Team Xterra Racing Year End Wrap Up
Dec 14, 2007 By:Press Release Off-Road Racing
Oh how a year in desert racing can play with your emotions. Entering the '07 Best in the Desert (BITD) season hopes were high that all the new team and vehicle bugs had been worked out in the four races Team Xterra Racing had entered in 2006...
Piloted by the experienced pairing of Dave Blakely and Robert Pinon and armed with equipment from the best companies in the business (Goodyear Tires, Fox Racing Shocks, PIAA Lights, National Springs, Speedhut Gauges and DJ Safety firesuits, amongst others) the VQ powered Nissan Xterra was ready to rock.
'07's first race at BITD's Parker 425, however, ended the way most of the races in '06 had...with a DNF at mile 151. Not the best start to the year to say the least...So back to the drawing board the team went and out came a vehicle Dave and Robert felt they could depend on.
Terrible's Town 250 was next on the agenda and at "only" 250 miles, was highlighted on the teams calendar as the year's best chance at a solid finish. Running near the lead for half the race, a broken steering u-joint and spring shackle would slow the team down but not enough to prevent the Xterra's first podium finish,coming in just behind the ever present Mike Falkosky and the legendary Rod Hall. This third place finish (Team Xterra Racing's best finish to that point) came at just the right time, lifting the team's spirits, assuring them that they were on the right track and proving that the Nissan Xterra could run with anyone in its class.
Good thing the team got a solid finish under its belt at the TT 250 because next up on the schedule was BITD's annual, near 600 mile "Vegas to Reno" (V2R) run. Perhaps the toughest offroad race this side of the Baja 1000, V2R can sometimes seem a near impossible task to complete, especially when attempted in a near stock vehicle.
Once again Dave and Robert strapped themselves in (along with a few other select drivers and co-dogs) and were ready to push the Nissan Xterra to its limits...and to its limits it went. 565 miles, more than a dozen pit stops, speeds up to 100 mph, elevations over 10,000 feet and some 21 hours later, the Nissan Xterra crossed the finish line--again bringing home a third place finish!! The team had accomplished what few had thought possible, bringing a stock Xterra across the finish of the longest offroad race in the United States!
V2R, though definitely the highlight of the team's year, had taken a lot out of the race vehicle and unfortunately the laundry list of parts worn out by the 565 mile run in late August were not able to be replaced by early October's Las Vegas 300 and the team was forced to miss this event, though Team Xterra Racing remained in third place in class 3100 for the year as Rod Hall and his H3 also missed the event.
Still missing a key replacement part in early December, but knowing that they could clinch 2nd place in class 3100 merely by rolling the Xterra across the starting line, Dave and Robert put together what the hoped would be a drivetrain that they could baby to the finish. It was not to be however as the Xterra clinched second place for the year in class 3100 but parts that had gone too long without proper replacement prevented the Xterra from progressing any farther than the first checkpoint.
So 2007's racing results break down as follows:
Blue Water Resort Parker 425---DNF Mile 151, Third in Class Terrible's Town 250---3rd Place Class 3100 Finish TSCO Vegas to Reno---3rd Place Class 3100 Finish Las Vegas 300---DNS Henderson's Terrible 400---DNF Mile 14, Fourth in Class
Overall Standings for 2007 in BITD Class 3100:
1--Mike Falkosky, Ford Explorer2--Dave Blakely/Robert Pinon, Nissan Xterra 3--Rod Hall, Hummer H3
So thats it...a typical year in the desert with enough ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies, heartbreak and elation to fill a Greek epic. Be assured however that the team remains as hungry as it has ever been and will be ready in '08 with a fully prepped and repaired Nissan Xterra to once again push to the front and put pressure on all comers!! See you in the desert in '08!!
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