Over 500 miles of hot and dusty terrain was no match for Quad75Dezert. Two of their three teams finished the race; one team getting a podium position and a top 10 position overall! The Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno had a record number of entries this year, leaving competitors with “no rock unturned” in their preparations. Several champion riders came out to compete as well as veterans of the sport. Quads had 27 total entries and the top two quads finished within the top 10 overall, getting 8th and 9th behind some of the fastest bikes.
Team 1 was originally going to consist of Jorie Williams and Brandon Brown. However a few days before the race, Williams got an infection in his mouth resulting in his wisdom teeth needing to be removed. On short notice, WORCS rider Garrin Fuller made the trip to compete with Brandon. Starting 7th off the line, the riders were in nearly the same order at the first pit, coming in one right after the other. Fuller took over the bike at the first pit and would meet Brown to change at the third pit. Between three and four a handful of riders took a wrong turn causing a pileup and leaving one dirt bike rider with two broken wrists. Brown managed to steer clear of the carnage, get back on the course and appeared first in the third pit where Fuller once again got on the bike at pit four. Unfortunately, Fuller took a wrong turn in the dust and lost several positions before getting back on course. He was sure not to make that mistake again and for the rest of the day rode exceptionally hard. For the next several hours of race day the first place, second place, and third place teams pitted less than a minute apart. After 534 miles of racecourse it came down to 20 seconds at the finish. The team of Danny Prather and Dave Scott finished a mere 20 seconds ahead of Brandon Brown and Garrin Fuller, putting both teams inside the top 10 motorcycles finishes at just over 10 hours and 30 minutes. Brandon and Garrin secured 2nd place for the ATV pro class, followed by Can-Am’s Frederick and Zimmerman in third.
“It was the dustiest race I have ever done! I had so much fun and am stoked that we finished as close as we did,” Garrin said after the race, “I came into this race not knowing one thing about desert racing and think for my first race we did pretty good! Glad Brandon gave me the opportunity and hope to do it again sometime!” We would like to thank Garrin’s sponsors for letting us borrow him for this race: Duncan Racing, Fatboy 4, Elka Suspension, Roll Design, DWT Tires and Wheels, Fasst Co. Flexx Handlebars, Smith Optics, GPR Stabilizers, Maxima Racing, Vortex Ignitions, Team ECC, RK Chains, Pro Design, TCS Motorsports and Hinson Racing.
Team 2 did not fare so well, however they got off to a promising start. Team 2 of Jamie Kirkpatrick and Kenny Sanford left second off the line behind Josh Row and held that position through the first few pits. Between 3 and 4 most of the field of leading quads and motorcycles took a wrong turn after course markers went mysteriously missing. Unfortunately this caused a crash in the dust and our own Kenny Sanford fell victim to it, as did Josh Row. Fortunately Sanford was safe and continued on course not far behind the leaders. By pit 5 Kirkpatrick and Sanford were leading the Pro ATV class and held on to the lead through pit 6. Unfortunately Team 2′s race bike had an electrical problem that stranded Sanford in the desert between 6 and 7; nearly halfway through the race. Jamie Kirkpatrick said, “The race was full of surprises, but we were able to position ourselves well until a mechanical failure left Kenny and our bike stranded, and we unfortunately could not get a finish out of it.” After several hot hours of troubleshooting, a sunburned Kenny Sanford was picked up by our support crew.
Team 3 consisted of husband and wife, Sean and Mary McHugh. The McHughs had been good friends of the team driving and chasing in Mexico for the past year. With our mechanic Kenny Sanford’s help, Sean and Mary prepped their race bike and took the plunge. They entered the Pro class as well, and left 4th off the line. Sean and Mary put their years of riding to use and managed to trade places between fourth and fifth all day. Unfortunately at the end of the day, Mary crashed hard just after getting on the bike at Pit 14. She was ejected into a rock patch, but the quad managed to land on its Maxxis tires, and a few painful kicks later she started the bike. A beat, bruised, and possibly broken Mary McHugh called her husband on the radio to meet her at Pit 15, and she limped the bike there slowly but surely. By the time Sean McHugh geared up and mounted the bike, the trophy trucks were beginning to stream by making conditions ever more dangerous. At approximately 7:43pm, Sean crossed the finish line, 7th in the Pro class. Team 3 made a huge effort and showed what kind of heart is needed to complete 500 miles of race course in the Nevada desert, beating several veteran desert racers even after a setback.
“We really couldn’t be more proud of all of our teams. This race isn’t easy even to start. We are thankful to our sponsors and friends who make this possible for us all. It’s the great combination of support we get that helps us get on the podium when we are competing against factory teams. We are looking forward to the 1000 now, and concentrating on winning that race so we can take home the championship,” Brandon Brown said via phone. The team would like to thank the volunteers who chased for them in Nevada: Tayler James, Alex Mininger, Dale Mininger, Ed Teixeira, Pete Antagnozzi, Jeff Bays, Nate LeClair, & Ken Sanford.
Quad75Dezert competes with the help of Tire Blocks, S&S Motorsports, Waterwell Developing and Surveys, KBH Construction, HB Jaeger, Maxxis, Fox, Klim, Teixeira Tech, HMF, Ryno Power, CBR, K&N Filters, UPP Racing, Fullbore Innovations, ProCaliber.com, HiPer Wheels, Pro Armor, TCS Motorsports, Spider Grips, Rekluse, Warn, Quadtech, Sunstar, Maxima Racing Oils, Precision Racing Products, Asterisk, Wiseco, 100%, Powermadd, IMS, We All Ride, Promoto Promotions, Trail Tech, Shorai Power, Hot Rod Fab, Dunetech Off-Road, Fusion Graphix, PitTraffic.com and Murray211.