Jason Voss won the The Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Race for the second year in a row in the 1400 Division. This year Voss battled a rain-soaked course and huge ruts all the way to the finish line. His time was 8:29:28.337. Dale Dondel also in the 1400 Division, took second. Dondel’s time was 8:44:09.222.
Finishing first in Motorcycles, quads and UTVs was Ricky Brabeck of Oak Hills, Calif. in the Open Division with a time of 8:54:52.88. Ty Davis from Oak Hills finished second with a time of 9:09:19.045. He was also in the Open Division.
Casey Folk warned his racers prior to the race that the first 20 miles and the last 20 miles of the course were badly hit by recent monsoon rains in the area. Despite being a slow course Voss was able to beat his time last year unofficially by 44 minutes. Voss averaged 60 miles an hour on the tough course. The champion had the best qualifying time on Wednesday at Jean. This meant he started first on Friday morning and he never looked back. Voss is the type of racer that likes being out front “in clear open air” with no dust to obscure his vision.
Jason Voss was never really concerned with the track conditions. He said he just wanted to be out front.
“I was fighting for the pole position and was not concerned about being out front due to the recent storms in the area. We did not come across any big obstacles during the race. It was a smooth day and we watched the time. This was the first time we qualified for the front and then took the race,” Voss said.
The veteran racer said he made no serious modifications to his vehicle since last year’s win.
When asked whether or not the third time was a charm, he replied, “We will see.”
As far as any major accidents that needed attention, Best in the Desert said everything went well.
“There were no major issues during the race,” Russ Turner, Best in the Desert spokesperson, told the PVT after the race. There was one course change due to the rains.
Motorcycle racer, Mike Whitman, rode the course at age 57 solo this year as a personal challenge. His goal was just to finish. He finished 53rd overall in motorcycles, quads and UTVs.
“It was a good day for me,” he said two days after the race. “I had no crashes and no problems. My plan went exactly as planned — no drama and no issues. I imagine I did very well, but that was not my plan. I really did not expect to get results. There are guys in that class that are three times younger than me. The whole intent for me was to see if I could do it and to see if I could do it competently.”
The experienced racer won two motorcycle championships in the Best in the Desert Series in 2008 and 2009. He rides in the Expert Class. Whitman said the course was bad due to the recent rains.
“My grip and my forearms are mush. I can barely hold a cup of coffee today. It was definitely physically challenging for me. It was probably the worst course in the many years I have been riding. It was the worst I have ever seen. The rain just did terrible damage to the course. I rode last year with the team and it was significantly faster. It was work. My pace was good. My finishing average was just above 40 miles an hour,” Whitman explained.
When asked if he would ever consider racing for the team again, he replied, “The pace and the whole dynamic is different when you actually compete, so I would consider going back to the team. We have been very competitive in the past. This was a long forced march. This is something you ask me four months from now and not right after the race. Usually after the race I answer no,” He said laughing out loud.
The town of Beatty also had a good race day as the racers frequented the local businesses. James Revert, owner of Revert Tire, said business was booming. “Absolutely this was my best year ever with this race. I sold a few trailer tires. Business started picking up at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning. I even had a friend who had set up a BBQ stand in town and he sold out,” Revert said.