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Off-road enthusiasts focus on safety changes, not criticism

from The Press-Enterprise

Driving 70 mph through the hot Mexican desert a few years ago, Jim Patelli saw someone touch his fender. "They just reached out and ... whoosh," Patelli recalled. "It was crazy. We're racing and the crowd thinks it can come onto the course." It's a common complaint from off-road racers and dedicated fans. A sport where everyone once knew how to take care of themselves is consistently attracting more casual fans who don't take it seriously. And that is putting pressure on the sport to enhance its safety or risk losing access to public lands, especially following the Aug. 14, crash east of Victorville, Calif., that killed eight spectators. more

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