Everyone knew going into the 2018 running of Best in the Desert’s General Tire “Vegas to Reno” presented by Fox that this event would be exciting, but nobody anticipated just how intense the competition would be. “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States” brought some of the some of the biggest names in the sport, like Bryce Menzies, Andy McMillin, Justin Matney, Rob MacCachren, Johhny Angal and Jason Voss, into a battle for the lead. In the end, it came down to the final 25 miles of the event where mechanical issues, flat tires and pure racing skill all combined to determine the final outcome.
Johnny Angal was coming on strong, but four-time Vegas to Reno winner Jason Voss crossed the finish line physically in first. However, Voss owed Angal 7 minutes on corrected time due to the start differential. While Voss waited anxiously, the #63 Trick Truck of Johnny Angal appeared seemingly from nowhere, crossing the finish line with 56 seconds to spare! With an overall elapsed time of 8:18:31, Johnny Angal and co-pilot Jesse Jones captured their first ever “Vegas to Reno” overall win.
359 teams started this epic race, a new record for Best in the Desert “Vegas to Reno.” Entries for the event have grown throughout 2018. Over 100 journalists covered the race, with Lucas Oil Productions covering the event for the official broadcast to be seen later in the year.
The overall motorcycle win also came down to a very tight battle, with the Yamaha-mounted team of Jacob Argubright and Max Eddy Jr. taking home the win just ahead of the Honda-riding Cooper Motorsports team of Brody Honea, Ross Neely and Justin Wallis, a mere 1:50 seconds behind on corrected time. Argubright and Eddy’s winning time was 8:36:16, making this the first Vegas to Reno win for both riders: Argubright in his third attempt and Eddy in his fifteenth.
Following the trend of ultra-tight racing, the Quad Expert class was won by just 37 seconds, with the Marc Choquette team beating the Patty Blais led team by the slimmest of margins and taking home the season series championship as well. Other motorcycle and quad class winners include Quad Pro winner Erin Simmons and Open Expert Class winner Ryan Parriera.
In the ever-growing UTV classes, Phil Burton backed up his 2017 class win, claiming top honors in UTV Turbo Production class. Meanwhile, Nick Mills won Class 6100 and Brian Parkhouse topped Class 1500.
IDENTICAL TIME TRIALS TIMES
For the first time ever, two racers finished with identical times, down to the hundredths. #6124 P.J. Guglielmo and #6173 Jordan Brenthel both had identical times of 4:06.728. In true Las Vegas style, the starting order was decided by a flip of a coin. Brenthel won the toss and started before Guglielmo. At the end of the race, Guglielmo finished 11th, while Brenthel finished 18th.
2019 “VEGAS TO RENO” NEW NAME
At the driver’s meeting, Daryl Folks, co-owner of Best in the Desert, announced that the 2019 “Vegas to Reno” would now be known as the General Tire Casey Folks Memorial “Vegas to Reno” presented by FOX, paying homage to Best in the Desert’s founder. Twenty-two years ago, Casey created the “Vegas to Reno” event, and Bryan and Daryl Folks, Casey’s sons, wanted to make this epic race the main event that carried his name.
Casey was also honored at the driver’s meeting by the State of Nevada with a special proclamation made and presented by Assemblyman Jim Marchant. The proclamation stated that “Casey E. Folks, Jr. will long be remembered as a dedicated partner and husband, inspirational fat
For all results on this event, or to learn more, visit the official website of Best in the Desert!