The start to my 2014 season officially kicked off at the Best in the Desert Parker 250 in Parker, AZ. The race is made up an eighty-plus mile loop that competitors are required to complete three times. I’ve always enjoyed the terrain there; the Parker desert offers an entertaining mix of high-speed, flat-tracking roads, intimidating rock gardens, fast sand washes, rolling whoop sections and this year came with the added bonus that the temperature first thing in the morning would be above freezing meaning there was an above average chance that I’d be able to feel my fingers ten miles into the my ride.
Parker, AZ – The BITD, BlueWater Desert Challenge is a two-day shortcourse style race through the twisty washes and pounding sand of Parker, Arizona. At the previous race, Vegas to Reno, the competitor’s endurance was put to the test; in Parker it was a flat out sprint. Negotiating the technical course was made even harder by the chocking dust that blinded many drivers. Drivers pushed to their Jeeps to the limit trying to get out front in the clean air.
In addition to the cash bonuses provided by Rubicon Express, Smittybilt and G2 Axle & Gear, 14 Jeepspeed Challenge and 3 Jeepspeed Cup competitors would be racing for a special $500 dollar bonus provided by Jim Riley and his Azunia Tequila team.
At Vegas to Reno the Azunia Team had issues with overheating. As they sat on the side of the course several Jeepspeed teams stopped to offer assistance. With their help the Azunia Team was able to make it to the finish after a very long and arduous day. Jim was so impressed by the sportsmanship of the Jeepspeed racers he offered up the bonus money. Since three drivers stopped, Jeepspeed decided to spread the money out giving a share to the top three overall finishers instead.
Twenty of the 33 Trick Trucks entered in the 2012 Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker “425”, February 3rd thru 5th, have signed up to take part in this year’s Trick Truck Challenge. This will be the second year for the Trick Truck Challenge that saw over $134,000 in bonus money paid out in 2011. To be eligible for the year-long Challenge, Trick Truck teams must be signed up by the Parker “425” race.
Casey Folks, Director of Best In The Desert, announced, “As of January 25th, 20 of the top Trick Truck teams in the world have signed up for the second year of the exciting Best in the Desert $120,000 Trick Truck Challenge. That’s right – one hundred and twenty thousand dollars paid back 100% to the racers. A special bonus purse will be paid out to the top three participating Trick Truck finishers at each of the six Best In The Desert races as well as the year-end bonus. The special Trick Truck Challenge Cup Trophy will also be awarded at the end of the year to the overall winning team.” Folks continued, “No other off-road racing organization has a program like the Best in the Desert Trick Truck Challenge. I’ve always said, either lead, follow or get out of our way and Best in the Desert is in the lead!”
$10,000 will be paid to 1st, $6,000 to 2nd and $3,000 to 3rd for each of six races for a total of $19,000 per race. An additional $10,000 will go to 1st place, $4,000 for 2nd and $2,000 for 3rd in the final year-end standings. Plus another $44,000 in year-end bonus has been posted from sponsors TSCO, Camburg Engineering, Jimco Racing, Geiser Bros., MasterCraft and Racer Engineering.