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The Colorado River Region is a Desert Racing Mecca for WORCS, BITD, and More

K&N display at the UTV World Championship in Laughlin, Nevada

K&N has has long supported desert racing, here at the UTV World Championship in Laughin

The lower Colorado River, which defines the border between Arizona, Nevada, and California, has emerged as an epicenter of powersports racing. Off-road racing is featured throughout the year in this picturesque region. Tens of thousands of fans and competitors converge on the Colorado River region annually for some of the nation’s most notable events in racing.

The rugged and varied path that the beautiful Colorado River has traced through the desert Southwest has proven irresistible for racers, event organizers, and fans. A number of the communities that hug the banks of the Colorado have embraced the racing with open arms, and are working hard to balance environmental concerns with responsible race organization. Here is a look at the three river communities that play host to the range of events that the area has to offer annually.

Parker, Arizona

Parker, Arizona has one of the longest and richest legacies in desert racing. For over four decades, Parker has hosted a number of marquee off-road competitions. In fact, racing in the area dates back to at least 1911, when a local businessman hosted a promotional cross country competition. Parker sits on banks of the Colorado at a point where the river has carved some of the most spectacular red rock cliffs in the Southwest. That vibrant skyline is the backdrop for both water and land-based racing.

The BlueWater Resort in Parker, Arizona hosts BITD racing

The BlueWater Resort plays host to several of the Parker race events

Parker 250 - GMZ UTV Winter Nationals: The Parker 250 is a Best in the Desert (BITD) points event featuring motorcycle, quad, and ATV classes. The race is held annually at the start of the year when the weather is perfect in the desert.

BlueWater Parker 425: This is the granddaddy of the Colorado River race events. The late winter BITD race boasts some of the most exciting and brutal racing on the desert schedule. This is a fan-friendly race with a number of entertaining satellite events throughout the race weekend.

Where to Stay: This is a no-brainer. The BlueWater Resort and Casino is the driving force of much of the area’s racing action. The resort, which serves as a title sponsor for the BlueWater Parker 425, rests on the banks of the Colorado. The BlueWater has its own marina, a beautiful beach, and an indoor water park.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

BITD racing action near Parker, Arizona

Desert terrain along the Colorado River is challenging, treacherous, and thoroughly entertaining

About 40 miles north of Parker sits Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The city serves as the home of the famed London Bridge which was disassembled and brought over by ship from England in 1968. That bridge serves as the stately backdrop for several notable watersports competitions, and the surrounding desert is ground zero for major desert race weekends.

WORCS Racing - Crazy Horse: Lake Havasu’s Crazy Horse Campground is the site of two separate rounds of the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS). Both rounds are held in the early spring. One round is typically staged for UTV and ATV competition and the other features motorcycles.

Havasu 95 Speedway: Okay, so this is not a desert racing facility. However, it is pretty cool that the Colorado River region has a race track that features both road and dirt oval racing. The speedway hosts sprints, midgets, outlaws, vintage, and late model races.

Where to Stay: There are a number of hotels within walking distance of the famed London Bridge. For the WORCS racing fans, there is good camping at Crazy Horse and the area’s state parks.

WORCS racing at Crazy Horse Campground in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

The WORCS course in Lake Havasu City often features entertaining water jumps

Laughlin, Nevada

Sitting 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Laughin, Nevada is a small, friendly casino and resort center. Laughlin is located on the Nevada side of the Colorado River across from Bullhead City, Arizona, and a mere handful of miles from California. It has become a gaming and recreation center for thousands of visitors each year. The bustling town swells even more when the several annual race events are staged.

Polaris RZR UTV World Championship: Each spring, UTVs, motorcycles, and ATVs take over the Laughlin strip. The casino parking lots become vendor villages, and the desert west of Laughlin roars with fantastic BITD desert racing.

Laughlin Desert Classic: This BITD race is a newcomer to the schedule but seems destined to become a centerpiece of the fall racing season. The Laughlin Desert Classic features car, truck, and UTV classes running on a technical and challenging 16-mile course.

Davi Haagsma jumping in the WORCS series in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

K&N-sponsored WORCS champion Davi Haagsma flying high in Lake Havasu

Where to Stay: The Riverside Resort will put you at the center of the UTV World Championship. The Edgewater Hotel hosts many of the events associated with the Laughlin Desert Classic.

K&N’s Desert Racing Connection

K&N sponsors many of the top racers and teams that compete in every segment of desert racing including WORCS and BITD. You can also find the K&N semi truck and knowledgeable representatives at many of the major desert race events.


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