Messer Wins the Infamous Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race
San Diego, CA – The Best in the Desert, General Tire “Vegas to Reno” event is the longest off-road race in America. Competitors are lucky just to finish the course that travels 534 miles through the tough desert terrain and twisty mountain trails of Northern Nevada. For the Trophylite field, the tough nature of the course was quickly forgotten as a battle between the lead trucks ensued at the drop of the green flag. For the second race in a row defending champions Troy and Gary Messer in the #6001 and veteran driver, PJ Jones in Curt Pottsâ€™ #6098 clashed continuously. The two teams swapped the lead back and forth for over twelve hours.
When the dust settled it was the Troy and Gary Messer over PJ Jones in a reversal of the finishing order from the previous Silver State 300 race. â€œWhat a race!â€ said Troy Messer, â€œPJ is a great competitor. We came out on top this time, but it wasnâ€™t easy. We pushed real hard causing our Trophylite to get hot so we had to back off for a while and just follow PJ. While in his dust, we went off into a ditch, tearing up the side of the body and pinching the exhaust pipe. We pulled the crushed pipe off which made it really loud in the cab. I was not wearing ear buds so I had a hard time hearing my co-driver Rodney (Honberger).Â PJ got by us a couple of times but we passed him back. This was our first race on the red letter, General Grabbers; they worked great. Our Fox Racing Shox and Maxima Racing Shock Fluid worked great also, we were hitting everything hard all day long.â€
PJ Jones echoed Troyâ€™s sentiments. â€œWe had a great battle going,â€ said PJ, â€œWe were within a minute or two all day. We started two minutes back but quickly began going back and forth for the lead. We got out front, but couldnâ€™t get away. It was so competitive, we had to be perfect in the pits and make no mistakes out on the course. We gave it our all but fell off the pace at the end; I guess they owed us one after we beat them at the Silver State. I have to thank Curt (Potts) for giving me the chance to drive his car. Racing the Trophylite has been a real thrill for me.â€
Brian Antle rounded out the podium in third, a great result for him having overcome several issues during the race and putting to rest a disheartening stretch of DNFâ€™s. He drove solo the entire race with some great co-driving support from David Scaroni and Caleb Gaddis. They suffered some vapor-lock issues in the heat and had to drive 40 miles without the aid of power steering. After swapping the pump, they were charging towards the leaders, waiting to strike if anyone faltered. â€œWe had a little bit of everything,â€ said Brian, â€œIt was a race of extremes. It was hot and dusty at the start and then we were rained on in the mountains. It felt great to make it to the finish. We were banging doors with the Abatti team all day and then they loaned us the power steering pump we needed to finish. Hatâ€™s off to those guys, they are a class act.â€ Congratulations to these top finishers. They all qualify for the Maxima Racing Oils, â€œPerformance Autoâ€ bonus for this race.
PJâ€™s inability to get away from Troy might have been due to the same issue Jim Riley and Rick L. Johnson had in the Azunia Tequila, Trophylite R8, silt in the filters. They had no choice but to stop and clean them on the course, dropping them back in the field. They got back underway but overtaking the cars that passed them lead to even more silt in the filters and more time cleaning. Their 5.0 liter Ford Coyote motor, which hasnâ€™t skipped a beat in well over 3000 race miles, still needs air to breathe. When the filters were clear, the motor was purring thanks to the special MS-93 blend ofÂ VP Racing Fuel they were running. MS-93 is formulated for hot temperatures and higher altitudes. â€œThe silt got the best of us this race but at least we finished,â€ said Jim Riley, â€œIt was good to have some competition from the Camburg team. Weâ€™ve been working hard to build this class and their results against the rest of the field speaks well about the concept. Congratulations to them.â€ This was the Azunia Tequila R8â€™s first race on a new Currie rear axle housing which performed flawlessly. The Currie housing uses Camburg hubs and TCS axles turning a 10-inch ring gear. The extra stout rearend is just the thing needed for plowing through the deep silt.
V2R was the first race for the Stewart Raceworks built Trophylite chassis constructed for Charles Currie. Charlie and co-driver Taylor Hurst overcame some early trouble and were running smoothly when they were bitten by plain rotten luck. They noticed a faster truck coming from behind so they moved over to let them pass. Even with the KC Hilites carbon fiber pods turning night into day, a deep washout on the edge of the course was unseen until it was too late. They hit hard breaking the front suspension and causing the Trophylite to stand up on the front end. The truck behind was unable to slow in time and actually hit them in the rear housing causing damage to the rear wheel and caliper. â€œItâ€™s kind of crazy,â€ said Charlie, â€œWe had fiberglass stuck on the third member skidplate. Iâ€™m not blaming the other truck, we stopped so abruptly, but we were done after that. All we were trying to do was get out of the way when the edge of the course just disappeared. The truck had to be dragged off the course but we are both safe and Craig (Stewart Raceworks) will have it fixed in no time. We might run the SCORE Baja 1000 and the BITD Henderson race. Next year weâ€™ll be running the whole season and hopefully doing well in the points chase.â€
The next race on the Trophylite schedule is the BlueWater Desert Challenge. A spectator friendly two-day event held October 13 & 14 in Parker, Arizona. Trophylite competitors will duke it out in the deep sand and twisty â€œpythonâ€ section of the Parker course; just a stoneâ€™s throw away from the Colorado river. Donâ€™t miss it!Â Â For more details visitÂ www.bitd.comÂ
The teams were using Maxima Racing Oils performance base lubrication in their Trophylites to keep up with the high temperatures and extreme conditions they faced. Maxima Racing Oils recently partnered with Trophylite as the â€œOfficial Oilâ€ of the series and has posted a â€œMaxima Performance Autoâ€ bonus for the teams to kick off their new line of Performance Auto fluids made specifically for racing applications.Posted in Maxima News