Finding a Place to Race - Off Road Sanctioning BodyPosted in Features on January 1, 2010
Everyone likes choices, and when it comes to racing, there are choices aplenty. Which one is right for you? Before you fill out an entry form or part with hard-earned dollars for an entry fee, we'd advise asking yourself a few questions first.
What motivates you to race?
This will probably be a multi-faceted answer, but the first part should be, "It's fun!" If it's not fun, why race? The next part of the answer should tell you what style of racing is right for you. Do you want adventure? If so, Baja is calling your name. Do you want door-to-door competition up close and personal? Short course is the answer. If your answer is "to get rich," then we'll tell you that the best way to end up with a million dollars from off-road racing is to start with two million. While there are people who make money racing off-road, they are few and far between.
Will you buy or build your race vehicle?
If you're long on time and skill but low on funds, building your own race vehicle is the way to go. The downside is that it might take a while. If you're longer on cash than on skill and time, buying an already-built race vehicle is the answer. If you're one of the lucky ones, you can commission a top fabricator to build something just for you.
Who can help you race?
No one gets there alone. Most grassroots teams rely on family and friends to fill the roster. Professional teams often have a paid staff. Desert racers can often take advantage of coalitions like F.A.I.R. (First Association of Independent Racers) or volunteer pit services like Locos Mocos or Baja Pits. Furthermore, some manufacturers offer pit support to racers who use their products, most notably BF Goodrich tires' stellar pit support in Baja.
What other resources do you have?
The best-built Trophy Truck is useless without a trailer and a tow rig, and it won't get to the finish line without chase trucks and other pit support. You'll also need a garage or shop to prep the vehicle between races. A driveway will do in a pinch. You'll also need spare parts and fuel.
There are more questions, but these are the basics. If you're already racing, no doubt you've already answered these questions for yourself. If you've never raced and you're itching to get to a starting line, remember that almost everyone has to start near the bottom and work up from there.
Where should I race? We've assembled a rundown of desert and short course sanctioning bodies for your perusal. Each has its own schedule and set of rules, so be sure to familiarize yourself with them before committing. Remember: above all, have fun!
|SCORE is the premier desert racing series, owing this primarily to the notoriety and prestige of the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 races. The San Felipe 250, Primm 300, and the Laughlin Desert Challenge round out the schedule.|
23961 Craftsman Rd.#A
Calabasas, CA 91302
|SCORE's entry fees reflect the organization's “big league” status, but consider the mind-boggling coordination and planning it takes to put on the Baja races and the prices makes more sense.|
|SCORE's rule book is used as a benchmark by many other racing organizations. You will have to purchase the rule book, but the cost of the rule book is infinitesimal compared to the expense of correcting a vehicle built to the wrong specifications.|
|“Trophy Truck” is a term that started with SCORE.|
|Best In The Desert||Best In The Desert is the top choice of pro-level teams who prefer to stay in the United States.|
|Best In The Desert
3475#C Boulder Highway,
Las Vegas, NV 89121
|BITD's chasing and pitting rules are fairly stringent, but they are key parts in BITD's excellent safety record and in continued access to land for racing.|
|BITD's 7200 Class, AKA “Mini Trick Truck,” has sparked many new truck builds and has attracted new teams to the Best In The Desert series.|
|Unlimited trucks are called “Trick Trucks” in BITD. Say “Trophy Truck” around a BITD official and you're sure to get set straight|
|Ford is the official truck of Best In The Desert.|
|SNORE||SNORE has brought back the legendary Mint 400 to the delight of both veterans and newbies.|
|Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts
P.O. Box 270516
Las Vegas, NV 89127-4516
|SNORE's Battle at Primm is one of the most popular races among 1400 and 1450 prerunner class racers. Battle at Primm combines elements of both short course and desert for a true test of driving skills and mechanical preparedness.|
|The KC Hilites Midnight Special night race gives racers a chance to run after dark in August, when a daytime race would be unbearably hot.|
|MDR||Mojave Desert Racing (MDR) offers the California Championship Series and the Superstition Series. The California Championship Series is run in Barstow, Lucerne Valley, and Ridgecrest. The Superstition Series is run in Plaster City East and Plaster City West.|
1853 Parkway Drive
So. El Monte, CA 91733
|MDR's low cost and variety of racing dates and locations makes MDR
a great series for new teams to get experience. Be warned, though:
The fast guys still show up at MDR.
|MORE||Mojave Off-Road Racing Enthusiasts (MORE) runs a seven-race schedule that includes the Powder Puff. Powder Puff features all-women driver/co-driver teams; guys are welcome to change tires and help with fueling. Proceeds from the Powder Puff race go to help breast cancer research.|
P.O. Box 1231
Barstow, CA 92312-1231
|The MORE 500 starts in the day, but runs into the night, giving teams a test of after-dark driving skills.|
|MORE is a great series for new racers, as entry fees are easier on the budget and the races are held in Barstow and Lucerne Valley, which are close to home for many racers.|
|Drive Off-Road Racing||2009 was Drive's first year, but the series has successfully cleared the hurdle and is looking forward to 2010.|
|Drive Off-Road Racing, LLC
P.O. Box 1646
El Centro, CA 92244
|Races are held in the Plaster City/Superstition area and are sponsored by the likes of Trophylite, Race-Dezert.com, Fiberwerx, and Off-Road Warehouse.|
|Whiplash Racing||Whiplash's Arizona-based series includes three races for truck and buggy classes.|
2939 E. Grovers Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
|Like MDR, MORE, SNORE, and Drive, Whiplash is a great series for beginning racers. Both short-course and desert formats are offered.|
|CODE Off-Road||The CODE series is a Mexican series that runs in Baja. This is a chance to run on the same terrain as the SCORE series, but at a substantially lower cost.|
P.O. Box 2328
Calexico, CA 92232-2328
|Several teams we've talked to, including Solo Motorsports, JD Fabrication, and Fiberwerx have reported that the CODE series is excellent and worth crossing the border for.|
|RECORD Off-Road Series||Like CODE, RECORD is also a Mexican series.
RECORD is based in Ensenada, and offers five races per year over classic Baja terrain.
|RECORD Off-Road Series
|Racing against the local teams is not easy, as their familiarity with the terrain gives them a decided home-court advantage.|
|Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LORRS)||he LORRS series picks up some of CORR's pieces and gives short course teams in the western U.S. a series to race in. Races take place in Nevada, Arizona, and California.|
|Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
302 N. Sheridan St.
Corona, CA 92880-2067
|Traxxas THE Off-Road
Championship Series (TORC)
|Short course racing is an essential part of Crandon, Wisconsin, so it's second nature for TORC headquarters to be in Crandon.|
11232 County Road M
Crandon, WI 54520
|The TORC series is held at tracks in Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, California, and Nevada.|
|The 2009 edition of the Crandon Brush run was the 40th anniversary of the event. How's that for longevity?|
|Valley Off-Road Racing
|t's actually misleading to lump VORRA in with pure short-course series, as VORRA offers long-course desert races in Fallon, Yerington, and Hawthorne, Nevada in addition to its short-course races in Prarie City, California.|
1970 E. 2nd Street
Reno, NV 89502
|This is a grassroots series that's been around since 1975.|
|Mickey Thompson Side-by-Side (SXS) Series
||The Mickey Thompson Stadium Side-by-Side (SXS) series takes place
at the Perris Auto Speedway and is presented by Dirt Alliance.
41658 Ivy Street #116
Murietta, CA 92562
|This short-course series offers classes for side-by-side UTVs, short-course trucks, and desert trucks. The venue offers a great view of the track from almost any seat, and vendor's booths and concession stands add to the experience.|
|Mickey Thompson Tires
|Perris Auto Speedway
|Glen Helen Off-Road Short-Course Series||Glen Helen's facility allows natural terrain features (long, steep hill climbs, etc.) to be incorporated into the short-course track.|
|Glen Helen Raceway
18585 Verdemont Ranch Rd.
San Bernardino, CA 92407
|Classes are available for prerunners, desert trucks, Unlimited two- and four-wheel-drive short-course trucks, and desert- and short-course-style buggy classes.|
|If you want more than truck and buggy racing, Glen Helen is also home to world-class motocross and ATV racing.|