Best In The Desert has announced that the BlueWater Resort Parker “425” Presented by Jimco Racing will run as scheduled with adjustments to the racecourse including moving the start, finish line, and main pit area to nearby Shea Rd. and shortening the course by 25 miles.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) making the difficult decision to close their reservation due to COVID-19 concerns. Out of deep respect for the CRIT, the local community of Parker, Arizona, and with public health safety in mind, Best In The Desert has modified the racecourse to avoid tribal land and will be implementing a rigorous COVID-19 mitigation policy which includes more stringent controls of activities in spectator parking areas. Spectators will be charged to park anywhere on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, new for the 2021 BlueWater Parker “425” Presented by Jimco Racing, as well as required to comply with the same COVID-19 policies as required of race participants and pit crews. This includes the mandatory wearing of masks on BLM land during the event.
Other changes to the program necessitated by the move to Shea Rd. includes not being able to hold Time Trials. Because the area out off Shea Rd. is only closed for the two days of actual racing that the BLM permit originally established, Best In The Desert will not be able to hold a Time Trials before the event.
“We want to make it very clear to everyone that we take racer and local community health concerns seriously, especially as it affects our partners at the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT),” adds Race Operations Mgr Jeff Phillips. “We will be implementing stringent COVID-19 mitigation protocols at the event. This includes following the guidelines established by La Paz County, and the town of Parker. And while neither currently requires masks while in the Town of Parker, we are highly recommending that all Best In The Desert racers, pit crews, sponsors, fans, and staff use masks while in the town of Parker as a display of common courtesy and appreciation for being their guest. In addition, we will be dropping the Time Trials from the program in an effort to minimize contact and minimize time required by the race teams in Parker..”
“Masks will be required by all Best In the Desert participants, racers, pit crews, and most important of all, spectators while in any designated pits areas including the start/finish lines and anywhere while on BLM land. We will also be enforcing social distancing protocol and will not be holding large group gatherings in any way, shape, or form. The Riders Meeting will be held virtually on Facebook Live and registration will be done on a pre-scheduled basis by vehicle class. Tech will be done as a drive-through process only. Our COVID-19 mitigation efforts in 2020 proved highly successful as none of our 2020 events contributed to overall levels of COVID-19 in any of the communities in which we were guests, and we plan to keep that record intact,” Phillips concluded.
The new race schedule can be found on the Best In The Desert website.
The race will remain a three-lap event with the new start and finish line moved to Shea Rd. at Osbourne Wash which is on BLM land near Parker, Arizona. Osbourne Wash is also the traditional start and finish area for the historic Parker “400.” With the adjusted racecourse for the 2021 BlueWater Resort Parker “425” Presented by Jimco being shortened to just shy of 400 miles, the Parker “425” is looking to become more like the Parker “400” which should delight racers, fans, and volunteers. Best In The Desert officials are diligently working on creating new race maps and updating Final Information Packets for the registered racers in time for the event.
“We are excited the race will take place as planned,” states Best In The Desert CMO Bryan Folks. “We had anticipated this possibility several months ago and had put contingency plans in place with the BLM to move the start/finish line to Shea Rd. For those unfamiliar with the history of the Parker ‘425,’ this is the traditional start/finish of the original Parker ‘400.’ Our race operations team has been wide open preparing for the upcoming event. The Parker ‘Pre-Fun Run’ is scheduled for January 8-10 and we invite everyone to come out and join us in the fun. All activities on Shea Rd. will be monitored for compliance with race regulations including the wearing of masks.”
The 2021 BlueWater Resort Parker “425” Presented by Jimco Racing will be held as planned on January 13-16, 2021, with the 2021 BlueWater Resort Parker “Pre-Fun Run” on the preceding weekend, January 8-10, 2021.
Despite the last-minute adjustments to the BlueWater Resort Parker “425” Presented by Jimco racecourse, Best In The Desert is expecting a healthy turnout of off-road truck and car racers hungry to start the year strong.