|The annual SNORE Race Fuel 250 is headed for Caliente next weekend. The race serves as a giant economic shot in the arm while also serving as a very challenging race.
By Mike Henle
CALIENTE -- The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) auto racing sanctioning body returns to Lincoln County after a brief absence and you can bet that the Race Fuel 250 will be met with open arms to this community situated about 180 miles north of Las Vegas.
With a field of about 85 entries along with a contingent of followers ranging from pit crews to your basic off-road racing fan, the invasion of SNORE will bring with it a huge boost to the town May 29-30.
Festivities kick off with a meet and greet at Caliente Elementary Friday from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in what has proven a wildly-popular start to the weekend as SNORE presents its third race of the six-race Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Championship Series.
Tech inspection and registration begins at 3 p.m. at the Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge.
On Saturday, race action begins at 8 a.m. at the local motocross track.
Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge owner Bud Sanders is among the business owners here who always look forward to SNORE bringing a crowd to what is normally a very quiet community.
“Oh yes, SNORE is great for business,” said Sanders, who is such an off-road enthusiast that he event works a checkpoint for the event. “Being a small community, we don’t have many special events and SNORE is a big spectator deal.
‘They do a great job with their PR especially as it relates to the meet and greet at Caliente Elementary. This is the event of the year for Caliente.”
The Knotty Pine has been in this community since the 1950s and serves as the perfect gathering spot especially when SNORE invades the neighborhood.
Running the Race Fuel 250 in Caliente also presents endless vantage points that include water and what’s referred to as “Oh My God Hill” that sees race machinery coming down the hill at a high rate of speed with plenty of bumpy terrain on the south side of town.
Laps will cover 42 miles and include everything from serious whoops and jumps to water; all of which combine for a very challenging event that has generated an economic impact of about $4 million according to the Nevada State Board of Tourism.
Founded in 1901, Caliente represents great history. The Union Pacific railroad was completed in 1905 and a fascinating train depot in Spanish mission architecture built in 1923 remains the focal points of the town.
Sanders, a graduate of the University of Oregon in Eugene before journeying south when the economy tanked, bough the Knotty Pines Inn in 1989 when the sheet rock business declined.
In Sanders’ words, “Work went to hell in a hand basket (in Las Vegas), the Knotty Pine Inn was available and the rest is history. Built in the 1950s, the Knotty Pine Inn and Casino has huge history and will also serve as sign-up headquarters for SNORE’s third event of the year.
SNORE’s value to the community has been evidenced by an estimated economic impact of $4 million economic impact according to the Nevada State Board of Tourism. Everyone has fun when making the trek to the town and the end result is certainly a positive experience for all concerned.
SNORE’s 2015 season will also include the KC HiLites Midnight Special Sept. 11-12 in Lucerne Valley, Calif.; the 46th annual SNORE 250 Oct. 23-24 in Kingman, Ariz.; and Rage at the River Dec. 11-13 in Laughlin.
Further information can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net.