Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno run is the longest off – road race in the United States; creating quite a commotion amongst all who participate. This race is one of the most highly recognized and idolized races held. With over 450 miles of twisted terrain paired with flat open straight a ways, it makes for an impressive course, for only the best to conquer.
The team; composed of two riders, arrived in Vegas on Thursday, August 21st full of energy and plenty of time to settle in before the big day. Ray Fay III, a veteran to the sport had teamed up with DJ Scarponi, a first timer to off road racing. Once through registration and technical inspection Ray and DJ held a team meeting with the pit crews to further plan and prepare and then it was off to the drivers meeting. After some last minute strategizing with the pit crews and amongst the drivers it was time to turn in for the night.
At 6 am the next morning, the team arrived at the start raring to go with Ray prepared to take on the first section of the track. Despite the early hours, adrenaline was pumping through everyone’s veins and anticipation was in the air. At 7:32 Ray Fay III received the flag to go and took off with an aggressive start to tackle the silt covered territory. By the time Ray reached Pit 1 for a rider change the chase team was thrilled to report All Fays Racing to be in the lead. An eager DJ jumped on and set out for his section of the course – determined to maintain the lead.
By Pit 3, Team Green was holding a strong lead on their class and continuing to gain speed with each mile. DJ would take the pit by surprise and show up earlier then expected; passing two more pros. The entire pit could hear DJ yelling with gusto before you could hear the familiar roar of the quad. With excitement high in the air the crew made a quick filter change and Ray enthusiastically jumped on the quad leaving only dust to prove the flash of Team Green had been there.
Throughout the next section of cruel landscape crammed with caverns and up hill stretches Ray successfully kept the lead and increased the distance between him and rest of the class. Although it was still early in the race Ray could feel the lead and only craved more speed… as the throttle was forced to crank further and further the gap closed in on the pros ahead.
The next rider change would put full of life DJ back on the quad – after a few words of advice and encouragement from Ray, he was once again off. The next and final section for DJ would be jam packed with rocky sections and speed filled straight a ways. Team Green once again added seconds to their time and put more miles between their competitors. After a heavy rock section Ray called in via radio to alert the pit of some serious vibrations and possible problems. As he pulled in, the crew was ready to tackle any situation. In just under 6 minutes the front left tie rod end was tightened along with a filter and fuel added. Dj was quickly back on the quad to finish his leg of the race. At pit ten Ray would once again get back on to finish it up. It was then Team Green learned that the first bike to finish was a Kawasaki, we were then determined to have Kawasaki sweep the race having the best overall time in both bike and quad.
By the final Pit 11, Ray had crossed some serious terrain and had developed a flat tire. In just under 3 minutes the rear right tire was changed and Ray was back on course…. Dangerously close to the other pros. With over 40 minutes between him and the next expert quad and about even with the pro class quads we could taste victory. Then with nearly 40 miles to go Ray could again feel the rear tire flat and the intense vibrations pulsing through his hands and body. Unwavering on the goal to ride to win, Ray pressed on with full determination.
Surprisingly all chase trucks were able to reach the finish line minutes away from each other and within minutes of when Ray was expected; a feat the team didn’t think was possible. The team didn’t have to wait long as the familiar roar of the Kawasaki crawled over the peak on the horizon and the realization that Team Green had successfully completed the race without injury or major problem began to set in. There was a congratulatory uproar from the crowd as the Kawasaki rolled through the finish and a buzz immediately broke out on the impressive time. Everyone knew it was going to be close to the best overall quad time. It had only taken 9 hours and 37 minutes for Ray Fay III and DJ Scarponi to travel the 458 miles.
As the dust settled and times were calculated it was clear who was meant to win this race… Team Green. The reliable and durable Kawasaki had taken 1st in the expert class with the next nearest quad over 40 minutes back and 2nd overall quad, missing 1st overall by a mere 3 minutes. What a victory to be had after such a long day of brutal but rewarding riding. Needless to say the members and pit crews of Team Green were ecstatic with the win and extremely thankful that both riders had finished unharmed.