The mission has changed, the passion has not. Chris Brahs and Drew Garcia talk with us about the changes at Outlaw Desert Racing due to government-mandated changes in their state and how they pivoted. Adrenaline Therapy, pit support, and off-road racing across the region in support of combat veterans is their focus now. Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app – a new episode releases every Thursday at 2 a.m. – if you subscribe on an app or YouTube, you’ll get notified every week.
5:25 – just work hard, play hard, right?
10:44 – our social media just took off the last three months
18:11 – That’s the good thing about the teamwork that Drew and I have created…
29:08 – our New Mexico land trust commissioner wouldn’t even have a meeting with us
35:26 – one of our goals is kind of a dream
42:11 – we gather items to mail overseas to troops that are deployed for Christmas
48:14 – we have a lot of support and we’re growing
We want to thank our sponsors Maxxis Tires and 4Low Magazine.
Be sure to listen on your favorite podcast app.Support the show
[00:00:06.410] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to conversations with Big Rich. This is an interview style podcast. Those interviews are all involved in the offroad industry. Being involved, like all of my guests are, is a lifestyle, not just a job. I talk to competitive teams, racers, rock crawlers, business owners and employees, media and private park owners, men and women who have found their way into this exciting and addictive lifestyle. We discuss their personal history, struggles, successes and reboots. We dive into what drives them to stay active and offroad. We all hope to shed some light on how to find a path into this world we live and love and call offroad.
[00:00:53.790] - Chris Brahs
Whether you're crawling the red rocks of Moab or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability. Four wheels or two, Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether for work or play, for fun or competition, Maxxis tires deliver. Choose Maxxis Tread victoriously.
[00:01:20.300] - Big Rich Klein
Have you seen 4Low Magazine yet? 4Low magazine is a high quality, well written, four wheel drive focused magazine for the enthusiast market. If you still love the idea of a printed magazine, something to save and read at any time, 4Low is the magazine for you. 4Low cannot be found in stores, but you can have it delivered to your home or place of business. Visit 4low magazine.com to order your subscription. Today.
[00:01:47.080] - Big Rich Klein
On today's episode of conversations with Big Rich, we have Chris Brahs, president of Outlaw desert racing series and Drew Garcia, the vice president of the Outlaw desert racing series. We're going to find out more about these guys and their 501(c)(3) nonprofit and their adrenaline therapy program that they're doing with their off road racing. But before we get into the racing, let's get into your guys' background, but thank you for coming on board.
[00:02:18.000] - Chris Brahs
Thank you. Rich. Happy new year. And we're excited about this.
[00:02:21.810] - Big Rich Klein
Awesome. And Drew?
[00:02:24.100] - Drew Garcia
Yeah. Thank you.
[00:02:25.060] - Drew Garcia
Happy new year to everybody out there.
[00:02:27.050] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, it is new year's day for anybody that's going to listen to this podcast, which I'm sure there's going to be plenty of you. So let's jump right in. And Chris, where were you born and raised?
[00:02:42.040] - Chris Brahs
I was born in eastern Washington, and in 1980 we moved to Idaho to the family ranch and grew up there a couple of times back and forth to Washington to help my grandfather out with the livestock auction yard that he built and with his age and whatnot. But finalized high school and stuff in Washington or in Idaho state and went to the military after that for seven and a half years and combat rescue, helicopter crew chief. And the last year I was in was security forces, law enforcement. And that's about that for the first bump in the road in my life, I guess you'd say.
[00:03:28.950] - Big Rich Klein
Okay, and what part of Idaho is that?
[00:03:32.280] - Chris Brahs
McCall, 100 miles north of Boise, up in the mountains, 5000 foot elevation, lots of snow year round recreation, snowmobiling, skiing, hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, everything that you can think of. The valley that I lived in, Valley County actually is the name of the county. Back then they had 1100 miles of groom trail in the wintertime for snowmobile. Yeah, I used to ride the snowmobile to school every once in a while. We lived 28 miles from town and then moved closer, a little bit closer to town. But it was 18 miles from town. Pardon but there was a few times rode the snow mobilethe school because of the county plow, couldn't keep up. That's the only time we got snow days. Right?
[00:04:31.500] - Big Rich Klein
And how about you, Drew?
[00:04:34.060] - Drew Garcia
Well, I was born in 1973, I'm 49 years old now and I was born in camp Lejune in North Carolina on the military base. My dad was in the Marine, so I was a Marine brat growing up until I was about 15. Ended up in California, San Diego where my dad was stationed there and yeah, it's kind of some of my roots there and then my family is from New Mexico, from Albuquerque and Clayton area so I would go back and forth and yeah, that's pretty much my roots there. Grew up, went to high school, played football, college football and then I played semi pro football for about seven years. I was the defensive nose tackle and during that time I was always into offroading so I was up at Apple Valley, California.
[00:05:24.740] - Drew Garcia
[00:05:25.660] - Drew Garcia
Desert was right there. Lucerne Valley, barstow. Johnson Valley. So I've been doing pre runners and rock crawling since I could ever remember and friends and neighbors had them. So it was just a dream that that's what I was going to do when I grew up. So yeah, those are my roots and finally came back with the family back in Albuquerque, settled here. This is where I met my wife. I have two wonderful children and they're all grown up out of college now. So just work hard, play hard, right?
[00:05:58.510] - Big Rich Klein
And so you you obviously were playing sports and stuff if you football and into college and stuff and then semi pro chris, did you being that far out from school, was it harder to be involved with sports?
[00:06:14.700] - Chris Brahs
No, football. I don't know if it was a blessing or a curse but being one of the biggest kids in the class, you know, when, where I grew up as little town, you know, there was 3500 people year round that, you know, permanent residents and then it was a resort town. So like winter carnival last week of January, 1 week of February, there'd be a million people come through town. The funny thing is I was talking to a buddy of mine about this the other day actually is elementary and high school was in McCall and middle school was in Donley 11 miles south. So when we ended 6th grade in McCall. The last couple of weeks we had a field trip to the junior high and toured the school, met the teachers. And I remember walking into Mr. King's class. He was the math teacher and also the football coach. And the first words out of his mouth was not, hey, Chris, nice to meet you. Hey, Chris, are you going to play football? So of course I played football and then got into wrestling when I was in high school and broke my wrist.
[00:07:31.390] - Chris Brahs
My sophomore year in wrestling, I was the lightest heavyweight in the state. I would have to drink a gallon of water to make weight while everybody else is wearing their rubber suits to sweat out and starving themselves and running laps before weigh in. I was sitting in the corner eating and drinking to make weight, but ended up kind of ending my sports career my junior year because of the wrist, but then went back to it my senior year. Broke my wrist at regionals in wrestling. I was wrestling first round. I was wrestling the heaviest heavyweight in the state. He was one of the guys running in a suit and trying to starve himself to make weight. I ended up beating him, but in the process I broke my right wrist. So it kind of screwed me up for my junior year sports. After that it was military. Spent a year in Korea, then came back to or came to Albuquerque at Kirtland Air Force Base and finished my military career there. They said, You've got too many medical problems you need to see later, basically. So 90% disabled from the VA right now. And after the military divorced, moved back to Idaho for a couple of years and got on a Top Fuel dragster team and running the country there and touring the country, the Northwest and stuff.
[00:09:12.440] - Chris Brahs
On the team, building engines. I was top left side in charge of building all the cylinder heads between races, getting everything prepped, and then moved back to Albuquerque because I couldn't stand being away from my kids. I got four kids, three boys and a daughter and needed to be closer to them. So literally sold my Peterbilt and my trailer because I ended up hauling cattle for my mom and dad for a couple of years too, and moved to Albuquerque. Loaded up my Chevy pickup on a U Haul trailer with no place to live and no job. Got in the automotive business because I've been a mechanic all my life and then ended up starting my own shop a few years ago and then sold it four years ago. Drew came to me and said, hey, let's get the Outlaw Desert recent thing back alive, because it kind of faded for a little bit, right? So he's like, let's do this. So we're like, okay, let's go. So I think that what year was that, Drew, 2013 or? No, 2014.
[00:10:30.620] - Drew Garcia
Yeah, because we had the big Cinco de Baja in 2012. And Rich, you actually you and your wife came by in Albuquerque to visit.
[00:10:39.530] - Chris Brahs
Us to watch that race.
[00:10:41.130] - Big Rich Klein
Right. We were down there with Gomez's, right?
[00:10:44.550] - Chris Brahs
Yeah, it was a while back. Yeah, that was their first race, I think, in 2000. It's already 2023. Time is just cruising by. But anyway, we decided to turn OutLaw Desert Racing into a nonprofit for military and first responders suicide prevention. And when we kicked that off, we only had 425 people following the page on our Facebook page. And just last yesterday morning, we are at 89,000.
[00:11:23.770] - Big Rich Klein
[00:11:24.210] - Chris Brahs
That's great growth. So actually, over the last three months, two and a half to three months. Three months ago, we were only at, like, 10,000 people. Like 10,500 people. And we've grown 70,000 people in three months. So the growth has just been astronomical, and we're pretty blessed about that. We're actually starting to have companies contact us to help us out, which is great.
[00:11:55.820] - Big Rich Klein
So what do you attribute that growth to? I know there's a lot of people out there who would love to see that kind of growth.
[00:12:01.910] - Chris Brahs
Well, I think I stopped being a little bit political on my personal page because I was spending a lot of time in Facebook jail. So Drew was having to run the page on his own, and I was down for 30 days, and it was just like, oh, my goodness. So now I just post about my dogs and the can build and my family, and that's it. And we kind of figured out that making reels has been the ticket. And I think that's we've got a video with Harley Lentner at the Parker 425 coming over a hill and almost taking out a media guy. The media guy was in the wrong spot of the he was on an outside corner on the track, and Harley almost took him out. But that video has got over 20 million views.
[00:12:59.540] - Big Rich Klein
[00:13:00.560] - Chris Brahs
And I think that was the kick off. I think it's 50 or 60,000 shares, something like that. It's just incredible. I think that's the video that really kicked things off for our growth. And we're like, hey, if we start making more reels, I think that's the ticket. So then we started looking at static posts, like pictures or sharing posts from other racing organizations. And we got very little insights, very little traffic on those. But we're getting astronomical traffic on the videos. So we're kind of just sticking with the videos. It's working. And we just received a partial sponsorship from GoPro, so we were able to purchase some new equipment, which is great. Excellent. Yeah.
[00:14:01.860] - Big Rich Klein
And how long are the reels that you're putting together?
[00:14:06.420] - Chris Brahs
We're trying to make them over 60 seconds. I think that's the key. We're getting a lot of traffic on the ones that are less than a minute. But to capitalize on all the stuff with Facebook and Instagram, the 62nd plus videos are the key item.
[00:14:28.850] - Big Rich Klein
Shelley and I have been talking about doing more reels, and it's not difficult, it's just more time consuming. But if you want to build it, it's what has to happen.
[00:14:40.460] - Chris Brahs
Exactly. Social media is almost turned into a full time job. It's mind blowing. The growth at one point for 28 day stats, we're reaching 24.5 million people in 28 days. It's the holiday season, so we're down right now. I think I look every day to keep track of our stats and see where we're at, but I think we're down to 17.2 or 17.3 million people still in 28 days. So we're getting our reach out there and more and more people are knowing what we do with the media and the veteran support and the first responder support, and providing pit support for a few race teams. Some of our sponsors actually race, so we do our best to try to afford to get to a race. Right now we're raising money to get to the Mint in March, and we're going to provide pit support for Metal Center, one of our sponsors here in town. And they run the unlimited class side by side, running the Can Amp. So we give rides and stuff at the pre run if we can, if it's allowed by the racing organization. But yeah, we're growing and our reach is getting out there.
[00:16:15.570] - Chris Brahs
We're actually global now. We've got people following us literally all over the world saying, hey, we're from South Africa, or, hey, we're from Europe or Britain. All over the world. It's fantastic.
[00:16:28.650] - Big Rich Klein
[00:16:29.030] - Drew Garcia
Yeah, we got a lot of fans out there in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and stuff, and they love the Dakar stuff. So that's why right now we're trying to showcase some reels and stuff from Dakar. They love the big trucks and so we're putting that on there. I also want to mention that Outlaw Desert Racing, the direction we're going in, we're trying to support all race organizations like We Rock and a lot of the local motor cross tracks to store Southwest Texas Off Road Racing Association in Texas and all Texas organizations, and then all the rock crawling, rock racing, whatever we can cover. We're trying to help share the love for that. And then also like Legacy best in the desert. And then Martelli meant 400. Again, like Chris was saying, we're trying to support them and show up at those events and do media coverage on it. And I think that's what's also helping us explode.
[00:17:38.540] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I agree. Getting out there and being part of it instead of just running your own little show really helps. And little I don't mean that you're condensed in. Just worrying about that I think really does help with your reach. I know that you guys help the Borens during the rock crawling season. And at least Chris has been up to farmington for our rock crawls.
[00:18:11.560] - Chris Brahs
Did you make a decision that was Drew that went I was unable to go. So that's the good thing that the teamwork that Drew and I have created, we tried to at least one of us go to a local event to try to support especially local stuff like the Moriarty Motocross track. It's only about a 2025 minutes drive for each one of us. So we're going to do some stuff in 2023 with the local Motor cross track, and they've got some veterans classes. So we go out there and support them and provide media for those guys. Like I said, we're going to go to the Mint. We actually got into drag racing. I'm on a no Prep Big Tire team here out of Corrals, New Mexico, a little suburb of Albuquerque, and we've been traveling Texas and New Mexico and and we're going to we're looking at doing some MPK stuff next year. For next year 2023, we're going to be doing some MPK stuff that's in the plans. So earlier this, in 22, in March of 22, we had a race in Odessa at the Penwell Knights drag strip in Odessa, and we created a host of Veteran challenge about a month and a half to two months before the race, and it went viral.
[00:19:38.160] - Chris Brahs
We had Matt from Total Seal Piston Rings get on board, and they took two veterans, provided tickets, put them in the pits, gave them the total hospitality, had them up there on the starting line with Matt's Prost team. We had a couple of Top Fuel teams that were wanting to do it as well and plan on doing it. In 23, we had 25 teams at the race in Odessa, have veterans on their team and treated them as if they were a team member, bottom their wristbands and had them right there on the starting line. And a few teams even had them working on the car to turn the car around for the next round. So it was great. We had Ray Abels out of eastern New Mexico. He spent over $2,000 of his own money to have a barbecue company out of Odessa come and cater for all of the veterans and all of the teams that were part of the challenge. So we got a lot of media on that as well. The veteran that was on our team, he was pretty standoffish at first. Combat vet, saw some pretty nasty things over there in Iraq and Afghanistan area, and by the end of the day, he had a smile on his face that was from ear to ear.
[00:21:04.600] - Chris Brahs
I don't think Chuck Norris could even kick the smile off this guy's face. He was excited about it. The next day on Saturday, he came to the track and, okay, guys, what do we got to do? And we had to almost kind of slow him down, like, okay, Speedy, we're going to take this thing one bite at a time, just like we did in the military, but we have a goal, and that is to win each round and try to win the event. And we ended up going out, but we took him to the start line to watch other races and he was just ecstatic. And all of the veterans that were part of the challenge were something that they've never experienced before. It's different sitting in the stands than being a part of the team. And right next to 4000 HP in a no prep car under the blown hemi, doing a burnout and taking everybody's hats off their heads and throwing them in the stands from the exhaust and being right there versus being in the stands. It was fantastic.
[00:22:13.370] - Big Rich Klein
Well, that's cool. That's awesome. So when you guys did the started outlaw in, like you said, 2012, or thereabouts was that first race, that 250 that we showed up at, it was like Lucupa Cabrera or something like that.
[00:22:36.900] - Drew Garcia
Cinco de baja.
[00:22:38.360] - Big Rich Klein
Cinco de baja. That's right.
[00:22:41.240] - Drew Garcia
Yeah. Ultra four came out. Dave Cole, we had reached out to him and we're like, hey, we're bringing in BRT. That was Baja race in Texas at the time. And they were coming down to Albuquerque. We were going to conjoin organizations, and that's when we got a hold of Dave Cole. And he's like, yeah, I'd love to come, we're looking for new places. So he came on down, checked it out, and yeah, they had a good time. So I hope in the future we can do that again, maybe with you guys or with Dave Kohler or somebody and make that race happen again. But it goes back way farther than that. Deservation has been around for 25 years, and we were always racing. Based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the casino, route 66 out there and back in the day, XRA Stream rock Racing Association with Mike and Jodie todd worm Castle. Todd lives in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho. And we were doing the local racing, and he was all full blown into the rock crawling and rock racing. And he had approached me and said, hey Drew, we should join this. Let's get some rock racers out here.
[00:23:59.350] - Drew Garcia
So we opened it up to them and actually, I think it was 2010, 2009, I'm not sure when Koh started getting big. The guys that had moon buggies are on air shocks or regular shocks, they started showing up at our races. Levi, Shirley and his dad, they came all the way from Dodge City, Kansas, just a test. And then Lauren Healey was racing with us. He started with us in Albuquerque when he started racing. And then cotton rod. Randy rod.
[00:24:33.410] - Chris Brahs
[00:24:34.620] - Drew Garcia
At the time, they were bringing all their cars down and everybody started testing and started getting on the coilover. So I feel like outlaw desert racing kind of contributed to the transformation of rock racing to this day. But that was a great deal. I don't know if you knew, I also worked for XRA back in the day. I was an announcer for them. I did the nationals in Jellico, Tennessee, and got to go to Colorado and got to go to some cool places also. So that was pretty fun. But I brought all that back and tried to contribute it into outlaw desert racing at the time, and that's how I kind of molded. And we always had all the classes, and it was always open to UTV, ATV, dirt bike, and then the trucks buggies, and then the rock race class. So, yeah, it came a long way.
[00:25:30.870] - Chris Brahs
It's pretty cool.
[00:25:32.320] - Big Rich Klein
So the association or the racing series was going on before you got involved?
[00:25:42.640] - Drew Garcia
Yeah, I've been with outlaw desert racing for over 20 years.
[00:25:49.170] - Chris Brahs
[00:25:49.650] - Big Rich Klein
[00:25:51.940] - Chris Brahs
Back in the day, a bunch of guys would go on the desert and peel out money out of their wallet, mark off, of course, and take all kind of like street reasons, go find a place, and there's nothing really organized or televised advertising. It was kind of hush hush, let's go out in the desert and go for some money type deal. And it evolved into what it is today, which is pretty great to look back in the history. And Drew is one of the founding members over 20 years ago, and we really would like to put on some races, but right now, lately, it's difficult to find the land. That's our hurdle right now. So if there's any landowners in New Mexico that are listening to this that wouldn't mind putting on a race, maybe we can get with rerock and create time of a mini koh. Whereas bringing the desert, introducing the desert into rockcrawling kind of a genre race type deal. But we're needing some land to be able to put on a risk for our stuff.
[00:27:04.450] - Big Rich Klein
Again, I understand that part. When we were doing the dirt ride endurance racing, the east coast was actually easier because they're all parks, and as long as you could find enough parks that would go, okay, yeah, let's go ahead and put on a race, we were great on the public lands of the western United States. It became much more difficult. One of the things that I always was really concerned about was keeping the spectators safe, and having an open area was always a challenge because you couldn't cover enough access points to keep intrusions from happening. The spectators getting on the course or crossing the course, or people not even knowing there's a race, even though they've just driven past signs that say, active race course ahead, do not enter, and people would still enter. And then you always get the the people that want to get selfies and get too close to the racetrack. And that was one the of things that really drove me nuts with it. And we stopped operation in 2009, 2019, and we looked brilliant for doing that, because 20 we never would have been able to carry that many events.
[00:28:44.300] - Big Rich Klein
We even had to cut the rock crawling series down because of COVID But the the racing became much more difficult. Trying to find property and dealing with the public agencies BLM was extremely difficult. Have you guys ever worked with the farmington office?
[00:29:08.820] - Drew Garcia
Yes, we work closely with the new mexico game and fish. Desi ortiz, he's great for us. We'll get into the land, the OSV grants that we've received from them to help the public. But yeah, that has definitely been a challenge for us with the new mexico land trust. Now, when we had all our previous races, we always had our right of entry with the new mexico land trust, we had our insurance game and fish would oversee us, police us, and everything was solid, good on safety, and all our events were policed. But since COVID happened, our new mexico land trust commissioner wouldn't even have a meeting with us. They wouldn't sit down with us. They didn't want to discuss any recreation or motorsports. So that definitely hurt us and was a bad impact for new mexico. Offroad recreation, for offroad events. Now, if it was private, like you said, the motorsports parks, then yeah, that absolutely. But our format of racing, we need at least seven to 30 miles to have a race or more. And that just was not doable the challenges that we did have. We were racing on private ranches, but those ranch owners were pressured by the state and they were getting worried, letting us race on their land, that it was going to come back on them.
[00:30:32.880] - Drew Garcia
So that was definitely an issue. So we had to stop. We haven't had a race in new Mexico the last two years, I believe.
[00:30:41.850] - Chris Brahs
Chris, I think 19 was our last independence, was our last race.
[00:30:56.840] - Drew Garcia
We had to think of outlaw deservation, can't stop. We were starting to build. We're moving in a great position. So that's when chris, we decided he's the president, I'm vice president. I didn't want to be president anymore because I did it for 20 years. He had a lot of great ideas and he's a veteran. And I just love the idea of the veteran support and the first responder support, and we have veterans around us.
[00:31:31.540] - Chris Brahs
It was great.
[00:31:33.280] - Drew Garcia
So we started going on UTV rides, off road rides. I take my rock crawler. I've got a jimmy's four x four rock crawler from randy rod. Also got a full blown pre runner ford ranger with long travel. Also got a bronco. And then chris has a brand new can MX, three full blown built up. And we use that for the adrenaline therapy. So we just started giving rides and then we realized that this is the way to go. Let's help support these guys and give them free rides. They have PTSD or suicide issues. Let's get them out there and at least have a day of comfort and let's feed them and feed their families. It was awesome to see the reaction from everybody and the love and support. So that's when the direction turned and we're like, hey, let's also, you know, the races, we can't have races here in New Mexico, so let's support them at other race organizations. If it's a veteran, he's trying to race and he needs pit support, let's.
[00:32:39.250] - Chris Brahs
Try to get there.
[00:32:41.240] - Drew Garcia
And that's how it's evolved. And now we're also getting veterans and just regular guys. Whoever wants to come help crew for these teams, that's what we're doing. We just had our last race in El Paso, and I think we crewed for like four teams. And we had companies like Desert Junkies that came out, and there were some other ones. Red Tide, Canopies, and just a bunch of other players that just came out and helped us with pit support. And it turned in to be a great thing. So now we're getting ready for the Mint 400, haskell Wright and like you said, Herman Johnson from Metal Center will be crewed for those cars and it's just a great thing.
[00:33:32.360] - Big Rich Klein
And so not doing the races over the last two years, I know a lot of that had to do with the government. They shut down pretty heavily New Mexico. It was probably one of the most shut down states, yes, because of the COVID And I can understand that, especially with the native Americans that are very prevalent in that area. They're a little more susceptible to the disease for some reason. And I know it became difficult because with us, the BLM just said no, the state says we can't do it, so we're not doing it. And are you guys planning on getting back into the racing side of it or are you going to keep it as a disabled veteran and first responder support with the adrenaline therapy program?
[00:34:39.120] - Chris Brahs
I think right now until we can find some land, we're going to continue with the veteran and the first responder support. That's kind of our mainstay at this moment. We are working with a new team that's forming here in Albuquerque for a bigger class. We had a first responder team now, but we had a group of first responders go through our program and we took them to the Mint 400 back in March or right before Code. I mean, it was the Mint and everything. COVID just exploded. Yeah.
[00:35:21.170] - Drew Garcia
Like the next Saturday, Las Vegas was shut down.
[00:35:26.220] - Chris Brahs
We all left Vegas and then a couple of days later it was locked down. So you guys liked it so much that they ended up creating their own side by side team called Pratt Racing. And some of the guys are in the Denver area, chad here in Albuquerque riot area. And so we've been providing support for them. They were one of the teams that we did the support in El Paso. So they do the grassroots stuff local races, store down in El. Paso and they did do an Arizona race last year. I think things were clearing back up. But we're going to stick with the veteran first responder and media and support until we can find some ground. One of our goals is kind of a dream of ours is to be able to raise enough money to either buy the land or get a land grant and create an oh. We park that we can have multitude of events on our own and other organizations coming in and putting on events and whatnot. That's kind of a dream of learners.
[00:36:39.380] - Drew Garcia
That insured it year round.
[00:36:41.260] - Chris Brahs
So that's our goal. Cool.
[00:36:45.240] - Big Rich Klein
I think that's a great idea. I mean, eventually I think that it's going to end up being that the west is going to have to follow the East Coast and those private properties are going to be the way to go. Because I just have that feeling watching how hard it is to deal with the public agencies and how more and more areas are being shut down, whether it's regular established off road areas and trails that all of a sudden the government says, oh, we don't have the manpower to police those areas. We can't patrol them, we can't keep up, keep on them. And I know there's a lot of private organizations that are clubs and places like Blue Ribbon and stuff that are, are trying to keep those public lands open to the public for motorized recreation. But we're not gaining ground. Every once in a while we get a win, but typically we're losing to the environmentalists and the government just doesn't want to go to court over things.
[00:37:58.380] - Chris Brahs
[00:37:58.720] - Drew Garcia
And then we do a lot of community outreach. We're heavily involved with New Mexico. Like when we Rock Comes to Farmington, we try to be there for the grand nationals in all the Motocross areas. We try to go to their big final state championships or their events to do media coverage. And then also on the UTV side.
[00:38:20.340] - Chris Brahs
The UTVs are exploding.
[00:38:22.520] - Drew Garcia
They have the great place called Razorville out in Rio Rancho. It's a great destination for travelers to go and park their RVs and then go play in the Rio park where we race. It's a beautiful area if you've never been there before. And then working with community outreach, like I said earlier, the Mexico Game and Fish. I don't know, Chris, you want to elaborate on that? But we got awarded a land or a grant for the OHB fund and we bought trail trash bags from Champa and he made us some bags and I think we bought $15,000 worth of, of trash bags to pack it in, pack it out and we give those away for free. And we cover in all events around New Mexico for Motocross, ATVs, UTVs, all these offroad shows, car shows. You know, we set up our ODR booth and we give out those trash bags for their offroad units.
[00:39:19.200] - Chris Brahs
So it's a pretty cool deal.
[00:39:21.130] - Big Rich Klein
[00:39:21.610] - Chris Brahs
I think we gave away 1250 bags. My memory serves correctly. I think we only have maybe two or three bags left. And to get a really good job making these bags for us, he put our logo on it. And we worked with Big Kirk out of Gallop with Red Rock Motorsports. He was kind of in on it too. So we had Andy put his logo on it and working with OHB, New Mexico logo. And it's kind of a cordura canvasy material with metal eyelets so you can attach it to the chassis of the car with the mesh bottom. So if there's any liquids, they drain with a velcro to hold your trash. So if you're out in the trail, you can pick up some trash along the way and help keep the offroad areas clean so we don't get shut down because people are just using the desert. Instead of paying the $5 dump fee to go take their stuff, legally they go out in the desert and trash it. So we've been involved for several years with in the desert with Rio Rancho and Sandoval County Laserville. We all get together and the county or the city provides the dumpster.
[00:40:49.180] - Chris Brahs
I think one time we did 60 tons trash we picked up in a day. Wow. We're heavily involved with the community. We received another grant last year with the company out of Santa Fe, and it was geared on outdoor recreation. So they came and spent two days with us with a film crew, shot quite a bit of video. They gave us a couple of videos to use for our social media. And then part of the grant was also giving us some social media glasses on different things that Facebook and Instagram uses and how to increase our reach. So I think that was one of the keys why our growth has expanded as fast as they did. Because about a month and a half to two months after the final class is when we started seeing the growth. And then we're involved with the Queen Creek side by side Christmas parade out of Queen Creek, Arizona in the Phoenix valley. And the city mayor, the new mayor that takes office here in a couple of days, reached out and said that she wanted to give us a grant for the parade next year. We've been involved with that for a couple of years.
[00:42:11.680] - Chris Brahs
We gather items to mail overseas to the troops that are deployed for Christmas. So I think there was over 1000 UTV for Christmas. I was actually at the parade for Christmas 21, and it was the biggest event I have ever been to. We just attended Sancho this last year in 22. It was probably the biggest trade show that we've ever been to. But as far as a local event, the side by side Christmas parade there in Queen Creek, I want to say there was upwards of 1500 cars in 21. There was definitely well over 1000 cars and 21 it was phenomenal. 27 miles loop through town, through the neighborhoods. Everybody was all had their cars all lit up and playing Christmas music. All the residents in the neighborhoods were camped out in their driveways with smudge pots going or barbecues going and waving and huge community support. And the line was so long from the school that we heard from that when the guys that started the first group came back to the school there were still people leaving the school.
[00:43:35.500] - Big Rich Klein
[00:43:36.760] - Chris Brahs
The loop was 27 miles long. Holy obviously we got some gaps in some groups because of stop lights and stop signs and a few groups got lost. Nick Mace, nick Macy and and Jen Macy there and Queen Creek, who kicked off the organization. They've been busting their tails for 22. They did the Blairs system. They mapped everything out so everybody can download the app even if they didn't have Polaris and follow the route. So now we've got the city of Queen Creek involved in it and the police department helping us close some roads at least one lane to keep things more organized. But it's hard to organize over 1000 cars. It's like her dad.
[00:44:27.100] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. It's hard enough just doing 50 or 60 at a race, right?
[00:44:32.810] - Chris Brahs
[00:44:34.380] - Big Rich Klein
So that sounds like that's going to be the future then, is trying to find property and continuing the nonprofit and getting the veterans out there. Are you going to expand out of your home area and do more things like you do with Queen Creek?
[00:44:56.740] - Chris Brahs
Most definitely. We're pretty dedicated to the Southwest Texas offroad racing there in El Paso. Luis and Chris Sims and Nyom. We're pretty gelled with those guys to help them support them. They do four races a year, so we try to attend every race because it's only a four hour drive. The Phoenix Valley. We have a ton of support in the Phoenix Valley. Matter of fact, quite a bit of our sponsors are from the Phoenix Valley. So we're going to try to get some best in the desert races in definitely the Mint. We're raising money now for the Mint there and take a couple of veterans and first responders and put them on the pick through. One of our other goals is to imagine reliable car trailers, reliable car transport trailers. We want to take and raise money to get one of those and convert the front half of the trailer into, like, a hospitality area. And racing stimulators leave the top deck lifts in the trailer so we can put our pre runners in, can the Ranger, and we can go to a VA hospital or an event and get people that are veterans and first responders that can't get into a race car because of a physical limitation.
[00:46:28.580] - Chris Brahs
Like Doctors says, no, you can't get in that race car and go 80 miles an hour across the desert. It's not going to happen. But they can sit in a simulator and do some racing handlers that are hand controls for folks that are in chairs. We're looking at possibly getting actually a couple of Kenworths donated, 1957 donated out of Idaho. It's going to take they're going to be a project, so we're going to need some help building them. But the plan is to have that and be able to go to Tech Contingency at the Mint and right there on Fremont Street and set the truck and trailer up and get folks in the trailer and hand out. Information on our adrenaline therapy program or go to a VA hospital and travel the whole Southwest. Or even further, if we can afford it. So that's another one of our dreams is to be able to travel the US. And go to different events and get the motor sports, not just desert racing. I know our name is Outlaw Desert Racing, but we're involved in motor sports, the love of motorsports. Whether it's drag racing, desert racing, motor cross, super cross, that's rock crawling, Ultra Four rock bouncers the thrill because you get behind a bunch of horsepower and do some pretty insane things.
[00:48:06.020] - Chris Brahs
From rock crawling to 100 miles an hour. Plus across the Whoops and the trophy truck. It's an adrenaline rush.
[00:48:14.040] - Big Rich Klein
[00:48:14.590] - Chris Brahs
So that's our goal. Pretty much our whole circumference is the adrenaline therapy, no matter what motorsport. During the host of veteran challenge, we had an offshore race team out of Florida. Want to get involved? So it went from drag racing on the host of veteran challenge to the desert racing to offshore country music. Artists are starting to bring veterans and stuff behind stage and give them backstage passes and the whole nine yards. So we have a lot of support and we're growing. And if we were able to raise the money to get our goals met and to be able to travel and work with organizations to help, like Martelli's, they've got a great deal with the mint 400 and with the veteran challenge, with the racing class, veteran teams part of the challenge. And each team races to raise money to help veterans, disabled vets. What our goals?
[00:49:23.640] - Big Rich Klein
Have you looked into doing anything with the offroad motor sports hall of fame?
[00:49:32.200] - Chris Brahs
No, we're not opposed to I support it.
[00:49:36.880] - Drew Garcia
I'm always involved with it. But now we haven't spoken to them anything yet.
[00:49:42.630] - Big Rich Klein
All right, barbara Rainey, when you listen to this episode, you need to talk with Chris and Drew. We can make that happen.
[00:49:51.620] - Chris Brahs
That would be great. Rich, thank you for that.
[00:49:53.720] - Big Rich Klein
I just think it's really good because there's so many people involved with ormhoff that are, of course, not only racers, but companies that support the racing, media that supports the racing and also a lot of veterans that are involved in that as well. That could be a good resource for your 501 c but also help even get more of the word out. So I think that would be a good cross getting you guys together.
[00:50:31.100] - Chris Brahs
Yeah. And we actually work with several other organizations like battleborn racing out of Texas, Louisiana, Brian and Louisiana. They take vets and put them in a road racing course. Cara Baron out of the Phoenix valley, she's got a huge following on instagram and tick tock and she's an air force veteran in a wheelchair and steel racer. She's working with fields motorsports this next year driving their car for invest in the desert series. And she's in a wheelchair just like Chris blaze with Blaze racing and racing services in California. Chris is known for par and stuff before he had his accident. Now he's in the chair and he is taking tail in a side in a can, side by side with all these different races. And Chris and Patty are wonderful. They're actually one of our sponsors for our can m build that we did excellent.
[00:51:37.220] - Drew Garcia
We also McNeil racing McNeil AZ out of mesa, Arizona. I'm sure you've heard of the McNeils. They're all the way from Mexico, arizona. California. There's a bunch of family involved. God bless the McNeil family. They race the trophy trucks, class seven TT spec. They've been in desert racing all their life. It's a family tradition. And when the McNeils race parker, Arizona, we had the opportunity to have a veteran come out. We were just going to have the family out. The wife said he hadn't smiled in a long time and Chris got a hold of him and said, hey, come crew with us. We're going to be doing the class seven unlimited race truck and you're going to crew with us with McNeil and jeep speed. And so he got to come out to the pits and before we knew it, aaron was in the truck codriving for a lap and the McNeils, they put him in there. So they took that veteran for a ride in the race at the parker 425. And I think it was one of the best experiences he ever had because now he's happy. He went and bought a UTV.
[00:52:49.440] - Drew Garcia
He's always involved now with off road events and they're having a good time. And then the McNeil is the TT spec. They even let me go driving the truck with Kelly McNeil and just a great family. So race teams like that are getting involved. We have Haskell Wright out of Edgewood, New Mexico. He's going to be racing a class ten. I think it's class ten or class twelve in the mint 400 will be crewing for him and he'll also be having some code drivers. So yeah, I mean a lot of things are just coming together. It's great.
[00:53:25.080] - Big Rich Klein
[00:53:27.640] - Chris Brahs
Go ahead to rehash. Sorry to interrupt but rehash on Aaron and the parker 425, he didn't know he was going to get in the truck. So Kelly says, hey, let's pick the suit for you, the suit that fits and how much that fits. And he's looking at us, he's like, what's going on? And we're like, you're going to get in the truck for a lap on the second lap, and half an hour later, 45 minutes later, the driver and the race crew are walking back to the pits, and I'm looking like, what just happened? Well, after the first lap, after Aaron got in the truck, they blew up the motor. And we're like, oh, I'm sorry, it didn't last. And he's like, no, you guys gave me an experience that he goes, I knew this type of racing existed, but he goes, I didn't know it existed on this level. And he goes, I don't care if the motor blew up. This is the funniest thing I've ever done in my life. So it happens. The attrition rate, as you well know, in this type of racing, whether it's rock crawling or desert racing, the attrition rate is just huge.
[00:54:40.620] - Chris Brahs
But he had last.
[00:54:43.120] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent, excellent. So anything else you guys want to COVID that you're doing?
[00:54:50.980] - Drew Garcia
No, I think unless Chris wants to mention anything, we're going to keep moving forward. We're coming on strong with the media. GoPro has sponsored us, and we have the new the Max Pros, I believe. Is that what they're called, Chris?
[00:55:09.950] - Chris Brahs
Now? The Max three hundred and sixty s and a bunch of mounts. We got a pretty good percentage off on our order, so we ordered two Max, three safety cams and accessories and some extra batteries so we can toss a camera in a car, bring either free run or race, and get some food in car footage there. And even when we're doing our weekend rides here locally and taking veterans, we can film it, and they got some memorabilia over their experience. We're continuing forward and kind of to raise money to keep doing things we're doing. And we want to one organization can't reach like what we do when we're face to face with the veterans. We can't be in everywhere across the United States at one time, so we want to team up with other veteran organizations. So if we get the phone call from North Carolina and refer them to Dave Bronson, who works for CT Race Works as a Marine veteran, said, hey Dave, I got a veteran in your area that wants to go out for a ride. Can you assist us? And he's like, yes, I got it. And CT Race Work steps up and they take the veterans for a ride.
[00:56:33.690] - Chris Brahs
But any other veteran nonprofit organization across the United States, we want to team up so we can refer people that contact us. Justin Youngman in Flagstaff, Arizona, he runs Change by Nature outdoors, so if the individual wants to go hunting, Justin takes him hunting. So we refer a lot to Justin. Wicked seven outdoors in Texas is a hunting guide. They're one of our sponsors, and they'll take a veteran hunting, not just motorsports even we want to team up. It's anything to help veterans and first responders and work as a collective team to help instead of competition. We don't want to be in competition with another nonprofit that's helping because we can further our reach and help more people if we all just teamed up.
[00:57:31.220] - Big Rich Klein
Right, okay. And how do people get in touch with you to help you guys out?
[00:57:38.040] - Chris Brahs
We've got our website, Outlaw Desert Racing. They can fill out the contact form there or reach out to us on Facebook. Instagram is outlaw desert underscore racing. I don't know why, but we started a TikTok. It's like we didn't need another social media platform to further our daily workload, but we did it's slowly growing. The TikTok thing, we're still kind of learning that it's quite a bit different than the other platforms. LinkedIn. On LinkedIn. We have a YouTube channel. We're still trying to figure that out and we're getting better as we learn video editing. And now that we've got some good equipment from GoPro, we can provide some better quality videos versus just the phones. But there are several ways the social media, the website, our phone numbers are visited on the website and Facebook page. So we're looking forward to 23 and what we can do and further our reach.
[00:58:49.790] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Excellent. Well, guys, I want to say thank you for kicking off the New year with us. That's 2023. I don't know where you're at, but right now we finally got sun after a lot of days of raining. We've gotten like 16 or 17 inches of rain over the last three days here in Northern California most, yeah, all sorts of flooding and stuff around Placerville Eldorado Hills and this area. So we're drying out today, which is good. Hopefully you guys are going to have a great, outstanding 2023 and wish you guys all the luck. And if there's anything that we can do, me or Shelley to help you further your guys'cause, please get in touch with us and let us know.
[00:59:37.900] - Drew Garcia
Wow, thank you very much. And I just wanted to say last but least, I want to thank all the Outlaw volunteers over the years that have always helped us and come out to our events. And they always come, they always want to help us with the veterans and first responders, all the shows we put on, just the generosity and the people come out. I just want to say thank you. And also the originators of outlaw desert racing. Kevin barton, he was part of the original outlaw desert racing james gang back in the day. And that's how he brought that over. Outlaw desert racing. And it's just stuck ever since. And him and Ted Gilbert, Troy Gilbert, Bill Delaney, all those guys, they're the originals that helped create this and paved the path for us. So thank you very much to all of them.
[01:00:35.120] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. Well, guys, thank you so much. And here's to a great. 2023, sir.
[01:00:42.790] - Chris Brahs
[01:00:43.860] - Big Rich Klein
All right, thank you. Take care. Well, that's another episode of Conversations with Big Rich. I'd like to thank you all for listening. If you could do us a favor and leave us a review on any podcast service that you happen to be listening on or send us an email or a text message or a Facebook message and let me know. Any ideas that you have or if there's anybody that you have that you think would be a great guest, please forward the contact information to me so that we can try to get them on. And always remember, live life to the fullest. Enjoying life is a must. Follow your dreams and live life with all the gusto you can. Thank you.