|Southern California driver Roger Starkey has a narrow lead over Southern Nevadan John Pellissier in the 2012 SNORE Kar Tek points standings.
By Mike Henle
LAS VEGAS -- With the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts at the halfway point of the 2012 SNORE KarTek season, Southern California Class 10 competitor Roger Starkey is on the gas.
After mounting 1,974 points to hold a narrow four-point lead over Las Vegas Class 18 driver John Pellissier, Starkey is coming off a fourth-place class finish in the Dusty Times 250 run in Caliente, Nev. June 23 after taking victories in the Battle at Primm in January and the PCI Radios 300 in Ridgecrest, Calif., in April. In addition, the 28 year-old Starkey has a 454 point lead over Hunter Buettner in the Class 10 standings after taking class triumphs at the Battle of Primm in January and Ridgecrest in April.
For Starkey, it was first-things first when it came to off-road racing. Now involved in medical device sales for St. Judes Medical, he can concentrate on two careers.
“I got back into the sport about three years ago,” said the resident of Burbank, Calif., adding that he took eight years off from the sport to get his college education. “I went to college at Arizona State University majoring in business; and then went to the University of South Carolina for my graduate degree.”
With his education now firmly tucked under his belt, Starkey can follow a family tradition of off-road racing that was started by his father, Roger, Sr.
“Our parents encouraged us to get our college degrees,” explained the younger Starkey, who began off-road racing in high school. “My two older sisters also got their degrees. Our grades were always No. 1 in our family. It wasn’t a choice.”
Now sporting a new Class 10 car, off-road racing with SNORE could also prove profitable if Starkey scores class and overall titles this year.
And besides, there is nothing like getting out in the desert and planting his foot to the floor. Friendships made while racing with SNORE last for decades.
With a crew that includes his dad; along with his sister, Michelle Eyman and her husband, Zach; along with several friends the SNORE series is a great family experience.
“We love it out there,” Starkey said. “There is a huge adrenalin rush that you get for 4-6 hours. We love the fact that we can bring good equipment and put ourselves through a real test.”
In the same breath, Starkey is enthusiastic about running the SNORE KarTek series.
“This is my first year running full-time with SNORE,” he said. “It’s an awesome experience. We’re going to try hard to win the championship. I’m a super-competitive guy.”
Starkey broke a tie rod in Caliente in a car that actually started out as a Class 12 before the team added modifications.
“Hopefully, we won’t have too many problems,” Starkey said. “It would be nice if I could add that extra notch and win the SNORE title.
“It would definitely be icing on the cake.”
SNORE’s next race is the Midnight Special Sept. 7-9 in Lucerne Valley, Calif. Further information can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net.
2012 SNORE Kartek Point Series
Overall standings: 1. Roger Starkey, Class 10, 1,974. 2. John Pellissier, Las Vegas, 1,970; 3. Blaine Conrad, Class 1-2 1600, 1,932; 4. Jason Coleman, Class 1-2 1600, 1,888; 5. Greg Crew, Class 12, 1,725; 6. Jeff Bruner, 1-2 1670; 7. Robert Johnson, Class 11, 1,628; 8. Giti Gowland, Class 9, 1,612; 9.Michael Benedict, Class 12, 1,555; 10. Hunter Buettner, Class 10, 1,520;