Best In The Desert, the world’s largest off-road desert racing organization, announced that 236 entries have already signed up for the 2013 Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker “425”. “The Legend Lives On” as the annual Parker “425” in Parker, AZ, is set for this weekend, February 1-3. This will be the first race on the six-race schedule for Best In The Desert’s car & truck classes.
The heated action of the Time Trials sets the pace for the race weekend.

The race weekend action gets underway this Thursday, January 31st, with the Time Trials. Nearly 90 Trick Trucks and Class 1500 cars will qualify on a specially designed 5-mile course for a shot at the first overall starting position and the coveted $1,000 Team Ford “Pole Award”. Along with the bonus cash, the top qualifier gets to start dust free as he tackles the challenging Arizona desert. With the huge field of unlimited cars and trucks, the fastest qualifiers will definitely have an advantage for a chance at the first overall finish.

Best In The Desert, the world’s largest off-road desert racing organization, announced that over 160 entries have already signed up for the 2013 Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker “425”. Casey Folks, director of Best In The Desert said, “We’re well on our way to having a record-breaking entry for this year’s race. The interest has been overwhelming in this legendary event and I feel 2013 is going to be an awesome year for not only us, but also for all of our great and loyal racers.” “The Legend Lives On” as the annual Parker “425” in Parker, AZ, February 1-3 kicks off the Best In The Desert’s 2013 six-race schedule for the car & truck classes.

The race weekend actually gets underway on Thursday, January 31st, with the Time Trials where the Trick Trucks and Class 1500 cars go head-to-head on a specially designed course to determine the first overall starting position and claim the coveted $1,000 Team Ford “Pole Award”. Directly following the Time Trials, participants will parade their vehicles to the center of town for the “Downtown Parker Experience”. The “Downtown Parker Experience” features all the Time Trials vehicles on display for race fans and local residents to check out up close along with live entertainment all afternoon long.

When the 2012 Best In The Desert race season got underway at the Parker “425”, twenty of the world’s top Trick Truck drivers had signed up for the second annual Trick Truck Challenge. Each participating team kicked in a $6,000 fee towards bonus prize money to be paid out to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place Trick Truck finishers in each of the six Best In The Desert races, plus a year-end bonus.

For 2012, Steve Sourapas walked away with the lion’s share of Trick Truck Challenge bonus money along with the beautiful trophy that goes to the overall winner. Going into the last race of the year, the Sourapas entry, driven by Rob MacCachren, sat eleven points behind the truck of Mark Weyhrich. In order to win the Trick Truck Championship and claim the top spot among the participating Trick Truck Challenge drivers, MacCachren had to finish first and have Weyhrich come in no higher than third place. When the checker flag fell at the end of the Henderson “250”, that’s exactly how they finished; Rob MacCachren first, Mark Weyhrich third. So when the total bonus money was added up, Steve Sourapas ended up the big winner, taking home $54,500 over the course of the year. Mark Weyhrich was second with $32,000. Other drivers that took home Trick Truck Challenge bonus money over the year included BJ Baldwin with $16,000, Juan Carlos Lopez with $7,000, and Adam Householder, Jason Voss, Rick D Johnson, and Steve Olliges each with $6,000.

The Blue Water Desert Challenge in Parker, AZ, October 12-14, hosted by the Blue Water Resort & Casino, is the fifth event in the six-race 2012 Best In The Desert “American Off-Road Racing Series”. Unlike all of the other Best In The Desert long distance races that are either a long loop race, or a point to point course, as is the Parker “425” or the recent General Tire “Vegas to Reno” courses, the Blue Water Desert Challenge is a 2-day multi-race format that features Best In The Desert’s Car, Truck and UTV classes running both days for combined results to determine the winners.

Held along the picturesque Colorado River, this is the third year running of the Blue Water Desert Challenge, and it is quickly becoming a classic event welcoming in the fall season. As soon as the dust settled at the “Vegas to Reno race”, racers started telling each other, “I’ll see you in October at Parker.” The unique format still allows competitors to log in 150-miles of challenging desert racing over the course of two days. It also offers the racers to make adjustments and fine tune their vehicles for the second day of shoot-out style competition.

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.

Best In The Desert, the premier American Off-Road Racing Series, is excited to present next month’s Blue Water Resort & Casino “PARKER 425”, February 3rd thru 5th in Parker, Arizona. “The Legend Lives On” at this opening round for Best In The Desert’s car and truck classes. This race has a great and storied history including attracting huge race entries, and if the 700 people that showed up January 8th to take part in the “pre fun run” is any indication, the 2012 edition could very well turn out to be one of the biggest yet.

The festive weekend gets underway on Thursday, February 3rd with the Time Trials for the combined field of Class 1500 open class buggies and Trick Trucks to see who will walk away with the coveted Team Ford “Pole Award” and the $1,000 cash that goes along with it. Best In The Desert is the only long distance desert racing organization that runs this kind of qualifying format for every race as it pits the two fastest classes heads up to compete for an equal shot at the “overall” race victory.

Also back this year is the popular Parker Downtown Experience. After the completion of the Time Trials, competitors will parade their race vehicles down the streets of Parker to the center of town for a grand celebration kicking off the exciting weekend. With an open invitation to all of the citizens of Parker along with racers and fans, this is sure to be another huge and fun event. Last year, more than 3,000 people toured the area, spoke with the drivers and teams, and enjoyed the beautiful Parker, Arizona weather. After the downtown festivities, the racers will return to the Blue Water Casino for a party sponsored by McKenzies Performance Products to announce the official results of the Time Trials and the presentation of the $1,000 “Team Ford Pole Award” by Steve Olliges, president of Team Ford Lincoln Las Vegas.

Contingency kicks off Friday morning in the Blue Water Casino parking lot. Thousands of spectators and race fans will have the chance all day long to get up close to the race vehicles and teams as well as check out all the awesome products on display as they weave their way through the hundreds of contingency donors and racing vendors.

At daybreak Saturday, the real business of the weekend gets underway when the first race vehicle blasts off the starting line on California Ave. in the middle of Parker. Every racer will be on equal ground, including returning champions, as their quest for the 2012 season class championships begins. The 142-mile long multi-loop course will again include the hugely popular “Parker Python”; a special two-mile infield section of thrilling jumps and switch-backs in the middle of the main pits.

Casey Folks has also announced that the “Trick Truck Challenge” is back for the 2012 season. $134,000 in bonus money was paid out last year in this special racing challenge for participating Trick Truck drivers. To date, over 20 of the top Trick Truck teams from all over the world have already signed up to participate in this exciting program that begins with the Blue Water Resort & Casino “PARKER 425”. Folks continued to say; “No other off-road race organization has a program like the Best in the Desert Trick Truck Challenge. I’ve always said, either lead, follow, or get out of the way and Best In The Desert is in the lead again!”

The TV production crew from Lucas Oil will also be on hand at Parker to record all the thrilling action of this great race that will air on the NBC Sports Network at a later date. Please check the Best In The Desert website for TV broadcast schedule updates.

There really is no better way to start the season than with a living legend and “The Legend Lives On” this February with the Blue Water Resort & Casino “PARKER 425”. For racers, this has to be on their bucket list and for racing enthusiasts; this has become an annual pilgrimage to mark the start of the season. See you in Parker.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas – Official Oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, American Beta – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Bullet Liner and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

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

There are just days remaining until the green flag drops on two full days of non-stop racing action at the exciting Blue Water Desert Challenge. As the event program went to press, there were already 128 entries. With additional entries taken up to the end of registration on Friday, over 150 competitors in 18 Best In The Desert classes are expected to take on the specially designed 26-mile course. Last year, at the end of the race, less than a minute separated Steve Sourapas & Andy McMillin from B.J. Baldwin in a two-day battle for supremacy in the coveted Trick Truck class, won by Sourapas & McMillin. And in the 1500 class, four minutes separated Loren Brown, the eventual winner, from the top 4 finishers. Will this year be as tight – or even tighter?

This race also marks the fourth event for the 2011 Best In The Desert Trick Truck Challenge Cup. To date, $63,900 has been paid out in Truck Challenge Cup bonus cash with three different drivers claiming first place in the three previous races. With two races remaining, that still leaves the ultimate battle for the year-end Cup wide open.

The broadcast of the Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker 425 off-road race will be shown on the Lucas Oil Motorsport Hour this Saturday at 4:00 P.M. Eastern Time, 1:00 P.M. Pacific Time on the VERSUS Network. See the thrilling and close racing that Best in the Desert is famous for, as the top off-road racers in the world take on the challenges of the desert along the beautiful Colorado River to begin their quest for the 2011 championship season.

Seasoned camera crews from the Lucas Oil Motorsports Studios captured all the action from the ground, and in the air, to bring you a show unlike any other. The Memorial Day weekend is famous for television coverage of the best racing events the sport has to offer … so what better way to kick it off than with the Best in the Desert Parker 425 on Saturday. Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, KTM – official motorcycle, Fabtech – official suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

For more information on the BITD series, visit www.BITD.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.