The thrills and excitement of off-road racing returned to the Parker area Feb. 20 with the Tensor Tire Parker 250. The race was organized by Best in the Desert Racing Association, and was for motorcycles, quads and utility terrain vehicles. There were 242 entries, including 87 motorcycles and quads and 155 UTVs.
The event consisted two races, one in the morning for motorcycles and quads and one in the afternoon for UTVs. Due to restrictions from the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, there were changes in how the race operated for this year. With the Colorado River Indian Tribes having closed their lands to racing, popular spectating sites like the main pit area and the Parker Python couldn’t be used. Both sit on Tribal land.
The start and finish line for the race, as well as the main pit area, were located on Shea Road about nine miles off State Route 95. This was on land held by the Bureau of Land Management. Due to BLM restrictions, face masks were mandated for all spectators, crews and racers when they weren’t racing.
The new location meant the length of the course was shortened. Classes that had run three laps now ran four, while classes that had run two laps ran three.
Unofficial results have been posted on Best in the Desert’s website, www.bitd.com.
The top finisher in the four-lap classes for the motorcycles and quads was No. N94, which was a Honda in the Open Pro class. It was driven by Nic Garvin of Fullerton, Calif. He came in with a time of 4:31:54.85
The first quad to cross the finish line in the four-lap classes was No. 408. It was driven by Humberto Valenzuela of Spring Valley, Calif. and Omar and Alvaro Alvarado of San Diego. They placed 23rd overall. Their time was 5:37:28.119. The make of their quad wasn’t given.
There were 44 entries in the four-lap motorcycle and quad classes.
The motorcycle-quad three-lap classes had 43 entrants, and these included the Ironman classes. An Ironman was the top motorcycle in this group. Dallas Theobald of St. George, Utah, rode No. O17, a KTM, in the Ironman Expert class. His time on the course was 4:09:55.282.
A local racer rode the top quad in the three-lap classes. Kyle Standige of Lake Havasu City rode No. 614, Honda. He placed 13th overall. Their time on the course was 4:38:01.686.
The four-lap classes for the UTVs saw the largest number of entrants: 119. There were more entries in this class than there were motorcycles and quads combined. In fact, one of the major developments in the off-road racing world in recent years has been the rapid growth of UTVs in the sport.
The top UTV in the four-lap classes was No. 1951 in the UTV Turbo class. It was a Polaris driven by Mitch Guthrie and Kurtiss Elliot of Glendora, Calif. Their time on the course was 4:42:26.296.
There were 36 entries in the three-lap UTV classes. The top finisher was No. 972 a Can Am in the UTV Rally class. It was driven by Justin Smith of Whittman, Ariz. and Jeff Day and Jason Smith of Peoria, Ariz. Their time on the course was 3:58:08.084.
The big races on Saturday were preceded by a pair of youth UTV races on Friday, Feb. 19. There were held on a short course near the start and finish line off Shea Road. The races were described as being “35 minutes and one lap” in length.
The first race was won by Deegan Gonzalez from Fort Mohave, Ariz. He drove a Polaris in the UTV Y 250 class. He completed eight laps in 42:53.631.
The second youth UTV race was won by Katin Ladin of Phoenix. She drove 604Y in the UTV Y 1000/F class and completed nine laps in 40:39.174.
Due to restrictions on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was no awards ceremony this year. Plaques will be mailed to all award winners.