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SCORE PRO UTV NA CHAMPION Kaden Wells Clinches Pro UTV NA Season Title With Three Polaris RZRs By Mike Vieira Photos By Get Some Photo  The 2021 SCORE Season ended with Kaden Wells bringing home the SCORE Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated Championship, but not after overcoming many obstacles along the way. Beginning with the SCORE San Felipe 250, Wells ran his two-seat Polaris RZR with his uncle, Arnie Wells. Wells and the team had a total of five rear axles fail throughout the race. Nevertheless, he still managed a third-place finish.   With the same two-seat car finally repaired and ready, Wells started second on the road in class with co-driver Mitch Johnson at the SCORE Baja 500 and quickly moved up to first place.  It didn’t last long though, as fuel issues caused him to drop back in the field to near the rear of the pack. Luckily, a bottleneck that held everyone up allowed him to catch up. “It helped us on our end because we were down quite a bit of time, and from there, we were able to make a few passes and get up into the lead again and were able to hold onto it.” Wells and the team eventually won the race in their class. It was their first victory of the season. At the SCORE Baja 400, Wells and his uncle decided to run an older two-seat Polaris, and in his words, ran one of the smoothest races he’s ever run. Wells was able to hold the lead nearly the whole race from start to finish and had no problems at all with the 2016 Polaris RZR to take his second win of the season. For the 54th SCORE Baja 1000, Wells finally put the newer four-seater Polaris RZR to work. The car had been prepped and ready to go since the beginning of the season. From his first-place starting position, Wells and co-driver Manny Viena held the lead until a flat tire around mile 170 dropped him into second-place, but was able to regain the lead in short order. “I stayed in the lead for about fifty or so miles, and I ended up slowing my pace down a little bit because I was pushing it hard,” says Wells. “I think I dropped back to third or fourth. Then at mile 460, I was hit by the Honda Ridgeline Class 7 truck. It did little damage and I was still running solid. However, the spare tire, jack, and first-aid kit were torn off in the crash. I didn’t know I had lost all my stuff in the back, but when I got to service the car at the next pit, the crew rigged up a new strap system and got a new spare tire on. We didn’t have a jack.”  The troubles weren’t over for Wells at that point. A few miles later, a clutch belt broke. “I don’t know if it got shocked or something on the hit, but it was the first belt I’ve lost in I don’t know long. I backed the pace down until I handed the car over to my dad, Travis, and my uncle at mile 600. They didn’t have any issues with it and ran us on pace until about mile 890. That’s when I got back in. Arnie stayed in as co-driver to head for the finish. “We were about thirty minutes down at that point, so we were trying to make up time. We ended up folding a trailing arm from pushing a bit too hard.” After a quick fix, Wells was back on the road, and managed to come in with a second-place finish in the SCORE Baja 1000, and earned enough points to clinch the Season Class Championship. “All of the SCORE races were a lot of fun. Everyone has issues, so it’s not really who has the fastest car. It’s more strategic.” Part of that strategy in 2021 for Wells was choosing the right car for each race. “The two-seaters are for sure a little faster.  With less weight, they take a lot more to drive and wear you out. The four-seater is a whoop-beater and more of an endurance car. It’s built a little stronger. This year was my first time running a two-seater in Mexico and it worked well. In the SCORE NA Class, we’re limited on horsepower, so weight is a big deal, but I like them both.” Wells isn’t yet sure which car he’ll run to start the 2022 season, but says he’s looking forward to his second try at the upcoming SCORE San Felipe 250. Overall, he’s having a good time with the SCORE races and says he enjoys running along the coast in either direction.  “The terrain is cool and the towns are great to see and hang out in, so it’s a lot of fun pre-running,” he says. Wells is grateful to his family and friends for their support, and his crew for all their hard work, as well as Polaris, Method Race Wheels, Tensor Tires, Baja Designs, and Union Graphic Co. SJ

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