SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - DECEMBER 2017

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

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Page 91 of 132

UTVs Scatter Across Baja The largest field of UTVs battle it out during the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo One of the most impressive fields of racers at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 were the more than 42 UTVs that competed in the Pro classes. Throughout the season, the race for the class championship within the Pro UTV Forced Induction class was tight between Marc Burnett and Brandon Schueler. Heading into this race, Burnett was leading in points, followed by Schueler. After the start, Scheuler and his team managed to push through the traffic and the fog. With co-driver Matt Park, Scheuler maintained a steady pace without any problems and took home the class victory in their number 2929 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. Scheuler had two third-place finishes this season with an 18th place finish at the SCORE Baja 500, giving him a big boost in points to finish the season. For Burnett and the rest of the field, the SCORE Baja 1000 course quickly evened-out the playing field, leaving top competitors stranded if they weren’t careful. This was the case for Justin Lambert who finished first at the Tijuana Desert Challenge, and Wayne Matlock who finished first at the San Felipe 250. Lambert had a good race but just wasn’t fast enough and ended up at the rear of the pack, finishing in 16th place. Matlock had trouble early on in the race. “We lost three front axles before San Felipe. Before Gonzaga Bay, we decided to change a lower A-arm which was causing the problem. When we got to Gonzaga Bay my chase truck wasn’t there so I took the A-arm off myself and waited for them to arrive. Unbeknownst to me, my chase truck was stuck in the sand at the last pit. We waited for two and a half hours.” The team got it all back together and ended up finishing in fifth place. Burnett who also fought hard ended up with a 10th place finish, but at the top of the points for a possible class championship. Despite his finish at the 50th, he had an incredible comeback year with Can-Am, finishing second in San Felipe, 12th at the SCORE Baja 500, and first at the Tijuana Desert Challenge Justin Elenburg in the number 2977 Can-Am finished in second ahead of Mike Cafro in the 2975 Polaris who came in third ahead of the Murray team With all the top competitors out of the way, it left an open door for Justin Elenburg in his number 2977 Can-Am Maverick X3 to finish in second place at the 50th. Elenberg co-drove with Bryan McBride and Michael Jelusco just under two minutes behind Schueler. Mike Cafro in the number 2975 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo finished in third place with co-driver Jamie Kirkpatrick. Also putting in a great effort was the Murray Team of Derek and Jason Murray. Their Number 2971 Can-Am Maverick X3, along with co-drivers Logan Gastel and Dan Fisher, finished in fourth place. NA Class Has Its Upsets Within the Pro UTV Normally Aspirated Stock class, the season was also neck and neck with Kristen Matlock and Don Whittington. While the two had their problems at the 50th, Dan Fresh out of Santa Ana, California, teamed up with Mike Kim and drove their Polaris RZR XP1000 to the class win. Dodge Poelman finished in second place with co-drivers Luis Dominguez and Ryan Poelman, followed by Whittington and his team made up of, Bill Whittington, and Off-Road Hall of Fame Inductee and Baja Champion Larry Ragland. Don Poelman finished in second ahead of Don Whittington Matlock was driving the 50th “ironman” and had some difficulties which put her out for several hours. Nevertheless, her and the team got the vehicle back together and she finished the race in fifth place and added a second “ironman” finish to her record. Above: The Pro UTV Unlimited Class had Earl Berg, Eduardo Tello, Sergio Aroyo, Jorge Macias and Cody Berg finishing first in their Can-Am Maverick X3 Below: Despite finishing in fifth place, Kristen Matlock successfully completed her second Ironman at the Baja 1000

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