Americans are being left in the dunes, and the dust, in the 2019 Dakar Rally.
Onetime Lancaster resident Robby Gordon’s best finish in the first three rounds of the Rally in Peru this week is 21st.
Gordon is competing in the quad, rather than truck, vehicle category.
Americans are in the distant reaches in cars, trucks, quads and off road motorcycles.
It was in the 2013 Dakar Rally that the late Kurt Caselli broke through to international superstardom.
The Palmdale racer had to take over for the injured Marc Coma on the KTM Factory motorcycle. Caselli won two of the 14 stages and finished in the top 10 in five others.
Nancy Caselli’s son lost his life in a freak accident less than 100 miles from the finish line while leading the motorcycle division of the 2013 Baja 1000.
A monument to the beloved Caselli’s memory has marked the spot since 2014.
Stephane Peterhansel won Stage Three Wednesday, covering 331 kilometers from San Jun de Macron to Arequipa.
The 13-time Dakar champion demonstrated how treacherous the Peruvian dunes are when he became lost during the second stage Tuesday, and tumbled all the way to 13th place.
Peterhansel beat Nasser Al-Attiyah to the checkered flag by three minutes and 26 seconds, jumping up all the way to third place overall.
Al-Attiyah still leads the overall race, by 6:48.
Popular defending champion Carlos Sainz suffered a mortal blow to his championship defense plans when he broke a left front suspension only 349 kilometers into Wednesday’s stage. Sainz needed more than three hours to repair the suspension.
The Dakar Rally has been shortened from 14 to 10 stages this year.
KCRP Announces Most Ambitous Schedule Yet
Kern County Raceway Park has announced the most ambitious schedule to its seven-year existence for 2019.
The 120 acres at the junction of Interstate-5 and Highway 43 west of Bakersfield will host a total of 28 events on its high-banked paved half-mile oval, its .33-mile clay dirt track and its new four-acre motocross facility.
The schedule opens with a a bang Feb. 1-2.
The Winter Showdown, “The Richest Short Track Race in America,” will offer a purse of $200,000.
NASCAR champion Kyle Busch won the 2018 event.
Barcia Reigns in the Rain at Anaheim
The rainy conditions wreaked havoc on the course at Angel Stadium for last Saturday’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener.
On the conventional wisdom, too.
Dean Wilson, running as a privateer this season after twin ACL surgeries, led the first 15 minutes of the 20-minute championship final.
When Wilson faded, Justin Barcia came on strong on the final two laps to win Anaheim I. It was the 27-year-old New Yorker’s third career win.
Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac filled out the podium.
The series shifts to Glendale, Ariz. this Saturday before a return to Anaheim on Jan. 19.