It is said that one of the most famous races in the world is limited to 33 entries. That of course is the Indy 500. Well, one of the most famous off-road desert races in the world also has a limited entry. That being The Mint 400, “The Great American Off-Road Race” which is limited to just over 300 entries. What these two legendary events share in common is the prestige of just having the opportunity to be included and compete against the best and fastest racers in the world.

The premier 800-plus horsepower Trick Truck field includes the likes of BJ Baldwin, Steve Sourapas, Rob MacCachren, Cameron Steele, Steve Olliges, John Swift, Adam Householder, Tim & Troy Herbst, Jason & Rich Voss, Kevin McGillivray, Chad Ragland, Marc Ewing, Rick Geiser, Rick D Johnson, Jerry Zaiden, Jerry Whelchel, Mark & Gary Weyhrich and so many more.

The fast and nimble Class 1500 unlimited buggy entries include Clyde Stacy, Robby Gordon, Dale Dondel, Chuck Hovey, Adam Pfankuch, Sam Berri, Ray Griffith, Mike Childress, Shelby Reid, Harley Letner, Garrick Freitas, Kory Halopoff, Pat Dean, TJ Flores, Justin Lofton, Todd Tuls and the list goes on.

For 2012, The Mint 400 field is now complete and the racers fortunate enough to be part of it are ready to take on the challenge of a lifetime. It will get started Thursday morning, March 22nd when 35 Trick Trucks and 50 open Class 1500 buggies get set to go head to head at the Times Trials for a shot at the coveted “Team Ford” pole award and the $1000 in bonus cash from Steve Olliges of Team Ford Lincoln that goes along with it. In a new twist this year, the Class 1100 limited displacement buggies will also have a shot at their own Times Trials that will determine their overall starting order along with a $1000 cash award for the fastest qualifier generously sponsored by Banning Motorsports and Drake Supply Company.

Contingency and tech inspection kicks off Friday, March 23rd from 8:30 AM until 7:30 PM on Fremont St. for the Fremont Street Experience. Race fans will have the chance to get up close to the race vehicles and drivers as well as check out all the awesome products on display as they weave their way down the street lined with hundreds of race related manufacturers and vendors. This spectacular event is made possible through the sponsorship of the entire Downtown Las Vegas/Fremont Street Group.

Mad Media and the Martelli brothers are coproducing the Mint 400 along with Best In The Desert. “We’ve expanded the reach of The Mint for 2012 dramatically by increasing the coverage with our TV partner FUEL TV and by partnering with Race-Dezert.com for live tracking and web coverage during the race,” said Joshua Martelli.  “We’ve also just pulled the trigger on a new Mint 400 social media package that includes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We will be producing a ton of new video content prior to and during the race – and distributing it through these channels to all of our fans.  We’re going to elevate The Mint 400 back to being the most important motorsports event in the world, one year at a time.”

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.

Casey Folks announced today that only 40 spots remain to enter The Mint 400 presented by General Tire. With entries limited by Best In The Desert to a maximum of 300 for this prestigious race, Folks encouraged racers to get their entries in now, as once those 40 spots are gone – they are gone forever. Hundreds of race teams from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and Europe will converge on Las Vegas, Nevada for “The Great American Off-Road Race” and to compete in twenty-three different classes of off-road desert race vehicles at this year’s General Tire Mint 400, which will take place the weekend of March 23rd – 25th, 2012.

The BLM has already approved the Casey Folks designed course located south of Las Vegas, Nevada. The brutal 400-mile, multi-loop race course features rocky washes, silt beds, high-speed graded roads, rock gardens, and the giant rolling jumps that The Mint 400 has become famous for. Additionally, racers will start side-by-side (two at a time), making “turn one” a new exciting aspect of the race. Prize purses have increased, including the addition of Oakley “Bomb Awards” for the fastest lap, plus the “Team Ford” Pole Award and Trick Truck Challenge bonus money. Additionally, Folks commented there will now be five designated, limited space, free viewing areas that will accommodate several thousand spectators, so fans can witness first-hand the incredibly thrilling action of high-speed desert racing.

Thousands of spectators and race fans can also soak up the spectacle of The Mint 400 at the Fremont Street Experience when contingency and tech inspection kicks off Friday, March 23rd on Fremont St. in downtown Las Vegas from 11:30 AM until 7:30 PM. Here they’ll have the chance to get up close to the race vehicles and drivers as well as check out all the awesome products on display as they weave their way down the street lined with hundreds of race related manufacturers and vendors. This spectacular event is made possible through the sponsorship of the entire Downtown Las Vegas/Fremont Street Group.

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.

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.

Saturday, April 30th turned out to be a perfect day for desert racing in the scenic back country of eastern Nevada. Racers were greeted with cool temps and the windy conditions made passing a little easier. First off the line at daybreak were the Motorcycle classes, followed by the Quads and then the UTVs. Three and half hours later, the Car and Truck classes hit the challenging 303 mile single loop course.

In the wake of major international events that took place on Sunday following the race, it’s interesting to note that two Navy Seals entered this race to build awareness about the Seals to desert racing and adventure sports enthusiasts. Wes Richey from Coronado, CA and Andrew Wilkins of Winchester, CA raced in the Ironman Expert class. Through special provisions by Best in the Desert, they were allowed to start the race side-by-side. They then raced that way for the entire 303 miles. While they were finishing 7th and 8th in class late Saturday afternoon, their fellow Seals were in the final stages of a special operation that would shake the entire world…taking out the most notorious and wanted terrorist known to man, Osama bin Laden. Now that’s quite a way to gain attention for their cause. We salute these dedicated individuals and all of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces.

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.