With the top time of the day on Saturday and second-best result on Sunday, Justin Lofton was the Trick Truck and overall winner of the weekend’s Best in the Desert Laughlin Desert Classic with a combined time of 2:05:00.268. The unique two-day event saw racers take on four laps each day on Laughlin’s treacherous 17-mile race course, with the series’ top points contenders each looking to make the most out of the penultimate round of the 2021 BITD season.
Lofton’s time of 1:01:20.529 was eight seconds better than Kyle Jergensen in the Saturday race, while the entire top 10 in the Trick Truck division finished within six minutes of one another on day one. But as Jergensen faded from second to fourth and defending series champion Kevin Thompson dropped from third to eighth in Sunday’s results, Lofton stayed second in class, finishing just over a minute behind BJ Baldwin. Jergensen and Baldwin would complete the podium when the two days’ results were combined.
In the 6100 division, it was Andrew Myers posting the strongest results on each days, enabling him to grab the overall victory over Dustin Grabowski. Grabowski, the incoming class points leader, extended that advantage thanks to finishes of third and second on the two race days. Ray Griffith, who entered the event just six points out of the championship lead, would give up a minute and a half on the first day to help enable Grabowski to widen the points gap.
Sam Berri would top the 1500 division by pacing the division on both days, but Laughlin saw an emergence of competitive 6200 division cars that were even quicker. Conner McMullen and Nick Carolan went 1-2 on each day, while fellow 6200 driver Jon Largent improved on the seventh-quickest pace on Saturday to put 6200 cars in the top three spots in the split on Sunday. But the 1000 class provided far and away the closest finish of them all, with Saturday’s quickest driver Preston Brigman edging top Sunday driver Nick Jeffers by just under 10 seconds.
From here, the Best in the Desert season heads back to where it all began this year: Parker, Arizona, for the BlueWater Desert Challenge on November 4-7. The final event of the season saw a recent schedule change that condensed it from two weekends to one, meaning all of BITD’s divisions will wrap things up at the same time instead of across separate events. Thompson won the Parker 425 that opened the season for cars and trucks in January, while former BITD champion Mitch Guthrie Jr. was the top finisher in the Parker 250 that kicked off the motorcycle, quad, and UTV seasons a month later.
Images via Harlen Foley