Randy Merritt

Best in the Desert Racing Association’s BlueWater Desert Challenge returns to Parker Oct. 22 to 25. Among the local racers scheduled to participate is Randy Merritt and the crew from Mongo Racing. They’re seen here in the Parker 425 earlier this year.

Off-road racing fans who can’t wait for the Parker 250 and Parker 425 early next year can thrill to an off-road event the weekend of Thursday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Oct. 25. After an absence of a few years, Best in the Desert Racing Association has brought the BlueWater Desert Challenge back to Parker.

Unlike other BITD events that take place over a large loop or run from one point to another, the BlueWater Desert Challenge consists of smaller races by classes over a 23-mile loop. Each class will run two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The winners will be determined by the best scores over the two days.

Classes include trucks, buggies, motorcycles, quads and utility terrain vehicles. There will even be youth UTV races on Friday, Oct. 23.

As the BlueWater Resort & Casino is only open on a limited basis, most of the events associated with the races will be held in downtown Parker. These include registration and technical inspection. Best in the Desert has requested two street closures from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23: Kofa Avenue from 15th Street to Arizona Avenue, and Arizona Avenue from Kofa Avenue to California Avenue.

The Parker Regional Chamber of Commerce & Tourism has asked for Joshua Avenue to be closed from Arizona Avenue to 12th Street during the same period. In their request for a street closure, the Chamber stated they wanted to use this area for food vendors.

Much of the racing will take place on land held by the Colorado River Indian Tribes. With the coronavirus pandemic still with us, the tribal mandates regarding face masks in public places on Tribal lands will be in place. Spectators and participants are also asked to follow guidelines on social distancing.

Schedule of events:

Thursday, Oct. 22

Time Trials

8 to 9 a.m., Registration for classes 1000, 6100, 6200, and 7200 at Parker Community/Senior Center, 12th Street and Laguna Avenue.

9 to 10 a.m., Registration for classes 1400 and 1500 at Parker Community/Senior Center.

11 to 11:30 a.m., Staging

11:30 a.m., Escort lap starts

12:15 p.m., Time Trials start

Friday, Oct. 23

Registration at the Parker Community/Senior Center

8 to 9:30 a.m., Youth UTV, All Jeepspeed, 5000, 8000 and 8100

9:30 to 10:30 a.m., 1100, 1200, 2000, 3000, 4400, 4500, 6000, 7100 and 7300

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., UTV Turbo

1 to 3 p.m., All motorcycles and quads

4 to 5 p.m., Open to anyone who missed their time

Event Expo/Technical Inspection

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tech inspection for all vehicles

It is optional to take your race vehicle through on a truck or trailer. Vehicles in enclosed trailers must be unloaded.

Youth UTV races

Race 1:  170 Prod/Mod and 250 Mod

12 noon to 12:30 p.m., Staging

12:30 to 12:45 p.m., Escort Lap

1 p.m., start race (35 minutes)

Race 2:  570, 1000/RS1

2:30 to 3 p.m., Staging

3 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., Escort Lap

3:30 p.m., start race (35 minutes)

Saturday, Oct. 24

All races are Gran Prix Finish

6:15 a.m., Staging for Race 1

6:30 to 8:45 a.m., Race 1 – All Jeepspeed, 1100, 1200, 2000, 3000, 4400, 4500, 5000, 6000, 7100, 7300 and 8100 (three laps)

Race times after the first race are approximate. Race participants:  listen to your radios. Be alert, early and ready.

8:30 a.m., Staging for Race 2

9 a.m. Race 2 starts – all motorcycles and quads (four laps)

10:45 a.m. Staging for Race 3

11:15 a.m. Race 3 starts – All UTVs: Turbo, Pro NA, Unlimited, Rally and Sportsman (three laps)

1 p.m., Staging for Race 4

1:30 p.m., Race 4 starts – 6100, 6200, 1000 and 7200 (four laps)

3:15 p.m. Staging for Race 5

3:45 p.m. Race 5 starts – Unlimited car/truck, Trick Truck and 1500 (four laps)

Sunday, Oct. 25

All races are Gran Prix Finish

6:15 a.m., Staging for Race 1

6:30 to 8:45 a.m., Race 1 – All Jeepspeed, 1100, 1200, 2000, 3000, 4400, 4500, 5000, 6000, 7100, 7300 and 8100 (three laps)

Race times after the first race are approximate. Race participants:  listen to your radios. Be alert, early and ready.

8:30 a.m., Staging for Race 2

9 a.m. Race 2 starts – all motorcycles and quads (four laps)

10:45 a.m. Staging for Race 3

11:15 a.m. Race 3 starts – All UTVs: Turbo, Pro NA, Unlimited, Rally and Sportsman (three laps)

1 p.m., Staging for Race 4

1:30 p.m., Race 4 starts – 6100, 6200, 1000 and 7200 (four laps)

3:15 p.m. Staging for Race 5

3:45 p.m. Race 5 starts – Unlimited car/truck, Trick Truck and 1500 (four laps)

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