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A CALL TO WIN Jason Murray Wrapped-Up The SCORE UTV Overall & UTV FI Class Championship By Larry Saavedra PHOTOS BY GET SOME PHOTO As the driver of record for the No. 2917 Can-Am Maverick, factory racer Jason Murray looked back at the 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship season with pride. He said he never doubted that his Can-Am team, which included his brother, Derek, could take the UTV Overall, even after the disappointing finish at the 2023 SCORE San Felipe 250. “It feels great,” he said. “To prove you can win against the best drivers in the world is amazing. That’s why we spend so much time prepping and testing our race cars. It all leads up to capturing the UTV Overall title.” Murray said managing a winning race team between running a business and getting to races is always hard. “We have had to remind ourselves that racing is a hobby— it’s a passion and it has to be fun,” he said. “We’ve been racing for 14 years and most of it as a factory racer with Can-Am.” Here’s what Murray recalls happened, starting with the SCORE San Felipe 250. 36th SCORE San Felipe 250 “It wasn’t a race we had planned on running,” he said. “Five days before the event in San Felipe, Can-Am called up and asked us to compete in the entire SCORE series.” According to Murray, he had a good race going from the start and ran against the top three race cars for most of the race. But the whoops blew out a wheel hub along with their chances of a podium finish. They ultimately finished 12th out of 30 competitors in class. Murray said it was at that point that they knew they needed to get back to the shop to make some serious modifications if they were to compete in the following three events. 55th SCORE Baja 500 The Pro UTV Forced Induction class saw 22 starters but only 12 finishers. With the Maverick dialed in, Murray knew he had lots of ground to cover after San Felipe. According to Murray, the car’s setup had changed significantly since San Felipe. “It was previously set up for more gravel roads, so that was modified. We worked on the suspension quite a bit.” Phil Blurton had a sizable lead on the field from the start, but Murray and Matt Burroughs in the No. 2948 Can-Am weren’t ready to call it yet. Ultimately, Murray made his move on Burroughs and never looked back. “We ran a solid race and took second against Phil Blurton,” he said. “That’s exactly where we wanted to be.” 4th SCORE Baja 400 With 16 starters in class, Murray went into the SCORE Baja 400 with confidence. Despite their best-laid plans, though, the mechanical gremlins put an end to a podium finish. “We had a good race, but halfway through we had some mechanical issues,” he said. However, his fourth-place finish at the SCORE Baja 400 gave him enough points to still be competitive in the season’s final race. 56th SCORE Baja 1000 “We had never won the SCORE Baja 1000,” Murray said. “We went down there with the mentality to win and hit every pit stop and only got out of the race car once.” Murray recounted that it was a super long race. He says he started and got the car into the lead. He then handed the car to his teammate, Michael, who kept the Maverick in the number one and two positions. “Then PJ Jones did the third section. Derek got in around race mile 922 and took it home,” he said. Derek interjected, “The guys did an amazing job and gave me a great car. Super clean, super tight. Pushed it all day. We had some great battles with Blurton (No. 2944). He had a flat. We blew a belt. My section was rocky and muddy. Nothing like getting the car in San Felipe after almost 1000 miles on it. It was wicked. This course pushed the limits. We went through mud puddles— went through rags all day long. This car did amazing. Super pumped. Wouldn’t expect anything less for the second-longest SCORE Baja 1000. We pulled off the championship with this win.” SJ

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