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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Caked with sweat and the desert sand that had been lashing his face over hundreds of miles, Drino Miller rolled his hopped-up dune buggy to a stop. He was nine miles from the finish line of the 1970 Mexican 1000 - a grueling test for man and machine that he was achingly close to winning. It was the middle of the night. He was miles ahead of a field that included racing legend Parnelli Jones and actor James Garner. He had roared past dozens of battered racing vehicles stuck on the torturous dirt roads and non-roads of Baja California, their engines blown, suspensions shot and drivers exhausted.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Caked with sweat and the desert sand that had been lashing his face over hundreds of miles, Drino Miller rolled his hopped-up dune buggy to a stop. He was nine miles from the finish line of the 1970 Mexican 1000 - a grueling test for man and machine that he was achingly close to winning. It was the middle of the night. He was miles ahead of a field that included racing legend Parnelli Jones and actor James Garner. He had roared past dozens of battered racing vehicles stuck on the torturous dirt roads and non-roads of Baja California, their engines blown, suspensions shot and drivers exhausted.
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SPORTS
February 13, 1994 | STEVE KRESAL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rick Johnson found the best way to stay out of traffic in the Grand National Sport Truck class of the Mickey Thompson Off-Road racing series Saturday at Anaheim Stadium. Johnson, starting on the outside of the first row, got ahead of Roger Mears Jr. early in the first lap and pulled away to easily win the 12-lap main event before a sellout crowd of 47,833. "I think everyone got hung up behind Roger and it gave me some room," Johnson said. "I had to just focus in and run my race."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
A $5.8-million settlement has been reached with the relatives of those killed and a dozen who were injured when a truck competing in an off-road desert race careened into a crowd of spectators, their lawyers announced Wednesday. In the 2010 accident in the desert near Victorville, the truck, a modified Ford Ranger, went out of control during the California 200 race and went airborne, slamming into the crowd, killing eight and injuring dozens. The settlement, reached Tuesday, includes 12 of those injured.  Lawyers said the bulk of the settlement - about $4.8 million - would be paid by the Bureau of Land Management, which failed to follow its safety procedures during the race, an internal review found.
SPORTS
May 9, 1993 | ARA NAJARIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ivan Stewart seems to thrive on his son's misfortune. After Brian Stewart was turned upside down on the first lap of the Grand National truck main event, Ivan moved into first place and went on to win before 21,034 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. The victory was Stewart's second of the Mickey Thompson off-road racing series. Stewart, driving for Toyota, had bumped Brian out of the way on the second lap of the second heat and gone on to win.
SPORTS
January 30, 1993 | TOM HAMILTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rick Johnson, the winningest rider in supercross history, learned one important lesson last season in his debut as a Grand National sport truck driver in the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Championship Gran Prix series. "There's a fine line between driving smoothly and being aggressive," Johnson said. "If you drive too smoothly, you're going to get beat. If you drive too aggressively, you'll beat up the truck and make a lot of enemies along the way."
SPORTS
January 22, 1995 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If the Rams had seen their Anaheim Stadium field Saturday night, they would be even happier to go to St. Louis. The once pristine green grass of the football field was covered with 700 truckloads--more than 25 million pounds--of dirt that had been molded into a network of hummocks, bumps, berms and tight turns designed to create an atmosphere of desert terrain for the opening event of the eight-race Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing series.
SPORTS
June 4, 1989 | Associated Press
Robby Gordon and co-driver Russ Wernimont, who went most of the way without first and second gears, won the 390-mile Presidente SCORE Baja Internacional off-road race Saturday by nearly eight minutes over Ivan Stewart. Gordon and Wernimont, in a Ford pickup, lost about 15 minutes due to a mishap just 25 miles into the first of three laps around the 130-mile course through the desert and foothills west of here in Baja California. Gordon, 20, of Orange, and Wernimont, 25, of San Jacinto, had an elapsed time of 7 hours 2 minutes 44.4 seconds and an average speed of 60.76 m.p.h.
SPORTS
August 6, 1997 | MARTIN HENDERSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Christy Coats didn't have the faintest idea about auto racing when she met her husband, Darin, nine years ago. Nowadays, she and her two children can be found at most SCORE Desert Championship Series off-road racing events, breathing hot, dusty air and having a heck of a good time. She notes the camaraderie, even with other teams, as well as a more important reason: It's a great place to bring the family. "I feel really safe with my kids being out here," Christy Coats said.
SPORTS
July 14, 1988 | Shav Glick
Nine years ago, the late Mickey Thompson introduced off-road racing into a stadium setting with the first of his Off-Road Gran Prix events in the Coliseum. At that time, the feature attraction was the single-seater buggy class. Rick Mears, only a couple of months after winning his first Indianapolis 500, showed his off-road talents by winning the main event over his brother, Roger.
SPORTS
October 24, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series wraps up its season this weekend at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Riverside County. The series features different classes of trucks and other off-road vehicles. They'll practice Friday and race in separate rounds Saturday and Sunday. Carl Renezeder of Laguna Beach already has clinched the series title in the premier Pro 4 class, for four-wheel-drive, full-size trucks with engines of 700-plus horsepower. Renezeder also won the series' prior stop in Lake Elsinore in May. Other leading drivers in the series include Kyle Leduc of Beaumont and Greg Adler of Manhattan Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2010 | By Sam Quinones, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it has approved an off-road vehicle race this weekend in the Mojave Desert, where eight people were killed Aug. 14 during a similar race when a truck lost control and rolled into a crowd of spectators. The agency approved this weekend's race, presented by the American Motorcycle Assn., after a "very detailed" review and a "thorough assessment of public safety and crowd-control requirements," BLM Director Bob Abbey said in a statement.
OPINION
August 19, 2010
Off-road tragedy Re "Deadly crash stirs debate," Aug. 16 Regarding the tragic and deadly Mojave crash, I was saddened to see the usual finger-pointing to place blame. I know if I were into off-roading and came to this event, I would take personal responsibility and keep far back from trucks flying by. Even if fences are erected to create a safe zone, that still won't address one of the most disturbing sentences in the article: "On Sunday, empty beer and water bottles littered the area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2010 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
California's two U.S. senators Wednesday called on the federal Bureau of Land Management to explain why "proper precautions" were not in place for a Mojave Desert off-road race at which eight spectators were killed in a crash. In a letter to BLM Director Bob Abbey, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer asked the agency to explain what safety measures were required during the California 200 nighttime race, held on desert land overseen by the federal agency in the Lucerne Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2010 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
A desert off-road race from Las Vegas to Reno remains green-lighted for Friday even as the agency that regulates races across federal land reviews its safety policies after a crash that killed eight spectators during a similar event Saturday in San Bernardino County. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management, which permits more than 100 off-road races a year on desert land it oversees, said they are confident that adequate safeguards are in place for the Nevada race. But critics of the agency called the decision reckless, saying the bureau lacks the manpower and desire to ensure the events are safe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2010 | By Phil Willon and David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Fans of desert racing say nothing beats the danger, dust and noise of watching 3,500-pound trucks roaring past — close enough almost to touch — and then rocketing into the air over treacherous jumps with nicknames like "the rock pile. " The off-road derbies, which occur in remote stretches of the Mojave Desert, draw thousands and exist a world apart from the urban sprawl of Southern California. There are no guardrails, no enforced rules and no police to hold spectators back as they lean over the track with cellphones, snapping photos of oncoming trucks.
SPORTS
January 28, 1991 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An accident near a deserted mining town in the Arizona desert Saturday claimed the life of a passenger who was riding in the SCORE Parker 400 off-road race. Buzz Combe, 35, of Bonita, Calif., was riding in Mike Lund's Nissan Pathfinder near Swansea, Ariz., when the racing truck missed a 90-degree turn at the end of a seven-mile section of dirt road described as one of the faster portions of the 115-mile lap.
SPORTS
July 5, 1985 | TOM HAMILTON, Times Staff Writer
Eighteen years ago, Miguel (Mike) Leon traveled for five days on horseback into the mountains between Ensenada and San Felipe in Baja and found his Shangri-La. Deep inside the dry region at an elevation of 5,000 feet was a desert oasis Leon decided to call home. He claimed the land and decided to build a cabin retreat where he could hunt for deer or fish for trout in the stream that rolled through a lush meadow.
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