CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Grand Prix off-road race scheduled May 31 has a pair of firsts tied to the event set for Three Peaks Recreation Area northwest of here.
First off, the event promoted by the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts marks the first time that off-road racing has been presented in the city about 65 miles north of St. George.
Second, the race also marks the first time that the entire TJ Flores family has competed in the same off-road event. The Champion Race Works/McMurrough race team from North Las Vegas will certainly be well-represented when Cedar City rolls out the red carpet for the sport of off-road racing.
TJ Flores, 36, will power his Ford Raptor Trophy Truck in the Unlimited Class while wife Kristine Flores will drive the No. 1943 UTV while his sister-in-law Christine Flores will co-pilot the No. 1940 UTV with her sister Amy Lance.
Making the entire family angle even more interesting is the fact that Kristine’s father, Andy Kisner will ride co-pilot with his daughter in No. 1943.
Christine’s sister, Amy Lance, will be the driver of record in the No. 1940 UTV.
“My brother, Brian, and I were out at Lake Mead in early May and decided that we should let the women race the UTVs,” TJ Flores explained. “Normally, the wives help out in the pits watching the kids and make sure we have water. They’re usually our cheerleaders.
“This time we wanted the women to enjoy what we do. This will be their inaugural off-road race as competitors and we think they’re going to have a good time.”
To make sure that the five children are still supervised, TJ and his team will baby-sit the youngsters while the women are racing in the morning. The roles will reverse when TJ and co-driver Jesse Gerlach are competing in the afternoon.
“This very well could be the beginning of a new career for the girls,” TJ said.
Pre-run and tech-inspection are set for Friday. The pre-run is scheduled for noon while tech inspection is set for 3 p.m.
A driver’s meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday.
The race Saturday begins at 7 a.m. and will include 1-2 1600, 9, Unlimited Sportsman Buggy, Sportsman Truck, UTV and Stock Bug.
The afternoon session starts at 1:30 p.m. and will include Unlimited Truck, Unlimited Buggy, 10, 8 and 1450. The race will include a 37-mile lap with the faster classes running six laps and the slower cars doing three laps.
About 80 entries are expected. The race has received great response.
“I have heard quite a bit of buzz about the event,” said Roger Olcott, a Farmers Insurance agent in Cedar City. “It’s getting the town fired up.
The Cedar City Brian Head Tourism Bureau has been especially excited.
“SNORE events typically bring about 1,000 to 2,000 spectators to their races with an average visitor spending $131 per day,” said the bureau’s Maria Twitchell. “Cedar City should see a very positive impact from this race.”
The race was moved to Cedar City after SNORE lost its date in Caliente when the Bureau of Land Management in Ely, Nev., the area to only two off-road events a year.