No fewer than three big days of world-class desert racing will happen in Parker this month. The Best In The Desert racing association will be back to run the Tensor Tire Parker 250 presented by Polaris and the BlueWater Parker 425 presented by JIMCO.
What’s the difference?
The Parker 425 is traditionally the bigger race, with famous racers in expensive ‘trick trucks’ leading the way and hundreds of race teams competing. For the first time, this year’s Parker 425 will stage classes across two separate days of racing, and it’s in January instead of February.
The Parker 250 is traditionally the smaller of the two, coming first in the calendar with its motorcycle and quad classes. But the rise of UTVs in the last decade has brought a surge of energy to desert racing, with classes based on popular factory UTVs like the Polaris RZR and the Can-Am Maverick X3 taking off in recent years. Because of this, the Parker 250 is growing, race teams are becoming more elaborate, there are big-name sponsorships and it all adds up to a bigger spectacle for fans.
What’s it like to be a spectator?
The Parker races are especially good to watch as a spectator. The sound of performance engines, anticipation before the race, helicopters hovering overhead, competitive spirit, dust in the air, excitement and action are all pretty contagious.
There are several good areas to set up to watch, including Shea Road (drive a few miles out for the best spots), Osborne Wash (a few miles north of Parker on Highway 95) and at the town of Bouse (known as Midway off Highway 72). The Parker Python is worth seeing, but is mainly used by race teams as Main Pit, and has a race speed limit, which limits the value to spectators (access road behind the Motor Vehicle Division off Mohave Road).
Listen to coverage of the second Parker 425 race (Saturday) here on this website and at KLPZ1380.com and around the course on the radio at 1380am. The rest of the time, tune your scanners to 151.490 to hear race communications.
Some rules, warnings and other info can be found HERE.
What are the dates?
The Parker 250 will be on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 with race teams arriving the day before for Contingency at BlueWater Resort & Casino the day before. Head to the resort on Friday afternoon to get a close look at the vehicles.
The Parker 425 will be on Friday, January 24th, 2020 for some classes and Saturday, January 25th, 2020 for the others. Saturday is the one that will generate the most interest, with trick trucks, 1500 class and others running 3 laps of the course for a total of 425 miles that day. Time trials are on Wednesday, and the Downtown Experience is Wednesday afternoon, with a public street party where you can get a close look at the vehicles. Thursday is Contingency at BlueWater Resort & Casino.
Where can I get more info?
Go to the Race Events section at BITD.com for all other info. See you at the races!