It had been over two months since Nick and Taylor Mills of Mills Motorsports combined their talents to take a second place finish in Spec Trophy Truck at the Baja 500. This time around, at the 2013 Vegas to Reno, the two brothers each sought to solo Best in the Desert’s drastically different 543 mile point to point race spanning the length of Nevada. Taylor succeeded in driving his #6108 Mills Motorsports General Tire Brenthel to finish in third place. Nick, who fought through some issues after leading early, finished not far behind in fifth, in his Mills Motorsports General Tire Geiser.
Both Nick and Taylor had a similar game plan heading in to the race; be smooth and disciplined. Drive with consistency and the truck will make it to the end. Taylor spent nearly twelve hours in the #6108 truck and proved that an extraordinary crew mixed with great sponsors is the key to a successful race program.
“Everything just came together. It’s nice to be able to go out and have confidence in my truck, knowing I have some of the best in the industry behind me,” stated Taylor.
Taylor ran in to a few issues along the way. In a momentary lapse of attentiveness about halfway through the race, Taylor clipped a rock and had to pull over to change out the tire. Taylor’s navigator, Josh Huff had some issues releasing the jack, after the jack mount suffered damage from being hit by a Trophy Truck. It took nearly 30 minutes to loosen the jack, fix the tire and secure the jack back on the truck. From there, Taylor went on to make up that time and finish the race in third place with a time of 11:59:03.
It was Nick Mills’ first attempt to solo a long desert race. It didn’t go as planned, but Nick made a critical decision that may have saved the day. The race started out flawlessly and everything on the truck, including his Fox Racing Shocks, was tuned perfectly. Midway through, Nick’s throttle foot began to cramp, making it nearly unbearable to push on the pedal. At race mile two hundred, Nick made the decision to hand the truck off to veteran driver Kent Kroeker, who would pilot the truck to race mile 468. Kroeker suited up and pushed the team forward.
“Kroeker is an exceptional driver. I had all the confidence in the world with him getting in the truck. I knew he’d get it back to me in a position to earn a win,” said Nick.
At race mile 420, Kroeker and navigator Tony MacNeil had passed everyone and were leading the Spec Trophy Truck class by 10 minutes. They were looking at a win. Suddenly they ran in to fuel delivery problem that put them to the back of the pack. It turned out to be an electrical gremlin causing intermittent fuel pump function. The problem set them back thirty minutes. Baja Designs Onyx LED lights led them through the night and at race mile 468, Nick hopped back in the truck to take it to the finish. Nick finished in fifth place with a time of 12:27:38.348.
The next scheduled race for Mills Motorsports is the SCORE Baja 1000, where a win would secure the points championship for the second consecutive year. Mills Motorsports plans to strip both trucks down to their frames and build them back up with new engines, transmissions, third members, and everything else needed to ensure a win in Baja.