Johnny Campbell didn't do much riding prior to the race after having minor knee surgery 28 days earlier. In fact, he didn't ride until four days before the race. "I had a torn meniscus, and they removed part of it," he said. "It's been a pretty tough month for me - just a lot of stuff going on, more than normal activities. Knee surgery, new baby girl named Paris [the second child for Campbell and wife Faye], and of course we had the national catastrophe - just a lot of things really eating at me."
A reported double-fatality accident, which occurred some three hours before the start, shut down Highway 95 east of the turnoff to Pahrump and delayed many involved with the race. Several road crossing crews and many co-riders didn't make it to their planned destinations, resulting in last-minute changes of strategy for more than a few teams that spent the night in Vegas. Those who stayed in Pahrump were not affected. The accident victims were not believed to be connected with the race.
While driving to the start, Bryan Folks and his crew reported seeing another single-vehicle accident in which a woman had flipped her car, though she was not injured badly. According to Folks, they stopped long enough to make sure she was okay and that help was on the way before continuing on to the start.
Team Hawaii made the trip to the mainland for the second BITD race in a row. Apparently, they've been practicing because the trio comprised of Matt Lyman. Daryl Hambleton and former Mauna Kea 200 Enduro winner Steve Trinies won Over 35 Expert and were 13th overall and first Experts on their Pflueger Honda/IMS/Dunlop-sponsored XR650R. Fellow Hawaiians Dick Alcuran, Dave Kribell and Winston Matsuura won the Over 40 Expert class on a similar machine. "The pineapple fields we've been practicing in are really small now." Matsuura joked. Alan Pflueger raced a truck for the first time. Though the Chevy he shared with Las Vegas resident Thomas Franczak in class 1 200 (ProTruck) DNFed after reportedly rolling.
Team Green's Larry Roeseler shared the class 1500 Ford-powered "truggy" with Troy Herbst, but their effort DNFed. "LR" planned to drive the last half of the race. Roeseler will also be racing the Tecate/SCORE Baja 1000 next month, again taking over from Troy Herbst and driving the last half of the race.
Former series champs Destry Abbott and Brian Brown ran up front early on their Team Green/Dunlop/Castrol-backed KX500, but their day ended when the bike ran out of coolant. Brown reported feeling something spraying on his face before the bike quit. The Montclair Yamaha/Moose/Dunlop YZ426F of Ty Davis and Russell Pearson also ended up on the early trailer home after starting in the back of the Open Pro class and threading through the pack toward the front.
Danny Cooper got his second 250cc Pro win in a row on the Pro Circuit/DHI Racing/Tsubaki-backed YZ250 he shared with David Pearson. Like Staab, Pearson ran out of gas after getting lost before pit two. However, he and Cooper would soon pass the others in their class and finish first physically, beating runners-up Bryan Folks and Wade Phillips on their Pro Circuit/Sportsman Cycle/Dunlop-sponsored KTM 250 MXC by almost six minutes, 10:35:13 to 10:41:07. That put the first 250s at sixth and seventh overall, respectively.
On chasing Cooper/Pearson. Bryan Folks said, "We knew we had to get in front of them and make up two minutes, [but] Wade [who'd gone down and twisted his knee earlier) fouled a plug in one of his sections. At one point we were 13 minutes down. and we were able to close the gap...but too little, too late. I feel like the last couple, three years I should dominate this class. because I feel like we're the fastest team always. We keep just having small problems - and it's not the bike. It's either rider error or [bad] luck." At least Folks broke the streak of injuries suffered in consecutive races at two, making it through this one unscathed.
David Fry and Kirk Stephenson ran alone in fourth place for most of the day on their Dollar LLC/MS Concrete/Nevada Readymix KX500 and ended up there in 10:1 1:20. Their problems were limited to a front tire that started coming apart at the bead and losing the brakes in the final section. Still, it was the best they'd finished in BITD. "We kind of pooped out at the end, I think," Fry admitted. " I was getting a little tired."
Brothers Darrol and Kevin Brown took the Over 30 Pro class win on their D&S Waste Removal/Big Valley Honda/Willis Guy, CPA-sponsored XR650R in an excellent 10:15:41 to place fifth overall. It marked the first time this season they'd topped defending class champs Rick Bozarth/Daryl Folks. "Today, for some reason, we just clicked up a gear; everything clicked for us today," Kevin Brown reported. "We peaked today, and it was a good ride. I probably rode faster now than I had in months - so did my brother. My brother and I, we did good! We had fun."
Christopher Blais not only won the heavily contested Ironman Expert class, he also beat all but one of the multi-rider Expert teams, finishing 15th overall in 11:40:48 on his Honda. Only the winning Over 35 Experts from Hawaii beat him.
Damon Gill, Shanon Powell and Eric Shenberger took top Amateur honors, winning the Four-Stroke Amateur class in 13:04:39 C34th overall) on their Motorcycle Tire Center/Sports West Yamaha/ln House Printers Yamaha.