Jacob Argubright Starts Year With Best In The Desert Parker 250 Win

Argubright goes back to an orange helmet and a green machine

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.

Jacob Argubright
Two years ago, Jacob Argubright soloed to win the Parker 250 and went on to win the Best in the Desert championship. This year, he started off on the same foot, though AMA H&H commitments will force him to skip two BITD rounds unless he can hire a competent fill-in.Mark Kariya

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.

Troy Vanscourt
Troy Vanscourt (shown)—along with teammates Danny Cooper, Kyle Tichenor, and Justin Wallis—had a decent day and were gifted second late in the race.Mark Kariya

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].”

Paul Luce
Among the best performances of the day, the Paul Luce/Chad Thornton/Jason Trubey team not only won Over 30 Pro after some back-and-forth early, but they moved up through the field well enough to earn third overall.Mark Kariya

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.)

Richard Gray
The Richard Gray/Brad Millikan/Deegan Newton/Jeremy Newton squad had second overall in sight, but a bike issue handed them a DNF with about 30 miles to go instead.Mark Kariya

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.

Jaxon Bogh
A healthy field of Open Experts couldn’t match the pace that Jaxon Bogh and Corbin Eatherton set, the pair winning the class and finishing with the sixth-fastest motorcycle time of the day.Mark Kariya

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.

David Lahn
David Lahn led the 300cc Pros to the finish, his time of 4:49:32 making him the seventh-fastest motorcycle.Mark Kariya
Warren Healey
Perhaps inspired by Dakar, Warren Healey tossed his KTM 690 Rally Replica around for the Ironman Expert win in 5:16:05, over five minutes ahead of runner-up Alex Kortepeter.Mark Kariya
Mark Lopresti
The Mark Lopresti entry started fast, grabbing the lead early and sailing to victory in Open Amateur by more than 20 minutes. That also made them first Amateurs by finishing 17th overall.Mark Kariya
Tuffy Pearson
Tuffy Pearson ended up riding most of the race on the N1 bike after 2018 Open Pro champ Brody Honea wadded during his opening stint and needed a trip to the hospital for a severe laceration. Getting back to the bike and getting it straightened out enough to ride put them down a lap, and Pearson cruised in for eighth Open Pro to salvage points.Mark Kariya
George Antill
Though not required, all finishers are invited to be interviewed by George Antill on the Ford Mesa finish podium, with all of that live-streamed.Mark Kariya

2019 Best in the Desert Parker 250 Overall Results

Position Rider Brand
1 Jacob Argubright Kawasaki
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
7 Dave Lahn KTM
8 Zachary Meyers Yamaha
9 Jesse Canepa/Danny Cooper/Kyle Tichenor Honda
10 Paul Luce/Chad Thornton/Jason Trubey Husqvarna