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Page 110 of 122

THE LONGEST 400-MILES Pro UTV Racers Finish A Grueling Course By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, and Jose Vazquez Photos By Get Some Photo At the start of the 2nd SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels, nearly 50 UTV racers came to Baja to challenge themselves and the desert. Factory teams from Polaris, Can-Am, and Honda participated, as well as numerous privateers who sought to win their respective classes. But everyone knew the SCORE Baja 400 course was going to be rough. Although a win was icing on the cake, most were looking for a good starting position to improve their chances for a SCORE Baja 1000 win. In the most popular UTV class, Pro UTV FI, Austin Weiland took home his first victory of the season and a lead in points towards a class championship. Then Pro UTV NA driver Kaden Wells in the No. 1995 Polaris RZR , crossed the finish line first in his class. It was his second victory this season and made the course look easy. But it wasn’t so for the rest of the class. Paul Barnhart Jr. in the No. 1919 Honda talon had a tough time battling with former class champion Kristen Matlock in the No. 1954 Polaris RZR. Barnhart shared driving duties with Champan Ducote who drove the second half and had to deal with the former champion on his tail. “Paul gave me the car at race mile 128 in fifth place. Neither one of us put a wheel wrong. We continued, no tire problems. We took fuel at race mile 268, then splashed again at 343. It was a very technical course,” said Ducote. “It wasn’t until the last 60 miles were the course became super technical and tricky, especially the last ten miles. Matlock was chasing us, and then I got stuck on a hill and she passed us. We passed her later when she had some kind of issue. Two hours after that, we made a wrong turn with twenty miles to go and she passed us again. Fortunately, she made a wrong turn with ten miles to go and we passed her once again. It was insane. We were racing!” Barnhart Jr. would finish the race in second, followed by Matlock in third. MIKE CAFRO WINS THREE STRAIGHT In the Pro UTV Stock class, Mike Cafro in the No. 3955 Polaris RZR won his third straight victory. He also earned a large lead in points towards a class championship and sets himself up for a perfect season should he win again at the 54th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts in November. See more of Mike Cafro’s stats on the SCORE Fan Page. Finishing second in class was Carolina Sanchez in the No. 3913 Can-Am X3. Sanchez had a seventh place finish at the SCORE San Felipe 250, followed by a DNF at the SCORE Baja 500. This finish put her in the top four of an experience group of racers in this category. In third place was Scott Trafton in the No. 3950 Polaris RZR. Trafton has finished third in every race this season, and could potentially win the class championship with a win at the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. (photos 3913_091821_21B400_GETSOMEphoto_029024, 3950_091821_21B400_GETSOMEphoto_029042A) CAPTION; Carolina Sanchez in the #3913 car finished second. Scott Trafton in the #3950 car finished third ELLENBURG GETS A THIRD STRAIGHT WIN In the Pro UTV Open class, Justin Ellenburg has dominated with three wins in a row in his No. 1870 Can-Am. “We had a fun ride,” said Ellenburg. “We hit a rock and got a ding in one of the tires, but besides that we had a flawless race, with the BFGoodrich tires. We had one axle issue that we replaced quickly. We want to thank our wives and our families, so we can shoot for this dream of winning the SCORE Baja 1000 and our car is absolutely ready. It will be a fun ride all the way down to La Paz.” See more of Justin Elenbburg’s stats on the SCORE Fan Page Finishing second in class was Cameron Ornelas in the No. 1898 Can-Am. He was followed across the finish line by Josh Herzing in the No. 1877 Polaris RZR in third place. With two second place finishes added to this one, Herzing has a chance for a Pro UTV Open championship, depending on how well he does at the SCORE Baja 1000. He will have to get by Elenburg at that race, but all of the racers will be more concerned about finishing such a long distance. SPORTSMAN UTV FINISH 100 PERCENT In the Sportsman UTV category, Chad Gould in the No 1808 Polaris RZR and Dave Miller in the No. 1801 Can-Am had the class race all to themselves. Gould and his teammates hailed from Canada to compete in this race, and were victorious at the end. Miller and his team finished in second place. SJ

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