Images via Harlen Foley
As it has for years now, Laughlin, Nevada will once again play host to a UTV-centric event this weekend with the return of Best in the Desert’s UTV Legends Championship. Extending the longstanding relationship between BITD and the city of Laughlin, the event once again boasts a full lineup of UTV, motorcycle, and quad entries, with plenty of youth racing and additional short course action to supplement the second points-paying round of the season for the premier desert racing teams in America.
Double-digit entry lists for all of BITD’s premier UTV classes are on the docket, with the UTV Turbo Pro class leading the way once again with nearly three dozen names on the list. Led by Parker 250 winner Phil Blurton and fellow podium finishers Vito Ranuio and Dustin Jones, one of the deepest classes in the sport is set for another hotly contested battle on Saturday. Last year’s victory in the Turbo division went to Ryan Piplic, who defeated Jones by just over 45 seconds.
But strong entries for the other divisions will keep things interesting throughout the field. Mikey Sandoval took top honors in Parker in the UTV NA Pro class and will look to go back-to-back with a win in Laughlin, while Mike Deley will attempt to do the same in UTV Trophy Unlimited. Last year’s top Pro Open finisher, Mitchell Alsup, will lead the 11-entry Super Stock division, while the Sportsman class will bring 15 UTVs of its own.
After a full day of youth racing on Friday, Saturday’s action kicks off with the motorcycles and quads hitting the 17-mile course at 7AM, with Sportsman, Super Stock, and Trophy Unlimited taking on the second race at approximately 10:30AM and the Turbo and NA Pro divisions starting their race at 2PM. All of the UTV and pro motorcycle and quad classes will need to complete a minimum of five laps of the 10-race duration to be scored as a finisher, always a challenging feat given Laughlin’s rough and unforgiving 17-mile course. The short course competitors will close out the weekend with their race on Sunday morning.
Following the UTV Legends Championship, Best in the Desert will stage the Adelanto Grand Prix for motorcycles and quads in Adelanto, California on March 18-20. April 28-30’s Silver State 300 in Alamo, Nevada will mark the first event of the year where all of BITD’s divisions will compete together.