“Life is an Adventure. Come live your adventure with Best In The Desert!” Casey Folks

Everything You Need to Know About Best In The Desert

Posted September 24, 2019

Racing has been a part of our culture since the rise of civilization. From foot races to chariot races to motor vehicle races, there is something about being faster than our peers that gives us a rush. It’s hard to imagine a better race course than a wide, flat desert with challenging features. Add in motor vehicles with impressive horsepower, terrain, and endurance and you’ve got yourself a competition.

Best In The Desert

Best In The Desert (BITD) is an off-road racing series that started in 1984 by Casey Folks, a decorated off-road motorcycle racer. The series started as a motorcycle racing association with the first two organized races held in 1985 and 1986. In 1987, the association became an official organization with three full race series including the World Championship Hare and Hound, the Las Vegas 300, and the US Hare Scrambles Championship. By the 1990s, the series added more and more events and BITD became a recognized name in the off-road racing community.

In 1996, Best In The Desert introduced four-wheel vehicles to their motorcycle series. All the most popular races in the BITD series, including the off-road race from Vegas to Reno, were now open to more classes of vehicles. By adding more events and allowing more classes to participate, BITD expanded its reach across the US.

The most notable BITD events over the past 35 years include:

  • Nevada 2000 “Race into the Millenium”
  • Nevada 1000
  • Baja Mex 300
  • Vegas to Reno
  • Vegas to Reno The Long Way

Off-Road Racing

Off-road racing takes place off-highway, on designated dirt roads that are usually on government recreational land regulated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Desert racing courses are run on tracks ranging from 25 miles to 1,000 miles. The races are open to several different motor vehicles including:

  • Motorcycles
  • Quads
  • UTVs
  • Trucks
  • Cars

Off-road racing competitions consist of long-distance desert racing and short course racing. There are also subcategories depending on the racing vehicle, or class. For instance, off-road desert races include point-to-point and loop races open to all vehicles while truck racing has its own events involving trick racing.

Point-to-Point Desert Races

Point-to-point desert races take place over long distances starting in one location and ending in another. One of the most famous point-to-point race is the BITD Vegas to Reno, the longest off-road race in the United States. It is open to all vehicles, and depending on the event’s mileage, can take place over multiple days.

Loop Races

Loop races are desert races that start and end at one location. They take place on wide-open courses in the desert and also range in mileage. Loop races are open to all vehicles including trick trucks. Along the loop, there are a variety of features and challenging sections that drivers race over.

Short Course Races

Short course races are run on closed courses usually no more than five miles long. The races are run both outside and inside stadiums. The courses consist of sharp or wide bank turns, washboard straightaways, and gravel pits among other challenges.

BITD Races

There are typically eight races in the Best In The Desert racing series each year. The remaining events for 2019 include:

  • Oct. 10-13: 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic; Laughlin, NV
    “Duel in the Desert”

  • Dec. 21: 2019 End of Year Awards Banquet; Sunset Station, Henderson, NV

The 2020 season starts in January 2020 and includes races BITD have become known for including the Laughlin Desert Classic and Vegas to Reno. The race schedule for 2020 includes:

  • Jan. 10-11: 2020 Parker “250”; Parker, AZ
    “Showdown in the Desert”

    • Open to Motorcycles, Quads and UTVs
    • 250 miles
  • Jan. 22-26: 2020 Parker “425”; Parker, AZ
    “The Legend Lives On”

    • Open to Cars and Trucks
    • 425 miles
    • Pre-run: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020
  • Feb. 20-23: 2020 Laughlin Desert Classic; Laughlin, NV
    “Duel in the Desert”

    • Open to Cars, Trucks and UTVs,
    • 17-mile loop
    • Time trials: Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
  • Mar. 20-22: 2020 U.S. Desert Scrambles Championship; Laughlin, NV
    “A Desert Race in a Class of its Own”

    • Open to Motorcycles, Quads and UTVs
    • Family Poker Run- UTVs only
  • April 30-May 3: 2020 Silver State “300”; Alamo, NV
    “The Scenic Byways of Nevada”

    • Open to All Classes
    • 300 miles
    • Points for all classes
    • Pre-fun run: April 10 & 11
  • Aug. 12-15: 2020 Vegas to Reno; Las Vegas, NV- Reno, NV
    “The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States”

    • Open to All Classes
    • 550 miles
    • Race on Friday
    • Time Trials: Aug. 12. 2020
  • Sept. 24-27: 2020 Battle Born “250”; Tonopah, NV
    “An Epic Off-Road Race”

    • Open to All Classes
    • 250 miles
    • Time Trials: Sept. 24, 2020
    • No pre-fun run
  • Oct. 22-25: 2020 BlueWater Desert Challenge; Parker, AZ
    “The American Challenge Continues”

    • Open to All Classes
    • Time Trials: Oct. 22, 2020
    • No pre-fun run

Racing Classes

Best In The Desert has rules and regulations to create competing classes. The events in this series welcome 25 different desert racing classes including:

  • Trick Trucks: unlimited trucks or SUVs
  • Class 1000: one or two-seat open-wheeled cars with unlimited suspension, and a limited displacement engine
  • Class 1100: one or two-seat open-wheeled cars with twin beam front suspension and a limited displacement engine
  • Class 1200:pure-stock production full-size trucks or SUVs
  • Class 1500: unlimited one or two-seat open-wheeled car
  • Class 1700: Jeepspeed challenge- stock class
  • Class 2000: open-wheel single & two-seat cars limited to 1600CC VW engine & VW type-1 suspension system
  • Class 2700: Jeepspeed Cup – intermediate class
  • Class 3000: spec engine mini, car, truck or SUV sealed production engines
  • Class 3700: Jeepspeed Outlaws – modified class
  • Class 4400: Ultra 4 – King of the Hammers type vehicles
  • Class 4700: Jeepspeed Trophy -open class
  • Class 5000: unlimited Baja sedan
  • Class 6000: TrophyLite trucks
  • Class 6100: spec engine trick truck – unlimited truck or SUV with sealed Ford and GM spec engine
  • Class 6200: spec engine unlimited; one or two-seat open-wheel car with sealed Ford and GM engines
  • Class 7100: Sportsman Mini or mid-sized trucks or SUVs
  • Class 7200: mini trick truck unlimited trucks or SUVs
  • Class 7300: pure-stock production mini or mid-size trucks or SUVs
  • Class 8100: unlimited Sportsman trucks or open-wheeled cars
  • Vintage: four-wheel vehicles that are 1989 or older (4501-4599)
  • Pro Turbo UTV: turbocharged production UTV with OEM stock 1000cc engine (T800-T999)
  • Pro Production UTV: normally aspirated production UTV with OEM engine, 1000cc max. (1800-1999)
  • Pro Unlimited UTV: production vehicles with modified engines 1000cc max; pro UTV unlimited (2900-2950)
  • Pro RS1 UTV: normally aspirated production UTV single seat with OEM engine, 1000cc max
  • Rally UTV: UTV rally Sportsman (U900-U999)
  • Sportsman UTV: vehicles classified as UTV’s by Best In The Desert but not built to Pro Rules; Sportsman (2951-2999)
  • Pro Motorcycle: open pro (N) – 300 pro (X); over 30 pro (P); over 40 pro (C)
  • Motorcycle: open exp/am (300) – 300 exp/am (200); over 30 exp (500); over 40 exp (700); over 50 exp (800); Ironman exp/am (O)
  • Quad: quad pro (Q); exp/am (400); ironman exp/am (600)

BITD Racers

Best In The Desert has seen some impressive racers in the past 35 years. Some notable names in the off-road racing world who raced with BITD include:

  • Andy McMillin
  • Antron Brown
  • BJ Baldwin
  • Brandon Schueler
  • Branden Sims
  • Chad Hall
  • Corky McMillin
  • Curt LeDuc
  • Dan Smith
  • Danny Hamel
  • Dave Ashley
  • Dax Shepard
  • Destry Abbott
  • Harley Letner
  • Jacob Argubright
  • Jason Voss
  • Jay Leno
  • Jenson Button
  • Jessie Combs
  • Johnny Campbell
  • Judy Smith
  • Justin Lofton
  • Mark McMillin
  • Mike Groff
  • Mitch Guthrie Jr
  • Pat Dean
  • Patrick Dempsey
  • Phil Blurton
  • Quinn Cody
  • Ricky Johnson
  • RJ Anderson
  • Rob MacCachren
  • Robbie Groff
  • Robby Gordon
  • Rod Hall
  • Sam Berri
  • Skyler Howes
  • Steve Hengeveld
  • Travis Pastrana
  • Ty Davis

Future of Best In The Desert

Best In The Desert founder Casey Folks passed away in 2017. The series is now run by Casey’s two sons, Bryan and Daryl Folks. Other key players that keep the races safe, exciting, and affordable include Donald Jackson as Race Operations Manager, Liz Marshall as Event Coordinator, and Sheri Folks as Finance Manager.

With four decades behind BITD, we are excited to see what the future holds. There are plenty more areas to be explored and the world of off-road motorsports is not slowing down anytime soon. Like our founder, Casey Folks, we live life like an adventure. We invite you to come live your adventure with Best In The Desert.