Randy Merritt and Tracy Rubio won the 2013 Best In The Desert Racing Association’s Vegas to Reno billed as the “Longest Off-Road Race in the United States.” What makes this even more remarkable is this is their 3rd consecutive class win at this event in 2 different classes. Randy and Tracy teamed up in 2011 for this event in Randy’s 2011 Class 8100 ECO Boost powered F-150 built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Fab in Kingman, Arizona and then they returned in 2012 in Randy’s new Class 7200 Unlimited also built by Tracy Rubio at TNC Machine and they drove it to their 1st Class win.
Randy was looking forward to the 2013 Vegas to Reno with anticipation, knowing that most of his team was unchanged and the truck was ready. Since the 2012 BITD Vegas to Reno, Randy has only missed finishing in the top 2 in class twice.
The 2013 BITD Vegas to Reno was 545 miles of the fastest and roughest terrain in the south west; pitting man and machine against Mother Nature. The Class 7200 unlimited trucks started the day fourth class off the starting line near Beatty Nevada. Tracy Rubio started the race at 10:29 am on Friday August 16, 2013 for Mongo Racing with Chris Golding sitting in the Navigator’s seat of the number 7281 KC HiLiTes General Tire truck. Tracy and Chris were the 6th truck in class to leave the start line.
After changing a tire at Race Mile 17, Tracy and Chris had fallen from 6th in class to last and was now in the dust of the Class 1000 cars as they charged to make up for lost time. Tracy stopped the KC HiLiTes General Tire truck at pit one for a replacement tire and a splash of fuel before returning to the track now 14 minutes behind the leader.
Tracy began picking off cars and trucks and by Race Mile 176 had raced up to 4th position in Class 7200. By Race Mile 281 Tracy was in second place and only 10 minutes behind the Class 7200 leader when he turned the truck over to Randy, with RD Miner in the Navigator’s seat.
Once in the truck the goal was to cross the finish line first as Randy left pit 8 on a mission.
Randy made a stop for Fuel in Gabbs Nevada and advised the crew he was experiencing power steering problems. Randy told the crew he had power steering assist to the right, but had no assist when turning left. After assessing the situation the crew told Randy he would have to race without power steering and Randy left the pit charging hard to catch the leader.
At Race Mile 443 Randy took the Class 7200 lead as he passed the leader on the side of the course; another truck that had fallen victim to this long race course.
The Crew advised Randy he had a 15 mile lead on second and encouraged Randy to keep up the pace. Randy responded by keeping the gap going into last 20 miles of the 545 mile race.” The last 20 miles are mountain roads and hard to navigate with power steering, so we had to slow down and race smart. We also knew the truck in second place had to pass us and put minutes on us for the win, which is hard to do on these narrow roads at night,” said Randy.
At the finish line the Mongo Racing Crew sat excitingly, anticipating Randy and R.D. to cross the finish line in first place now with a 9 mile lead on the second place Class 7200 truck.
At 8:58 pm Randy won the 2013 Las Vegas to Reno for the 3rd straight year and his 4th BITD class wins since turning professional.
On the podium Randy Thanked his crew and sponsors and said he believed this race was won in the shop as they only stopped for fuel and one tire.
After the race Tracy said the flat tire was his fault as he got a little impatient trying to make a pass and hit one of the biggest rocks in the desert. Tracy added the truck ran great the rest of the day.
The Mongo Racing Class 7200 Unlimited Ford number 7281 is sponsored by KC HiLiTes, General Tires, TNC Machine, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Trail Ready Bead Lock Wheels, Kincaid Racing Engines, Yukon, Wilwood, Currie Enterprises, Pro AM, EBC Brakes, Master Craft Safety Innovations, F&L Fuel, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, McQueen’s Prototype Designs, Borla Exhaust, MSD Ignition, and FK Rod Ends.
Visit www.mongoracing.com for additional information about the team and sponsorship opportunity.