Banning Motorsports looks forward to the Best in the Desert, Parker 425 every year. We set up a huge party tent to host all of our friends, our families, and our sponsors. We feed them all and celebrate for two days to say thanks for the past years success. We truly appreciate all the support and effort that everyone gives to our team; this year was by far the best party ever. Thanks again to everyone that came out and to all those that helped make it a huge success.
The team arrived in parker on Thursday to set up our main pit and get our cars ready for contingency on Friday at the Blue Water casino. After contingency, we double-checked all the cars in anticipation of the best off road race in the United States, the Parker 425.
Early Saturday morning, number 1023 was the first of our team cars off the start; 31st out of 37 cars in our class. The car was lightning fast from the start. The skies were under cloud cover and the ground was still damp from recent rains so no dust; perfect conditions for a fast race. Lee Banning Sr. would start the race and then hand the car to Cory Boyer on lap two. Lee was 6th on the road when he and co-rider Chris Godfrey pulled into the main pit after the first lap. Cory jumped in the car with Chris as planned and the two took off. At mile 102, the great run they were having came to an end. A broken shifter cable was unrepairable in the field, their race was over. “We were very pleased how our race started,” said Lee Sr. “We are unhappy with the DNF but until it went south we were running strong. We’ll get them next time.”
The 1123 car with Ali Banning and Fernie Padilla driving and Bradley McFarlin co-riding had much better luck. They finished first on the road but second on corrected time to the 1178 Banning Motorsports car driven by Bryan Folks and Rick Graf with Ryan Marley and Jake Dewitt co-riding.
“The car handled great,” said Ali, “There were other cars rolled over and broken down everywhere. I drove the start with Fernie in the seat next to me. After the first lap, Fernie took the wheel with Bradley McFarlin co-riding. We had a pretty good second lap. We passed Rick Graf and drove as fast as we could through the 3rd lap to try to put time on the other Banning car. We ended up taking second by only 44 seconds! Our Ford motor never missed a beat; the General tires worked great in the soft sand and gripped well on the hard packed roads too. Everyone at Banning Motorsports did an awesome job prepping the car and we had very quick pit stops during the race! Thank you to all of our sponsors, crew, family, friends and fans. We couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
“Our day started great,” said Bryan, “We took the lead at pit 1, followed by the 1123 car. At the end of the first lap, we had a few minute lead but stretched it out to 6 minutes coming into the driver change. We had an unusually long pit stop for the team losing a couple minutes to the 1123 car. Leaving the pit, we had about a 2.5-minute lead. The 1123 car caught up to us and made a pass just before the end of lap two but we got back in front when they stopped to pit. They got back in front of us on the last lap but Rick knew in order to win he would only have to keep the 1123 car in his sights to the finish. He was able to do just that; giving us the win by a mere 44 seconds. Overall, it was a perfect race day, the car performed very well and the whole team did a fantastic job.”
The Banning Motorsports Team started the 2013 season off with a lot of promise and some great results. Our 2013 sponsors include, Ford, General Tire, FOX, Neo Synthetics, Select Glass, Azuñia Tequila, Foddrill Motorsports, Eibach Spring, Weddle Industries, Odyssey Battery, PCI, MasterCraft Safety and KC Hilites. Huge thanks go out to them for their support. We appreciate our friends the Boyer team, the Vanderway’s cow truck #84 and Curt Leduc’s team for sharing pits and attending the party with us. A special thanks also to Jim Riley and Azunia Tequila for bringing the Tequila and mixers to the Mexican fiesta Saturday night.
Photography By Brian Binkert
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