A Story In Photos
Words: Brandon Bunch
Photos: HighRev Photo, GETSOMEphoto, Bink Designs, and Brandon Bunch
Hot, dry, dusty, silty, smooth and fast, rough, rocky and slow, dusty, dusty, dusty, rainy, slick and muddy, dark and cold, heartbreak and triumph. It’s not often that you can use all of these words to describe a race. But when you’re talking about Vegas To Reno, it all makes perfect sense. Traveling from the driest desert valleys up into the mountainous farmland just south of Reno, NV, racers cover 514 miles as they zig zag through arid mining towns and mysterious military bases in a bid to be the fastest survivor of America’s longest single day off-road race.
The fastest driver of the day, Phil Blurton, kept his No Limit RD Can-Am Maverick X3 in one piece and made it to the finish line in an elapsed time of nine hours, fifty two minutes, and twenty six seconds through a course that took lines in 2020 that had not been run in years. Phil, along with many others, shared the frustration of starting with an improper car set-up that caused valuable time lost in the pits. Mitch Guthrie Jr. took advantage of the situation and set a blistering pace in his Red Bull Polaris RZR XP Turbo S to get out front, physically in first place for much of the race… Then the lights went out. An electrical problem caused by the rain, mud and standing water killed Guthrie Jr’s forward lighting, forcing him to slow his pace in the dark (driving with the flashlight on his battery jump starter) and give the lead back to Blurton in the final miles of the race while settling for a hard-earned second place.
While disaster struck for Red Bull, Polaris, and Guthrie Jr. in the UTV Turbo class, the young racing prodigy Seth Quintero repeated last year’s performance by taking another V2R win in the UTV Production class. Speed and consistency are key to being a successful championship racer, and Seth is proving to have a firm grasp on both of those attributes. It must only be a matter of time before he takes his fight to the top UTV Turbo contenders… Second place went to Kolton Hustead in his Textron Wildcat XX and third was taken by the Ironwoman herself, Kristen Matlock, behind the wheel of her Polaris RZR XP 1000. Polaris had even more to celebrate as Wes Miller took the UTV Unlimited win with his RZR XP Turbo S, while Josh Shelton and Randy Raschein took second and third respectively in their Can-Am Maverick X3’s.
Best In The Desert may actually deserve the biggest congratulations of all for rolling with the punches and making this race happen, and we’re extremely thankful for all of the hardworking staff. We can’t wait to see you all at the next one. Until then, enjoy the photos. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.