SNORE’s Rage at the River off-road race generates constant action while bringing thousands to Laughlin along the Colorado River
There was a rush on the city of Laughlin Dec. 9-11 when a throng of off-road racers, their fans and sponsors converged on the area for the annual Rush at the River, a Southern Nevada Off-Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) event that attracted some 250 competitors, their race machinery and fans from several states.
According to off-road experts, each off-road racer brings ten people ranging from mechanics to sponsors and fans. With Chamber of Commerce weather for the two days, Laughlin was a true playground; at least for racers who converged on the city about 90 miles south of Las Vegas.
“I couldn’t believe the amount of people at the driver’s meeting Friday night,” said Bill Shapley, SNORE’s race steward. “The tent had people wall-to-wall. There had to be at least 2,500 people there.”
Shapley’s statement fits perfectly with estimates for the Rage at the River, SNORE’s final race of the 2011 season. With two days of heat races over a 12.8-mile course just north of town, this race spectacular had everything from great action to a huge economic boost during what has been termed the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In a nutshell, off-road racers are a hearty group and the Rage at the River was proof of that. Not even economic meltdowns can keep off-roaders from traveling long distances to spend several days in the desert for good fun and good competition.
Racers loved the Rage at the River and so did the fans.
“It was really rough,” said Jason Coleman, a Southern California contractor who captured the 1600 class in a jam-packed field of 34 entries. “This was a lot of fun. I love being here.”
Coleman wasn’t alone in his assessment of the Rage at the River. Even those who weren’t quite as lucky agreed that off-road racing in Laughlin during December was the best possible therapy especially under glorious skies that produced shirt sleeve weather for the majority of each day.
“It was a great race,” said Las Vegas contractor Mark Hutchins, sitting in the back of his pickup while watching the action. “Everything was run on time both days.”
There was no question that the course included a combination of short-course and open desert. In what was a typical tough SNORE course, there are some who won’t forget the layout.
Among those who found the course especially challenging was Southern Nevada real estate executive Day Gang, who competed in the 1600 class.
“I ran hard all day and was running in fourth or fifth position on Saturday,” she said on Facebook after Saturday’s race. “On my last lap, I went for a pass on third place, caught a run and rolled. I’m super bummed that I did not finish my last lap, but stoked that I ran as fast as I did today. My co-dog Charlene did awesome and stayed calm during a pretty scary roll.
“Thank you to the course workers that eventually got us back over and thanks, too, to Josh for getting the car ready for Sunday.”
Class winners included automobile executive Steve Olliges, Unlimited Truck; Terry Householder, Class 1 Unlimited and unlimited; Michael
Lapaglia, Class 10; Beau Rush, Class 12; Jordan Poole, Class 13; Ryan Desautels, Class 1450; Richard Blunk, Class 15; Chas Dana, Class 3000; Steve Alexander, Class 5; Raul Solano, Class 5-1600; Jason Rodriguez, Class 7; Joe Patelli, Class 8; Michael Ward, Class 9; Dan Unsicker, Heavy Metal; Scott Wisdom, Stock Bug; Robert Roglin, Stock Full; and Jim Rossi, UTV Pro.
“Having a truck like this is really good in the rough stuff,” said Adam Householder, who drove the first day before turning over the driving duties to his father, Terry, on the second day. “The course is fun. It’s very fast and rough.”
The elder Householder said the family has been coming to Laughlin for many years.
“The race for us was trouble free,” said the 53 year-old Householder, a fire protection contractor in Orange, Calif. “We started on the fourth row Sunday and the dust was pretty bad for the first three laps. This is our third year with SNORE and overall we have been to Laughlin about six times.
“We will absolutely be back. My parents have been going to Laughlin since the 1970s.”
Kyle Conlon, who finished second in Class 1, knew Laughlin would be a good race. His second place finish in overall and Class 1 unlimited earned him the 2012 SNORE championship.
“For the most part, this track is pretty flat with some rough sections,” said Conlon. “It’s definitely a buggy track rather than a truck track. This is really one of those races where you push as hard as you can and you hope to win. You don’t want to push too hard on the first day and just get to the next day.”
All parties agreed that the Rage at the River near the Colorado River was definitely a highly-successful event.
“The Laughlin Tourism Commission was thrilled to host SNORE’s season ending event,” said MJ Smith of the Laughlin Tourism Commission. “It falls on our second slowest tourism weekend of the year and we love the excitement 4,000 off-road enthusiasts bring to town.”
SNORE President Brittany Burgos concurred with the final result.
“Rage at the River is a race everyone puts on their schedules no matter what organization they race in, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout for the 2011 RATR,” she said.
Hot off a challenging but rewarding 2011 season, SNORE heads into the 2012 campaign complete with a long list of sponsors jumping on-board for what promises to be another stellar campaign.
The season kicks off with the Dusty Times Battle at Primm Feb. 24-26 followed by the PCI Race Radios 30 at Ridgecrest, Calif., April 13-15; the Dusty Times 250
in Caliente June 8-10; the KC HiLites Midnight Special Sept. 7-9; the SNORE 250 Oct. 26-28 in Jean; before returning to Laughlin for the Rage at the River Dec. 7-9.
Further information can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net.
The team of Terry and Adam Householder teamed up to win overall and Class 1 titles during SNORE’s Rage at the River Dec. 10-11 in Laughlin, Nev.
SNORE’s Rage at the River drew about 250 entries while also providing the perfect backdrop of Laughlin, Nev. south of Las Vegas.
Kyle Conlon finished second in the overall and Class 1 Unlimited class at Laughlin to earn the 2012 SNORE points title.
The staging area was jam-packed with vehicles all day long during SNORE’s Rage the River in Laughlin.