- Created on Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:25
By Mike Henle
The late legendary singer Frank Sinatra made the song “It Was a Very Good Year” famous.
And when the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts wrapped up its 43rd year with a year end banquet Jan. 5 at Harrah’s in Laughlin, Nev., Sinatra’s music would have been perfect for the background.
Indeed, 2012 was a very good year; and the combination of SNORE’s completion of a rich six-race series with blockbuster additions to the 2013 campaign were proof of that.
To add perfect balance to a great year, SNORE officials also donated a check for $4,300 to the Make A Wish Foundation the result of a benefit presented Nov. 3 in Laughlin. A total of 49 youngsters battling cancer were given rides in an assortment of off-road vehicles in what will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.
Roger Starkey, a talented, 28 year-old high-flying Class 10 competitor from Burbank, Calif., who makes his living selling medical devices, won the prestigious overall SNORE Kartek points championship. He pocketed a check of more than $3,300 for his efforts; along with additional incentive money which includes free entries for the entire 2013 SNORE season that kicks off with the Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
Starkey mounted a total of 3,838 points; only 26 better than Jason Coleman and 88 points head of Blaine Conrad. When he’s not racing the desert, Starkey is selling pacemakers and defibrillators to doctors in Southern California.
Starkey is actually in the surgery room when the pacemakers and defibrillators are installed in a patient’s body and he follows up to make certain each are working correctly.
Class 18 kingpin John Pellissier of Las Vegas was fourth with 3,706 points while Class 11 entry Robert Johnson was fifth with 3,419 points.
Rounding out the top ten in the final points were Greg Crew, who had 3.405 points in his Class 12 car; Class 1 driver Richard Boyle, 3,384 points; Giti Gowland, 3,292 in Class 9; Jeff Bruner, 3,284 in Class 1600; and Michael Benedict in Class 12 with 3,250 points.
Class champions for the year included Team Ford executive Steve Olliges (Unlimited Truck); Boyle (Class 1); Crew (Class 12); Coleman (1600); Tom Bird (5-1600); Steve Albrect (7); Giti Gowland (9); Pellissier (Champ Car); Robert Johnson (Stock Bug); John Gould (3000); Bill Morris (UTV); Eric Trondle (Unlimited Sportsman); Jordan Poole (Limited Sportsman); and Darren Parsons (1450).
The dedicated Starkey was quick to thank his father, Roger, Sr., for a level of dedication that held the team together in what can be a very challenging endeavor.
“”He is very determined and very driven,” said Roger Starkey, Sr., 58, who shared driving responsibilities with his son at Ridgecrest and the Midnight Special. “He likes everything to be just right; everything to be perfect and he likes to win.
“He has been racing since he was 14 and he took some time off when he was going to college. I had him in some older cars when he was younger and that taught him about the desert.
“Roger knows that to finish first; first you must finish. That’s an old cliché, but it’s also very true.”
The 2012 SNORE champion won his first-ever title and was also first to say that without a teamwork effort, no one ever rises to the top especially on a level of competition such as the one in off-road racing events.
“We’re first going to run Parker the first weekend of February and then we’re going to run the Battle at Primm,” Mr. Starkey explained. “Then, we’ll probably run the rest of the SNORE season.”
Year-end banquets are not easy to produce, but this one was perfect. From the continual footage featuring SNORE’s non-stop action in locales that ranged from Lucerne Valley and Ridgecrest in Southern California to Caliente and Primm in Nevada; there was no end to the evidence that SNORE has returned bigger and better than ever.
Records show that SNORE awarded approximately $190,000 in cash and prizes during 2012 with key sponsorships including Race Fuel, Team Ford, Sunoco, Kartek and Motion Tire bonuses. In addition, approximately $30,000 was awarded in cash and prizes at the yearend banquet.
Equally as important during the banquet was the fact that SNORE’s “very good year” in 2012 will be even better in 2013 considering that Terrible Herbst’s Motorsports Garage in Las Vegas has committed $25,000 to sponsor the series next year.
Starkey traveled nearly four hours and 300 miles to attend the gathering in Laughlin and many others set aside the weekend to make certain they attended, too.
Olliges was among the most noteworthy off-road competitors considering his position of owner of Team Ford in northwest Las Vegas.
“SNORE has done a great job this year,” said Olliges, a big backer of the group who won the Unlimited Truck title in 2012. “We are going to be involved in sponsoring SNORE’s races during the year.”
Other special honors presented during the night included the Jimmy Schaefer Award presented to SNORE President Brittany Burgos; the Denny Selleck/Don Dayton award presented to Kenny Freeman; Mechanic of the Year to Bill Shapley and Transmission Builder of the Year to Dave Folts.
|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.|
CONTACTS: Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483; Roger Starkey, 818-590-6373; Brittany Burgos, SNORE President, 702-325-9623.