BEST IN THE DESERT NEVADA 2000
RENO to TONOPAH, Nev. (July 13, 2000) - Day 5 of 6
Distance - 302 miles
Day 5 Race: Misfortune Strikes the Toyota/PPIM Team Just Short of the Finish Line
Toyota off-road racer Larry Roeseler dominated the fifth stage of the Best In The Desert Nevada 2000 until a fuel pick-up problem plagued the Toyota Tundra within 10 miles of the finish line. Roeseler was eventually able to get the truck running and finished 16th for the day. He began the day second behind the Herzog Trick Truck driven by Ryan Arciero (based on the scant seven second victory by Arciero's teammate Brian Stewart on Day 4 over his father Ivan "Ironman" Stewart, who is Roeseler's Toyota/PPIM teammate.)
The Toyota/Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI) Motorsports team began the day with the overall lead after the first four stages of the event (6:43 over the Herzog Trick Truck). Roeseler took the physical lead from Arciero just after the third pit-stop area near Raw Hide when the Herzog truck had a flat tire. Roeseler drove a smooth, patient race in building an overall lead (based on total adjusted time) of 11:53 over the Class 1500 Unlimited Buggy of Troy Herbst.
Due to Best In The Desert rules that prohibit team members from working on a race vehicle other than in designated pit-stop areas, Roeseler was forced to work on his own truck in the 100-degree heat when it lost fuel pressure. With the help of Toyota/PPIM team members in radio contact with him, Roeseler overcame the harsh conditions and was able to restore proper pressure and complete the race.
Based on the Day 5 results, Roeseler will start the sixth and final stage tomorrow in 16th place (competitors begin one minute apart in order of the previous day's results).
With only a 220-mile run from Tonopah to Las Vegas left tomorrow, the Toyota/PPIM team is in third place overall, 57:07 behind the Herbst Class 1500 buggy.
"For the majority of the day, we were just cruising along great. The Tundra was running fantastic, and we had a nice lead going into the stretch run. Fortunately, we were able to get the truck running again and finished about an hour behind the leader. What can you say, that's how it goes in off-road racing sometimes."
"We're all disappointed, but I'll run my best tomorrow and we'll see what happens. We'll need a little luck, but if bad luck can happen to us, it can happen to the other two trucks in front of us. You never know what's going to happen, so you just run as quickly as you can."
Day 6 on Friday, July 14, 2000: Tonopah to Las Vegas, Nev. - 220 miles