By WESLIE STRATTON
Moapa Valley Progress
The third annual Mesquite Off-Road Weekend was held on February 20-22 and featured several Moapa Valley racers.
Hosted by the Eureka Casino Resort, the event incorporated different races and skill levels. The event also included a trail ride, hillclimbs, a Freestyle Exhibition Show and the Beyond Pro Race and Stunt Show.
Among the local racers participating in the weekend-long event was BEX sponsored Will Sheldon from Logandale who placed third overall in the amateur class.
“This is one of my favorite tracks because it has a little bit of everything,” Sheldon said, adding that the track features an enduro section, desert and a “mellow” motocross section.
He said that a section of tires was the most difficult for he and many other racers because strategically placed water puddles made for a slick surface.
“You don’t know what to expect,” he said. “It’s knarly!”
This is the third consecutive year that Sheldon has participated in the event and he said it has grown every year.
“I love it,” he said.
Cade Neilson of Overton placed second in the amateur class.
“I got the hole shot in both races,” he said.
Neilson said that he had wrecked in the first race but kept a steady place, still coming in third.
In the second race, he placed first.
“…I led every lap and it was just a smooth race,” Neilson said.
Nielson enjoys the Mesquite event because of all the additional activities it offers throughout the weekend.
Orey Woods, also of Logandale, competed in the amateur race as well and placed 10th overall.
“I got a good start. I knew I had to go fast because I had William and Cade behind me.” Woods said, noting that the two local competitors eventually caught him.
“This is my favorite race of the year,” he said. “I like that it’s close and everybody can watch.”
Other local racers included Braeden St. John who won the youth class and his father Jason St. John who competed in the vet class along with Stacy Woods and Eric Neilson.
Brothers Colton and Connelly Ruff also competed in the youth class.
Many racers traveled much farther than across the mesa for the Mesquite event. Some came from as far as Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado and more to compete in the event that also drew thousands of spectators.
“We had remarkable weather and perfect conditions to showcase Mesquite and our one-of-a-kind venue,” Eureka President Andre Carrier said. “We proved yet again that there is no other place to see motor sport racing quite like Mesquite Off-Road. If you haven’t come out to experience this event, put it on your list of things to do. We had thousands of fans out here who were thrilled and who enjoyed it a great deal.”