Off-Road Assassin

Vegas to Reno Celebrating Silver Anniversary

The 2021 Best In The Desert Maxxis Tires “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno Presented by Fox marks the 25th anniversary of the Vegas to Reno event. The world-famous race was first held in 1996 and welcomed cars and trucks to compete alongside its motorcycle entries, officially opening the Best In The Desert series to all off-road vehicles.

The race was a life-long dream of Best In The Desert founder Casey Folks. Though the racing association was originally organized as a motorcycle desert racing series only, he wanted to hold events open to the car and truck racing community. While there were some who weren’t supportive of the decision to open the series to all off-road vehicles, Folks worked tirelessly to embrace the entire desert racing community which grew the association into what it is today. 

Casey Folks doing what he did best.

The first Vegas to Reno race started about four miles south of Sloan, Nevada and finished at Aspen Creek Ranch seven miles south of Dayton. The event in 1996 turned out to be more successful than Casey Folks or his critics imagined. While the race was a hit for motorcycle competitors who had grown to love and expect exceptional events organized by Best In The Desert, it was the 60 car and truck entries that would become big supporters and help to grow the series. 

Legends like Curt Leduc and Rod Hall were excited to be a part of something new and were impressed with not just  the level of organization and the professionalism Casey Folks brought to the inaugural event, but his passion as well. Jeff and Jim Stiles won the 1996 Vegas to Reno in a Raceco car in 11:04:29 while Ty Davis and Paul Krause took the fastest overall time in the Open Pro Motorcycle class with 8:44:57. Since the first Vegas to Reno was also the first Best In The Desert race open to cars and trucks, it would be the first time motorcycles competed against cars/trucks for overall bragging rights. And while the motorcycles held the early advantage, the cars and trick trucks soon caught up celebrating overall winning times themselves. And now it’s the UTVs who are climbing the ranks. It’s all a part of the competition.

Vegas to Reno has since grown to include nearly 400 competitors in 2020, making it the largest and the longest single-day off-road race in the U.S. at 500 miles. Last year, a USA Today Readers Poll named Vegas to Reno the seventh most prestigious motorsports event in North America, solidifying the association’s role in the sport and expanding its reputation.

Ray Griffith at 2020 Vegas to Reno

“The Maxxis Tires ‘Casey Folks’ Vegas to Reno Presented by Fox is a special event for us,” stated Best In The Desert CEO Daryl Folks. “We look forward to pulling out all the stops this year and celebrating an event our father would be proud of. Make no mistake, this will be one of the most challenging Vegas to Reno races ever. The winners and everyone who finishes will have had the adventure of a lifetime.”

Seth Quintero kicking up dust at the 2020 Vegas to Reno

Race Operations Director Jeff Phillips added, “We have been working on this year’s route for quite some time now. We think everyone will be pleasantly surprised by the 25th-anniversary course. Vegas to Reno is the ultimate challenge in our race series and this year will be no different.”

The 2021 Maxxis Tires “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno Presented by Fox marks the silver anniversary of this cherished event. After twenty-five years of organizing this classic race, Best In The Desert has been working all year to make this one special. The racecourse is close to 500 miles in length  and the racers will have the added incentive of competing for the Maxxis Triple Crown Series which will award additional prize money to winners of the series. 

This year’s event will start with time trials on August 11 and the event will run through August 15, 2021. The first motorcycle entry will leave the starting line at 5:45am on Friday August 14th followed by the rest of the field. With COVID restrictions being lifted, Best In The Desert is planning a big after-race party to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the event at the Sands Regency Hotel & Casino in Reno, NV. Registration is open here. Race information and final schedule will be added here as the event approaches.

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