Off-roaders take to the Nevada 1000 in Pahrump

June 20, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

PAHRUMP, Nev. — The green flag dropped this morning on Best in the Desert's Nevada 1000, the race billed as the longest off-road battle on U.S. soil.

Motorcycles and quads took off at 5 a.m. near Pahrump, a former mining town about an hour west of Las Vegas.

Pro trucks and buggies, including the dirt-munching rigs of the top Imperial Valley teams, took off at 8 a.m.

They'll race through today, arriving in Ely, Nev. Those with a working knowledge of Nevada's collection of small towns can appreciate that last sentence without any hyperbole.

That's a long way to race., Best in the Desert's partner in promoting the race, describes the event: "Best in the Desert's premier off-road race, the Nevada 1000, will take a three-day counterclockwise journey through some of the roughest conditions known to man, testing the limits of man's need for speed and the machines that are built around the obstacles of his nature."


After the dust-crusted racers clock in at Ely, they'll bed down for the night.

Meanwhile, pit crews will feverishly work to repair damage and get the vehicles set for the morning.

Everything starts fresh Friday when the racers again take off at the crack of morning on their way to Tonopah, Nev.

On Saturday morning, the final day of racing begins.

The hardy few who are able to best the elements and the competition should roll into an area near Pahrump on Saturday night to the raucous applause of thousands.

Some local racers who have made the trip north for the race include the Scaroni family of Heber, Bob Lofton of Westmorland and Jason Jernigan of Imperial, according to Lofton, who was contacted Wednesday in Pahrump during pre-race festivities.

The race is especially important for Lofton and his racing teammate, Mike Julson of San Diego, because the 1000 is one of the races in the Pro Dirt Series.

At the beginning of the race year, Lofton and Julson and about 20 other Class 1 racers from all over each put $5,000 into a pot, formed the Pro Dirt Series and decided to compete against each other in five races, whether the races are sponsored by SCORE, Best in the Desert or another association.

The Nevada 1000 is one of the biggest races of their season.

For those who want to find out how the local guys are doing after each day of the 1000, log onto The site provides real time coverage of the race at no charge.

Some of the Valley-based racers who skipped the 1000 will head south to the CODE Off-Road race in Mexicali this weekend.

Included will be Larry McCallum of Imperial. McCallum and Joe Hager of El Centro are taking their Class 5 unlimited buggy to Mexicali looking to duplicate the success they enjoyed at the last month's SCORE Baja 500.

In the 500 Hager and McCallum were leading by almost an hour, according to McCallum, when their vehicle's transmission went south.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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