We’ve reached many pivotal turning points for our culture. However, many go unnoticed and uncelebrated. As the first Lucas Oil Short Course event comes to Estero Beach, in Ensenada this weekend, we are at one of those moments. Off-road racing as we know and celebrate it today would not be here without Mexico. In 1962 when Dave Ekins and Billy Robertson Jr. completed the first peninsula run from Tijuana to La Paz, they birthed an idea that later spawned a culture. What led to everything we have today could not have happened in any place other than Baja California, Mexico.
In 1970 in the northern woods of Wisconsin, a bunch of racers got together and created the first ever “Brush Run” that eventually led to the establishment of the infamous Crandon International Raceway. Although the first vehicles were crude “run what you brung” type vehicles, it didn’t take long for midwest races to adapt the vehicle design and technology that was being used out West to develop a whole new form of short course racing. The “Brush Run” eventually led to the SODA series which included Crandon, Bark River, Lake Geneva Raceway, Red Bud MX Track and many more. The SODA series was televised on ESPN during the 80’s and 90’s.
Then, in 1979 Mickey Thompson decided to bring desert racing to the masses rather than “being seen by nothing but cactus and jackrabbits” and formed the Mickey Thompson Series starting with the Los Angeles Coliseum. Under Mickey Thompson’s leadership, off-road had its “Golden Years” with tons of spectators and unparalleled television coverage on ESPN, TNT and CBS.
In 1998, CORR evolved out of the SODA series and brought outdoor short course racing to the West coast reining for nearly ten years with tracks in Primm, NV, Glen Helen, CA, Chula Vista, CA, and more. CORR was also able to get mainstream coverage of short course off-road racing to millions of fans on TV via their coverage on SPEED and game changing epic live coverage on NBC.
In 2009 Lucas Oil picked up the pieces and built a solid short course off-road racing league, the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS). Now we are in the enviable position of having six consecutive successful years of short course, with LOORRS growing every year. Lucas has had consistent TV coverage on NBC, CBS and MAV TV, reaching millions of new fans. The challenge now is not stability, rather expansion.
Targeting the fastest growing segment of the population of America (Hispanics) via racing in the third largest city in Baja is an obvious next move. Not to mention the fact that 30 million people a year pass through Baja via Tijuana, the busiest land border crossing in the world. So, if we can convert a small percentage of those people to off-road racing enthusiasts, we have a game changer.
Gates open to the public at 8:00am Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd.
Race-Dezert.com was created by off-road enthusiasts, giving off-roaders a place online to share information about the sport and culture of off-road racing. Based in Southern California, Race-Dezert.com highlights the off-road disciplines of desert racing, short course off-road, stadium truck racing, rally raid, rally racing and rock crawling.Our goal is to connect the world of off-road racing globally, bringing people together through the common denominator of off-road culture. Whether you are a racer, a promoter, a chase team member, a casual fan, or just interested in learning about off-road, Race-Dezert.com is a place where you can learn about the sport and culture of off-road racing.