Race Life: Monster Matt Burroughs
Recently we were invited to spend the day in Barstow, California with the #948 Monster Energy/Can-Am team of Matt Burroughs as they put the final touches on their Can-Am Maverick X3 for the upcoming Mint 400. One of the first things we noticed and what we have come to expect from a factory backed team was the professionalism, attention to detail and seriousness of the testing session. It was very apparent that the team was prepared for a long day as they addressed what seemed like every tiny detail of the car.
After the testing session we got to sit down and talk with Matt about their 2017 season and the run up to the 2018 Mint 400.
UTV Underground: Tell us about your 2017 season in the new Can-Am X3. It appeared you struggled in the early part of the season?
Burroughs: We were pretty stressed heading into the 2017 Parker 250 as we literally had about 1 hour of testing time with the new car. This was particularly difficult for us as we are accustomed to having a car 100% ready and dialed when we hit the starting line.
UTV Underground: So what happened at Parker?
Burroughs: Suspension was way off and we had some clutching issues. Once we realized we were off the pace we just cruised in order to get a finish.
UTV Underground: Then you DNF’d both the 2017 Mint 400 and the 2017 UTV World Championships. Were you making any progress?
Burroughs: We were able to get some testing done after Parker and felt like we were making progress. Suspension was better, clutching was better but we were having some issues with heat build-up in the CV joints. At both the 2017 Mint 400 and the World Championships we would suffer CV issues that took us out of the race. As disappointed as we were, we knew that if we could just get these issues resolved we could run with the leaders. The car as a whole was really starting to become something special.
UTV Underground: How did you fix your CV issue?
Burroughs: I sent one of our CVs out to All German Motorsports to see if they could help. The second they removed the CV boot they said “Wrong grease. No way the CVs will live as hard as you are pushing the car with traditional UTV grease.” So we switched greases and haven’t had a single CV issue since. The Baja 500, Vegas to Reno, the Baja 1000, not a single issue. We were kind of bummed that our early season struggles were caused by something as simple as CV grease.
UTV Underground: Those are some big races and we noticed that you did pretty well. Did you feel like you had turned things around?
Burroughs: Yes, we were making progress as the 4th finisher at the 500 and 4th at Vegas to Reno, but we weren’t satisfied. We felt like we were so close to really breaking out in a big way. At Tonopah we were finally able to crack the podium with a 2nd place finish and felt very confident heading into the 1000. Unfortunately, at the 1000 we cracked a steering shaft which resulted in nearly 6 hours of down time. We were still able to crack the top 10 with an 8th place finish.
UTV Underground: The 2017 Pahrump 250. What really happened?
Burroughs: I was afraid you were going to ask about Pahrump. We were first on course and struggled to pass a class 7 truck that held us up for about 40 miles. We had just passed him heading into pit #4 which was our first scheduled pit stop and I made the call to only take 1 can of gas. I didn’t want him to get back by us in the pits. Our plan was to pit again at pit #7 and it seemed like the math would work. But while leading at mile 200 we ran out of gas. We were 15 miles from Pit #7. Bummed out for sure but we learned a valuable lesson and hopefully won’t make this mistake again.
UTV Underground: So are you ready for the 2018 Mint 400? The car looks pretty impressive.
Burroughs: Yes, we are ready. The car is better than ever as we spent December fine turning our suspension and clutching. At the 2018 Parker 250 a few weeks ago we broke a shock early in the race which was kind of a fluke thing. We are as prepared as we can be and just need to go out and get that podium.
UTV Underground: You are one of the most highly visible sponsored teams out there. Do you feel pressure to perform for your sponsors? Tell us about them?
Burroughs: Yes, for sure we feel the pressure to perform. Obviously Monster and Can-Am are some big companies that expect results. Everything we do as a team is done with our sponsors in mind. We want to make them proud of not only our results but our effort and image as well. One thing we don’t do is just bring on sponsors for the sake of having sponsors. We believe in the products we are running and feel they give us a huge competitive advantage and put us in the best position to succeed. When we get to the starting I am very confident that we have the best car in the field in each and every way. Another thing we are super proud of is the lack of turnover with our sponsors. We have basically the same sponsors for the 4th year running. It is very humbling when a sponsor tells you they are on board for another year. With hand on heart I can tell you that we believe our sponsors are the best in the business, period!!
UTV Underground: Do you want to tell us about your sponsors:
Cognito – Suspension/Shock Valving
PRP – Seats
OMF – Wheels
FOX – Shocks
Torco – Oil and Race Gas
Hunsaker – Quick Fill Dump Cans
STI – Chicane RX Tires
Summers Brothers Racing – Axles
Stream-line Brakes – Brake lines
Sparks Racing – Exhaust
Rugged Radios – Communications
IMS Metals – Chassis/Frame
Benchmark Performance – Mechanical
Fuelsafe – Fuel Cell
Factory UTV – Skid Plates
Baja Designs – Lighting
Pro Eagle – Hi Lift Jacks
Eibach – Racing Springs
270X – Vehicle wraps
Leadnav – Navigation
Rocblokz – Rock Guards/Mud Flaps
As the Mint 400 approaches this week, we are eager to follow along with Matt Burroughs and see if he gets his redemption from last years battle. We would like to thank Matt Burroughs for having us out there during testing and giving us the real inside scoop!
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Photos: Daniel Schenkelberg // UTVUnderground.com