Stopping for a split second, even slowing down for a moment, seems forbidden to Bill McBeath. Many Las Vegans know Bill McBeath’s name as he has been one of the city’s most influential leaders as a successful casino executive. Many are surprised to learn that when McBeath isn’t in the office, he may be behind the wheel of a GT or Trophy-Truck.
McBeath, President and COO of CityCenter’s ARIA, was first introduced to the competitive automotive world of racing in 2006 by a co-worker and close trusted advisor, Bobby Baldwin. When Baldwin took him to his first SCORE International Desert Series event, the adrenaline took over. “I rode with Bobby and I quickly re-established my intense enthusiasm for desert racing,” said McBeath.
Enthusiasm may be an understatement as Bill now races in the SCORE Trophy Truck Series with his 800-hp Chevy Silverado. Not only does Bill race, but he competes as well. And he recently proved himself in the 16th Annual Score Desert Challenge in Laughlin, just minutes away from the beautiful Colorado River. The Trophy-Truck division runs a total of 16 laps over a 6.25 mile course, equivalent to 100 miles. With a total of 28 trucks at the starting line, McBeath finished with a Top 5 finish at 2 hours, 16 minutes and 52 seconds. Contestants flock to this first SCORE race of the season from as far as Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Mexico.
Bill’s need for speed and love of raw power doesn’t stop with his off road vehicles. McBeath’s 1968 Shelby GT500 gets the job done. It combines the best of both worlds by aesthetically having an original interior and exterior, yet enhanced by the most up-to-date performance parts. The execution of Bill’s idea came together with Tom Barnard’s assistance, owner and operator of Tom’s Motorsports.
“Bill had his mind set on what he wanted when he came to us with his Shelby,” said Tom. They installed a Shelby all-aluminum FE big block with Shelby aluminum heads, intake manifold and timing cover with a Griffin radiator to keep things cool in the desert heat. Next they updated the old suspension with Total Control front coil overs, rear push-rod suspension, power rack and pinion steering and sub-frame connectors.
Tom’s crew made custom side pipes with Spiral Turbo baffle inserts to give that signature Shelby sound. When you pull behind this GT500 you know its no stocker as soon as you see the red “Fuel-Safe” fuel cell under the rear bumper.
When Bill is out of the office, or not racing behind the wheel, he can be found in Northern Nevada with his wife Shannon and their two daughters. There he enjoys time at his ranch with family and friends. His life is one-of-a-kind, fast and jaw-dropping. Just like his Shelby.
Photos by: Pongky Words by: Nikki Garcia & Todd Friedman
~ Sunday Slacker Magazine