Saturday, February 7, 2009

Parker 425

(Chuck) Wednesday we arrived at Parker, AZ for the Bluewater Resort & Casino Parker “425” off road desert race. South of town we turned East on Shae Road. The spot where we stayed was 8.5 miles East of the intersection of 95 and Shae Road. It was between the posted mile markers 4 and 5. (Go figure?) This is also designated by signs as Area 10. That seems like a lot of directions, but if you really want to know where we are it is: (N 34 07.363 W114 09.300) 785’ elevation.

Thursday was the qualifying race, and the weather was beautiful. We watched the action in style. It was at times a little dusty. Karen Payne kindly gave Jan the mask, and she found it to be helpful. Here are some photos of the cars that my buddy Mickey Bennett took that day. He had some nice shots and shared them with us. Thanks, Mickey.

Friday was inspection day and we walked along the cars as they were lined up for inspection. They were required to show that they carried the necessary safety equipment, and passed all the requirements for their particular class. As we walked down the line of cars we talked with a crewmember of one of the cars. This is a punishing race. It is brutal on a driver and also on a vehicle. Last year 295 cars and trucks entered the race and 138 finished. The large trucks take three laps around the 138 mile track. Many of the finishers will find their way back in the dark on their last lap.

The cars will get about 5 miles per gallon of SP3 fuel which is 113 octane and costs $8.00 per gallon. That is about $680 of fuel. This is an expensive sport and the cars show it. They start the race in beautiful condition. Many will show the wear and tear of the desert in the end. We saw several that did not finish, some on trailers, and some by the roads with broken suspensions.

We parked our rig very close to the track with
hundreds of other RVers who attend this race. This photo is from the top of our rig looking towards town. There were just as many RVs on the other side of us.

This photo is looking at the track from the inside of our rig. It was dusty in the morning and raining in the afternoon and we had a private viewing box for the race. We will stay here for a few days and find some quiet time for ourselves after the race crowd leaves. Then we will head up to Lake Havasu City.

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