The Future of Off-Road Racing May Be Here
As populations grow and urban sprawl increases, the threat to open lands able to be used for multiple types of recreation, including off-road racing, grows larger every day. The famous Johnson Valley OHV area, home to the King of the Hammers race, is currently under the threat of closure right now. And if some authorities in the off-road and environmental communities are accurate in their predictions, eventually all off-road racing may end up on privately-owned lands.
This may shift where off-road racing events are held: While the Southwest corner of North America has been home to 90 percent of off-road racing since the first sanctioned races in the 1960s, off-road racing may be moving east in search of vast quantities of private land. And though Baja Mexico is in the heart of every off-road racer (and Mexico would seem like a natural alternative to U.S. racing), current violence south of the border has deterred tourists, spectators, and off-road racers who may have otherwise spent a lot of money in the less populated and less regulated region.
The first stop heading east out of the Southwest is Texas—coincidentally a state that is the largest in the continental United States and 90-percent privately owned. The climate can be a little harsh a few months out of the year, but a lot of it is sparsely populated (despite being the second most populous), Texas is definitely truck friendly, and guys like BRT co-founders Chris Leitner and Shannon Boothe, along with Greg Atwell and countless volunteers have already started doing the footwork to set up an off-road racing infrastructure in a state known for wide-open plains. With its central location in the country, it opens up doors for go-fast enthusiasts who live in the Midwest and on the East Coast.