SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - JUNE 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 40 of 108

PRO UTV CLASSES COME OUT IN FORCE The largest class at the 49th SCORE Baja 500 race were the Pro UTV Classes. Combining the Pro UTV FI and Pro UTV NA classes, there was a total of 36 competitors who came out to challenge some of the toughest competitors in the entire off-road racing world, as well as 512 plus miles of grueling Baja terrain. The race for the UTV class wins started with countless battles between top competitors who seemed to take the lead back and forth several times during the race. Within the Pro UTV FI class, only three of the 25 starters didn’t finish, which says a great deal about the strength and reliability of these vehicles, many of which are averaging speeds close to 40 mph. Ultimately it still depends on who finishes first, and at the 49th SCORE Baja 500, that honor went to Justin Lambert in the number 2918 Cognito Polaris RZR XP1000. Lambert drove a phenomenal race, starting in 13th position and then picking off 2016 Pro UTV Overall Champions Derek and Jason Murray, then catching up to Marc Burnett who at one point had a 10-minute lead ahead of Lambert. Near Santo Tomas, Lambert hit a rock that broke their wheel. Teammate Mitchell Alsup got out and replaced the wheel and put them back onto the course. After a while, Lambert caught up to Burnett passing him as they pitted. Lambert caught up to and Simms and would trade the lead, back and forth, for several miles until they pitted and Lambert took off first. Afterward, Lambert gained a substantial lead to win the UTV Overall and the Pro UTV FI class. “Thank you to the whole team that came down with us, and to those who stayed back home,” said Lambert. “It takes everyone to make this program successful. I always say to be the best, you have to run the best, and we have the best sponsors and parts on this car.” Simms held off Mike Cafro to take second place and was aided by Justin Krause in their number 2913 Polaris XP4 Turbo. Cafro, in the number 2975Polaris RZRXP4 Turbo, took third with teammate Jamie Kirkpatrick. For Polaris, the UTV manufacturer took the top three positions at the SCORE Baja 500. Although Marc Burnett finished the race in 12th place, he heads to the top of the points standing in the class after a second place finish at the SCORE San Felipe 250. Although that’s a great place to start heading into the next race, the SCORE Rosarito Beach 250, it’s a tight points race between Burnett, and fellow competitors Mike Cafro, Derek Murray, Cory Sappington, Scott Trafton and Brandon Schueler. 2017 SCORE San Felipe 250 overall Pro UTV winner Wayne Matlock, had problems at the Baja 500 and posted a DNF. JT Holmes Wins The Pro UTV NA Class With eleven other competitors in the Pro UTV NA class, JT Holmes managed to work through the dust and bottlenecks of vehicles to win the class. Holmes was aided by Eric Clay, both from Reno, Nevada and were driving the number 1950 Polaris XP1000. Coming in second place in the class was Adrian Orellana in the number 1985 Polaris RZR XP 1000. Orellana had Daniel Gonzales and Victor Orellana as teammates and finished slightly over 10 seconds behind Holmes in another very tight race.

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