This episode is pretty special to me. The combination of my longstanding friendship with Jim Beaver and his dad Dan Beaver and the fact that we now have added the legendary Parker 400 to our series Unlimited Off-Road Racing. The value of this event and the culture of off-road racing in Parker, AZ cannot be understated. The Parker 400 was formed in 1971 as the Dam 500 and was one of the largest and most important events in our culture. The first major off-road race of the year Parker is where teams and manufacturers debuted their new vehicles and raced them through the legendary “Thunder Alley” when the race took place on both don’t the California and Arizona sides of the mighty Colorado River. The event attracted tens of thousands of spectators who watched from land as well as by boat as the vehicles raced along the shores of the Colorado River. We are on a mission to return this race to its rightful place at the top as we have done with The Mint 400 along with the city and people of Parker, the CRIT Indian tribes, racers, and spectators. Dan Beaver not only was a racer, but as the former Mayor of Parker, he had a hand in personally saving this race from ending twice. As we move forward to return The Parker 400 to its rightful place at the top of major global off-road races it’s important to me that we give props to all the people who have not only built this race but the culture of off-road racing. The racers, the pit crews, the fans, the volunteers, the vehicle builders, and the sponsors, all deserve a little love and respect. I am fortunate to be a part of this culture and help shepherd it forward to what it can be.
In this episode of the Off-Road Racer Podcast, I sit down with off-road racing legend and pioneer Dan Beaver with his son and my good friend Jim Beaver and talk about the history of off-road racing focusing on Parker, AZ, and the Parker 400. Dan talks about racing against some of the best racers of the time from Walker Evans to Parker, AZ native Manny Esquerra. I’m your host Matt Martelli, and this IS the Off-Road Racer Podcast powered by Monster Energy.