The 2017 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship was held over the weekend of April 15 -17 outside Laughlin, Nevada, near the Riverside Casino there. The event was organized and sponsored by Monster Energy, UTV Underground, and Polaris. BITD (Best in the Desert) was also heavily involved in planning and promoting the event. The UTV World Championships was a three day event that had fun and excitement for all ages. Over 250 race teams with 272 UTVs and 65 bikes/quads participated in the event.
Contingency Day Winner Took Home a Customized Polaris RZR
Friday April 14 was Contingency Day for the event. At stake here was a new Polaris RZR customized by the UTV Underground Garage, Tensor Tires, Method Race Wheels and 4 Wheel Parts, valued at $60,000. The day’s big winner was Kevin Zeidler from Concord, Calif. When asked about his win, he replied, “We sell Polaris in the Bay Area, so it’s nice to have a RZR with this capability in the stable. We’re going to do something really cool with it. I couldn’t be more excited about having 4 Wheel Parts and UTV Underground involved in the sport. They’re doing things that keep making the sport better and better.” Entries started rolling in when the UTV was unveiled at last year’s Sand Sports Super Show.
Saturday’s Races Consisted of Five Classes
Racers were placed into one of five race classes for the UTV World Championship when they signed up for the event – Turbo Desert Class, Overall Short Course, Unlimited 250, Youth 170 and 1000 Desert Class. UTV Underground Founder and CEO “Joey D” DiGiovanni announced that the winners in these five classes would also be awarded a new Polaris RZR.
Desert race winners also received custom trophies made by UTV performance parts maker Assault Industries. Assault Industries representative Marcelo Danze said, “Joey and Mad Media reached out to us in a time crunch to get some trophies made. We do a lot of manufacturing in-house, so we took it on and had two weeks to make them. I think everyone is really happy with what we turned out. These guys put on such a great show. I cannot believe how many UTVs are out here. There are a lot of young kids out here and I’m super stoked to see that.” Assault Industries is known for their mirrors, tie rods and radius rods, plus a full selection of well-engineered and fabricated custom parts.
As well as supplying the race wheels for the Contingency Day prize, Method Race Wheels was tapped to supply the trophy for the short course. They chose to use the same custom 401 race wheel that they’ve been giving out to Mint 400 winners for the last eight years. The company’s Stephen Bell said, “We thought it was the perfect opportunity to give the short course guys a taste of a real trophy. We’re excited to be a part of it. The event has been jam packed. We have so many people here from so many manufacturers and so many aftermarket companies. At Method Wheels and Tensor tire, we’re super excited to part of this program. The events just keep getting bigger and it’s incredible. The level just keeps getting more complex every year.”
Results of the Races
In the Youth UTV 250 class, the winner was Dallas Gonzalez of Fort Mohave, Arizona. Dallas appears to have been the only competitor in the youth field of 53 racers who completed all 13 laps. Luke Knupp from Peoria, Arizona won the Youth UTV 170 class. Luke was able to complete 12 laps.
The three lap short course Production UTV class was divided into four smaller subclasses. In the UTV Production Turbo class, R. J. Anderson took top honors. Ray Bulloch was the winner of the Production 1 class. The winner of the UTV Production 9 class was Kaleb Myers. In the UTV 100/800 class, the winner was Skyler Bulloch.
With 111 entrants, the ten lap Desert Race had the 1900, Turbo, Unlimited and 2900 Classes. Topping the list was the Unlimited Turbo Production team of Phil Burton and Beau Judge in their NO Limit Can-Am. Coming in first place in Unlimited Production in their Mobbin Racing Can-Am was the team of Michale Isom, Zackry Cooper and Jim Osler. Andrei Isac and Micah Gibson drove their STV Motorsports Yamaha to first place in the 1900 Production Class. The winners of the 2900 S class were the team of Robert Parsons and Randy Adams in their Fastrack Racing Polaris.
There was a confusing array of classes/divisions in the motorcycle and quad field of 63 competitors. In the OPEN Production class, Jacob Argubright rode his Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna to first place.
Riding their Pro Motorsports Honda, Beau Baron and Matt Hancock took first place in the QUAD Production class. Finishing 62nd overall, Bill Pierson and Matt Horton took their Bay Area Yamaha Yamaha to victory in the QUAD A class, although they got a DNF. Christopher Peatross drove his custom quad to a win in the QUAD E class.
Riding solo on his Kawasaki, David Bozarelli rode to victory in the IM A class. Braxton Gallian rode his Team Sidi custom bike to first place in the IM E class. First place in the QIM A class, with a 41st overall finish, was Yoni Kahana on his Yoni Design Yamaha. With a 30th overall finish, Eric Toohey took his ITP Suzuki to a win in the QIM E class.
Winning the OPEN A class and finishing 33rd overall was the twosome of Colton Scudder and Ian Price on their Summit Funding KTM. The Open E class was won by the team of Richard Gray and Brad Milikan on their Andrew Lewis Construction custom bike.
Although they ended up with a DNF, completing nine of the 10 laps was enough to give the team of Jesse Canepa and Jeremy Seltzer first in the Over 30 Production class. Chad Thornton, Dennis Belingheri, and Mark Weirich took their C&J Equipment Racing KTM to top honors in the Over 40 Production class, while in the Over 40 E class the winners were Stephen Berger and Braxton Southwick on their Oneal MX Honda. The Powerbuilt Tools team of David Potts, Doug Smith, and Steve Williams took their Honda to victory in the Over 50 E class.
The 300 Production class was won by the threesome of Austin Wade, Brian Adsit and Brody McLaughlin on their Herling Racing KTM. Riding their Herling Racing KTM to first place in the 300 E class was the team of Joseph Herling,.Krista Conway and Jett Lewis.