Brabec, Underwood Win Final Day at Vegas-to-Reno

Mark Kariya | August 24, 2009

The third and final day of the TSCO Vegas to Reno, The Long Way, proved that nothing is certain in racing. A huge crash about 100 miles from the finish in Dayton, Nevada, left Shock Doctor/Muscle Milk KTM’s David Kamo badly shaken but not seriously injured, though the Michelin/Motorex/KTM Powerparts 530 XC-W prepared by Anthony Di Basilio needed a number of repairs before David Pearson could take it to the finish.

That gave the Ricky Brabec/Robert Underwood duo the lead despite the fact that the leading Four-Stroke Pros also went down, Underwood apparently hitting the same square edge Kamo did while following closely on their Hemingway Sheet Metal CRF450X. Underwood suffered a large gash over his left eye and was dazed as well, but managed to make sure Kamo was able to get back on his KTM and head to the pit on his own before taking off and taking the win for the day.

“I really appreciate Robert stopping [for my partner]; it’s really good sportsmanship,” Pearson noted.

Brabec/Underwood and Over-30 Pro leaders Rex Cameron/Michael Johnson took possession of the top two spots at that point, but Pearson had a quicker crew at the final pit stop and re-passed Johnson. He would end up about two minutes behind Underwood at the finish. However, with the cushion he and Kamo had built over the first two days in round four of Best in the Desert’s American Off-Road Racing Series, they are almost certain to remain the overall and Open Pro winners.

Should the official results in a couple days confirm that result, it would give Kamo and Pearson a perfect four out of four in the series as they seek their first joint championship. It also would mark the first Vegas-to-Reno triumph for either of them.

“It means a lot to put together three good days – three solid days – and get the overall,” Pearson said. “It’s nice to be on the list [of winners] with everybody else now.”

Brabec and Underwood should be the Four-Stroke Pro winners by a good margin, and their day three victory could vault them into the top three overall bikes. “Running with them was pretty fun,” Brabec said of dicing with the KTM factory team on the final day.

Cameron and Johnson held on for third on the day aboard their Unique Products Racing CRF450X, which they expect to put them in third overall. “We’d hoped for a top 10 [originally],” Johnson said. “[After the first day] we were hoping at that point for a top five and we made it to third so we’re as happy as can be!”

Joshua Fitzpatrick and Irving Powers outdistanced the other Open Experts and were fourth to the finish on their White Knuckle Racing YZ450F followed by Open Pros Sean Berryman and Cory Vannoy’s Brown Brothers Racing KTM 530 XC-W.

Mark Kariya | Contributor

Kariya spends way too much time in the desert, but we’re glad he does as he’s the man who gets us our coverage of all things sandy.