Images via Harlen Foley
Continuing a run of dominance that has now spanned multiple years and sanctioning bodies, Phil Blurton scored his second straight win to open the 2022 Best in the Desert season in Saturday’s UTV Legends Championship race from Laughlin. Coming off a victory in the season-opening Parker 250 last month, the No Limit RD Can-Am driver completed 10 laps of the 17-mile course in 3:18:30.533, more than six and a half minutes faster than closest Turbo Pro challenger Joe Terrana in second. Chase de Sousa Diaz completed the class podium at 51 seconds behind Terrana.
They were joined in the final race of the day by the NA Pro teams, where defending series champion Josh Row paced the field for his second consecutive podium finish and first win of the year. He was joined on the class podium by Max Eddy, who improved on an eighth place finish in Parker as the only other lead-lap finisher in the division. It was a youth movement behind them for the final podium spot, as 13-year-old Cash Shaleen edged out 15-year-old Ethan Groom by just 34 seconds for the honors.
Preceding the battle for the Turbo and NA Pro divisions, the second race saw the Trophy Unlimited, Super Stock, and Sportsman classes do battle, and the advantage to a less-used course was that the overall winner of that race actually posted the fastest time of the weekend. Chris Blais’ winning time of 3:18:11.441 in Trophy Unlimited topped all UTV race times in Laughlin by 19 seconds, beating Brayden Baker by nearly three minutes and Jamie Campbell by more than nine. Mitchell Alsup scored his second straight Super Stock victory over Chase Carr and Connor Maxwell, while Eric Maxwell’s margin of victory over Jason George was nearly 20 minutes in the Sportsman class.
Under the race’s Grand Prix finish rules, just six of the 34 Turbo Pro entries completed all 10 laps of the action in the third race. In the second race, the Trophy Unlimited racers paced the field, but only five of 22 managed to run all 10 laps, while four of 13 did in Super Stock. The top NA Pro and Sportsman teams won their respective races with nine laps completed apiece. Full unofficial results from the event can be found here.
While Best in the Desert returns to action on March 17-20 with the Adelanto Grand Prix for motorcycles and quads, the remaining four-wheel classes are off until April 28-30’s Silver State 300 in Alamo, Nevada. That race will mark the first of three events in a row in the 2022 BITD season where every division will be in action on the same weekend, as August 10-13’s Vegas to Reno and September 22-25’s Battle Born 200 will have the same stacked entry lists.