Good Evening Race Fans! It's Over, What a race!

Best In The Desert Henderson FABTECH

UPDATED! Race Results and comments

Curt LeDuc and his Rockstar/Makita/Kal Gard Lubricants/Toyo Tires® Ford F-150 truck team have proven to be a dominant force in off-road racing in 2008. The team won Class 8000 this past weekend at the Henderson’s Fabtech Desert Classic in Henderson, Nevada. By doing so, they have won the 2008 Best In The Desert off-road series Class 8000 championship for the second year in a row on 37X13.50R17 Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires. To make the year even more remarkable, the team won 100-percent of the desert races they entered in 2008 (both BITD and SNORE series) for a perfect season and for a second consecutive BITD championship on Toyo tires.

Curt LeDuc, from Cherry Valley, California, had accumulated enough championship points by the time of his last race win to only need for his truck to start the Henderson race for a championship win. He handed the driving duties over to sons Todd and Kyle, and team member Macrae Glass of Kingman, Arizona. The 400-mile course consisted of four loops, course conditions deteriorating during each lap. Kyle LeDuc drove the first two laps, followed by Glass for the third, and then Todd LeDuc for the fourth and final lap after the sun went down.

“That is was a treacherous and extremely rocky course mixed with bushes, then silt beds,” said Kyle LeDuc. “At one point, I was driving into the sun in the worst dust I have ever experienced and could hardly see. In order to win, we make sure the products we run are the best, and our Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires had no flats during the race.”

Curt LeDuc has now finished every mile in every race he has entered for the past seven years of desert racing. LeDuc relies on the toughness of Toyo’s Open Country M/T to continue his dominance in the desert.

“Toyo Tires congratulates Curt LeDuc and his team for winning a perfect season and the 2008 Best In The Desert championship,” said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “This is a truly remarkable accomplishment for any team in any form of motorsports. We are proud this is our second consecutive championship with LeDuc.”

Also having a strong finish at the Henderson’s Fabtech Desert Classic was the team of Chuck Dempsey, John Armas and John Harrah piloting their Speed Technologies/Toyo Tires/3D Class 1500 open wheel HMS Avenger racer equipped with 35X13.50R15 off-the-shelf Toyo Open Country M/T tires. The team finished second in class and third overall for the grueling race."

Andrew McMillin talks about his finish:

"It has been over 2 years (2006 Baja 1000) since my last win in BITD or SCORE, and it feels awesome!
Here is how our race went...

Started off with Qualifying on Thursday. Drove the wheels off my truck trying to put it on the pole. To be honest I thought Chuck or McDowell were going to take it, and I was pretty surprised when I found out I had won. Little did I know that I had to be at the driver's meeting to accept the award. I haven't been to a driver's meeting in a over a year at least, and I didn't know I had to be there. My 2 co-drivers were there to represent for me, but it was my mistake. I never meant to embarass Casey or Steve Olliges like I did, and I personally apologized to both of them for my rookie move. I know it made me look like a donkey, but believe me, if I knew that I had to be there, I would've been there! I want to thank Steve Olliges for putting up the $1,000 for the Team Ford Pole Award, what a cool deal! It's great to see people like Steve stepping up in this current economic environment, and all of us racers really appreciate it Steve!

We started the race at about 2:10, 1st off the line. My game plan was to just cruise around the course and make no mistakes. I knew that starting 1st off the line was going to be a big advantage, or so I thought! We had dust by mile 3, catching slower Hummers and Rhinos from the previous race (very dangerous situation if you ask me). So much for the benefit of starting 1st off the line... Anyway, had a pretty uneventful first lap, just driving at about 80% conserving my truck and waiting to see where we were after the 1st lap. We had about 30 seconds on Daniel (1598) and Whelchel was right behind him. I knew they couldn't run very hard in the dust, so I just kept my same pace going.

Uneventful 2nd lap as well, just cruising and not wanting to make any mistakes or hit any rocks. Came in for Fuel and Rear Tires at the end of Lap 2. My guys did a great job and we were fueled up with new rears and gone in just under 40 seconds. We now had about 3 minutes on Whelchel, with Hovey behind him.

Lap 3 was very dusty, especially on the silt bed looking into the sun. I knew that all the vehicles I would have to pass, so would the guys behind me. I wanted to get by everyone as fast as I could, but the dust was so bad it was difficult in a lot of areas. Uneventful 3rd lap as well, just keeping the same 80% pace and making up a little bit of time on Whechel and Hovey.

Coming through the infield on the 4th Lap, my dad radioed me that we had 4 minutes on corrected time on Hovey, who was now 2nd. I know that Chuck knows the Henderson area well, and I knew that I could still have a flat tire and change it in time to stay in the lead on corrected time, so I picked up the pace to about 85%, just to be sure Chuck wasn't going to bonzaii it and go for the overall. Whelchel had pitted and put Huffman in the truck, and I had about 6 minutes on them for the TT class. It was stressful on that last lap! When we got to the silt beds, we couldn't see anything! We followed 3 slower vehicles into the silt bed, and, amazingly, got by all 3 by the end of the siltbed. Around mm 40 we caught a 7 truck (I thought it was a slower TT by how fast it was going up this uphill sand wash. I wanted to get by him fast, because I didn't know if Hovey was closing in or not, and I had to pass about 10-15 vehicles on that last lap. I was driving hard trying to catch him and pass him (thinking it was a TT a lap down). We finally caught him and got on their rear bumper, but didn't touch him. He pulled off course and I followed him (couldn't see in the dust) but I slammed on the brakes and was able to avoid his truck and get back on the course. Right after we passed him, my dad radioed that Hovey had been down for 3 minutes on IRC, now I felt bad that I had to push the issue with the 7 truck. The last few miles was super stressful. All that was going through my head was my Grandpa saying "It's not over till it's over. I have broken down 100 yards before the finish line, and we couldn't push the car across to get the win." So as soon as we crossed the finish line, I knew we had done it.

It has been such a long time coming, and I can't believe we finally made it happen. Gotta thank my guys at the shop who work on the truck and make it bulletproof for me, Greg Beau, Hector, and Ron. Also have to thank Geiser Brothers, Fox Shox, Vision X Lights, VP Fuels, BFGoodrich Tires for ZERO flat tires on a rock garden of a course, Eibach Springs, Kroyer Racing Engines, and Singpros Custom Lettering. Without this great group of supporters, we would not be in the winner's circle.

Our new Geiser truck is unbelievable. We have raced it 5 times this year. TT 250, MDR King, MDR Night Race, V2R, and Henderson. We have broken once (Trans filter at TT 250), got one 3rd place (V2R) and 3 wins, Henderson being the big one that counts. It feels awesome to get in my truck and know that I just have to make no mistakes in order to win. The truck is capable, our team is capable, and now we have some momentum going into 2009. Looking for a Championship in BITD!"

Moto Results

"The Jerry Parsons/Anthony Westbay team (pictured) pulled off a minor upset by winning the Henderson Fabtech Desert Classic, the sixth and final round of Best in the Desert's Silver State Series, December 6. They're the first Four-Stroke Pro privateer team to overall a BITD event on their RPP Racing/Cycle Gear/Tomarco-backed YZ450F.

Despite being a double-points event, however, their victory didn't amass enough points to pull ahead of brothers Matt and Max Eddy, who were second overall and second in class. The Eddys stayed close throughout the four laps of the 48-mile course and finished less than a minute behind on their Northland Motorspots/Blais Racing Honda CRF450X. They will display the F1-number plate in 2009.

Adam Thissen and Robert Underwood took the early lead on their Speed Technologies/3D Reed KTM 300 XC, but they would DNF. Their Open Pro class rivals, Dylan Lane and Jeff Trulove, simply had to finish in order to wrap up the class championship. After a rough start, they nearly passed the entire field on their North County House of Motorcycles/Team Fastlane Racing Honda CRF450X, sewing up the championship with third overall.

Martin Kite and Cody Wallis notched fourth overall and first 250cc Pros aboard their Speed Technologies/3D Reed KTM 250 XC. They were almost two minutes ahead of Over 40 Pro winners Paul Krause and Kent Pfeiffer, who claimed the class title on their Malcolm Smith Motorsports/Bridgestone KTM 530 XC-F."

Trail Ready Motorsports Report

"After a tough year in the Best in the Desert Racing Series, TrailReady Motorsports needed no less than a win in the Series finale, the Henderson Fab-tech Classic, to salvage the year. We got it, and in convincing fashion. Our Daystar Products Ford finished the 200 mile sprint 1st in Class and 25th overall in a 66 car field that included 45 Trick Trucks and Class 1 cars. The race featured four 50 mile laps with a Grand Prix finish which meant as soon as the fastest car completed four laps, every car that followed would be shown the checkered flag and scored by completed laps. Driver of Record, Rich Blunk started 4th in the 7200 class and was in first position by Race Mile 12. At the end of lap one he had a 1 minute lead over 2nd place Joe Stone and at the end of lap two, handed the perfect truck off to co-driver Larry Trim with an 8 minute lead over our Mickey Thompson Tires teammate, Shawn Giordano. The course had a new section that was exposing gnarly rocks and was littered with broken vehicles and flat tires. We assumed the lead Trick Truck would lap us before the end of our third lap and end our race so we charged on not knowing where Giordano was behind us as there was only the main pit and no reliable on course status. As it turned out, the eventual Trick Truck overall winner finished his fourth lap 12 minutes after we started ours and just two minutes ahead of Giordano so we were the only Class 7200 truck to complete 4 laps. When the call came over the radio that we had the race won if we completed the last lap we just cruised to the finish line. Special thanks to all of our sponsors for 2008 especially Daystar Products, Eagle Alloys, and Mickey Thompson Performance Tires who’s MTZ Radials performed so well we had only 2 on course flats all season(none in this race). TrailReady Motorsports finished the 2008 desert racing season with 2 wins (including the SNORE Caliente 250), one 4th, and 3 DNF’s. We finish on a high and are prepared to continue winning in 2009. See you in Parker!"

Also want to thank Casey and all 180 volunteers out there. Without these people, none of this would be possible. I consider BITD the foremost racing series in the United States, and I am glad that my team and my family can be a part of it. Thank, and we'll see everyone at the Dash or in Parker!"

UPDATE! Raceday: Chet Huffman Motorsports and Jerry Whelchel takes the BITD Trick Truck Championship for 2008 with the big race performance today!


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