The 2021 desert racing season kicked off in the hands of a new promoter with an all-new event in Pahrump, Nevada last weekend: the 4WP Desert Showdown, the inaugural production of the Legacy Racing Association. All told, more than 70 entries sent off the brand new series, with Steve Strobel’s Unlimited Truck besting the overall entry and Vito Ranuio claiming top honors in UTVs.
Established by a number of former Best in the Desert organizers, the inaugural Legacy season features a modest five-event slate that includes a fresh mix of familiar and new venues across Nevada and Utah. Organizers chose to forego motorcycles and quads for the debut event, but nonetheless managed to draw a talented field thanks in part to expanded time trials that included qualifying for select UTV classes.
In the end, it was Strobel whose time of 3:15:41.519 was best among all racers, with 16-year-old Madix Bailey just over a minute behind in second and the legendary Steve Olliges in third. Class 6100 racers Travis Williams and Travis Chase went 1-2 in their division to complete the overall top five, Brandon Bailey was best among the four Class 1 entries at sixth overall.
In the UTV divisions, Ranuio nipped Dan Fisher for the UTV Turbo and overall UTV victories by the thinnest of margins at just under 12 seconds. Including third place finisher Ryan Piplic, the entire Turbo podium was separated by under half a minute. In the UTV NA class, Kaden Wells beat Madeline Wedeking to the finish by just over three minutes, while Nolan Williams was best among the Unlimited entries. Of the 76 teams that started the race, an impressive 58 made it to the finish, including seven of the nine Unlimited Trucks and all but two of the 17 Turbo UTVs.
The inaugural Legacy Racing Association season resumes on February 5-7 in Laughlin with the Hare Scrambles, with motorcycles and quads doing battle on a roughly 30-mile loop. The larger four-wheel classes will return to action on May 12-16 at Baja Nevada, a unique two-day event from Alamo to Pahrump which will see racers camp overnight in Tonopah before returning to action the next day to complete the 600-mile race course.
Images via Legacy Racing Association