By Mike Henle
www.mikehenle.com
 
The annual Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts KC HiLites 250 presented south of Las Vegas near Jean June 8 presented the typical challenges that one would find in an off-road race especially considering that the event was run during the evening hours to offset the heat of Southern Nevada.
 
But the heat was even worse for the 2013 event since temperatures soared ten degrees above normal in the first week of June. In fact, it was more than 100 degrees when SNORE officials dropped the green flag for an 8:30 p.m. start.
 
However, though it all there were two winners that being (a) overall winner T.J. Flores in an Unlimited Truck and (b) SNORE, which capitalized by drawing a good field of 80 entries for an event that many years ago was the brainchild of the late SNORE President Denny Selleck.
 
Racers are undoubtedly a hearty breed, as evidenced by the strong turnout that gathered in SNORE’s third event of the year in a prestigious chase for the $25,000 season-ending bonus money provided via the Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage fund.
 
Even with conditions so hot that even the reptiles seemed to be missing from the environment, the likeable Flores and his co-driver Jesse Gerlach ran roughshod over the rest of the field.
 
Flores, a native of Southern Nevada and a graduate of Rancho High School in North Las Vegas, was the first off the line and the first competitor to run five laps to get the checkered flag. The victory was his second straight after capturing the Silver State 300 in May.
 
“We literally didn’t do anything with the truck for this race,” said Flores, beaming with a smile that has become his trademark after taking the ID Designs Chevrolet to the huge victory. “We won the Silver State race and brought it here from the shop.”
 
Flores lapped all but two drivers in his Unlimited truck for an overall time of 4 hours, 53.14 minutes to finish about 51 minutes ahead of UT runner up Dallas Luttrell of Salt Lake City over a 54-mile course that featured a great combination of new layout combined with some of the old stuff.
 
Adding even more to his resume’ was the fact that Flores also finished about 22 minutes ahead of overall runner up and Class 10 winner Bryan Freeman, a Henderson, Nev., who has long been known for his consistent and well-timed talents.
 
“We had no issues at all,” said Flores, who will next run the Vegas to Reno event Aug. 15. “The course was very rough. It was dusty and rocky and a true desert race.”

 
Flores said co-driver Stephanie Reynolds rode the first lap while Jesse Gerlach rode the last four laps.
 
“They both have ridden with me in the past, so they’re used to my driving style,” said Flores, who added that the team also received sponsorship help from Vision X Lighting, McMurrough Racing, King Shocks, Kroyer Racing Engines, Champions Race Works, Magnum Ink, BF Goodrich and Jugz Eyewear.
 
Other winners included Richard Boyle of Ridgecrest, Calif., Class 1; Randy Jones of Simi Valley, Calif., Class 12; Mike Montes of Las Vegas, Class 13; Josh Taylor Logandale, Nev., Class 1450; Kelly Suiter of Henderson, Class 15; Justin Smith of Capistrano Beach, Calif., Class 1600; Colton Gubler of Caliente, Nev., Class 18; Kevin Mc Keown of Henderson, Class 2000; Daryl Kysar, Class 3000; Michael King of Menifee, Calif., Class 3000; Keith Minnicks, of Irvine, Calif., Class 7; Nick Lantz of Las Vegas, Class 7S; Derek Bradley, Las Vegas, Class 8; Corey Torres of Las Vegas, Class 9; Steve Bertrand of Las Vegas, Stock Bug.
 
The event also featured bonuses including the following:

  • $1,000 KC Lights Cash to the first vehicle to finish with KC Lights and decals.
  • $500 KC Lights Cash to first official finisher of combined classes of 9, 5/1600 or $1,800 to finish with KC Lights and decals.
  • $1,000 KARTEK cash to the first winner in Class 1/2 1600 with KARTEK stickers.
  • $1,000 Drykef Cash to first in Class 9 with Drykef stickers.

 
SNORE KC HiLites 250 off road race Results of Saturday, June 8 At Jean, Nev.

  • Overall: 80 TJ Flores, Las Vegas, 4:53.14.
  • Unlimited – 1. 80 TJ Flores, Las Vegas, 4:53.14; 72 Dallas Luttrell, Salt Lake City 5:44.38; 93 Eric Palacious, 6:07.53.
  • Class 1 – 188 1. 188 Richard Boyle, Ridgecrest, Calif., 5:43.37; 2. 130 Steve Hengeveld, Flagstaff, Ariz., 4 laps.
  • Class 10 – 1. 1002 Cody Freeman, Henderson, 5:15.39; 2. 1021 Rick Boyer, Bakersfield, Calif., 5:21.02; 3. 1087 Gary Messer, Kingman, Ariz., 6:10.56; 4. 1016 Tim Pangborn, Las Vegas, 6:10.56.
  • Class 12 – 1. 1216 Randy Jones, Simi Valley, Calif., 6:40.12; 2.1210 Jason Peterson,, Granite Bay, Calif., 4 laps; 3. 1255 Kyle Cox, Caliente, Nev., 3 laps; 4. 1244 Eric Palacious, 3 laps.
  • Class 13 – 1. 1360 Mike Montes, Las Vegas, 4:00.16; 2. 1388 Dustin Hellstrom, Las Vegas, 4:03.23; 3. 1380 Bill Shapley, Las Vegas, 5:54.48; 4. 1307 Richard Robinson, Sandy Valley, Nev., 5:59.54; 5. 1378 Dave Nelson, Henderson, 6:59.26.
  • Class 1450 – 1. 1484 Josh Taylor, Logandale, Nev., 4:03.42. 2. 1448 Jeremy Deakins, Norco, Calif., 4:52.17; 
  • Class 15 – 1. 1503 Kelly Suiter, Henderson, 4:27.15; 2. 1551 Samantha Richard, Las Vegas, 2 laps.
  • Class 1600 – 1. 1619 Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif., 5:52.15; 2. 1612 Blaine Conrad, Las Vegas, 5:52.51; 3. 1663 Christopher Adamik, Las Vegas, 7:03.52.
  • Class 18 – 1. 1801 Colton Gubler, Caliente, 1 lap; 2. John Pellissier, Las Vegas, 1 lap.
  • Class 2000 – 1. 2028 Kevin Mc Keown, Henderson, 5:01.50; 2. 2055 Derek Tenney, Las Vegas, 5:57.44; 3. 2015 Kenneth Leavitt, Santa Paula, Calif., 6:32.04.
  • Class 3000 – 3079 Darryl Kysar, 6:18.04, Oxnard, Calif., 6:18.04.
  • Class 5-1600 – 1. 555 Michael King, Menifee, Calif., 1 lap.
  • Class 7 – 1. 7234 Keith Minnicks, Irvine, Calif., 6:19.43.
  • Class 7S – 7177 Nick Lantz, Las Vegas, 5:54.31.
  • Class 8 – Derek Bradley, Las Vegas.
  • Class 9 – 1. 989 Corey Torres, Las Vegas, 5:28.49; 2. 928 Kyle Vizzo, Barstow, Calif., 5:39.05; 3. 966 Jeff Johnsen, 5:47.12.
  • Stock Bug: 1. 1180 Steven Bertrand, Las Vegas, 5:43.00.
TJ Flores, right, and his co-driver Jesse Gerlach celebrate their overall and class victories after SNORE’s annual KC HiLites 250 June 8 near Jean, Nev., south of Las Vegas.

The world of off-road racing can be very serious as evidenced by a stout $25,000 purse generated by Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage.

Highly-respected Justin “Bean” Smith, 28, could race just about anywhere, but the native of San Clemente, Calif. is headed for Saturday’s KC HiLites 250 scheduled south of Las Vegas.

Smith, a hard-charging Class 1600 driver, has a five-point lead heading into SNORE’s third race of the year. Knowing full well that second place Class 10 driver Cody Freeman of Henderson is clamoring for a chance to overtake him in the run for the money.

With Southern Nevada suddenly facing a heat wave about 10 degrees above normal, SNORE’s event will provide several challenges considering that the race starts at 8:30 p.m.

Between the heat and the night driving, Smith knows first-hand that while he could be most anywhere, he needs to be at SNORE’s race considering the big-time money generated by the prominent Herbst family.

“No question about it,” said Smith, who grabbed the 1600 victory at Ridgecrest, Calif. April 13, before quickly heading off to a wedding. “I need to be there no matter what the challenges or other events.

“The points fund is really good and one of the reasons I’m running SNORE all year long. I’m a self-funded racer, so I race off what I win. It can be a make or break for us.”

Smith is highly-recognized for his talent in the desert. He’s also involved in the construction and repair of off-road racing equipment.

Smith competed in the X Games as the FMX rider in 2003 and moved into off-road racing in 2004. He has more than 30 victories and five championships.

“I keep fighting for more and more wins,” he said. “But with the KC HiLites race, we still have a little bit of an uphill battle simply because this course is in the backyard of racers like Brian and Cody Freeman.

“It’s going to be a rough course.”

With all of the challenges, Smith feels good about his night racing talents.

“I feel really good about racing at night,” he said. “I have good vision.”

Smith said his 1600 car is ready for the race.

“It’s looking perfect,” he said. “Major Performance went through the motor and JG Transworks got us ready to go. We’re set up and planning a light test before the race Thursday.”

Justin Smith of San Clemente, Calif., has a narrow five-point lead heading into Saturday’s KC HiLites 250 presented by SNORE south of Las Vegas.




Jackson Motorsports Group to Provide Tire Awards Program for World’s Oldest Sanctioned Off-Road Racing Organization, S.N.O.R.E

GREENVILLE, S.C. (May XX, 2013) – Leading event and motorsports management and service company Jackson Motorsports Group (JMG) is pleased to announce a partnership with Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts (S.N.O.R.E). Through this partnership, Jackson will provide a tire awards program to all S.N.O.R.E. series competitors for qualified tires. JMG will also provide S.N.O.R.E competitors the opportunity to buy other BFGoodrich® tires, including support tires for vehicles directly affiliated with a race program, such as chase trucks and tow vehicles, from JMG at special racer program prices.

Founded in 1969, S.N.O.R.E is the world’s oldest sanctioned off-road racing organization and has grown to be a premier force in the Southwest racing arena. With a committed and very active membership base, the organization offers races from 250-400 miles throughout Nevada and Southern California, suitable for wide range of vehicles, from buggies and pickup trucks to high-end vehicles. Upcoming series races include the KC Hilites 250, the Midnight Special, the S.N.O.R.E 250 and Rage at the River.

“Based on our strong ties to off road racing and our status as the exclusive distributor of BFGoodrich off- road tires, we feel that JMG is a great fit for S.N.O.R.E.,” said Darrell Jackson, president and chief executive officer, Jackson Motorsports Group. “We are happy to be working with such a prestigious and committed group of racers.”
 
Jackson Motorsports Group works closely with a wide range of similar racing groups, including serving as the official sponsor for Porsche Club of America’s (PCA’S) National Points Championship. For 2013, JMG has also partnered with Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series driver Geoffrey Cooley and Alumi Craft Racing.
 
“Our members love off-road and desert racing and expect to work with vendors and sponsor who are as passionate about the sport as they are,” said Brittany Burgos, president, S.N.O.R.E. “Based on their extensive off-road racing experience, knowledge of the products and dedication to providing top-notch customer service, we are pleased to partner with Jackson Motorsports Group.”
 
About S.N.O.R.E.S.N.O.R.E. (Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts) is a family of off-road desert racers helping to promote desert racing in and around the Las Vegas, Nevada area. Formed in 1969 for fun, friends and family, the organization has grown to be a premier force in the Southwest racing arena.
 
About Jackson Motorsports Group
 
Jackson Motorsports Group has experience in some of the world’s leading racing series, including NASCAR, NHRA, American Le Mans, SCORE, Best in the Desert, Ultra4 and AMA. With offices in Greenville, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C., its experience includes working for clients such as BMW, Volvo, Wiley X and Race Ramps. Simply put, whatever your motorsports needs, from event management and activation to on-site tire support services, JMG offers the products and services to make your life easier. For more information, please visit our Facebook page.
 
Contact: JoAnne Laffey Abed (864) 272-3014 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

By Mike Henle

RIDGECREST, Calif. -- The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts, a group of dedicated souls who have been presenting desert racing events since 1969, could not have written a better script than the one that wrapped up the annual Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 that was run here April 13.

In SNORE’s second race of the Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage Series touting an estimated $25,000 in prize money, the club drew rave reviews from members of the Bureau of Land Management for another stellar performance; while also attracting a strong field of 83 entries in several classes.

In perfect style, the Overall and Class 1 titles were won by friendly and hard-charging Richard Boyle, whose company Motion Tire is a highly-respected business in Ridgecrest. Just so happens that Boyle also sponsored the sixth annual SNORE event here, which was initiated when another Ridgecrest off-road racer approached SNORE about the possibility of presenting an off-road race near China Naval Base in the High Desert.

Boyle 48,  running a ground-thundering two-seater, turned in a five-lap time of 4 hours, 35.36 minutes to dominate the event that featured 50-mile laps that included everything from traditional dust to boulders so big that you’d swear the area was formerly the ground for old Roy Rogers movies.

While many others struggled in what was termed a very technical layout that ate up a huge part of the field, Boyle was pedal-to-the-medal during an impressive showing that saw him score a narrow victory over fellow Ridgecrest resident Joe David, who finished a little more than a minute behind.

“We started off easy because that car just ran the HDRA race last weekend. So it had 250 hard miles on it. We just tried to bet to the finish line and we won it. We will be at the Baja 500 the first weekend of June.

Highly-touted Justin Smith, a talented 29 year-old competitor out of Capistrano Beach, Calif., powered to the 1600 win with a time of 5:05.49 to finish more than an hour ahead of his nearest challenger.

“We had a good draw,” explained Smith, who was headed to a wedding not long after recording the victory. “We were second off the line and by Mile 6, we passed (two other cars) and took over the lead.

“We didn’t have much radio communication at all, so we just tried to pace ourselves. I wasn’t seeing anyone or hearing from anyone, so I just figured that no news was good news. The Goodrich tires were hooking up and we didn’t have any problems. Our Foxx shocks worked well all day.

“But man, SNORE put a heckuva course together. It was one of the roughest courses I have ever raced in my life.”

Bill Shapley, tech director SNORE, said the race was a huge success.

“We didn’t have any problems with anything,” said Shapley, 56. “It’s always fun coming to Ridgecrest and this was no different than ever before. This city opens its arms and the course is bitching. It’s rough and there is a lot of fast stuff, but it’s fun. What a great way to get out of Vegas for awhile.

Race director Kenny Freeman, now sitting out his second year to handle participating in the presentation of SNORE events, concurred with Shapley.

“We could not have hoped for better,” he said. “We will be back again and really enjoyed working with this particular BLM district. They were very cooperative and the city of Ridgecrest loves having us each year.”

Also key to the blockbuster weekend was the purse posted by SNORE. As an example, Class 9 winner Michael Goltz of Covina, Calif., pocketed $3,200 for his triumph to highlight the big winners.

Overall, SNORE presented checks for a total of $15,000 in prize money and KARTEK cash.

Las Vegas automobile executive Steve Olliges, who owns Team Ford in the northwest Las Vegas valley, was among the drivers who not only complimented SNORE and also pointed out the challenges affiliated with the race.

“The race was awesome,” said Olliges, who finished runnerup to defending champion Mike Voudouris of Austin, Tex.. “I drove the first three laps and had no problems at all. Three minutes from completing my third lap, I got a flat tire on the front. I didn’t want to take a chance of tearing up one of our Trail Ready wheels. Brittany and Kenny do a great job of setting up the course, which was very technical. Lot of it was really good for an old I-Beam truck and some of it wasn’t that gets really rough for an old I-Beam truck.

“The course was very rocky and tough. There were a lot of people pulled off to the side with broken suspensions and flat tires. The boulders are all over the place.

“The old BFG Fox 4 did great. Sometimes you have to straddle and be careful that you don’t tear your car apart.”

Other winners included Cody Freeman, 10; Ken Taper, 12; Bree Cloud, 13; Sal Gomez, 1450; Kelly Suiter, 15; John Pellissier, 18; Ken Leavitt, 2000; Bruce Frisen, 3000; Jerry Fisher, 5-1600; Dallas Lutrell, 7287; and Michael Brenner, Stock Bug.

 

SNORE Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300

Results of Saturday, April 13

at Ridgecrest, Calif.

 

Overall – 156 Richard Boyle, Ridgecrest, Calif., 4:35.36.

Unlimited Trucks – 1. 70 Mike Voudouris, Austin, Tex. 4:40.30; 2. 27 Steve Olliges, Las Vegas, 5:02.01.

Class 1 --- 1. 156 Richard Boyle, Ridgecrest, Calif., 4:35.36; 2. 115 Joe David, Ridgecrest, Calif., 4:46.50; 3. 199 Mike Thurlow, Kingsburg, Calif., 5:22.13; 4. 188 Jason Whipple, Lancaster, Calif., DNF; 5. 108 Dennis Boyle, Ventura, Calif., DNF.

Class 10 – 1002 1. Cody Freeman, Henderson, Nev., 4:41.36; 2. 1092 Cody Jeffers, Barstow, Calif., 4:41.52; 3. 1081 Jason Saran, Tucson, Ariz., 6:26.17; 4. 1095 Patrick Gailey, Norco, Calif., DNF; 5. 1011 Mike McGee, Ridgecrest, Calif., DNF; 6. 1014 Blaine McDonald, Las Vegas, DNF; 7. 1076 Gerardo Tribe, Santa Ana, Calif., DNF; 8 Sammy Ehrenberg, Las Vegas, DNF; 9. 1071 Darryl Kysar, Oxnard, Calif., DNF; 10. 1071 Tony Nguyen, Anaheim, Calif., DNF; 11. 1029 Chris Wakim, Simi Valley, Calif., DNF; 12. 1087 Gary Messer, Kingman, Ariz., DNF.

Class 12 – 1. 1230 Ken Tapert, Henderson, Nev.; 2. 1299 Vic Bruckman, San Diego, Calif., 6:11.15; 3. 1227 Justin Buckley, Long Beach, Calif., 4 laps; 4. 1280 Matt 14 McBride, Brea, Calif., 4 laps; 5.1215 Michael Benedict, North Las Vegas, 4 laps; 6, Randy Jones, Simi Valley, Calif., DNF;  7. 1277 Zac Reish, Riverside, Calif., DNF; 8. 1210 Jason Peterson, Granite Bay, Calif., DNF; 9. 1259 Bob Dziurawiec, Prescott, Ariz., DNF; 10. 1272 Jason Davis, Pinon Hills, Calif., DNF; 11. 1271 Keith Rogovin, DNF.

Class 13 – 1336 1. Bree Cloud, Las Vegas, 3:47.18, 3 laps; 2. 1380 Billy Shapley, Jr., 4:06.37, 3 laps; 3. 1360 Mike Montes, Las Vegas, 4:23.13, 3 laps; 4. 1355 Scott Davis, Moreno Valley, Calif., 1 lap; 5. 1378 Dave Nelson, Henderson, DNF.

Class 1450 – 1. 1413 Sal Gomez, Anaheim, Calif., 3:28.00; 2. 1433 Allen Byma, Bellflower, Calif., 3:31.09; 3. 1447 Darren Parsons, Ridgecrest, Calif., 3:38.35; 4. 1498 Steve Fike, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 4:08.53; 5. 1472 Dustyn Loppnow, Yucaipa, Calif., DNF; 6. 1479 Chris Freas, Simi Valley, Calif., DNF; 7. 1412 Jeff Eveler, Lincoln, Calif., DNF.

Class 15 – Kelly Suiter, Henderson, 3:33.45.

Class 1600 – 1. 1619 Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif., 5:05.49; 2. 1612 Blaine Conrad, Las Vegas, 6:11.07; 3. 1616 Rick Boyer, DNF; 4. 1664 Jonathan Burnworth, Holtville, Calif., DNF; 5. 1614 Andrew Neal, LaVerne, Calif., DNF; 6. 1697 Matt Depue, DNF; 7. 1632 Greg Boyer, DNF; 8. 1621 James Dean, Las Vegas, DNF.

Class 18 – 1800 John Pellissier, 5:27.21.

Class 2000 – 1. Ken Leavitt, Santa Paula, Calif., 1 lap; 2. 2015 Laralee Wagstaff, Santa Paula, Calif., 1 lap.

Class 3000 – 1. 3050 Bruce Frisen, Kingsburg, Calif., DNF; 2. 3003 Eric Trondle, Anaheim, Calif., DNF.

           Class 5-1600 – 1. 562 Jerry Fisher, Riverside, Calif., 3 laps, DNF; 2. 555 Michael King, Menifee, Calif., 2 laps, DNF; 3. 567 Jeff Goorsky, Hemet, Calif., DNF.

Class 7 – 1. 7287 Dallas Lutrell, Salt Lake City, Utah, 4:59.47; 2. 7235 Keith Minnicks, Irvine, Calif., DNF; 3. 7298 Jonathan Brenthel, Irvine, Calif., DNF.

Class 9 – 1. 968 Michael Goltz, Covina, Calif., 533.27; 2. 928 Kyle Vizzo, Barstow, Calif., 5:35.07; 3. 911 Brandon Heald, Barstow, Calif., 5:48.52; 4. 989 Corey Torres, Las Vegas, DNF; 5. 920 Kurt Davidson, Madera, Calif., DNF; 6. 922 Jacob Davidson, Madera, Calif., DNF; 7. 987 William Dalton, Sahvarita, Calif., DNF; 8. 966 Jeff Johnson, DNF.

Class Stock Bug – 1. 1179 Michael Brenner, Costa Mesa, Calif., 5:19.03; 2. 1138 Christian Anderson, Phelan, Calif., 5:21.02; 3. 1127 David Gunn, Ridgecrest, Calif., DNF; 4. 1162 Dennis Sletten, Salton Sea Beach, Calif., DNF; 5.1148 Jim Juneau, Torrance, Calif., DNF; 6. 1100 Robert Johnson, Ahwahnee, Calif., DNF.
 

RICHARDBOYLEPHOTO
Ridgecrest, Calif., charger Richard Boyle won the Class 1 and Overall titles during the annual Motion Tire SNORE Ridgecrest 300 April 13 near China Naval Base in the High Desert of Southern California.

Dave Conklin/Trackside

 

MICHAELGOLTZ
Southern California racer Michael Goltz won the highly-competitive Class 9 and pocketed $3,200 for his efforts at the Motion Tire SNORE Ridgecrest 300 April 13.

Dave Conklin/Trackside

  

  

By Mike Henle

A Class 9 driver is off to a great start in the  Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship series heading into SNORE’s Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 April 12-13.

Young charger Jacob Davidson picked up 772 points in the season-opening Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 at Primm, Nev., and his performance in a very competitive class has certainly caught the attention of the off-road racing fraternity.

Since its inception back in 1969, SNORE has had several Class 9 drivers collect the overall championship. The list of winners is impressive and includes the likes of the late Luther Kutcher along with Bryan Pennington.

And you can bet that Davidson, a 21 year-old Central Valley, Calif., air conditioning technician, would love to add his name to the list of champion Class 9 champions when SNORE wraps up its 2013 season later this year.

Granted, one race only accounts for a fraction of SNORE’s six-race series, but Davidson is going to give it his all after a sparkling effort to kick off the season. A former desert motorcycle competitor, he’s all-in during the effort to collect SNORE’s cash prize, which is certainly significant.

“Everything went very smooth in the first race,” said Davidson, who beat talented competitor Harley Young by only 37 seconds in a huge field of 29 Class 9 entries at Primm. “It was a very clean race all day long and we had no issues. We had a minor repair on the front end and we got hit one time, but other than that, everything went well.”

With a great attitude and huge support from his family, Davidson doesn’t hesitate when discussing his goal.

“Oh yeah, we’re going for the championship,” he said knowing full-well that Class 9 has high numbers and excellent competition. “The car isn’t even mine.  It’s owned by my dad Kurt and my brother, Kurt, Jr. and my youngest brother, Beans.”

In fact, the Davidson family is coming in full force for the Ridgecrest event.

“We will be running two cars at Ridgecrest,” Davidson said. “Kurt will running the “Flagship” while I’ll be running the “Red Headed Step Child.”

When discussing his biggest competition, Davidson quickly adds that it’s his brother who will be among his biggest challengers.

“He can definitely kick some butt when he’s not too busy keeping his camera clean,’ Davidson said of his brother. “He has been racing since 2005 and he has quite a few years of experience and seat time over me.

“Ridgecrest is all new to me, but Kurt has raced it so he has an advantage.”

Davidson’s efforts have been helped by sponsorships from Mohr Performance, Transaxle engineering, Doug Silcock and Purls Sheet Metal and Air conditioning.

  

The course at Ridgecrest is situated near China Lake Naval Base in northeastern Kern County in Southern California. It consists of significant challenges including huge rocks reminiscent of the old Wild West movies from decades ago.

With four surrounding mountain ranges, the area includes the Sierra Nevada on the west; the Cosos on the north; the Argus Range on the east; and the El Paso Mountains on the south. Situated approximately 82 miles from the Lancaster/Palmdale area, Ridgecrest is about 145 miles from Bakersfield and San Bernardino.

SNORE officials said 93 drivers were pre-entered earlier in the week for the event that is that is wildly-accepted each year. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Last year’s event at Ridgecrest was won by hard-charging Mike Voudouris of Austin, Tex., who captured the SNORE PCI Radios 300 Saturday in a classic showdown that included a three vehicle race down to the wire.

Voudouris, driving a Trophy Truck prepared by Collins Motorsports, had
a five-lap wining time of 5 hours, 18.50 minutes to beat the No. 105 Class 1 car of the husband and wife team of Kelly and Tom Mather of Ridgecrest, Calif., with a time of 5:20.09.

Voudouris will return to defend his title this year.

Adam and Terry Householder finished third at 5:21.50 in one of SNORE's all time close finishes.

  

Pit Notes

  

--- SNORE’s dedicated club members numbering about 15 headed for Ridgecrest last week to mark the course, which covers 52 miles. Of the total, approximately 15 miles is different from last year’s event.

--- The Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage points fund continues to grow thanks to the strong field of entries SNORE has attracted through the first part of the year. By the end of the year, the end-of-the-year banquet should boast of a total purse of about $30,000.

--- The field in Ridgecrest will include a list of very strong competitors including Tom Koch, who owns an automotive recycling plant in Ridgecrest. A former winner of the both the Mint 400 and SNORE 250, he will compete in a Class 1 at Ridgecrest.

--- Among the top Class 10 chargers will be Las Vegas driver Sammy Ehrenberg, who will race in a very competitive class that will also feature names such as fellow Las Vegan Cody Freeman. 

--- One of the top classes will be 1600 which will include drivers such as Justin Smith of San Clemente, Calif.; Rick Boyer, of Bakersfield, Calif.; and Las Vegas drivers James Dean, Darin Anderson, Bryan Freeman and Blaine Conrad.

  

Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts

2013 Terrible Herbst Garage Championship

  

Pro Standings

  

Class 1 – 1. Tony Murray 672; 2. Pat Dean 610; 3. Richard Boyle 573; 4. Tony Nguyen 570; 5.  Brad Vicic 430; 6. tie between Tom Mather Jr. and Allen Cluck,  335 each.

Class 7 – 1. Keith Minnicks 660; 2. Larry Shiells 606; 3. Frank Napoli 469; 4. Mike Koenig 448; 5. Broc Hersam 340.

Class 9 – 1. Jacob Davidson 772; 2. Harley Young 739; 3. Kyle Vizzo 672; 4. Christopher DeSousa Dias 652; 5. Ron Rash 632; 6. Jorge Ventura 612; 7. Kurt Davidson Jr. 602; 8. Brandon Heald 600; 9. Dan Bergen 582; 10. Travis Staley 572.

Class 10 – 1. Michael LaPaglia 725; 2. Cody Freeman 670; 3. Cody Jeffers 615; 4. Sammy Ehrenberg 595; 5. Patrick Gailey 575; 6. Roger Starkey 525; 7. John Hsu 555; 8. Jason Saran 545; 9. Frank Baird 535; 10. James Dean 415.

Class 11 – 1. Scott Wisdom 688; 2. Michael Brenner 622; 3. Robert Johnson 590; 4. Dennis Sletten 580; 5. Chris Anderson 573; 6. Gregory Piraino 520; 7. Jason Gutzmer 410; 8. Michael Cote 400; 9. David Hendrickson 30.

Class 12 – 1. Randy Jones 697; 2. Michael Benedict 670; 3. Justin Davis 580; 4. Beau Rash 568;  Todd Stemmerman 540; 6. Ken Tapert 470; 7. Justin Buckey 410; 8. Bob Dziuawiec 400; 8. Kyle Cox 340.

Class 18 – 1. Thomas Morales 648; 2. Dustin Hellstrom 498; 3. John Pellissier 390.

Class 3000 – 1.  Eric Trondle 675; 2. Dana Dague 605; 3. Allan Lee 571; 4. Neal Drickey 545; 5. Anthony Kilian 425; 6. Mike VanNewkirk 347.

Class 1-2 1600 – 1. Luke McMillin 767; 2. Bryan Freeman Sr. 749; 3. Justin Smith 713; 4. Jason Coleman 643; 5. Kurt Geer 623; 6. Jordan Poole 603; 7. Lorenzo Rodriguez 593; 8. tie between Corey Torres and Blaine Conrad, 583 each; 10. Darin Anderson 573.

Class 5 Unlimited – 1. Scott Wagstaff 582; 2. Carl Rohrer 344.

Class 5B – 1. Vic Bruckmann 707; 2. A.J Martin 634; 3. Zac Reish 594; 4. Billy Gereghty 570; 5. Scott Moldenhauer 550; 6. Ben Swift 530; 7. Todd McMinimen 520; 8. Chris Lazenby 510; 9. Steven Hall 390; 10. Jim Varshay 340.

Class 5-1600 – 1. Raul Solano 673; 2. David Hendrickson 608; 3. Mark Lundberg 560; 4. Jeff Goorsky 440; 5. Chris Sarris 340.

Heavy Metal – 1. Joe Patelli 631; 2. Joey Diaz 349.

Stock Full – Steve Schwab 511.

7S – Nick Lantz 511.

Unlimited Truck – 1. Justin Davis 713; 2. Jake Povey 615; 3. Jim Price 575; 4. Nathan McBride 555; 5. Jonathan Swift 537; 6. TJ Flores 455; 7. George Pondella 340.

  

Sportsman Classes 

  

Class 1450 1. Steve Olliges 873; 2. Ryan Dunn 742; 3. Darren Parsons 702; 4. Brad DeBerti 682; 5. Josh Taylor 662; 6. Nick Tonelli 662; 7. Chris Isenhouer 632; 8. Mike Koenig 622; 9. Juan Carlos Calderon 612

Class 2000 – 1. Kevin McKeown 680; 2. Trevor Messina 639; 3. Vievin Baugh  628; 4, Kevin Benali 460; 5. Jeremy Henderson 440.

Limited Sportsman – 1. Bree Cloud 747; 2. Bre Bradley 635; 3. Michael Brister 597; 4. Dave Nelson 585; 5. Desirae Jones 575.

Unlimited Sportsman – 1. Scott Rasmussen 689; 2. Dean Defreeze 612; 3. Johnny Burns 570.

Next race: Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300, Ridgecrest, Calif., April 12-14.

Further information: www.snoreracing.net.

  

DAVIDSONPHOTO
The Davidson family will converge on the annual SNORE Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 April 12-13 in Southern California. From left, Kurt Davidson Jr., Beans Davidson, Jacob Davidson and Kurt Davidson Sr. Jacob Davidson leads the SNORE Terrible Herbst Garage Championship series after one race.

  

CONTACTS: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483; Brittany Burgos, President, SNORE, 702-325-9623.

 

  

By Mike Henle
 
PRIMM – Nineteen year-old Chino Hills, Calif. competitor Justin Davis turned a combined time of 2 hours, 2.21 minutes to take the overall and Unlimited Truck titles during the annual SNORE BeeHive Sports Bar Battle at Primm off road race conducted here Friday through Sunday.
 
It was a huge weekend for Davis, who also pocketed $1,000 for setting the fastest time of the weekend.
 
But the talented Davis wasn’t the only high-flying driver who capitalized on the jumps, tight turns and ruts in the desert about 30 miles south of Las Vegas. In traditional fashion, the Battle at Primm was highlighted by everything from the ground-rumbling trucks and Unlimited Class 1 power plants to Baja Bugs to an all-new class for pre-runners in non-stop action that could be heard all the way to Vegas in the north and Barstow in the south.
 
In fitting style, Davis kicked off the weekend by leading qualifying on Friday before continuing his winning ways during two days of non-stop action that kicked off SNORE’s six-race season which as been bolstered by the strong involvement of Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage.
 
SNORE never slows down and Terrible Herbst’s addition of a $10,000 bonus to the 2013 points series is expected to boost the overall winner’s share to $20,000 as some of America’s top off-road racing talent looks up to an off road racing group founded in 1969. 
 
Through it all, SNORE continued to pack hotel rooms (Primm Valley Resorts, Whiskey Pete’s and Buffalo Bill’s) and attract drivers from several states in what continues as one of the best economic impacts on record.
 
There may be budget cuts in Washington, but you would not have known it in Primm where off-road racing combined with a remarkable roller coaster continually combines to create one of America’s best playgrounds.
 
The grand prix style of motor sports drew an estimated 280 entries in several categories and you can bet that employees at Primm properties were wishing that SNORE’s remarkable traveling road show would return every weekend.
 
As evidenced by hundreds of motor homes, toy haulers and trucks towing off-road vehicles to Primm from every direction, the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm was the infusion every small town in America would welcome.
 
It wasn’t hard finding satisfied souls whether you were talking about hotel personnel or racers. In what is considered an addiction to horsepower, desert rats not only filled the hotel rooms and restaurants but also had the bars three-deep for hours.
 
NASCAR’s Daytona 500 may have dominated television sets, but the Battle at Primm highlighted the outdoors so much so that Sawyer Brown lead singer Mark Miller even saluted the event during the blockbuster group’s performance Saturday night at the Star of the Desert inside Buffalo Bill’s.
 
You see, even in rough economic times, SNORE’s traveling road show is welcomed with open arms whether it’s a tiny bar in Caliente;  hundreds of hotel rooms in Primm several times a year; or convenience stores and gas stations in Ridgecrest, Calif.,  not far from Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.
 
In fact, just as eyes all over the country are dreading the evening news because budget cuts are on the horizon, off-roaders are making the rest of the economy look like everything is just fine.
 
You could call SNORE’s events the perfect storm in an imperfect world. While economists sporting degrees from Ivy League schools continue to predict doom and gloom, off-road racing continues to keep staffs running non-stop.
 
“You might say that’s what we do,” said energetic SNORE President Brittany Burgos, whose ability to rally the troops is second-to-none. “We have fun and at the same time, we boost businesses with cash and the environment with so much energy that residents and business owners cannot wait for us to return.”
 
As usual, SNORE’s event presented the perfect combination of a tough layout that was tackled by drivers from several states including Nevada, California, and Arizona, to name a few.
 
Steve Martin, a long-time former off-road racer from Huntington Beach, Calif., who ran Class 2 in SNORE events, was in attendance at the Battle at Primm with family A.J. Martin members who competed in Class 5 Unlimited. A 67 year-old who owns M&M Cut-O-Matic in Downey, Calif., Martin had a great time.
 
“For those of use who used to race, it’s really interesting now to see the kids competing,’ said the elder Martin, who has fond memories of the old Mint 400 along with the SNORE 250. “When we originally bought the car in 1977 from Dennis Betcher and Bob Gordon (Robby’s father) the kids were small. We raced from 1977 to the early 1990s and my mom and dad didn’t miss a race.
 
“To this day even being out there, my mom, Charlotte Martin, was in Primm watching her grandson run. That’s quite a feat considering that Mom is now 95 years old and still rides in the car from tech to the pits.”
 
On Saturday, A.J. finished third before winning on Sunday. The Martin team pitted with Class 1600 driver Jason Coleman, who is a friend of the family
 
“What SNORE has done in Primm is bring back what SCORE used to do at Laughlin,” Mr. Martin said. “SNORE did one heckuva job and A.J. will definitely run again in SNORE events.”
 
Among the many drivers who experienced the tough terrain first-hand was SNORE Tech Director Bill Shapley.
 
Driving a Sportsman entry, Shapley rolled on the third lap of his heat Saturday. He and his partner Dave Jackson were upside down for while before crews could right-side the vehicle.
 
“I came into the corner too fast and caught the berm,” explained Shapley. “All of the oil drained out of the car, but it’ll be fine. The really bad thing was that we were running first when it happened.”
 
Jackson shrugged off the rollover saying “Ah, it was a piece of cake” while Shapley said while the latest incident was the first in this car, it certainly wasn’t the first time he had gone over while off-road racing.
 
“Kenny (Freeman) and I had several rollovers back in the 1980s,” Shapley explained. “We had a short wheelbase car named Top Banana.”
 
Other winners in the Battle of Primm included Tony Murray, Class 1 Unlimited; Michael LaPaglia, Class 10; Randy Jones, Class 12; Bree Cloud, Class 13; Steve Olliges, Class 1450; Scott Rasmussen, Class 15;  Luke McMillin, Class 1600;  Thomas Morales, Class 18;  Kevin McKeown,  Class 2000; Eric Trondle, Class 3000; Vic Bruckman, Class 5 Unlimited B; Scott Wagstaff, Class 5 Unlimited; Raul Solano, Class 5/1600; Keith Minnicks, Class 7; Nick Lantz, Class 7S; Jacob Davidson, Class 9; Joe Patelli, Heavy Metal; Scott Wisdom, Stock Bug; and Steve Schwab, Stock Full.
 
SNORE’s next event in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Championship Series is the Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 in Ridgecrest, Calif. April 12-14.
 
SNORE Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm

Feb. 22-24

At Primm, Nev.
 
Unlimited Truck  – 1. (first overall) 85 Justin Davis, 2:02.21; 2. 98 Jake Poven 2:14.28.890; 3. 83 Jim Price 2:16.40; 4. 99 Nathan McBride 2:20.34.
 
Class 1 Unlimited – 1. 109 Tony Murray 2:12.08; 2. 101 Pat Dean, Las Vegas, 2:35.53; 3. 132 Tony Nguyen 2:38.44.
 
Class 10 – (second overall) 1. 1038 Michael LaPaglia 2:11.46; 2. (third overall) 1002 Cody Freeman, Las Vegas,  2:11.56;  3. 1092 Cody Jeffers 2:13.24;  4. 1074 Sammy Ehrenberg 2:13.30; 5. 1095 Patrick Gailey 2:19.32; 6. 1048 John Hsu 2:24.05; 7. 1081 Jason Saron 2:24.20; 8. 1084 Frank Baird 2:30.41.
 
Class 12 – 1. 1216 Randy Jones 2:28.07; 2. 1215 Michael Benedict 3:38.36; 3. 1272 Jason Davis 2:42.28.
 
Class 13 – 1. 1336 Bree Cloud 2:09.16; 2. 1302 Bree Bradley 2:12.57; 3. 1375 Michael Brister 2:17.14; 1309 Desiree Jones 2:23.26; 5. 1388 Jenn Hellstrom 2:26.51; 6. 1378 Dave Nelson 2:31.49.
 
Class 1450 -- 1. 1451 Steve Olliges, Las Vegas, 1:51.38; 2. 1437 Ryan Dunn 1:59.38; 3. 1447 Darren Parsons 2:01.44; 4. 1457 Brad De Berti 2:002.46; 5. 1484 Josh Taylor 2:04.46; 6. 1436 Nick Tonnelli 2:08.26; 7. 1454 Chris Isenhouer 2:13.17; 8. 1476 Mike Koenig 2:15.01; 9. 1469 Juan Carlos Calderon 2:16.13; 10.1413 1413 Sal Gomez  2:16.33; 11. 1485 Adam Fibin 2:18.19; 12. 1405 Nick Isenhouer 2:18.27; 13. 1482 Ryan Desautels 2:22.57; 14. 1491 Trever Leach 2:23.02; 15. 1412 Jeff Eveler 2:40.46; 16. Duane Evans 2:53.95.
 
Class 15 – 1.  1565 Scott Rasmussen 1:50.48; 2. 1504 Dean Defreze 1:58.24; 3. 1581 Johnny Burns 1:59.33; 4. 1503 Kelly Suiter 2:07.47; 5. 1524 Aaron Hawley 2:14.52; 6. 1559 Christine Dziurawiec 2:42.63.
 
Class 1600 – 1. 1688 Luke McMillin 2:22.41; 2. 1680 Bryan Freeman 2:23.04; 3. 1619 Justin Bean 2:22.16; 4. 1600 Jason Coleman 2:26.30; 5. 1634 Curt Geer 2:26.37; 6. 1668 Jordan Poole 2:27.48; 7. 1690 Lorenzo Rodriguez 2:29.15; 8. 1689 Cory Torres 2:29.21; 9. 1655 Darin Anderson 2:31.18; 10. 1629 Johnny Burns 2:36.10; 11. 1608 Hank Winter 2:37.46; 12. 1685 Vince Viola 2:39.36; 13. 1627 Joshua Daniel 2:39.59; 14. 1611 Emme Hall 2:44.25; 15. Stefano Stuart 2:50.31.
 
Class 18 – 1877 Thomas Morales 2:18.54.
 
Class 2000 – Kevin McKeown, 1:16.48.
 
Class 3000 – 1. 3003 Eric Trondle 2:30.12; 2. 3023 Dana Dague 2:53.18; 3. 3017 Lee Allan 3:03.47.
 
Class 5 Unlimited – 1. 518B Vic Bruckman 2:18.25; 2. 513B A.J. Martin 2:20.32; 3. 545B Billy Gereghty 2:26.30; 4. 502B Scott Moldenhauer 2:39.09; 5. 525B Ben Swift 2:41.29.
 
Class 5 – 518 Scott Wagstaff 2:00.56.
 
Class 5-1600 – 1. 550 Raul Solano 2:13.15; 2. 586 David Hendrickson 2:13.40; 3. 564 Mark Lundberg 2:23.15.
 
Class 7 -- 7234 Keith Minnicks 2:43.05.
 
Class 7S – 7177 Nick Lantz 2:18.35.
 
Class 9 – 1. 922 Jacob Davidson 2:11.11; 2. 959 Harley Young 2:11.48; 3. 928 Kyle Vizzo 2:12.50; 4. 901 Christopher De Sousa Dias 2:14.57; 5. 973 Ron Rash 2:15.59; 6. 984 Jorge Ventura 2:16.11; 7.920  Kurt Davidson; 8.  911 Brandon Heald 2:18.43; 9. 982  Dan Bergen 2:18.45; 10. 918 Travis Staley 2:25.11.
 
Heavy Metal – 800 Joe Patelli 2:46.03.
 
Stock Bug – 1. 1103 Scott Wisdom 2:20.36; 2. 1179 Michael Brenner 2:21.57; 3. 1163 Dennis Sletten 2:24.53; 4. 1138 Chris Anderson 2:27.24; 5. 1100 Robert Johnson 2:44.03.
 
Stock Full – 811 Steve Schwab, 2:22.31.
 
Next race: Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300, April 12-14, Ridgecrest, Calif.

 

CLOSE
The tight 12-mile course of the annual Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm featured tight competition throughout the weekend. Shown in this photo are 586 David Hendrickson and 918 Travis Staley.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

ROGERPHOTO
SNORE’s defending champion Roger Starkey finished ninth in the highly competitive Class 10 category of the annual Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb.22-24.

 

BOYLE
Richard Boyle flies high over the dyke jump of the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

CODY
Southern Nevada charger Cody Freeman finished close behind Southern California driver Michael LaPaglia in Class 10 of the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

 

 

By Mike Henle

LAS VEGAS -- Bill Shapley showed up in Southern Nevada at the age of 14 in 1970 after living in Pico Rivera, Calif. About a year later, he joined the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts, and he’s been active with the club ever since.

“I was hanging out with Kenny Freeman while going to Rancho High School,” recalled Shapley, now the owner of NV Automotive at 4580 E. Lake Mead Blvd. in Las Vegas. “He asked me to get involved with SNORE and I didn’t know what he was talking about.”

From there, Freeman’s mother, Marian, took Shapley for a ride in a small pink two-seater and the rest is history.

“I have been hooked ever since,” laughed Shapley. “In fact, you could say that I took it hook, line and sinker.”

What Shapley discovered was an incredible group of people who also became his friends.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Shapley, who is now 56.

Nowadays, Shapley is involved even more with SNORE considering that is again serving as the club’s tech director as well as a racer in events with son, Billy, in a Class 13 Sportsman buggy. He’s going to be very busy during the Feb. 22-24 running of the Battle at Primm south of Las Vegas.

“Tommy Ford told me that if he was going to be president of SNORE, I was going to be his race director in 1988,” recalled Shapley of Ford, who now lives in Whitesboro, Tex. “I told Tommy I didn’t know a thing about being race director and he told me we’d have to learn together.

“It all turned out great. I had to not only learn the technical aspects, but also working with the Bureau of Land Management. It was a great experience and most definitely opened a lot of doors for me.”

There are many people that Shapley will never forget.

“First and foremost, the Freeman family along with Roger Gaskill, Denny Selleck and Bert Vaughan,” Shapley recalled. “You mention SNORE and you think of people like this, although there’s actually too many to list.”

In particular, Shapley has high praises for a list of SNORE members who pitched in to help him back in about 2007.

At the time, Shapley weighed 580 pounds and his health was getting worse because of his situation. Before he knew it, SNORE member Steve Alexander spearheaded a fund raiser generating $30,000 so that Shapley could have gastric bypass surgery at Desert Springs Hospital.

Now weighing in at 240 pounds, Shapley feels great. The fact that a lot of the money came from people that he didn’t even know is something that he’ll never forget.

“My blood pressure is good and so is my cholesterol,’’ he said at his shop. “I’m sure that the surgery prolonged my life by at least 20 years. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate SNORE for what its members did for me.

“It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I can now race with Billy, too. The procedure undoubtedly changed my life and I’ll forever be thankful to all of the members of SNORE who helped me.”

Yet another key element following the surgery is the fact that Shapley can now race with his son, Billy.

“Racing with your son is absolutely a big thrill,” the elder Shapley said. “Billy is a good driver and he’s a very good fabricator. He works on his shocks, shocks and suspension. He learned it all working with us at the shop.”

The Battle at Primm set for Feb. 22-24 about 30 miles south of Las Vegas is drawing huge interest.

“As of only few days ago, we had 275 entries,” Shapley said. “We could reach 300 by race day and tech is going to be hectic.

“But it’s all good.”

The Battle at Primm will be staged over 12-mile laps behind Buffalo Bill’s on the east side of I-15. Tech, contingency and qualifying are set for Friday; with a full slate of racing Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7 a.m.

Pit Notes

 

  • The Battle at Primm, SNORE’s opening race for the 2013 season, could draw as many 300 entries from several states including Arizona, California Utah and Nevada; along with a Japanese driver named Dave Matsui, who is entered in Class 12.
  • For the first time, both Class 9 and 16 will be qualifying along with the Unlimiteds and Class 1 cars during Friday’s session which begins at 9:15 a.m. behind Buffalo Bill’s.
  • Nineteen entries have been pre-entered for the all new Pre-Run class, which enables another fun class to enjoy the sport of off-road racing.
  • Class 9  has 33 entries while the event will include 17 Unlimited with names like Pat Dean, Tommy Bradley, Johnny Greaves, Jordan Poole, Justin Davis and Richard Boyle.
  • Terrible Herbst gas stations are supplying $50 gas cards that can be used at any of its Southern Nevada stations for the first 60 teams that signed up for the Battle at Primm. To qualify for the Terrible’s tow many, the driver of record must be based more than 200 miles from Primm and have pre-paid their entry in full before the drawing.

 

BILLPHOTO
Tech Director Bill Shapley will again be heavily involved when SNORE kicks off its 2013 season with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 about 30 miles south of Las Vegas.

 

 

 

 

By Mike Henle

Four years ago, former SNORE president and avid off-road racer Tommy Ford discovered he had cancer. Knowing he was in for the fight of his life, he scheduled an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Tex.

Now 68, Ford has been cured of the “Big C” and he’s living the dream in Whitesboro, Tex., a tiny community of about 3,000 residents near Highway 82 about an hour north of Dallas.

“I’m all well now,” said Ford, whose home sits on 67 acres along the Oklahoma border in northeast Texas. “After my treatments, we decided to buy some land down here and retire.”

Fate has a funny way of leading people from one place to another.


“I never went back to Vegas,” recalled Ford, a native of Corona, Calif., who had lived in Las Vegas since 1955. “We were able to take our motor home when I went to MD Anderson and we were there for three months. I figured out that we had made 19 trips to Houston and just decided that it made better sense to take the motor home.”


A very successful businessman who has owned Ford Contracting in Las Vegas since 1977, the economy in Southern Nevada had just begun its decline when the likeable Ford discovered he needed to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center.


Relaxed and contented to be living east of Gainesville, Tex., near the Red River, Ford has many reasons for staying in the Panhandle state. He’s comfortable on his ranch, where he and his wife, Judy, have eight cows, 35 horses, two Jack Russell Terriers and 11 acres of lawn.


“Judy calls me Forest Gump,” Ford laughed while sitting on the front porch of his Texas home. “There is at least 35 acres that are lawn and we mow that every week.”


However, while he loves the country in Whitesboro, Ford also likes the hospitality of the people.


“I like Texas, and I like the people down here,” Ford said. “I mean everyone from the Fed Ex delivery guy to the postman wants to tell you about their family. People here are just very sincere, and very friendly.”


In addition, the folks in Texas are dedicated to sporting events of all kinds.


“People down here take their athletics very seriously,” Ford said. “We went to a Friday night high school football game in what was called the ‘Battle of the Boroughs’ and there were 12,600 people in the stands.”


While it’s been a long time since he walked away from his last off-road race in the late-1970s or early 1980s, SNORE remain as some of Ford’s best memories of living in Southern Nevada. 


“I loved off-road racing,” said Ford, who served as president of SNORE in the mid-1980s. “It was great therapy and besides, all of the kids who worked at Ford Contracting either hunted or raced; and I did both.


“James Mahan got me into the sport and I bought a car that was a homemade Class 2. Then, I bought one of those Racecos and finished 25 points behind Brian Collins in the overall SCORE points standings.


SNORE’s friendly people attracted Ford to the club; and so did the old Mint 400, a huge event that started with tech inspection on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas each spring before more than 400 off-road vehicles found their way to the start-finish line at the old Las Vegas Speedway.


“The Mint 400 was fun,” recalled Ford. “There were people all over the place and women used to lift up their tops as cars went by.


“One time, two gals pulled up their shirts as I was going down the course. I took my eyes off the course to look at them and just about ended up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.”

TOMMYRACERA
Popular Southern Nevada businessman Tommy Ford, who was president of SNORE in the early 1980s, moved to northeast Texas after beating cancer four years ago.

 

TOMMYANDJOE
Off-road racer Tommy Ford, left, with Holiday Inn Casino General Manager Joe Francis prior to the annual SNORE 250 in the mid-1980s.





 

By Mike Henle
 
LAS VEGAS -- The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts head into a promising year in 2013 capitalizing on a pair of key components.

First, four SNORE members who spearheaded the club’s vibrant success in 2012 will return for the 2013 season.

And second, the club has capitalized on the fact the series has a new sponsor, that being Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage which will headline the year.

With the Terrible Herbst sponsorship comes an added $10,000 to the SNORE points fund, while also giving the overall champion nearly $20,000 based on entries from 2012.

The return of the four leaders coupled with the addition of Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage undoubtedly adds even more stability and promise for the SNORE, which was founded in 1969.

Key players returning to the SNORE governing body are President Brittany Burgos, Vice President John Pellissier; Treasurer Debbie Burgos and Race Director Kenny Freeman.

With each return of member leadership came an obvious level of dedication, as SNORE continues a climb that spiraled into prominence en route to a sparkling 2012 season. In true family form, the four leaders joined forces to rally the club into the right direction.

With each member, a commitment had to be made for what will be a long and exciting season.

In Freeman’s case, the decision to return as race director was bitter sweet, since 2013 will mark the second straight year in which his own racing will suffer so that he can spend time helping direct SNORE.

“I definitely miss not being able to get into the car as much as I used to,” explained Freeman. “Off-road racing definitely gets in your blood, especially since I’ve been racing for about 40 years.”

However, Freeman isn’t getting out of competition all together.

“I’m going to pick and choose the events I run in during 2013,” Freeman explained. “I’ll get into the 1600 car at events run by other sanctioning bodies when time permits.

“And besides, we still have several Freemans competing in SNORE events, and that’s particularly satisfying to me, too. I have been fortunate to see my kids race and now I want to see my grand kids race, too.”

Pellissier, who doubled as one of SNORE’s premier Champ Car drivers last year before finishing fourth overall in the standings, concurred with Freeman.

“We laid the ground work last year,” explained the 45 year-old Pellissier, a native Southern Nevadan who makes his living as an air conditioning repairman at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. “We are headed in a very positive direction and I want to see it through.

“We don’t have any egos in this group and we all enjoy seeing what has transpired in the last year. We all have different strengths and that makes us stronger as a team.”

Debbie Burgos, the mother of the SNORE president, comes from a family dedicated to the sport of off-road racing. A goal-oriented member of the sport who works in the legal profession, she is also vitally important considering her position as treasurer of the group.

“I made the decision to remain as treasurer and volunteer coordinator to support my daughter as SNORE president and Race Director Kenny Freeman’s heroic efforts to keep SNORE alive and thriving in the future. SNORE has done an amazing job considering all of the adversities it has faced; and it is still considered to be one of the premier off-road racing organizations in the country.

“Our family loves the off road sport, and more importantly, the people involved in the sport. So in order to see our sport continue, we have to step up and make sacrifices, not only with our time but also with our hearts.”

While the sport of off-road racing requires extreme dedication, the rewards are well worth it, Burgos added.

“There are days when it gets extremely frustrating and I would like to just quit, but as soon as the checkered flag drops and the dust settles, the satisfaction from what has just accomplished by our little group of volunteers makes it all worth it.”

The younger Burgos took over the presidency after a tumultuous 2011 season; promising to help bring unity and stability along with direction to SNORE.

“I knew it would be a huge task, but I love SNORE,” said the 2006 graduate of Centennial High School in Las Vegas. “We accomplished a lot in 2012, but only because we banded together to perform as a very strong team.

“Now, we’re going to reach even higher levels in 2013.”
 
SNOREPHOTO
SNORE opens the 2013 season with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 south of Las Vegas.
Four key officers with the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts have committed to lead the club again in 2013. From left, Vice President John Pellissier; President Brittany Burgos; Treasurer Debbie Burgos; and Race Director Kenny Freeman.

CONTACTS:
Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483; Brittany Burgos, President, Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts, 702-325-9623;
 
 
By Mike Henle
 
 
The late legendary singer Frank Sinatra made the song “It Was a Very Good Year” famous.

And when the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts wrapped up its 43rd year with a year end banquet Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin, Nev., Sinatra’s music would have been perfect for the background.

Indeed, 2012 was a very good year; and the combination of SNORE’s completion of a rich six-race series with blockbuster additions to the 2013 campaign were proof of that.

To add perfect balance to a great year, SNORE officials also donated a check for $4,300 to the Make A Wish Foundation the result of a benefit presented Nov. 3 in Laughlin. A total of 49 youngsters battling cancer were given rides in an assortment of off-road vehicles in what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.

Roger Starkey, a talented, 28 year-old high-flying Class 10 competitor from Burbank, Calif., who makes his living selling medical devices, won the prestigious overall SNORE Kartek points championship. He pocketed a check of more than $3,300 for his efforts; along with additional incentive money which includes free entries for the entire 2013 SNORE season that kicks off with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.

Starkey mounted a total of 3,838 points; only 26 better than Jason Coleman and 88 points head of Blaine Conrad. When he’s not racing the desert, Starkey is selling pacemakers and defibrillators to doctors in Southern California.

Starkey is actually in the surgery room when the pacemakers and defibrillators are installed in a patient’s body and he follows up to make certain each are working correctly.

Class 18 kingpin John Pellissier of Las Vegas was fourth with 3,706 points while Class 11 entry Robert Johnson was fifth with 3,419 points.

Rounding out the top ten in the final points were Greg Crew, who had 3.405 points in his Class 12 car; Class 1 driver Richard Boyle, 3,384 points; Giti Gowland, 3,292 in Class 9; Jeff Bruner, 3,284 in Class 1600; and Michael Benedict in Class 12 with 3,250 points.

Class champions for the year included Team Ford executive Steve Olliges (Unlimited Truck); Boyle (Class 1); Crew (Class 12); Coleman (1600); Tom Bird (5-1600); Steve Albrect (7); Giti Gowland (9); Pellissier (Champ Car); Robert Johnson (Stock Bug); John Gould (3000); Bill Morris (UTV); Eric Trondle (Unlimited Sportsman); Jordan Poole (Limited Sportsman); and Darren Parsons (1450).

The dedicated Starkey was quick to thank his father, Roger, Sr., for a level of dedication that held the team together in what can be a very challenging endeavor.

“”He is very determined and very driven,” said Roger Starkey, Sr., 58, who shared driving responsibilities with his son at Ridgecrest and the Midnight Special. “He likes everything to be just right; everything to be perfect and he likes to win.

“He has been racing since he was 14 and he took some time off when he was going to college. I had him in some older cars when he was younger and that taught him about the desert.

“Roger knows that to finish first; first you must finish. That’s an old cliché, but it’s also very true.”

The 2012 SNORE champion won his first-ever title and was also first to say that without a teamwork effort, no one ever rises to the top especially on a level of competition such as the one in off-road racing events.

“We’re first going to run Parker the first weekend of February and then we’re going to run the Battle at Primm,” Mr. Starkey explained. “Then, we’ll probably run the rest of the SNORE season.”

Year-end banquets are not easy to produce, but this one was perfect. From the continual footage featuring SNORE’s non-stop action in locales that ranged from Lucerne Valley and Ridgecrest in Southern California to Caliente and Primm in Nevada; there was no end to the evidence that SNORE has returned bigger and better than ever.

Records show that SNORE awarded approximately $190,000 in cash and prizes during 2012 with key sponsorships including Race Fuel, Team Ford, Sunoco, Kartek and Motion Tire bonuses. In addition, approximately $30,000 was awarded in cash and prizes at the yearend banquet.

Equally as important during the banquet was the fact that SNORE’s “very good year” in 2012 will be even better in 2013 considering that Terrible Herbst’s Motorsports Garage in Las Vegas has committed $25,000 to sponsor the series next year.

Starkey traveled nearly four hours and 300 miles to attend the gathering in Laughlin and many others set aside the weekend to make certain they attended, too.

Olliges was among the most noteworthy off-road competitors considering his position of owner of Team Ford in northwest Las Vegas.

“SNORE has done a great job this year,” said Olliges, a big backer of the group who won the Unlimited Truck title in 2012. “We are going to be involved in sponsoring SNORE’s races during the year.”

Other special honors presented during the night included the Jimmy Schaefer Award presented to SNORE President Brittany Burgos; the Denny Selleck/Don Dayton award presented to Kenny Freeman; Mechanic of the Year to Bill Shapley and Transmission Builder of the Year to Dave Folts.
 
CHAMPPHOTOa
Burbank, Calif., Class 10 driver Roger Starkey, shown with SNORE’s Tiffiany Cox, was declared the 2012 Kartek overall champion Saturday, Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin.
 
MAKEWISHPHOTOa
The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts combined to raise $4,300 for the Make a Wish Foundation during the annual Wish Ride in Laughlin in November. SNORE Vice President John Pellissier, left, and MJ Smith of The Laughlin Tourism Commission, center, are shown presenting the check to Caleen Johnson, executive director at the Make A Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada at the annual SNORE year end banquet Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin.
 
 
CONTACTS: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483; Roger Starkey, 818-590-6373; Brittany Burgos, SNORE President, 702-325-9623.

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