The 2017 Best In The Desert season kicked off last weekend with the popular Parker 425 presented by Impact. The new season brings about a new start for race teams as many have changed sponsors, or classes, and most have made significant updates to their existing program. The latter is the case for the boys at Mills Motorsports of Corpus Christi Texas. Toward the end of the 2016 race season, at Vegas to Reno, disaster struck for the engine in the #81 Trick Truck of Taylor Mills. Mills was able to limp the truck in for a solid finish in his class but, the fate of the big V-10 had been sealed. A decision had been made prior to the race that a new engine would be built by Exotic Engine in Reno so the engine was delivered and the build was on. The following race in Pahrump saw help from UTV Inc’s Johnny Angal in the form of a borrowed Trick Truck to finish off the season.
As time drew near for the 2017 Parker 425 the thrash was on to get the new engine shipped in from Reno and installed in time for race day. The Mills crew of Mike Kerr, Bart Parker, Terrance Shatzer, and Andrew Pavolka dove right in and got the prep handled while Kevin from Exotic Engine flew in to handle setting up the new MoTec management system. With so many changes to the truck an eleventh hour decision was made to forgo qualifying so that final adjustments could be made.
Come race day the truck was ready to go and both Taylor Mills in the #81 Geiser Trick Truck and Nick Mills in the always competitive Geiser 6100 went to the start line focused and ready to take on the 2017 Best in the Desert race season. Unfortunately just minutes before the start issues set in for the Taylor Mills. On the start line the truck shut off and sent the crew into action to address the issue as quickly as possible. Watching from the helicopter above the start was a concerned Gary Mills, owner of Mills Motorsports. Frustration was the emotion of the hour as Mr. Mills watched helplessly as the crew worked frantically on the truck. Frustration soon subsided as Nick Mills stormed off the line and quickly made his way to the front of the pack in 6100. The #6178 truck would set a blistering pace on the first lap leading by a large margin before ultimately settling into fifth place by the time the checkers flew at the Blue Water Casino later that night.
While the crew would ultimately get the Trick Truck running, the race would prove to be short lived as a coil issue would stop the big blue truck just 5 miles into the 425 mile race. Frustrated but not discouraged, Taylor Mills and Co-driver Josh Huff returned to the pits to assist in supporting the team’s 6100 truck still on course. It appeared that Mills and Huff were all dressed up with nowhere to go until the crew from Johnny Angal’s pit located adjacent to the Mills pit came over and asked if Taylor could jump in and finish the race for Angal in the #63 Polaris RZR sponsored Geiser TT. Angal had a crash just weeks prior while testing and was racing with a fractured vertebrae and broken ribs and the strain of the race had become too much. Mills and Huff obliged and jumped into the Angal’s truck for the last lap and delivered the truck in great shape at the finish for a solid 10th place in only the second Trick Truck race for Angal.
Although the race didn’t quite go as planned for the Mills Motorsports crew, make no mistake, they will be ready to race next month at the historic Mint 400 in Las Vegas Nevada. Be sure to follow all the the Mills Motorsports adventures on Facebook and Instagram as well as stop by the pits and say hello!
Mills Motorsports is a desert racing team from Corpus Christi Texas campaigning in both Trick Truck and 6100 for the 2017 Best in the Desert season.
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