The Best In The Desert series, Vegas to Reno race, (V2R) is the longest off-road race in the United States. This year’s event was run over two days and included an additional 100 miles of brutal Nevada desert terrain.
Normally Brothers Dan and Luke McMillin would be driving their own Trophy Trucks, but decided to share driving the McMillin Racing #83; Luke would qualify the truck and drive day one, Dan would take over the driving on day two. Co-driver Casey King would navigate the entire 644 mile course.
Luke qualified the McMillin Racing, DLM Properties, BFGoodrich Tires, and Method Race Wheels Trophy Truck in the seventh spot. Starting up front on race day is a huge advantage but right off the start, the race took on a serious tone with blinding silt causing crashes and bottlenecks on the course. Luke and Casey had no problem navigating through the mess. At pit one, competitors had to load onto their trailers and drive to pit two. The night before the race, the section of course that went through the monument was closed abruptly. Teams were notified the morning of the race.
“We had a clean race on day one,” said Luke, “It was a new course for us so that was fun, but there was a lot of dust. The transfer section did not go well for us. We ended up restarting the race in 10th instead of 7th in the confusion. We had to eat more dust than we deserved. We kept charging all day, and picked off a few guys that broke, had flat tires, or crashed. We ended up 7th for the day, which we thought was a little disappointing. When we looked at the times, 2nd-7th place was extremely tight on time so we knew we had a good race. We stayed on pace with the fastest guys all running in the top ten. The 83 truck ran strong all day with no major mechanical issues.”
On day 2, it was Dan’s turn behind the wheel. The goal at Vegas to Reno was to see how far they could push the 83 truck in preparation for the Baja 1000. Dan maintained the pace that Luke put down during day one and pushed even harder as the race went on. The last thirty miles of the course is literally a pile of sharp rocks with dirt filling in the voids. The sharp rocks sticking up sliced tires and even broke the wheels of several competitors. Dan had some flat tires that slowed his overall time but he managed to bring the truck home in one piece. The combined times from both days gave McMillin racing a solid 9th place finish. It was a great finish considering nearly half of the field was unable to even start on day two.
“The highlight of our weekend was that we accomplished our goal,” says Luke, “We wanted to put race miles on the 83 truck without having any mechanical issues and we did that. V2R is a great race but in our minds it is merely a warm up for the Baja 1000. We’ve had our share of bad luck with this truck, I am very happy that it ran the whole race with no issues. We are going to continue testing the truck over the next couple weeks to fine tune our Baja 1000 set up. We are confident that we will have two highly competitive trucks ready to win the Baja 1000. Dan and Chuck Hovey will race the 1k together in the 23 truck. The Baja 1000 is the race we set our minds on during the entire season.”
When we asked Luke about his plans for the 1000, he had nothing to say other than he had something big in the works that will be announced later. “We have a great line up for the 83 truck, but we’re not ready to tell everyone who it is; it will be big news,” stated Luke.
Photography By: Bink Designs