The California 300 Off-Road Race is ready to kick up some dirt this weekend as the inaugural event welcomes visitors to Barstow for three days of off-road racing, camping and fun.
The California 300 includes a massive field of over 200 race teams, including car, truck, UTV and youth classes.
The new world-class off-road desert race also includes a nearly 70-mile course built to showcase the best off-road racers on the planet, according to event organizers.
The California 300 has attracted some of the top off-road racers, including Steve Olliges, Dale Dondel, Mitch Guthrie Jr., Branden Sims, Kristen and Wayne Matlock, as well as Ryan Piplic, Doug Mittag, Ronnie Anderson, Justin Lambert, Bruce Binnquist, Mike Cafro and Carson Wernimont and more.
UTV racers will be competing throughout the weekend for extra fame and glory, as the eighth annual UTV World Championship was folded into the inaugural CA 300 this year.
“We’re thrilled with the projected turnout of this inaugural event,” said CA 300 CEO and co-owner Matt Martelli. “The City of Barstow, San Bernardino County, the local business community and the people who live in this area have all reached out to us offering support and that has really made a difference in our planning.”
Martelli added that the Bureau of Land Management office was also incredibly supportive of the event.
“We’re asking all of our off-road spectators this weekend to please observe the 150-foot spectating rule and help us pick up trash,” Martelli said. “If we do that we can keep racing here annually and grow this event even bigger than The Mint 400.”
Midway festival begins Thursday
Beginning Thursday, visitors are welcome to the off-road festival’s Official Start / Finish Midway, the center of all race action and featuring off-road brand vendors, as well as food and beer vendors.
The Start/Finish Midway hub is located just east of Lenwood Avenue and Arbuckle Street, just off Interstate 15. Visitors should exit Lenwood Avenue, head south and look to the left.
Midway tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online at thecalifornia300.com. Midway parking is free.
What to know about the main event
The California 300 officially opens to the public at 8 a.m. on Thursday with the opening of the Midway and Start/Finish area.
An action-packed qualifying session will start at 10:30 a.m. and will feature over 60 racers attempting to earn top starting positions on an 8-mile qualifying course.
Racing begins at 7 a.m. on Friday with Short Course UTVs, followed by a stacked field of Limited Class racers.
Saturday kicks off at 7 a.m. with multiple rounds of youth UTV racing, including 170; 250; 570; and 1,000, then culminating with the ultra-competitive fire-breathing Unlimited Truck classes.
Racing on both days will conclude at 7 p.m. sharp.
About The California 300
After promoting the Mint 400 successfully for more than a decade, the Martelli Brothers and their team are thrilled to be bringing a major desert off-road race back to Southern California.
The California 300 is a new world-class off-road desert race built to showcase the best off-road racers on the planet.
Race organizers said Barstow has a rich tradition of off-road racing dating back to 1971 with the first “Fireworks 250” race, which ran for 51 years.
Barstow has always been a vital location for testing, recreation, and racing, organizers said.
Pre-race festivities began last Saturday with the California 300 Desert Clean-Up presented by Clean-Dezert followed by The California 300 Poker Run.
Hundreds of off-road enthusiasts turned out and removed over ten tons of illegally dumped trash from the Stoddard Valley OHV area, while Poker Run participants got a chance to see the brutal 68-mile racecourse up close.
Pre-running for the 300-mile race was held Tuesday through Wednesday for registered racers.
For viewing area and general information about The California 300, visit thecalifornia300.com.
Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: What to know about this weekend's California 300 Off-Road Race in Barstow