The tradition of off-road racing returns to Parker this weekend! Best in the Desert Racing Association’s 2020 season begins Jan. 10 and 11 with the Tensor Tire Parker 250 presented by Polaris RZR. Nicknamed “A Showdown in the Desert,” the event features short and long course races for motorcycles, quads and utility terrain vehicles. There will also be UTV races for youth.

A spokesperson for BITD said that, as of Jan. 3, they already had 240 entries in this year’s event.

Events for the 2020 Parker 250 will begin Thursday, Jan. 9, with early technical inspection for all UTV classes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the BlueWater Resort & Casino. This includes youth and short-course classes. There will also be early registration from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Things really get going the next day, with youth and short course registration from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Mohave and Hopi Rooms at the BlueWater. Youth and short course technical inspection will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the BlueWater’s parking lot.

Motorcycle, quad and UTV registration for the big races will take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 in the Mohave and Hopi Rooms. Contingency and technical inspection will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the BlueWater parking lot.

There are several short course races planned for Friday, Jan. 10 behind the main pit area near the Parker cemetery and Avi Suquilla Airport. The first will be the Youth 570 and Youth RS1 race. Staging begins at 10:30 a.m. with the race starting at 11 a.m. The winner will be determined by the most number of laps in 45 minutes.

The second race will be an hour-long short course race for production UTVs, 1000s and Turbos. As explained by Best in the Desert President Donald Jackson, this race is designed for people who are getting started in the sport with UTVs “just out of the box.”

These races will followed by two short-course UTV youth races with two different classes. The first will feature the Youth 170 class, which are production and modified models. Staging will be at 2 p.m., with the race getting underway at 2:30. The second race will feature the Youth 250 class and will being staging at 3 p.m. The race will start at 3:30 p.m. Both races are based on the maximum number of laps in 30 minutes.

An added social event this year will be a Racer Appreciation Social Hour at 5:30 p.m. in the BlueWater Bingo Room. The event is presented by Method Race Wheels.

A mandatory drivers and riders meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the BlueWater Bingo Room. This will also feature the awards ceremony for the short course and youth races.

The big long course races will be held Saturday Jan. 11, with the motorcycles and quads going out at 7:30 a.m. and the UTVs setting out at 1 p.m. The starting line is near the main pit area and the Parker Python, which are near the Parker Cemetery and Avi Suquilla Airport.

The Parker Python is a collection of tight curves and jumps in the main pit area. It’s in full view of race fans.

The awards presentation will be held at 9 p.m. Saturday evening in the BlueWater’s Bingo Room.

The 2019 event saw a record number of entrants. Among the motorcycles and quads that went out, Jacob Argubright of Lake Elsinore, Calif. came in first. He rode No. N12, a Yamaha, in the Open Professional class. His time on the course was 4:13:36.567.

The top quad was driven by Erin Simmons of Page, Ariz. Simmons rode No. Q1, a Honda, in the Quad Professional class and had a time on the course of 4:43:03.459.

In the Ironman amateur motorcycle classes, Clayton Reichard of Fontana, Calif. came in first on No. O54, a Honda. His time on the course was 3:42:41.655. The Ironman amateur class runs two laps instead of the three laps the other classes run.

In the UTV classes, Dustin Jones came in first on T978, A Can Am, in the UTV Turbo class. The time on the course was 4:34:48.128.

In the UTV Rally and Sportsman classes, James Moore of Farmington, N.M. came in first on U991, a Can Am. His time for two laps was 3:12:26.723.  The Rally and Sportsman UTV classes run two laps rather than the three laps of the other UTV classes.

The top local racer among the motorcycles and quads was Mark Lopresti of Parker. He placed 17th overall and 1st in the Open Amateur class. He rode No. 367, a Honda. His time was 5:20:58.075.

Among the UTVs, Renee Hudson of Lake Havasu City placed 36th in the UTV three-lap classes and 4th in the UTV Unlimited class in No. 2911, a Polaris. Her time was 5:38:23.064.

For more information on the race, including rules for racers and spectators, and maps of spectating areas, go to www.bitd.com

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