One of the best things about The Best in the Desert race series is that racers have to qualify for start position. No draw of the hat. No spin the wheel. No start by points. No roulette contest. Racers come out and put down their best effort in one of Casey Folk’s notoriously wicked qualifying courses. The result is the fast guys start in front and everybody else is left in their dust, that is until their driving talent or their vehicles fail.
Some times a racer will qualify well and stay up front the entire race, but is rare. This years qualifying course had a solid mix of fast straight aways, silty corners, rock washes, whoops, giant g-outs, and massive jumps. Pretty much everything you can throw in three miles that allows vehicles to live through it. With over 300 starters qualifying is critical, the opportunity for clean air means you can drive flat out, and their are sections in this course that the unlimited classes will reach their top speeds and hold it pinned for what seems like forever.
During qualifying a lot of guys looked fast. Rob MacCachren, Sam Berri, Chad Ragland, Chuck Hovey, Greg Nunley, The Herbst, Chris Kemp, Harley Letner all looked great. Yet even in three miles there is always drama. Roll-overs, mechanical failures, and flats are an unavoidable part of off-road racing. BJ Baldwin suffered a flat. Robby Gordon Lost power steering. Which means they will start in back. However, do not count them out. Its a long race
Once again Las Vegas native Rob MacCachren proved that he is the best off-road driver in the world running a smooth fast time of 4:07.81, fifteen seconds faster than the nearest competitor!
The Top Ten qualifiers are:
1. Rob MacCachren/Steve Sourapas
2. Harley Letner
3. Tim Herbst/Larry Roeseler
4. Greg Nunley
5. Jason Voss
6. Troy Herbst/Ryan Arciero
7. Chuck Hovey
8. Chris Kemp
9. Richard Boyle
10. Pat Dean