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.

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Minneapolis, May 18, 2011–Polaris RANGER RZRs took another first and second, at Best in the Desert’s Blue Water Gran Prix this past weekend, in Parker, Arizona.

Racers were met with very warm conditions and with only a two-week turnaround between races, were challenged with a very tight, rough and technical course. In the end, Polaris Regional Sales Manager Matt Parks and co-driver Jason Spiess in Parks Racing RANGER RZR 4 800 took the checkered flag in two hours and six minutes.

“We got a good start and had a clean run today,” said Parks. “The course was super rough after several pro and amateur motorcycle and ATV races earlier in the day, but my RANGER RZR 4 800 was fast and handled really well in these tight, technical conditions.”

The new No. 1919 RANGER RZR XP 900 of Jagged X left the starting line a little behind what they had hoped coming into the first narrow hairpin, in the fifth position. Before Brandon Schueler made one complete 11 mile lap, he found his way into the clean air up front and by Lap Three, had developed a lead. In the middle of Lap 4, the car lost a swaybar link which caused some collateral damage and caused the car to quit running. Schueler and co-driver Landon Kubrick with some quick diagnostics had the No. 1919 back up and running in just a few minutes but not before the other front runners were able to get past. With just over two laps to go the team was able to make up enough ground to get past all except the No. 1932 Polaris RANGER RZR 4 of Matt Parks for a second place finish in the Pro UTV class.

“This is shaping up to be a super tight race for points this year with both Polaris cars on the podium at every race so far,” said Bill Schueler of Jagged X.

The next Best in the Desert race is the longest off-road race in the U.S. in TSCO Vegas to Reno, August 18-20.

Parks is sponsored by Holz Racing Products, Walker Evans wheels and shocks, Maxxis Tires, Tire Balls, Kroyer racing engines, Muzzy, Pure Polaris Lubricants, Utendorfer graphics, D.W.O. race prep, UTV Underground and Valley Cycle in Bakersfield, Calif.

Jagged X is sponsored by Polaris Industries, BF Goodrich Tires, CR Designs- Custom Painting and design, Cutting Edge Manufacturing- laser cutting and CAD design, OMF Performance- Custom beadlock wheels, Elka Suspension- Shocks, Simpson- Harnesses & safety products, Total Auto Pros- equipment for support trucks, Affordable powder coating- durable high quality coatings, Summers Brothers- Axle shafts, Walker Evans-Wheels, Vision X- Off road lighting.


Las Vegas, Nevada January, 2011: More than 200 of the worlds best off-road racers have signed up for the 2011 running of the Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker 425. This marks the 40th year that the city of Parker has hosted an off-road race along the great Colorado River. A record breaking field of 34 Trick Trucks are entered that reads like a whos who of the most renowned truck racers in the country. Some of the competitors who will blast off the starting line in the middle of downtown Parker, Arizona for the first real long distance desert race of the 2011 season include defending champion B.J. Baldwin, Robby Gordon, Andy McMillin, Rob MacCachren, Jesse Jones, Steve Sourapas, Steve Olliges, John Swift, Rick D. Johnson, Mark Weyhrich, Jason Voss, Jesse James, Tim and Troy Herbst, Jerry Zaiden, Steve Strobel, Greg Nunley, Marc Ewing, Jimmy Nuckles, Ed Stout, Shawn and Steve Croll, Rick Thomas, Scott Whipple and Cameron Steele. Many of these same truck racers are some of the 23 that have already signed up to compete in Best In The Deserts $131,000 Trick Truck Challenge Cup which gets under way with this event.

The weekend gets started off on Thursday with the high speed action of the traditional Best in the Desert Time Trials, where the starting order is determined for the two fastest classes, Trick Trucks and Class 1500. The drivers of 34 Trick Trucks and 39 Class 1500 cars will try to put the best lap time down and claim the Team Ford Pole Award. The winner will also take home $1,000 in cash from Steve Olliges, owner of Team Ford Lincoln in Las Vegas.

Following Time Trials, the race trucks and cars will be escorted to the center of town for the 2nd annual Parker Downtown Experience. Last year thousands of Parker area residents, racers and fans gathered for the afternoon with live bands and a collection of the worlds fastest and most technologically advanced off-road race vehicles on display.

Contingency gets underway Friday morning in the north parking lot of the Blue Water Resort & Casino. Thousands of spectators and race fans are expected and will have the chance all day long to get up close to the race vehicles and drivers as they weave their way through the hundreds of manufacturers and vendors set up on display.

At 7:15 AM 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 downtown Parker. Every racer will be on equal ground, including returning champions, as their quest for the season class championships begins. Back this year is the fan favorite and hugely popular Parker Python, a special 9-mile infield section of exciting jumps and switch-backs that weave through the middle of the main pits.

Also this year, the overall race winner will again be presented with the Manny Esquerra Valor Award. This is a very special honor and a tribute to Mannys legendary contribution to the sport of off-road desert racing.

The 2011 Blue Water Resort & Casino PARKER 425…If youre a racer, you dont want to miss being part of the battle of the best. If youre a race fan, you dont want to miss the exciting adventure. The Parker 425 is very spectator friendly with 3 designated viewing areas.

But if you cant make it to the race, tune in to and catch the live broadcast via the internet. Or tune into the Lucas Oil broadcast of the race a week later, February 12th on the Versus network.

Casey Folks, Director of Best in the Desert stated, 2011 will be a great year for Best in the Desert competitors with our recently announced $131,000 Trick Truck Challenge Cup, multiple contingency dollars up for grabs and our new national TV broadcast package produced and sponsored by Lucas Oil. Folks continued, No other off-road race organization has a program like Best in the Desert. Ive always said, either lead or get out of our way, and we intend to keep Best in the Desert in the lead!

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.