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Desert Dirt - Off-Road News - December 2011

Posted in News on December 1, 2011
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Contributors: Kevin Blumer

Editor’s Note: Submit your dirt to

Real Jeeps for Real Heroes

Jeeps are known the world over as a heroic vehicle born from American ingenuity to help liberate oppressed countries and win World War II. The venerable Jeep went on to establish itself as one of the most useful and productive service vehicles ever conceived. 

Venchurs recently announced the Xplore Professional Series for Jeeps and other vehicles designed for rescue, patrol, emergency, evacuation, field command, education and service support for a variety of organizations.

“Jeeps have a wonderfully rich history in service, utility, and rescue roles,” said Jeff Wyatt, CEO of Venchurs. “Our Xplore Adventure Series Program has presented us with the opportunity to conceive and build special professional Jeeps to help continue in this great tradition.”

The first Xplore Professional Series concept vehicle is a Rescue Series Jeep Wrangler outfitted and proposed for service by Park Rangers in our National parks and forests. Special features include a new top and rear door configuration, powerful driving lights, emergency lightbar, remote control spotlights, strobe flashers, onboard compressors, communications gear, and recovery tool kits to complete the arsenal of professional equipment needed to save lives.

The Xplore Adventure Series Program donates a portion of the profits to the National Park Foundation.

For more information, please visit

Polaris is Cleaning Up!

Polaris has been doing a heck of a job monopolizing top finishing spots in most UTV races these days. The new RZR XP has raised the bar and is dominating in everything from King of the Hammers (UTV race) to short-course UTV racing.

Recently, Brett Jacobsen won the Last Man Standing Side-by-Side race at DuneFest, 2011, in his stock Ranger RZR XP 900. His XP’s only modifications were sand tires and custom rollcage. The Last Man Standing race has two drivers sent out at a time with a double elimination. Other Ranger RZR XPs also won the drags and barrel race at the event.

Nice job, Polaris! When do we get to try one?

California 200 Monument Finds Permanent Home and Gets a Tragic Footnote

No one who was there at the tragic 2010 MDR California 200 night race will ever forget the accident that killed eight people and injured 22.

In memory of the fallen, a monument was constructed and unveiled at the 2010 Off-Road Expo in Pomona.

Until now, that monument did not have a permanent home. The Lynn family, owners of the Slash X Ranch Café in Barstow, generously donated a plot of land on their ranch as a permanent location for the monument.

Built from laser-cut stainless steel and beautifully TIG-welded by Craig Hall, the ribbon-shaped monument bears the names of those who died at the California 200: Michael Dickinson, Aaron Farkas, Danica Frantzich, Zachary Freeman, Dustin Malson, Anthony Sanchez, Andrew Therrien, and Brian Wolfin.

The monument’s setting is equally beautiful, the walkway resembling a truncated figure eight. Around the monument are eight trees, one for each of the fallen. In addition, there are 22 shrubs planted, one for each of those who were injured. At night, 22 lights illuminate the plot.

As if one tragedy wasn’t enough, Brian Lynn, owner of the Slash X Ranch Café, was killed in a traffic accident on Highway 247 two days before the California 200 memorial’s dedication. The Lynn family generously allowed the memorial dedication to proceed on schedule despite the untimely second tragedy.

If you haven’t seen the MDR memorial yet, rest assured it’s worth the drive. The Slash X Ranch Café is at the intersection of Highway 247 and Stoddard Wells Road in Barstow, California. In lieu of flowers for Brian Lynn, the Lynn family requests that donations be made to Fast-Aid.

For more information, please contact,

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