Best in the Desert Off-Road Race Founder Dies

Best in the Desert
The annual Las Vegas-to-Reno desert race will be run without its founder, Casey Folks, for the first time. Folks died Jan. 12 after suffering a stroke.

Mineral County residents know that every August, the desert will be full of off-road racers when Best in the Desert Racing Association “Vegas to Reno” race comes through town.

Sadly, one member will be missing the race though he hasn’t missed any races in the past. The founder of Best in the Desert, Casey Folks, sadly passed on Jan. 12 after suffering a massive stroke in Parker, Ariz., on Jan. 7.

Folks was waiting to drop the starting flag at the Parker race when the event happened and he was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital for care.

Unfortunately, Folks was unable to rebound from effects and dropped the final flag of his racing career.

Folks had a love of the desert and people of Mineral County. Not only did he run his BITD race through our county, but after the race, Folks and his family and friends would speed a few days driving the back roads of our county.

Folks loved anything to do with racing. He began his race career with motorcycles between the ages of 21 and 45. During his career, he won 16 championships and in 1980 was the first to ironman (solo) the Baja 1000 and finish. He is also the only person who finished every Barstow to Vegas race.

He began the Best in the Desert organization in 1984 for motorcycles; in 1996 he added the “Vegas to Reno” race, adding for the first time cars, trucks and quads to run his courses. Due to Folk’s dream, Best in the Desert grew into North America’s largest and most prestigious off-road racing organization.

In 2012 Folks was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, taking his place amongst other off-road racing legends and racers worldwide.

He worked well with organizations in the counties in which he ran. He became a friend of Mineral County Search and Rescue. Many times donating to the organization for the help given by search and rescue during races. Many individuals in the organization traveled to Mexico, Arizona and all over Nevada helping Folks reach his dreams.

He lived with the famous words of “Life is an Adventure. Come Live Your Adventure with Best in the Desert.”

Currently, the “Vegas to Reno” race is still scheduled to go on with Folks looking down on the legacy he created.

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