Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Off-Road Racer Matt Laughlin Won’t Have to Travel Far for SNORE’s Rage at the River Dec. 10-11
Matt Laughlin Racing
Matt Laughlin has a last name that is synonymous with Nevada. His grandfather, Don, is responsible for the creation of the city of the Laughlin, which he found in 1966 when the community consisted of a bankrupt bar on the Colorado River.
In addition, the younger Laughlin is known for his exploits in off-road racing, which he will showcase his talent Dec. 10-11 in a Class 12 entry when the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) present the wildly-popular Rage at the River over 12.8 mile laps beginning and ending at the Laughlin Events Park.
Now 26, the younger Laughlin is a native of the city with the same name. He works at the family owned L&M Food Service headquartered in Bullhead City, Ariz., supplying Laughlin and Las Vegas hotels with food service and janitorial supplies.
“My dad used to take me to off-road races in Parker when I was a little kid,” Laughlin said. “I’m a first-generation racer. The entire idea was for my dad, Ron, to co-drive with when we started the team almost two years ago.
“My dad is now my crew chief and I have about five buddies that we switch out as co-drivers.”
Laughlin, who graduated from UNLV with a degree in finance in 2007, could not wait to get back home after completing his education.
“All summer long we’re on the river here,” he said. “Then, during the winter, we’re playing in the desert. I love living in Laughlin.”
In the same breath, Laughlin also loves the sport of off-road race.
“Half the time, you can’t even see where you’re going,” he said. “When my dad used to take me to the races, I really enjoyed watching the competition. I guess you could say that I got addicted to the sport.”
Laughlin has done very well competing in the sport of off-road racing.
“The first year, we were just trying to figure out everything,” he said. “This year, we have done the entire SNORE schedule and we have finished in the top five several times.
“We’re going to go for the win this time. The course is in my own back yard and I feel that nobody is going to have more knowledge of the course than me. I am in no disadvantage when it comes to knowing the course. A lot of people look forward to coming here because of the availability of rooms along with the night life.”
Sponsorship for the Laughlin team is provided by his grandfather, who keeps his office at the Riverside Hotel and Casino; along with the family business.
Among Laughlin’s toughest competition is the Freeman family of Henderson which includes Cody and Bryan, last year’s SNORE points champion; along with the Reid family which includes Cody and Daniel Folts.
Sponsors and the city alike love the Rage at the River event considering that the race pumps up the local economy while also bringing another level of fun to the community situated about 70 miles south of Las Vegas.
Among those valuable sponsors who follow SNORE to Laughlin each year are NAPA Chassis; John Calvin’s Dusty Times, a publication that has concentrated on the sport for almost three decades; Patrick’s Sign, which is owned by long-time off-road racer Pat Dean of Las Vegas; and PCI Race Radios, spearheaded by Southern California Trophy Truck driver Scott Steinberger.
“The level of racing is incredible in Laughlin,” said Kenny Freeman, a member of the SNORE board of directors, a competitor in the 1600 class and the current SNORE point leaders. “It’s a combination of short course racing and desert all in one.
“In addition, this is an excellent way for our racers and crew members to end one year while getting ready for the next year. Also, the start-finish line is one block from the Colorado River; and the rooms are even closer. There are ten different properties competing for our business and the hotels there work hard to make us all feel welcome. The people of Laughlin love off-road racing and they want us there.”
Freeman went on to say that the 2010 Laughlin race was the largest special event economically in the area in December. SNORE had 260 entries last year and this year’s field is expected to be just as strong.
The field includes 26 Class 1 Unlimited drivers such as TJ Flores, Kyle Conlon and Terry Householder.
Further information regarding the Rage at the River can be found by visiting www.snoreracing.net.