2015 Off-Road Racing Guide

December 18th, 2014 by Rachel Sheelam

Off-road racing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the country. Many races are nationally televised, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts throughout the country. There are three basic types of off-road racing: short course, desert and rock crawling, and each has its own series and sanctioning body.

Short Course:

An intense, high-speed off-roading competition, short course off-road racing consists of heavily modified vehicles battling door-to-door for first place on a short, closed-circuit dirt course. Short course off-road racing is a contact sport; the close-quarter racing features intense door-to-door action, providing spectators with non-stop entertainment. Short course off-road racing features crossover athletes from NASCAR, X Games, Supercross and desert racing.

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Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

The series of choice for 4 Wheel Parts President and CEO Greg Adler, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing is one of the most prominent short-course series in the country. Races are held in California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada throughout the 15-round racing season.

The Lucas Oil races are broken down into seven distinct classes: Pro 2, Pro 4, Pro Lite, Pro Buggy, Modified Kart, JR2 Kart and JR1 Kart. The Pro 2 and Pro 4 trucks are the fastest in the series, packing 700-900 horsepower.

The 2015 Lucas Oil Series Season will kick off in February at Glen Helen, CA. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit lucasoiloffroad.com

The Off Road Championship (TORC)

The Off-Road Championship features three separate and distinct classes: Pro4, Pro2 and Pro Lite. The signature event of the series is the annual Labor Day weekend “Spring Run” in Crandon, Wisconsin, packing more than 25,000 people into the small Midwest town for the event which includes the series’ World Championship and Cup Races.

Until recently, TORC was known as Traxxas TORC Series, until it was purchased by BJ Birtwell and his Armory advertising and Marketing agency, The Armory, in Aug. 2013. Currently in off season, TORC launches round 1-2 of the 2015 series in April in Dallas, TX. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit torcseries.com

Speed Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS (SST)

Featured in the 2014 Austin X-Games, Speed Energy Formula Off-Road series, founded by off-road racing icon Robby Gordon and presented by TRAXXAS, is one of the newest names on the off-road racing scene and one of the most unique. SST racing features identically-prepared spec trucks, producing over 600 horsepower in a nimble chassis competing on diverse, dynamic, high flying courses emphasizing driver skill and race strategy.

The tentative schedule for 2015 states that Speed Energy Formula Off-Road will hit the states for the 2015 season in late March in St. Petersburg, Fl. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit stadiumsupertrucks.com/ssts/

Desert:

Desert racing is the ultimate test of speed and endurance, for drivers and vehicles. The courses are long and winding tracks, often from one point to another and not a closed loop, covering up to 1200 miles of extremely harsh terrain. It is one of the oldest forms of organized off-road racing and continues to receive worldwide attention from racers, thrill seekers and spectators from around the globe with such legendary events as the grandfather of all desert racing: the Baja 1000.

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ULTRA4/King of The Hammers

ULTRA4 racing combines the intensity of short-course racing, the endurance of desert racing and the technical prowess of a rock crawling race. There are seven races in the ULTRA4 series, all of which are qualifiers for the King of The Hammers race in Johnson Valley, CA. Known as “the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet”, KOH began as a small group of friends who once raced for mere bragging rights and has since expanded into a national competition with over 300 competing teams.

The ULTRA4 series is unique both for its versatile course style and its trucks. ULTRA4 racing features vehicles ranging from modified stock based 4-wheel drive Jeeps to highly modified tube chassis 4-wheel drive open wheel race “cars” built to withstand the rigors of high speed racing and technical rock crawling. KOH week 2015 is set to take place from February 1-7. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit ultra4racing.com

SCORE

Founded by Mickey Thompson in 1973, SCORE is an international off-road racing series taking place in Mexico and the US. SCORE is internationally known for its signature event, the Baja 1000, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

Participants range from budget teams fielding vehicles to mildly modified classic Volkswagen Beetles to half-million dollar Trophy Trucks outfitted with 40-inch tires, 900 horsepower and extensive support personnel.

The next SCORE race, the San Felipe 250, is scheduled for Jan. 22-25 in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit score-international.com

Best in the Desert

Boasting the longest point to point race in the United States, The Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno event, the series conducts races on trails through the rugged Southwestern deserts of Arizona and Nevada. Other events include the famed Bluewater Desert Challenge and the Henderson “250”.

Best in the Desert Inc. participates in many local club races as well as the Professional and Sportsman Off-Road races each year. The season finale Henderson “250” was held just weeks ago in the beginning of December and it was a Team 4 Wheel Parts driver who took first in the race. The first car and truck race of the 2015 season will be in early February in Parker, AZ. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit bitd.com

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SNORE

Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) works to promote desert racing in the Las Vegas area. The SNORE races range from 250 to 400 miles of intense desert endurance trials and are open to vehicles of all makes and models, from 4 wheel drive Jeeps and trucks to Volkswagen bugs. SNORE is hailed as the oldest sanctioned off road racing organization in the world, having been formed in 1969.

The 2014 SNORE Terrible Herbst Motorsports Championship Series held its final race just this past weekend in Laughlin, NV and the 2015 season will begin in late February in Primm, NV. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit snoreracing.net

MORE

MORE, which stands for Mojave Off-Road Racing Enthusiasts was founded in 1997 by Jim Clements as a desert racing venue for any and all types of vehicles in Southern California. MORE races feature racing classes for everything from stock buggies to high-end unlimited racing vehicles, pitted against each other in a grueling test of endurance, ingenuity and, of course, speed.

MORE is involved with several charity efforts through its races, including the Powder Puff Race Towards a Cure and the Toys for Tots 200. The start of the 2015 Jamar Championship Series held by MORE will be two 4 ½ hour heats on January 17 in Barstow, CA. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit moreracing.net

NORRA

The National Off-Road Racing Association, or NORRA, is the group which brings you the Mexican 1000 each year, as it has been doing since 1967. The General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 is an on- and off-road rally open to vintage and alternative fueled vehicles.

The Mexican 1000 is 1,300-plus miles of grueling desert racing starting in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico and ending in San Jose Del Cabo. The 2015 race will be held from April 26-29 and registration begins January 1. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit norra.com

Rock Crawling:

Competitive rock crawling does not focus on the intense high-speeds and close quarters of short-course racing nor the long distance endurance of desert racing. Instead, rock crawling is about precise vehicle maneuvering and Building the best vehicle to handle the toughest terrain on the planet.

Vehicles range from modified Jeeps and 4×4 trucks to completely fabricated custom buggies. Essential modifications normally include large tires, a drivetrain and body built to withstand significant loads and abuse and low gears to move slowly over objects that, to observers, appear unsurmountable.

W.E.ROCK

Founded by Rich “Big Rich” Klein and based in Blackfoot, Idaho, W.E ROCK is the Nation’s Premier rock crawling organization. The World Extreme Rock Crawling Championships hosts both the W.E.ROCK racing series and the Dirt Riot Endurance racing series. The 2015 Dirt Riot Races are set to kick off in March, as will the W.E.ROCK series. For more information and the full 2015 race schedule, visit werocklive.com

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Rachel Bowes is a copywriter with 4 Wheel Parts

About the Author: Rachel Sheelam

The 4x4 and off-road lifestyle was all new to me when I first joined this team, but in the year since then I have developed a true passion for the automotive industry. I've learned more than I knew there was to know about trucks, Jeeps and SUVs - from suspension articulation physics to which types of tires are the best for wallowing in the mud. Whether it's the latest in automotive technology or the best 4x4's in film, I'm always on the lookout for the next big learning curve or news to share. You can keep up with me on my adventure into 4-wheeled life on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RachelBowesatTAP/posts

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