Alexander Motorsports wins the 2013 General Tire Vegas to Reno
The General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race is “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States!”. This would be Alexander Motorsports second attempt to complete this legendary race. As the bright yellow car #5001 approached the starting line at 10:50am on Friday morning temperatures were already into the 100’s with absolutely no wind; but why should this year be any different. Steve Alexander would drive the first leg of the race with Mark Pettit navigating. They were the second Class 5000 to leave the line and within 10 minutes they had taken the lead like they had done at so many other races. But this wasn’t just another race. By mile 25 Steve noticed something on the rear suspension that didn’t feel right and with Pit 1 at mile 32 Steve was on the radio getting the crew ready. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to be an easy fix. All chase crews rallied back to Pit 1 to do whatever had to be done to get the car back into the race. 40 minutes later and with all repairs completed Steve now found himself in unfamiliar territory, he was at the back of the pack with over 500 miles to go. He had to keep his concentration up high as the course was already scattered with remnants of what used to be race cars that fell victim to lack of visibility as a result of the relentless dust. One by one Steve was catching the slower race cars and carefully passing them not to fall victim to hundreds of the hidden boulders. Just as they were making ground everything came to a stop along a section with hundred foot drop offs; another vehicle had broken down and there was no way to pass. Several of the navigators from the patiently waiting race vehicles jumped out of their cars to assist the stranded vehicle by pushing him to the side. After what felt like an eternity (actually 7 minutes) the path was clear and 5001 was moving again. 2 hours and 45 minutes after they had left the start, #5001 came into their first fuel stop at Pit 3. Both chase teams went over the car with a fine tooth comb.
The repairs that were made to the rear suspension looked excellent and they were back on the course. 125 miles after the car had to make the unscheduled stop, Steve would put car #5001 back into the lead. His plan now was to get as much distance between him and his competitor before he reached Pit 6 which was the 220 mile marker. At this point Doug Roorda was taking over the driving duties and Mark Pettit would stay in the car as navigator. At Pit 10, mile 354, Chase 1 and 2 would go over the car one more time and re-fuelled it before sending Doug into some of the biggest silt beds and mountain terrains up to 8,000 foot high. not to mention, Doug would have to do this in the dark. Thanks to the KC HiLiTES HID PODs and LED CUBEs they would tame the night making Doug’s job easier. Doug made the scheduled stop 432 miles in at Pit 12 where Baja Pits would splash 5 gallon of fuel to get them to the next fueling pit. Steve sat patiently at Pit 13, 468 miles into the course, waiting for Doug to bring in the car. Team manager Claudia Alexander was following the IRC tracker and could see that the competition was starting to close in on car #5001 so the last pit stop, driver and co-driver change had to be a fast one. Due to the logistics of the race they were short handed and had only one chase team at that Pit. Checkers pit support who was pitting next to Alexander Motorsports offered their assistance to help with the fueling. Steve was back in the car, now with Sean Babb as navigator taking over for Mark Pettit who had now completed 468 miles of brutal desert. With roughly 75 miles to go Steve was loaded up on Livewire Energy chews and disappeared into the night with one thing on his mind: the finish line. 15 hours and 12 minutes after car 5001 left the start they crossed the finish line to be crowned the 2013 General Tire Vegas to Reno Class 5000 Champion. 543 miles of rock, silt and everything else the desert had to offer Alexander Motorsports finished on the same set of red lettered Grabbers that they started on. K&N Filters kept the Wiks Type 4 running clean while Torco Lubricants kept the motor and RC Trans prepped Mendeola running smooth. This huge undertaking would not have been possible were it not for the tireless effort of the Alexander Motorsports chase crews.
Here is the link to a YouTube video that will take you for a 10 minute ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE2BODDzDCU
This would not have been possible without the expert support of General Tire, KC HiLiTES, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Torco Racing Oils and Fuels, Wiks Racing Engines, RC Trans, FK Rod Ends, K&N Filters, MSD Ignition, Livewire Energy, BTR Wheels, Butch’s Speed Shop and Patrick Sign’s and the professionalism of the whole Alexander Motorsports crew.
The next race will be the Best in the Desert “Bluewater Desert Challenge” in Parker, AZ on October 12th and 13th, 2013.