The results aren't official yet, but "Ballistic" BJ Baldwin is the preliminary winner of the 2010 Best in the Desert Parker 425 off-road race. The race was held February 6 and is the first official cars and trucks competition of the 2010 BITD season.
Beginning and ending in Parker, Arizona, the Parker 425 race is three laps of a 138-mile desert loop. Certain classes -- 1700, 1800, 3700, 4400, and 7300 -- ran just two laps. The course is not particularly technical, but difficult terrain and cold, rainy weather took its toll on the 239 starting vehicles. According to BITD president Casey Folks, only 82 competitors crossed the finish line.
Baldwin, behind the wheel of his #97 Chevrolet trophy truck, finished first with an uncorrected time of 7 hours, 16 minutes, and 14 seconds. His time was nearly 20 minutes ahead of runner-ups Steve and Ray Croll in the #1585 Ford. Among the two-lappers, Dan and Dave Moore were winners in the #1815 Jeep with a time of 6 hours, 19 minutes, and 35 seconds.
Next on Baldwin's calendar is the King of the Hammers race this weekend, where he will have 10 hours to cover 135 miles from his 44th-place starting position. He also recently competed in the 2010 Dakar Rally, where he finished 20th.
The 2010 Parker 425's official times and final results will be released later this week.
----- UPDATE -- February 10, 2010 -----
Visit the Best in the Desert Web site to see the final times and results.
Sources: General Tires, Parker Pioneer