Race promoter Casey Folks passes away after stroke

UPDATE: There will be a celebration of life for Casey on February 12th at 2pm at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with room for 6000 people. Details HERE.


The man who ran a legendary off-road desert racing series has passed away in Las Vegas after a stroke he had on Saturday in Parker.

Casey Folks, Director of the Best In The Desert racing association, was between stages of the GMZ Winter Nationals Parker 250 on Saturday when he had what BITD described as a “medical emergency” and was taken away in an ambulance.

He was reportedly airlifted to Sunrise Medical in Las Vegas where he had an operation that proved to be unsuccessful, and left him on life support, according to sources. BITD had been updating the public with status updates on Casey that avoided giving too much information, saying simply that the organization was pulling for him and that he was “continuing to receive treatment” in hospital.

But on Thursday, the news was not good, as the organization confirmed that Casey had died.

“With a sad heart, Best in the Desert announces the passing of our leader on January 12th, 2017. Casey suffered a massive stroke on the morning of January 7th in Parker, Arizona. He was doing what he loved, living his passion for off-road racing, getting ready to drop the flag on the latest UTV race event. He was rushed to a hospital and transported by air to Las Vegas for care. Despite efforts by the best doctors in Las Vegas, Casey succumbed to the effect of a stroke this morning.

He is survived by the love of his life Diane DeLauer, son Daryl Folks and his wife Sheri Folks, his son Bryan Folks, his sister Joan Ragona-Suarez, and 3 beautiful granddaughters, Adrianna, Morgan, Marlee.

Casey created memorable moments for thousands and thousands of people. We thank him for a lifetime of dedication to the sport we all love. As life goes on, and we continue to experience the passion of off-road racing, his legacy will live on. Remember the words he lived by, “Life is an Adventure. Come Live Your Adventure with Best in the Desert”. Casey’s life was truly an adventure, and we will always treasure our memories of him.

He will be greatly missed.

Casey’s organization took over the Parker races in 2003, and has been known as a responsible and collaborative organizer who does what he does out of his deep love for motorsports.

BITD says the Parker 425 will go ahead as planned next month, as Casey would have wanted. Sources tell Parker Live that Casey had put together a very capable organization that will be able to survive him and continue to run the desert races that attract so many to Parker and the other areas where the series takes place each calendar year. But there is little doubt that Casey was a giant in the sport and will be missed and remembered in a big way by racers and fans alike.

Listen to Parker Live’s January 2016 interview with Casey HERE.


  1. He will be missed. Thank you for all the memories????
    #RIPcasey #RaceInPeace

  2. Lawny Reese-Caracci

    Nooooo… He was so young at heart.. Casey will surely be missed by many to include Crossroads Cafe Staff. Casey “WAS” The Best in the Desert!

  3. Fair winds and following dust to you, Casey.

    The Legend will live on.

  4. Jeanie Kemme Young

    RIP Casey! ????????????????????????

  5. Karen Malm

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and BITD friends.

  6. Karen Malm

    Sending my thoughts and prayers to the family. Also to the friends and BITD racing family. ????

  7. My condolences to the family and friends of Casey……A complete off road Procession down the Strip should be in the makings…..He would like that…RIP

  8. James Rosnagle

    What a great guy, he will be missed for sure. R.I.P Casey.

  9. Bad Karma. Now there won’t be any more races in Parker. The end of BITD!

  10. I’ve known CASEY since 1975 He’s always been 100%devoted to LIFE and racing!a great SPORTSMAN and 1 of the toughest DIRT BIKE RACERS ever.To IRON MAN the BAJA 1000 in the early years without tracking devices.Helicopters and finish,CASEY GODSPEED BROTHER, RIP.THANKS FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE ,in the DESERT RACING WORLD.enjoy HEAVEN thanks for everything A.L.HAYDIS

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