It’s race day in Nevada as the 2018 edition of General Tire Vegas to Reno presented by FOX goes green this morning. Motorcycles and quads started taking off bright and early at 5:45AM PT, and they’ll be joined on course by the car, truck, and UTV classes—headlined as always by the Trick Trucks and Class 1500 buggies—at 10AM PT.
Our own Jim Beaver will be competing in the Pro Turbo UTV class and taking fans behind the scenes on General Tire’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages with updates from start to finish all day long. While you’re watching for live updates there and tracking the race into the night, keep an eye on these three storylines as some of the biggest in today’s event:
Can Rob MacCachren finally take first place in a Trick Truck at Vegas to Reno?
You wouldn’t expect it by his legendary status in all things off-road truck related, but MacCachren only has two wins here, and they’re not exactly recent. He teamed up with Steve Olliges to take back-to-back victories in 2004 and 2005 in Class 7300, a far cry from the Trick Truck he’ll be running today. The good news for Rob Mac fans: his 3:38.212 on the 3.4-mile qualifying course on Wednesday was more than a second faster than anybody else. Could it be a good omen for the race weekend?
How will Bryce Menzies fare in his return from injury?
Menzies may have won the Mint 400 earlier this year, but between then and now he’s had to deal with a broken back that has kept him out of a majority of the 2018 race season in both desert and short course off-road racing. But he’ll be bringing a powerful new weapon to the start line, as the all-new, carbon-fiber TT7 debuted with the third-best Trick Truck time in Wednesday’s qualifying shootout. After finishing third at Vegas to Reno last year, he’ll be looking to do a couple spots better today.
Will we see another surprise performance from Kristen Matlock?
We all know that Matlock is one of the best of the best in Pro Production UTV—after all, she won here last year, and beat all but five of the Pro Turbo UTVs in the process. But her Baja 500 victory, where she beat all the turbo UTV entries in a naturally aspirated Polaris RZR to win the discipline overall, was the stuff of legend. Another result like that, and we should be seeing her in a turbocharged ride alongside husband Wayne sooner than later; it’s hard to think of another driver who’s earned it more.