For the second year in a row, Ryan Arciero took top honors in Friday’s Method Race Wheel Casey Folks Vegas to Reno, Best in the Desert’s crown jewel event of the 2022 season. Despite running a 2WD truck against a number of top AWD entries, Arciero took his #32 Trick Truck to the finish with a winning time of 6:22:39, just over two minutes ahead of any other competitor and nearly eight minutes faster than his closest competition in class.
BITD officials were challenged with the course all week long, battling substantial rains that rendered certain sections of the course impassable. When race day finally came, teams would start in Bonnie Claire instead of Beatty, knocking roughly 40 miles off the route, and skipping the trek from Tonopah to Millers in favor of an hour-long transit period. In total, the planned 495-mile race course shrunk by slightly under 100 miles after the necessary modifications.
Arciero’s weekend started with a seventh place performance in Thursday’s Head to Head Time Trials in Primm, as Bryce Menzies topped the charts with a 3:03.077. Menzies would still cross the finish line first, but with an official time of 6:30:24, would fall short of Arciero’s blistering pace. Robert Johnston would complete the class podium, while Dan and Luke McMillin would team up to bring their Team MacPherson-inspired throwback truck fourth in division and Justin Lofton would complete the top five.
James Dean would finish second overall and atop the Unlimited Car standings, posting a final time of 6:24:42 and beating Cole Barbieri by more than 20 minutes. In Class 6100, top honors went to Jason Coleman, who came out on top of Conner McMullen and Adam Householder on a closely matched podium that was separated by just five minutes.
The battle between the established UTV Turbo Pro and ever-expanding UTV Trophy Unlimited classes saw one division top the time trial course, but the other win the race. Trophy Unlimited drivers Cody Bradbury and Mitch Guthrie Jr. beat Turbo Pro driver Phil Blurton, winner of four of the past five Vegas to Renos, on Thursday, but it was Vito Ranuio who struck for Turbo Pro on race day with a winning time of 8:10:10.
Guthrie would come home second overall among the UTVs and best in the Trophy Unlimited class, while Blurton and Branden Sims would complete the Turbo class podium with the third and fourth fastest overall times and Trophy Unlimited runner-up Dan Fisher would complete the overall top five. But while Can-Am and Polaris RZR would split the top five overall times, RZRs would lock out the NA Pro podium, with Max Eddy, Ethan Groom, and Kaden Wells posting the top three times.
With Vegas to Reno now in the books, the Best in the Desert season winds down with three more events in Nevada: September 22-25’s Battle Born 200 in Ely for all classes, October 20-23’s King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic for cars and trucks, and November 4-6’s World Hare and Hound Championship in Tonopah for motorcycles, quads, and UTVs. TV coverage of Vegas to Reno will air on the CBS Sports Network, with time trials and the start of the race on August 28 and the finish on September 4.
Check of Ernesto Araiza’s gallery from the event right here!