Race weekend began Thursday - a day earlier than usual. This was no ordinary race. This was the Best in the Desert's "TSCO Vegas to Reno", the longest off-road race in The United States. Pre-race contingency and technical inspection was held on...
Race weekend began Thursday - a day earlier than usual. This was no ordinary race. This was the Best in the Desert's "TSCO Vegas to Reno", the longest off-road race in The United States. Pre-race contingency and technical inspection was held on Thursday, June 24, 2004, at the Sun Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Mongo Racing's black 2004 Ford F-150 was once again a crowd favorite and admired by many fans and spectators. While preparing for the 7PM Drivers meeting, the team fielded spectator questions. At the driver's meeting, BITD showed a video of the previous race - the "Terrible's Town 250" which had aired on the Outdoor channel the night previous. Mongo Racing's 2004 Ford F-150 was a featured vehicle! After the meeting, the team was off to near by Pahrump, NV for a night stay at the Saddle West Hotel & Casino.
Race day, June 25, 2004, was early for many with the motorcycles starting the race at 5:45 am. Staging for the Trucks and Cars was at 8:30 am behind the Terrible's Town Casino. With the 9:00 am parade thru town to the start line 11 miles out of town at the Johnny mine, the start of the race was nearing. The first Trick truck left the start line at 9:30 am. The wait was long before the Mongo Racing 2004 Ford F-150 left the start line at 10:36 am, 6th off the line in a class of 12. This was the largest turn out in many races for this class with eight Fords, 2 AMC General Hummers and 2 Chevrolet trucks.
The race was almost 500 miles and looked to be a great battle between drivers Greg Foutz, Chad Hall and Randy Merritt. The Mongo Racing 2004 Ford F-150 was in its third race and looked to be getting faster with every race.
At pit 1, the Mongo Racing 2004 Ford F-150 had fallen back to 8th place, but the crew was not worried because they were still with in their plan to race the terrain and make a late charge if needed. At pit 2, their position had not changed, but who was ahead and behind them had. Greg Foutz looked to be running really well, but was still in the grasp of Mongo Racing's plan. At pit 3, the Mongo Racing 2004 Ford F-150 had picked up a spot and was making ground on the leaders.
At pit 4, the crew waited as co-rider and Ford Senior Master Technician Chris Golding radioed in that they were experiencing throttle problems, but would soon be in the pit to find out what was wrong. When the truck came to a stop at the pit Chris jumped out and began diagnosing the problem and with the assistance of a scan tool was able to read the codes and fix the problem, a throttle sensor had been pressed passed its limits by the driver while navigating thru a silt bed. With only 18 minutes in the pit the Mongo Racing 2004 Ford F-150 was back on track and just over 40 minutes behind leader Greg Foutz. Shortly after leaving the pit, Chris radioed in that the truck was again running strong. The crew finished packing-up and began heading to the pit 5 of this 14 pit race.
While the crew waited at pit they heard Chris radio in that they were experiencing powertrain performance issues. Then, they were not heard from again for along while. Then the crew got word that the truck was 12 miles away in the mountains, engine not running. Chris was trying everything possible to get up and running again. They wanted to get to Reno! At pit closure time the team determined a finish was not possible. The truck was withdrawn from competition - this time. Post race inspection determined, both fuel pumps on board the truck had failed. Further "root cause" investigation is in process. This was Mongo Racing's first DNF in the last two BITD seasons.
The next race is the BITD "Las Vegas 200" in October, just south of Las Vegas near Jean, NV.
Mongo Racing would like to thank their sponsors: Ford Trucks, Visteon, TNC Machine & Metal Fab, F & M Baldenegro Farms, Goodyear Tires, Signcraft, Borla Exhaust, Sway-A-Way, Valley Spring, Bodyline Auto body and paint, For You Tire & Auto, Gibb's Repair, Lickity Stitch, Reno Metal Products Inc., Desertracing.com, Auto Meter, NAPA in Parker.
For more information you can visit www.bitd.com, www.mongoracing.com, or www.desertracing.com.