2020 AZOP Season Launches in Wickenburg

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

This is an excerpt from a race recap provided by AZOP / Miller Truby
Photos Courtesy of Miller Truby

After a month-long break, the Arizona Offroad Promotions (AZOP) Rowley White RV Series has returned in 2020 to kick off what will certainly be another busy and exciting year of premier off-road racing.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

The season got off to a beautiful start in the hills west of Wickenburg, Arizona in the now-traditional fashion with Todd Peterson’s Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles. Sponsored by RideNow Powersports and SinFab Industries, the ever-popular January race was graced by typically excellent weather and a typically large turnout.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

The AZOP crew really put in some extra hours in order to bring something different to this race, working closely with BLM to add about 6 new miles to the already very long track for a total course length of 36 miles. The quintessential desert course featured plenty of rocks, cactus, dust, sand, and whoops and the new sections added some technical rocky climbs and descents just to challenge drivers and riders even more.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

On Saturday, the 170cc/250cc UTV race was especially exciting, with the new rules (see below in 2020 AZOP Season Schedule and Rules Changes) having attracted a number of new competitors bringing a total of 21 entrants to the starting line.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

Sunday’s action started off with the 570cc UTVs racing on the 7-mile mini course. Grace Vinagro (#1910) – who had won the mini bike race on Saturday – took her second win of the weekend. Once the course was clear, the Big UTVs headed to the line and took turns heading out onto the course to battle over three laps on the brutally difficult terrain. With 35 total entries on course at the same time, there were some inevitable pileups and mishaps; no fewer than seven cars either DNF’ed or were forced to retire after the first lap.

Overall winner Dean Wheeler (#027) got out into clear air early and proceeded to put on a clinic in consistency and pace, eventually finishing a full 10 minutes ahead of second place. The story of the race was Bill Nash (#3262) who brought out a nearly stock Kawasaki KRX to compete in the 1000cc NA class and proceeded to finish fifth overall behind four turbocharged cars, ahead of every single Pro NA car!

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

2020 AZOP Season Schedule and Rules Changes

The packed schedule for this year features no fewer than 15 events, most of which are points-paying full-weekend races. Competitors will return to several of the favorite locations from previous seasons, while adding a handful of totally new courses (Yuma, Globe, Winslow, Bagdad), which should provide new racing and spectating opportunities for those who haven’t participated in an AZOP event previously.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

The new season also sees a few class rule changes for the UTVs aimed at evening the field for the sportsman classes; namely, the classes have been simplified and split into Pro Turbo, Pro NA, 1000cc Turbo, and 1000cc NA. The 570cc and 170cc UTVs also get some new rules, splitting the 170cc group into three classes: Beginner, Advanced, and Modified and splitting the 570cc UTVs into Beginner and Advanced classes.

AZOP Vulture Mine Hare Scrambles

AZOP next heads to Shorty’s Sports Park in Blythe, CA on the weekend of February 15-16 for the Blythe Grand Prix.

AZOP 2020 Blythe Grand Prix Promo Video


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ABOUT AZOP Arizona Offroad Promotions®

Arizona Offroad Promotions (AZOP) offers a diverse mix of racing including Hare Scrambles, Grand Prixs, Desert Races and Endurance Team Races. AZOP co-owners Kyle Krause and Richie Rees know what it takes to put on a great off-road race series. They have over 50 years of combined racing experience, having raced all types of motorcycle and ATV racing, from Baja to enduros, motocross to endurance Races. Arizona Off-Road Promotions’ mission is to promote friendly, family-oriented and FUN racing safely throughout Arizona and the surrounding areas.