The Pahrump Nugget 250 was won by a well-known name in the racing circuit.
Trick Truck Division racer Jason Voss, three-time winner of the Vegas to Reno Race, finished first on Saturday in under four hours (3:53.17) in the final race of the season, according to unofficial results from the Best in the Desert Racing Association.
Voss was also welcomed at the finish line as winner of the 2017 championship for 2017 for Best in the Desert.
Voss was already in the lead in his class before running in the Pahrump Nugget 250 at 534 points for the season. He was trailed by Adam Householder, who had 488 points for the 2017 season.
Voss’ race went well, though he encountered a short delay after losing his exhaust on one side of the truck after pit stop five, he said at the finish line on race day on Dec. 2. The finish line was at the southeast corner of the parking lot at the Pahrump Nugget—which was the event’s sponsor. The race was presented by Polaris.
“We just had to get out and change it, and we were up and going,” Voss said. “It was great. Our pit crew did awesome. We were out of our pit in no time…”
The second-best time of the day was set by Harley Letner from team Youtheory (4:01.06), in the 1500 division, making him No. 1 in his class.
Third place went to another Trick Truck Division driver, Ryan Poelman (4:03.01), according to the unofficial results from Best in the Desert. Poelman scored second place in the Trick Truck Division.
Overall, there were over 100 entrants in the Pahrump Nugget 250.
Donald Jackson, operations manager at Best in the Desert Racing Association, said the turnout was good, but it was a little down this year.
“We’re down a little bit this year because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000,” he said.
With the race being three weeks prior to the race in Pahrump, some racers could have found it challenging to be ready on time, making the necessary repairs to put their vehicles back in race form, he said.
Jackson was expecting about 550 people with drivers and crew members to make it to Pahrump, along with an additional 1,000 people for support crews. About 1,500 spectators were also expected to show up to the Pahrump Nugget area and viewing areas along the course, bringing the total rise in visitors to over 3,000.
Dozens of cars, trucks and UTVs lined up for race day on Dec. 2 and followed a police escort to the beginning of the race in Johnnie. Racers passed through parts of Amargosa Valley and near Yucca Mountain.
Drivers battled it out to be the champion of that race, across several divisions, and the end-of-the year championship spots. To win a championship spot, Jackson said drivers had to run every race during the year, including the Pahrump race. It is the sixth for cars and trucks and the seventh for UTVs.
Some of the cars and trucks in the race can range up to $750,000 in cost, with UTVs ranging from about $110,000, according to Jackson.
Spectators who took a trip to a turnoff off U.S. Highway 95, between Beatty and Amargosa Valley, got to see the race in full form, with vehicles blazing through the desert landscape.
The seasonal championship winners for Best in the Desert are going to be honored in mid-December at Sunset Station in Henderson.
This is the second year of the race’s return to the area. It started in Pahrump in the late 1990s with the last race being in 2007. That was until its re-emergence in 2016.
The race moved out to Primm during its hiatus from Pahrump, under the discretion of the Herbst family, who is the owner of the Terrible’s gas stations and oil and lube centers in Nevada. The family has been a major sponsor of the event.
At one time, the family-owned Gold Town (then known as Terrible’s Town), along with other gaming properties in Pahrump.
After the family purchased multiple properties in Primm, which had roughly 1,000 hotel rooms, they wanted to move it to that area, Jackson said.
The Herbst family later lost its Primm properties, the Primm Valley Resort, Whiskey Pete’s and Buffalo Bill’s, in bankruptcy at the end of 2010, along with a dozen other properties in Nevada, Iowa and Missouri.
The family came back to gaming in Pahrump in 2014 by purchasing an interest in what was once the Mountain View Casino at 1750 Pahrump Valley Blvd. The property is now known as Terrible’s Road House Casino.
The Pahrump Nugget is the sponsor of the Pahrump 250, Jackson said.
The race returns next year to Pahrump from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.
For more information, head to Best in the Desert’s website at bitd.com or give them a call at 702-457-5775.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes