Scott & Andy McMillin CROWNED 2009 Vegas to Reno 1000-mile Desert Race Champions
San Diego, California (August 27, 2009) Andy McMillin was crowned the 2009 BITD Vegas to Reno OVERALL Winner after three days of battles with many of the top off road racers in the United States. The 2009 edition of Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno "The Long Way" race featured a three-day racing format that covered 997-miles of Nevada's treacherous desert.
Racing in such an event set in motion the McMillin Racing Army of volunteers who all joined together creating a championship winning performance as the #31 McMillin Homes sponsored race truck finished the race in the top spot.
Scott McMillin commented, "We could not have pulled this off without the dedication of our family, friends and co-workers who make up McMillin Racing. It was a monumental task of logistics and coordination to pull this off and the entire team made it happen." While droves of McMillin Racing volunteers staffed remote pit spots, many others transported the entire McMillin Racing mini-city from point-to-point each day over the three-day race event.
The task at hand, however, was to allow father and son racers, Scott and Andy McMillin, the opportunity to run the #31 McMillin Homes truck at top speeds from start to finish and challenge the competition for the title of winning the longest off road race in the United States.
The daunting challenge of a three-day 1000-mile stage desert race is nothing new for McMillin Racing as the father and son duo have overcome obstacles and racing challenges for many years together. Andy continues following in his father's footsteps as Scott has met and conquered the difficult challenges of desert racing for more than 20-years.
Coming off of winning performances at the BITD Parker 425 and the SNORE Mint 400, Andy McMillin was poised heading into Tuesday's qualifying event held in the desert outside Primm, Nevada. This was terrain that Andy has raced on many times over his career and qualifying for perhaps one of the biggest races in his career was no different.
By the days end, it was announced that Andy had qualified the #31 Geiser-built race truck in the top spot heading into Thursday's first day of racing. Andy commented, "We ran clean smooth lines in our qualifying efforts and that put us on top. . I'm glad we're first off the line in clean air."
As the sun began to shine on the small town of Beatty, Nevada, the McMillin Racing pit was abuzz as pit crews began to ready themselves and their race support vehicles for the first 333-mile day of racing. Crew Chief Greg Williams attended to the many details facing the team as he and his crew readied the #31 truck for the initial day of racing.
Andy McMillin started the three-day event in the driver's seat and as the green flag dropped he never looked back. In fact, the first stage of racing was absolutely perfect. McMillin railed the #31 McMillin Homes race truck through the barren desert, hitting each of his pits with perfection, as the dedicated crew worked in harmony providing the best race support available.
"We had a perfect day. The truck was awesome. Todd Tenbroek (FOX Racing Shox Race Manager) has been working with us in test sessions all season long and the suspension is unbelievable. I'm so comfortable knowing exactly how the truck is going to handle that I can push the Kroyer Racing package even harder than I normally would," regarded the San Diego racer.
The #31 ended their first day of racing on top of the field and headed into Friday's long 372-mile challenge with a vengeance. Scott McMillin and daughter, Jessica, started the day in the truck and they suffered two flats in the first 100-miles forcing them to play catch up early in the day. The second half of Scott's race day was near flawless, as he and Jessica made up time and handed off the pristine truck to Andy and his co-driver, Brady Thompson.
Competitors braved triple digit heat on Friday as the race kicked off from Tonopah, Nevada at an elevation of 6,000 feet and headed down to near sea level to some of the hottest and most desolate land in all of Nevada. By the end of Friday's second stage of racing, many competitors succumbed to the hostile conditions, calling it quits miles before the finish line. That was not the case for McMillin Racing, as they continued to focus on the goal of winning the longest off road race in the United States.
Early in the afternoon the #31 McMillin Homes truck rumbled into the BITD finish line in Hawthorne, Nevada. Smiling wide while he removed his helmet, co-driver Brady Thompson commented, "We really didn't push that hard, Andy was very focused and we had a solid run. Once again, the truck was awesome and we're all glad that we made it to the finish unscathed."
Andy McMillin smiled and said, "That was another good day of racing. We made a couple calculated charges towards the front and we got into a good rhythm and pushed fairly hard. It's amazing what abuse our BFGoodrich Tires can take. I may have earned a couple flat tires today that didn't go flat and I've just got to shake my head at how those tires can survive our abuse."
Best in the Desert base of operations for the third and final stage of the race was located in Hawthorne, Nevada, which is situated at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. As the sun set and illuminated the Walker Lake valley with an amazing array of colors, many teams made a mad dash to repair broken components for the final stage of racing.
The final stage of competition began at sunrise as the McMillin Racing Army of race support departed the race camp for the 8 remote pits strewn over 297-miles of stage three. After two full days of racing and finishing the second day in the third position physically, day three was set to be an epic battle between the top teams. Andy McMillin began the final day in second position physically, but first on time and his job was to charge to the finish line, but do it very cleanly to maintain the chance to win the overall race on time.
Throughout the day, everyone was working on timing charts. The tension grew as the #31 Geiser-built and Kroyer-powered machine clicked off the miles pit to pit and in the end, it was another near perfect day as Scott and Andy McMillin claimed victory in the longest off road race in the United States in 2009.
After a total of 997 torturous race miles throughout the entire state of Nevada, Scott and Andy McMillin finished the 2009 BITD Vegas to Reno race with a total time of 17 hours, 47 minutes, 52 seconds winning the overall victory by a mere 3 minutes and 6 seconds to the Herbst Racing family.
Scott McMillin reflected on the accomplishment, "What a great event. Best in the Desert put on a wonderful race that was an enormous logistical challenge and it went off great. Andy drove a great race and the crew performed each time we called on them. We couldn't win without our family, friends and co-workers of McMillin Racing who make up our entire race support volunteer team. Many thanks to a long list of supporters that include McMillin Homes, Kroyer Racing Engines, FOX Racing Shox, FORD, BFGoodrich Tires, KMC Wheels, VP Fuels, Vision X, Geiser Bros. along with all those that help us all season long. The 2009 BITD Series has two more races this season and we hope to continue with our winning ways."