Brenthel Built Racecars Finish Grueling Vegas To Reno Race
August 26, 2016
It’s a good weekend of racing when eight out of ten trucks entered into a two-day long, 644 mile torture test all make it to the finish. Ryan Curtis taking a third place podium in his class 2400 Brenthel Industries buggy was icing on the cake. The Best In The Desert series, Vegas to Reno race, is usually a flat out sprint through the silt and rocks of Northern Nevada. What lies between the starting line outside Alamo, Nevada and the finish line up north in Dayton is pure torture on man and machine. This year’s event was held over two days with an extra 100 miles tacked on. The extra mileage did little to slow the frantic pace. The high speeds are a result of the distances covered. The immense vistas and long stretches of desolate road give drivers a false sense of time and space. You can keep the throttle pinned for what seems like forever, and it feels like you aren’t even moving.
The best strategy at Vegas to Reno is to keep moving. Any problem that requires a stop lets the competition disappear into the sunset. For Bobby Pecoy and Mike Craft, the strategy was to steer clear of trouble and make it to the finish. The two were racing a brand new Brenthel Industries 6100 truck that was finished just before the race. Usually the truck owner will jump behind the wheel, but Craft prefers to sit in the right seat and be the brains of the operation. Anyone who has put time in as the navigator knows, it’s not easy to sit there and not be in control. Luckily, Craft has complete confidence in the abilities of his driver and longtime friend Bobby Pecoy.
“The race was fantastic,” said Craft, “The Brenthel truck performed flawlessly; we never had to get out either day. It rode so smooth we went to Mammoth Mountain the next day and went mountain biking. Bobby had only ten minutes of seat time in the truck before the race, so we were learning in real time. There was a lot of dust on the course so we were popping out into clean air when we had to. If you stop or slow down, you will get nailed from behind. The way they started us on day 2, we had many Trick Trucks behind us.” They started last on day one and finished third in class, 27th place overall; beating 23 unlimited Trick Trucks on time.
Craft continued, “The only issue we had was the oil temperature on day one. We got an alarm from our Motec system; the oil temperature was at 245. It won’t go into limp mode until 255. We just backed it down a notch until it cooled off. Since it was kind of last minute, we only had a couple pick-up trucks pitting for us; we don’t have any chase trucks built yet. We knew we could count on the Brenthel crew to back us up if we needed it. You don’t win a race like this in the first five miles; we ran a smart pace. Our goal is to have fun, not work on the truck in the desert.”
It was crazy off the line,” said Ryan Curtis, “There was a big pile-up only a couple miles off the start. It was so dusty, it was silty everywhere. My co-driver called it perfectly and we got through the mess. We ran into some trouble on day one. We came around a corner in the dust and smacked a boulder on the edge of the course. We were down a long time trying to fix it. When we got to the pit in Tonopah we were able to get it together for day two. We had a different mindset on day two, we wanted to have some fun and make sure we finished. By only the second pit, we were making good time on the others so we picked up the pace. Then we got a little bump from the Honda Ridgeline and that lit a fire in us. We had no flats and the Ford Eco-Boost engine in our Brenthel buggy was running strong. We can’t wait until Parker in October.” Ryan’s third place podium finish was an excellent result for the 17 year old driver. One wonders where he would have finished without the loss of time he suffered on day one.
“We were really proud at the finish line seeing so many of our trucks all lined up,” said Jonathan Brenthel, “I was going down the line talking to everyone; there were a lot of happy racers sitting in the trucks that we built. The new truck we built for Mike Craft is really trick. It has all the MoTec stuff on it, it monitors everything. They were so stoked to get a podium the first time out. If we had the MoTec system they were running it would have saved us. We had only 4 miles to go to the finish on day one when our transmission let go. We were basically coasting to the finish when it went. That set us back for day two but it was still a fun race.”
Brenthel Industries built race vehicles are as diverse as their owners. Brenthel provides impeccable quality, championship winning performance, and all-inclusive customer service and support. The attention to detail comes straight from the top. Jordan and Jonathan are not your typical owners. They both possess every skillset needed to deliver their products from a pile of raw materials to a functioning vehicle. They incorporate their first-hand knowledge in CAD design, welding, fabrication, assembly, plumbing, wiring and more into every design. The race prep, chase support and Arrive and Drive programs have been developed through their extensive racing experience. When it comes to selecting a builder, you can compromise, or you can insist on the best; Brenthel Industries. Go to http://brenthelindustries.com or http://www.bajakits.com/ to find out more about the many services, highly developed suspension systems and race-proven products available from Brenthel Industries.
Photography By: Bink Designs