(Blake Wilkey and Co-Driver Kevin Butts get in the zone before their run starts)
Pedal Commander Team Driver Blake Wilkey has had a great start to his 2020 off-road season. After taking 1st in both the SkullRush 250 in Caliente, Nv, and The GGlighting Freedom 200 in San Berardino, Ca Blake’s attention turned to the SNORE Racing KC Hilites Midnight Special.
The KC Hilites Midnight Special is an annual off-road race that takes place in the desert of Jean, Nv on the southwestern outskirts of Las Vegas. This year the race was scheduled for July 24th and 25th. The Midnight Special is unique in that the race doesn’t start until after sunset and the only light illuminating the track are the driver’s forward-facing lights. The 60-mile loop track takes drivers through changes in elevation, and terrain. From sandy dunes to hard-packed mountains the course is certainly not for the inexperienced.
For the 2020 season, Blake has been competing in his Stock Volkswagen Beetle. Aside from safety equipment, some light suspension mods, and off-road tires, The Class 11 Bug is functionally the same as when it rolled off the assembly line nearly 50 years ago. Blake entered the race with confidence after winning his last two, while also acknowledging the level of competition around him.
Blake’s run began just after 9 pm on Saturday night. The class 11 race consisted of two laps on the 60-mile course. Blake started out strong leaving the start line with the car in tip-top shape. However, the difficulty of the course began to show itself when the bug caught a flat front tire between Pit A and B. Blake was able to drive the next 10 miles on the flat until he reached Pit B, where it could be swapped out for a fresh wheel. With the flat fixed Blake was able to make up for the lost time. Coming into the end of his first lap, Blake made a fully sideways sliding stop into the main pits for refueling and a quick check of the car before starting his second and final lap. The second lap saw zero issues and an increased gap between first and second.
Blake crossed the finish line around 1:15 am Sunday morning and was the first car to cross, not just in his class but of all drivers. Blake and Co-Driver Kevin Butts crossed the finish line in just 4 hours and 1 minute almost a full fifteen minutes before the next class 11 driver. When he crossed the line he still wasn’t sure that he was the first but race officials confirmed his position and the celebration began.
(Blake and Kevin Celebrate a well-earned Victory)
Winning both the SkullRush 250 and The KC Hilites Midnight Special puts Blake in a position to continue climbing the SNORE Racing leaderboard and potentially finish the season in first in his class.