Dirt-Logo-Best-in-the-Desert-1-26-16As Casey Folks would have wanted, Best In The Desert is forging ahead with scheduled 2017 events and developing plans for the 2018 season.

The family of Casey Folks has put Best In The Desert Operations Manager Donald Jackson in charge of race management and supervision. Donald was extremely close to Casey and has been his second in command for 13 years. He knows exactly how Casey would have handled anything.

Editor’s Note: Best in the Desert reported this morning that Director Casey Folks has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Below is the press release sent out this morning.

Casey-Folks-BITD-1-12-2017
God Speed Casey
Rest in Peace

With a sad heart, Best in the Desert announces the passing of our leader on January 12, 2017. Casey Folks suffered a massive stroke on the morning of January 7th in Parker, Arizona. He was doing what he loved, living his passion for off-road racing, getting ready to drop the flag on the latest UTV race event.  He was rushed to a hospital and transported by air to Las Vegas for care. Despite efforts by the best doctors in Las Vegas, Casey succumbed to the effect of a stroke this morning.

Dirt-Logo-Best-in-the-Desert-1-26-16Editor’s Note: BITD sent out this note regarding the health of Best in the Desert Director Casey Folks and the upcoming Parker 425.

January 9, 2017 – Thank you to everyone for your concerns, messages and prayers regarding Casey. We truly appreciate the support.

While we would like to speak with everyone about Casey, we are currently busy trying to make preparations for the upcoming Parker “425.” So please do not call the office at this time looking for updates on him.

Jesse-Jones-Fox-BITD-9-5-13In a joint announcement from Las Vegas and El Cajon, CA, Casey Folks, director of Best In The Desert, and Brian Godfrey, FOX Marketing Manager, Off Road Division, announced FOX will become the presenting sponsor of one of Best In The Desert’s most revered off-road events in North America. This legendary race will now be named The General Tire “Vegas to Reno” Presented by FOX.

“Casey and his dedicated team have been putting on the very best offroad races for years now. It makes only sense for us to align ourselves with them.  The Vegas to Reno race is one of the few marquee events in off road desert racing. We are excited to see its popularity and attendance continue to grow with our support”, said Brian Godfrey, FOX Marketing Manager, Offroad Division.

For over three decades, FOX has been an industry leader in the design and development of high performance shock absorbers and racing suspension products.

McMurrough-Vegas-to-Reno-8-22-13After winning their last two races and months of preparation, McMurrough Racing and TJ Flores had their sights set on bringing another win back to the shop. Vegas to Reno, put on by Best In The Desert, is one of the only point to point off-road races that still takes place in the states. The racers and their vehicles compete in temperatures that can reach over 110 degrees, barrel through silt beds that swallow anyone that hesitates, and fly across long grated roads where trucks can reach speeds of 136 mph.

The events for Vegas to Reno began on Wednesday when over 50 Trick Trucks and Class 1’s lined up for qualifying. The 4.2-mile course was marked just on the outskirts of Las Vegas and the tight course would put two Class 1’s starting in top spots. The #80 McMurrough Racing Trick Truck would start Fridays race in the 6th place starting position. TJ would be the 3rd Trick Truck following right behind Jesse Jones and Bryce Menzies.

“We were excited for our starting position. We wouldn’t have too much dust to battle come race day and we just needed to set a good pace and let the race come to us.” -said driver, TJ Flores.

Impact-Mastercraft-off-road-8-14-13Best In The Desert (BITD) continues to set entry records with every race, and Impact by MasterCraft Safety has taken notice.  The ink is still drying on their commitment to be the presenting sponsor of the “BlueWater Parker 425 Presented by Impact” for 2014 and beyond.  “We welcome Impact on board as the presenting sponsor of one of the most prestigious events in the world for desert off-road competition,” said BITD promoter Casey Folks recently.  “They join some of the leading brands in helping make our series the largest, entry-wise, of any long distance off-road series. Impact’s products help keep our racers safe – the number one priority in my world.”

Before the popular 2014 season opener in Arizona, the second half of the 2013 BITD schedule continues to play out starting with the upcoming Vegas to Race, August 15 thru 17. MasterCraft CEO Robbie Pierce will be racing with longtime teammate Will Staats in the Staats Racing Jimco Trick Truck as they take on the longest off-road race in the United States. Impact and MasterCraft Safety product representatives will also be manning the company’s booth at contingency and tech for this event at the Aliante Casino Hotel parking lot on Thursday, August 15th with a full assortment of their popular helmets, driving suits, seats, and more.

Vegas-to-Reno-General-Tire-8-8-13Always keeping the safety of off-road racers in mind, Casey Folks, director of Best in the Desert off-road racing association, and Steve Myers, from International Racing Consultants (IRC), today jointly announced Pass Alert, the latest development in safety equipment for off-road racing.  Folks heads up the largest off-road desert racing organization in North America. Myers is president of IRC, the company that provides tracking for most off-road racing operations globally. The Pass Alert system has been years in development, and will be in place for Best in the Desert’s landmark General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race August 15-17, 2013.

The way the system works is as a faster vehicle approaches a slower moving vehicle, a visual alert goes off letting the rider/driver know he is being approached from behind. At the same time, the Pass Alert system signals the driver of the faster vehicle that he is approaching a slower moving racer. Pass Alert systems will be placed on the fastest cars or trucks, and the slowest motorcycles, quads and UTVs.

Vegas-to-Reno-General-Tire-8-8-13An excited Casey Folks, director of Best in the Desert, announced that more than 275 of the world’s fastest off-road racers have signed up to date for the Longest Off Road Race in the United States, The General Tire “Vegas to Reno”. Of particular note, this is the largest number of entries this early in history for this spectacular race.

Set up to be a landmark race, the 2013 running of the General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race has the leading off-road race teams gathering in Las Vegas to challenge the treacherous terrain of the Nevada desert, that only Casey can create.

Racers from the U.S. and around the world are set to compete – with entries coming now from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay and 25 U.S. states.

BITD-12-16-11The legendary Parker “425”, the historic Mint “400” and the panoramic Silver State “300”…what better way to start the 2013 Best In The Desert season. These great venues, along with the attention Casey Folks pays to make sure everyone in every class has the best racing experience possible, are just part of what makes “The American Off-Road Racing Series” so popular. Now mix in the world’s foremost desert racers, and you have the perfect formula for the tightest, most competitive and exciting racing that has taken place the first half of the 2013 season.

Super competitive is an understatement among the Trick Truck teams so far this year. With the first three races in the books, there have been three different winners. Jason Voss claimed the victory at Parker, Bryce Menzies took the top spot at the Mint, and TJ Flores grabbed his first Trick Truck win ever at last month’s Silver State “300”. This “anyone can take it” racing has really made for a fierce battle in the class points chase as well. Currently, Jason Voss and Gary Wheyrich are tied for first, with Steve Olliges sitting in second, only 22 points behind. Scott Whipple and Troy Vest are in great position as well, and are ready to shake up the chase should anybody stumble going into the second half of the season.

TrophyLite-Silver-State-300-5-9-13Ben Abatti III had a great race at the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. He drove the first half of the race and then turned his Trophylite over to his father Ben Abatti II to complete the race. They built an insurmountable lead on the rest of the field, taking the victory by over 11 minutes. If the story ended there, most would be happy but that is not the case. The team was penalized 15 minutes for a race incident. It’s safe to assume that Casey Folks does not like to hand out penalties to his racers but the problem with most rules, they don’t weigh intent and in order to be consistent they have to be held to the letter, which is not always fair. The Abatti’s drove a great race and took the news hard when they learned of the penalty at the awards ceremony.

“This race was important to us,” said Ben Abatti III, “My Dad has been racing for a long time. There is no way he would break the rules on purpose. We had a big lead; we didn’t need that fraction of a second off our time. We were unable to talk with Casey before the penalty was applied, we had no idea we did anything wrong. If we broke the rules then give us a penalty but why not ten minutes instead of fifteen so we can keep the win that we earned?” The 15 minute penalty dropped the Abatti’s back to third.