Gordon Penalized, Voss Named Winner at BITD Parker 425

Feb. 04, 2013 By by Art Eugenio, Photos by Art Eugenio/GETSOMEphoto
Jason Voss was named the unofficial winner after Robby Gordon was assessed a penalty.

Think off-road racing controversy is only a problem at Mexico races? Think again.

This year’s Best in the Desert season opener was one for the record books. It was an amazing racecourse and BITD had record entries stacked with talented racers, so the event produced some epic battles in the Arizona desert. At the end of the day the racing would conclude in controversy, and ultimately someone other than the first man across the line was crowned the victor.

MORE BITD Parker 425 Coverage

Photo Highlights of Parker 425

Robby Gordon Press Release for Parker 425

Parker 425 Qualifying

A light breeze blew over the small riverside town of Parker, Arizona, as the racers took to the pre-dawn start of the 38th Parker 425. Robby Gordon took an early lead over top qualifier Rob MacCachren by race mile 25, and MacCachren later succumbed to engine issues. 

Robby Gordon was docked 15 minutes for communicating with his chase helicopter, according to BITD officials.

Gordon would make a clean run leading all day and actually finishing first with young gun Jason Voss finishing just minutes behind him. As Robby topped the podium it was announced that he was being penalized 15 minutes for radio communication with his helicopter. Gordon’s comment to the accusation was “Prove it!”

“It’s up Casey to prove I had any communication with the helicopter,” Gordon said after the race. “Until then, this is still my win!” Gordon is unofficially listed as third place overall pending his protest.

Unofficially, the win has been awarded to Jason Voss in the #35 Trick Truck, which was the only racer in range to give Gordon a run for the money. “We have been working towards this overall win for a long time, and I’m super excited that we could start the 2013 season with a big win at the Parker 425!” Voss said. “My dad, Rich Voss, and the whole team are the ones who deserve the credit for this win.”

Gary Weyhrich moved into second place after Gordon's penalty.

Gary Weyhrich moved into second place overall and in Trick Truck after the penalty was issued on Gordon. “Overall we had a pretty good day,” Weyhrich said at the finish. “We qualified 24th so we knew we had to have a clean run, which is how it went until the very end we clipped a rock trying to pass a lap car and tore off a brake line, but other than that one incident it was a good day.”

Corey Keysar claimed fifth overall and first in Class 1500. “It was adventurous day, a few issues but nothing that really kept us down too long,” Keysar said. “Just another day in the desert. Glad to be here.”

Corey Keysar earned the win in Class 1500 at Parker.

Brian Parkhouse would bring home second in class 1500 and sixth overall in the standings. “We had a last-minute change this week and I ended up having to drive the whole race,” he said. “My Dad broke his collarbone last weekend while riding dirt bikes so I ended up having to run the whole race. Never really had any issues except for people not getting out of our way when we caught them, and later we had to replace a brake line. We didn’t have any flats and just kind of drove around and made it here.”

Pat Dean and Brian Freeman finished third in Class 1500 at the BITD Parker 425.

Rounding out the podium for class 1500 was the team of Pat Dean and Brian Freeman. “We were up to second twice and ran out of fuel twice, which cost us at least 10 minutes each time. This was definitely our race to lose,” Dean said at the finish. “We’re here and we’ll take a third spot over a DNF any day. We’ll be ready and have our fuel issues worked out next race.”

For the most part, this race was one of the better ones. Weather conditions were great, recent rains kept the dust to a minimum, the competition was tight, and all had lots of fun… at least until the end. These days it seems nothing is ever final and there’s always some controversy, always a complaint, always a protest.

In regards to the penalty handed out to Gordon, BITD officials relayed that Casey Folks explained, "77 was issued a time penalty for helicopter support."

In the last few years, too many of our races have been decided days after the fact, and it seems to be the norm on how things race results are decided. If the punishment fits the crime then take it like a man and race another day. At the same time if you’re going to serve up a penalty, the proof should be presented quickly and publically.

It would be nice for once to have a race decided the old-fashioned way – by the racer who finished the total miles in the quickest time.

At this time the results are still “unofficial.”

MORE BITD Parker 425 Coverage

Photo Highlights of Parker 425

Robby Gordon Press Release for Parker 425

Parker 425 Qualifying

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