‘GMZ UTV Winter Nationals Casey Folks Parker 250 Presented By Polaris’ is the full name of the race that kicked off the 2018 Best In The Desert season in Parker, Arizona Saturday.
The entry list was 14 pages long and brought racers from across the United States in multiple classes of desert-appropriate vehicle, including bikes, quads and the hugely popular-and-growing-fast UTV class, which features extremely capable off-road vehicles with side-by-side seating arrangements and effective suspensions for racing on uneven terrain.
Motorsports podcast host and racer Jim Beaver said that sport UTVs such as the popular Polaris RZR have a lot of energy behind them, having grown in popularity among recreational users and the world of off-road racing.
“There’s hundreds of UTVs”, said Beaver, who was a competitor in the race, speaking live on KLPZ 1380am on Friday. “It’s been a big industry shift. The ATV industry is dead. Motorcycles are still strong but UTVs have taken off.”
One of the biggest names in off-road racing, Robby Gordon, was acting co-driver for his son Max in their UTV at this race, joining some of the other big names in the sport.
In the big races, the winning motorcyclist was Skyler Howes of St. George, UT. The winner of the quad class was driven by Josh Row of Lakeside, CA and Travis Dillon of Spring Valley, CA. The winner of the UTV race was Brandon Schueler of Phoenix, AZ, Miles Martin of Peoria, AZ and Pat Stone of Payson, AZ. Race results for all classes will be available when posted at bitd.com.
The event was renamed the ‘Casey Folks Parker 250’ after the founder of Best In The Desert racing association, which puts on the race, who died after suffering a stroke at the Parker race one year ago.
The schedule of events concluded Saturday night with the GMZ Race Products Awards Presentation at BlueWater Resort River’s Edge Cantina.
Listen to John Wright chat with Jim Beaver about the race, the sport, Casey Folks, the changing industry and more (player above).