ATVS BEAT THE UTVS

BEST IN THE DESERT: VEGAS TO RENO

Blurton’s fourth win By the staff of Dirt Wheels Photos by Harlan Foley

About this time Phil Blurton and navigator Beau Judge must have been wondering what happened to the weather. The heat was brutal! They soldiered on and kept the Can-Am alive to win UTV Turbo.

ATVS BEAT UTVS

Maxxis Tires “Casey Folks” Vegas to Reno, point-to-point desert race began as the longest race in the U.S. Thanks to the hard work of BITD, and originator Casey Folks, it has become the Big Daddy, the bucket-list event that draws racers from all points of the compass to the harsh Nevada desert.

For 2020, Nevada was harsher than ever. August may be a good time for a Las Vegas casino swimming pool, but the typical summer heat—that is far from ordinary in most places—made the event one the racers called the toughest ever.

Oven-like heat, diabolical silt, and the always-tough terrain are always a complicated nut to crack, but stretch them out for 514 miles…. 

Young Seth Quintero is a prize for Polaris. He is fast and knows how to keep the car in one piece. He claimed another UTV P win for Polaris with his RZR XP 1000.

CLASSY

ATVS BEAT UTVS

UTV’s have grown from a small part of the racing to the largest class of Best in the Desert. The eventual winner and 2020 UTV Turbo points leader, Phil Blurton, and his No Limit Can-Am was the first UTV off the line, which is a huge advantage.

UTVs start behind the faster truck and buggy classes, so starting first does not mean running in clean air. The final top three of Blurton, Polaris’ Mitch Guthrie, and Louisiana’s Can-Am star, Dustin Jones, stayed close all day.

On-time, the three finished in a four-minute window, after almost 10 hours of racing. Guthrie actually overcame his start time to lead the UTV Turbo class physically, and on time for much of the day. Blurton regained the lead late in the race, and then an electrical gremlin cost Guthrie his lights, and, naturally, at night that cost him speed.

Polaris’ young Seth Quintero, won the normally aspirated UTV P class, and like Blurton, he leads the points chase. Quintero’s time was around 50 minutes slower than the UTV Turbo class winner. Kolton Hustead (21) of St. George, Utah, overcame starting back in the class to finish second in his Arctic Cat Wildcat XX. The two young guns were followed closely by veteran Kristen Matlock in another Polaris.

The three-rider team on the winning Honda quad was hauling. They do start earlier with a cleaner track and less dust ahead, but they were two minutes faster than the winning UTV!
Starting order is critical. Otherwise, you end up in dust like this that seriously hampers speed.

 

 

Both UTV Turbo and UTV P are stock engine classes. UTV Unlimited allows engine and body mods, but, as usual, the stock engine classes are quicker. Wes Miller and Jody Crotts of Las Vegas, Nevada, put their Polaris close behind Hustead’s Arctic Cat.

UTV Unlimited allows more modifications, so Wes Miller’s Polaris doesn’t look stock. Despite a relative freedom for modifications, the two stock engine classes are faster.
Interestingly, the single-seat Polaris Ace models are allowed in the Quad classes. This Ace 900 XC was first Quad Ironman.

BEHIND THE BARS

ATVS BEAT UTVS

Danny Magdaleno, Christopher Peatross and Christopher Avalos teamed up to be fastest of the quads. At 09:50:50.451 81, the winning quad was two minutes quicker than Blurton. The quads and motorcycles started early in the morning and hit the course before it was as torn up as it was for the UTVs. The next quad finisher was the winning Quad Expert Honda team of Irvin Casillas, Jesus Ramirez, Humberto Valenzuela and Edgar Barraza, running less than two minutes ahead of second-place team Gregory Cuellar, Sergio Lopez, Luis Ortega and Edgar Munoz on yet another Honda. Those sport quad-mounted teams were close to two hours faster than the winning Quad Ironman (racing solo) in a Polaris Ace 900 XC single-seater that was allowed in the Quad class.

Click the link below to check out these guided UTV tours in Utah, especially if you like the desert:

https://dirtwheelsmag.com/destination-utah-off-road-rentals-guided-tours/

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