After considering his options, 2017 Best in the Desert Open Pro champion Jacob Argubright decided to go back to what got him to the top and that is taking control of his program by going back to his privateer roots.
Thus, he showed up for the GMV UTV Winter Nationals Parker 250, presented by Polaris RZR, in Parker, Arizona, with a self-funded Off-Road Support/TBT Racing Kawasaki KX450 practice bike (that started the race with 25 hours) and orange helmet that made him so recognizable a few years ago.
The change obviously agreed with him at Parker—which served as the first of five rounds in Best in the Desert’s American Off-road Racing Series—because he ran away from probably the largest Parker field in years despite going up against multi-rider teams over three laps of a 78-mile loop that featured a little of everything the Arizona desert offers.
“New bike, new program that I put together myself,” he explained after finishing in four hours, 13 minutes, and 32 seconds. Pointing to the rear wheel, he revealed, “It’s a 2012 wheel from my old bike. It fits and yeah, I’m going to be going at it by myself [this year]. It was pretty easy to get back on [a Kawasaki].”
Two riders at a time left the start beginning at 7:30 A.M., Mountain Standard Time, and Argubright—who started on the first row with Wyatt Brittner—took the lead less than six miles into it. From there, he was never headed.
“It was rough, like the back [side] was really rough, but it was fun because it was wet [from recent rare rains], so we were just railing,” Argubright said. “I was hoping to go slow, faster, and fastest [for each lap],” but things didn’t work out quite that way as he considered his second lap the fastest. (The next day, he earned second overall at the AMA District 37 Sprint Enduro series opener back in California.)
However, it played out with Argubright leading and the top three pulled away from the field. For much of the race, the Richard Gray/Brad Millikan/Deegan Newton/Jeremy Newton team held second, unofficially, but their Pride Communication/Lusk Plumbing Yamaha YZ450F broke some 30 miles short of the finish, leaving them a DNF.
That allowed the Cooper Motorsports 747 Honda-mounted team of Danny Cooper/Kyle Tichenor/Troy Vanscourt/Justin Wallis to slide into the runner-up spot with a 4:25:15 finish time.
Reece Honea/Carl Maassberg picked off one team at a time as they marched forward on their C&J Equipment Husky FE 501, finishing in 4:30:19 for third overall as well as the Over 30 Pro victory.
Jason Alosi/Wyatt Brittner claimed fourth overall, third Open Pro, in 4:34:34 on their Reno Motorsports KTM 450 XC-F with Stevens Off-Road Racing Yamaha YZ450F-mounted Taylor Stevens/Daemon Woolslayer fifth overall in 4:37:33.
Parker proved rough for defending series champ Brody Honea who crashed on the first lap and had to go to the hospital for a severe arm laceration. That left partner Tuffy Pearson with the task of retrieving the battered Chidester Transport Racing Yamaha YZ450FX, effecting a few hasty repairs and resuming the race a lap down to finish eighth Open Pro.
2019 Best in the Desert Parker 250 Overall Results
|2||Danny Cooper/Kyle Tichenor/Troy Vanscourt/Justin Wallis||Honda|
|3||Reece Honea/Carl Maassberg||Husqvarna|
|4||Jason Alosi/Wyatt Brittner||KTM|
|5||Taylor Stevens/Daemon Woolslayer||Yamaha|
|6||Jaxon Bogh/Corbin Eatherton||Honda|
|9||Jesse Canepa/Danny Cooper/Kyle Tichenor||Honda|
|10||Paul Luce/Chad Thornton/Jason Trubey||Husqvarna|