By Mike Henle
A Class 9 driver is off to a great start in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship series heading into SNORE’s Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 April 12-13.
Young charger Jacob Davidson picked up 772 points in the season-opening Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 at Primm, Nev., and his performance in a very competitive class has certainly caught the attention of the off-road racing fraternity.
Since its inception back in 1969, SNORE has had several Class 9 drivers collect the overall championship. The list of winners is impressive and includes the likes of the late Luther Kutcher along with Bryan Pennington.
And you can bet that Davidson, a 21 year-old Central Valley, Calif., air conditioning technician, would love to add his name to the list of champion Class 9 champions when SNORE wraps up its 2013 season later this year.
Granted, one race only accounts for a fraction of SNORE’s six-race series, but Davidson is going to give it his all after a sparkling effort to kick off the season. A former desert motorcycle competitor, he’s all-in during the effort to collect SNORE’s cash prize, which is certainly significant.
“Everything went very smooth in the first race,” said Davidson, who beat talented competitor Harley Young by only 37 seconds in a huge field of 29 Class 9 entries at Primm. “It was a very clean race all day long and we had no issues. We had a minor repair on the front end and we got hit one time, but other than that, everything went well.”
With a great attitude and huge support from his family, Davidson doesn’t hesitate when discussing his goal.
“Oh yeah, we’re going for the championship,” he said knowing full-well that Class 9 has high numbers and excellent competition. “The car isn’t even mine. It’s owned by my dad Kurt and my brother, Kurt, Jr. and my youngest brother, Beans.”
In fact, the Davidson family is coming in full force for the Ridgecrest event.
“We will be running two cars at Ridgecrest,” Davidson said. “Kurt will running the “Flagship” while I’ll be running the “Red Headed Step Child.”
When discussing his biggest competition, Davidson quickly adds that it’s his brother who will be among his biggest challengers.
“He can definitely kick some butt when he’s not too busy keeping his camera clean,’ Davidson said of his brother. “He has been racing since 2005 and he has quite a few years of experience and seat time over me.
“Ridgecrest is all new to me, but Kurt has raced it so he has an advantage.”
Davidson’s efforts have been helped by sponsorships from Mohr Performance, Transaxle engineering, Doug Silcock and Purls Sheet Metal and Air conditioning.
The course at Ridgecrest is situated near China Lake Naval Base in northeastern Kern County in Southern California. It consists of significant challenges including huge rocks reminiscent of the old Wild West movies from decades ago.
With four surrounding mountain ranges, the area includes the Sierra Nevada on the west; the Cosos on the north; the Argus Range on the east; and the El Paso Mountains on the south. Situated approximately 82 miles from the Lancaster/Palmdale area, Ridgecrest is about 145 miles from Bakersfield and San Bernardino.
SNORE officials said 93 drivers were pre-entered earlier in the week for the event that is that is wildly-accepted each year. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Last year’s event at Ridgecrest was won by hard-charging Mike Voudouris of Austin, Tex., who captured the SNORE PCI Radios 300 Saturday in a classic showdown that included a three vehicle race down to the wire.
Voudouris, driving a Trophy Truck prepared by Collins Motorsports, had
a five-lap wining time of 5 hours, 18.50 minutes to beat the No. 105 Class 1 car of the husband and wife team of Kelly and Tom Mather of Ridgecrest, Calif., with a time of 5:20.09.
Voudouris will return to defend his title this year.
Adam and Terry Householder finished third at 5:21.50 in one of SNORE's all time close finishes.
--- SNORE’s dedicated club members numbering about 15 headed for Ridgecrest last week to mark the course, which covers 52 miles. Of the total, approximately 15 miles is different from last year’s event.
--- The Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage points fund continues to grow thanks to the strong field of entries SNORE has attracted through the first part of the year. By the end of the year, the end-of-the-year banquet should boast of a total purse of about $30,000.
--- The field in Ridgecrest will include a list of very strong competitors including Tom Koch, who owns an automotive recycling plant in Ridgecrest. A former winner of the both the Mint 400 and SNORE 250, he will compete in a Class 1 at Ridgecrest.
--- Among the top Class 10 chargers will be Las Vegas driver Sammy Ehrenberg, who will race in a very competitive class that will also feature names such as fellow Las Vegan Cody Freeman.
--- One of the top classes will be 1600 which will include drivers such as Justin Smith of San Clemente, Calif.; Rick Boyer, of Bakersfield, Calif.; and Las Vegas drivers James Dean, Darin Anderson, Bryan Freeman and Blaine Conrad.
Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts
2013 Terrible Herbst Garage Championship
Class 1 – 1. Tony Murray 672; 2. Pat Dean 610; 3. Richard Boyle 573; 4. Tony Nguyen 570; 5. Brad Vicic 430; 6. tie between Tom Mather Jr. and Allen Cluck, 335 each.
Class 7 – 1. Keith Minnicks 660; 2. Larry Shiells 606; 3. Frank Napoli 469; 4. Mike Koenig 448; 5. Broc Hersam 340.
Class 9 – 1. Jacob Davidson 772; 2. Harley Young 739; 3. Kyle Vizzo 672; 4. Christopher DeSousa Dias 652; 5. Ron Rash 632; 6. Jorge Ventura 612; 7. Kurt Davidson Jr. 602; 8. Brandon Heald 600; 9. Dan Bergen 582; 10. Travis Staley 572.
Class 10 – 1. Michael LaPaglia 725; 2. Cody Freeman 670; 3. Cody Jeffers 615; 4. Sammy Ehrenberg 595; 5. Patrick Gailey 575; 6. Roger Starkey 525; 7. John Hsu 555; 8. Jason Saran 545; 9. Frank Baird 535; 10. James Dean 415.
Class 11 – 1. Scott Wisdom 688; 2. Michael Brenner 622; 3. Robert Johnson 590; 4. Dennis Sletten 580; 5. Chris Anderson 573; 6. Gregory Piraino 520; 7. Jason Gutzmer 410; 8. Michael Cote 400; 9. David Hendrickson 30.
Class 12 – 1. Randy Jones 697; 2. Michael Benedict 670; 3. Justin Davis 580; 4. Beau Rash 568; Todd Stemmerman 540; 6. Ken Tapert 470; 7. Justin Buckey 410; 8. Bob Dziuawiec 400; 8. Kyle Cox 340.
Class 18 – 1. Thomas Morales 648; 2. Dustin Hellstrom 498; 3. John Pellissier 390.
Class 3000 – 1. Eric Trondle 675; 2. Dana Dague 605; 3. Allan Lee 571; 4. Neal Drickey 545; 5. Anthony Kilian 425; 6. Mike VanNewkirk 347.
Class 1-2 1600 – 1. Luke McMillin 767; 2. Bryan Freeman Sr. 749; 3. Justin Smith 713; 4. Jason Coleman 643; 5. Kurt Geer 623; 6. Jordan Poole 603; 7. Lorenzo Rodriguez 593; 8. tie between Corey Torres and Blaine Conrad, 583 each; 10. Darin Anderson 573.
Class 5 Unlimited – 1. Scott Wagstaff 582; 2. Carl Rohrer 344.
Class 5B – 1. Vic Bruckmann 707; 2. A.J Martin 634; 3. Zac Reish 594; 4. Billy Gereghty 570; 5. Scott Moldenhauer 550; 6. Ben Swift 530; 7. Todd McMinimen 520; 8. Chris Lazenby 510; 9. Steven Hall 390; 10. Jim Varshay 340.
Class 5-1600 – 1. Raul Solano 673; 2. David Hendrickson 608; 3. Mark Lundberg 560; 4. Jeff Goorsky 440; 5. Chris Sarris 340.
Heavy Metal – 1. Joe Patelli 631; 2. Joey Diaz 349.
Stock Full – Steve Schwab 511.
7S – Nick Lantz 511.
Unlimited Truck – 1. Justin Davis 713; 2. Jake Povey 615; 3. Jim Price 575; 4. Nathan McBride 555; 5. Jonathan Swift 537; 6. TJ Flores 455; 7. George Pondella 340.
Class 1450 1. Steve Olliges 873; 2. Ryan Dunn 742; 3. Darren Parsons 702; 4. Brad DeBerti 682; 5. Josh Taylor 662; 6. Nick Tonelli 662; 7. Chris Isenhouer 632; 8. Mike Koenig 622; 9. Juan Carlos Calderon 612
Class 2000 – 1. Kevin McKeown 680; 2. Trevor Messina 639; 3. Vievin Baugh 628; 4, Kevin Benali 460; 5. Jeremy Henderson 440.
Limited Sportsman – 1. Bree Cloud 747; 2. Bre Bradley 635; 3. Michael Brister 597; 4. Dave Nelson 585; 5. Desirae Jones 575.
Unlimited Sportsman – 1. Scott Rasmussen 689; 2. Dean Defreeze 612; 3. Johnny Burns 570.
Next race: Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300, Ridgecrest, Calif., April 12-14.
Further information: www.snoreracing.net.
|The Davidson family will converge on the annual SNORE Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 April 12-13 in Southern California. From left, Kurt Davidson Jr., Beans Davidson, Jacob Davidson and Kurt Davidson Sr. Jacob Davidson leads the SNORE Terrible Herbst Garage Championship series after one race.|
CONTACTS: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483; Brittany Burgos, President, SNORE, 702-325-9623.
By Mike Henle
PRIMM – Nineteen year-old Chino Hills, Calif. competitor Justin Davis turned a combined time of 2 hours, 2.21 minutes to take the overall and Unlimited Truck titles during the annual SNORE BeeHive Sports Bar Battle at Primm off road race conducted here Friday through Sunday.
It was a huge weekend for Davis, who also pocketed $1,000 for setting the fastest time of the weekend.
But the talented Davis wasn’t the only high-flying driver who capitalized on the jumps, tight turns and ruts in the desert about 30 miles south of Las Vegas. In traditional fashion, the Battle at Primm was highlighted by everything from the ground-rumbling trucks and Unlimited Class 1 power plants to Baja Bugs to an all-new class for pre-runners in non-stop action that could be heard all the way to Vegas in the north and Barstow in the south.
In fitting style, Davis kicked off the weekend by leading qualifying on Friday before continuing his winning ways during two days of non-stop action that kicked off SNORE’s six-race season which as been bolstered by the strong involvement of Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage.
SNORE never slows down and Terrible Herbst’s addition of a $10,000 bonus to the 2013 points series is expected to boost the overall winner’s share to $20,000 as some of America’s top off-road racing talent looks up to an off road racing group founded in 1969.
Through it all, SNORE continued to pack hotel rooms (Primm Valley Resorts, Whiskey Pete’s and Buffalo Bill’s) and attract drivers from several states in what continues as one of the best economic impacts on record.
There may be budget cuts in Washington, but you would not have known it in Primm where off-road racing combined with a remarkable roller coaster continually combines to create one of America’s best playgrounds.
The grand prix style of motor sports drew an estimated 280 entries in several categories and you can bet that employees at Primm properties were wishing that SNORE’s remarkable traveling road show would return every weekend.
As evidenced by hundreds of motor homes, toy haulers and trucks towing off-road vehicles to Primm from every direction, the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm was the infusion every small town in America would welcome.
It wasn’t hard finding satisfied souls whether you were talking about hotel personnel or racers. In what is considered an addiction to horsepower, desert rats not only filled the hotel rooms and restaurants but also had the bars three-deep for hours.
NASCAR’s Daytona 500 may have dominated television sets, but the Battle at Primm highlighted the outdoors so much so that Sawyer Brown lead singer Mark Miller even saluted the event during the blockbuster group’s performance Saturday night at the Star of the Desert inside Buffalo Bill’s.
You see, even in rough economic times, SNORE’s traveling road show is welcomed with open arms whether it’s a tiny bar in Caliente; hundreds of hotel rooms in Primm several times a year; or convenience stores and gas stations in Ridgecrest, Calif., not far from Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.
In fact, just as eyes all over the country are dreading the evening news because budget cuts are on the horizon, off-roaders are making the rest of the economy look like everything is just fine.
You could call SNORE’s events the perfect storm in an imperfect world. While economists sporting degrees from Ivy League schools continue to predict doom and gloom, off-road racing continues to keep staffs running non-stop.
“You might say that’s what we do,” said energetic SNORE President Brittany Burgos, whose ability to rally the troops is second-to-none. “We have fun and at the same time, we boost businesses with cash and the environment with so much energy that residents and business owners cannot wait for us to return.”
As usual, SNORE’s event presented the perfect combination of a tough layout that was tackled by drivers from several states including Nevada, California, and Arizona, to name a few.
Steve Martin, a long-time former off-road racer from Huntington Beach, Calif., who ran Class 2 in SNORE events, was in attendance at the Battle at Primm with family A.J. Martin members who competed in Class 5 Unlimited. A 67 year-old who owns M&M Cut-O-Matic in Downey, Calif., Martin had a great time.
“For those of use who used to race, it’s really interesting now to see the kids competing,’ said the elder Martin, who has fond memories of the old Mint 400 along with the SNORE 250. “When we originally bought the car in 1977 from Dennis Betcher and Bob Gordon (Robby’s father) the kids were small. We raced from 1977 to the early 1990s and my mom and dad didn’t miss a race.
“To this day even being out there, my mom, Charlotte Martin, was in Primm watching her grandson run. That’s quite a feat considering that Mom is now 95 years old and still rides in the car from tech to the pits.”
On Saturday, A.J. finished third before winning on Sunday. The Martin team pitted with Class 1600 driver Jason Coleman, who is a friend of the family
“What SNORE has done in Primm is bring back what SCORE used to do at Laughlin,” Mr. Martin said. “SNORE did one heckuva job and A.J. will definitely run again in SNORE events.”
Among the many drivers who experienced the tough terrain first-hand was SNORE Tech Director Bill Shapley.
Driving a Sportsman entry, Shapley rolled on the third lap of his heat Saturday. He and his partner Dave Jackson were upside down for while before crews could right-side the vehicle.
“I came into the corner too fast and caught the berm,” explained Shapley. “All of the oil drained out of the car, but it’ll be fine. The really bad thing was that we were running first when it happened.”
Jackson shrugged off the rollover saying “Ah, it was a piece of cake” while Shapley said while the latest incident was the first in this car, it certainly wasn’t the first time he had gone over while off-road racing.
“Kenny (Freeman) and I had several rollovers back in the 1980s,” Shapley explained. “We had a short wheelbase car named Top Banana.”
Other winners in the Battle of Primm included Tony Murray, Class 1 Unlimited; Michael LaPaglia, Class 10; Randy Jones, Class 12; Bree Cloud, Class 13; Steve Olliges, Class 1450; Scott Rasmussen, Class 15; Luke McMillin, Class 1600; Thomas Morales, Class 18; Kevin McKeown, Class 2000; Eric Trondle, Class 3000; Vic Bruckman, Class 5 Unlimited B; Scott Wagstaff, Class 5 Unlimited; Raul Solano, Class 5/1600; Keith Minnicks, Class 7; Nick Lantz, Class 7S; Jacob Davidson, Class 9; Joe Patelli, Heavy Metal; Scott Wisdom, Stock Bug; and Steve Schwab, Stock Full.
SNORE’s next event in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Championship Series is the Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300 in Ridgecrest, Calif. April 12-14.
SNORE Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm
At Primm, Nev.
Unlimited Truck – 1. (first overall) 85 Justin Davis, 2:02.21; 2. 98 Jake Poven 2:14.28.890; 3. 83 Jim Price 2:16.40; 4. 99 Nathan McBride 2:20.34.
Class 1 Unlimited – 1. 109 Tony Murray 2:12.08; 2. 101 Pat Dean, Las Vegas, 2:35.53; 3. 132 Tony Nguyen 2:38.44.
Class 10 – (second overall) 1. 1038 Michael LaPaglia 2:11.46; 2. (third overall) 1002 Cody Freeman, Las Vegas, 2:11.56; 3. 1092 Cody Jeffers 2:13.24; 4. 1074 Sammy Ehrenberg 2:13.30; 5. 1095 Patrick Gailey 2:19.32; 6. 1048 John Hsu 2:24.05; 7. 1081 Jason Saron 2:24.20; 8. 1084 Frank Baird 2:30.41.
Class 12 – 1. 1216 Randy Jones 2:28.07; 2. 1215 Michael Benedict 3:38.36; 3. 1272 Jason Davis 2:42.28.
Class 13 – 1. 1336 Bree Cloud 2:09.16; 2. 1302 Bree Bradley 2:12.57; 3. 1375 Michael Brister 2:17.14; 1309 Desiree Jones 2:23.26; 5. 1388 Jenn Hellstrom 2:26.51; 6. 1378 Dave Nelson 2:31.49.
Class 1450 -- 1. 1451 Steve Olliges, Las Vegas, 1:51.38; 2. 1437 Ryan Dunn 1:59.38; 3. 1447 Darren Parsons 2:01.44; 4. 1457 Brad De Berti 2:002.46; 5. 1484 Josh Taylor 2:04.46; 6. 1436 Nick Tonnelli 2:08.26; 7. 1454 Chris Isenhouer 2:13.17; 8. 1476 Mike Koenig 2:15.01; 9. 1469 Juan Carlos Calderon 2:16.13; 10.1413 1413 Sal Gomez 2:16.33; 11. 1485 Adam Fibin 2:18.19; 12. 1405 Nick Isenhouer 2:18.27; 13. 1482 Ryan Desautels 2:22.57; 14. 1491 Trever Leach 2:23.02; 15. 1412 Jeff Eveler 2:40.46; 16. Duane Evans 2:53.95.
Class 15 – 1. 1565 Scott Rasmussen 1:50.48; 2. 1504 Dean Defreze 1:58.24; 3. 1581 Johnny Burns 1:59.33; 4. 1503 Kelly Suiter 2:07.47; 5. 1524 Aaron Hawley 2:14.52; 6. 1559 Christine Dziurawiec 2:42.63.
Class 1600 – 1. 1688 Luke McMillin 2:22.41; 2. 1680 Bryan Freeman 2:23.04; 3. 1619 Justin Bean 2:22.16; 4. 1600 Jason Coleman 2:26.30; 5. 1634 Curt Geer 2:26.37; 6. 1668 Jordan Poole 2:27.48; 7. 1690 Lorenzo Rodriguez 2:29.15; 8. 1689 Cory Torres 2:29.21; 9. 1655 Darin Anderson 2:31.18; 10. 1629 Johnny Burns 2:36.10; 11. 1608 Hank Winter 2:37.46; 12. 1685 Vince Viola 2:39.36; 13. 1627 Joshua Daniel 2:39.59; 14. 1611 Emme Hall 2:44.25; 15. Stefano Stuart 2:50.31.
Class 18 – 1877 Thomas Morales 2:18.54.
Class 2000 – Kevin McKeown, 1:16.48.
Class 3000 – 1. 3003 Eric Trondle 2:30.12; 2. 3023 Dana Dague 2:53.18; 3. 3017 Lee Allan 3:03.47.
Class 5 Unlimited – 1. 518B Vic Bruckman 2:18.25; 2. 513B A.J. Martin 2:20.32; 3. 545B Billy Gereghty 2:26.30; 4. 502B Scott Moldenhauer 2:39.09; 5. 525B Ben Swift 2:41.29.
Class 5 – 518 Scott Wagstaff 2:00.56.
Class 5-1600 – 1. 550 Raul Solano 2:13.15; 2. 586 David Hendrickson 2:13.40; 3. 564 Mark Lundberg 2:23.15.
Class 7 -- 7234 Keith Minnicks 2:43.05.
Class 7S – 7177 Nick Lantz 2:18.35.
Class 9 – 1. 922 Jacob Davidson 2:11.11; 2. 959 Harley Young 2:11.48; 3. 928 Kyle Vizzo 2:12.50; 4. 901 Christopher De Sousa Dias 2:14.57; 5. 973 Ron Rash 2:15.59; 6. 984 Jorge Ventura 2:16.11; 7.920 Kurt Davidson; 8. 911 Brandon Heald 2:18.43; 9. 982 Dan Bergen 2:18.45; 10. 918 Travis Staley 2:25.11.
Heavy Metal – 800 Joe Patelli 2:46.03.
Stock Bug – 1. 1103 Scott Wisdom 2:20.36; 2. 1179 Michael Brenner 2:21.57; 3. 1163 Dennis Sletten 2:24.53; 4. 1138 Chris Anderson 2:27.24; 5. 1100 Robert Johnson 2:44.03.
Stock Full – 811 Steve Schwab, 2:22.31.
Next race: Motion Tire Ridgecrest 300, April 12-14, Ridgecrest, Calif.
|The tight 12-mile course of the annual Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm featured tight competition throughout the weekend. Shown in this photo are 586 David Hendrickson and 918 Travis Staley.
|SNORE’s defending champion Roger Starkey finished ninth in the highly competitive Class 10 category of the annual Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb.22-24.|
|Richard Boyle flies high over the dyke jump of the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
|Southern Nevada charger Cody Freeman finished close behind Southern California driver Michael LaPaglia in Class 10 of the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
By Mike Henle
LAS VEGAS -- Bill Shapley showed up in Southern Nevada at the age of 14 in 1970 after living in Pico Rivera, Calif. About a year later, he joined the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts, and he’s been active with the club ever since.
“I was hanging out with Kenny Freeman while going to Rancho High School,” recalled Shapley, now the owner of NV Automotive at 4580 E. Lake Mead Blvd. in Las Vegas. “He asked me to get involved with SNORE and I didn’t know what he was talking about.”
From there, Freeman’s mother, Marian, took Shapley for a ride in a small pink two-seater and the rest is history.
“I have been hooked ever since,” laughed Shapley. “In fact, you could say that I took it hook, line and sinker.”
What Shapley discovered was an incredible group of people who also became his friends.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Shapley, who is now 56.
Nowadays, Shapley is involved even more with SNORE considering that is again serving as the club’s tech director as well as a racer in events with son, Billy, in a Class 13 Sportsman buggy. He’s going to be very busy during the Feb. 22-24 running of the Battle at Primm south of Las Vegas.
“Tommy Ford told me that if he was going to be president of SNORE, I was going to be his race director in 1988,” recalled Shapley of Ford, who now lives in Whitesboro, Tex. “I told Tommy I didn’t know a thing about being race director and he told me we’d have to learn together.
“It all turned out great. I had to not only learn the technical aspects, but also working with the Bureau of Land Management. It was a great experience and most definitely opened a lot of doors for me.”
There are many people that Shapley will never forget.
“First and foremost, the Freeman family along with Roger Gaskill, Denny Selleck and Bert Vaughan,” Shapley recalled. “You mention SNORE and you think of people like this, although there’s actually too many to list.”
In particular, Shapley has high praises for a list of SNORE members who pitched in to help him back in about 2007.
At the time, Shapley weighed 580 pounds and his health was getting worse because of his situation. Before he knew it, SNORE member Steve Alexander spearheaded a fund raiser generating $30,000 so that Shapley could have gastric bypass surgery at Desert Springs Hospital.
Now weighing in at 240 pounds, Shapley feels great. The fact that a lot of the money came from people that he didn’t even know is something that he’ll never forget.
“My blood pressure is good and so is my cholesterol,’’ he said at his shop. “I’m sure that the surgery prolonged my life by at least 20 years. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate SNORE for what its members did for me.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I can now race with Billy, too. The procedure undoubtedly changed my life and I’ll forever be thankful to all of the members of SNORE who helped me.”
Yet another key element following the surgery is the fact that Shapley can now race with his son, Billy.
“Racing with your son is absolutely a big thrill,” the elder Shapley said. “Billy is a good driver and he’s a very good fabricator. He works on his shocks, shocks and suspension. He learned it all working with us at the shop.”
The Battle at Primm set for Feb. 22-24 about 30 miles south of Las Vegas is drawing huge interest.
“As of only few days ago, we had 275 entries,” Shapley said. “We could reach 300 by race day and tech is going to be hectic.
“But it’s all good.”
The Battle at Primm will be staged over 12-mile laps behind Buffalo Bill’s on the east side of I-15. Tech, contingency and qualifying are set for Friday; with a full slate of racing Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7 a.m.
|Tech Director Bill Shapley will again be heavily involved when SNORE kicks off its 2013 season with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 about 30 miles south of Las Vegas.|
By Mike Henle
Four years ago, former SNORE president and avid off-road racer Tommy Ford discovered he had cancer. Knowing he was in for the fight of his life, he scheduled an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Tex.
Now 68, Ford has been cured of the “Big C” and he’s living the dream in Whitesboro, Tex., a tiny community of about 3,000 residents near Highway 82 about an hour north of Dallas.
“I’m all well now,” said Ford, whose home sits on 67 acres along the Oklahoma border in northeast Texas. “After my treatments, we decided to buy some land down here and retire.”
Fate has a funny way of leading people from one place to another.
“I never went back to Vegas,” recalled Ford, a native of Corona, Calif., who had lived in Las Vegas since 1955. “We were able to take our motor home when I went to MD Anderson and we were there for three months. I figured out that we had made 19 trips to Houston and just decided that it made better sense to take the motor home.”
A very successful businessman who has owned Ford Contracting in Las Vegas since 1977, the economy in Southern Nevada had just begun its decline when the likeable Ford discovered he needed to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Relaxed and contented to be living east of Gainesville, Tex., near the Red River, Ford has many reasons for staying in the Panhandle state. He’s comfortable on his ranch, where he and his wife, Judy, have eight cows, 35 horses, two Jack Russell Terriers and 11 acres of lawn.
“Judy calls me Forest Gump,” Ford laughed while sitting on the front porch of his Texas home. “There is at least 35 acres that are lawn and we mow that every week.”
However, while he loves the country in Whitesboro, Ford also likes the hospitality of the people.
“I like Texas, and I like the people down here,” Ford said. “I mean everyone from the Fed Ex delivery guy to the postman wants to tell you about their family. People here are just very sincere, and very friendly.”
In addition, the folks in Texas are dedicated to sporting events of all kinds.
“People down here take their athletics very seriously,” Ford said. “We went to a Friday night high school football game in what was called the ‘Battle of the Boroughs’ and there were 12,600 people in the stands.”
While it’s been a long time since he walked away from his last off-road race in the late-1970s or early 1980s, SNORE remain as some of Ford’s best memories of living in Southern Nevada.
“I loved off-road racing,” said Ford, who served as president of SNORE in the mid-1980s. “It was great therapy and besides, all of the kids who worked at Ford Contracting either hunted or raced; and I did both.
“James Mahan got me into the sport and I bought a car that was a homemade Class 2. Then, I bought one of those Racecos and finished 25 points behind Brian Collins in the overall SCORE points standings.
SNORE’s friendly people attracted Ford to the club; and so did the old Mint 400, a huge event that started with tech inspection on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas each spring before more than 400 off-road vehicles found their way to the start-finish line at the old Las Vegas Speedway.
“The Mint 400 was fun,” recalled Ford. “There were people all over the place and women used to lift up their tops as cars went by.
“One time, two gals pulled up their shirts as I was going down the course. I took my eyes off the course to look at them and just about ended up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.”
|Popular Southern Nevada businessman Tommy Ford, who was president of SNORE in the early 1980s, moved to northeast Texas after beating cancer four years ago.|
|Off-road racer Tommy Ford, left, with Holiday Inn Casino General Manager Joe Francis prior to the annual SNORE 250 in the mid-1980s.|
SNORE opens the 2013 season with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24 south of Las Vegas.
Four key officers with the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts have committed to lead the club again in 2013. From left, Vice President John Pellissier; President Brittany Burgos; Treasurer Debbie Burgos; and Race Director Kenny Freeman.
|Burbank, Calif., Class 10 driver Roger Starkey, shown with SNORE’s Tiffiany Cox, was declared the 2012 Kartek overall champion Saturday, Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin.|
|The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts combined to raise $4,300 for the Make a Wish Foundation during the annual Wish Ride in Laughlin in November. SNORE Vice President John Pellissier, left, and MJ Smith of The Laughlin Tourism Commission, center, are shown presenting the check to Caleen Johnson, executive director at the Make A Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada at the annual SNORE year end banquet Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin.|
|Roger Starkey, of Burbank, Calif., raced to the overall SNORE title in 2012.|
|Hard-driving Josh Daniel dominated the annual SNORE HOSTYLE Rage at the River in Laughlin, Nev. Dec. 7-9. He won the Class 1 and overall titles in an event that drew about 170 entries to the city about 100 miles south of Las Vegas. (Dave Conklin/Trackside photo).|
|The McMillin family of San Diego, Calif., was well-represented during SNORE’s Rage at the River in Laughlin, Nev. Dec. 7-9. Dan McMillin won the Unlimited Truck class and finished third overall. (Dave Conklin/Trackside photo).|
|Long-time Las Vegas radio personality Craig Williams will be back in the driver’s seat during SNORE’s HOSTYLE Rage at the River|