UPDATE: There will be a celebration of life for Casey on February 12th at 2pm at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with room for 6000 people. Details HERE.
The man who ran a legendary off-road desert racing series has passed away in Las Vegas after a stroke he had on Saturday in Parker.
Casey Folks, Director of the Best In The Desert racing association, was between stages of the GMZ Winter Nationals Parker 250 on Saturday when he had what BITD described as a “medical emergency” and was taken away in an ambulance.
He was reportedly airlifted to Sunrise Medical in Las Vegas where he had an operation that proved to be unsuccessful, and left him on life support, according to sources. BITD had been updating the public with status updates on Casey that avoided giving too much information, saying simply that the organization was pulling for him and that he was “continuing to receive treatment” in hospital.
But on Thursday, the news was not good, as the organization confirmed that Casey had died.
“With a sad heart, Best in the Desert announces the passing of our leader on January 12th, 2017. Casey suffered a massive stroke on the morning of January 7th in Parker, Arizona. He was doing what he loved, living his passion for off-road racing, getting ready to drop the flag on the latest UTV race event. He was rushed to a hospital and transported by air to Las Vegas for care. Despite efforts by the best doctors in Las Vegas, Casey succumbed to the effect of a stroke this morning.
He is survived by the love of his life Diane DeLauer, son Daryl Folks and his wife Sheri Folks, his son Bryan Folks, his sister Joan Ragona-Suarez, and 3 beautiful granddaughters, Adrianna, Morgan, Marlee.
Casey created memorable moments for thousands and thousands of people. We thank him for a lifetime of dedication to the sport we all love. As life goes on, and we continue to experience the passion of off-road racing, his legacy will live on. Remember the words he lived by, “Life is an Adventure. Come Live Your Adventure with Best in the Desert”. Casey’s life was truly an adventure, and we will always treasure our memories of him.
He will be greatly missed.
Casey’s organization took over the Parker races in 2003, and has been known as a responsible and collaborative organizer who does what he does out of his deep love for motorsports.
BITD says the Parker 425 will go ahead as planned next month, as Casey would have wanted. Sources tell Parker Live that Casey had put together a very capable organization that will be able to survive him and continue to run the desert races that attract so many to Parker and the other areas where the series takes place each calendar year. But there is little doubt that Casey was a giant in the sport and will be missed and remembered in a big way by racers and fans alike.
Listen to Parker Live’s January 2016 interview with Casey HERE.