We at Dirt Wheels Magazine live for the weekend. Like most of you motor heads, we want to know what we possibly missed out on while performing honey do’s, going to Home Depot, or prepping the machines for the following weekend. Anything from ATV/UTV meet ups, festivals, jamboree’s, or to see if you’re favorite racer ended up on the podium; our new segment “Dirt Wheels Weekend” has got you covered! Every week we will have a report on these events and more. Dirt Wheels Weekend will satisfy your dirt deficiency for the future weekends to come or until you get a pass for said honey do’s!
This weekend marked the first rounds of 2017 for the WORCS (World Off-Road Championship Series) and Best in the Desert series. The competition is fierce in UTV and ATV classes in each series, and most classes continue to grow with every season. Here is a breakdown of some the most exciting action from each series!
WORCS ROUND 1: MESQUITE, NEVADA JANUARY 6-8, 2017
ATV Pro and Pro Am results:
On the start of the Pro ATV race, it was Nevada’s Collin Webster that nabbed the holeshot on his new Yamaha YFZ450R. Eventually, Utah native Robbie Mitchell would overtake the lead on his Lindsay Machine Racing Honda and hold it for most of the race. However, 2016 Pro ATV Champion Beau Baron rallied his CST Tire Honda late in the race to make the pass on Mitchell for 1st overall. Robbie Mitchell would end up second, and Duncan Racing’s Mike Sloan made a great showing on his new YFZ450R for third.
In the Pro Am race, it was another Nevada native Ty Sanders that would get the holeshot. Sander’s lead was cut short by Logan Huff who charged hard on his YFZ450R and landed on the top step of the podium by the end of the race. Sanders would hold onto second aboard his Honda, and Tyler Benally would finish third; also on a Honda.
BEST IN THE DESERT ROUND 1: PARKER, AZ JANUARY January 7, 2017 (PARKER 250)
UTV Pro Turbo Class results:
In the UTV Pro Turbo class Polaris pilot Mitch Guthrie Jr. would claim the first victory of the year in his RZR Turbo. Can-Am’s Cory Sappington finished second in his Maverick, and Braden Sims would claim third in his RZR Turbo.
UTV Pro Production Class results:
The Pro Production class had a lot of drivers signed up and most were driving Polaris RZR’s. Robert Beauchat was one of those drivers and he took the win in his Polaris RZR. In second it was Russell Griffen also in a RZR, and George Felix claimed the third spot, driving you guessed it, a RZR!
UTV Pro Unlimited Class results:
In the Unlimited class, anything you can dream up to make the UTV better, can be made and raced. Sheldon Creed would come out on top in a custom UTV while Malcom Sneed III took second in a Can-Am Maverick, and third place would go to 8-year-old Max Gordon (son of Robbie Gordon) in a custom UTV.
ATV Pro and Expert results:
In the Pro class, there was some heartache and a couple of new faces to the Pro ATV class shined. Early on, the leads swapped back and forth between the racers. However, bad luck would plague some of the top teams and take them out of podium contention including the CT Racing team of David Scott and Cody Mitchell who won the 2016 Pro ATV Championship. Mitchell and Scott would finish 4th. New to the Pro ATV class, the Duncan Racing team of Erin and Andrew Simmons claimed the victory on their TRX450R and finished 14th overall between the dirt bikes. The Can-Am team of Don Higbe and Bryan Buckhannon were leading aboard their 2017 Outlander 1000 when Don had a bad wreck, but Bryan remounted the charge to put them in second Pro ATV and 18th overall. The team of Jeremy Gray and Robbie Cockrell also led the race only to have their axle break. After replacing the axle, they would finish third Pro ATV and 22nd overall on a TRX450R.
The Expert class had some great races and the team of Howard Tande, Shaun Riley, and Ben Matheson would taste victory aboard their KTM ATV and finish second overall ATV in front of Don Higbe. Christopher Peatross finished second on a modified Kawasaki with a KTM LC4 690cc engine, and the team of Austin Bolton and Tyler Vanscourt rounded out the podium in third.
BEST IN THE DESERT “UTV WINTER NATIONAL”: PARKER, AZ JANUARY 7, 2017
Best in the Desert also hosted the first round of the UTV Winter Nationals sponsored by GMZ Tires and Wheels. It was designed as a “short course” style event and the length of the course was around 7 miles. The racers would drive for a total of one hour where the checkered flag would fly.
UTV Production Class results:
Nic Granlund, driving his Yamaha YXZ1000R, took first in the Assault Industries Production 1000 class. In second, Gareth Stone would claim the second spot in his Polaris, while Pat Stone nailed down the third spot also in a Polaris.
UTV Production Turbo Class results:
The KMC Wheels Production Turbo Class had a stacked field but it would be Lonestar/Can-Am’s Garrick Lastra that edged out Polaris’s Matt Hancock (second place) for the win. Dan Fisher piloted his Lonestar Can-Am Maverick X3 to the final podium spot in third.
ATV IRONMAN EXPERT CLASS
Eric Toohey rode away with the win in the iron man class at the Parker 250. The race was rough for the ATV classes but he managed the win! Doug Bergstrom took home the second place finish.