The 2018 Best in the Desert season resumes this weekend with a return to Nevada for the Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic presented by Polaris. The four-day event kicks off on Thursday with time trials and the UTV night race, with two race days on Saturday and Sunday for cars and trucks.
Held on a 16-mile loop, the Laughlin Desert Classic is now in its third year on the BITD schedule. The race features a unique format compared to most other BITD events: the UTVs will tackle the loop eight times during their own event, while the rest of the field sees the race broken up into four loops each on Saturday and Sunday. The UTV field will be separated into two races, while everyone else will be split into five groups, with Trick Trucks running last each day.
Over 200 vehicles are entered in the event, headlined by 29 Trick Trucks, 42 UTV Turbo entries, and strong fields in both the 6100 and UTV Production classes. After August’s General Tire Vegas to Reno, Justin Matney leads a tight Trick Truck points battle by 12 over Kevin Thompson, 17 over Tracy Graf, 18 over Steve Olliges, and 19 over Tony Smiley; all five will be taking on this weekend’s event. Meanwhile, lurking in sixth and just slightly further back in the standings, Jason Voss will look to defend his victory from last season as well.
UTVs, meanwhile, will get the action going in Laughlin tomorrow. Phil Blurton holds a 30-point advantage over Branden Sims atop the UTV Turbo standings, while Jacob Carver, Brandon Schueler, and Marc Burnett complete the top five. In UTV Production, it’s 19-year-old Kaden Wells on top, 11 points clear of Mike Deley. In fact, three teenagers comprise the top four spots in class points, as 14-year-old Sam Chournos and 16-year-old Madeline Wedeking are third and fourth, respectively.
After this weekend’s action, only one round remains on the 2018 Best in the Desert schedule: the Pahrump Nugget “250” presented by Polaris, which kicks off on November 29 and concludes on December 2. From there, it’ll be full steam ahead into the 2019 schedule, kicking off with two races in Parker, Arizona in January and concluding with this event in October.