Monster Energy athletes Phil Blurton and Dustin Jones continued to show why they’re two of the top UTV racers in North America over the weekend, leading the Monster squad in Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno with a pair of top-five finishes in the premier UTV Turbo Pro class. Blurton’s time of 8:16:00 was good enough to put the #T944 Can-Am in second place in the division, while Jones finished just a single spot off the podium in fourth in the #T978 Can-Am.
The 2022 edition of Vegas to Reno saw numerous unique challenges compared to most other events this year. BITD was forced to make multiple route changes in the week leading up to the race, as heavy rains rendered some of the original route impassable. As a result, racers would start in Bonnie Claire and head to Tonopah, before transiting to Millers to resume the event. Prior to race day, racers would also take on head-to-head time trials in Primm to set their starting spots for the race.
Blurton would post the top UTV Turbo Pro time in qualifying with a 3:15.084, with Jones in fifth, and the additional Monster-backed entries of Marc Burnett, Justin Lambert, and Matt Burroughs all within 20 seconds of the pole time as well. Along with the UTV contingent, Casey Currie would line up third in Class 1500 and Cameron Steele would post the 11th-fastest time in Class 6100.
From there, Blurton would remain towards the front of the field all race long, alternating between physical first and second place on the road in a tight battle with Jones also staying within the physical top five. After a hard-fought battle, Blurton would cross the line in physical third, settling into second in class on corrected time and taking his fifth podium in the past six years. Jones would take fourth, backing up his third place finish in 2020 and runner-up result last year for yet another top five in the event.
Behind the two top five finishers, 2022 Dakar Rally winner AJ Jones would take his #T808 Can-Am to sixth in class after stepping in to drive the second half of the event. Both Burroughs and Lambert would persevere to pass multiple cars and make it to the finish, taking home 12th and 14th, respectively.
The 2022 Best in the Desert season resumes on October 20-23 with the Laughlin Desert Classic, with Blurton, Dustin Jones, and Burroughs all in the thick of the championship race. Coverage of Vegas to Reno will air on the CBS Sports Network on August 28 and September 4; be sure to tune in to watch the Monster Energy athletes in action!