Saturday, February 16, 2008

SNORE Battle at Primm Photo Update

See all the photos at

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tracy and Stout Team Up for the Battle at Primm

2003 Champ Car Champion Paul Tracy will team up with Ed “Clyde” Stout in the QAE Corp Stout ST1 #13 Trophy Truck at the Battle of Primm, February 15-17th in Primm, NV. Tracy, who is ranked 1st among active CART drivers with 31 victories to date, is excited about taking an off-road adventure in the Stout ST1. Stout says, “I am looking forward to sharing the driving responsibilities and working with Tracy.” Paul will gain a feel for the truck in testing prior to the SNORE event and will be driving one of the 2 days of competition. The Stout Industry Factory Race Team of Jake Batulis, Danny Gormican, Brian Lopez, and Richard Patterson will support the driving of Stout and Tracy.

To be successful, a program requires a principal who has a clear vision and strong leadership, as well as a professional crew, dedicated volunteers, and supportive sponsors. The Stout Industry Factory Race Team would like to thank sponsors QAE Corp, Fox Racing Shox, BTR Wheels, UNI, Alloy, Etnies, LightForce, Lucas Oil, Optima Racing Batteries, Dougan’s Racing Engines, VP Fuels, Bassani, Ancra, and G Force Imagez for their generous support of this event and the race program.

For more information regarding Paul Tracy, please visit his web site at For more information on the Stout ST1 Trophy Truck, visit the website at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mexico and the Sharks of Ecotourism

February 11, 2008

Mexico and the Sharks of Ecotourism

Frontera NorteSur

In Baja California and other Mexican coastal states, ecotourism is promoted as an answer to declining resource-based economies and old school sun and surf-style visitation packages. Within the ecotourism sector, extreme sports activities are one variation of attractions designed to lure the dollars of affluent foreigners and Mexicans. But one form of extreme ecotourism, cage diving with sharks, is raising questions about the management of Mexico's natural resources as well as the safety and integrity of both humans and animals.

A remote chunk of land off the Pacific Coast of Baja California, Guadalupe Island is a hot spot for shark cage diving. Every year one hundred or more great white sharks gather near the island, likely drawn by Guadalupe's tasty seals. In April 2005, Guadalupe Island was declared a protected biosphere reserve by the federal Mexican government. However, the reserve lacks governmental or medical facilities.

Guadalupe Island's lack of infrastructure hasn't stopped several San Diego-based tour operators from offering adrenaline-spiked encounters with the magnificent if potentially deadly great white sharks. Running expeditions from the port of Ensenada, Baja California, tour boats ferry as many as 22 people on shark-seeing adventures. Advertised on the Internet, five or seven-day Guadalupe Island packages range from $2,750 to $4,295 in price. Once near the island, tourists don diving gear and are then put into cages from where they observe great whites swimming near the enclosures. The circling sharks are attracted by bait, usually tuna, dangled from a line.

According to Mexican environmentalist and columnist Ivan Restrepo, a November 4 trip crossed the line in keeping sharks and people at safe distances. Restrepo reported in a recent column that a great white shark snagged itself on a cage which contained two tourists, ripping apart an entire section of the "barrier." Luckily, the two thrill-seeking tourists, who presumably got their money's worth, escaped harm.

Restrepo said a previous pilot study conducted by Dr. Jose L. Castillo Geniz, a researcher with Mexico's Regional Fisheries Research Center of Ensenada, resulted in recommendations to tour operators about where to place the bait and how to keep a prudent distance from the sharks.

"(Tour operators) promised to do it, but nothing more," Restrepo charged. "The lives of tourists and sharks continue being at risk."

The incident reported by Restrepo once again raised questions about the possible impacts of ecotourism on wild animals. Whale-watching, for instance, is an economic plus for coastal residents in Baja California, Banderas Bay and other areas, but the popular activity poses important questions. When does the number of boats viewing animals reach a saturation level? How close is a safe distance from an animal? How do human-animal interactions alter the natural breeding, migratory and other patterns of wild species?

According to Restrepo, Guadalupe Island's shark tourism brings in about $3 million per year for the tour operators, who pay nominal permit fees to Mexico's Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment.

"The business of taking tourists to watch white sharks on Guadalupe Island is an excellent one for a small group from the neighboring country," Restrepo wrote, "but not for the natural reserve, which lacks resources to establish a management plan, sponsor research or pay its personnel better…."

On the other hand, tour operators maintain that their Guadalupe Island excursions help shield protected great white sharks from poachers, who hunt the endangered creatures for the lucrative global fin market. Recent reports estimate that the worldwide population of great white sharks has declined by as much as 70-90 percent. A group of San Diego shark-watching tour operators has established the non-profit Guadalupe Island Conservation Fund to raise money for the preservation of the local shark population.

"Great whites are listed as endangered in Mexico; however there are no resources to dispatch park rangers in small enforcement vessels to protect them," said a statement from the Fund posted on its website.

Experts regard closer US-Mexico collaboration as essential for preserving the great white shark, which is an international traveler of excellence. After tagging a male great white shark with an electronic tracking device in early 2007, a cross-border team of researchers released the young predator into the ocean from the privately-owned Monterey Bay Aquarium in north-central California. Months later, the shark surfaced off the southern coast of Baja California near Cabo San Lucas.

"It clearly shows that like many migratory animals, sharks don't recognize international boundaries," said Dr. Salvador Jorgensen, a researcher with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hopkins Marine Station. "It underscores how important it is to work closely with our Mexican colleagues to make sure we have adequate protection for the species," Jorgensen told a California newspaper.

Sources: La Jornada, February 4, 2008. Article by Ivan Restrepo. Monterey County Herald (California), May 23, 2007. Article by Kevin Howe.


Frontera NorteSur (FNS)
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico


(Reprinted with authorization from Frontera NorteSur, a free, on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news source. FNS can be found at

Translation FNS

Second Quake in 3 Days Rocks Baja California

A moderate earthquake struck Baja California Monday morning.

The United States Geologicial Survey has a preliminary 5.1 magnitude for the quake which struck at 10:29 west, northwest of Guadalupe Victoria. That is 21 miles southeast of Mexicali and 101 miles east of Tijuana.

There were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

The temblor came three days after the Mexicali area was rocked by a magnitude 5.4 quake that shut down factories and left 400,000 people without power.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

HMS Parker 425 Race Report

*Hostyl Motorsports Press Release*

February 7, 2008


After much drama, hard work and money well spent, Hostly Motorsports would like to announce their first podium finish in the 2008 Jeepspeed Series.

February 2, 2008, the first race of the jeepspeed series for 2008. The race was the Best in the Desert Parker 425. The Team HMS was a late entry and was given the last starting position in the class. We were placed 25 out of 25 in class, we got a nice long wait in the jeep watching basically all of the 290+ cars leave the start line that nice cold morning. As we creep up to the start line, we are confident. I, Bryan Dodge and co-driver for this race Jesse Martin have put in countless hours, and with the help of Dodge Concrete LOTS of funds to get the jeep ready for the 2008 series. In the offseason we were able to get a new motor built by Hesco Performance ( out of Alabama that we were very confident would finally get us into the top runners of the class. This new motor as well as a new transmission after granading the last transmission in our last race of 07 we knew we would be able to push like no time before.

We get off the line in downtown Parker, Arizona and were off. The motor is a night and day difference in performance and it was obvious. At this point they are allowing the prior entrants a 20 seconds per car gap to help with congestion. By the end of the mile or so stretch of pavement we are on the car ahead of us. Through the first dirt section, we are on it, at mile 2 we try and go left to pass again and get into some soft dirt on a small hill and bury the jeep. Issue number 1, we try backing up and start to dig, go forward, dig, back and forth for what seemed to be an eternity as several cars pass us. Finally with the help of onlookers we are pushed out and off we go. From this point on we are going for the finish. Don’t get me wrong we are still pushing hard, but not being stupid and letting my adrenaline get the best of me, which it has been known to do once or a million times previous.


We begin a nice steady pace again with the race letting us get our Radflo shocks up to temp and ready for the 280 mile beating that they are about to endure. As we get into the was section a couple miles down the course we start to see other jeeps again, take a line and start the passing sequences one by one, but maintaining a steady pace. Through the course we are smooth and steady, taking the beating of a lifetime but making it through the course, ever watching our rearview mirrors for the countless cars and trucks that are much faster than we are. At midway pit, which was actually mile marker 91 we pitted for our first gas stop. The jeep took roughly 22 gallons of gas, the crew quickly checked over the jeep, and we were off again.

Another 40+ miles we endured until we made it back to the main pit area and infield. Through this time we were stuck behind a couple of slower trucks that were giving us a nice dust bath. Eventually we worked our way past the first truck, then with only one truck making dust we sat back and watched the rough lines that he was taking and decided to find a smoother route. Into the Gauntlet infield section we went, still behind this truck, then it was time to use that nice new little straight six we had and passed that big V-8. Over the numerous jumps and around the large bermed corners and through the very deep ruts, we finally made it to our pit half way through the infield. We get there, the crew once again drops another 8+ gallons of gas, check out the jeep and Jesse and I get out of the jeep to have a much needed restroom break. Get back in the jeep and we are off.

Now back into the infield we are passed by a couple cars in faster classes and back into the desert we go. At this point we believe we are in fifth place in class due to the amount of cars that have either broken or pulled out of the race for one reason or another. Through the washes, rough sections and high speed roads our little jeep was actually able to get up to 93mph and it still had more to go. Not one issue was happening, besides loosing one of our front bumpstops. The BFGoodrich tires were amazing, Radflo shocks were spot on and the AEM air filters were keeping the jeep running amazing. We continued again to the midway pit for yet another 20+ gallons of gas for the final stretch to the finish line.

Within the next 30-40 miles the course was the roughest of the entire lap, it was so bad at one time that I actually became nauseous and threw up inside my helmet from motion sickness and lack of airflow through my fresh air system. Let me tell you, if that were to never happen again I would be completely satisfied. But on the other hand, it does give me a nice excuse to get a new helmet. We continue through the course not really seeing anyone or having any issues until about 10 miles from the finish when we finally see another jeepspeed belonging to Tom Barnett of T&Js offroad. Able to get by him due to him being stopped to talk to course official about his brother being stuck in a wash a mile or so back. Continuing on, we head into a rough section of the course called the goat trail. We try to kick up as much dust as possible making him back off so we could stretch out our lead on him. We did this on and off depending on how close he was getting until about 4 miles to the end. Once he was safely out of our mirrors we kicked it into finish mode and got us going at a smooth pace.

We reach the split in the course which sent us to the finish line, we were on it again to put on a good show for those that were watching from the overpass as well as other areas. We hit the last stretch of course that was actually paved, a God sent, and were on the gas as hard as we could, once again hitting that mark of 93mph. We fly through the finish line, stop at the stop sign just ahead, when Jesse and I finally realize we are done!

We meet Casey Folks, the owner of Best in the Desert when he tells us good race. He asks us a couple of questions and tells us to pull forward onto the podium for our interview. At this point we believe we are still in 4th or 5th place. We shut the jeep down and ready ourselves for the interview when the mc tells us congratulations on being the second jeepspeed to complete the race behind Jeff Knoll and the Dust Junkies team. At this point we begin to laugh and celebrate because we had no idea that we had done as well as we did. They ask us the questions of how the race went, if there were any issues and who we would like to thank. Get done with all of that, get off the podium and then get sent to post race tech for the jeepspeed class. At this point we are asked to give a fuel sample which we do, and continue to relax and just enjoy the moment of having our best race ever in the jeep.

The following Monday we come to find out that they say that our gas does not fit within class rules and that the gas, although street legal and from a pump, has too much color and also an additive that comes premixed in the gas, just like all other Arizona gas from the pump with a certain amount of ethanol. Due to this we are penalized even though we were very upfront on what fuel we were running with the new motor. Because of this infraction we were penalized 10 points out of the 65 given to us for our second place finish. With this we went from solely holding second place in the series to being tied for 3rd. Think of it as you will, but realize that Hostly Motorsports will change its fuel being used, fit right into the little rules that the series enforces at will and will come back next race and make up those 10 points and be right back in the race for the championship.

Being that this was the first race of the 2008 series, we would like to thank our continuing sponsors that are helping us, Dodge Concrete, Radflo Suspension Technology, Rain Tunnel Carwashes, AEM Dryflow Technology air filters, digital media, BFGoodrich Tires and Camburg Engineering . We would also like to thank the new additions to the HMS sponsors for the 2008 series, Racer Offroad, Rainwipes microfiber towels, Copperstate Nut and Bolt, Trailmaster Suspensions for all of their help to this point and continuing for the remainder of the season. HMS would also like to take time to especially thank our families and friends as well as the entire HMS crew for the countless hours and hard work over the last several months.

Our next race in the 2008 Jeepspeed series will be the Terribles Town 250 in Primm, Nevada on April 18th and 19th. Look forward to a prerace update and post race recap. Thank you very much Bryan Dodge, driver of the Hostyl Motorsports Jeepspeed #1788