The Second Annual Best In the Desert Racing Association “Blue Water Desert Challenge” was held at the Blue Water Resort and Casino in Parker, Arizona this past weekend on October 14-16, 2011. The event is different from all the other BITD races as this one is a two day multi heat race format. This format separates different vehicle classes into 5 heats of closely competitive off-road race vehicles.
Randy Merritt and the Mongo Racing prepped 8181 General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy Ford F-150 drew first off the line in the second heat of Saturday’s race. Randy Merritt Jr rode for the first time in the race truck with his dad in a competitive event.
Randy Merritt piloted the 8181 General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy Ford F-150 truck into the physical lead after the side by side start. The drag race through the muddy turns and over the rutted out terrain proved to be a spectacle for the fans on hand to witness as Randy Merritt was the only driver to beat the other trucks from the right-side lane.
Randy drove the 8181 General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy Ford F-150 at a pace he felt comfortable running at. During the first lap Randy had swapped the lead twice, but at the end of the first 26 mile lap Randy was securely in first by almost 3 minutes.
At the end of the second lap Randy radioed in that he had a vibration in the drive shaft and could not get the truck up to top speed on the track. Randy knew that he had a chance at the win if he could hold it together, but if had to stop and change out the drive shaft he would be down for several minutes and lead would be lost.
Randy was able to finish the third lap of day one at a reduced speed and finished a mere 1.4 seconds in front of second place.
On Sunday’s race, Austin Cucci sat in the navigator’s seat for his first race. Randy again would lead the class to the starting line and got the hole shot, but after the unlimited cars and trucks raced on Saturday the desert track was rougher and a more formidable foe. Randy was able to lead the first three miles of the second day and then tried to keep the leader in his sites after being passed. Randy said on the radio after the second lap that the front shocks were blown, but the rest of the truck was doing fine and he was going to try and track down the leader.
At the finish line, Randy Merritt driving the 8181 General Tire, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy Ford F-150 finished on the podium in 2nd place, a mere 3 minutes and 4 seconds behind leader after 2 days of exciting off-road racing in Parker, Arizona.
After the Blue Water Desert Challenge Randy commented, “The 2011 Ford F-150 Eco-Boost has ran great all year and this is the same engine and transmission combination in the truck since the start of the 2010 SCORE Baja 1000 very few issues. I am proud of my team as we have had to work hard in the shop doing our own R&D and in this short amount of time we got this truck racing competitively on a consistent basis.” “I would also like to thank General Tire, since the 2010 BITD BWDC, we have not experienced a flat tire on the race track making us that much more competitive,” added Randy Merritt
The Mongo Racing Ford F-150 is sponsored by General Grabber Tires, KC Hilites, Knock Out Energy, Sway-A-Way, Trail Ready Bead Lock Wheels, Yukon, EBC Brakes, Optima Batteries, Master Craft Safety Innovations, Lucas Oil, UMP, Camburg Engineering Products, MSD Ignition and Mongo Made Graphics.
For additional information visit www.mongoracing.com
Charlotte, NC (February 3, 2011) – Making his first appearance in the Parker 425 since 2008, Robby Gordon will be racing among some of the top off-road racers in the country. Along with Gordon, the impressive field of 34 Trick Trucks includes BJ Baldwin, Andy McMillin, and celebrity custom motorcycle builder, Jesse James, just to name a few. Marking the 40th year the city of Parker has hosted the off-road race, The Blue Water Resort and Casino Parker 425 is the second stop on the Best in the Desert Racing Association’s 2011 schedule.
Robby Gordon knows how to win at Parker. Finishing first in the 2006 Trick Truck division in the HUMMER H3 that had just returned from the Dakar Rally in Africa, Gordon ran on 300 horsepower less than his competitors. “Winning the 2006 Parker 425 was fun! I had just returned from the Dakar and ran the same race vehicle we did in the Rally. To outrace the competition with less power was pretty awesome,” says Gordon.
The No. 77 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy 1500 will be touting new sponsor, Bud Light, on the quarter panels this weekend. “We’re happy to have Bud Light with us for the Parker 425. It’s a partnership that we struck with our new distributor for SPEED Energy in the Arizona markets. We just signed a deal with Romer Beverage and are excited about the new channels of distribution this will have for SPEED Energy.”
The weekend began on Thursday with the BITD “Time Trials”, determining the starting lineup for the Trick Trucks and Class 1500. The driver to put down the best lap will claim the “Team Ford Pole Award,” which Gordon has unofficially claimed. The race vehicles will leave the starting line on California Avenue in downtown Parker on Saturday morning to begin the 425 miles of desert racing at its best.
Robby will be making autograph appearances throughout the weekend at the SPEED Energy souvenir trailer.
Fans that want to follow Gordon’s progress in the Blue Water Resort and Casino Parker 425 can visit speedenergy.com, planetrobby.com, and SPEED Energy’s Facebook and Twitter pages for daily updates on the team’s performance.