By Jeremiah Staggs
Parker 250 came up quick after the Pahrump nugget 250 and we were in a mad dash to not only get the repairs done and the Yamaha YXZ1000R ready but I also had to get my 6 year old sons car ready for his first race. Parker 250 last year went terrible for us due to a accident with another racer taking us out of the race with our brand new Yamaha so we had something to prove.
We would finish up all last minute things on the Yamaha on Wednesday and get loaded up. Thursday morning we would head to Parker at 7:00 am. We would arrive a few hours later and we pulled in the Parker Python to setup our camp / main pit. The dirt looked hard and not long after we pulled in i would bury the motor home in the sand. We tried a few things and were unsuccessful in getting it out, fortunately Best In the Desert would come to our rescue and pull us out with there big tractor. After that we got everything setup and relaxed a little. Friday morning we would get up early and head to tech, I needed to get through tech fast since my boys race was at 3:00 pm that day. Tech went well and smooth as always and we were headed back to main pit. My boys race was awesome and he did great for his first race at 6 years old and I am looking forward to a busy year with him racing in 2017.
Saturday morning I would wake up to the sound of the motorcycles and quads starting there race and went out side to watch before we would do some last few things to the EFX tires Yamaha. At 12:00 me and my co driver Brandon Altmann would make our way to staging and get inline for the start. Earlier that morning we heard the news of Casey Folks, Casey is the man of Best In The desert and a great guy, he had some great words with my boy at the end of his race on Friday. With his passing desert racing will never be the same. He took the time to shake your hand wish you luck before every start. At the finish he was there to congratulate you and present you with a finishers pin. Casey will be missed by all.
The Green light would drop and we would take off. The dirt from all the rain was epic racing conditions and we had no dust. We would quickly start to catch some cars and set a pace. We would start to see some crashed and broken cars early. We came to one section that was flooded out and a mud bog. After Midway pit the course opened up down a fast windy road, this was a blast in the EFX tires Yamaha grabbing gears and hitting fast speeds, this section would quickly be followed by rocky sections. Around mile marker 55 or so i noticed a clunking in the steering, we would pull over and me and my co-driver Brandon would get out and make quick repairs to a tie rod. As we were done and about to get back in the EFX tires Yamaha another team would pull up with a flat tire and ask us for help, they had lost there socket in the sand so we quickly helped them change there flat tire. We would then get back in the EFX tires Yamaha and and start setting a pace again and finish our first lap. The pit crew was fast with fuel and checking the car and we were off on lap two. Passing more cars again and setting a pace it was cool to have no dust and see the awesome scenery of Parker we got to race through. We would come in to main pit again after completing lap two and again the crew was fast to fuel the car and wipe down the lights and give it a look over. We took off into lap 3 and it was now dusk, we turned on our lights and kept pushing and passing more cars, now in the dark and around mile 200 on lap three we would come down a hill into a ravine and the throttle would stick wide open, I quickly pushed in the clutch and turned off the EFX tires Yamaha and rolled off to the side of the course. After checking somethings we found a small rock had gotten lodged into the throttle body area causing it to be stuck wide open, we got it removed and would get back into the car and start to push towards the finish. Unfortunately a few miles later we dropped into a G out and i felt the rear of the car was lower so we again pulled over now in the dark and got out to check the car and found we had a failure in the rear suspension. We tried to get parts to make repairs and make it to the finish line but we were informed due to the spot we were in there wasn’t enough time and our race was over 13 miles from the finish line. This race was a grand prix finish so what is very frustrating is racers who would make it 1 lap or two laps but cross the finish line after the overall leader got a finish, and we who went more race miles didn’t cross the finish line would get a dnf. the Parker 250 would win again this year.
I cant thank everyone enough who supports us and my family and friends who come out and pit for us as with out them we couldn’t be a team. This race was special to us as me and my co-driver got to watch our kids race Friday and my Dad was able to come to the race, his first desert race ever. I also want to thank Nate at Alba racing for doing a fast and awesome job making the repairs to the car after Pahrump. Dean and Joe at Suspended Fabrication for building a great car and always there for us if we need any last minute things. EFX Tires as once again we didn’t have any flats and it is great to be supported by such a great company and people. We will make repairs and get the EFX tires Yamaha tested and dialed for the Mint 400.
Our hearts go out to the Folks Family. Casey was a legend in our sport but most of all he was a great human.
A big thanks to all the sponsors that helped me get here:
Alba Racing . PRP Seats . Yamaha Motor USA . Lonestar Racing . Rugged Radios . MSA Wheels . EFX Tires . STV Motorsports . Factory UTV . Suspended Fabrication . Rhino Wraps