Share your stories and memories of Casey Folks

Dirty Harry

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The desert racing community suffered a huge blow with the death of Casey Folks. @JoeyD had a great memorial to Casey earlier this week on Facebook.

"I'm pretty sure he was making fun of my red shoes in this photo, or he was chewing me out for not returning his call right away, or telling me to stop blabbing on the stupid Internet. Regardless, being able to work alongside and also be able to participate in so many of his great events over the years has played a huge and positive role in my career. We all take for granted this mans hard work and dedication to our sport. I have so much respect and admiration for him as as a person and as a professional. This sport is what it is because of men like Casey Folks. A true mans-man. Hard nosed and at times hard headed but always putting the racers and the sport he loves first. I haven't always agreed with his decisions, and there are times when I question why he does things the way he does. But things I will never question are his work ethic, integrity, honesty and commitment."

Consider this thread a place where we can all come together and grieve and share our favorite stories and most memorable moments with Casey until we join him at the finish line on the other side.
 

masleca

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I've got to go find our in car footage,,,,,,or I'll get Jim Moulton to find it,
but in 2011 we were running the Parkhouse 12 car for the Class 1100 championship at the Henderson Race (against none other than Casey's son Brian in the Banning's Car).
We ended up winning the race and the Championship, but when we went back through the In-Car footage we found a place out in the middle of the desert (in the snow !!!) where Casey was jumping up and down, all excited, waving us on to our victory.
I'll never forget how excited he was just to see another racer having a great day !!!

Off Road Racing in the WORLD is going to miss this man and his Passion for Good, Safe Racing !!!

Vaya Con Dios, Casey !!!!
 

JoeyD23

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The desert racing community suffered a huge blow with the death of Casey Folks. @JoeyD had a great memorial to Casey earlier this week on Facebook.

"I'm pretty sure he was making fun of my red shoes in this photo, or he was chewing me out for not returning his call right away, or telling me to stop blabbing on the stupid Internet. Regardless, being able to work alongside and also be able to participate in so many of his great events over the years has played a huge and positive role in my career. We all take for granted this mans hard work and dedication to our sport. I have so much respect and admiration for him as as a person and as a professional. This sport is what it is because of men like Casey Folks. A true mans-man. Hard nosed and at times hard headed but always putting the racers and the sport he loves first. I haven't always agreed with his decisions, and there are times when I question why he does things the way he does. But things I will never question are his work ethic, integrity, honesty and commitment."

Consider this thread a place where we can all come together and grieve and share our favorite stories and most memorable moments with Casey until we join him at the finish line on the other side.
True story. In front of the entire UTVWC drivers meeting he slayed me for my red shoes. lol

Casey and I had a couple rather "interesting" discussions, one recently. We spent an hour or so on the phone hashing out some disagreements and discussing some other stuff we both wanted to see fixed and improved. He let me have it over a story or comment I posted on my site which someone had sent to him via messenger pigeon (the joke I always said as to how you have to communicate with him), reminding me that while he knew my business was the internet he still thought it was stupid. lol The call ended with him and I both sharing our appreciations for one another and reaffirming to each other that no matter the discussion, good or bad, in the end we would remain friends, respectful to one another and most important appreciative of both of our goal of growing our sport and in my case the UTV class.

He hated the internet and admitted to me in the call that he had never read or visited my website one time. I laughed, I told him not to bother visiting as it may just upset him even more when he saw all the other things I had said. But he did tell me, that he appreciated what I did and do for the sport. I am lucky enough to receive praise and comments of appreciation for my work, and its always nice. But it was extra special hearing it from Casey. It was sort of like that feeling you might get from a parent, grandparent, or mentor who for so many years rides your ass for all the mistakes you make but never seems to point out the positives. Then one day you get that positive and you realize they do care, and they do take notice and it means more than anything else. That was how I felt that day.

Every time I spoke to Casey it always sounded like he was calling me Joy and Joey, lol, but he would always call me "young man" - "how ya doin' there young man". It was like my grandpa talking. Casey and I weren't close to the point that he knew my family, but we shared some stories from time to time. A lot of times when I would see that I missed a call from BITD or he would call me and the BITD name would pop up I would think, oh man here we go. What did I do this time... lol But I would always hang up thinking to myself what a good guy he was no matter how hard ass'd he was.

I am going to miss the ass chews, the ball busting, jokes, and praise I got from Casey. More than that, I am going to miss seeing him at the races doing what he loves to do. My heart aches for Diane and those he worked with on a daily basis as well as his family. The world lost a very special person. Our sport lost an irreplaceable icon, ambassador and legendary personality. Our sport and world is a better place thanks to Casey Folks. He left his mark and he used his time on earth in a way that God, his family, friends and peers and himself should be very proud of.

Enjoy your rest Mr. Folks, you earned it. I hope to see you on the other side.

BOOYAA!
 

masleca

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I don't know if Tracy Graf is on here,,,,,,,,I hope he won't mind me sharing this, but he posted such a great video on the FB of Casey going over and waving the Canadian Flag for him.
It's really really cool and is another example of Casey's enthusiasm for every one of us.

This may work:
 

masleca

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Go look it up on Tracy's Profile and give it a "Like"
 

bajaxp

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At the BITD awards banquet one year, I tried to bust Casey's huevos by saying, 'dude, what's up with the college professor costume,' where he promptly put me in my place by saying, '...just remember, you race a golf cart.' BOOOYA!!!

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truckwerks

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I have known Casey since day 1. I helped him write the original rules for the first season. I last saw him at Pahrump and only saw him for a split second because he was running as always. Casey is a class act and made things happen that the rest of us just think about. RIP Casey, you are already missed and be remembered along with Walt Lott. You two have fun together.
 

WickedGravityVideo

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One little known feature of Casey's races in the mid 2000s was the Media Ride-along at the qualifying course immediately before the qualifying hot lap. I was a new, green media guy at the 2005 (or 2006) Henderson 400 qualifying. I was comfortable with my camera, but knew almost nobody in the dez racing world. I was supposed to take a lap with Pistol Pete in his three seater Geiser, but my hips were too wide (fat). So, Casey called up another badass 2 seater Class 1 car. As I got strapped in for my first-ever unlimited vehicle ride, I whined about who the hell I was trusting my life with. Casey laughed and said " This, my friend, is Chuck Hovey. There is hardly a better driver around today. You, my friend, are in good hands!" . Chuck Hovey did give me an e-ticket ride I will never forget. It blows me away to realize Chuck was not even going all out with me.

This is an example of how thorough and concerned Casey was with the success of his races. I noticed how he usually would give prerun rides to the hotel or town decision makers, or gov't. land people, to show appreciation and get and keep them on our side.

Filling the man's shoes will be a daunting task. Long live the spirit of Casey Folks! Long live Best In The Desert!
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kyle_pc_75

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I didn't have much personal interaction with Casey other than on the phone trying to ensure my crew got a good volunteer spot at the Mint, but I do remember two years ago when they changed the official VHF frequency during qualifying due to some interference and he wouldn't give us the new frequency.

"Casey, we need the new frequency in case you use it on race day."

"This frequency is for official BITD use only!"

"Yes, but we're the volunteers running the checkpoint at Mile 52."

"Only officials need to know this frequency!"

"Yes, but we're officials."

This went on for what seemed like several minutes until Jamie stepped in and got things sorted out. :)

Good times. I was inspired by what Casey managed to do with BITD and desert racing in general and try to apply some of that same gusto in running races with Bonneville OffRoad Racing.
 

dezert_nerd

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Dec 2015 I had just flown back home from a 6 month deployment in Kuwait, had a stack of cash and CRF450X that needed to be overhauled. While I was over in the desert I decided I want to do a race on my bike, so I started training hard out there. In the meantime my mom dropped off the bike at Recon MX in Boulder City. I got back home to Vegas and when I finally had the chance to, I drove over to the BITD office to drop of my entry fee for the 2016 Parker 250. While I was filling out paperwork, Casey and I engaged in a conversation about racing the Ironman class. He informed me that he was the first Ironman to finish the Baja 1000, which I had no idea at the time. We spoke some more and he brought up his 2 day concept of Vegas to Reno. Once I had left I kept telling myself I'd do 1 race with BITD and leave it at that, but after I raced Parker I was hooked like a heroine addict. I kept tossing the idea around of racing V2R and finally said to hell with it and signed up. Being that I'm stationed in Kansas, I had multiple conversations over the phone with Casey, as well as Diane, about how I should go about racing V2R the best way possible. Needless to say I showed up and finished every mile my first go around, and if it weren't for Casey, Diane, and the rest of the BITD staff, I don't think I would've made it. He's the most helpful and most caring off-road race promoter that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He loved this sport more than anyone and was willing to put the grunt work in to maintain the BEST off-road racing organization around. I'm so happy that my first race season ever was with Best in the Desert. I'm in debt to him for eternity for helping me make my way into off-road racing as not only an off-road enthusiast but as a motorcycle racer as well.

Thank you Casey, race in paradise, and I'll see you on the other side.
-Thomas Tangedal, Ironman Amateur O93
ImageUploadedByrace-deZert1484280682.992810.jpg



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TaylorAnderson31

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you will be missed Casey..class act.

quick one here...

My boys first race was the UTVWC in 2015, seeing my boys, 10 and 11 years old in the front row of the drivers meeting was awesome by the way..so enthusiastic.. so we sit through the meeting, hear all of the jokes, rules, Joeys red shoes, etc etc..

after the meeting we grab Casey and let him know that with 2 boys and one car, we are going to need a mid-race driver change..in a closed course race with Polaris 170's.
"Well I don't know how we are going to do that"
"did you say that this is your first race boys", "yes sir" said both of my boys.
"Ill tell you what, I will take care of it, not sure how yet but I will"

so after what seemed like an eternity the race finally get started, my youngest had Rock over Scissors so he was in the seat first. This race took a few minutes per lap, 20 laps I think. So they are off, my wife and I are on the radio, having the time of our life btw watching our boys race.

after about 5 minutes we see Casey bouncing through the infield with his Polaris Ranger, my wife says "is that Casey", I say yes, "how do you know"...Ponytail and headset...he's the easiest guy to recognize..

He has my older son jump in the Ranger, and away they go...Making sure that both of my boys got their ride..

thank you Casey.

Taylor and Gina Anderson, and Max and Zach....my little racers.
 

notime

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we meet at 2004 at the Parker 425, i was part of the 7200 ESPN/HomeSaga team driven by Hector Salazar, after he saw us at tech stopped by and asked if we came from Mexico, talked a little bit about it and he continues doing his stuff, after that race, we did the whole championship and every time we saw him has some advice, asked how our trip was etc, were very impressed every time we stagged and saw a Mexican Flag, flashforward to 2015 and got a small talk about be ON TIME for staging at the Mint, later that day, they stop to shake our hands and congrats us for finish and podium the MINT.

Thank you Casey... You will be greatly missed but never forgotten.#BOOYAH

RIDE IN PEACE

 

ACME

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I just returned from overseas and just saw the news... Casey will truly be missed and the sport has a huge hole in it's heart. BOOOYAAA Casey, race in peace!

A few years back the day after a great Parker race we are cleaning up the area around our main pit before heading out. Casey was there in his UTV picking up for those too cool to clean up. He drove up seeing the 4 full trash bags and us cleaning the general area, thanked us and we spent the next 30-45 mins chatting about the sport as we picked up trash together.

The following year we had our little TT incident and I pretty much climbed all over Casey at the finish about it and he heard me out. The next day we were picking up trash near our main and Casey while doing the same, recognized our car, cruised right up and apologized for our incident. I mentioned it was like "Ground Hog Day" with the trash and he remembered it, laughed and we chatted for another 10-15 mins about the state of racing.

I wrote him an email RE the TT nerf and he called within a day to discuss our concerns. About 10 days later our race issue came to a head and I re-wrote him the new facts and sent him the in car from the TT that had come out and the next day I got a call from Casey to chat about it. The next day he called me after speaking with the offending party and gave me the their side of the story, which he agreed seemed it unusual given the footage and his comments paralleled our feelings. He also researched our times and apologized and told us we were leading our class when we got hit and he personally took responsibility and apologized for the situation. He ended with: "it was a really stupid racing incident" and then joked that I was permanently off trash duty at BITD and that maybe he should penalize bad nerfs with trash duty... He was straight forward, and knew how to handle the situation and didn't seem to care who the parties were based on our conversation, which part of me was very surprised. To him all racers were equal.

Casey like Sal and others poured his heart into this sport. You didn't have to agree with 100% of what he believed or his direction, but he truly cared and had the sports best interest in mind which is something which is becoming more rare with the times. In my eyes he treated us all as equals which is also rare and we all have lost something with his passing.

It'd be cool to see a "BOOOYAAA!" sticker on the cars at Parker in memory of a great supporter of the sport.

RIP Casey...
 

Fourstroker

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Parker 2008. Our first race with BITD and Casey. The was race was a muddy, rainy mess that ended most peoples days, ours included. We had some locals that were "Camping" in the pit areas. We had a little incident with them Saturday night and they left. When we wake up in the morning about $3000 worth of our FAIR race gear had been stolen. My brother and I contacted Casey who put us in contact with the higher ups with La Paz County Sheriff and the CRIT Police. Even made some calls himself stating that we were not the only ones victimized. A week or so later our things were recovered and my brother drove out to pick up our stuff. Casey made a point to check back in with my brother to make sure we got all of our pit gear back. Loved that he was the head of this huge race org and still did many things personally.
 

harleys dad

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I met him a total of 2-3 times and spoke for about 10-15 minutes each time. When I was racing Score Casey would stand at the entrance of tech handing out flyers for his new series he was promoting, he was at the Baja 500 the 1000 and I want to say the Parker 400 and tried to talk with every car going by, Seamed a very nice guy and I am happy his series grew to where it is now. Sad news, I just hope who ever takes over has the touch he had. We will be racing the Mint this year bummer he wont be there
 

TGilchriese

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I just heard the news about Casey.....I know that this has left a lot of Heavy Hearts in the racing community..
My short offroad racing experience was an Awesome one because of Casey!!
BOOOYAAAA!!!!
 

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ndvalium

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I met him a total of 2-3 times and spoke for about 10-15 minutes each time. When I was racing Score Casey would stand at the entrance of tech handing out flyers for his new series he was promoting, he was at the Baja 500 the 1000 and I want to say the Parker 400 and tried to talk with every car going by, Seamed a very nice guy and I am happy his series grew to where it is now. Sad news, I just hope who ever takes over has the touch he had. We will be racing the Mint this year bummer he wont be there
Casey has been training his replacement for several years. Donald has already proven, this week more than ever, while no one can fill those shoes, he is ready to make things run smoothly and not miss a beat. It may never be 100% Casey's way. But Casey made an incredible program. And that program moves forward.


David Nehrbass

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ndvalium

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I have a side of Casey that I have gotten to see over the years make a drastic transition:

In 1996 I started with his first car and truck race and joined the medical side in 1997.

In 1997, we were working a race in the Jean area. Bikes and Quads in one area and cars and trucks in the other when we got a report of downed rider on the Bike course. I asked Casey how to get to the rider and Casey said they were bringing the rider in. A few minutes later, a rider comes in with the patient on the back of his motorcycle. He was unconscious and duct taped to the other rider and brought in.

A few years later, the start of the Nevada 2000. I brought a medical helicopter out for the start of the race and landed them out at the start line. Casey tells me to get them out of here. If people see a medical helicopter they might think the sport is dangerous and stop racing.

Then over the years a transition occurred. Casey saw the value of medical teams, better equipment, more resources and better organization.

When my team took over full time duties for BITD in 2010, we worked hard to transition the image of first aid teams with a assortment of bandaids sitting in the pits.

Casey became very proactive with not only our team but safety in general. from just race day EMT's to every pre run, qualifying, or anything he does making sure there is an abundance of teams available and ready to go. Casey really was worried more than any race promoter I have ever worked for, about the safety of every aspect of his events. He wanted racers to have a great time and be able to come back at the next race. He wanted crews ad spectators to enjoy a great show but not be in danger. He would always call an injured rider / driver and often visited anyone in a hospital that may be there.

It was an honor to watch him grow in the area of my passion, While I got to grow into his passions.
 
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