|The Gold Strike Hotel Casino rolled out the red carpet for the 44th annual John Calvin Memorial SNORE 250 Nov. 2 south of Las Vegas.
By Mike Henle
JEAN, Nev. -- Utilizing a storyline that has become almost commonplace for the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts, the 44th annual John Calvin Memorial SNORE 250 established another milestone here about 35 miles south of Las Vegas on Nov. 2.
Established in 1969, SNORE overcame challenges related to the government shutdown to draw a good field while also boosting the Gold Strike Hotel Casino in Jean.
Driving home its always-consistent effort, SNORE about 80 entries from several states to a tough desert layout dominated by Unlimited Truck and overall winning TJ Flores of Las Vegas.
Every successful off-road race requires intense planning and dedication on the part of the promoting body and the SNORE 250 wasn’t any different although the government shut down before the race made the challenges even tougher to overcome.
However, the end result was a happy hotel casino that appreciated what the event did for its bottom line.
Long-time Southern Nevada hotel executive Curt Thompson, who serves as executive director of both the Gold Strike and Railroad Pass hotel casinos in Southern Nevada, wanted the event badly – and he showered praise at what the event did for the Gold Strike.
“We were delighted with the final result,” said Thompson, whose days in off-road racing stretch back to the Mint 400 and Frontier 500 in the 1970s and 1980s. “The race was very good for us and we booked about 100 rooms even with the threat of the government shutdown.
“Considering the first weekend of November when all of Southern Nevada is usually a little soft, we did well. We’d absolutely love to have SNORE back again.”
From the tech inspection the day before the race to the main event Saturday and the awards on Sunday, the response was very positive.
“We had rave reviews from everyone,” Thompson added. “I even spoke with some of the people with the Bureau of Land Management; and they said there were no problems at all. We also own two gas stations and two convenience stores and they were busy all weekend. Special events especially during weaker dates are important to hotel casinos and this one was excellent.”
Thompson also had good things to say about the Gold Strike personnel that enthusiastically embraced the race and its competitors, pit crews and sponsors.
In a nutshell, the event was a true team effort on every conceivable front.
While the dedicated members of SNORE worked behind the scenes to deliver a homerun, the drivers in the event gladly accepted the challenging course. In particular, Flores roared to a four-lap time of 3 hours, 53.04 minutes in a performance that saw the native Southern Nevadan continue a sparkling career.
Pat Dean of Las Vegas captured Class 1 Unlimited and was second overall with a time of 4:00.53 while Cody Freeman of Henderson shot to the Class 10 and third overall spot with a time of 4:08.30.
Flores also captured the KC HiLites 250 last June in Jean.
Other John Calvin Memorial SNORE 250 class winners included Michael Duenas, 12; Mike Montes, 13; Darren Parsons, 1450; John Morgan, 15; Justin Smith, 1600; John Pellissier, 18; Trevor Messina, 2000; Eric Trondle, 3000; Ben Swift, 5; Michael King, 5/1600; Jason Cobb, 7; Nick Lantz, 7S; Arturo Benavides, 8; Kyle Vizzo, 9; and Ed Mahoney, Stock Bug.
“We did three laps,” said Montes. “We led the entire race from start to finish although we did have a spare tire issue on the second lap and on the third lap we had a flat.”
Mike Montes of Las Vegas powers to the Class 13 victory during the Nov. 2 running of the 44 annual John Calvin Memorial SNORE 250 at Jean, Nev. (Phil Kaos photography)
The 45 year-old Montes, a former stock car racer, said he’s enjoying his new career in off-road racing.
“I really like the camaraderie of the sport,” said Montes, a native Las Vegan. “When we had our challenges this past weekend, there were members of other teams coming over to help us at. That’s the biggest thing I like about he sport.”
Montes said he’ll be back for the Rage at the River in December.
“The people who race off-roading must be dedicated,” said Montes. “This isn’t anything like stock car racing, that’s for sure.”
The event was also the 44th running of the SNORE 250 for the off road auto racing group that was founded in 1969.
The race was the fifth of six events in the Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Garage Series. SNORE will wrap up the season Dec. 13-15 with the Rage at the River in Laughlin.
Race Director Kenny Freeman said the always-popular Rage at the River race would probably draw about 200 entries.
Further information can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net.
Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiast
John Calvin Memorial SNORE 250 race results
Saturday, at Jean, Nev.
Unlimited Truck – 1. No. 80 TJ Flores 3:53.04, four laps, first overall; 2. No. 61 L Smiley 4:26.18, four laps; 3. No. 86 Gregg Hempel 5:11.22.
Class 1 Unlimited – 1. No. 157 Pat Dean 4:00.53, four laps, second overall; 2. No. 151 Mike Mitchell 4:09.50, four laps; 3. No. 156 Richard Boyle 4:09.50, four laps; 4. No. 166 Billy Worthing 5:09.36, four laps; 5. No. 192 Allen Cluck 6:03.43, four laps.
Class 10 – 1. No. 1002 Cody Freeman 4:08.30, four laps, third overall; 2. No. 1048 John Hsu 4:23.38, four laps, 4:23.38; 3. No. 1022 Keith Waibel 5:01.42, four laps; 4. No. 1015 Ken Flippin 5:40.23, four laps; 5. No. 1047 Joseph Gunning 5:52.40, four laps,
Class 12 – 1. No. 1298 – Michael Duenas 4:53.28, four laps; 2. No. 1216 Randy Jones 4:55.29, four laps; 3. No. 1227 Justin Buckley 4:59.13, four laps; 4. No. 1215 Michael Benedict 5:50.46, four laps.
Class 13 – 1. No. 1360 Mike Montes 4:09.21, three laps; 2. No. 1336 Bree Cloud, 4:15.41, three laps; 3. No. 1307 Richard Robinson 4:23.16, three laps.
Class 1450 – 1. No. 1447 Darren Parsons 3:30.30, three laps; 2. No. 1444 Josh Taylor 3:47.17, three laps; 3. No. 1413 Sal Gomez 6:11.56, three laps.
Class 15 – 1. No. 1545 John Morgan 5:42.10, three laps; 2. No. 1551 Samantha Richard 6:08.21, three laps; 4. No. 1529 Steve Carbone 6:24.56, three laps.
Class 1600 – 1. No. 1619 Justin Smith 4:52.50, four laps; 2. No. 1685 Vince Viola 5:08.34, four laps; 3. No. 1621 James Dean 5:25.01; 4. No. 1641 Robbie Madison, 5:27.20, four laps; 5. Lucas Knecht 5:35.46, four laps.
Class 18 – 1. No. 1800 John Pellissier 3:59.52, three laps; 2. No. 1802 Anthony Perrucci 4:15.52, three laps; No. 1877 Thomas Morales 5:30.22, three laps.
Class 2000 – 1. No. 2083 Trevor Messina 4:18.57, three laps; 2. No. 2028 Kevin McKeown 4:26.05, three laps; No. 2015 3. No. 2015 Ken Leavitt 6:54.56, three laps.
Class 3000 – 1. No. 3003 Eric Trondle 5:35.32.
Class 5 Unlimited -- 1. No. 555 Ben Swift 6:02.02, four laps.
Class 5/1600 – 1. No. 555 Michael King 4:40.37, four laps; 2. No. 566 Nicholas Gross 5:31.58, three laps.
Class 7 – 1. No. 7277 Jason Cobb 5:39.05.
Class 7S – No. 7177 Nick Lantz 6:23.35, three laps.
Class 8 – 1. No. 809 Arturo Benavides 2:50.24, two laps.
Class 9 – 1. No. 928 Kyle Vizzo 4:09.45, three laps; 2. No. 989 Corey Torres 4:16.42; 3. No. 966 Jeff Johnson 4:42.14, three laps.
Stock Bug – 1. No. 1189 Ed Mahoney 3:50.24, two laps; 2. No. 1179 Michael Brenner 6:08.38, two laps. Next race – Rage at the River, Laughlin, Nev., Dec. 13-15.