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New to desert

Hey guys, so I come from a history of racing short course utv’s in the Midwest such as the Lucas oil series. Recently moved out west and have always wanted to get into desert racing especially the Vegas to Reno (I like to tackle the harder things in life lol) my question is, what’s your guys’ advice for jumping right into it? I’m no novice when it come to racing but I am when it come to desert racing. Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Curtis Guise

Administrator
Hey guys, so I come from a history of racing short course utv’s in the Midwest such as the Lucas oil series. Recently moved out west and have always wanted to get into desert racing especially the Vegas to Reno (I like to tackle the harder things in life lol) my question is, what’s your guys’ advice for jumping right into it? I’m no novice when it come to racing but I am when it come to desert racing. Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Do you still have a UTV you raced in short course? I'm not sure how much different they are setup from short course to desert racing but maybe you can make the changes and enter one of the smaller series that has UTV classes to try it out. Or check with some teams and see if they need help pitting or chasing first before entering a race.
 
Do you still have a UTV you raced in short course? I'm not sure how much different they are setup from short course to desert racing but maybe you can make the changes and enter one of the smaller series that has UTV classes to try it out. Or check with some teams and see if they need help pitting or chasing first before entering a race.
I sold it before moving out west, I had a yxz set up for short course and they are set up much different, very short cage with the drivers seat very low leaving no room for a passenger, shorter stroke suspension. Here’s a pic for reference.
 

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450grl

Well-Known Member
Short-course and desert racing are two completely different animals. Setup is different, how you prepare for the race is different, the budget is WAY different, and how you approach and drive throughout the race is different. Short course is a sprint - you are battling other cars, and setup and tuning are everything. Desert racing is more about keeping your equipment at 100% while going as fast as you can in the dust and not making any mistakes that will cost you. Logistically, you will need pit support, chase trucks, a good co-driver, a good radio setup, a crew and a plan. I would suggest looking up the rules of whatever race series you want to race in, because usually there are a lot more tech and safety requirements for desert racing than short-course as well. The good news is.....the best way to learn is to talk to some desert racers, build vehicle to go race in, and go do it. Experience is a great teacher, and if you race a smart, clean, problem free race your chances at a top 10 finish in the UTV classes is usually pretty good. I started desert racing years ago with a loop race - the Parker 250. That way I didn't need to invest in the chase stuff......I just needed someone at the remote pit with gas can (did great that year, too)! Local desert races (loop races) are also a great place to get your feet wet.

We did race the Vegas to Reno a couple years ago with just one chase truck - it was difficult because that truck had to race us to every pit, and sometimes they missed us. Two is a minimum I'd say to be able to make all of your pits. Exciting though!

Anyway, this topic is way to big to cover on a post on a forum.....go to some races, talk to some racers, read through your rulebook of choice, and have at it!
 

kyle_pc_75

Well-Known Member
Where are you located? There are lots of races all year all over the West to check out. Best way to get involved is to show up and talk to people.
 

Charlietuna

Well-Known Member
If you want to get your toes wet first, maybe look at the AMA District races. They’re typically shorter (~100 miles) but on some fairly technical courses. Less support needed, less money all around. Good luck.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
another thing to remember in the desert environment, is there are No flaggers/ cornerworkers, your flying up& over a blind rise, then all of the sudden a truck on its side blocking the course,the Only warning flag in the desert is that little feeling in your gut, closed short course you are wfo banging bars, the corner worker will warn you of a hazard ,but out in the middle of nowhere at3am after you have been driving for 10 plus hrs can be quite, hmmm, 'spiritual', main thing is approach desert racing in steps, dont go all RG your first time at plaster city, i did and found the first rain rutt and promptly got divided from my bike....
 

green787

Well-Known Member
I'm one of the few that have raced the same truck in the Desert AND on Short Coarse... I should post the videos.... :D
Just get strapped into any race car or truck or buggy, or UTVeeeee... and try to beat the guy directly in front of you....
I guarantee you'll have fun.....
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
i don't mean to be Mr.grammar police but you spelled course wrong 😉
 

BajaFand

Well-Known Member
I would say if you are trying to race V2R this year and don’t have a car and have no equipment at the moment then maybe the best idea is to get hooked up with another team and contribute some money and share driving time. Drive a portion or half of the race in a car that’s hopefully been developed with a team that already has the resources for chasing and running pits.

Building a desert car from scratch in 5 months to be ready to test and race will be an overwhelming task. Even if you bought a well built car right now it’s still a big financial investment to get all of the spare tires and parts you need as well as chase trucks and put equipment plus the people to come volunteer to help you. It can definitely be done, not trying to discourage you. It’s been done plenty of times before, it’s just a heavy task for a “new guy” without any equipment or experience yet.
 
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