Just a week after making his Unlimited Truck debut at the California 300 and coming out on top of the class, Cayden MacCachren repeated the feat in last weekend’s King Shocks Laughlin Desert Classic, the penultimate event of the 2022 Best in the Desert season and final round of the year for the car and truck classes. After eight laps of racing across two days on the familiar Laughlin course, MacCachren’s second time driving his legendary father Rob’s truck ended with a winning time of 2:03:08, almost a minute and a half ahead of runner-up BJ Baldwin. The win completed a perfect weekend where MacCachren also posted the fastest time in pre-race time trials.
Baldwin’s second place was still more than enough for him to secure the BITD season title, though, after he came into Laughlin with a 17-point advantage on Nic Whetstone and 21 points in hand on Sterling Miller. Whetstone completed the class podium at just three minutes behind Baldwin, while Miller was scored 12th in class after completing just three of eight laps. The top two Unlimited Car finishers would also fail to finish all eight laps, with Dylan Elliott 25 seconds faster than Cole Barbieri in the seven laps they finished apiece.
In the 6100 class, it was Conner McMullen clinching the division title with a Laughlin win, posting the third-fastest time overall at 2:06:28 after also besting his class in time trials. McMullen already had a more than 20-point advantage in the standings, and none of the four closest drivers coming in cracked the top five; Jerry Herling would finish seventh, David Ziegler would come home eighth, Bryan Scheible was ninth, and Rodney Huband finished 10th. Tanner Currier and Tracy Poole would join McMullen on the 6100 podium, and Jon Largent would win the 6200 car class with the third-fastest time in their group.
The UTV divisions get one more opportunity to do battle in two weeks’ time at the World Hare & Hound Championships, but that didn’t stop Laughlin from becoming one of the most important races of the year. Dustin Jones managed to gain a handful of precious points on Vito Ranuio for the UTV Turbo Pro class title as they finished fourth and seventh, respectively, but it was Joe Terrana whose 2:11:41 would best the division. Bruce Binnquist, coming off the top UTV qualifying time at the California 300, and Kolton Hustead would complete the class podium.
In the UTV NA Pro class, Max Eddy’s four-point lead over Josh Row gave way to Row’s class win, although Eddy finished second as the duo will take one of the best title fights of the season into the finale. Brayden Baker played spoiler by winning the Trophy Unlimited class by nine minutes over Cody Bradbury; incoming points leader Dan Fisher finished sixth, while his top challengers Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone finished ninth and Trevor Leighton took a DNF.
Best in the Desert’s UTV, motorcycle, and quad classes will carry on for one more race this year, wrapping the season up in Tonopah, Nevada in two weeks’ time with the World Hare & Hound Championships. All BITD divisions will run their opening events of next year on the same weekend in Parker, Arizona next year, with the Parker 425 for cars and trucks and Parker 250 for all other divisions running on January 4-9.