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John Stewart

Rest Day Comes Early For Fastball Racing

The Dakar Rally is a long, grueling race covering two weeks’ time and thousands of kilometers.  In each of those kilometers, there are opportunities and risks and the potential for your entire race to come to an end.  For Fastball Racing, that end came on Stage 6.  Just four kilometers into the day’s 478-kilometer Special Stage, Bobby Patton caught a rut in the sand while making a wide sweeping left-hand turn.  Momentum sent the truck into a barrel roll that did not end until the truck had been upside down three times, completely destroying it in the process. 

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John Stewart

Fastball Racing Rounds First and Second at Dakar Rally

In baseball you don’t always swing for the fences.  If the count is 3-0 you may take a walk, or if you want to advance a runner you may bunt.  Rally raid is no different.  Rather than swinging for the fences in his first foray into the Dakar Rally, Fastball Racing’s Bobby Patton has been taking a more conservative approach.  Patton and teammate Robbie Pierce have finished the first two stages of the twelve-stage rally, something that has already alluded seasoned wheelmen like Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and three-time 24 Hour of LeMan winner Romain Dumas; both out due to mechanic failure.

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John Stewart

Fastball Racing Throws Off-Road For A Curve

Fastball Racing to compete as the only American car entry in the 2020 Dakar Rally

Dodger’s owner Bobby Patton has been bitten by the off-road racing bug.  Bitten hard. In 2017 he raced the Baja 1000 for the first time, piloting a vintage Land Cruiser to victory for the 50th anniversary of the event.  In 2019 he finished every mile of every SCORE International desert race as driver of record in his No. 240 Jimco-built Fastball Racing Spec Trophy Truck to earn the coveted Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Award, a distinction bestowed upon only 46 other SCORE series racers competing in 18 different classes.  Covering 2,025 miles in a season is impressive and has helped prepare Patton for his biggest challenge yet: the Dakar Rally.

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John Stewart


Special Recreation Permits are authorizations which allow specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses. Authorized by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, there are five types of uses for which these permits are required: commercial, competitive, vending, individual or group use in special areas, and organized group activity and event use.  In short, if you are going to use public lands and revive a financial gain from that use, a special event permit is required.  The various land management agencies have specific permit requirements such as groups size and application time frames and deadlines.  However, all agencies subscribe to the same basic criteria for defining type of permit required.  The below is a general description for the Special Recreation Permit requirements employed by Bureau of Land Management.

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John Stewart

Three more elk poached in northern Michigan; DNR seeks information

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in Gaylord are seeking tips from the public regarding three adult cow elk poached in Otsego County – the third elk poaching case in northern Michigan in roughly a month.

“This is the worst year we’ve had as far as elk poaching,” said Lt. Jim Gorno.

Area residents found the three elk about 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road near Bobcat Trail, in the Pigeon River State Forest, east of Vanderbilt. Officers believe that the three elk were shot either Saturday or Sunday while they were bedded down near each other.

"This is a loss for everyone who appreciates our state’s natural resources. It’s a true shame,” said Gorno. “If you or anyone you know has information that can help us solve this crime, we want to hear from you.”

Gorno said that the public tips received regarding a bull elk poached in November helped identify a suspect in that case. 

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