After a wildly successful debut in the return of desert racing to Southern California last October, the California 300 Off-Road Race makes its return to Barstow, California on October 4th to 8th. Hundreds of competitors, thousands upon thousands of fans, and many of the biggest brands in the sport will descend upon the high desert for a full weekend of off-road racing action, camping, and fun.
From the Off-Road Festival at the Start/Finish Midway that hosts the race action and displays from top off-road brands, to the Main Stage showcasing race finishers and hosting event updates and information. The Start/Finish Midway is located just east of the intersection of Lenwood Ave and Arbuckle St. just off the 15 freeway. Exit Lenwood Ave and head south and look to your left.
Pre-race festivities began last Saturday with the second annual California 300 Desert Cleanup presented by Tread Lightly!, which saw 200 volunteers clear five tons of trash from the Stoddard Valley OHV area. Racers will be pre-running the course on Tuesday before fan festivities kick off on Thursday morning with the California 300 Poker Run, where the public can take on a single lap of the race course in off-road cars, trucks, and UTVs between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Also taking place on Thursday from noon to 6 p.m. is the California 300 Off-Road Festival at the Start-Finish Midway, which will showcase top off-road engineering and innovation and the race’s tech and contingency.
Racing itself kicks off on Friday at 7 a.m. with the inaugural California 300 Motorcycle Race, featuring a 60-mile course designed by Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer and racing legend Johnny Campbell. Also competing on Friday will be the Youth 1000 race at 1:15 p.m., followed by UTV Qualifying at 2:30 p.m. and Car and Truck Qualifying at 3:30 p.m. The Youth classes will wrap up on Saturday morning beginning at 8 a.m. before the UTV and Limited Race kicks off at 10 a.m., while the feature Unlimited Race will kick off at 8 a.m. on Sunday to wrap up the weekend.
This year’s entry list features many top names in the sport, led by Mint 400 winners Justin Lofton and Eric Hardin and current UNLTD Off-Road Racing points leader Adam Householder in the Unlimited Truck class. Other top names competing in Sunday’s Unlimited Race include defending California 300 Unlimited Race champion Dustin Grabowski, Cameron Steele, and the debut of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in Unlimited Truck Spec. Saturday’s UTV and Limited race is headlined by Mint 400 winners Ryan Piplic and Joe Terrana, UNLTD Pro Turbo points leaders Bruce Binnquist and Carson Wernimont, and fan favorites Sara Price, Brook Jensen, and Wes Miller.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be back in Barstow for the second edition of the California 300!” said California 300 CEO and co-owner Matt Martelli. “We had incredible support last year from the city of Barstow, San Bernardino County, the local BLM office, and the entire business and residential community in bringing desert racing back to the area, and we’re thrilled to have had the same support in returning this year. We’re going to continue growing the event as part of the UNLTD Off-Road Racing calendar as we crown our champions. Just like last year, we hope all of our spectators will continue to respect the 150-foot spectating rule and help keep the area clean by picking up your trash. Thanks once again to everyone for their support!”
Barstow, California, has a rich tradition of off-road racing dating back to 1971 with the first “Fireworks 250” race, which ran for fifty-one years. It has always been a vital and important location for testing, recreation, and racing. After promoting the Mint 400 successfully for more than a decade, The Martelli Brothers brought a major desert off-road race back to Southern California, the mecca of off-road racing, for the first time in 22 years last year, and are thrilled to be back once again in 2023.
Head out to Barstow to watch over 100 races taken on the gnarly Barstow terrain. For all the latest information on the California 300 and a full schedule of events, be sure to check out its website.