Race promoter Casey Folks from Best In The Desert takes a perverse sense of pride in making the longest race in North America the toughest one, too! Throw in some monsoon-type storms and the 535-mile Vegas to Reno race became even tougher! Despite the long odds, the DragonFire/Can-Am/RideNow team won the lottery, drawing the #1 starting position in the Pro UTV class. Betting that this good starting position would pay off, Driver of Record Lacrecia Beurrier was looking for the big pay-off at the end of the rainbow… or at least the finish line just outside of Reno.
For the first time in her racing career Lacrecia took the line in the #1 starting position. Since she had only attempted this race once before and the tough track conditions were compounded by the storms, the plan was simple, just finish! From the start it was clear that the faster cars were able to distance themselves from the pack and take a commanding lead over the field. Lacrecia was instructed by co-driver Chris to run her own race and just keep moving. Running in the top 10 group of fast drivers, Team DragonFire/Can-Am/RideNow found themselves playing hopscotch with the biggest names in the sport!
With all sorts of hidden wash-outs and deep holes, it was a battle just to save the car and stay on course. After 7 hours and 300 miles into the brutal course, fatigue started to set in. Chris was forced to make the difficult decision to make a driver & co-driver change to keep Lacrecia fresh for the notorious silt beds towards the end of the race. Rolling into Pit 9 Lacrecia’s husband and car builder Eric Beurrier was standing ready to make the switch with his long time co-driver Preston Alexus. In a matter of minutes Eric and Preston were in the car and off while Lacrecia and Chris joined the chase crew to rendezvous at the next pit. The plan was to rest for about 100 miles of racetrack and get back in for the last 250 miles. Pit 10 came in a flash as the fresh drivers were able to take advantage of a smoother section of racecourse. Eric and Preston did a simple roll-by as they continued charging on.
Lacrecia and Chris began to rehydrate in preparation of getting back into the car when a phone call came in from co-driver Preston. He informed the team that they had experienced a brutal roll over at high speeds. Luckily for the team Eric was able to stitch the car back together and limp it through the next 35 miles to Pit 11 where the team was waiting. Huge thanks go out to Brian Bush for putting his race on hold in order to assist the two by pulling the vehicle back over after it turtled!
Eric and Preston took back off into the dust. Despite the crash and the downtime, the DragonFire car was still running top five! On the way to the next pit, the chase crew began having difficulties with radio communication to the car. Nervous but excited about a possible podium finish, the chase crew made their way to the next pit and prepared for a driver switch. Unfortunately that is where they stayed. Unable to reach the car on the radio, the team was forced to ask BITD officials where the car was. Then came the bad news: The car was last reported at race mile 365 awaiting a rescue after suffering a complete transmission failure.
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