Casey Folks and BITD quit racing in Baja and have cancelled the 2004 Bajamex 300. Citing safety concerns Here is the excerpt for the BITD website;
After a great deal of consideration, Best In The Desert has decided that it is in their best interest to promote races exclusively in the United States. To adhere to this new policy, Best In The Desert has decided to delete the Baja Mex "300" from the 2004 racing schedule. Casey Folks, Director of Best In The Desert had a good deal of input regarding racing in Baja and has just recently made the decision to revise his 2004 schedule.
Folks commented about the schedule change, "There were a number of reasons for my decision; first and foremost is safety. Anyone that races with Best In The Desert knows that safety comes first and I will do nothing to compromise how I feel about that. There were a few incidences in a recent Baja race that really swayed my decision. I can't control a 300-mile racecourse in Baja like I can in the United States and that made me very uncomfortable. Accidents are very unfortunate in our sport, and they are regrettably inherent with the sport, but when an accident occurs because someone throws rocks, or sets traps, that is something I just can't seem to accept. In Baja the courses have been open for so many years, it is difficult to change that mentality and expect to have a course closed off to spectators.
Second, a great many of the Best In The Desert racers race specifically with Best In The Desert because they prefer not to race in Mexico, I need to honor that. I have received many phone calls from racers that were skeptical about racing in Baja, they raced twice with Best In The Desert and enjoyed it, we ran a safe race in Baja and I am very proud of that. However, I receive many more phone calls from Best In The Desert racers that will not race in Baja, no matter who the race promoter is, and I have decided to keep the race series in the United States.
Folks also reported that racers racing a Ford Truck will be especially happy. Ford Motor Company, Official Truck of Best In The Desert, and a major Performance Award Contributor, has agreed to pay Performance Awards for the fifth race in the 2004 schedule. "You have no idea what a tremendous step Ford Trucks has taken to pay this additional performance money, it is unbelievable!" says Folks. "Thank you Ford Truck Motorsports program for this incredible contribution to the Best In The Desert Ford racers," Folks said enthusiastically!
Folks will soon announce the fifth race in the 2004 racing schedule. Folks did report that it will be very close to the Las Vegas area, and most likely in October. It will be in the same general area as the Las Vegas "200" but he wants to assure all of the racers that it will be a different racecourse than the Las Vegas "200", in fact, he was out on his motorcycle just this past weekend scouting for new course. All of his racers know he will find something out there that is new, exciting, challenging, and a little bit tough!
Best In The Desert would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may cause anyone in cancelled hotel/motel reservations or in changing their personal schedules. This decision was recently made and was released to you as soon as was possible. The Best In The Desert will release a new date and the host hotel as soon as all of the arrangements have been confirmed; just keep your eye on www.bitd.com
and the new information will be released soon!