The Martelli Brothers recently announced that they have structured a brand new, desert off-road racing organization called “Unlimited Off-Road Racing”. The new series will include the historic “Parker 400”, BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400, and California 300 races, and host all desert classes including youth, UTV’s, motorcycles, cars and trucks. The Parker 400 will take place in January of 2024, followed by the Mint 400 in March, and California 300 in October.
The new series will also feature the next evolution of the UTV World Championship, which will be determined by points accumulated at all three events. Unlimited Off-Road Racing will offer teams the opportunity to compete for cash, prizes and a prestigious points championship across three of the most challenging and distinguished desert races in the sport. The announcement comes on the heels of the organization’s biggest Mint 400 race and event in recent history.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be announcing this new league and championship points series,” said Unlimited Off-Road Racing CEO and Co-Owner Matt Martelli. “The Parker 400 is one of the oldest and most historic races in our sport and we’re excited to have that become part of our calendar as we take yet another massive step forward in our league’s development.”
“We’re preparing to take the same assets and marketing power that we have used to make The Mint 400 the biggest spectacle in the sport, and apply that to our entire league. Racers, partners, and fans can expect us to deliver the best experience, media coverage and value in the industry as we continue to grow and expand our offering. That includes industry leading production from our team at Mad Media, live stream team, and events group.”
The Parker 400 race began in 1971 and was called the “Dam 500”. It was created by the Parker Dam Chamber of Commerce (now Parker Area Chamber of Commerce) and NORRA. The event had over 100 entries in its first year followed by 37 entries in year two (16 finishers) and 83 entries in year three. SCORE (under Mickey Thompson and Sal Fish) changed the name to the “Parker 400” soon after and ran the event from 1974 until 1985, when the High Desert Racing Association joined with SCORE to promote the event that year. SCORE resumed promoting the race into the late 1990’s.
Whiplash Motorsports took over for four years, and co-promoted the 2002 race with SNORE, and Best in the Desert operated the race for the past twenty years. The race has been won and championed by a host of local racing luminaries including Dan Beaver and Manny Esquerra – who is widely recognized as one of the greatest racers in the sport’s history.
“The Parker 400 is one of the most iconic and important races in our sports history,” said Josh Martelli, COO of Unlimited Off-Road Racing. “It deserves top notch billing and the same approach we implemented for restoring and promoting The Mint 400 these past 12 years. We’re excited to work with the BLM, the City officials and people of Parker, and La Paz county to restore this race and transform it into a massive event for the entire industry to rally around.”
“It’s also the perfect launching pad for our league. Unlimited Off-Road Racing has been in the works since 2020. We’ve been very clear about our goal of building the preeminent desert off-road race league in North America. It feels very rewarding to know that will come to fruition now in 2024 and we want to thank everyone who has contributed to that effort. Our staff, volunteers, partners and racers. We have you to thank for this next evolutionary step.”
The newly added Parker 400 race will feature multiple days of pre-running, three days of racing, and a fantastic fan experience, all in careful coordination with the town of Parker and La Paz County. The Martelli Brothers recently met with Mayor Hartless, La Paz County Supervisors Plunkett and Minor, Police Chief Bailey, Public Works Director Ziegler, Clerk Putnam, as well as Chamber of Commerce Director Newton, to begin to map out the evolution of the celebrated race and events.
“We are focused on large-scale races like The Mint 400 in major markets like California, Arizona, and Nevada,” Matt Martelli explained. “Large-scale off-road races are the only way to grow and ensure our future as a sport.”
One thing that has propelled the Mint 400 to one of the top off-road races to attend and spectate has been the live coverage. The Martelli’s have plans that all the races in the series will be live streamed like the Mint 400, allowing anyone who cannot be physically present to still be a part of the event.
The Martelli Brothers will be adding more races to the series in the near future. Complete details on the Unlimited Off-Road Racing series will be forthcoming.