The much-anticipated 2013 HDRA race season got underway with a thriller at the South Point Vegas 250 outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The frigid air on race morning did nothing to cool off the heated racing that took place out on the 62 mile long course. The course covered sandy washes, high-speed open desert and rocky mountain passes. The challenging layout had a little bit of everything to test drivers across the spectrum from the UTV’s to the blazing fast Trophy Trucks and unlimited Class one cars.
The fastest truck at the finish was Cameron Steele who took his Yokohama, Monster Energy, Lucas Oil Trophy Truck to the overall race victory. “My co-driver Tom Geviss and I knew we were going to be running a crazy fast pace,” said Cameron Steele, “We started on the first row next to the reigning HDRA Trophy Truck champ Ruben Ledezema and had BJ Baldwin and Brandon Arthur right behind in row two. We got out front on lap one and kept it on the pipe as the crew gave us constant updates, we knew BJ and the rest would be charging. We had a truck capable of running a torrid pace all day but when we were told BJ had mechanical problems, we backed off a little on the last lap. It was a great day in the desert for our team.
We are proud to bring home a victory for our sponsors and all our supporters who believe in us. We are looking forward to the next HDRA race in Ridgecrest; we’ve done well there. We raced the Trophy Truck in Ridgecrest in ’09 I think. We won a championship that year so we can’t wait to go back.”
BJ Baldwin had the lead on corrected time until a third member let go at the end of lap three and Brandon Arthur suffered mechanical issues that dropped him back in the field but the rest of the Trophy Trucks dominated the race out front taking the top five overall. Tim Herbst came from tenth place on the grid in his Monster Energy truck to finish third overall passing his brother Troy who started ninth and ended up fifth. Justin Davis and Kyle LeDuc in their first race together drove their Green Army Motorsports truck to a fourth place finish. BJ Baldwin’s crew changed out the rear gears enabling him to finish in sixth place, ninth overall.
The first open wheeled car to cross the finish line was Class One winner Dustin Miller, (MD Motorsports, King Shocks, Fast Track Polaris) in sixth overall followed by the class’s next top finishers Richard Boyle (2nd) and Chad Dohrman in third. An impressive drive was put in by Class Ten winner Andrew Myers in his Toyota of Escondido, Action Sports, KRS Development, Alumi Craft who finished tenth overall ahead of several Trophy Trucks and Class ones.
Meyers, who started 7th was followed by Peter Hajas in second place and Christian Hall in third. Class 1600 is typically separated by mere seconds, sometimes less but Lucas Knecht smoked the rest of the field by over an hour averaging 49.3 mph! If this is a prelude to what we can expect from Lucas this year the rest of the field is in big trouble.
Ryan Frisby in Class 3000 put in a similar drive. He averaged 52 mph on four consistent laps to take the win over Allen Lee in second, 30 minutes back.
Reid Rutherford finished in third. In the 7200 class, Jon Lee, driving a brand new Brenthel Industries truck, put down four fast laps to finish first but was later disqualified in post-race inspection for being too wide. The win went to Al Hogan who was followed by Steve Kovach and Robert Ford. The defending champion Josh Quintero had problems on the first two laps and was unable to come back despite being fast at the end.
The course was hit or miss for many of the classes. Out of 80 starters, 36 did not finish (DNF). That’s a finishing rate of 54%. Class 1900 (UTV’s) had one finisher, Douglas McCrady. Donald Harper took the victory in 5/1600, Justin Fisher won 7S, Jon Largent won the Baja Challenge, Sean Malabanan finished all three laps to win Class 9 and Robert Roglin won Stock Full but Classes 8 and 800 had no finishers at all.
Class 1400 was won by Eric Ludian who beat Steven Mann, the only other finisher in the class. “Our race went really well for us,” said Eric Ludian, “We had a fresh engine from Sureway Machine in Kingman Arizona and our work on the front suspension over the break had the truck handling great. We built a solid lead on lap one and then kept up that pace. We used a different strategy for this race; making all our stops at pit B. It allowed us to beat some of the congestion at main pit. We had no flats all day, in fact, since we started running General Tires and Method Race Wheels last season we haven’t had a single flat so far. This was the first race behind the wheel for my 18-year-old son, Hunter. He did a great job driving the truck to the finish on the last lap.”
Every racer who finished earned points towards the HDRA championship and the World Championship of Desert Racing if they choose to complete the necessary races. HDRA put on another great event for the racers and the fans by providing highly competitive racing on a challenging course. The next stop will be in Ridgecrest, California April 5-7. Ridgecrest is another location that provides a great mix of terrain and a picturesque backdrop that is a favorite of photographers, racers and fans. Many times, nearly the whole town shows up to watch. Make plans to join us!
South Point Vegas 250 Class Winners
Cameron Steele – Trophy Truck (Overall Winner)
Dustin Miller – Class 1
Andrew Myers – Class 10
Lucas Knecht – Class 1600
Ryan Frisby – Class 3000
Donald Harper – Class 5/1600
Al Hogan – Class 7
Justin Fisher – Class 7S
Robert Roglin – Stock Full
Douglas McCrady – Stock UTV
Sean Malabanan – Class 9
Eric Ludian – 1400 Sportsman Unlimited Truck
Jon Largen – Baja Challenge
Visit www.hdrarace.com for more information and full results.
Race Photos By: Brian Binkert
Bink Designs – www.binkdesigns.com
Finish Photo By: Art Eugenio
Get Some Photo – www.getsomephoto.com