From the most grueling desert terrain in the world to the stop-and-go of your daily commute, Anywhere is Possible with General Tire! Here’s a look at the biggest news in the world of off-road racing this week:
Best in the Desert: Parker 250 Recap
After losing last year’s UTV Turbo title to Mitch Guthrie Jr. with a DNF in Laughlin, Phil Blurton returned to his winning ways by taking the top spot in the Parker 250 presented by Polaris RZR. Blurton beat Austin Weiland by just over a minute, with Jacob Carver edging out Randy Romo for third.
The top three finishers in UTV Production were separated by under 10 minutes, as Kaden Wells beat Joe Bolton and Robby Gordon on the class podium. Gordon split time with his son Max, who at just 11 years old drove the second and third laps of the three-lap race. In UTV Unlimited, defending class champion Michael Isom scored the victory by more than 19 minutes over Shane Redline.
With Guthrie Jr. competing at the Dakar Rally, Mitch Guthrie Sr. filled in for his son and scored a seventh place finish, while defending UTV Production champion Seth Quintero also scored a top 10. Other notable UTV Turbo finishers included Jim Beaver in 21st, defending race winner Dustin Jones in 23rd, defending Baja 1000 winner Justin Lambert in 25th, Brandon Schueler in 30th, Matt Burroughs in 32nd, and Branden Sims in 33rd.
Jacob Argubright scored the motorcycle victory, with Ben Meza and Kevin Dejongh bringing Skyler Howes’ bike home seventh as Howes continues to battle for a top 10 finish at the Dakar Rally.
The second half of the 2020 Dakar Rally was marred by tragedy on Sunday, when motorcycle rider and 2015 Dakar runner-up Paulo Gonçalves passed away after a crash. Motorcycles and quads took Monday’s loop stage off to mourn their fallen friend, but the event continues with just four more stages from Tuesday to Friday.
In an event where an American has never taken an overall victory, two out of the five categories may go to the stars and stripes in 2020. Ricky Brabec has consistently been the motorcycle category leader, while Casey Currie has traded the overall lead multiple times with Chaleco Lopez and held onto it heading into Tuesday. Elsewhere, all three Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team entries have taken stage wins, although mechanical issues for Mitch Guthrie Jr. on Stage 7 ended his hopes of an overall top 10. Other Americans with high hopes of top 10 results include AJ Jones, who entered Tuesday sixth in the SSV class, and Skyler Howes, who was eighth in motorcycles.
For in-depth coverage of this year’s Dakar Rally, click here.