Mark McMillin Unleashes the New ...
Mark McMillin Unleashes the New #23 Trophy Truck at BITD Vegas to Reno 3-Day Stage Race: Finishes 8th OVERALL 6th in Trophy Truck Class of 20
San Diego, California (August 27, 2009) Mark McMillin unleashed the new 2009 edition of the Geiser Brothers unlimited trophy truck at Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno 3-day stage race last week. The 3-day race event featured a total of 997-miles raced over three full days of desert racing. Mark qualified the #23 Ford race truck in 20th position of the 42 trophy truck and Class 1 racers who attempted qualifying.
Mark has had limited test time behind the wheel of the new trophy truck. However, that did not stop him from running at full speed in Thursday's stage one of the race. Mark charged from the start line in Beatty, Nevada as Cameron Parrish handled navigator duties. The newest McMillin trophy truck features FOX Racing Shox and BFGoodrich Tires. After the first 333-miles, Mark was rewarded with a top ten finish after a solid performance on the course in the new truck.
Racing the McMillin 1600 car were Mark's sons, Daniel and Luke. Taking the green flag was the youngest McMillin racer, Luke, who was fast early before the unthinkable occurred. The alternator pulley failed and although the driver and co-driver worked nonstop at repairs for hours on end, the 1600 racers were forced to take a DNF penalty in stage 1.
While waiting for the 1600 in the main pits, the McMillin Racing crew determined Mark McMillin's truck needed to change out the rear end. This put them over the allotted one-hour of work time on the truck and penalty times were assessed for the start of stage 2.
The second stage of racing started in Tonopah and ended in Hawthorne, Nevada. Mark McMillin charged the #23 trophy truck hard all day long before handing it over to Brian Ewalt for the final 125-miles to the finish line. When the race truck crossed the finish line, they were in the 8th position overall and immediately readied for the start of stage 3 on Saturday morning.
Daniel McMillin started the second stage in the 1600 car and drove the entire 372-mile stage. Daniel found his way into a ditch with two flats, resulting in two hours of downtime while working towards extraction.
Mark McMillin commented, "We have to thank the JIMCO Strobel team for stopping and pulling the McMillin 1600 car from their buried predicament. It's nice to have good friends show up in the middle of a race and help out."
As darkness descended over the Nevada desert, the race was on as Daniel McMillin chased checkpoint closing times throughout the night, staying ahead of them by just a few minutes. Daniel finished stage 2 in 12 hours, 55 minutes and 15 seconds.
And although the night ended up in another late work party, the race support crew prepared 12 rib eye steaks for the hungry and worn out race team sometime around midnight.
The sun rose early as the final day of the 3-day race began with Brian Ewalt setting a quick pace in the #23 trophy truck. He made his way to Pit 5 in Gabbs, Nevada, but not before he endured a long flat tire stop that eventually ended up with them getting stuck. Mark McMillin stood by at Pit 5 waiting to get in his truck and prepared for the final push to the checkered flags in Dayton, Nevada.
The final 298-miles saw Daniel McMillin complete the entire stage from behind the wheel of the pounding 1600 car. Daniel was the third fastest among the 1600 cars, finishing with a time of 6 hours, 21 minutes and 54 seconds.
Mark McMillin ran a near flawless race in stage 3, finishing in 5 hours, 51 minutes and 38 seconds finishing 8th overall among 146 cars and trucks entered in the race. The #23 was 6th in the elite class of 20 trophy trucks.
Mark smiled and said, "It was a fun and great race with the new Geiser-built trophy truck. Daniel and Luke finished 12th in the 1600 class after not finishing at all in the first stage of the race, so overall they rallied and ran solid. Our good friends, Ryan and Ross Mattox finished in 10th position and Luke drove their car in the second half of stage 2. Thanks to every single one of the 50 people who helped us get to the race, qualify, push the cars thru 115 degree heat in contingency, and get to the starting line everyday with full bellies. You were there at all the pits and at the finish line with shade and drinks. You all worked well and fast in the work area and were impressive. You were there to feed us at night and sometimes very late at night. You moved our trailers and motor homes everyday and kept smiling. We were all having fun. All the chase vehicles and pit support planning worked well. Fueling was impressive. Spirits were high and it's off to our next race."
The next race on the schedule for Daniel and Luke McMillin will be the SCORE Primm 300 race on September 12th, 2009 in Primm, Nevada. There is a chance that Mark McMillin may race the SCORE Primm 300 in the #23 trophy truck, but only after the crew has had time to determine the condition of the trophy truck after 1000-miles of brutal Nevada desert.