One of the most unique new events to pop up in the North American desert racing calendar of late, the Legacy Racing Association’s Baja Nevada serves as the new series’ flagship event for 2021. The two-day trek across the state kicks off north of Alamo on Friday morning, camps teams out overnight in Tonopah, and wraps up in Bonnie Claire on Saturday afternoon after 630 miles of racing.
The new series attracted its fair share of competitors to its debut event, the 4WP Desert Showdown in Pahrump in January, and many of those racers are back on the grid for Baja Nevada. Veteran Steve Strobel will look to make it two wins in a row in the Unlimited Truck class, though he’ll need to do it from ninth on the grid after qualifying earlier this week; instead, it was Eric Hustead who would post the top time in the division at 3:16.676.
Second place in combined Unlimited Truck and Class 1 qualifying went to the Concrete Motorsports squad of Kevin Thompson and Harley Letner, who will look to make it two wins in the month of May after coming home first in the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 two weekends ago. Tracy Graf was third overall, with Ladd Gilbert best of the buggies in fourth; fellow Class 1 driver CJ Hutchins would beat Pahrump podium finishers Madix Bailey and Steve Olliges for the final spot in the top five.
The 6100 division for spec trucks, meanwhile, will feature a booming entry list of more than two dozen teams, most of any division. Chasen Gaunt is poised to put his DNF in Pahrump behind him thanks to the top 6100 qualifying time of 3:26.518, but Desert Showdown runner-up Travis Chase and winner Travis Williams will be starting right behind him.
In the UTV divisions, 2020 UTV World Championship winner Ryan Piplic and Silver State 300 Unlimited class winner Chris Blais will look to take down Desert Showdown winner Vito Ranuio in the Turbo division, while Kaden Wells will start first in the NA class thanks to his own win in Pahrump. The Unlimited class, meanwhile, doubles in size from Pahrump thanks to the additions of drivers like Justin Lambert and Jim Beaver to challenge Pahrump winner Nolan Williams.
Legacy Racing Association Baja Nevada staging starts at 5AM on Friday at the Delamar Air Strip, with the first motorcycle leaving the line half an hour later and the first truck leaving the line at 10AM. They’ll leave at those same times from Tonopah on Saturday, with racers having until 10:30PM that night to make it to the finish line. Following Baja Nevada, the UTVs, bikes, and quads will return to Legacy Racing Association action with Dirt Rebelution in Cedar City, Utah on September 24-26, while Battleground will wrap up the season for cars, trucks, and UTVs in December.
Image via Legacy Racing Association