“One of the most exciting races of the year for me is the UTV World Championship in Laughlin, Nevada. This is my 5th year racing there and my 3rd year on a Yamaha. Being that this is the only desert style race we run and as far west as we go we don’t get to practice and test at all in these types of environments. Each year we have tried different setups in an effort to win. Well this year I felt was the year for us.
They decided to split up the races and go back to more of a short course rather than running everyone on the long desert course. I tried several new things this year which is all based off of the previous years feedback of my own. This year we ran different tires, different shock settings, different ride height, and different transmission gearing in what I felt confident would bring us the win. We started off the race running 3rd and moved into 2nd by the 2nd lap from there we where able to make our way into a 6 way battle for first because of corrected time. One thing that hurt me was when a racer was injured and had to be care flighted from the race. I was forced to stop while emergency personnel where pulling onto the track. The officials hadn’t re routed us yet. This allowed the second row to catch us on adjusted time.
Once we were back going I quickly pulled back out front hitting jumps at 85 mph was a blast! With the length of this race everyone knew it would be close to having enough fuel to finish without stopping. I came around for lap 6 of my 8 lap race and my fuel gage showed empty so I had to pit. While in the pits we had a fueling issue that lost us a lot of time. Once back on the track I picked off several people that had past me only to come around and find out we were on lap 7 not 6 and that was the last lap…. I ran out of time to move back to the front of the pack and finished 11th. With short course racing seconds count, but minutes are huge. We lost nearly 3 minutes on the fuel stop. This dropped us way back which was really upsetting. The fuel issue was such a problem that race officials told me after the race that next year the race will be one lap shorter so that there shouldn’t be any issues needing fuel since short course racers aren’t setup to get fuel.
Regardless I love the UTVWC. I think it is such an excellent event for the sport, and man has it grown. Over 400 entries this year and I have no doubt next year will be even bigger.”