It doesn’t seem like too long ago the desert community was wondering if there would even be desert racing in the states, and now we are nearing the end of the season. This past weekend Best In The Desert held their final race of the year out in Parker Arizona with the return of the Blue Water Desert Challenge.
The BWDC hasn’t been on the schedule since 2016 so when BITD announced their schedule for this year the racers were excited for its return. We came here earlier in the year for the Parker 425 but the BWDC is a different animal in that its two days of racing on a 24 mile race course so the pace is an all out sprint for 8 laps over the entire weekend.
Championships were also being decided this weekend in most classes with some being very tight such as Class 1500 and 6100 which only a few points separated drivers.
In the Trick Truck class day one started off with a scare as Jason Voss took a gnarly tumble off the start line jump having to get cut out of the truck and taken to the hospital. The off-road community got some good news later in the day as it was reported while suffering multiple injuries Voss would be expected to make a full recovery.
Fast qualifier Kyle Jergensen got out to an early lead taking advantage of clean air in what would become a giant dust bowl all day but would only make it a full lap before having to pull over in the python going out on his second lap, ultimately putting him out of the race.
Justin Lofton (who just barely missed running into Voss during his big crash) took over the physical lead and hammered down with his turn of no dust in front of him. With the delay of Voss’s crash the race was shortened to three laps so Lofton used the opportunity to try and put time on the rest of the field. He would manage to put about three minutes on the rest of the field for day one with Harley Letner driving the Concrete Motorsports truck coming across the finish line second on time.
Dust was a big factor on Saturday, with the course being shorter then years past the racers were bunched up even more on the 24 mile loop. Lofton took where he left off on Sunday starting the race first and putting down a fast pace but a flat tire would put him down a few positions after the second lap. Josh Daniels driving the RPM truck took over the physical lead followed closely by Kevin Thompson splitting driving duties with Letner.
On the last lap Jesse Jones racing his new Mason AWD truck and Lofton would both get around the #70 truck and make a push for Daniels but ran out of laps as Daniels would take the win for day two. Even though Lofton would finish third on Sunday the gap he put on everyone else the day before was enough to crown him the overall race winner as well as the Maxxis Tire Triple Crown winner for the season. Concrete would finish second overall for the race but capture the season points championship for the class.
The 6100 class had the closest points battle going into the weekend with Kyle Jergensen and Ray Griffith tied with 441 points and Troy Messer only one point behind them.
Jergensen also qualified first in 6100 so he would get clean air off the start but unlike the TT he would go all four laps and finish first close to 50 seconds ahead of Griffith. Messer would finish eighth for day one so he would need a miracle to win the points championship. Going into the last day it would come down to whoever finished ahead of the other person so Jergensen and Griffith were on a mission from the green flag.
Lap after lap Jergensen held the physical lead while Griffith stayed close behind in the dust followed by Dustin Grabowski and Andrew Meyers who wanted to join the party. The four of them played follow the leader the first three laps but going into the last lap Grabowski managed to get around Griffith hurting his chances of getting the championship. Grabowski made up enough time to win on time for day two but Jergensen squeaked out the overall win by 45 seconds and taking home the 6100 points championship for Brenthel Industries.
Class 1500 was close in points as well as Sam Berri, Brandon Bailey and Mike Frye were all very close. Berri would suffer a motor issue on the first lap of day one putting him out of the weekend so it came down to Bailey and Frye for the championships.
The overall win for the class went to Brad Wilson and Justin Munyon who along with the other Wilson Motorsports car came out to do some testing and have some fun. The 1553 car would finish 10th overall for the weekend and first in class.
The class 1000 championship went to Connor McMullen to not very many peoples surprise. The young gun finished the weekend with a time of 2 Hours and 42 Minutes which put him seventh overall in his heat that combined the 6100, 6200 and 1000 cars. The whole weekend he never got passed by a 6100 while doing the opposite and showing just how fast he is. Rumor is next year he will be in a 6200 car so he should be even faster.