Friday, February 4, 2011

Parker 425 US Off-Road Best in the Desert

More than 200 of the world’s best off-road racers have signed up for the 2011 running of the Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker “425”. This marks the 40th year that the city of Parker has hosted an off-road race along the great Colorado River. A record breaking field of 34 Trick Trucks are entered that reads like a “who’s who” of the most renowned truck racers in the country. Some of the competitors who will blast off the starting line in the middle of downtown Parker, Arizona for the first real long distance desert race of the 2011 season include defending champion B.J. Baldwin, Robby Gordon, Andy McMillin, Rob MacCachren, Jesse Jones, Steve Sourapas, Steve Olliges, John Swift, Rick D. Johnson, Mark Weyhrich, Jason Voss, Jesse James, Tim and Troy Herbst, Jerry Zaiden, Steve Strobel, Greg Nunley, Marc Ewing, Jimmy Nuckles, Ed Stout, Shawn and Steve Croll, Rick Thomas, Scott Whipple and Cameron Steele. Many of these same truck racers are some of the 23 that have already signed up to compete in Best In The Desert’s $131,000 Trick Truck Challenge Cup which gets under way with this event.


The weekend gets started off on Thursday with the high speed action of the traditional Best in the Desert “Time Trials”, where the starting order is determined for the two fastest classes, Trick Trucks and Class 1500. The drivers of 34 Trick Trucks and 39 Class 1500 cars will try to put the best lap time down and claim the “Team Ford Pole Award”. The winner will also take home $1,000 in cash from Steve Olliges, owner of Team Ford Lincoln in Las Vegas.


Following Time Trials, the race trucks and cars will be escorted to the center of town for the 2nd annual “Parker Downtown Experience”. Last year thousands of Parker area residents, racers and fans gathered for the afternoon with live bands and a collection of the world’s fastest and most technologically advanced off-road race vehicles on display.
Stylin Trucks
Contingency gets underway Friday morning in the north parking lot of the Blue Water Resort & Casino. Thousands of spectators and race fans are expected and will have the chance all day long to get up close to the race vehicles and drivers as they weave their way through the hundreds of manufacturers and vendors set up on display.

At 7:15 AM Saturday, the real business of the weekend gets underway when the first race vehicle blasts off the starting line on California Ave. in the middle of downtown Parker. Every racer will be on equal ground, including returning champions, as their quest for the season class championships begins. Back this year is the fan favorite and hugely popular “Parker Python”, a special 9-mile infield section of exciting jumps and switch-backs that weave through the middle of the main pits.

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