2017 Race-Dezert BITD Laughlin Desert Classic Coverage
The Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic presented by Canidae Tap is by far one of the funnest races of the year. It’s a different format, easy to spectate, and has two days of racing for all classes, making the fun to work ratio tilt all the way to the fun side. It’s the perfect race to bring friends and family to enjoy the door to door battling in the infield and watch the competitors jump off the famed “Laughlin Leap” every lap.
Up for grabs are these three great awards from Method Race Wheels for the fastest overall qualifier, Casey’s Crossing biggest jump and the hard charger award to the person who fights his/her way to the finish line despite any setbacks during the race.
Last year, the inaugural Best in the Desert Laughlin Desert Classic was a huge hit. Josh Daniel took overall in a dominant performance over the two days of sprint racing through the rough Nevada desert. In the UTV class, Marc Burnett managed to take it against a deep field of UTV competitors. Jared Teague captured his first Class 10 win and over 200 teams of racers battled it out in front of thousands of spectators for class wins and bragging rights.
This year, the infamous road crossing is named “Casey’s Crossing” in honor of recently passed Best in the Desert founder and off-road luminary Casey Folks. A fitting tribute to a man whose influence will be felt for years to come. Method Race Wheels created a “Casey’s Crossing” custom hand painted Pro-Eagle Jack trophy for the racer who jumps the biggest over the road crossing.
Qualifying well is going to be critical as the course is known to be dusty, as seen at the UTV World Championship last month. In this four lap all out sprint style short course desert race, starting position will be an advantage to the stacked field of competitors throwing down on the loose sandy decomposed granite course that deteriorates quickly into chatter bumps, whoops and giant holes. Method Race Wheels stepped up and built this custom hand painted Method Wheel trophy to the fastest qualifier.
Class 10 killer Keith Waibel looks to add another win against the field of sixteen Class 10 cars. Todd Jackson will be battling thirteen Trophylite trucks in an effort to carry his winning streak from The Mint 400 earlier this year. In the Unlimited Truck class, twenty seven entries including current champion and points leader Jason Voss are in the mix with Voss, Justin Matney, Lalo Laguna, Cameron Steele, Eduardo Laguna, Adam Householder, Steve Olliges, Anthony Terzo, John Angal, and Danny Ebberts to name a few.
TT killer Harley Letner leads the field in Class 1. Last year he qualified first in front of all the Unlimited Trucks. Let’s see if he will put on repeat performance of his wild on-the-chip driving style. Other standouts in the eleven entries in Class 1 include Sam Baldi, Travis Chase, Pat Dean, and Sam Berri.
The 6100 class has exploded in growth in recent years, allowing racers to get an unlimited truck racing experience in a truck that has a bit more manageable horsepower. With twenty two entries, this class is truly up for grabs. Jonathan Swift is coming off big win at this years Mint 400 and unlike much of the class, Swift has a history in off-road racing with experience in multiple classes of vehicles. However the 6100 field is stacked with staples including Steve Croll, Nick Mills, Bobby Pecoy, Chad Hall, Jordan Brenthel, Jim Riley and hometown hero Matt Laughlin, whose grandfather Don Laughlin was the sponsor of the very first race here in Laughlin in 1975.
As a way of recognizing the limited classes which comprise the backbone of off-road racing culture, Method Race wheels has created the “Hard Charger” award for the racer who just won’t give up and fights his/her way to the finish line despite all odds. The “Hard Charger” will get this custom hand painted Pro-Eagle Jack trophy in recognition of their spirit of perseverance a tenement of off-road racing verbalized by the late Corky McMillin, “Never, ever quit whatever you’re doin’ in life.”
Justin Matney will be piloting his RPM Off-Road 4-Wheel Drive Geiser built Unlimited Truck, which if it can survive the rough Laughlin course it could be an obvious choice for the overall on a course like this. Last years winner Josh Daniel won in his twin turbo 1000+ horsepower truck, proving that sometimes taking the risk of applying new technology is worth it. This is an unlimited class, so if you can dream it up and make it live, you can use it. However, a 4-wheel drive unlimited truck is not a new idea. The Herbst, Alan Pflueger and numerous others have tried and opted back to the traditional proven two wheel drive system. With one significant win under his belt at Parker, Matney holds the keys to desert off-road racing evolution. Regardless of what happens it will undoubtedly be fun to watch with lots of drama!
The three days of events kicks off Thursday, May 11th at 11:45 with Time Trials, followed by the Parade of Champions at 4:15 PM and the Method Race Wheels Racer BBQ at 6:00pm in the main pit area.
If you want to get up close and personal with the course you can enter the family fun poker run Friday, May 12th at 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM in the Main Parking area at Method Race Wheels Tent.
Contingency will take place all day Friday, May 12th in the parking lot of the Tropicana Hotel & Casino. Free to the public, come check out the latest off-road related products for your race vehicles, street vehicles, bikes, and UTV’s.
Racing starts Saturday morning at 6:00am and goes all day. The schedule repeats on Sunday with racing kicking off at 6:00am. Bring your friends and family out to watch some great off-road racing! Spectating is free and parking is only $5 which goes to local charity.
About Method Race Wheels
Method Race Wheels designs, develops and distributes high performance wheels and accessories for race and street applications. These products represent our commitment to quality, driven by the high standards of performance.
As racing enthusiasts and participants, we are driven to look beyond conventional ideas of industry standards. Engineering, rigorous testing, data collection and proven performance redefines what is possible in the creation of our wheels and accessories. The application of our race knowledge separates us from other wheel companies.
Method Race Wheels is committed to bring you the finest quality products with the most complete line-up of off road race wheels for trucks, buggies, rock crawlers, short course, rally, and UTV’s, as well as street wheels for truck, Jeep, and SUV applications. We pride ourselves on providing these products to our customers with fast and friendly service that you can count on.
Look for our banners, listen to our name, and watch our products in action. Method Race Wheels…Lighter. Stronger. Faster.
Race-Dezert.com was created by off-road enthusiasts, giving off-roaders a place online to share information about the sport and culture of off-road racing. Based in Southern California, Race-Dezert.com highlights the off-road disciplines of desert racing, short course off-road, stadium truck racing, rally raid, rally racing and rock crawling.
Our goal is to connect the world of off-road racing globally, bringing people together through the common denominator of off-road culture. Whether you are a racer, a promoter, a chase team member, a casual fan, or just interested in learning about off-road, Race-Dezert.com is a place where you can learn about the sport and culture of off-road racing.