31 Mar

Strong field expected for SNORE’s Motion Tire 300 this weekend in Ridgecrest

By: Mike Henle 

RIDGECREST, Calif. – For nine years, the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts has made a habit of bringing their show here each spring. In what has become a true win-win for everyone involved, the Motion Tire 300 returns again this weekend bringing with it 140 entries and enough action to turn this quiet city into a mecca of racing.

To borrow an old line from the sport of baseball, this is a homerun and in fact, it’s a grand slam. It’s basketball’s version of a slam dunk and a touchdown in the sport of football. The spring weather is ideal, and the terrain is reminiscent of a good old-fashioned scene from a Country Western movie.

Indeed, this beautiful city situated not far from Edwards Air Force Base is about 3 ½ hours from Vegas, but it’s also very close to a hotbed of off-road racers in Southern California. The allure of the area combined with the history of SNORE makes for the perfect combination.

The second race of SNORE’s 2016 Patrick Signs Series, the event is coming off a stellar Battle at Primm season-opener south of Las Vegas. Just as important is the fact that the cost to put on the race here is far less than in Nevada as SNORE – which was founded in 1969 – continues to solidify itself as the oldest off-road racing sanctioning body in the country.

In fact, when the SNORE series lost its series sponsor after the 2015 season, it didn’t take long for Pat Dean of Patrick’s Signs in Las Vegas to fill the gap. In fact, the Dean family has been a part of off-road racing for decades and Pat Dean will be in Ridgecrest as his family continues to support a sport that has been a part of motorsports for decades.

“I go to watch my kids race,” said Dean, whose father, Butch, is a legend in off-road racing primarily because he has built and maintained equipment for some of the best for many years. “My son, James, will run Class 1 at Ridgecrest and my other son, Jordan, will be in 1600.

“Ridgecrest is a very fun race. We like it because it’s very rough and it’s very tough to win there. There are spectators everywhere and the race is a big deal there.”

In Dean’s words, off-road racing generates a huge commitment with little monetary rewards to the drivers and their crews. However, it’s the friendships and the memories that make everything worth the effort.

“I refer to it as the dumbest sport ever,” Dean laughed. “It costs a lot of money and you win nothing and the chance of breaking is high. 

However, as Dean admits there is an addictive element involved with off-road racing. The rewards are based primarily on the challenges and the friendships gained over the years.

SNORE President Kenny Freeman said that while the sport has changed dramatically over the years as it relates to costs, the Bureau of Land Management in Ridgecrest welcomes the event. He said presenting a race in Nevada costs more than twice what it does to present a similar event in Ridgecrest.

The addition of Patrick’s Signs as the series sponsor has also taken SNORE’s six-race schedule to another level. The company’s involvement in SNORE is invaluable and even includes preparing the signs needed for the club’s races.

“Patrick’s signs added another $5,000 to our points fund,” Freeman explained. “Right now, our points fund is about $8,500; and by the end of the year, it will be worth almost $30,000.”

The weekend kicks off Friday with a pre-run at 8 a.m., registration and sign-up along with tech and contingency from 1-7 p.m. at Desert Empire Fairgrounds from 1-7 p.m.  The mandatory drivers meeting is set for 8 p.m. at Tommy T’s Bar at 117 Ridgecrest Blvd. 

Saturday’s non-stop action kicks off with staging at 7:15 a.m. at the Charlie’s Place at Wagon Wheel OHV. The first entries leave the start-finish line east of Ridgecrest.

The postrace barbeque and awards is set Saturday at about 8 p.m. at Tommy T’s. 

Remaining events on the SNORE schedule include the Caliente 250 June 10-11 in Caliente, Nev.; the KC Hi Lites Midnight Special July 29-30 in Jean, Nev., the PCI Radios SNORE 250 Sept. 23-24 in Lucerne, Calif. and the McKenzies Rage at the River Dec. 9-11 in Laughlin, Nev.

Off road racer Pat Dean of Patrick’s Signs in Las Vegas is the title sponsor for the 2016 SNORE racing series. Two of Dean’s son, James and Jordan, will be competing in SNORE’s annual Motion Tire 300 Saturday in Ridgecrest.



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