine, the team was ready for the race!

The weather in Parker was beautiful; clear, cold, and no sign of rain. The morning of the race, Alan Levinson and Doug Poole took the Vest Racing truck off the start line. About 4 miles into the race, they got hung up in a backlog of vehicles behind a Class 1 car that had flipped over in the middle of the course. They were stuck for about 15 minutes, losing valuable time to the pack of ProTrucks. Later in the lap, they got tangled up with a Class 7 truck, going ‘door to door’ with him for a few hundred feet. When they came into the main pit at the end of the first lap, the crew had to remove the body panels on the cab of the truck to vent the exhaust. Troy and Tim Price got in and took off on a mission to catch the pack, in 3rd place.

Troy and Tim made great lap time and passed many, many trucks to gain 2nd position in class. They came into the Parker Python after lap 2 and Troy heard a terrible squealing noise at the back of the truck. They came in for their scheduled pit stop to main pit. Robert pulled the rear tire and discovered Troy had broken an axle. The crew replaced both axles, fueled, installed the light bar, removed broken parts, did various body touch ups and sent them on their way.

Twenty four miles into lap 3, Troy called on the radio that they had broken the trailing arm on the front of the truck. He was able to limp it into the Midway Pit, where the Todd Davis ProTruck team helped him weld it back together. They were down for a couple of hours with that repair and moved back into 4th place.

They got going again and the team headed to the finish line to meet the truck, but they were going to have to wait. Troy called into Liane and said they needed a rear driveline. They were 20 miles from the finish line. After a Best in the Desert official got the driveline from Robert to Troy, they installed it and limped the truck into Parker and onto the podium for the finish. The suspension was held together with a come-a-long and two ratchet straps, but it made it to the finish to gain those valuable points! George, the BITD announcer, took one look at the truck without it’s body panels and said “Troy, you’re a regular McGiver!”.

The Vest Racing team is proud of the “never give up attitude” we all have, especially Troy. Finishing the race is crucial to the year end points race!

The crew headed home the next day and is hard at work making the Vest Racing ProTruck ready to take on the BITD Bilek Silver State 300 on April 30th!

 


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