SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - June 2019

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

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Page 67 of 114

Desert Brutality The UTV Classes Get Hammered By The Silt And Conditions By Dan Sanchez Photos By Get Some Photo If you’ve followed the Pro UTV classes last year and at the beginning of the 2019 SCORE World Championship Series, you would have expected one of SCORE’s Championship teams at the finish line first, at the 51st SCORE Baja 500. As veterans of the racing series know, one should always expect the unexpected. For the Pro UTV FI racers, the silt, bottlenecks and unexpected mechanical issues, plagued the top champions in the series, including 2018 champion Wayne Matlock. In the past, Matlock said he likes to start last and work his way up. This probably would have been the one race where starting first, after winning the class at the SCORE San Felipe 250, would have been a huge advantage. “The course was brutal,” said Matlock. “It was the hardest I had ever fought for fourth place.”While Matlock in the number 2971 Polaris started dead last in a field of 25 vehicles, he simply ran out of mileage to gain enough time to win the race and make it two-in-a-row. It was the same for third place finishers Jason and Derek Murray in the number 2917 Can-Am X3, who started in 21st place and battled through an extremely tough field and a rollover as they approached the finish. “We were about 50-miles from the finish line with a 10-mile lead and we got stuck in a silt bed that put the car on its side,” said Jason Murray. “We had to get pulled out and that’s what set us back.” Marc Burnett in the number 2905 Can-Am Maverick X3 looked like he might be able to snag the class win but he also had trouble with the silt and had mechanical issues. Although Burnett had the advantage of starting in second place, the team had to replace a clutch and hub and were left way back in the pack. “We were probably 20th but we moved all the way back up to the front. Burnett crossed the finish line first physically, but after penalties were applied, they wound up in second place behind Scanlon.While disappointing nonetheless, Burnett and Matlock have only a three-point difference in their attempt for a Pro UTV FI championship. A win at the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 will be a big advantage to either of these racers unless they finish one-two at the race. Wells Fights For First Place In Pro UTV NA Class For the last two races in the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship series, 2018 Pro UTV NA Champion Kristen Matlock has been battling with class racer Kaden Wells for the lead and the win. During the SCORE San Felipe 250, the two had to drive without making a mistake, but Matlock secured the win, keeping Wells in second place. At the 51st SCORE Baja 500, the battle between Wells in the number 1995 Polaris RZR P 1000, and Matlock in the number 1954 Polaris RZR XP 1000, was again a hard fight for the win. Matlock started last behind seven competitors but quickly moved her way up the pack despite the tough conditions and silt. “I had some mechanical issues throughout the day that slowed me down,” said Matlock. “I managed to get up to fourth place on the course but I couldn’t get the car going well enough to get back up there.” This left the door open for Wells who shot to the front on time and won the class. Wells was aided by co-drivers Ivan Gutierrez, Travis Wells, Roy L’Hommedieu, Michael Wells and Corbin Wells. For the rest of the Pro UTV NA field, Adrian Orellana with co-drivers Daniel Gonzales, and Carl Sosa in the number 1985 Polaris RZR XP 1000 finished in third place, followed by J.T. Holmes in the number 1950 Polaris RZR XP4. Homes was aided by co-drivers Bobby Kurylo and Lars Leckic. Brad Lovell in the number 3937 Amsoil Polaris RZR XP4 was the only survivor of the Pro UTV Stock Class. Lovell raced with family member Roger Lovel and their sons to finish the course and take home the class win. As the Pro UTV classes move on towards the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, racers such as Wells and Matlock are in a tie for the points championship. This means that the next race will be critical in gaining any lead towards a season championship, but from the battle between these two competitors, we can expect it’s going to be a tight race all the way until the 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 in November. SJ

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