Best in the Desert Parker 425
Best in the Desert kicked off its 2011 season with the 42nd running of the Parker 425. Unlike previous years that brought monsoon like downpours, this year the weather held out and made for a beautiful day for racing.
One drawback of no rain meant dust, and lots of it. With 212 racers starting, only 116 finished. "Unbelievable dust" was the phrase amongst many of the competitors.
Despite all the heavy dust and starting seventh, Jesse Jones had a flawless day taking the overall win. "We just drove around," Jones said. "We changed the rear tires and fueled every lap, but otherwise we had no issues all day. This Geiser truck just works so good. We're very happy to be here; it's been a long time coming. We just had to drive slow enough to be fast and it paid off."
Finishing second in Trick Truck was the team of Bobby Baldwin and Chad Ragland.
"We had a good day, no flats, never had to get out of the truck, and zero mechanical issues,” Ragland said after the race. “Mainly, I battled my poor qualifying spot. If I had pushed it a bit harder in qualifying I think we'd had a better chance at the overall."
Fourth place in Trick Truck was the team of Steve Sourapas and Rick Geiser. "Flawless day, Steve did a god job getting the truck to me and all I had to do was bring it in,” Geiser said. “We just took it easy and made a good finish for the points. That’s our goal for the year."
Finishing first in Class 1500 was Steve Appleton. "We had a good car and my crew was great,” he said. “They got everything done in quick time. Not one flat on our BFG tires."
Missing out on first place in class 1500 by 27 seconds was Adam Pfankuch. "I lost the win because I stopped to take a piss. It sounds funny but we could've won. I know I'm going to hear about this for a long time. Either way it's a respectable finish and a good spot in the points to start the year."
Rounding out the top 10 overall was Jesse James in his new Geiser.
"Not one problem all day,” James said. “We had a flawless run. We started 56th and just kinda smashed our way to the front. It's pretty awesome that I feel this great; the Geiser truck is great. The Porter beat me up pretty bad, but this one is amazing. Geiser is the way to go."
Andy McMillin was having an epic run until a wrong turn ended his day.
"Tied on time with Rob Mac at mile 137 on lap two, I missed a 90-degree right-hand turn on a fast road,” McMillin said. “Instead of trying to make the turn, I drove over the berm and into what I thought was open desert. Instead it was a 15 foot ditch. The Motec in our truck says we went from 93 mph to 0 in a quarter of a second. I’m sore but I'll be fine."
BITD's season opener for the truck and buggy classes ran smoothly and was deemed a success. The next BITD race is for dirt bikes. The GPR stabilizers Laughlin Hare Scrambles, labeled as the "Most technical desert race in the U.S.," is on March 25th-27th, and the Bilek Racing Silver State 300, for trucks and buggies, will be on April 29th-May 1st.