By Mike Henle
LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. – Each year, a strong field of off-road racers travel to this isolated area east of Victor Valley in western San Bernardino County to compete in an event known for tough terrain and competitive fields of drivers.
Now in its 47th season, the SNORE 250 – this year with strong support from sponsor PCI Race Radios and assistance from MORE – the field of about 150 entries didn’t let anyone down in the creation and running of the fifth race of the year Sept. 23-24 in the highly-respected 2016 Patrick’s Signs and Butch’s Speed Shop Championship Series.
No SNORE race is easy, starting with the King Shocks Battle at Primm in February and culminating with the McKenzie’s Rage at the River in December in Laughlin, Nev. along the Colorado River. Through bad economies off the track and bumps in the road on the track, races like the most recent PCI Race Radios SNORE 250 turns the desert into a weekend gathering that tests the talents of some of off-road racing’s finest competitors.
Racers and their pit crews and families come here expecting challenging conditions no matter what the class of racing. This year’s event drew a stellar field that included overall and Class 1 champion Eric Hardin, a top-notch Southern California driver; along with series points leader and Class 1600 victor Curt Geer; Class 6100 winner Carey Chrisman; Class 10 charger Richard Glaszczak; 7200 champ Mike Frye; Class 12 competitor and champion Colton Gubler and Class 5 charger Adam Spitz.
Others taking victories included Jerry Larimore (1400); Jasen Harmon (8); Austen Sieracki (2000); Christina Perkins (1900); Tyler Peterson (9); Julie Meehan (1300); James Ford (3000); John Morgan (1350); and Robert Johnson (11).
Johnson, a 46-year-old fire captain with Calfire near Merced, Calif., has been involved in the sport since 2006.
“This race was really dusty and silty,” he said. “Visibility wasn’t very good, but we didn’t have any problems although there were times when I couldn’t even see my hands on the steering wheel.”
Like most off-road racing events, the PCI Race Radios SNORE 250 certainly had its share of challenges.
“It was really dusty and really silty,” said Johnson, whose son, Erik, co drove the entire race. “Visibility wasn’t very good either. We didn’t have any problems, but there were a couple of times that I couldn’t even see my hands on the steering wheel.”
Johnson’s entire off-road career has been spent behind the wheel of a Class 11 buggy. He said he loves the atmosphere created by a SNORE event.
“SNORE brings with it a real family atmosphere,” he said. “We always enjoy going through tech because we see all of our friends. Then, too, we always share parts with one another in the pits.”
The dedication of SNORE’s members is unmatched considering the work that goes into each race.
“The amount of work that goes into putting on a race is pretty crazy,” Johnson said of the SNORE workers. “These guys put everything they have into a race.”
Johnson said he enjoys the competition of SNORE adding that the club brings with it a family atmosphere adding, “Everyone from Class 11 pits together, so we’re always helping one another.”
Then, too, SNORE’s dedication to putting on a race is unmatched.
“The amount of work SNORE puts into a race is pretty crazy,” Johnson said.