By Mike Henle
www.mikehenle.com

JEAN, Nev. -- As the motorsports world hit another high recently in Southern Nevada, the 51st Annual PCI Race Radios SNORE 250 presented by Terrible’s rocked this valley about 40 miles south of Las Vegas.

Some 90 entries started the event on a glorious day highlighted by an event that has been part of the Southern Nevada auto racing climate for more than 50 years. In fact, the SNORE 250 once participated on the grounds of what is now a very posh Spanish Trail, where huge custom homes dot the southwest Las Vegas Valley.

The scenery may have changed over the years, but the competition has remained at a very high pitch about 40 miles from where the legendary Fritz Kroyer once captured one of the most memorable off-road racing victories after rolling his car on the first lap.

For those working the I-15 freeway on this weekend, off-roading was glued to the competition making the sport of off-road racing a popular experience in an area that also includes a motorsports Mecca collection of vehicles that make up a fascinating collection of vehicles.

No one has ever accused Southern Nevada of sleeping late, especially when talking about off-road racing, a sport that offers its own collection of special terrain and special people.

Las Vegas is once again at a fever pitch whether you’re talking about NASCAR weekends at Las Vegas Motor Speedway or off-road racing at one of Southern Nevada’s designated course layouts.

While the off-road racing industry is ideally rough and tough, there’s an element of the sport that creates long-term friendships no matter what the class or category. The sport offers never-ending challenges in a sport that remains endless in memories and challenges.

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By Mike Henle

Jean, Nev. -- The Grand Daddy of Southern Nevada off-road racing is set to kick off the 2020 season complete with a strong contingent of competitors in the PCI Race Radios SNORE 250 presented by Terrible’s Road House Feb. 14-16.

The 51st annual SNORE 250 showdown brings together families that have been around since the first SNORE 250 on the grounds of what is now the the Old Spanish Trail in the southwest valley.

Jean provides an interesting environment with many off-road enthusiasts traveling hundreds of miles each year to support SNORE in its efforts to present quality events.

Jean awaits its turn every year while off-road racing remains a kingpin of the sport in Southern Nevada. Jean and SNORE go together like the perfect reunion.

Wherever SNORE carries on the tremendous enthusiasm and top-notch machinery for the SNORE 250, the event also has a full house from one end of the valley to the other. With about 90 entries ready to roar over the desert floor, the latest SNORE battle will again prove to be the perfect venue for a heavy collection of fire-breathing off-road marchinery.

In typical SNORE off-road fashion, a strong field is expected in numerous categories. This year’s series is being sponsored by Patrick’s Signs.

SNORE is also kicking off the year with a new president, native Las Vegan CJ Hutchins, who takes over for former president Kenny Freeman, who will hop back into his Class 1600 entry where he’ll have the time of his life in a rock-solid race.

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By Mike Henle
www.mikehenle.com

Long-time Las Vegan Bob Jensen is among a long list of off-road enthusiasts that recall the days when a hearty group of Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts gathered each month at John Herda’s Saloon on South Highland Avenue.

Jensen’s job with SNORE was to drive an old school bus with the timing crew to and from race sites throughout Southern Nevada in the 1960s and 1970s.

A group of off road lovers including Jensen’s wife, Ruthe, and Denny Selleck’s, wife, Wauna, were among those supporters who scored each race during the year.

Jensen was – and still is – renowned for his untold skill of keeping the school bus running throughout the year. Leaving Las Vegas High School – he was drafted out of school in 1942 – had to be a big eye-opener for a teenager headed for the South Pacific and the Philippines and the Battle of GuadalCanal on Solomon Islands that lasted until February of 1943.

While riding his Caterpillar tractor one day, Jensen looked up to see Dwight D. Eisenhower, the five-star general in the Army.

One of Jensen’s biggest disappointments arose when he learned that the American government dumped D-4 Caterpillars over board rather returning them to American soil. During his stay, Jensen was entrenched in riding Caterpillars and dump trucks.

Now 96, Jensen turns 97 in May. He lives in the same single-story house where he and wife, Ruthe, lived for more than 40 years raising four children including daughters Merle, Judy and Sherl along with son, David.

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By Mike Henle
www.mikehenle.com

LAUGHLIN, Nev. -- Veteran SNORE enthusiasts have seen their share of standout fields over the years and the latest gathering at Laughlin was one for the books.

From buggies to trucks and in-between, SNORE’s year-ending Patrick’s Signs/McKenzie’s Rage at the River event especially impressed everyone during the event run Dec. 13-15.

In fact, rumor had it that the gaming executives of Laughlin were already planning for a repeat performance in 2020 complete with more seating; not to mention another record field of entries so big that reading the results might require the help of an executive with Harper and Row.

From the available hotel rooms to the view of the Colorado River and more than 350 race vehicles, the only element missing was aerial views like the ones seen from the seats ofa Collins Brothers helicopters that featured prominent off-road enthusiast and South Point Casino owner Michael Gaughan, whose 44 year-old son, Brendan, lured TV cameras and nationwide publicity when he flipped his NASCAR Sprint Cup car at Talladega SpeedwayOct. 14.

If there is such a thing as gluttons for punishment in the desert, the Rage at the River offered everything from good straight-aways to tight-turns on a 12-mile course that challenged anyone who wanted to experience a little of everything.

Laughlin will never be considered a boring off-road course, and not paying attention to the terrain can lead to quick mechanical failures for the best of drivers.

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By Mike Henle
www.mikehenle.com

LAUGHLIN, Nev., ---Off-road racers have no reason to slow down as the Christmas season continues.  As it has been the case for the past several years, off-road racers will invade this community along the Colorado River with vengeance during the first week of December.

Laughlin has such rich history that its annual return to the area founded by Don Laughlin has become an automatic on the six-race SNORE schedule.

The Patrick’s Signs Championship Series, which started with the PCI Race Radios 50thSNORE 250February 15-16 in Jean, Nevada, will culminate with the McKenzie’s Rage at the RiverDecember 13-15.

In fact, the main brass of the SNORE board of directors has become so confident of the event that this year’s showdown is expected to draw about 300 entries featuring a very fast short course. Not to mention a view from the starting line that is so picturesque that professional photographers seemingly mark the event down on their calendars.

Among the highly regarded competitors is Class 1 charger Joe David, an aggressive member of the off-road racing industry whose father, Tom Koch, won the Mint 400 more than twenty years ago.

The colorful 34 year-old David is the perfect example of a fun-loving personality combined with a lead foot to create what is undoubtedly the ideal combination in a race car driver with arace machine.

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By Mike Henle

CALIENTE, Nev. – If ever an off-road racer had reason to celebrate; it was competitors like charger James Ford, who captured the highly-competitive Class 10 category in the annual running of the Knotty Pine 250. 

Presented on June 8 about 180 miles north of Las Vegas in what could be termed “The God’s Country of Motorsports,” Ford clicked off four consecutive laps for what was nothing less than a rendition of “Get Out of Vegas” weekend.  

The event played host to more than 100 entries – far more than expected – in the hills of Caliente, a small-town atmosphere highlighted by a level of peace and quiet until residents annually greet the throng of competitors with open arms for another Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts spectacular.

“This one was a great event,” said SNORE President Kenny Freeman, who spends his weekdays installing carpet and his weekends spreading the word of SNORE. “Everyone was happy, including both the town and the racers that have combined efforts to become a spectacle of the area each time.

As is the case with every SNORE event in Caliente, this particular race once again was presented with special challenges not usually found in an off-road race, which this year also included a series of running water after a wet spring season.

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The annual Knotty Pine 250 in Caliente is always a huge challenge, especially because of the special challenges the race presents.

By Mike Henle

CALIENTE, Nev. -- For the last 50 years, the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts have ridden through the ups and the downs of the sport.

If it’s history that fascinates your soul, go no further than a crash course in SNORE, which has ridden wave-after-wave through five decades of celebrations and challenges.

The original group was highlighted by stops for meetings at the old Las Vegas watering hole the Sawdust Saloon, which was owned by a legendary group headed by Sawdust owner John Herda, who donated the space and the time as SNORE rapidly went from a tiny club of enthusiasts to the longest-consecutive running off-road racing entity in the country.

Other illustrious names include the Freeman family, whose current concentrations embrace SNORE during some of the most challenging times. Good old-fashioned hospitality that has seen the group continue to present consistent off-road events in various states that encompass Nevada, California, Utah and Arizona.

The six-race season series heads for Caliente this weekend for the Knotty Pine 250 presented by Pirate’s Cove Resort. The event has become an annual showdown of racing equipment, talent and scenery. This year’s course encompasses obstacles of high water, intimidating trees, a very challenging bridge and a wild terrain that even includes what is called “Oh My God Hill” heading into the south-end if the town.

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GREENVILLE, SC (Feb. 11, 2019) – On behalf of BFGoodrich® Tires, Jackson Motorsports Group is pleased to continue its support of the Southern Nevada Off-Road Racing Enthusiasts (SNORE) for the 2019 racing season. We are proud that we are in our THIRD year supporting this series and these racers. SNORE racers are genuine, authentic, rugged off-roaders and dedicated to their craft. Many have been racing and winning on BFGoodrich® tires purchased through Jackson Motorsports for years. We appreciate their support and have decided to express this by offering the following:

Jackson Motorsports will offer a $400 Tire Bucks Voucher at each of the six SNORE racing events in 2019. One winner will be randomly selected from the eligible class for each event. The winner of that class will win the tire voucher. Although preferred, the winner does not have to compete on BFGoodrich® tires to be eligible for the tire voucher, which can be used for any tire sold through Jackson Motorsports. Winners will receive standard Racer Program pricing.

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By Mike Henle

Jean, Nev. – It goes without saying that dust is usually a major challenge in the sport of off-road racing.

However, the challenges of the 50th annual PCI Race Radios SNORE 250 here Feb. 15-16 didn’t include as much dust as usual, thanks to unusually wet winter storms that were socked into Southern Nevada while generating a completely different element.

This time, it was water that dominated the world of off-road racing south of Las Vegas that drenched the desert prior to the start of the race the morning of Feb. 16. 

The dry lake bed that can be seen from I-15 is anything but dry this year. However, the typical SNORE 250 layout did claim its share of drivers who failed to heed the advice of the race director who warned that patience was a “must” to survive the annual event.

The Dean family was well-represented in the 100-plus field of entries considering that James Dean won the Class 1 championship while father Pat Dean ran to Unlimited Truck and overall title.

James Dean was quick to thank his many sponsors for their help. Among the sponsors Patrick’s Signs, Ultra Wheel, Vision X, King Shocks, BJ Goodrich Tires, Weddle Transmissions, Fydaq Co. and Grandpa Butch.

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By Mike Henle

Fritz Kroyer is renowned in off-road racing circles all over the world.

Measure this: He won the first-ever SNORE 250 on the grounds of what is now the plush Spanish Trail 50 years ago although he rolled the car on the first lap of the race.

The car rolled right-side-up and Kroyer went to work winning the SNORE 250 in a Funco two-seater converted into a single-seater.

Even more impressive is that Kroyer –now 75 – recorded back-to-back Mint 400 titles in 1971 and 1972.  The Mint is known world-wide as the toughest race of its kind.

In true off-road-racer tenacity, if you want an interview with the colorful off-road racer/race car engine builder, you had better be ready for an early start considering that Kroyer arrives at his shop early every morning at Kroyer Racing Engines on the grounds of Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kroyer is the picture of the Iron Man competition since he works out three or four times a week. A true example of today’s rugged senior citizen, the man is not interested in retiring.

After his racing days subsided in the mid-80s, the colorful Kroyer went to work creating and building off-road machinery, as well as guiding younger drivers in a sport where only the strong survive.

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