Our friend Alonso Lopez and his team at GlazzKraft are at it again with his all new 2015 Polaris RZR XP4 they call the BOMBER!! Lopez unveiled his new machine in all its glry at this years Mint 400 and immediately we were taken back by the amazing fab work and carbon fiber body all done in house in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico by Hector Jimenez at GlazzKraft.
We have featured many of the GlazzKraft vehicles here on UTVUnderground.com, but this one is by far our favorite so far!!
All of the amazing photos are provided exclusively for UTVUnderground.com by the amazing Tony Lozza!
Glazzkraft Bomber SPECIFICATIONS Owner: Alonso Lopez Chassis: 2015 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 Builder: Glazzkraft’s Fab Division Body: Glazzkraft XP1000 “Vortex” Carbon Fiber Body Kit Suspension: Glazzkraft +3.5″Chromoly Long Travel Kit Shocks: KING Shocks Internal By-Pass (IBP) 2.5 Front & KING Shocks IBP 3.0 Rear w/ Finned Cooling Reservoirs Axles: Summers Brothers Racing 300M HD Axles Engine: Factory Pro-Star 1000cc w/ Stage 2 Alba Racing Kit (tuned by Alba Racing) Exhaust: Trinity Racing Stage 5 Dual System Intake: Alba Racing Wheels: 15″ OMF Performance NGX2 Beadlocks Tires: 30″ BFGoodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain Wrap/Graphics: Glazzkraft Custom Paint Designed by: Tony Lozza Seats: NRG Innovations Racing Seats Safety: Impact 5-Point Harnesses & Glazzkraft Safety Nets Brakes: Streamline Brake Lines & Big Break Rotors Communications: Rugged Radios RRP6100 Desert Series 2-Place Race Intercom & Motorola 110W Race Radio Dash: GlazzKraft Carbon Fiber Dash w/ Race Pack IQ3 Data Logger System Fuel Cell: Harmon Racing Cells with Redhead Female Dry Break & External Discriminator Valve. Cooling: CBR Performance Water Cooler Lighting: Rigid Industries: Roof: RDS-Series 40″ Light Bar Bumper: D-Series Dually’s Rear Lighting: 3″ SR-MR Series Amber & Blue Dust Lights Accent Lighting: High Power A-Series Rock Light Kit Cabin Lighting: Led Dome Lights Radius & Flat Mount White Accessories: 8″ & 5″ Lowrance HDS Gen-2 GPS, Momo Steering Wheel, Sweet Quick Release, Antigravity Batteries, Gear One Rack&Pinion, Dirt Bagz Triangle Door Bag, Kartek Limit Straps, FK Heims & Uniballs, etc.
Racing Series: SCORE International Off Road Desert Championship, BITD Best In The Desert
Feature Vehicle: Alonso Lopez GlazzKraft 2017 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo
Alonso Lopez and GlazzKraft have once again built another phenomenal Polaris RZR race machine. Using the styling and technology they are known for, the team has put together a machine they hope will take them to the top throughout the rest of 2017 and into 2018.
The build started as a stock 2017 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. The RZR was then built from the bottom up, with only the power train and bottom chassis being retained from the original stock car, something almost all of the top racers in UTV desert racing now do.
The team designed the chromoly cage trying to improve the weight and performance from the previous 2 generations of chassis they have race on, using the SolidWorks® program and in the process developed a strong, lightweight car. The suspension was also designed using SolidWorks®, it took more than 1,000 hours to complete the RZR cage and suspension, studying Steel Strength vs. Steel Fatigue vs. Weight.
GlazzKraft took care of the RZRs signature look by installing their all-new GlazzKraft fiberglass 4-seat RZR body kit. They built the RZR entirely out of their shop in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. The build also will sport the all-new 32″ BFGoodrich KR2 UTV Tires paired with OMF racing wheels giving the vehicle the ultimate wheel tire combo.
The previous #1949 GlazzKraft machines have been displayed in every major show and expo and garnered attention due to its sleek and unique look. The Sand Sports Super Show, Lucas Oil Off-Road Expo, Camp RZR and the famous SEMA Show were all events that the other machines have displayed at. The new #2949 will surely be one that many will request to display their products on this show season as well.
The team has been racing for over 6 years now, and even when they were considered new to the sport, they have been winning races and championships.
In 2015, they raced the entire SCORE Off-Road Championship series, finishing 5th in points. They have also raced some BITD events with the upcoming Vegas To Reno being their initial run for the new machine.
During 2016, the team had podiums on 3 SCORE World Championship Desert Races, winning the Baja 500, and finishing the Baja 1000 in 4th place, just 14 minutes behind 3rd. They did that after a bad rollover at RM50 which slowed them.
The team was also awarded the 2016 RED KAP SCORE MILESTONE for completing every race mile of the Score World Desert Championship, the only UTV in the PRO N/A Class who accomplished that feat.
With these results, they WON the 2016 Score World Desert Championship in the UTV PRO CLASS in addition to winning the UTV OVERALL among Turbo, Natural Aspirated (No Turbo), Unlimited and Sportsman classes.
If their past has been that great, imagine what will happen with this beautiful new machine!
UTVUnderground.com has been supporting the Warfighter Made organization for many years now and it has been the most rewarding thing we have been a part of. Polaris RZR has also been a huge part in helping promote and support this amazing organization and this year they went to the next level with the RZR Salute To Heroes Campaign. Polaris kicked this campaign off alongside all of their partners to help raise dollars and awareness for Warfighter Made and in the process have put together some amazing prizes to encourage and reward those who donate.
One of the newest partners to Polaris RZR has been Heavy D, Diesel Dave, and the rest of the Diesel Brothers crew. The Diesel Brothers are currently the most popular automotive show on the Discovery Channel and specialize in customizing and building over-the-top diesel trucks. Last year Polaris and the Diesel Brothers connected as the Brothers started building some insane RZRs both personally and for clients. UTVUnderground.com was looped in with Heavy D to help with a couple of these builds and this year we have been integrated to play a larger role with builds, two of which will be part of a multi part episode on Discovery Channel that airs mid June.
BUT, the most meaningful build we have been integrated into is the one you see here, the Diesel Brothers military themed Polaris RZR XP Turbo to be used as part of the RZR Salute To Heroes campaign. We were pegged to assist the team with specifying a build that would not only represent the Diesel Brothers, Polaris RZR and Warfighter Made, but also be be a build that everyone would want to own! The goal for this machine is to be used to encourage enthusiasts around the world to donate money to the RZRSaluteToHeroes.com website and with your donation be entered to WIN this bad ass machine!
So, here it is! After months of planning and rounding up parts from some of the best companies in the sport, the Diesel Brothers with some help from Joey D. at UTVUnderground.com have constructed this bad ass RZR XP Turbo that YOU CAN WIN! Details are below, get entered and support Warfighter Made!
Model: 2017 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Builder: Sparks Motors / Diesel Brothers / UTVUnderground.com Cage: CageWRX Race Cage Tire Carrier: CageWRX Bumper: CageWRX Suspension: CageWRX Shocks: Walker Evans Racing Velocity Series Axles: RCV Performance Wheels: Walker Evans Racing 15″ Beadlocks Tires: BFGoodrich KR2 Baja T/A UTV Tires (30×10.50) Seats: BEARD Seats Harnesses: BEARD Seats 5-Point Lighting: Heretic LED Lighting Headlights: Heretic LED Lighting Radius Rods / Tie Rods: Assault Industries Mirrors: Assault Industries Bomber B2 Grill: Assault Industries 2017 RZR XP Turbo Grill Fire Suppression: Assault Industries Quick Release Fire Extinguisher Steering Wheel: Assault Industries Navigation / Stereo / DVR: Nav-Atlas Engine: Factory Pro-Star 925cc XP Turbo w/ 164hp Exhaust: Sparks Racing XP Tubro Dual Exhaust Switching: Switch-Pros Touch Panel Paint: LINE-X Coyote Tan
Polaris Unveils “RZR Salute To Heroes” Grand Prize
Today, Polaris unveiled the grand prize for the “RZR Salute to Heroes” campaign, a custom military themed RZR XP Turbo EPS built by the Diesel Brothers!
The Diesel Brother’s inspiration for the build came from the Polaris DAGOR and a few other DPV (desert patrol vehicles). They wanted to build something similar to what the military has used for years to quickly maneuver through off-road obstacles and insert troops. To make the vehicle as durable as possible, they coated the entire exterior in a Coyote Tan LINE-X bed liner.
The vehicle features:
Sparks Motors/Diesel Brothers (design/build)
CageWRX (cage, suspension, tire carrier and bumper)
Walker Evans Racing (shocks and wheels)
Nav-Atlas (navigation and stereo)
Assault Industries (mirrors, fire suppression and accessories)
SPARKS Racing (exhaust)
This is the last week to donate through the “RZR Salute to Heroes” website. Those who donate will be entered to win one of 17 prizes, including the custom military themed RZR XP Turbo EPS grand prize!
In addition to donating, for every picture of a RZR, a RZR Life story, and #RZRLife or #RZRSalutetoHeroes post on social media, RZR will donate $5– up to $25,000 – directly to Warfighter Made!
The 2017 Polaris ACE 150 is Polaris’ newest entry into the youth market. A combination of their wildly popular single seat ACE line and the successful Polaris RZR 170, the new ACE 150 is the perfect machine for young enthusiasts getting their feet wet behind the wheel of a four wheel vehicle.
What makes the ACE 150 so attractive and different is the single seat design. UTVUnderground.com was fortunate to have been provided the very first unit months prior to the release to build out into this cool custom race / play version of the ACE 150. We were stoked for this opportunity to show consumers out of the gate the potential for building and customizing this fun new kids machine.
UTVUnderground.com enlisted the help of Polaris RZR’s own RJ Anderson and his team at RJ37 Off-Road to help us transform the new ACE 150. RJ37 Off-Road built us a cool custom tig-welded chromoly roll cage with solid race inspired door panels. From there we added a new PRP Seat and PRP 5-point harnesses to make sure our kids were held in safe and secure in all forms of recreation. A set of custom 12” OMF Performance 3-piece billet center beadlock wheels were made for the ACE and we wrapped them in 23” tall STI Black Diamond tires. Arguably our favorite mod was a set of custom Walker Evans Racing Velocity Series coil-over shocks. A set of Assault Industries B2 Bomber mirrors and a race compliant Assault Industries fire extinguisher were also added.
With the chassis complete we sent it over to our good friends at American Powdercoat who set it off with a semi-gloss black powder. We topped the whole build off with a custom UTVUnderground.com inspired graphics wrap by ProLineWraps.com.
While the build is simple in design, it was just enough to get everyone who has seen it excited to know all that can be done with this sweet new vehicle. Even more excited is my young 10 year old son Enzo DiGiovanni who will be running it at the 2017 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship powered by Monster Energy.
Stay tuned as we continue to build our new 2017 Polaris ACE 150 up and use it both for play and race all season long!
Well, we aren’t quite done with this build but because of the massive amount positive responses to just our social posts on this machine, we thought it would be cool to bring you a phase 1 feature vehicle story to show off what we have done so far. Once we return from King Of The Hammers we will jump back into finishing this build and will bring you a final Feature Vehicle story once the machine is complete. But we didn’t want to hold out too long as we love how this thing is coming out so far.
The machine started as a brand new 2017 Polaris RZR XP Turbo with 168hp. When Polaris gave us the heads up it was coming a couple of weeks ago our wheels began turning that with some help with parts we could build a bad ass new rig to take to this years King Of The Hammers event. So we grabbed the machine at North County Yamaha in San Marcos, CA and began making calls to our friends with hopes that they could deliver us the parts we needed to accomplish this build in less than 10 days time!
With the purpose of taking to King Of The Hammers we knew wanted to build a machine that was fit for the rocks and the desert. But in typical UTVUnderground fashion it also had to look good! Our first call was to Chad Ragland at CageWRX to request a CageWRX “Race Cage” w/ rear wing and rear spare tire carrier. CageWRX also tossed in a front race bumper and a bolt on scissor jack. CageWrx jumped on the cage and knocked everything out for us in three days time!
Tim Berendes at SDR Motorsports has been a part of many of the UTVUnderground builds over the years. We wanted to integrate him into the build and Tim was stoked to dial us in with his industry best RZR doors which bolt on with ease and utilize the factory Polaris door latches which we love!
The next thing we got on was suspension. We had to have long travel on this car to accomplish my vision of a desert killer. We made one call to Brittany Cardone at HCR Racing and before we knew it we had their dual sport +4 long travel suspension in route. This kit has 21” of wheel travel and at full bump still has 4” of ground clearance. Not only does it look insane it also is strong as all hell and will take all the abuse we throw at it.
We needed a few more things to complete our suspension including shocks, radius rods, sway bar links and axles. The next call I made was to Ricky and John at RCV Performance and they jumped to help out and supply us their brand new Pro Series 2 300m axles. These axles are super badass and come complete with CVs. They are set up with zerk fittings on the end of the stub axles to allow for easy greasing of the cv’s without removing the boots. Not only are they strong, they look awesome.
The next call was to Marcelo Danze and his team at Assault Industries. They made sure we were set up with their best billet aluminum parts to complete our suspension. We ran their full radius rods, sway bar links and even mounted up a set of their Bomber billet mirrors. Assaults quality is killer and everything looks awesome. These parts are set up for the +4 HCR kits and all mounted up with ease.
Lastly on suspension were the shocks. HCR has a close working relationship with KING Shocks and lucky for us, we have wanted to run a set of KING’s on a RZR for a long time. One call to Ramses Perez at KING and we were on our way to their amazing new facility to pick up a full set of 2.5” coil over Internal By Pass shocks tuned specifically for the HCR kit. We will need to do a little set up with the cross-over rings with KING to make sure they are set up perfectly but out of the box in our first run we were really impressed with how smooth they worked.
With cage & suspension out of the way we jumped on wheels and tires and we had a strong vision for what we wanted to run here. We made the run up to Method Race Wheels and Tensor Tire to pick up a set of 15×7 machined bead lock wheels and 32” Tensor DS race tires. This is the ultimate combo for what we want and they set this machine off once mounted up. The wheels are durable and look amazing. The tires are stout and full of function in the realm of traction and the ability to tune the groove for whatever your needs are.
You can’t have a custom build without some sick seats and its been a while since we have ran a custom set of BEARD seats. We scoped out some of their Torque seats for the RZR and hit up our friends Greg & Brad at BEARD and before we knew it they were designing and building a custom designed set of UTVUnderground seats that perfectly matched the design. What I love about these seats is they take no time to break in. They are perfect right out of the box and their stitch and sew is some of the best we have ever seen for off-road seats. We also installed a set of their 3” 5-point harnesses to keep us held in tight.
At hammers we do a lot of night riding so lights were key to complete our phase 1 build. We reached out to Alan and Dan at Baja Designs and they jumped in quick to supply us with two XL’s that we mounted to our CageWRX bumper and their RZR headlight replacement kit. All of these products installed with ease and came with plug and play wiring harnesses making it painless for us to install in our limited time frame. They also kicked in a new RTL rear light bar which we will flush mount below our CageWRX rear wing when we complete phase 2 of the build.
To finish off the interior we reached out to GRANT Products and they supplied their brand new suede racing wheel with their awesome disconnect. We have installed a bunch of their wheels and we do it with the use of our pneumatic air impact and UTV Inc steering wheel puller. But this time didn’t go so smooth. Pro tip: do not impact your steering nut on. While we have done this many times with success this time didn’t go well as we over torqued it and damaged our factory EPS unit. Luckily we had a spare but it took us an extra hour to replace. Now that we know how to do it we could bang it out in less than 30 minutes but do your self a favor and torque your steering nut on by hand!
The final call was to our good friend Brian Borland at American Powdercoat / Off-Road in Escondido, CA. He along with friends Carlos Quintero and Bill Hogan came to the rescue and not only put together an epic powdercoat color combination on our cage, suspension and trim pieces, they also worked for two days strait to help us get everything bolted on and ready for hammers. These guys are a solid option for both mechanics and powdercoat.
We can’t thank all of these partners enough for throwing down in such a short amount of time to help us put together one of the cleanest RZRs we have ever built. It not only looks totally sick, it works unreal as we have had a little time hear at hammers to drive the machine. We woke up early and got out to a hill close to camp here and knocked out a couple of photos to highlight phase 1 of the build. When we return from KOH we will tackle some more details on he ride like dash, coms, and a few other little things. We will keep you posted as we continue to build this awesome machine up.
Lastly, we want to give a shout out to Polaris RZR for supplying us with this sick vehicle. They always come through for us when we have a vision. We hope they are proud of this build.
We are excited to release the first of many feature vehicle stories surrounding builds that we do at the 4 Wheel Parts / UTVUnderground Garage. Our plan with these features is to not only showcase the bad ass builds we are doing in-house, but to also be a guide for enthusiasts to easily see what parts we use and with a click of a button be taken to the UTVUnderground Garage site where you can then price and purchase the parts for your own builds. The idea is to make building your custom machine as seamless as possible. Of course, should you choose to not want to do the build yourself, you can contact any of our 4 Wheel Parts locations and we can assist with not only supplying but also installing your favorite UTV parts and accessories.
The first build we are showcasing is our 2016 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 we call the “Coyote”! We built this car as a mild, dual-sport RZR that can be used as both a pre-runner trail rig and / or dune machine. We used some of our favorite products in the sport along with some new products only available through UTVUnderground Garage.
Below is the full spec sheet with hot links directly to the page where you can easily purchase. All parts can be shipped to your doorstep or can be picked up at your local 4 Wheel Parts location.
UTVUnderground Takes Over 2016 Sand Sports Super Show
The 2016 Sand Sports Super Show will forever go down as one of the best events we have ever attended and been a part of. We have been attending and setting up at the Sand Show since 2009 and each year we grow a little more. This year, we grew a lot more, if you didn’t know who UTVUnderground.com was before this years Sand Sports Super Show then you certainly know who we are now!
It would be easy for us to claim success and credit it to all of our hard work and hustle over the years, but reality is that we wouldn’t be where we are today with out help and support from many across the sport and industry. Companies, racers, site members, fellow enthusiasts, OEMs, partnerships and even other media outlets have all played a role in our growth and we will forever be grateful to each and everyone of you. It would take a full article in itself to thank each and every person who has done something for me personally and UTVUnderground but I would surely forget many if I took the time to write them all out because there are too many to remember. Being at the show this year reminded me just how far we have come, it also reminded me of just how grateful I am for all of the love and support we have received to help us get to where we are today.
The Sand Sports Super Show (SSSS) has become what one person described as the Side X Side Super Show and that description is spot on. As a huge fan of sand rails and other larger off-road equipment even I am shocked at just how few of those vehicles you actually see now. Reality is, there are still a lot of them there, but the UTV movement has certainly made its mark and certainly dominate the floorspace around the massive show. This years show felt like the biggest in recent memory. I am not sure of what the attendance numbers actually were both on the attendee side and on the vendor side but it felt huge and more than that the buzz was certainly through the roof. Its clear, the economy looks to be on its feet and people are back to enjoying and playing with sand toys.
We love the SSSS, its the kickoff to the southwest desert riding season. Enthusiasts, companies and everyone in the sport all descend on the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA to celebrate the launch of the coming riding season and its become as much about the party and gathering as it has the vending and purchasing. Every company in the sport brings out their best for the SSSS. They spend months building the hottest new machines and put their best products in front of the largest group of consumers that they will see all year in one spot. It has become the SEMA show for UTVs, sand rails and off-road vehicles of all shapes and sizes. In short, if you come to the SSSS as a vendor, you better bring your A-Game because if you don’t you can easily be lost in the custom vehicle jungle the SSSS has become.
UTVUnderground Garage Is HERE….
Back to why this was the biggest show ever for UTVUnderground.com. Since 2009 we have been setting up at the show and bringing our best builds to the show to display. More than showing off our trend setting builds, we come to mingle with the industry, learn about the latest new products, celebrate our culture and meet our fans and followers. Our first year at the SSSS was super fun for us. We had no money back then as the site was just a hobby and every penny we had was poured into our first site build, you know it as the FatRod. Greg Cotrell of Rugged Radios hit me up and told me he had some extra space and asked if I would like to put the FatRod on display with Rugged and show it off and hang out. Of course we jumped on the opportunity and the rest sort of became history from there. Since then our booth space has grown, our booth has transformed many times, but the goal of hanging out and spending time with our industry has never changed. This year however, we went to the next level.
For the past year we have worked hard to prepare our launch into the retail market. We had fought off the idea of having a retail division for years at UTVUG. We avoided launching into retail for many reasons, but the biggest was that we didn’t want to become our sponsors’ competitor. While I still feel the same way, times have changed and many of the retail stores have shifted away from using UTVUG as a platform and focused more on our competitors sites who are brand specific. We understand their choice and do not knock them for targeting specific demographics, their shift however has allowed us to now create UTVUnderground Garage without fear of conflict.
UTVUnderground Garage is the new official retail end of UTVUnderground where we can now not only review, install, test and promote the products we love but now also close the loop and direct people right to a part of our site where they then can quickly and easily purchase these quality products. We realize UTVUnderground has become an industry brand and the top go-to site in the world for all things UTV and while our roots will forever remain in content and industry news and product information, we too are a business and we too need to continue to grow and diversify. I felt the time was right and we have a goal to not just sell parts and make money doing it, but offer services at a level not yet seen in this sport. We wanted to solve two main things with this new venture, the first was to make sure we had the best products in the sport in-stock and ready to sell and to also be able to service your build needs in a timely manner. Like everything we do, we keep the core enthusiast in the front of our mind and everything has to be true to the sport and to you.
While UTVUG has grown over the years I would be lying if I told you we were capable of coming to market with a new retail division on our own. Reality is, to provide the experience we knew we wanted to offer to the consumer we would have to completely restructure our company and build an infrastructure that would cost millions of dollars. It just wouldn’t be possible, but in came 4 Wheel Parts! 4 Wheel Parts sat down with us and heard out our ideas and shared with us their own. Together we knew we could change the game. Their infrastructure, retail knowledge, reach, staff and experience matched with our industry knowledge, marketing, content and desire to build the baddest machines on the planet would surely be a pairing that could change the game. We worked tirelessly and with a shared passion for going big and doing things the right way we prepared for our launch at the SSSS!
I don’t think anyone was prepared for what we were bringing to the show floor this year. Heck, I wasn’t even prepared and like many who walked into our booth this past weekend, I too was blown away at the size and impact we made with the launch of the new 4 Wheel Parts – UTVUnderground Garage. We set up the largest booth in the show, brought out our new UTVUnderground Garage semi packed with a half a million dollars in inventory, a fleetof 4WP – UTVUG Garage staff members, lined our booth with some of our best product suppliers who were there to demonstrate their products and unveiled 4 all-new UTVUnderground Garage builds to give consumers an idea of all that we are capable of. What we received in return was nothing but support from the community. Attendees flocked our booth in droves, bargain shopped some of the best products in the sport and walked away with great deals, free swag and a solid buying experience.
The UTVUnderground Garage booth was the place to be all weekend long. We kicked the show off Friday night with a massive party sponsored by Polaris RZR. We gave out almost 1000 free beers and over the weekend gave away over 2000 shirts & hats, stickers, coozies and catalogs. The booth was buzzing with a party atmosphere from start to finish with a DJ and a massive 20ft LED screen playing the latest and most popular UTVUnderground content. When you came to the UTVUnderground Garage booth you were treated to an experience, a core-UTV welcome mat was rolled out in the form of synthetic turf and our massive staff was ready to greet you, answer your questions and show you a good time. The end goal of showing the enthusiasts and industry that we were all-in was met, and I like to think that people got a glimpse into the future of what UTV retail will look like.
When I got the time to walk around the show I was met constantly with praise for the UTVUnderground Garage launch. People were stoked and were impressed and for so many of you to express your enthusiasm of all that we are doing was really a boost for me personally and I know that my partners in this new venture all felt the same way. Seeing the UTVUnderground Garage logo all over the show both on the shirts we gave away and on the Sand Show banners surrounding the fairgrounds really gave me a sense of pride to see how far this once little hobby of mine has gone. In addition to our giant UTVUnderground Garage booth, we still had our merchandise booth set up in the span where we have been set up the past 5 years and that booth had the most success we have ever had as it pertained to our merchandise like shirts, hats, hoodies and stickers. The love you guys all continue to show fills me with a joy words cannot describe. I am more than grateful, I am literally floored at the love this sport continues to show.
The SSSS was big in many ways. The builds we saw were by far the best ever. To stand out at the SSSS you have to come with it and a few things really stood out to me. Clearly the buzz around the new Can-Am Maverick X3 is real, Can-Am set up their largest booth ever and pulled out all the stops bringing vehicles to display and even put a barbershop inside their booth. Yamaha also set up a large display to promote the YXZ1000R which is gaining lots of popularity with the desert riding community. Honda also had a booth and while it was pretty “corporate” its good to see them involved and remaining relevant. To me its further sign that a sport machine is on deck! Arctic Cat arguably had the largest presence not just because of their booth in the center of the show but because of their involvement with Robby Gordon and the launch of the all-new Wildcat X with RG Pro suspension. Factor in the SST races all weekend there full of Wildcat involvement and I would say they had a great showing. You can’t talk about the OEMs and not talk about Polaris. It was clear that despite the rough year they and their consumers have suffered with recalls and with the launch of new machines and products from competitors that the RZR was still the dominant vehicle in the industry and their new 168hp RZR XP Turbo was also getting attention. There wasn’t a single aftermarket customized or built X3 in the show that we saw other than the factory accessorized models and while Yamaha definitely had a presence throughout, the Polaris RZR dominated the show like never before.
Polaris themselves did have a booth and while they didn’t pass out free haircuts or host their athletes for autograph sessions what they did do was spend time with their customers and express their gratitude towards them despite the hardships they have been dealt. Polaris still has a long road in front of them to not only win back over the confidence of many, but also regain the traction they have been so used to benefitting from over the years. But their hard work over the past few years still shows and there is a reason the show is dominated by Polaris despite their short comings of the past year. While its easy to kick a dog when its down, whats not easy is to build a following like RZR has, something no one else in the sport has been able to do at the OEM level, not since the Rhino anyway. Polaris did put in an effort to continue their support of the community by sponsoring our massive kick off party. They also contributed many of the custom machines that filled the show. In addition, a RZR won the big UTV SST race on Saturday night and their athletes and brand ambassadors filled booths with their own machines and signed autographs all weekend long. It had to feel good for the RZR employees that despite what we assume were some hard conversations being had at their booth with upset consumers, to walk around the show and be reminded that they still have a foothold on the industry. We had some great conversations with Polaris staff and the message was clear that they are committed to making things right with consumers affected by this years recalls and they are also committed to continuing to drive the industry with the innovation and quality we expect in upcoming vehicle releases.
We took notice of many custom machines, products and booths spread around the show. SDR Motorsports once again displayed the nicest collection of RZRs in the entire show. Their booth was filled with amazing builds and their work flowed well beyond their booth. Next to them, Cognito Motorsports, Vision X, Alba, OMF, Simpson Seats and others also showcased new products and vehicles. ProLineWraps unveiled their new IMPOSTOR build which is a 2016 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo set on air suspension and while it is certainly a show vehicle it was another glimpse into how far some are taking their builds. Magnum Off-Road displayed what we think was one of the nicest RZRs ever assembled in their new Crimson Ghost. Its an all tube race chassis that was set up for hardcore dune riding and had many questioning if it was a RZR or rail. With 200hp and a design that makes you just want to stare, its certainly going to be a machine that we can’t wait to see run this year. TMW Off-Road also displayed their goods and showcased their industry best builds. Method Race Wheels also put on quite the show, passing out swag all weekend and displayed their fleet of amazing RZRs as well. DWT has their new wheel on display, For-U-2, Str8Up Motorsports, IMG Motorsports, CageWRX, Long Travel Industries, Madigan Motorsports, and many more also had fantastic display vehicles that turned heads all weekend long.
Some products that definitely have the industry buzzing were also on display. Sandcraft RCR had their full line of new driveline components which are a must if you own a RZR as they improve your entire driveline. PCI had their new TRAX intercom and Rugged Radios displayed their new intercom and headset combo that makes listening to music in your off-road vehicle a pleasurable experience! RIGID displayed their new cornering light, CHASE rear facing LED and showed off their soon to be released side mirror LED light combo on our new XP1K4 vehicle. Oh yeah, XP1K4, yeah I almost forgot about that. We unveiled the all new RJ Anderson 2017 XP1K4 Polaris RZR in the RIGID booth. We can’t wait to pop off this new project later this winter. PRP’s new containment seats grabbed a lot of attention, Assault had their new Bomber mirrors on display amongst other products and Mob Armor showcased all of their new phone and tablet mount accessories. In all, the SSSS was the place to be for all things UTV both product wise and build wise. A virtual show & shine was taking place for two and half days and we couldn’t get enough of it!
This years Sand Sports Super Show was huge. Both physically and generally speaking as it pertained to where the industry is headed. If you use the SSSS as a gauge to what the 2017 season is going to be like then you know big things are coming. The OEM battle is as big as it has ever been, competition amongst the aftermarket is just as heated and innovation is at an all-time high. It seems we say it every year but its a great time to be involved in this sport. Consumers have more options then ever before and are pushing this sport to places few of us could have ever predicted.
So what will the 2017 show look like? Well, only time will tell but if it gets bigger than 2016 then we may need to expand to a 4 day show or something because its getting harder and harder to get through the show in two days time. I can tell you this much, we at UTVUnderground.com are extremely excited about the future. UTVUnderground Garage set a new standard in retail and I promise you we are only going to go bigger and get better. Personally, I have never felt this excited about the future of our sport, our site and our brand. I can’t wait to hit the dunes, trails and tracks this season. Its going to go off!
Until next year….
Photos by: Harlen Foley // UTVUnderground.com
Other Images Provided by: 4 Wheel Parts // UTVUnderground Garage
#1949 Summers Alba Glazzkraft Racing Baja 500 Race Story By Alonso Lopez, Driver & Team Owner
First of all, I want to thank God for keeping us safe on this grueling race course. Our most sincere condolences to the families of the 2 fallen racers and to the family who lost their boy in such an unfortunate accident.
As you know, every race starts with the preparation of the race car, chase, supplies, and improvement on parts, from the experience of past races:
Summers Brothers designed and built a new set of thicker/stronger rear axles, the “Barbarian Furious”. Alba Racing rebuilt us a very reliable motor with their Stage-2 Kit. Glazzkraft made a brand new set of their full carbon fiber “Bomber Race Body Kit”. King Shocks rebuilt & added more valves to their IBP shocks to perform better in the San Felipe whoops. Rigid Industries provided us with a new more-efficient setup of lights for our new front bumper. Trinity Racing created a new stronger/thicker packaging for their dual slip-on brushed xxhaust system. Weddle Industries & @Montes Motores y Transmiciones de Competencia (out of Ensenada, BC, very well known for many champion race cars on class 16, 10, 5-1600, etc.) fully race prepped a brand new Polaris Transmission, including the Japanese Heavy Duty bearings supplied by Alba Racing. Schaeffer’s Oil formulated a new transmission oil to reduce components heating. OMF Wheels supplied us with a 10 sets of their new lighter wheel centers. Rugged Radios made sure that we have the best communications available. Slime provided the number 1 tire sealant on the market. BFGoodrich Tires / Jackson Motorsports assisted with the most amazing UTV tire all around (only 2 flat tires in more than 2,500 miles of Off Road Racing). Baja Pits provided reliable pit stops as always. Carlos Orozco and his team is a MUST TO HAVE on every race where they attend. Roots Off-Road framing the best still images and videos for our race team.
We headed for Ensenada early in the week with plans to pre-run most of the race course. Unfortunately, our pre-runner UTV had some fuel and electrical issues and we couldn’t make it work. We ended up doing less than 60 miles of the 477 race miles. Extremely disappointed in our cancellation of pre-running, we turned our focus to the race car. We headed to San Matias which many of you would recognize as the section where you can run wide open through massive whoops right along Hwy 3. Its a long and bruatl whoop packed section that can really test your machine. We went there with King to adjust the shocks on the race car and get them race ready. If they could handle San Matias then they could handle anywhere else on the course. While testing the race car we developed an electrical issue that took some time to figure out, it also freaked us out. The last thing we need this close to the race is a gremlin, an electrical one at that.
On Friday we headed downtown with our race car and the entire #1949 team to take part in the Baja 500 Tech & Contingency. After contingency while on the way back to camp, we started hearing some weird noises and developed a terrible vibration in the front end of the car. We quickly stopped at a gas station and got out of the car to find the front differential was smoking and oil was spraying everywhere. The front diff bearing broke and annihilated the entire differential. from there I drove slowly to our camp and changed the front half of the 4WD driveline and installed the spare differential. We took the car that evening to the “Papas & Beer Street Party” to display and to represent for our sponsors. The drive their showed no problems. After some food and fun we got the RZR out of the parking area to head back, we had to get ready for the race the next day but on the way back to camp I started to hear the same noise and feel that familiar vibration. I quickly shut off 4WD and drove at 10MPH the rest of the way to camp. We checked the front driveline again and discovered that it was bent. We then checked the rear driveline and discovered that it too was bent. We figured that we must have really damaged the drivelines while pounding the RZR through the San Matias whoops the day before. After stripping our pre-runner of its complete driveline we got it installed into the race car. It was now 4am on race day. I instructed the team to get as much rest as possible!
As we headed to staging the noises and vibration were still there. I told Pancho (my copilot), “No 4WD Pancho, you will have to help me a lot, to get through the Summit and the long wash after that as well as the silt beds.” He told me not to worry as he has raced his Class 16 car many times, and we will get through. We were about to take on one of the most brutal races in the world minus one of our biggest assets, 4 wheel drive.
We started the race 8th off the line and we just took it easy through the wash (after the terrible accident that we were aware of), and started getting used to do not have 4WD. The car drifts more than normal, but it only took me a little time to get used to it.
At RM8, I see a UTV stopped on the side of the course. A minute later I see the #1915 of Thomas Graves and the #1952 of Jonathan McVay fighting for positions. I pass the #1915 and half a minute later the #1952 moves to the side so I can pass him as well.We were in the race and moving along at a good pace!
At around RM18, I see the back of the #1958 of George Felix, and I remember something George and me were joking around about on Facebook few days back. I told Pancho I will get as close to him as I can in the next turn despite the heavy dust and silt. When I make a left turn to go up a hill I’m instantly blinded with dust, I back it down to just work through the dust and the next thing I see is the rear bumper of the #1958. I try to quickly stop but by the time I saw him it was too late. I hit George on his rear bumper, not hard, but still hit him. It’s been a story between George and I about hitting each other. Not in a mean way, but just as competitors.
I could then see that George was pushing another UTV in front of him. He had a chance to just leave that other UTV on the side but he kept pushing him forward and I’m like, “George, come on, you already helped him, now, MOVE”. He finally moves to the side, TOGETHER with the other car, that’s when I realize they were stuck bumper to bumper. We made the pass and moved on up the course. A few miles later on top of the mountain, we can see a huge bottleneck. I was in the middle of a smaller bottleneck on the 2014 SCORE Baja 500, and my race plan was a mess after that. So I stop and think for few seconds and tell Pancho “We will go on their right side until the point where we can’t move anymore, then we will go from there”. As we do that the #2930 of Sean Cook cuts in front of us. I’m like ok, you did that, now move forward. He moves only a few yards to the front and stops, so I put my car in reverse, then move to the side of Sean’s car, and keep moving, I cannot see much, as those little trees hold A LOT OF DUST on their leaves. When I feel that it is safe no more to continue moving along the hillside, I see an opening between two class 10 cars, and move to the left of the bottleneck, where the side of the hill is more even. Then Pancho tells me: “Do I get off the car, and find a safe path?” I tell him: “Yes please”. So he starts moving on the left of the many stuck cars, and I slowly follow him. Believe it or not, that side of the hill was flat as it can be. What all the other cars needed to do was just follow us or try to find that path. We were lucky. At the very end, I hear another pilot on my side yelling at us, like: “Fuc…. UTV’s, if you pass me I will hit you when I find you later, lalalalalala”, stuff like that. I’m like, “Dude, why you can’t tell your copilot to do the same as mine?” Instead of being all frustrated to wait and wait.
When we get to the front of the bottle neck, there was a Class 10 car at the bottom of the uphill, and 150 yards behind, a TT Spec just sit, waiting there, with no intentions to move or even try to pass the moron spectator that got stuck in the middle of the uphill. Both cars have their engine off. I cannot believe there were 50+ cars stuck only because the cars at front where doing nothing. We kept going and pass on the cliff side of the moron stuck at the middle of the uphill with no problems at all. We paid a small price though: We got a flat while going through the bushes and small pine trees but I couldn’t stop to change it, there is no room, and remember, other cars now hate us, and I can hear the roar of some cars moving already. So I waited until we find a sweet hidden spot to change the flat tire. The OMF Wheel took a serious beating from the big rocks but they along with the BFGoodrich Tires held together well.
We kept moving and when we made it to Ojos Negros our crew replaced our spare tire with a good one. Before getting to the “77”, I start feeling rocks and sand on my helmet shield and hands. I’m like, shit, maybe the front skid plate fell. We stopped with some spectators there, and Pancho checked on the problem. Somehow the front left axle got off the front diff (luckily for us, we were not using any 4WD, so there was no torque on it). Pancho strap the axle to the lower A-arm with some heavy duty zip ties, but a little later, we see the axle flying away from us. It was rocky and sandy just before getting to the highway. Our crew was waiting there, with all parts and tools ready, and we changed the axle, refreshed ourselves, and loaded an extra front axle just in case.
We then headed for the “Summit”. We were able to climb these rocky mountains with no problem at all, and by the time we got to the sand wash we could really feel the triple-digit heat in our face. I told Pancho to keep a close eye on the motor temperature as I knew we might have overheating issues. A few miles later I noticed that the car was starting to go over 206F and I told Pancho I would stop when we reach 210F. And we did so it was a long race from then on as I wanted to keep the engine together to finish the race. In fact, we stopped later when the motor reached 216F. We had to stop several times to cool down the motor and lost a lot of time doing so, but at the end, it paid off.
We got to the “Saldana” BajaPits, and the heat was terrible there, over 120F easy, at around 4:30pm. We kept driving, hoping the heat would lower once the sun started going down, but the heat remained. That’s when I saw the #2921 of Johnny Angal on our back; I let him pass and we exchanged positions several times, until I believe he stopped for good, his race was over due to heat.
Before getting to “Borrego”, while trying to move to the side to let other cars pass (I was worried of being hit from behind by a larger class car; the San Felipe 250 race went to hell when car #1209 hit us hard from behind and broke the transmission), I hit big black rock really hard and my steering wheel was shifted 90 degrees to the left. I immediately knew something was wrong with the front end. We got to our pit crew after Borrego and found out the wheel was bent but somehow the tire was still good. We changed the wheel and tire, and kept going.
The San Felipe whoops were brutal, I asked Pancho to get out of the car and add 5 clicks to the rear shocks and 3 clicks to the front. We were running very smooth after that. We got out of the San Felipe loop and when we entered the Dry Lake, it was extremly foggy, it almost felt like a light rain. I could not see shit! That’s where the controversial Virtual Check Point (VCP) was. We drove around it back and forth, trying to hit it, and on my GPS it showed that we hit it, and on Pancho’s (which had more zoom) it showed that we were on the side of it, very very close. This was the VCP in discussion regarding the final positioning before the awards ceremony. It wasn’t like we deliberated skipped it, we really tried hard to hit it and thought we did. The tracking system is not that accurate at all. W then kept driving to San Matias and the Mike’s Sky Ranch loop. That’s when we confirmed with our chase crew that there was only 1 car relatively close to us, 40-50 miles behind, #1954 of Kristen Matlock. I did the math, and with around 120 miles to go, if we could keep a safe pace and not break she wouldn’t be able to catch us.
At around RM440, we saw a car barely holding off a large cliff. The 4 car tires were off the track and hanging onto the cliff, I think trees saved it from going 100+ feet down. It was the #2905 of Marc Burnett. His copilot Fernando Flores came running to us to stop, with a sat phone in his hand. Marc came to me, and told me his car died on him and he had no control and went strait towards the cliff. He asked me if I could pull him off the cliff, but I was so worried that if we strapped both cars to each other and his car fell off that his car would drag mine with him to the bottom of the cliff. But if we didn’t help him his car could roll off of the cliff. In fact, there was a class 16 car that passed less than a minute in front of them, and obviously did not stop. Who would, under those circumstances in the hardest rocky part of that mountain? So, we strapped both cars, and I tried to pull him out. We were supposed to do it at the same time, and Pancho was on the outside of Marc’s UTV to make add weight against the cliff. Marc accelerated and I heard yells to move forward, I had the car in LOW, as we did not have 4WD. I pressed the gas smoothly and felt the strap pulling my car backwards, but somehow, both cars made it safe back onto the race course. After some long breaths, we unstrapped the cars, said goodbye, and kept moving. It should be noted that we DID NOT get CREDIT for the time lost while helping Marc.
We made it to the Ojos Negros valley and told our chase crew to wait 30 minutes and let us know if any other cars would pass by. But no UTVs would pass that point while they waited. When we got to RM465, it was foggy rain, I could see nothing. We drove slow, and the fog went away by the time we hit the Ensenada paved streets. It was wet and muddy there but we made it out of there carefully.
We got to the finish line and were told that we won, we were the top finishers in the Pro UTV class! I could not believe that we just WON the SCORE BAJA 500. By total surprise a few minutes later the #1983 of John Estrada crossed the finish line. There was no tracking on his car and we had no idea he was that close to us. If we would have known we would never have taken it that easy the last 120 miles, perhaps we wouldn’t have stopped to help Marc Burnett. Just kidding. We still would have stopped to assist him, thats what you do in Baja.
It took some explaining to SCORE about the VCP situation, they checked all of the data and finally agreed that we did hit the check point. They finally made our win official!
I want to congratulate John Estrada and Justin Quinn and their whole crew for getting a new car to this Baja 500 and finishing so well. I also want to give special congratulations to Kristen Matlock; it takes more than just balls to drive and finish this year’s Baja 500, and she drove it solo the whole way. Also to David Nance, his finish makes the points championship very interesting this year!
I want to thank and congratulate my chase crew. We are a small family team. We prep this #1949 Summers Alba Glazzkraft Racing Car by ourselves. We won this Baja 500 on a day that we barely made it to the start line with almost no sleep. It requires guts from every member of this team to pull this victory through.
I also would like to thank to all other sponsors, without your support, we couldn’t make it this far:
We will have a great race video in the coming days. We will keep you all posted and will see you all at Vegas to Reno!
Over $100,000 in Contingency Cash & Prizes up for Grabs at the 2016 UTV World Championship
As racers compete for the coveted championship in Laughlin, NV, they will also race for over $100,000 in cash & prizes! Sponsors of the event have provided everything from shocks to wheels to cash and Polaris has put up the grand prize of 4 brand new RZRs for race winners! Here is a complete list of cash & Prizes for the 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship powered by Monster Energy:
1 Polaris RZR XP Turbo – Overall Winner Walker Evans Racing Desert Championship Race
1 Polaris RZR XP Turbo – Overall Winner Holz Racing Products Production Short-Course Championship Race
1 Polaris RZR 170 – Winner of the Magnum Offroad Youth Production 170 Race
1 Polaris RZR 170 – Winner of the Magnum Offroad Youth Unlimited 250 Race
Walker Evans Racing
1 Set of Velocity Series Shocks Top Finisher in Either Turbo / 1000 Desert Class (that doesn’t win the RZR)
1 Set of 15” Walker Evans Racing Beadlock Wheels – Winner of the Desert Sportsman Class
1 Set of 15” Walker Evans Racing Beadlock Wheels – Winner of the Desert Unlimited Class
Holz Racing Products
$250.00 GC – Class Winners in the Holz Racing Products Production Short Course Race
$250 GC – Poker Run 5th Place
$250 GC – Poker Run 6th Place
$1000 To Any Class Winner Running CageWRX Cage
$500 To Any 2nd Place Class Finisher Running CageWRX Cage
$250 To Any 3rd Place Class Finisher Running CageWRX Cage
$350 To Any Class Winner Running CageWRX Bumper
GMZ Race Products
1 Set of GMZ Wheels – 2nd Place Production Turbo
1 Set of GMZ Wheels – 3rd Place Production 1000
1 Set of GMZ Wheels – 2nd Place Production 900
1 Set of GMZ Wheels – 2nd Place Production 700
1 Set of GMZ Tires – 3rd Place Production Turbo
1 Set of GMZ Tires – 3rd Place Production 900
1 Set of GMZ Tires – 3rd Place Production 700
1 Set of GMZ Tires – 3rd Place Poker Run
Method Race Wheels
$1000 Overall Winner Holz Racing Products Production Short-Course Championship Race – Must Run Method Wheels & Stickers
$1000 Overall Winner Walker Evans Racing Desert Championship Race – Must Run Method Wheels & Stickers
$1000 Overall Winner Holz Racing Products Production Short-Course Championship Race – Must Run Tensor Tires & Stickers
$1000 Overall Winner Walker Evans Racing Desert Championship Race – Must Run Tensor Tires & Stickers
Jackson Motorsports Group / 1800RaceBFG.com
200 Poker Run Gift Bags w/ Shirts, Stickers, Hats & Posters\
$300 Product Certificate – Winner Youth Unlimited 250
$300 Product Certificate – Winner Youth Production RZR 170
$200 Product Certificate – 2nd Place Youth Unlimited 250
$200 Product Certificate – 2nd Place Production RZR 170
$50 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Youth Unlimited 250
$50 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Youth Production RZR 170
1 Clutch Kit – Winner of Desert Pro Turbo
1 Clutch Kit – Winner of Desert Pro 1000
1 Set Of Shocks – Winner of Desert Unlimited
1 Set of Shocks – Winner of Desert Sportsman
1 Set of Shocks – Winner of Production 900
1 Set of Shocks – Winner of Production 700
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Desert Pro Turbo
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Desert Pro 1000
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Desert Sportsman
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Desert Unlimited
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Production Turbo
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Production 1000
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Production 900
1 Product Certificate – 3rd Place Production 700
1 set of Front Shock Guards – Winner Production 1000
1 Fire Extinguisher – Winner Production 900
1 Set of Bomber Mirrors – Winner Production 700
1 Set of Stealth Mirrors – Winner Desert Sportsman
1 Set of Front Shock Guards – Winner Desert Unlimited
1 Set of Front CV Guards – Winner Poker Run
1 Set of Front CV Guards – 2nd Place Poker Run
1 Registration Plate – 3rd Place Poker Run
1 Registration Plate – 4th Place Poker Run
STI Wheels & Tires
Set of STI Wheels – Winner Production 900
Set of STI Tires – Winner Production 700
Set of STI Wheels – Winner Poker Run
Set of STI Tires – 2nd Place Poker Run
1 Set of PRP Seats – Winner of Desert Sportsman Class
1 Set of PRP Seats – 4th Place Poker Run
Set of Raceline Wheels – 2nd Place Production 1000
$1000 To Any Class Winner Running Raceline Wheels (Stop at Raceline Booth for Rules / Sign Up)
1 Day Driving Camp – Winner of Youth Unlimited 250
1 Day Driving Camp – Winner of Youth Production RZR 170
The Team at Suspended Fabrication located in Apple Valley, CA has brought their decades of desert race car building and aerospace experience together to build a car to take on the PRO UTV desert racing competition. Having spent years working in the aerospace industry working on some of the world’s most advanced aircraft, coupled with decades spent racing, and building desert race cars from class 9’s to Trophy Trucks, Suspended Fabrication is uniquely positioned to bring to the world some of the most advanced desert racing UTV’s.
The core of the Suspended Fabrication team comes from a space and military aerospace background and have spent years in the highly technical world of military and space aviation. Some builders advertise that they use mil-spec components but the finished product is not mil-spec unless the work has been done by trained and certified mil-spec technicians using calibrated and certified mil-spec tools and equipment. They bring their knowledge and expertise from the high end desert racing market and mold that together with their expertise garnered from years’ working on projects from MQ-1 Predator drones, to the B2 Stealth bomber, from the Space Shuttle to the F-35 Lightning to produce cars like no other and it shows in this build.
They didn’t view this current race machine as a UTV, they simply saw it as a race-car and built it the only way they know how. They understand that desert racing is not a horsepower game as much as it is a suspension game. Hours of thought and effort went into making subtle changes to the suspension geometry, taking caster, camber and steering ackerman into account to make a car that handles as good as it looks. When it came to the shocks they spent hours in the desert and on the scales to get the shock valving and spring rate as close to perfect as it could be.
Their motto that there is no such thing as “good enough” it’s either right or wrong shows in this build.
Words & Photos Provided by Suspended Fabrication // Shop Photography: JDM Photos // Contingency Photography: Sebastian Krywult // Action Photography: Rusty Baptist
Elk River, Minnesota (June 27, 2012) – It was a coming out party like no other as TerraCross racing returned to the forefront of the off-road racing community and side-x-side wheelman rising star Andrew Carlson stole the show with a pair of incredible performances. After a several year hiatus, TerraCross racing made its return debut at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota with pro class main events both Friday and Saturday featuring utility quad and side-x-side competition on a hybrid motocross track littered with obstacles.
With a deal already inked to broadcast the four-race series on CBS Sports Network, the pro side-x-side field was bursting with top-level talent including Jeff Loyd, Doug Gust, Daryl Rath, and snowmobile backcountry extraordinaire Chris Burandt. Yet it was Andrew Carlson in his Muscle Milk Polaris RZR that stole the show with a blistering win on Friday evening where he crossed the line with a near 8-second margin; and his gas-for-glory last lap pass for second place on Saturday.
Combining elements of motocross with a variety of man-made obstacles including telephone poles, rock fields, mud pits, and massive timbers, TerraCross is the ultimate test of machine and driver. Faced with a 10-lap final, drivers must manage the desire the go for it while protecting their equipment as they pound through massive boulders and launch off huge tractor tires.
While Carlson’s win on Friday had everyone in the stands buzzing, it was his come from behind podium on Saturday afternoon that was perhaps even more impressive. Faced with a back row start in a field of 10 pro finalists, Carlson emerged from the turn one melee’ in 7th place. He then carefully managed the 10-lap race to work his way through the field to eventually find himself in the final podium position. While the battle to this point would have been a perseverance victory alone, Carlson wanted more and mounted one final bid for second place. With legendary off-road racer Daryl Rath in front of him and the finish line in sight; Carlson squared up his RZR and mashed the gas over the tires and final jump, rocketing himself past Rath and onto the second podium box.
“The track was brutal,” said Carlson after emerging from his Polaris. “I was picking good lines and playing it safe over the big obstacles for most of the race. But on the final lap I went for it and it paid off.”
Coming from the TerraCross Pro/Am ranks on Friday to lead the field of drivers in points by the close of the weekend will put Carlson in the cross hairs as the TerraCross Championships unfold September 8th and 9th during the Sno-Barons Haydays World Championships near North Branch, Minnesota. For more information on the TerraCross series visit their website at www.terracrossracing.com. Action from ERX will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network Sunday nights at 8:00pm central July 8th, 15th, and 22nd. For more information on the ERX Motor Park facility in Elk River, MN. For more information visit
Carlson Motorsports is a family of racers, mechanics and sponsors who are proud of our accomplishments on the track and off, and are driven to excellence in everything we do. Our racing organization is driven by a deep-rooted passion for the sport and an operational philosophy grounded in integrity. To learn more about Carlson Motorsports LLC, and how you can partner and share in their success, visit their website at www.carlsonmotorsportsllc.com