Dixon Bros. Win BITD SS300
    Mesquite, NV - September 27, 2008: Driving the #7101 Dixon Bros. Racing Ford Ranger, Aaron Dixon and navigator Ed Ramirez soloed Best in the Desert Racing Association’s ‘Silver State 300’, to win their third consecutive race this season. The win moved the #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford into the Class 7100 points lead with only the ‘Henderson’s Fabtech Desert Classic’ left on Best in the Desert’s 2008 racing schedule, December 5-7.
 Image   Aaron started the race in 3rd position, behind the #7102 and #7114 Fords. There was a mild breeze, but dust was still hanging in the valleys. The plan was to settle into a moderate pace and see what competition materialized. Around mile 15 they began to close on the #7102 truck, but attempting a pass was not worth the risk. Five miles later they encountered some thick dust, when suddenly the #7114 Ford appeared out of nowhere, lying on it’s side in the middle of the course. “We almost scraped our door on their roof but made it around the outside of the corner” Aaron said. “A few miles later the #7102, who was not running on Goodyear’s, was pulled over with a flat rear tire.” Now in the lead, the #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford found some clean air and quickly started to catch up to some of the race traffic that started in front of their class. So far the course had been tight and technical with no room to pass because of the rocks lining the road’s edge.
    At mile 85, bouncing in and out of some silt ruts, the steering started to get tight. Aaron was having flashbacks of the previous race where we lost our power steering due to a cracked rack and pinion housing. “As my face shield was showered with what seemed to be power steering fluid, I kept driving only to later see our engine coolant temp. quickly approaching 280 degrees. We pulled over to find the serpentine belt missing and an empty radiator. We quickly installed a new belt, as we were being passed by a convoy of vehicles that started behind us.  Moving forward again, we limped into Pit #2, a few miles across the valley, and filled the radiator.  I really thought the engine was cooked, but the temperature held and we were back in the race in second place behind #7104”.  For awhile Aaron took it easy on the truck, to check the engine temperature, before turning up the wick through Pit #3. They passed #7104 who was parked in the pit with no one working on their truck. The #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford Ranger was now back in the lead headed into what they knew were going to be tough miles. During the pre-run, this area developed some pretty deep ruts filled with powdery silt. “As we crested one area, what was once a single line had turned into a giant silt field littered with stuck vehicles trying to dig their way out by hand”, Aaron said. “We mashed the throttle down and gave it everything we had. I headed left at the beginning and, as our truck bogged down, I quickly downshifted to first with the engine screaming at full throttle.”     The Dixon Bros. Ford was moving slower and slower as the relentless silt-beds got deeper. Aaron pointed the truck downslope toward the left more and more, inching their way along, finally reaching some hard pack. Knowing that was only the beginning, he slowed a little to keep out of the dust spewing from other vehicles. “Sometimes, it’s more important to see where you are going, than to try to be fast”, As Aaron would later say. “Our next test was a small hillclimb we could see in the distance. One truck was stuck halfway up, then another to the left, and another...  I didn’t feel like joining them, so we took a quick left up the side of the hill, narrowly missing a stalled buggy and clawed our way over the top. At this point, I knew that if we stopped for anything, we could easily get stuck and lose hours trying to get out. We repeated this at the next hill, just barely getting over the top having to dodge trees, cars, and people. Miles later, a buggy stuck around a blind corner franticly waved at us to go left. It was too late, there was nowhere to go as the track was lined with trees and thick mesquite brush. Reacting, I turned the wheels all the way left and headed directly toward a huge 6' Mesquite tree. The truck jumped up and over the old dead branches as I heard the driveshaft grinding away at the limbs. We quickly got blinded by the cloud of dust and I kept the throttle down as we hit another huge tree. Somehow, we made it around the buggy and several other racers buried in the silt.  The race was quickly turning into a quest for survival, not just a finish.”
    Somewhat beyond the halfway point of the race, the course began to clear up but Aaron knew that many racers behind him were having problems. Time splits from the pits indicate that what was once a 6 minute lead, is now a 45 minute lead!!! It becomes apparent to Aaron that everyone else is stuck and the race is ours to lose. The #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford had no troubles driving over the narrow mining roads into Pit 4 for the final gas stop. Long washes with tight first gear corners and power robbing loose sand lead the way into Caliente at race-mile 228. “It’s wide open from Caliente to the finish, was the talk among drivers on Friday”, according to Aaron. “I’m not sure what some people think this means, but the course remained very technical with plenty of places to end your day, but the Radflo Shocks never let us down. Up and down, tight corners lined with pine forests, loose gravel roads, occasional rain
showers, and dust from a vehicle ahead of us made the last 60 miles seem an eternity. As day turned to night, we turned on our KC Hilites just in time to shine on the checkered flag waving at us. It was a long, hard 300 miles, but was easily soothed by the sense of accomplishment in winning one of the toughest races we have ever entered”.
    The #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford took the win after just under eight hours on he race course beating the second place #7102 Ford to the finish by 2 hours, 12 minutes.
    The final race of the season for Dixon Bros. Racing is Best in the Desert’s ‘Henderson’s Fabtech Desert Classic’, scheduled for December 5-7 in Henderson, Nevada.
- grt -