2017 Parker 250 Race Results: Two-hundred-fifty miles is a big chunk of desert to take on by yourself, but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Off-Road Team star Jacob Argubright made it seem like the proverbial walk in the park as he led from start to finish to win the GMZ UTV Winter Nationals, Presented by Polaris, the opening round in Best in the Desert’s four-round American Off-road Racing Series, in Parker, Arizona, January 7. Defending BITD champ Troy Vanscourt took second with co-riders Ray Dal Soglio and Jeremy Newton, while privateers Jared Schlapia and Taylor Stevens rounded out the top three overall, unofficially.
2017 Parker 250 Race Results
Rain in the week before the race made for practically dust-free and epic riding; cloud cover all day also meant lead-off riders didn’t face both dust and blindness from the rising sun on the traditional sprint east up Shea Wash to the alternate pit at Midway. Teams faced three laps of the usual 79-mile loop on both sides of Shea Road with Ironman entrants required to go two laps.
Starting first off the line on his Bel-Ray/Dunlop/Fly Racing FC 450 wasn’t as much of an advantage as it usually is, but there was no catching Argubright today.
“The first lap, I went pretty hard,” he said. “My hands were a little cold; it was a little chilly. Then the second lap, I really put it down. The mileage was actually a little longer than I expected. I was starting to run out [of fuel] coming into the main pit, but I got gas in time. The third loop I went pretty hard. I was just conserving a little bit; like they kind of told me where I was [relative to second].”
Argubright completed the three laps in four hours, 23 minutes and six seconds.
After starting fourth, Monarch Honda/Star Nursery/Fastheads CRF450R-mounted Skyler Howes made up enough time to not only get into second place physically, but unofficially take the time-corrected lead.
Unfortunately for him and teammates Danny Cooper and Tracon Kirk, they ended up with a DNF. Cooper said, “I crashed pretty hard and then I could hear something going on with the motor so I tried to baby it as much as I could.”
Cooper made it back to the Bluewater Casino, but the engine expired.
That moved the THR Motorsports/Baja Dad Race Prep/Precision Concepts CRF450X team of Dal Soglio, Newton and Vanscourt up to second where they stayed.
Newton said, “I just knew Jake had a pretty good lead and Skyler Howes was a decent way ahead of us so we just tried to make up a lot of time. We made up a little bit, but they just seemed to be riding too fast. We just kept them right there. I got back on [for my final stint from Midway to the finish] and I think they had a mechanical so they dropped out, but Jake was gone so we just held it on and rode safe for a second-place finish.” Their time was 4:32:30.
The Schlapia/Stevens duo claimed the third spot on the podium with the N2 DNF, even after Schlapia had stopped to assist one of the riders on the C17 Over 40 Pro entry who’d crashed and suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Stevens said, “I made some mistakes with the gearing; I did 13/48 and I think it only topped out at 75.
“I also went down while we were running fourth on the first lap, maybe like five miles before Midway so it was pretty rough [coming back from that]. After that I tried to keep it on two wheels.” After that, they duo had no issues on their Stevens Offroad Racing/Fastheads/Fly Racing-backed Husky FC 450, taking the checkered flag in 4:44:01.
Open Expert winners Eric Kirby and Zachary Myers took fourth overall in 4:52:25 on their KTM followed by Over 30 Pro winners Clint Braun and Jesse Canepa in 5:00:15.
2017 Parker 250 Race Results
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