By Mike Henle
Henderson business owner / carpet layer, Kenny Freeman never really sat out SNORE’s off-road races. He just cut back his schedule to serve as president for the past three years, so that he could deal with the day-to-day elements related to promoting the organization’s six-race Patrick’s Signs / McKenzie’s series.
When Freeman’s friend, John Pellissier, took over the leadership of SNORE earlier this year, the 60-year-old Freeman gladly re-took the role of racer and promptly captured the Class 1600 title during the Motion Tire Motorsports 300 April 7-8 in Ridgecrest, Calif.
Freeman’s entire family has been involved in SNORE’s races dating back to 1970 when his dad, Ken Sr., and mom, Marian, attended their first club meeting at John Herda’s old Sawdust Saloon on Highland Avenue in Las Vegas.
“Yeah, I’m back in the driver’s seat of my 1600 and I had a great time,” said the younger Freeman, who captured a nearly four-minute victory over Raul Solano over the terrain about 3 ½ hours from Las Vegas not far from China Lake Naval Base. “The rush we all get from off-road racing is unmatched, especially when we return to Ridgecrest each Spring. The country there is breathtaking, the people are absolutely awesome and we respond by filling the city with residents in every hotel or motel room available.”
Freeman applauded the supporters of the Motion Tire Motorsports 300 event.
“Everyone affiliated with the race is very dedicated to making it a strong event,” Freeman said. “They’re always aware of how valuable the race is to Ridgecrest. Even more interesting is that the course we ran on is one that is in the same area that has an estimated total of 40 competitive races a year.
“The BLM understands the economic impact of the races in Ridgecrest, so they’re very eager to support of the races.”
Interestingly, just to show that he hadn’t totally given up the job of supporting SNORE and especially his co-workers, the first thing Freeman did once he got out of the race car was call Pellissier to see what help the new prez needed in wrapping up the Motion Tire Motorsports 300.
“That’s exactly what he did,” Pellissier laughed, adding that Freeman cleaned up 10 miles of the course. “Promoting a SNORE race is hard enough, but completing the process is just as hard when you consider everything that needs to be cleaned up after an event. Kenny has been in my shoes before, so he really understands the dedication necessary to keep this locomotive going.”
Freeman said he had no problems at all over the 66-mile course that required four laps. He surrendered the driving duties to fellow racer, Kenny Thatcher for the last two laps in the vehicle which saw Lonan Pies ride as a passenger the entire four laps.
“We had a very smooth day,” he said. “That’s a huge accomplishment, especially when you consider how tough the Ridgecrest race is every year. About 60 percent of our class was not able to complete the required laps.”
Other class winners in the Motion Tire Motorsports 300 included Joseph David in Class 1 and overall winner; Corey Goin in Class 10; Matt Ferrato in Class 12; Mike Lewis in Unlimited Truck; Keith Smith in 1450 Pro; Justin Smith in Class 5 Unlimited; Brandyn Kaylor in Class 5-1600; and Tyler Petersen, in Class 9.
SNORE’s next race in the Patrick’s Signs / McKenzie’s series will be the Knotty Pine 250 in Caliente June 9-10.
“About 90 percent of the course in Caliente will be all-new,” explained Freeman. “What makes the Caliente race so challenging is that we run into most any kind of terrain or weather conditions as evidenced by the rainfall we saw last year.”