CALIENTE, Nev. – Native Nevadan and high-flying Class 1 driver TJ Flores headed northwest to this legendary railroad town Saturday, June 23 bringing back a great event before heading home with yet another victory in this classic old railroad town about 150 miles north of Las Vegas.
SNORE’s annual Dusty Times 250, which didn’t return in 2011, came back in force this year and the tiny town with beautiful history and scenery welcomed the sport of off road racing with open arms as Flores led the field around a 56-mile course en route to a four-lap time of 5 hours, 4:28.062 minutes in the Valley Performance-prepared powerplant.
Kevin Colan finished runner up to his friend with a time of 6:03.30, while Nils Castillo was third with a time of 6:41.39.
“This is my sixth win in Caliente,” said Flores, a 34 year-old whose bright smile can be seen for miles. “We really had to be patient all day long. I didn’t have any flats and we didn’t hit any trees.”
In fact, Caliente is always a favorite both for its hospitality and a challenging course than included four water crossings, a tight and windy layout and endless trees happy to gobble up any driver who missed the line before veering off the road.
Throw in the steep drop of “Oh My God Hill” on the heading for the finish line and the Dusty Times 250 had enough going for it to create memories that will last a lifetime.
When you throw in the sights of long trains running alongside the SNORE timing trailer right in the heat of action, the setting was not only picturesque but action-packed from the time the flat dropped until Flores led the field around for his victory.
Clay Flippin powers through the water headed for his Class 10 victory.
And SNORE’s third race of the rich 2012 Kar Tek season attracted a strong field of 81 vehicles and its crews that packed any available room within 60 miles – while generating an estimated $4 million to the local economy.
“The race is always great for us,” said 64 year-old Bud Sanders, the owner Knotty Pine Casino which hosted the signups prior to the race and awards afterwards. “Everything works well together when SNORE is in town. This is always one of the town’s biggest weekends of the year and I wish we had them every weekend.”
Sanders who has owned the Knotty Pine for 23 years, moved to the community from Las Vegas where he had been a dry wall taper. A native of Oklahoma who was raised in Oregon before moving to Las Vegas in 1973, you won’t find a happier resident especially when SNORE comes to town.
“Caliente is a really friendly community with the old southwest atmosphere,” he said. “People help one another and also talk to one another. Then, too, the weather is good year around and it’s just a very nice community.”
Sanders has been friends with SNORE’s Kenny Freeman since the two were friends in the sport of off-road racing.
“We work their checkpoints for SNORE each year,” said Sanders. “I also met a great team from Arizona called Patent It. The driver is actually a patent attorney. People in off-road racing are fun people; they like to party and have fun.
“We just make it a party weekend and were on Checkpoint 10 this year. The Knotty Pine did well and I’m sure the whole town did well, too.”
Jordan Poole was one happy man after winning Class 13.
When the Knotty Pine and all of Caliente profited with the Dusty Times 250, the big field of drivers also had it share of winners.
Other class winners in the event included Tony Scott, Unlimited Truck; Clay Flippin, Class 10; Vic Bruckman, Class 10; Jordan Poole, Class 13; Darren Parsons, Class 1450; Steve Carbone, Class 15; Blaine Conrad, Class 16; John Pellisier, Class 18; Bill Dobbs, Class 5/1600; Steve Albrecht, Class 7; Kyle Cox, Class 9; Mark Murrell, Stock Bug; and Steve Scott, UTV.
Poole, another native Nevadan, captured Class 13 with a three-lap time of 4:33.57 in a one-minute victory over former stock car racer Mike Montes; while World Market Center employee John Pellissier scored his third Class 18 triumph of the year with a two-minute victory over Chuck Harvey.
SNORE’s next race on the Kar Tek schedule is the KC HiLites Midnight Special Sept. 7-9 in Lucerne, Calif.
Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts
Dusty Times 250
Final results, June 23
Overall – TJ Flores, 5:04.28.
Class 1 – 1. TJ Flores., 5:04.28; 2. Kevin Colan, 6:03.30; 3. Nils Castillo, 6:41.39.
Unlimited Truck – 1. Tony Scott, 6:13.00.
Class 10 – 1. Clay Flippin, 5:33.07; 2. Hunter Buettner, 6:29.06; 3. Blain McDonald, 6:43.06; 4. Roger Starkey, 6:44.41.
Class 12 – 1. Vic Bruckmann, 5:48.46; 2. Ken Tappert, 5:56.16; 3. Bob Dziurawiec, 5:57.07; 4. Greg Crews, 6:37.15; 5. Steve Waters, 7:05.52; 6. Michael Benedict, 7:38.00.
Class 13 – 1. Jordan Poole, 4:33.57; 2. Mike Montes, 4:34.57; 3. Emilee Almberg, 4:48.09; 4. Evan Dixon, 5:07.14; 5. Tom High, 5:37.10; 6. Bree Cloud, 5:37.38.
Class 1450 – 1. Darren Parsons, 4:54.21; 2. Kevin Mckeown, 5:24.24; 3. Andrew Leavitt, 5:49.26; 4. Frank Napoli, 6:15.10; 5. James Hall 6:59.40.
Class 15 – 1. Steve Carbone, 7:17.14.
Class 1600 – 1. Blaine Conrad, 5:32.52; 2. Jason Coleman, 5:41.00; 3. Jeff Bruner, 6:03.52; 4. Steve Cossey, 7:23.44.
Class 18 – 1. John Pellissier, 4:30.50; 2. Chuck Harvey, 4:32.56.
Class 5-1600 – 1. Bill Dobbs, 6:57.11.
Class 7 – 1. Steven Albrecht, 7:10.06.
Class 9 – 1. Kyle Cox, 4:58.08; 2.Giti Gowland, 5:06.14; 3. Troy Gentry, 5:52.59.
Stock Bug – 1. Mark Murrell, 6:00.32; 2. Steven Bertand, 6:02.07.
UTV—1. Steve Scott, 2:14.30.
Next race: Sept. 7-9, KC HiLites Midnight Special, Lucerne, Calif.