Mesa, AZ (1/12/2018) - R-N-R
Steel’s Robert VanBeekum had a productive
weekend during the Best in the Desert Series
Parker 250. VanBeekum competed in both the
desert race, where he finished seventh in
Pro UTV Production, as well as the short course
Steel's Robert Vanbeekum finishes 7th
in BITD Parker 250
The desert race was held on a rough and difficult
80 miles of desert, rocks, sand washes and
canyons. Though he had several issues during
the three-lap race, VanBeekum fought through
every challenge and scored a seventh-place
“We had some electrical issues early on,
but we held onto 13th and fixed it in the
pits,” said VanBeekum. “On the second lap,
we set our fastest time and made it all the
way up to sixth. On the third lap, we had
another issue. We had no power steering and
we had fought a suspension problem, but we
held on for seventh.”
As is always true in racing, one race can
make a difference. Last year’s Parker 250
was that one race for VanBeekum as a DNF dashed
his hopes for a title. With that in mind,
VanBeekum made several changes to his car
preparation and racing weekend programs, which
paid off in this year’s race.
“We had a DNF last year here and that’s what
kept us out of the championship,” said VanBeekum.
“So to start out the year with a finish is
good. This year we’re looking for a championship
in Production and about halfway through the
season we’re going to start building a turbo
car for 2019.”
VanBeekum also competed in the special short
course event. He brought out a brand new Polaris
for the event and had the lead until a belt
problem ended his race.
“We brought out a brand new car that had
.02 hours on it,” said VanBeekum. “We did
a little bit of clutching on it, but everything
else was stock. The car ran great. I was second
out of the start. I took the lead, but then
had a belt issue.”
Vanbeekum won the Polaris RZR 170 after
Dallas Gonzalez's Family donated the
RZR back into the drawing for another
For VanBeekum, racing is important, but family
takes priority. His son Ryder was also competing
during the weekend in the 170 class and he
won a RZR 170 that was given away by the Gonzalez
family. Once the new car is built, VanBeekum
is going to give back to the sport he loves.
He will take his old car and prep it for less
fortunate kids to be able to race.
“Dallas Gonzalez did the giveaway,” said
VanBeekum. “It’s amazing for people to do
that. My son was so excited to win this car.
Jimmy at XMF had a bet with Ryder that if
he won, he’d build the car for free, so we
couldn’t let that one go. Ryder even picked
up Walker Evans and Method Wheels as sponsors.
“After we build this new car, we’re going
to donate his old car to kids who aren’t able
to race,” added VanBeekum. “So we’ll enter
other kids to give them the chance to race.”
VanBeekum will next head to the King of the
Hammers in Johnson Valley, CA in February.
He will also compete in select AZOP events
with his son, Lucas Oil Regionals, and the
Crandon World Cup.
Polaris, Maxxis Tires, Walker Evans, DragonFire,
Method Wheels, R-N-R Steel