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ROOKIE OTY Cayden MacCachren Takes Aim At Winning In BaJa By Dan Sanchez Growing up as the son of a legendary off-road champion, Cayden MacCachren has been around racing since his childhood. But when he finally became interested in racing, he set out to make a name for himself, and did so this past season, being voted as 2021 SCORE Rookie Of The Year. “When I was younger, I never imagined myself racing off-road,” said MacCachren. “I’d go UTV riding with dad and it wasn’t until I turned 16 that I began to have an interest in it. I got a Polaris RS1 and I was hooked.” MacCachren began participating in local races, but he was still a young adult balancing his newfound passion with school work. “I graduated high school during the midst of the Corona Virus, so there were no big parties and gatherings. The next day, I got up and started working at my day job.” MacCachren continued to have some success racing in other series in a Polaris UTV, but it wasn’t until 2017 that he pre-ran the SCORE San Felipe 250 with his dad that the idea of racing in Baja came to mind. “I have had some experience prior to that pre-running, but I did it that year with my dad and received some good experience doing it,” says MacCachren. “I learned to find the correct lines and how pre-running can benefit you in a race.” Last year, MacCachren had the opportunity to join Brandon Schueler and the Jagged-X team which proved to be a turning point in his career. “Through our connections with BFGoodrich Tires, we put together a partnership with Jagged-X,” said MacCachren. “Brandon Schueler and his dad Bill gave me a chance for some experience on their team and to see how I would handle it. The SCORE San Felipe 250 was my first Baja race and we won it. It just continued on for the rest of the season and I am very grateful for the opportunity and what I learned from the team and the experience of racing the entire SCORE season.” MacCachren’s name came up as a nomination for SCORE Rookie OTY, and he was surprised he had been given the award. “I saw some of the other nominees and thought there was no way people would vote for me against those other guys with much more experience,” he said. “I was actually watching those guys throughout the season to see how they were doing and how I could emulate them and learn from them. It was surreal for me to actually win the award but am extremely happy and proud of it.” Although some might think that Cayden has had a lot of help from his dad and the MacCachren team, the truth is that his dad, Rob MacCachren has supported Cayden, but also made him learn things on his own. “When I started racing, my dad would help me, but he wouldn’t do anything for me,” said MacCachren. “I was given lots of pointers and I would not be where I am without his mentoring, but I was told that I alone had to make things happen. When I got my first Polaris RZR, for example, I had to be responsible for fixing everything on it. Doing that, I believe you learn each part of the vehicle and in a race, you can feel when something is loose or broken, and you know how to manage it.” MacCachren plans to continue to race in the SCORE UTV class and with the Jagged-X team. “UTVs are a great class with budget and support,” he said. “I’m thankful for the Schueler’s and the Jagged-X team for their continued support and will be racing the 2022 SCORE season, splitting the driving duties and gaining more experience.” MacCachren will also continue to race in other state-side events this year, in an effort to build upon his career and make a name for himself. “I want to continue building my racing career, but I don’t feel I’m under my dad’s shadow,” he said. “The name carries some weight and that can be an advantage in some situations, but it all comes down to winning and my performance on a team. To the off-road racing world, Rob MacCachren is a racing legend and hall of famer, but to me he’s dad.” SJ

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