The Pahrump Nugget 250 is as popular as ever, at least judging by the number of entrants scheduled to participate in Saturday’s off-road race.
More than 140 race teams have signed up for the Pahrump Nugget 250 presented by Polaris RZR, another record turnout, according to the Best in the Desert Racing Association, which organizes the event. This is the final event in this year’s American Off Road Racing Series and will feature cars, trucks and UTVs in a variety of classes.
The course itself features a variety of terrain and will be challenging for drivers and navigators, organizers said. The chase race includes seven pits for race vehicles featuring easy access for support crews.
“The Pahrump Nugget is a great venue and is helping us to continue the tradition of off-road racing in Pahrump,” said Donald Jackson, operations manager for Best in the Desert. “This year’s race course is deep with history, mixed in with some new exciting challenges to provide racers with a memorable adventure. And we very much appreciate the support of our presenting sponsor, Polaris.”
Last year, roughly 3,000 people came to Pahrump for the race between team members, support personnel and spectators, and hotel rates reflect that demand.
This year, with some hotels sold out, a room on race weekend was offered for $183 at the Best Western Pahrump Oasis and $299 at the Holiday Inn Express &Suites Pahrump. Next weekend, those same rooms are listed at $77 for the Best Western and $97 for the Holiday Inn Express.
Overnight stays are necessary because the Pahrump Nugget 250 is more than a one-day event. Time trials were held Wednesday, a pre-Fun Run took place Thursday, and technical inspections will be held today in the Pahrump Nugget parking lot. Fans can meet the drivers and inspect the vehicles from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
On Saturday, car, truck and UTV staging will take place starting at 6:15 a.m. in the parking lots of the Pahrump Nugget, the Holiday Inn Express and Gold Town.
A police escort at 7:15 a.m. will lead all race vehicles to the starting line at Johnnie, north of Pahrump along state Highway 160. The first start is at 8 a.m., with an after-race party at the Pahrump Nugget Sports Book Bar beginning at 6 p.m.
By then, the drivers will have covered approximately 255 miles on a single loop through parts of the Amargosa Valley. The course heads west, crossing U.S. Highway 95, brushing within a quarter-mile of Yucca Mountain and heading toward the ghost town of Springdale. It then turns, re-crosses Highway 95 and heads toward Pahrump. It will pass the start line at Johnnie, follow Highway 160 for a brief time, then head east, coming to the finish line at the Pahrump Nugget from that direction.
“We could not ask for a better host hotel and a great venue to base this great event out of,” Jackson said.
There will be spectator areas set up near the start line and along Highway 95 between Amargosa Valley and Beatty. Near the finish line, a barbecue area and beer garden will be set up for fans on both the day of the race and Friday during technical inspections.