Strobel Wins 2011 BITD Vegas to Reno

Aug. 20, 2011 By Josh Burns
Steve Strobel took a patient approach to the 2011 Vegas to Reno, and his consistent performance earned him the win today.

After nearly 10 hours of driving through almost 550 miles of Nevada desert, Steve Strobel earned the win at the 2011 Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno. Strobel was consistent all day after coming off the starting line eighth to earn the second of his racing career. But Strobel knows that Vegas to Reno isn’t just any desert race.
“For me, it’s been a dream – it’s on the bucket list,” Strobel told us after the race. “[The day] was absolutely flawless. Our normal pits are one minute, but we were doing them in 51 to 52 seconds, so we were shaving off time there. We played it very conservative in some of the areas. Right at the end we caught a couple of quads, and it was so dusty. We probably lost a couple of minutes there, but we just had to wait and buy our time.

BJ Baldwin felt he had an off day, but unofficially it looks as though he earned second place in Trick Truck and third overall. Not bad for an “off” day.

“I told myself we really have a shot at this when we started the race today. We prepped the truck right, we did everything 200 percent to get this thing  ready. We’ve got the best equipment. We’ve got Schaeffer Oil, a Ford F-150, we’ve got Kroyer helping us out with the engine, and BFGoodrich Tires. It was just a great day.”

Garrick Freitas battled from the 26th starting position to earn first in Class 1500 and second overall.

The second vehicle across the finish (not counting the bikes and ATVs, of course) was the Monster Energy General Tire Chevy of BJ Baldwin. Although official results are still pending it appears as though Baldwin earned third place overall in spite of some electrical issues for the second half of the race.

2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Photo Gallery

“We kind of had an off day,” Baldwin said at the finish line, noting a fuel cell issues also plagued them during the race. “We almost had to stop at like every pit to get something or fix something, so it was kind of an off day for us.”

Kyle Conlon was the pole setter in qualifying, and he used his starting position to his advantage at the start of the race to pull away from the field. Up until a stop at pit 10 at race mile 359 (shown here), it appeared he was still in the lead on corrected time. But he told us he had no breaks the previous 40 miles before pit 10, and unfortunately the issue wasn’t resolved when the car went back on the course and the team couldn’t carry the momentum. Conlon is definitely one to watch, though.

The 1572 V&T Cattle Co. Jimco of Garrick Freitas finished seocnd overall on corrected time and first in Class 1500. Freitas was also one of the few racers we spoke to after the race without any flats. Most drivers it seemed had at least one flat due to the sharp rocks that litter the Vegas to Reno course. Freitas managed to avoid them with careful driving.

“We started 26th, so we were further back than we wanted to but it worked out for the best," he said. “Coming into the race being so far back we figured we’re be patient because if we’re impatient we’ll get frustrated and make mistakes so we were just patient. We just waited for something to happen.”

Although Jerry Zaiden is driver of record, when we quickly asked Jerry Whelchel what the driving breakdown was he said it was all him. Whelchel earned seventh place overall and fourth in Trick Truck.

Steven Appleton in the 1559 Jimco finished a few minutes behind Freitas on corrected time for second in class and fourth overall. John Swift in the Geiser-built Ford finished third in Class 1400 and was fifth overall.

Chuck Hovey’s single-seat offers no room for a co-driver, and like many racers the jagged rocks of the rocks caused him a few flats. If his car hadn’t fallen off the jack during a tire change, which he said cost him probably 12 minutes, he might have been even higher than sixth overall.

Check out 2011 Vegas to Reno Qualifying

Team Strobel celebrates after the race.

2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Official Results

Cars & Trucks
1. Steve Strobel – Class 1400*
2. Garrick Freitas – Class 1500*
3. BJ Baldwin – Class 1400
4. Steve Appleton – Class 1500
5. John Swift – Class 1400
6. Chuck Hovey – Class 1500
7. Jerry Zaiden – Class 1400
8. Scott Whipple – Class 1400
9. Justin Lofton – Class 1500
10. Greg Nunley – Class 1400
11. Mark McMillin – Class 1400
12. Will Staats – Class 1400
13. Shelby Reid – Class 1500
14. Bobby Baldwin – Class 1400
15. Mike Bilek – Class 1500
16. TJ Flores – Class 1500
17. Kevin McGillivray – Class 1400
18. Kyle Conlon – Class 1500
19. Shannon Campbell – Class 1500
20. Steve Sourapas – Class 1400
21. Adam Householder – Class 1400
22. Troy Vest – Class 1200*
23. Sam Berri – Class 1500
24. Bryan Folks – Class 1100*
25. Ray Griffith – Class 1500
26. David Caspino – Class 7200*
27. Carlos Cortez – Class 1500
28. Don German – Class 8000*
29. Tim Herbst – Class 1400
30. Al Hogan – Class 7200

Motorcycles & ATVs
1. Shane Esposito – Open P*
2. David Pearson – Open P
3. Justin Morrow – Open E*
4. David Fry – O-30*
5. Nick Burson – Open P
6. Garrett Burnett – Open E
7. Ryan McManus – 250 E*
8. Tom Horgan – Open E
9. Jerry Parsons – Open P
10. Greg Stuart – Quad P*
11. Mark Jenkins – O-30
12. Donald Starks – O-30
13. Scott Glimp – O-40*
14. Adam Thissen – Open P
15. Kyle Adney – Open E
16. Steven Fuller – O-40
17. Kyle Townsend – 250 E
18. Christopher Parr – Open P
19. Donald Campbell – O-30
20. Robert Atkins – O-30

1. Brandon Schueler – Class 1900*
2. Matt Parks – Class 1900
3. Jason Fraser – Class 1900
4. Sean Lindberg – Class 1900
5. Jason Murray – Class 1900

*Class Winner Newsletter
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