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Murray Brothers BITD Vegas to Reno Race Report
Jason & Derek Murray BITD Vegas to Reno

Downey, CA (8/25/2017) - Murray Racing’s Jason and Derek Murray were en route to their 49th consecutive desert racing finish when an engine problem took them out of the Vegas to Reno Best in the Desert race in Nevada. The Murrays were running a new extended chassis Can-Am X3 Turbo in the 500-mile race.

Derek Murray started the race and noticed 300 miles in that the car was down on power. Despite the issue, the car’s superior chassis and suspension allowed him to make some passes and stay in the thick of competition.

Murray Racing BITD Racing
Can-Am / ITP / LSR / Murray Racing's Jason & Derek Murray started the 500+ mile long race near the town of Beatty, NV on Friday Morning

Jason Murray got into the car for his driving stint at around the 300-mile mark when the engine dropped a cylinder. Murray limped it into the pits and was unable to repair the engine. It marked the first time the Murrays have had an engine failure in eight years of competition.

“The car was moving, the suspension was working great and we were picking off cars, but it was running flat,” said Jason Murray. “We were pushing hard and all of the sudden a white plume of smoke came out of the exhaust and the car lost power. We tried to fix it, but there was nothing we could do.”

Murray Racing BITD Racing
Can-Am / ITP / LSR / Murray Racing's Jason & Derek Murray built a new Maverick X3 Max for the BITD Vegas to Reno

Despite the rare DNF, the Murrays were pleased to have a nearly unbeatable record of 48 consecutive finishes. DNFs are the norm for most desert racing teams so to attain that many finishes in a row is exemplary.

“The 49th got the best of us,” said Derek Murray. “The new car was running well so we were a little bummed. We put a lot of time into prepping this car to make sure it was ready to race. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. We knew eventually this day would come.”

With no rain in the area leading up to the event, the race course was extremely dusty. Jason Murray thinks that dust may have played a role in the engine issue.

“This is one of the dustiest races we’ve been a part of,” said Jason Murray. “The dust may have played an issue with the engine because we did have to change an air filter. The dust was so heavy and they may have played a big role in our bad luck.”

Murray Racing BITD Racing

Despite being down on power, the new extended wheelbase car was competitive. The larger car was perfect for the long distance race and the varied terrain of silt beds and rocks.

“We felt confident it would be the right car for that course,” said Jason Murray. “If we hadn’t had the engine issue, it would have worked out great. We were within striking distance of the podium despite the engine issues. The ITP Tires kicked ass. We pushed those tires through the rocks and silt and there is nothing else out there we’d rather be running.”

The racing calendar put the Murrays into a bit of a conundrum. They are second in points in the SCORE Series and are still in the BITD points, and both series have races on the same day in September. So, the Murrays will split up so they can run two races in one day.

“We have the SCORE Rosarita Race and the Silver State 150,” said Derek Murray. “They are both points races, so we’re planning to split up to cover both races in the same day. The Silver State is fast and wide open, so we’ll stick with the long wheelbase car for that and run the short wheelbase car in the SCORE event.”

The Murrays will be back in action September 23 at the Silver State 150 BITD race in Caliente, NV and the SCORE Tijuana Desert Challenge in Mexico.

Murray Racing 2017 Sponsors:
Can-Am, ITP, Lonestar Racing, FOX, Yoshimura, Lazerstar, Torco, Beard Seats, K&N, Berts UTV, AMR Racing, Shoria, OMF, Rugged Radios, Streamline, Visual Impact, Pyrotech

Murray Racing

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