Discount Tire/Off Road Evolution
Take #1 in the 2013 Vegas to Reno Race!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

When it comes to desert racing in North America, General Tire’s Vegas to Reno event is about as challenging, and good, as it gets. Vegas to Reno has long been touted as the “longest off-road race in the United States? as it forces man and machine to endure over 500 miles of rough, rocky, and otherwise, unforgiving desert terrain. Taking 1st place in this year’s Ultra4 4400 class was Mel Wade in his Discount Tire sponsored Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. This year’s race (held over August 15-17) was open to all types of racers and machines, but few dared entered with a production-based vehicle like the 4451 of Wade.

Battling fuel delivery issues throughout the race, Wade’s Discount Tire/Off Road Evolution race team worked diligently to keep the Jeep platform moving forward. Although time is always a major factor in any racing situation, Wade still managed to aid his MasterCraft Safety teammates in their #42 Trophy Truck. Using the Extreme Performance-built 6.1L Hemi V-8, the Wrangler towed the disabled truck three miles in for repairs and then headed back out to continue the race. Fortunately, for the Discount Tire/Off Road Evolution team, the good deed kept up the karma for the crew and allowed them to continue their charge into the night without issue.

Handling the sole driving duties was Mel Wade. Driving solo is no small task, but Wade’s experience with the Wrangler in both recreational and racing settings, got him through the event. Co-driver duties were held by Off Road Evolution’s head fabricator Colin Fletcher, along with EVO ‘s Crew Chief Kyle Giard. A proud father of two, Wade even had his 14-year-old son co-pilot for over two hundred miles of the race-a future racer for sure.

With a cutoff time of 24-hours, Vegas to Reno is no quick two-track jaunt. Using a host of off-the-shelf EVO Manufacturing components, Wade’s 4451racer finished with an impressive time of 18 hours and 11 minutes. When asked about the race, Wade accredits much of his and team’s success to the hard work everyone put in and the great components attached to the vehicle. Along with Discount Tire, AXT Wheels and Nitto Tires have been integral part and support of the Off Road Evolution racer. Despite running at speeds upwards of 90 miles-per hour through the rubber mangling course, there wasn’t a single tire or wheel failure.

“The ATX Slab beadlocks were flawless and kept the Nitto 40 inch K-Spec Trail Grapplers getting traction. We took many hits throughout the day and cycled through major obstacles that sent other racers to the pits. ATX has been a trouble-free and race-proven combo that I am happy to run on EVO1.? Mel Wade.

With only a fraction of the vehicles that entered the race able to finish, just finishing the race was a major victory for the team. Taking 1st place was simply icing on the cake.

Special thanks MasterCraft Safety for all the pit support!

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