Gallery via Harlen Foley
Off-road racing veteran BJ Baldwin returned to the top step of the podium in Best in the Desert action by winning Saturday’s Parker 425, the first round of the year for car and truck classes in the championship. Baldwin’s winning time of 5:45:55.050 in the #97 Trick Truck was more than seven minutes faster than any other entry, and over 13 minutes ahead of his closest competition in the premier class.
Nic Whetstone (5:58:56.897) and Alex Wacker (6:04:43.174) completed the Trick Truck podium, as neither of last year’s top two title contenders managed to finish in the top five. Defending champion Kyle Jergensen would salvage an eighth place result, more than two and a half hours off of Baldwin’s winning pace, but the flex plate on the Concrete Motorsports truck of Kevin Thompson and Harley Letner would fail 75 miles into the race, leading to a DNF.
That opened the door for the top 6100 class racers on the overall charts, and the top three finishers in the division all would have podiumed had they been running in Trick Truck. Defending Class 1000 champion Conner McMullen made the most of his move up by scoring the class win at 5:53:09.094, defeating top qualifier Brent Fox by 2:33 and Justin Blower by 5:31. 6100 was the most closely matched class on Saturday, with the top seven finishers coming home less than an hour apart.
In the car classes competing on Saturday, Chip Prescott took the Unlimited Car victory and Nick Carolan continued his dominance of Class 6200. Friday’s big winner was Preston Brigman, who took the 1000 victory by nearly six minutes over James Ford and more than 20 minutes over Keith Waibel.
Best in the Desert resumes its 2022 season on February 17-20 with UTVs, motorcycles, and quads taking on the UTV Legends Championship in Laughlin, Nevada; the car and truck classes will make their annual Laughlin visit on October 20-23 instead, for the season-ending Laughlin Desert Classic. All of BITD’s divisions will be back in action together on April 28-30 for the Silver State 300 in Alamo, Nevada.