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Page 85 of 124

THE CONVERGENCE A Total of 62 Pro UTV Competitors Descend On San Felipe By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo In one of the largest gatherings of Pro UTVs in the San Felipe Desert, these competitors in five different classes were ready for the BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 Presented by Ford. At the start of the race, the Pro UTV FI class had some of SCORE’s elite UTV racers and former class champions wanting to take home their first win of the season. Among them were SCORE class champions Marc Burnett, Matt Burroughs, Wes Miller, and Brandon Schueler. In total, the Pro UTV FI class had 33 competitors, most of whom were experienced or had won one or more SCORE races in this class. Missing was Wayne Matlock, who moved into the SCORE Pro UTV Open class instead, competing as the Factory Polaris team member against other competitors with open-displacement engines. At the start of the race, 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 winner Justin Lambert won the starting position from the draw and took off into the San Felipe desert. He was followed by 2020 SCORE Class Champion Matt Burroughs. Way down in 25th position was 2017 Class Champion Brandon Schueler, who teamed up with Cayden MacCachren (son of Rob MacCachren), who has been winning in short course UTV races. Schueler and MacCachren, with co-drivers Pat Stone and Miles Marin, sped forward to pass everyone they encountered and had a nearly flawless day to eventually have the quickest time to win the class. “We had one flat and we ended up running out of fuel, but luckily we were really close to the pit stop. It was a pretty flawless day. It was a good time,” said Schueler. Finishing closely behind Schueler and MacCachren less than a minute in time, was Austin Weiland who drove the race solo, and despite some troubles, managed to close the gap and take a second-place finish. “We had lost front-wheel drive with about 20 miles to go, and had our hands full trying to make it to the finish line,” said Weiland. Finishing in third place was Wes Miller who also ran a good race after starting 12th. “It’s super competitive, and I felt like we had the pace and the speed to run up front. We just had a few issues we had to deal with that cost us some time. We didn’t have a perfect day. But if on a bad day you are a top-five, that’s pretty good,” said Miller. “The course is fast but rough. It’s a testament to the tough components we run. Looking forward to the SCORE Baja 500.” A MATLOCK COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN In typical fashion, Kristen Matlock in her 1954 Factory Polaris UTV, likes to start at the back of the pack and move her way up to the winner’s podium. After starting nearly in last place, Matlock quickly began running her race, putting a good lead on the rest of the Pro UTV N/A class. “The race was a lot rougher than I anticipated after pre-running all week,” she said. “We thought it was going to be a fast, smooth, easy-going run, but after those SCORE Trophy trucks got out there and tore it up a bit, it gave us a little bit of a challenge. They turned up some rocks for us. So we had to dodge some bullets.” Matlock was again driving the race solo with her mechanic Adrian Felix in the passenger seat, who quickly repaired some clutch issues and got Matlock to the finish. Finishing second place behind Matlock, was Dodge Poelman in the 1962 Polaris co-driven with Luis Dominquez. “Today was super rough. But I couldn’t be happier with our day,” said Poelman. “Our belt temperatures were a little high, so we ditched our clutch cover at mile 40. Then we didn’t have any more heating issues. We just drove our race. The course was super rough from the cars that went before us, and at the end of the day, we were just trying to chase down Kristen Matlock. I think we put a few minutes on her but she was just too quick for us to keep up with. We blew a belt and a tire, but other than that we had a clean race and we are super happy to be here at the finish line.” Finishing third in class was Kaden Wells in the 1995 Polaris RZR XP1000. Wells was aided by co-drivers Mitch Johnson, Arnie Wells, Jonathon Atodonao, and Travis Wells. “It was a rough day,” said Wells. “We started fourth and pulled into the lead until about race mile 105 and we had to change two axles. We made it to race mile 205 and changed two more axles, and then at about race mile 250, we lost a belt because the front differential is starting to go out. We were fighting problems all day, but it was fun.” CAFRO TAKES PRO-UTV STOCK With yet another Factory Polaris win at this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, Mike Cafro in the SCORE Pro UTV Stock took home the class victory with the help of Adan Ibarra in the stock Polaris Turbo S. Finishing with a faster time than most of the Pro UTV FI teams, Cafro was pleased with the team’s efforts. “We would have liked to have been higher up in the overall, but it is what it is. It was a really fast race. We misjudged a few things on the gas today, but overall it was a good day. We are stoked for first in class,” said Cafro. In second place was Nick Bruce in the 3953 Can-Am Maverick X3. Bruce took a showroom floor model and brought it to San Felipe to race in this class. “This car was on a show-room floor back in February,” he said. “We decided to come and race it and did the minimum work we had to do get it SCORE legal and come on out and play, and it has done really well. The Raceline wheels held up well as did the BFGoodrich tires. Overall, we know a couple of things we need to do for the next race.” ELENBURG TAKES PRO UTV OPEN In what is quickly becoming one of the fastest classes, the SCORE Pro UTV Open class allows for unlimited engine displacements in a chassis that has all of the factory attachments and suspension points. Many of the teams are still figuring out the winning combinations, but at the 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, Justin Elenburg, with Ernesto Taylor, Michael York, and Mike Jeluso had the right combination on their Can-Am X3. They seemed to have the cleanest race without any major issues, as the second place 1877 team of Josh Herzig finished almost an hour and a half later. Herzig had co-drivers Travis Herzig, Ryan Blagrave, Anthony Decrosta and Lacrecia Beurrier on the team. Finishing third was Cameron Renelas in the 1898 Can-Am X3, with co-driver Kyle Hidalgo. In fourth place was Wayne Matlock who drove solo in his Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. Within the Sportsman UTV class, Adrian Juaquin Garcia and his brother Adrian Garcia drove their 1804 Can-Am X3 to a class victory. The team finished an hour ahead of the course closing time to finish the race in 13:00:54.

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