Huntington Beach, CA – BITD’s Vegas to Reno is one of the most challenging races of the season. It’s the longest off-road race in the U.S. during the heat of the summer. It tests both man and machine to extreme limits. This year’s race was 550 miles through the toughest desert terrain starting in Beatty, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas and finishing in Dayton, Nevada near Reno.
Wednesday before the race, the Trick Truck’s and Unlimited buggies had their qualifying event 20 minutes north of Las Vegas at an undisclosed location. The field of over 60 vehicles set out to do a practice lap and then staged in the blistering sun. Camburg was 9th off the line and threw down a competitive lap time. Qualifiers are staggered every 1 minute, but a fellow competitor ahead blew an engine and was being towed off course which added 3-5 seconds to their overall time from the distraction. BITD officials gave the option to re-do the run but the team declined the opportunity as they felt they had a fast enough run to not have to beat up the truck more, when this race is the longest and most challenging. The #75 truck qualified 14th in class and 22nd overall.
Come race day the team staged in Beatty and the chase trucks headed out to their respective pits. Starting the race with Championship Winning Jerry Whelchel in the driver’s seat and Craig Hall as co-driver, they were off the line at 9:52 am. By mile 100 on corrected time, Camburg was in the top 10 overall and 8th in class and steadily moving forward. With a flawless race so far, Jerry stopped at Pit 5 for fuel. Quickly back under way they were to race speed and moving up positions as the General Grabber race tires we’re hooking up in the Nevada desert.
Coming into Pit 10 at Mina 359 miles into the race, the Camburg team was now 4th in position and 3rd on corrected time. Whelchel pulled into the pits for fuel and a possible driver change with Jerry Zaiden. Now sitting on a podium position it was decided to keep Whelchel in the seat as positions were only minutes apart. With a stellar pit stop they were back on course.
Just past Pit 13 according to live timing by Race-Dezert.com, Camburg was close to 1st place on corrected time. With nearly 80 miles to the finish the pace was slowed when the driveshaft met its fate on a huge rock. This dent caused a bad vibration over 80 mph, but with this section of the course being slow and twisty it was decided to drive through it as to stop and change it would add too much time with everyone still so close. Shortly after Pit 14 they got around another truck that was actually behind them on corrected time and hit a huge rock in dust that peeled the beadlock ring back and caused the tire to deflate. A portion of the tire then wrapped around the axle housing and brakes, thankfully it didn’t take out the brake lines. This is where time was lost and Camburg fell down a few positions. Still hoping for a strong finish, Whelchel charged to the finish line in the low light.
The #75 Camburg Racing Trick Truck crossed the finish line in 10hrs 18mn 49 sec placing 4th in class and 7th overall only minutes from the podium. Now sitting in 5th and only 17 points out of 1st for the year with two races to go, expect to see some great racing at Parker and Henderson.
Camburg would like to thank all their sponsors, team members and fellow racers for the opportunity to be racing in this elite class.
“Our team worked really hard coming into this race and to have a solid finish in one of the longest offroad races only solidifies the work and testing that was done. The truck was running up front all day long with no issues.” – Jerry Zaiden
“Testing a week before, I knew we’d have a great race. Camburg has put together a truck that handles extremely well and is very competitive. This race just proved that.” – Jerry Whelchel
For more information on Camburg products and race team involvement, check out their websites www.camburg.com & www.camburgracing.com or contact them directly.
| BAER Brakes | Eibach Springs | FOX Racing Shox | General Tire | IRC Tracking | Ironclad Gloves |
| KC HiLiTES | KMC Wheels | Lucas Oil | Magnaflow Exhaust | Monster Energy Drink | Scosche |
| Sparco | SUREFIRE | Turn Key Engines | VP Fuels |
Photos by: High Rev Photography, Mad Media & Camburg Engineering