At 11:30 a.m. on August 20, 2010 the Mongo Racing-prepped KC Hilites Ford F-150 from Parker, Arizona began the Best In the Desert Racing Association’s “Vegas to Reno”, also known as the “Longest Off-Road Race in the United States.” Taking the Green light was Tracy Rubio, of Kingman, AZ, and Mongo Racing’s longtime co-rider Chris Golding.
Tracy Rubio subbed for Randy Merritt in the Silver State 300 as Randy recovered from his injury incurred at the BITD “Parker 425” and was scheduled to drive the first half of the BITD “Vegas to Reno.”
Randy Merritt was scheduled to make his return to the driver’s seat of the number 8181 KC Hilites Ford F-150 in the second half of this 534 mile race across western Nevada.
Tracy piloted the KC Hilites Ford F-150 skillfully across the desert and around many it’s hidden dangers. The plan was to run a conservative pace for the first 300 miles and race to the finish if needed. The KC Hilites Ford F-150 was up to the task, but the Nevada desert posed a much larger foe than the competition. After the first33 miles the KC Hilites Ford F-150 was in first place on corrected time, but a large dry lake silt bed stopped several race vehicles including all the trucks racing in the Class 8100 near race mile 44.
At race mile 64, the Mongo Racing KC Hilites Ford F-150 was now in third position and was over 40 minutes behind the leader, but the Mongo Racing team said there was still a chance for victory.
Tracy piloted the KC Hilites Ford F-150 to race mile 263 where Randy Merritt got in for the first time under race conditions since February 3, 2010. Long time friend and Co-Rider Steve Solaiza joined Randy in this momentous journey. Randy left the pit in the middle of the desert near Silver Peaks, Nevada on a mission. Knowing he was 38 minutes behind the leader and 271 miles left to the finish line Randy drove the KC Hilites Ford F-150 harder than ever before.
Randy drove the KC Hilites Ford F-150 to within 18 minutes of the leader, but race traffic would prove to be his Achilles heel. “I could catch the other race vehicles, but getting around them was tough,” said Randy Merritt.
“The Goodyear Wrangler GSA Tires performed great and this is the fourth race in a row with no flats or tire problems and its great confidence booster knowing I can drive that hard without worrying about the tires,” added Randy Merritt.
In the end, Randy Merritt and Mongo Racing finished 2nd place in class 8100 at approximately 1:15 am on Saturday morning. The official finishing time was not available at time of release.
Randy Merritt said, “The KC Hilites 70 Watt Pod lights proved to be worth every penny as I charged through the darkness.”
“The new 3G seats and safety belts by MasterCraft Safety are incredibly comfortable and exclusive design make me feel that I could have drove this entire race myself,” added Randy at the finish line.
After the race Randy said, “We’ve raced this Ford truck for almost 7 years and I have never drove this hard for that long and it be in this great shape at the end of a 500 mile Off-Road race. Just goes to show – Built Ford Tough”
The next race for the Mongo Racing KC Hilites Ford F-150 is the Best In The Desert Blue Water Desert Challenge October 15-17, 2010 in Parker, Arizona, for additional team information visit www.mongoracing.com on the web.