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2008 BITD Vegas to Reno race stories

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Cory S
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Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 341
Location: Peoria, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: 2008 BITD Vegas to Reno race stories Reply with quote

Start time: 1:00pm August 22
Miles: 457
Time: 18 hours 44 minutes
Finish time: 7:22 am August 23rd

WOW!.. What an adventure. After three years attempting to finish Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno, longest off-road race in America. DTZ is very proud to announce that we finished the race in second place.

This years’ race- course was one of the roughest courses in history. DTZ racing prep team of three, Cory, Darren, Matt, finished the Rhino Wednesday night only hours before it was time to leave. With no time to test, the Rhino went from the Dyno right to the trailer and off to Vegas we went. Thursday during contingency, my sister Keli called to tell me her husband was having medical problems and she would not be able to attend the race. Keli is our “Race Nanny” and takes care of our two kids Alex and Hailey while my wife and I are racing in the Rhino. We were already short handed and this made our situation desperate. After 15 phone calls, I was able to recruit my good friend Chris Courie to join our team. We flew him in from Murrietta California to Las Vegas and picked him up at the airport at 9:00 the night before the race. So our team consisted of me, Cory Sappington, my wife, Jeanette, my two kids, Alex and Hailey, my brother, Darren his son Jared and my friends Matt Seay, and Chris.

This year there were a total of 326 entries, of which 14 of them were UTV’s, 12 Pro and 2 Sportsman. The UTV’s are the last to leave the start line and we were third to start in that class. I was so nervous that I decided to let Darren start as the driver and Matt start as the navigator. Only 10 minutes into the race, they passed 1941, the Burke Team and soon after caught three trucks, one of them being the Fab Tech full size Ford. The Fab Tech truck was so tall Darren decided to bump ‘em on the rear tire to keep from going under the truck. I’m sure the trucks never expect to get passed by a Rhino so they always seem to require a nudge. Soon after I got a call on the radio from Darren saying he was stopped along with 50 other vehicles. There has been a roll over that blocked the course and everyone had to wait for it to be cleared. After 10 minutes the course cleared and were right on the tail of team 1919 Jagged X. We stayed that way through Pit 1 mile 35. We continued o chase them to just before Pit 3, mile 116, when Darren and Matt hit a rock hidden in the silt bed. The impact not only bent our front right suspension and broke the tie-rod end but also rolled them over on their side. They tried several times to turn the Rhino back over but were unsuccessful. After 10 minutes, the Camburg truck team stopped and helped them roll the Rhino back over. Darren placed the broken tie-rod end and we were back on our way. They came into pit 3 in 6th or 7th place. We replaced the steer box, knuckle and upper A-Arm in 40minutes. We also made our driver change and Jeanette and I got in the Rhino. Between Pit 3 and Pit 4 mile 158 we passed 1944 team Texas. Shortly after passing 1944 we got a left rear flat and stopped to change it. No one passed us while we were stopped and continued on to Pit 4. At Pit 4 our chase team gave us a new rear tire and pulled the light covers off because it was getting dark. We didn’t stop at Pit 5 but passed the Lindsey Razor Team that were working on their UTV. About 14 miles before Pit 6 rm 229 our Rhino suddenly shut off. We were going up a small hill when it happened. I thought it was an electrical problem so I hooked up jumper cables from our light battery to our engine battery. The Rhino fired up but we only went about 50 yards and the Rhino died again. I turned our auxillary electric fuel pump on and could tell by the sound that it was not sucking fuel. I reached my hand into the fuel cell and discovered we were out of fuel. I moved the fuel pick-up tube to the back of the cell and was able to get the Rhino started again. We went about one more mile and that was it. After 5 minutes, #1802, a full size four seat buggy pulled up and stopped. We asked them for fuel and they did not have any, we then asked of they could tow us and they said yes. I quickly hooked up the tow strap and off we went! With only a 10 ft. tow strap and the lights off it was a hair raising experience to say the least. We arrived at Pit 6 where our crew was waiting. Darren and Matt were scheduled to get in but I decided to ride with Darren in case there were any other mechanical issues. Darren and I arrived at Pit 7 rm 276 at 1:00 am. I got out and Matt jumped and they were off to Pit 8 rm 279. At Pit 8 Jeanette and I were scheduled to get in but Jeanette was sleeping so Matt stayed in and I jumped in the driver seat. Pit 9, rm 346 , was too far for our chase team to go to so they went straight to Pit 10. They also informed us that we were now in 3rd place now and the only Rhino still running, with 1913 “ Team “Stripping Shop” and 1919 “Team Jagged X ahead of us. About 5 miles from Pit 10 rm 346 , we past 1913, they were broke and out of the race. Now in 2nd place and so close to the finish I started to get misty-eyed. At Pit 10, Darren was scheduled to get in as “Driver” and I would ride with him to the finish but after three years of trying to complete this race my adrenaline was really pumping and I asked Darren to ride instead of drive. He graciously accepted and we headed for the finish. Just as we left Pit 10 our chase team called on the radio to inform us that 1919 had broken their front suspension and were limping to the finish on three wheels. 1919 was appx. rm 412 and we were at 398. Then suddenly “BAM” our drive belt exploded! It was 5:00 am and still dark. I took about an hour to fix the drive belt and we were back on our way. The sun was now up and we were headed for the FINISH. Darren and I were so excited that we were “hooping and hollering” over the intercom to each other. We had no stop scheduled at Pit 11 rm 411. As we rolled through Pit 11 several chase teams ran out of their trailers and cheered us on. At rm 430 our chase team informed that we only had 20 minutes until the finish line closed. I knew I had to push the limits to get to the finish line on time. At rm. 446 we high centered on a huge boulder in the center of the course, but by rocking back and fourth in our seats we were able to back off of it. Shortly there after, it became very hard to turn the Rhino to the left. Our right front was going flat. With no time to change it we raced towards the finish. Now we could see the finish line. It was all down hill and I ran wide open across the finish line! Qwe were the last vehicle to finish the course on time with only two minutes to spare. My chase team, Best in the Desert Staff, and Creighton King from Maxxis tires were there to congratulate us. What a sweet victory. We were the only UTV in our class using stock suspension parts and two- wheel drive. With odds stacked against us we finished the longest toughest off-road race in America!
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Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Henderson

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations to you and your team Cory! That is a great story; way to finish under pressure…
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Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 35
Location: lake havasu city

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congradulations Cory!!!!!!!!
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Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Avondale, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the V2R finish! Laughing
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Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Congrats Reply with quote

Great finish Cory!

It was a long race and we were TKO by RM 100.

Also congrats to the JX team by winning their second V2R in a row in a Polaris RZR.
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Joined: 07 Jul 2008
Posts: 20
Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that Corry's race stories are always great, My hat is of to Cory and his whole team, I don't think anyone in any class races as hard as they do, Congrats man!

Our race was awesome but it would seem that some of the same hidden obsticals hammerd on our team as well. Coming into pit 6 the call was " The car is steering like crap somthing is wrong" Turned out Brandon had hit a big buried silt bomb boulder and bent one of the lower control arm bolts thus knocking the alignment out of whack. What seemed like an eternity actually only took about 10 minutes to fix and we were thrashing right alongside on the 1913 RZR of Jerome Vinagro who had been smoking our tailpipe all day. We got out ahead but only by a minute or so.
at pit 9 Brandon and Blake switched spots so Brandon would have a more comfortable place to sleep,(seeing as he had been sleeping on and off for 50 miles already) Blake never sleeps so he was a good choice. Things were great through pit 10, we had heard that Cory was the only other car on the course but we had a pretty comfotable lead so we sent the RZR on it's way to the finsh in "cruise mode" Just after we had left pit 10 in the chase truck we took the radio call " hey Pops we are going to need you to go to pit 11, got some problems" Uh Oh I thought "what's wrong" I asked
We broke the crap out of the left front" said B " Talk to me"
We are going to need a welder, an a-arm, a ball joint, a spindle" We are going to work on the car, call you later"
We hauled the mail to get to pit 11 with no comunicationwith the race car,
The Iri-track still showed the car stopped and our lead diminishing rapidly. another eternity elapsed until finally iri-track showed us at 6 mph but moving then 12mph then 20mph then back to 0 then back to 6 on an on. The radio finnaly cracked and all we heard was " three wheeling ...............get ready" we finally saw the lights coming up the wash and they eventually rolled into 11 and the sparks flew. Buy this time I think the 1904 car was within 30 miles and moving , We had the car repaired in about 20 minutes and again we said goodby and waved them towards the finish. The rest was clean and we finished in 17 hrs 26 min

Thank you to our entire chase crew, the great help we had from Polaris, Our Jagged Crew back at the shop and all who cheered us on all night.

What a great experience!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: What's up with 1960 Reply with quote

Does anyone know who built 1960. Any more info/specs or pics would be appreciated. Looks like a one-off build. Any idea how they did at V2R.
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stripping shop

Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi this rito from the 1913 desert rzr. That was the sillties race we have ever been at. We had problems all day spark plug wire falls off 20 ft into the race put us dead last, then we muscled on by about 85 miles in we hade everyone passed but brandon. Then we slowly lost power by pit 5 we caught jagged but we needed to get out. The rearend seal leaking again filled it ate something looked over the car & we were off about 1 min. behind. By pit six no power so the guys at polaris/jagged said to change the filter we did with there help & our pit crew my dad george & good friend/ employee Jeff got us back on our way. More power but still not right So we babied it on. pit seven stop to fill up & get out to check over car & oil now the motor needs about half quart, you no what that means, so we said screw it we might as well se wat she has left. So we motor on our pit crew had problems finding pit 8 so we kept on going jagged was nice to leave our gas can at pit 9 Our crew couldn't make that pit or would miss us at pit 10 When we got to pit 9 the bitd guys & a class 1 car pit crew helped us out. The class one car pit guy asked if we could take these tools & parts to his car they were at mile marker 371 we said through them in. Now we were back off motor making more noise then at 361 the motor said no more. now we are sitting there wondering wat to do & 7200 truck pulls up & says jerome is that you it was travis so he took the tools to the class 1 car & we waited for the bitd guys to come get us. Then 2 hours later here comes cory to put us into 3rd, Good job to jagged x,desert toyz to finish that race. Special thanks to our pit crew of 2 my dad george& jeff, ACS, ACC, my shop the stripping shop, Hpd, full circle auto body, glendale steel supply, neidhart stickers, jagged x, the guys from polaris, Especially our loving wifes who put up with all this.
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Joined: 07 Jul 2008
Posts: 20
Location: Phoenix

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with 1960 Reply with quote

elmariachi wrote:
Does anyone know who built 1960. Any more info/specs or pics would be appreciated. Looks like a one-off build. Any idea how they did at V2R.

It was a Rhino based one off with what looked like a motorcycle engine
They DNFed but I don't know why or where. I think the owner is john Crowley from Flagstaff az associated with afraidium racing.

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