EVENT: 2020 Tensor Tire Parker “250”
The fastest racing in the west By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The sun-kissed, rugged mountains of Parker, Arizona, rang with the roar of high-performance race engines as quads and dirt bikes left the starting line in pairs of two every 30 seconds to duel through the desert. The more-than-80-mile course of the 2020 Best in the Desert (BITD) season opener sent racers battling each other with intense speed in the wide-open desert, with snake-like trails weaving in and out of granular sand washes and through jagged, whooped-out, rocky terrain. That was just the start.
BE THE BEST
Best in the Desert is a premier racing series where competitors of all skill levels can compete to be crowned the best in the wide-open west. The first round of the season, held at the Bluewater Resort and Casino, is the Parker 250 that consists of three laps around the course. Terrain consisted of miles of fifth-gear-pinned wide-open sections, massive whoops, deeply rutted sand washes littered with rocks and tight technical terrain that required you to keep your wits about you.
There is pit location after 30 miles where racers can refuel, change riders and service their machines before the next 60-mile rougher section of the course that brings you back to the massive start pit area. ATVs left the line in the early morning. Three quad ranks, with multiple classes churned dirt with Hondas, Yamahas, a Can-Am Outlander and more. UTVs departed from the start in the early afternoon once the course was clear of the smaller machines.
We took note of the Pro classes where the fastest riders set blindingly fast lap times. Team Q1, consisting of Erin Simmons, Andrew Simmons and Mike Sloan, took their Honda TRX450R to the ATV Pro class win after hours of battling through the Arizona desert. Second place went to Team Q7 of Danny Magdaleno, Christopher Peatross, and Christopher Avalos on a custom Husqvarna build. The third team of Q2 aboard the Honda TRX450R of Daulton Keyes and Dylan Walraven put on a hard charge to round out the podium.
The UTV racing concluded into the darkness of the evening. The track was littered with broken machines, teams struggling to fix their UTVs, and racers rocketing past them. Some machines were able to reach over 100 miles per hour, while others barely made it a few miles before ending their race.
UTV classes have gained in size immensely. There were over 130 entries for the first round. The UTV Pro class was bested by Kade Wells, Mitch Johnson and Travis Wells in their Polaris RZR. Second place was earned by Joe Bolton’s team in another Polaris RZR with Pro Trophy Truck driver Robby and his son Max Gordon rounding out the podium in an Arctic Cat Wildcat XX.
Turbo-inducted UTVs have their own class for BITD. Phil Blurton and his co-driver Beau Judge are a force to be reckoned with in their Can-Am Maverick X3 powerhouse. They stole the top spot on the podium, followed closely by Austin Weiland and Justin Wragg in another Can-Am X3. Jacob Carver and Austin Langham piloted their Polaris RZR XP Turbo to an impressive third-place finish in a stacked class of impressive race teams.
TOP IT OFF
The BITD Parker 250 is just the start of the season, with much longer and more intensive races to come. Racing consists of building bonds, spending time with your family in the pits and at vendor row, and pitting your mechanical and racing skills against some of the fastest competitors around. If you like to go fast, and dream of desert dueling, we suggest you look into entering a Best in the Desert race, or at least camp out with racers and watch the high-speed action! Go to www.bitd.com if you are ready to become the Best in the Desert!