Best In The Desert Racing Association’s Silver State 300 was held Saturday May 5, 2012 near the small towns of Alamo and Caliente NV. The 3rd race of the series was looking to be a show down in the desert for most classes and Class 7200 or the V6 Unlimited class was no exception.
Saturday morning’s start was about 10 miles outside of Alamo NV and the weather was clear and breezy. As the racer’s lined up, the team of Mongo Racing did their final checks on the KC HiLiTes/General Tire/ICON Vehicle Dynamics /TNC Ford truck numbered 7281. The first vehicle off the start line was at 9:30 am.
Randy Merritt, driving theKC HiLiTes/General Tire/ICON Vehicle Dynamics /TNC Ford truck, started the BITD Silver State 300 at 10:20 am and headed out into the harsh Nevada desert. This was Merritt’s second race in the new state of the art chassis designed by Tracy Rubio at TNC Machine and starting 4th out of 16 in class meant he would be in the heat of the battle at the start of the race.
Randy Merritt and co-rider RD Minor raced through the Nevada desert and tried to maintain pace with the leader, but slower traffic slowed the KC HiLiTes/General Tire/ICON Vehicle Dynamics /TNC Ford truck. The breezy conditions were helpful in the open desert, but the dust seemed to just hang around in some of the narrow canyons as Merritt raced to Caliente NV for his first scheduled fuel stop.
The Mongo Racing team planned a strategy for 2 fuel stops for this race and at the first fuel stop, 103 mils into the race, Merritt requested the hood be removed because it was damaged from a racing incident about 60 miles into the race. Merritt entered the pit in 6th place and left in 5th place. The top 8 trucks in the class were all within 5 minutes at this point.
Merritt stayed in the top 5 physically the entire race and after the second scheduled fuel stop Randy only had about 1 minute and 30 seconds of down time in the pits for fuel only.
At the Finish of the BITD Silver State 300 Merritt thanked his crew for an awesome prep job and giving him a truck that all he had to do was drive all day. Merritt also thanked General Tire for making a great tire that could handle the terrain the race covered with no flats and ICON Vehicle Dynamics for the shocks that handled that same terrain with no leaks or fade was awesome. The difference between the top 5 trucks were set ups and Merritt said, “we at Mongo Racing will go back to Parker, AZ and work on our set up for the BITD Vegas to Reno and get faster.” Merritt added, “The KC HiLiTes/General Tire/ICON Vehicle Dynamics /TNC Ford truck has been very impressive to drive. Tracy Rubio at TNC Machine has built several race vehicles and this is my third from TNC Machine, so I know it’s just a matter of time before we get our first of many wins in this truck.”
Merritt drove the KC HiLiTes General Tire TNC Ford truck to a 4th place unofficial finish physically and on corrected time at 6 hours 14 minutes and 41 seconds. Merritt finished the race 34th overall, 48 minutes behind the overall leader, and 18 minutes behind the 7200 class leader. The KC HiLiTes/General Tire/ICON Vehicle Dynamics /TNC Ford truck was also the highest finishing truck in the BITD Class 7200 Season Points Championship standings.
After the race Randy Merritt commented, “The past 30 days has been exciting for us at Mongo Racing, EBC Brakes, KC HiLiTes and General Tire all have come out with national ad campaigns on the internet and in magazines featuring our trucks.”
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, Pro AM, EBC Brakes, Master Craft Safety Innovations, Lucas Oil, K&N Filters, Borla Exhausts, MSD Ignition, and Mongo Made Graphics.