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Best in the Desert: 2019 Season Review

Coverage presented by General Tire

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Mitch Guthrie Jr. (1); Hutchins Motorsports (2); Bryce Menzies (3); Daniel Schenkelberg (4)

A handful of down-to-the-wire championship chases and one surprisingly dominant run came to define the 2019 Best in the Desert season in the series’ top classes. When all was said and done, though, the champions that some of the top classes ended up with weren’t always the ones you’d have expected.

Despite a charge from Jason Voss at the end of the season, Jeff Terzo managed to hang onto the Trick Truck championship thanks in part to a runner-up finish in the Laughlin Desert Classic over the weekend. The cream of the crop tended to take all of this year’s victories, with Justin Lofton scoring his third Mint 400 victory in March and assisting Terzo to a Silver State 300 win in May. In addition, Bryce Menzies scored the win at General Tire Vegas to Reno after falling just a few miles short of the overall victory last year.

Meanwhile, Mitch Guthrie Jr. jumped from fourth to first in the UTV Turbo standings in Laughlin as defending series champion Phil Blurton suffered an unlikely DNF. Guthrie, who also won this year’s Mint 400, had to leapfrog Blurton, Jason Murray, and Dustin Jones in the standings to take the title.

Podiums in four of the five races in 2019 enabled CJ Hutchins to lock up the Class 1500 championship, while Brock Heger’s two victories to start the season and a runner-up finish in Laughlin took him to the Class 6100 title. In UTV Unlimited, Michael Isom was the big winner, with four victories in six tries—including one in Laughlin as the only finisher.

But 17-year-old Seth Quintero was the biggest winner on the year, with a perfect season well within reach for the UTV Production champion until season’s end. Only a mid-pack finish in Laughlin stood between him and a six-for-six title-winning season.

With the conclusion of the 2019 Best in the Desert season last weekend in Laughlin, the series enters a new era from 2020 forward as the Mint 400 and UTV World Championship split from the schedule to run independently. In their place, the series plans to revive the season-ending BlueWater Desert Challenge in Parker, as well as introducing a handful of new events.

Car and Truck Class Winners

Class

Trick Truck

Class 1500

Class 6100

Parker 425 #88 Brett Sourapas #1521 Bob Lofton #6183 Brock Heger
Mint 400 #41 Justin Lofton #1532 Cody Parkhouse #6183 Brock Heger
Silver State 300 #37 Jeff Terzo #1527 CJ Hutchins #6144 Kyle Jergensen
Vegas to Reno #7 Bryce Menzies #1527 CJ Hutchins #6188 Jerry Zaiden
Laughlin Desert Classic #35 Jason Voss #1539 Adam Householder #6188 Kyle Jergensen

UTV Class Winners

Class

UTV Turbo

UTV Production

UTV Unlimited

Parker 250 #T978 Dustin Jones #1903 Seth Quintero #2939 Michael Isom
Mint 400 #T951 Mitch Guthrie Jr. #1903 Seth Quintero #2910 Brett Comiskey
UTV World Championship #T944 Phil Blurton #1903 Seth Quintero #2910 Brett Comiskey
Silver State 300 #T944 Phil Blurton #1903 Seth Quintero #2939 Michael Isom
Vegas to Reno #T944 Phil Blurton #1903 Seth Quintero #2939 Michael Isom
Laughlin Desert Classic #T951 Mitch Guthrie Jr. #1985 Adrian Orellana #2939 Michael Isom
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