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Page 93 of 124

MRS. UNSTOPPABLE Kristen Matlock Continues To Prove She’s One Of SCORE’s Top Competitors By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Luck and skill seem to run endlessly with SCORE Pro UTV N/A racer Kristen Matlock, as she took the class win at the BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 Presented by Ford. With her factory Polaris RZR updated with a new appearance, she started at the rear of the class and quickly moved her way up. “San Felipe has a lot of line options for us and when we pre-ran, we found alternate lines that let us know where we could pass safely,” said Matlock. “The start of the race was good but there were a couple of sections where we were funneled in the canyons and ran into lots of dust. Once the SCORE Trophy Trucks went through the course, lots of rocks were brought to the surface. We recognized it and did the best we could.” Matlock spent weeks pre-running the course and memorizing it the old-fashioned way as the legendary racers did in the past. “My passenger Adrian Felix, has zero experience navigating but he’s a great mechanic,” said Matlock. “It was a challenge, especially since he didn’t speak much English, but memorizing the areas that were important helped us get through without relying too much on the GPS.” From the start of the race, Matlock began catching and passing as many competitors as possible until she ran into her first major hurdle. “I kept moving forward and wasn’t aware of anyone catching me,” she said. “But around race mile 60, we blew two belts but my navigator got out and quickly fixed it. Then I was battling against Dodge Poelman and Kaden Wells until I finally passed them. We went on to push our own pace and 50-miles from the finish, we broke the primary clutch. My navigator/mechanic changed it in five minutes and we were back on the course.” Matlock’s decision to drive solo and have a mechanic, rather than a full navigator beside her paid off. “One of our belt changes was done in three minutes and picking him to ride with me was a good choice,” she said. “Our number one priority is to be able to fix the car on the racecourse and it paid off well this time.” Even after the clutch change, Matlock saw her belt temperatures spike, so she had to drive cautiously to make it to the finish line. With the lead she put on the rest of the field, she was able to win the Pro UTV N/A class but was disappointed she didn’t come home with the Pro UTV Overall as well. “We’re always prepared for whatever happens, but I would have liked to take the Overall,” said Matlock. “We’ll have to wait until the SCORE Baja 500 to try that again.”SJ

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