Tonopah is a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere Nevada. It’s a solid 7 hour drive towing and the sights are bland at best. The landscape is composed of rocks and dirt as far as you can see if every direction. A few months back we traveled through Tonopah in route to Reno for the Vegas 2 Reno race so we already knew the town. Tonopah is a small mining town with a rich history. Traveling down main street is like traveling back in time 20 years.
We arrived Friday and were greeted by high winds and bone chilling temps. We unloaded the Yamaha YXZ1000R and went to tech. We then took some time to enjoy the town as we waited around for the drivers meeting. After attending the drivers meeting at the high school we would make our way back to Beatty, NV to get some rest for the long race day ahead.
7:30am we would meet at the chase rig and jump in and head back to Tonopah for the start of the race. The weather was much nicer then the day before, the air was brisk but the wind had settled down. We dropped the trailer before heading to staging, our plan was to not need the trailer all day. The chase crew would take off to pit 1. We started 5th this race and were going to push hard in hopes of landing our first podium. Off the line it was dusty and silty right away. We started pushing hard and passed a few cars. We got in some tight rocky sections and would move in to 3rd physically in class. Not to long after we would get a flat at about RM28. We found a spot to pull over and started getting the flat fixed. Sitting there on the side of the course so early in the race is heartbreaking. But our team has heart so we got it fixed and pushed on. I thought well this race will be rough and technical so we can make up the time. We got back moving again and radio to the chase truck we needed a spare tire Change coming into pit 1.
We started pushing hard and carnage was everywhere, vehicles of all classes broke or crashed. We came into pit 1 and the crew was fast to swap the spare and we were off again. We were informed we dropped to about 11th in class and had a lot of time to try and make up. We took off and started pushing hard through the silt beds and up and through the canyons when I realized this course is now opened up and was not tight and technical like I though. Hitting speeds of over 80mph for long stretched we pushed hard. Coming into pit 2, we did a visual as we rolled by. We passed some UTVs in our class and kept pushing. Now getting caught in slower traffics dust and patiently waiting to make a move by them we would hit more silt beds and rocky sections with long graded roads.
We came into pit 4 now 5th in class but had to stop to take fuel. The crew was fast to fuel the car but we would get passed and fall to 6th just as we entered back on to the course. Now we would fight another racers dust all the way to the finish trying to reel them in at times but the dust was thick and the silt was nasty. Now coming into the last 20 mile stretch we would not only be in dust but now fighting the blinding sunset. The terrain of the Tonopah 250 was epic. We pushed as hard as we could in the dust and sun but couldn’t get close enough for a pass and would cross the finish line in na unofficial 6th place. We have had a consistent year with a minor set back the last few races keeping us off that podium spot but we are still running good in points for a possible top 3 for the year. I cant thank everyone enough as always with out my friends and family who are part of this teams success, it also takes all the great companies.