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Vegas 2 Reno (the long way!)
Story and photos by Charlene Bower and Jon Crowley

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[ WEDNESDAY CONTINGENCY ] [ THURSDAY RACE DAY 1 ]
[ FRIDAY RACE DAY 2 ] [ SATURDAY RACE DAY 3 ]

Friday Race Day #2
Tonopah to Hawthorne, 367 miles

Where am I? I was woken up at 5:30am thinking that I was at Glamis on a holiday weekend with all of the four strokes firing in the impound. It was an awesome sound, and got my blood moving. My head started spinning from the day before and it was over…time to get online and get to work. Dang it…no Internet…story of my week so far!

My search for WiFi got me to the start line at 8am long before any of the car and truck class vehicles were even being staged. With no luck to acquire WiFi, I chatted with some people, and hung out until the starting grid came to the RedBull starting line. A very impressive line up. McMillian was first off the line and soon fell behind due to multiple flat tires.

As I walked down the line to catch my ride to Pit #3, I couldn’t help but take the time to interview each of the 4400 drivers along with Dana Zamalloa from General Tire, David Caspino 7286, Andy Waters 8111, Rob MacCachren 8011, Clive Skilton 3707, Bill Webor 5504 and Steve Weaver 52. I am not sure what the best descriptive word is about how good I feel that every single one of the 4400 class showed back up again for day 2. Yes, only 2 of the 11 finished day 1…but the other 9 pulled off miracles and made it back to the start line…some less than 10 hours later.

And the race was on… they pushed, pulled, fought, MacGyvered, welded, fire extinguished and all had a story to tell of Day 2, even the 4 that finished. There were great stories from the graveyard, but the one that just makes you want to puke is hearing that Dave Cole’s car burned from the front railings back. The seats, the tranny, the engine, the…“But it was faster than anybody for the second day in a row! If it was the Vegas to Reno 150, I would have won it hands down!” said Cole.

My continued search for WiFi sent me to pit 3, which ended up being on the other side of the highway. While waiting for the satellite to dial, I headed to the snake infested hills to take some more action shots of the cars and trucks enjoying another day in the desert. I GOT IT! The WiFi was up just long enough to allow me to get the pictures over and a couple of interviews uploaded then they had to move pits. I just decided that I was not prone to getting internet access this trip.

So I jumped back into UNITE Chase Truck 1 and off we went… To the parts store first, then to the pits. I really enjoyed getting to hop pit to pit seeing the guys come in and go out. It also allowed me to quickly get updates on the racers that were out there and the issues the cars were having. The sunset was around 7:30 and the race for “first” was hot. We hit the final pit at dark and waited for the cars to come in. The first place car 4461 took a long pit, but second place didn’t. We jumped into the trucks knowing that it was going to be a close race. And it was…all the way to the finish line!

Dave Cole and I jumped into Mulkeys Cherokee and rolled to the finish line that was almost 5 miles away from the camping area. We unfortunately didn’t get to see 4461 and 4488 cross the line, but they both boasted of a great race that day coming all the way to the end.

With the finish line behind us, now came the prep for tomorrow. The four qualifiers get only one hour in the work area and then have to be impounded into the field. All four cars made the necessary filter and fluid changes and mostly all small adjustments and changes to the car to line up tomorrow! There is one more competitor that will be on the line tomorrow…Jeff Knoll. He finished on Day 1, which qualifies him to start for the win tomorrow. He had some fuel line issues today, as the entire fuel system has plagued him and others due to the extreme heat of the week. It is 3:30am and they are still working on the car…exactly 5 hours before they have to line up for staging.

Needless to say, it was another great day in the desert. These desert racing rigs had a challenge set in front of them and tomorrow we will see the final 5 battle it out to see who will be the winner of the BITD Vegas to Reno race!

Finished 8/20
4461 – Ben Napier
4488 – Brandon Watson
4411 – Dean Bulloch
4435 – Kevin Sacalas (has completed two days)

Starting 8/21
4471 – Jeff Knoll
4461 – Ben Napier
4488 – Brandon Watson
4411 – Dean Bulloch
4435 – Kevin Sacalas (has completed two days)
BITD is also letting two DNF’s run the day for the experience:
4405: Travis Carpenter
4406: Rob Usnick

Live coverage replay is below (just click the "Replay" logo)