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Justin Davis powers Unlimited Truck to overall title in SNORE’s BeeHive Sports Bar Battle at Primm; 280 entries highlight blockbuster season-opener

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

Feb. 22-24

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.

 

CLOSE
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.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

ROGERPHOTO
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.

 

BOYLE
Richard Boyle flies high over the dyke jump of the Beehive Sports Bar Battle at Primm Feb. 22-24.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

CODY
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.
 
Mike Stokes/Trackside

 

 

 

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