Vegas to Reno Review Part 2

Day 3


We got to the impound area at 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning to start Day 3. By 9:30 a.m. we were pre-staged and headed over to the start line 5 miles away.

We started at the back again because of our DNF the day before. We got off to a good start but with the dust hanging in the air over the track we couldn’t see over 20’ ahead of us. After a while we catch up with the other racers. Passing was dangerous but there was no way we were going to eat dirt all day long. We looked for good openings or a long, straightaway to pass.

The night before we removed the fiberglass grille and one headlight in front of the radiator to solve the overheating problem. Our temperature went down an average of 20 degrees.

Derek was driving again but was very tired from only two hours of sleep. The first half of the day was full of silt beds. The truck was floating over them well when we maintained a high speed. The uphill climbs were quickly dragging our engine down, so we had to keep up the speed to stay in the engine’s power band all while being careful enough to finish the race.

I switched into the driver’s seat around mile marker 160. The course was very tight. Uphill grades and dangerous downhill canyons with lots of turns scattered with large rocks. We had to slow down due to our BFG’s which are 5-6 years old. With only 20 miles left to go before the finish line the entire course changed to razor sharp rocks that we that we had to go over- making sure we didn’t spin the tires the rest of the way.

The finish line and the Red Bull arch were a welcome sight. After 1,000 miles in 3 days, we finished 2nd place for the day and 6th overall. After 3 days, only 125 of the 300 vehicles that started the race finished in Reno and Lost Boys Racing # 7205 was there.

Big Thanks to our Pit Crew!
Derek & Gary Dixon- “Drivers”
Jeff McCullough- Crew Chief & “Bud Light Master”
Kurt Mantwell- “Dirt”
Erik Aldinger- “Sparky”
Kevyn Thaxton- “Tex”
Chris Thaxton- “Local Yocal”
Stewart Dixon- “Fed Ex”
Butch Burtness- “Tech Support”

And a Special Thanks to our Sponsors:
King Shocks
Mac McFarland –Ford Fleet Sales
Smith Floors
Pacific Premier Bank
Full Circle Maintenance & Construction

Our next race is in Mesquite Nevada- the Silver State 300 September 25, 26, 27.


OMA Production V2R 2009 Video

Courtesy of OMA Productions.

Vegas to Reno Review Part 1



It was around 107 degrees for what seemed to be all day. We spent the day in lines throughout the vendor area. Our truck was getting a lot more attention because the wrap looked so great. I was hoping to get tires from BFG and spent more than 3 hours talking to every rep I could, we needed two more projects to start the race but no luck. We finished the day outside in the amphitheatre at the drivers’ meeting, still around 102 degrees.

Day 1


I’ll make this kind of short: We made every mistake possible including mistakes we’ve already made before. Here’s the list:

• Broken rim

• Flat tire

• Rolled the truck over

• Stuck the truck in silt bed

• Burned up the starter

• Bent the front spindle by putting a tire with the wrong backset

However, we finished that day around 8:00 p.m.. Very tired. We worked in the pits until midnight and got to bed around 1:00 or 2:00 a.m..

Day 2


Starting in the back of the pack is getting to be a real problem. Dust, dirt, and sand everywhere. Our parker pumper (air filter) stopped working half way through each day. The first big problem of the day: the rear bolt in the trailing arm was falling out. I guess there wasn’t enough space between the sway bar and rear arm for a locknut. It fell out twice before we could replace it at Pit 3. Then the alternator wasn’t working. We finally pulled the hood and checked it out, the belt was gone and no, we didn’t have a belt on the chase truck. I spent over $5,000.00 in spare parts but no $5.00 belt! We decided to push on to Pit 4 and replace the belt there. Chase 2 picked up a new belt and installed it quickly but the truck was too hot to start and there was no amperage in the batteries. We tried to jump start it with two trucks, no luck, the starter was fried again. We were timed out at Pit 4 and DNF for the day.

At this point we needed a new starter and heat shield. I called Baja Mike at Kartek in Corona. He was the only one I knew that would have the starter on the shelf. He set up a drop site but I needed someone to drive 450 miles to deliver it. Stewart, who had to miss this race because he has a new baby girl at home jumped in his truck with Butch, his father-in-law and part of our pit crew, and headed out with the new starter. They got to us at 4:00 a.m.. We got the new starter and heat shield installed and placed the truck into impound around 6:00 a.m.., all ready to go. Thanks to Stewart , Butch, Baja Mike, and my grandsons, Evan & Parker we were able to start day 3.

To be continued…

Vegas to Reno Video

Vegas to Reno: The Long Way Photos


Click on the photo above to see the Contingency Slide Show.


Click on the photo above to see the Race Days Slide Show.


Click on the photo above to see the Finish Line Slide Show.

Congratulations to Lost Boys Racing for finishing the race!

A special thanks to Kevyn Thaxton for all photos and videos.

Follow The Race

Starting today Sopwith Motorsports will be broadcasting Vegas to Reno live.

Sopwith Live

Follow the link above to see live event coverage.

Getting Ready for Vegas to Reno

Follow us at Vegas to Reno

Follow link below to track us during Vegas to Reno:

IRC:  International Race Consultants

The race runs 8/19, 8/20, & 8/21.  Log on any day, follow the prompts for the Vegas to Reno tracking, and type in our #7205 and Gary Dixon.  This will allow you to see us in real time,  our speed,  and our location.

Crew Notice

Our final meeting before Vegas to Reno:

The Shop

Sunday, 8/16/09 2:00 pm

Bring items that you would like to put in the 5th Wheel. Call Gary on his cell for more info. Please make plans to attend.

Notice to Crew

Countdown to Vegas to Reno has begun. Our first meeting:

The Shop
Saturday, 8/8/09 7:00 am

Bring work clothes. Call Gary on his cell for more info. Please make plans to attend.