By: Mike Henle
CALIENTE – The return of the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts to this area about 180 miles north of Las Vegas lived up to its billing as an action-packed economic shot in the arm.
The SNORE Race Fuel 250 May 29-30 drew a field of 89 entries competing over a 42-mile course complete with everything from water crossings to wooden bridges and the traditional challenges faced by off-road racers in what must be considered one of the most unique logistical combinations in the sport.
Rich in history and eager to welcome outdoor enthusiasts, this charming town with friendly people and a slower lifestyle served as the perfect getaway for many; and with limited availability for off-road events, the latest presentation attracted earth-rumbling machinery, fun-loving serious race teams along with wounded members of the military who joined the competition by running shotgun in a Ford Ranger Trophy Truck with driver Tony Scott, a 49 year-old U.S. Navy veteran of Desert Storm who powered handled the driving.
Las Vegas native Fernie Padilla, a 30 year-old racer powering a Class 1-2 1600 entry, captured class and overall victories in the event. The triumph was his first overall victory in a car owned by Southern California businessman Vic Ziegler.
By Mike Henle
CALIENTE -- The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) auto racing sanctioning body returns to Lincoln County after a brief absence and you can bet that the Race Fuel 250 will be met with open arms to this community situated about 180 miles north of Las Vegas.
With a field of about 85 entries along with a contingent of followers ranging from pit crews to your basic off-road racing fan, the invasion of SNORE will bring with it a huge boost to the town May 29-30.
Festivities kick off with a meet and greet at Caliente Elementary Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in what has proven a wildly-popular start to the weekend as SNORE presents its third race of the six-race Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Championship Series.
Tech inspection and registration begins at 3 p.m. at the Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge.
On Saturday, race action begins at 8 a.m. at the local motocross track.
What started as a friendly gathering at a bar called the Sawdust Saloon in Las Vegas 45 years ago evolved into an impressive awards ceremony Dec. 10 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Rich history combined with more than $35,000 in prize money was tastefully intermingled with endless trophies and a series of multi-media presentations as SNORE honored its top drivers at what might be called “The House That Mike Gaughan Built.”
The 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series covered a six-race schedule featuring strong fields. A season-opening extravaganza kicking off the year with the Battle at Primm south of Las Vegas had a down-to-the-wire finish at the Rage at the River in Laughlin in December to make the latest season one that nobody will ever forget.
Presented in the Sonoma Room of the South Point on the southern end of the famed Las Vegas Strip, auto racing awards shows don’t come any better than SNORE’s latest presentation.
Legendary former Mint 400 Race Director KJ Howe was among the throng of attendees, and he was quick to point out the history of SNORE.
Howe said he first met the members of SNORE in early 1970s at the Sheriffs Jeep Posse headquarters.
The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts wrapped up the $17,000 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series Dec. 12-14 and Class 10 driver Bud Ward will take home the winner’s share of a big purse when SNORE wraps up the year with its awards banquet Jan. 10 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Ward, of Hemet, Calif., amassed 4,058 points for the year to lead the contingent of drivers of more than 200 entries that flocked to Laughlin for the McKenzie’s Rage at the River by capturing the Class 1600 class that touted a jam-packed field of 33 entries.
Ward, a 29 year-old contractor, actually rolled the car on Friday during qualifying and had to settle in the back of the field.
“We just had a great car and put a lot of time and development into it,” said Ward, who will earn about $4,000 for capturing the overall championship.
“There was no dust and that really helped out, too. We didn’t have a single problem during the race.”
There is certainly no doubt that Ward and his crew will invade the South Point for the SNORE awards. In fact, Ward is going to be a very busy man considering that he also tied in the Lucas Oil points for the Limited Buggy category. In years past, he has won the 1600 category of Mojave Off Road Racing Enthusiasts (MORE and several class 9 championships with MORE.
“We had a very good year with minimal problems,” Ward said, “Our worst finish all year long was a fifth place in both Lucas Oil and SNORE events.”
Ward said the team is putting together plans for 2015 and will compete in several of SNORE’s events. He won the last two events to wrap up the overall SNORE title that ended with the largest-ever turnout in recent history for a Laughlin race.
“I just wanted podium finishes during the season, but we had to turn on the gas at the end because it was so close at the end.”
Ironically, Class 7 driver Jon Lee of Riverside came to Laughlin with a 27 point lead but fell out when the chassis on his vehicle rubbed a hole in the power steering line. Ironically, Ward’s crew assisted Lee’s crew to get the Class 7 vehicle back during Sunday’s race.
“We want to race as hard as we can and see how the points fall,” said Ward, a native of Hemet. “We found the problem on Jon’s car and with help from McKenzie’s were able to put the power steering line back together.”
Ward has a long list of sponsors that helped throughout the year including Brister Ward Motorsports (company owner Mark Brister owns Ward’s car), Major Performance Racing Engines, BF Goodrich Tires, Ramona Tire Service Centers, Dave Folts Transmissions, Amber Racing Services, and the entire Ward family and crew.
“My crew chief Brian Weatherly and his father, Bill, were awesome all year long,” Ward said. “We had 30 races during the season and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Lee came into the season finale with a 3,460-3,433 leads over Ward. He finished with 3,910 points while Class 10 competitor Geoffrey Cooley ended up third with 3,872, Class 16 competitor Fernie Padilla was fourth with 3,826 and Class 9 charger Corey Torres rounded out the top five with 3,818.
Class champions in the event included Justin Smith in Unlimited Truck and overall; Kevin Thompson in Class 1 Unlimited; Richard Glaszczak in Class 10; Matt Ferrato in Class 12; Tori Poole in Class 13; Vincent Munoz in Class 1450; Travis Howard in Class 15; Ward in Class 16; Colton Gubler in Class 18; Justin Anderson in Class 2000; Braden Abatti in Class 3000;John Willard in Class 5 Unlimited; Michael King in Class 5/1600; Scott Davis in Class 6100; Matt Lovell in Class 7; Clint Braun in Class 9; Corey Vandermark in Stock Bug; Lori English in Stock Full; and Blayze Webster in UTV-Pro.
SNORE will kick off the 2015 season with the King Shocks Battle at Primm Feb. 20-22. The SNORE/MORE Motion Tire 300 is set for April 10-11 in Ridgecrest, Calif., while the Race Fuel Energy Drink 250 marks a return to Caliente, Nev. May 29-30.
The KC HiLites Midnight Special, another combined effort of both SNORE and MORE, will be Sept. 11-12 in Lucerne Valley, Calif. and the 46th annual SNORE 250 will debut in Kingman, Ariz. Oct. 23-24 before the Rage at the River returns to Laughlin, Nev. Dec. 11-13.
Bud Ward runs off with the 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series championship after winning the jam-packed 1600 class during the McKenzie’s Rage at the River Dec. 12-14.
Photo compliments of Phil Kaos Photography
Bud Ward of Hemet, Calif. celebrates winning the 1600 title of the annual McKenzie’s Rage at the River in Laughlin Dec. 12-14. He is shown with co-driver Sherilyn Schouten.
Photo compliments of Phil Kaos Photography
LAUGHLIN, Nev. – In what has become a very popular traveling off-road racing show, SNORE has been presenting its popular programs for 45 years; and as development curtailed usage of land in the Las Vegas area, the hearty group of off-road enthusiasts has found itself journeying further away from its home base of Las Vegas.
In this small city along the Colorado River about 100 miles south of Las Vegas, SNORE will again present the McKenzie’s Rage at the River Dec. 12-14. With a field of more than 200 entries in several classes, the red carpet is rolled out to end the off-road schedule each year.
Highly-respected business people in small communities love seeing the invasion of vehicles that each SNORE race brings – and it’s no different in this community, once a bankrupt fishing village that legendary hotel executive Don Laughlin spotted from an airplane before deciding to resurrect the area back in the 1960s.
Off-road racing has been good to Laughlin and the city has the ideal venue called Laughlin Event Center where a 12 mile course has endless action especially for those sitting atop the surrounding hills.
The setting for a season-ending race couldn’t be any better and neither could the 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series.
Heading into the event, 30-year competitor Jon Lee (Class 7) has 3,460 points; Bud Ward (1600) has 3,433; defending champion Corey Torres (Class 9) has 3,419 and 18-year-old Southern California charger Geoffrey Cooley (Class 10) has 3,415 in what has movie-like drama as drivers go petal-to-the-metal for first-place money of about $4,000 with a total purse of $17,000.
Lee, 55, of Riverside, Calif., said his team has had the perfect season. He is supported by Bilstein Shock Absorbers, Mark Johnson Race Prep, General Tire, Method Wheels and Brenthel Industries.
“It boils down that for us to win the points, we have to have the perfect race and the other guys need to have the less-than-perfect race,” Lee said. “We have gone so far every race without one mechanical failure and I attribute that to Mark Johnson and his race prep. We’re ready to go. We’re going to do what we have done with every race.”
SNORE is returning to Laughlin with a huge field of racers, support crews and fans, according to club president Kenny Freeman.
“To us, Laughlin is the perfect venue,” said Freeman, a lifelong Las Vegan whose family was among those early members who founded SNORE nearly five decades ago. “The setting is awesome, the hotels are close by and the track offers immense action.”
SNORE started the season in Primm south of Las Vegas before journeying to Ridgecrest, Calif. not far from Edwards Air Force Base and Cedar City in Southern Utah.
The most recent stop was the Gold Strike 250 Midnight Special in Jean and while every race has produced a fun journey, there’s simply something about the mystique of Laughlin
“We love it,” said Freeman. “Laughlin has everything needed to present a popular off-road racing event and the nearby hotels create the perfect combination. This year’s points standings are again coming down to the final event and the field of entries is very strong.”
MJ Smith, the executive director of the Laughlin Tourism Commission, said SNORE’s race programs events have been good for the city.
“The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts have ended their season in Laughlin since 2009,” Smith said. “Historically, the weekend was the second slowest of the year in respect to gaming and occupancy, but with the addition of SNORE’s largest event, we have pushed occupancy more than 10 percent across the destination. The estimated economic impact, based on LVCVA intercept study figures is 2.75 million on average.
“SNORE is a great organization to work with. They are diligent in regards to safety for their teams and spectators and always return our desert to pre-race conditions. We’re thrilled to be home to Rage at the River and encourage race fans to attended and cheer on their favorite team.”
We are pleased to invite all Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (S.N.O.R.E.) members to submit nominations for candidates to serve on the 2015 SNORE Executive Office and Board of Directors for the following positions:
Sergeant At Arms
Board of Directors:
Seven (7) Open Positions
Arizona B. Representative
California B. Representative
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such place or places as determined the Board of Directors on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM., if not a legal holiday or on the next succeeding day not a legal holiday.
Elections will be held at the General Membership meeting on December 9, 2014 at 7:00PM.
By Mike Henle
The Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts conducted its 45th annual Gold Strike SNORE 250 Nov. 1 near Jean and as usual, the event drew its share of competitors who had to drive long distances to compete.
However, the race’s overall winner Jonathon Libby made every other journey seem like a short hop, step and a jump considering that he made the trip from Dillingham, Alaska. He arrived on Wednesday before arriving at the track on Thursday.
Libby, 28, powered his Unlimited Truck to a four lap time of 3 hours, 51.24 minutes to win the event touring the typically challenging layout with an average speed of 64.4 mph. Sponsored by CBM Motorsports, ODR Motorsports Engineering and Sway Away, the friendly Libby drove his 2001 Toyota Tundra truck like he had stolen it right from the drop of the green flag recording a first-lap effort of 51.33 minutes.
“My family is from Alaska and I commercial fish up there now,” said Libby adding that the trip to Vegas covered about 4,000 miles. “I kind of grew up in the desert atmosphere. I have racing since 2007. Year before last, we won a championship in the 1400 series, but we needed to step up our competition so we got into a Trophy Truck.”
A part time Californian who lives primarily in Alaska, Libby isn’t afraid of long, challenging trips to compete in off-road racing events.
“We wanted to cover every race with SNORE in 2014,” Libby said. “It was really a lot of fun to be a part of the Mint 400 course that also included a lot of sand. There was a lot of running in the sand washes. It was a very enjoyable race and it didn’t beat you up too much.”
On the second lap Libby and his co-rider Roy Tompkins of Mentone, Calif., had to change a flat rear wheel. Other than that setback, it was smooth race.
“We will definitely be at Laughlin,” said Libby. “I like both the Laughlin race and the Battle of Primm because I like the two day format.”
Tech Director Bill Shapley praised the event saying everyone had an enjoyable time.
“We even had kids down there trick or treating,” said Shapley, 58. “We had a great time.”
With the kids having the times of their lives in the desert with Halloween on Friday night Mother Nature added the perfect addition to the field of entries.
‘The rains kept the dust down for at least the first lap,” analyzed Shapley, adding that the lead-footed Libby wasted no time at all tackling the Nevada desert for record runs.
Once Libby dropped the hammer, SNORE’s fifth race in the six-race 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Series became a blur for many watching the talented driver.
“He was hauling ass, that’s for sure,” said Shapley. “His truck is very fast. When I was at Checkpoint 1 at Night Ranch Road, he didn’t let off and I’d swear he was going 100 miles an hour.
Other winners included Victor Gruber in Class 1 with a time of 4:10.46, almost three minutes quicker than runner up Kelly Mathers; Geoffrey Cooley, whose Class 10 victory with a time of 3:59.28 was also good enough for a second place in the overall standings; Justin Buckley, whose 5:20.04 headed Class 12; Richard Robinson, whose three lap time of 3:43.35 topped Class 13; Justin Oquendo, the Class 1450 winner with a time of 3:2817; John Morgan, who captured Class 15 with a 3:26.26; Michael “Bud” Ward, 4:44.27 for the win in the 13-car 1600 class; Colton Gubler, Class 18; Justin Anderson in Class 2000; Darryl Kysar in Class 3000; Jon Lee in Class 7; Corey Torres in Class 9; and Ed Mahoney in the Stock Bug Class.
Shapley also lauded the efforts of Cooley, a Southern California charger whose Class 10 buggy spent more time with its wheels off the ground than amongst the rocks and the dirt.
“He was awesome,” analyzed Shapley. “He came through the road crossing and never let up. I couldn’t believe it. He hit so hard that the car went up its side and I really thought he was going over.”
Shapley said the course was rough and took out several cars.
“Everyone said it was a fun course,” he said. “But it was also very tough, too.”
SNORE will round out the season with the always popular Rage at the River in Laughlin Dec. 12-14.
“That’s all anyone could talk about at the awards,” Shapley added. “Laughlin is always a very tough race and it’s great for spectators, too.”
Gold Strike Director of Slot Operations Sean Holden said the event was well received.
“Everybody at SNORE is such a pleasure to work with,” said Holden, who has worked at the Gold Strike 14 years and with MGM Properties for many more than 24 1/2 years. “I worked with them last year as well. There is no drama when working with SNORE. Everyone takes everything in stride and takes care of things one thing at a time.”
Considering that the race has been rumored to be moving to Kingman, Ariz. Because of the high fees dictated by the Las Vegas Bureau of Land Management, Holden is hoping the race returns to Jean in 2015.
“It’s been around so long that it would be a shame if it were to move to Kingman and out of Nevada,” said Holden. “We would love to see it return to Jean and the Gold Strike.”
|Alaskan Jeremy Libby captured the 45th running of the Gold Strike SNORE 250 Nov. 1 near Jean, Nev., south of Las Vegas.|
CONTACT: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483, www.mikehenle.com.
By Mike Henle
For the past 44 years, the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts – otherwise known as SNORE – has highlighted each season with the running of the SNORE 250.
This year’s 45th annual Gold Strike SNORE 250 set for Nov.1 near Jean south of Las Vegas promises to be bigger than ever before for an event that is entrenched in history. Known as the Racer’s Race, the event is scheduled to attract a field of about 80 competitors.
From the first event won by the legendary Fritz Kroyer on the land of what is now the posh golf course community called Spanish Trail in the southwest Las Vegas valley, SNORE has always signaled excellence with the SNORE 250.
And you an bet that the 2014 SNORE points leader Corey Torres is eager to jump on the list of talented racers who have recorded victories in an event that stretches back more than four decades.
Driving a Class 9 entry, Torres has had a strong 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Series season. Through the first four races of a six-race series that will conclude with the Rage at the River in Laughlin, Nev. Dec. 12-14, the 32 year old Las Vegas native Torres has mounted his points lead behind a series of strong performances.
Torres got off on the right foot by winning the Class 9 competition in the series opening Battle at Primm. He then followed with another victory in the Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 before collecting fourth places in the Cedar City Grand Prix and the Midnight Special in Johnson Valley, Calif.
With a Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage points series generating thousands of dollars to the winner of SNORE’s six-race schedule, Torres has his eyes on the money heading into the next event.
As is the case with every off-road competitor, a dedicated crew has played a huge part in the success this year.
Among those on the Torres crew are his father, Victor, who builds the engines; John Houlton of RC Transmissions; fellow racer Ed Mahoney, who not only helps the team but also leads the Class 11 standings; and Warren Messick of M&T Race Cars in Barstow, Calif.
“Anyone who has competed in off-road racing knows that your crew is absolutely invaluable,” Torres said. “There is not a lot of reward for the people who help me and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate them.”
Yet another important supporter is Ute Construction, Torres’s employers who work with during a busy racing season.
While the 2014 season has been a good one to say the least and Torres is already making plans for next year. Even with in a class that seems to change dramatically each race, Torres has been able to gain class and overall points leads.
“I used to run 1600 and I’m planning to go back to that class next year,” he said.
Torres’s past accomplishments have included SNORE Class 9 titles in 2004 and 2007 along with MORE championships in 2006 and 2007. He finished second overall in the 2004 SNORE points and second overall in 2007.
He also won the overall MORE title in 2006 finished runner up for the racing body a year later.
Race officials said about 80 cars are expected for the event. Along with Kroyer past winners have included Bob Gordon, Robby Gordon, Brian Collins, Troy Herbst, Rod Hall, Walker Evans, Manny Esquire, Rob McCachren, Tommy Bradley and Casey Folks.
An interesting side note to this year’s running of the SNORE 250 is that the race may be ending its long run in Nevada. Fees for the 2014 event rose from $20,000 to almost $30,000 and interest to move the race to Kingman, Ariz., is a definite possibility.
“The movers and shakers in Kingman really want the race,” said club president Kenny Freeman, “and with the ways things are going with the BLM nowadays, the SNORE 250 may be moving in 2015.”
|Corey Torres currently leads the SNORE points standings heading into Saturday’s Gold Strike SNORE 250 in Jean.|
CONTACT: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483, www.mikehenle.com.