This year’s point-to-point Baja 1000 was 1275 miles of brutal terrain testing both machine and driver. Polaris RZR would go into the race as the defending champion, and the Scrambler XP 1000 would make a maiden voyage with Team UXC racing at the helm.
Nineteen side-by-sides, including 13 RZRs, would start the race and eight side-by-sides, six being RZRs, would finish. First-time Baja 1000 driver of record Johnny Angal of UTV Inc., and his drivers Brian Bush, Branden Sims and Justin Quinn, in their No. 1919 RZR XP 4 1000 would take the grueling race. Jagged X in the No. 1932 with drivers Matt Parks, Brandon Schueler and Craig Scanlon took second.
UTV Inc. and Jagged X would keep things interesting throughout the race battling the whole way down the peninsula. There would be lead changes, break downs and even a tangle between the two, but, in the end, the two would finish the 33-and-a-half hour race, three minutes apart. Even more impressive, UTV Inc. and Jagged X would finish 47 and 48 overall with about 239 starters and 140 finishers. Also finishing in the Top 5 for UTVs would be the No. 1921 RZR of Jamie Kirkpatrick/Tire Balls in fourth and the No. 1923 of Ben Bischoff who was driving a brand-new Holz Racing Products built Polaris RZR in his first UTV race ever, finishing fifth. Polaris Factory Racer Cognito Racing would finish seventh in the No. 1908, and the No. 1927 RZR of Frank Bushman was eighth.
On the ATV side, Team UXC Racing would come into the Baja 1000 leading the Sportsman Quad Class as the lone 4x4 going up against sport quads all season. The Baja 1000 would see 15 ATVs in the Sportsman Quad Class take the line, four being Scrambler XP ATVs including Team UXC Racing’s No. 140A. Team UXC Racing’s Don Higbee, Michael Swift, Chris Robinson, Jason Wade and Michael Burrows would finish fourth out of six finishers, mark in the history books the first national series ATV title for the new Scrambler XP 1000 and show the viability of the Scrambler as a desert race vehicle.
The Rigid Industries SCORE Desert Challenge is a two-day, semi-short course format held at Coyne Powersports Complex near Imperial, Calif. The classes were divided into groups and each group raced in two heats with the times being combined to determine the winners.
Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler would fill in for Matt Parks in the No. 1932 RZR and start in fifth place for the first race. Schueler would work his way towards the front, chasing Polaris Racer Johnny Angal for a few laps, and finally take the lead to the flag. Angal would finish second in his UTV Inc. RZR.
On Sunday, the second race would see Schueler and Angal start on the front row. Schueler was able to pull the hole shot and take it pole-to-pole for the win. Angal would take second overall by only 15 seconds.
On the ATV side, Team UXC Racing would take their Scrambler XP 1000 to a second-place finish to move them into first in points with the Baja 1000 remaining. The team is in full prep and focused to bring home the first-ever championship for the Scrambler.
Polaris RZR dominated Best in the Desert’s Silver State 300, in Nevada. Polaris Factory Racers Justin Lambert and Co-Driver Jeremiah in their Cognito Motorsports No. 1918 RZR XP 4 1000 would take first, Polaris Racers Scott Kiger and Mark Holz would take second in their No. 1934 Coastal Racing RZR XP 1000 and Branden Sims and Tim Krauss in their No, 1913 RZR took third for a full sweep of the podium.
Cognito debuted their new RZR XP 4 1000 in the race with only 50 miles of testing and starting in the fifteenth position. Around RM55 when the dust settled, Cognito was able to start picking up spots on their race to the top. Midway through the race they were five minutes from the leaders and were able to sneak past them for their first BITD win. Polaris RZRs would take the seven top spots out of 20 Pro Riders with Coastal Racing in second, Sims in third, Jagged X’s Schueler in fourth, Jeff Obering in fifth, Jagged X’s Scanlon in sixth and John Angal in his inaugural race in seventh.
The Mint 400 is the oldest, roughest, most spectacular off-road race in North America and has attracted thousands of racers and celebrities who have tried to master the harsh Nevada desert. This year, Polaris, once again, sponsored the race and had one of their sponsored teams take top honors in the Pro Class, Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler and Blake Van De Loo, in the No. 1919 RZR 4 900. Despite their terrible draw of the 28th starting position, Schueler would steer the No. 1919 to the victory for his first Mint win, fourth BITD win in a row and second this season.
the Desert race season with a win at the THR Parker 250, in Parker, Ariz. 2013 Best in the Desert UTV Champions, Jagged X and the No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900, with Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler and Blake Van de Loo would take the checkered flag, and Coastal Racing’s No. 1934, with Scott Kiger and Mark Holz, taking second.
The inaugural race of the year for BITD saw the largest UTV entry yet with 33 side-by-sides entered. Schueler and Van de Loo would start in thirteenth position. Thanks to some great driving and a trouble-free day, they were able to work their way to the front and pass the No. 1934 Coastal car for the win.
Team UXC Racing’s Michael Swift and Don Higbee would make the inaugural run of the Scrambler XP 1000 at the Parker 250 and come home with a second place competing as the only utility quad in the Expert Class. The win was impressive given the unit was mostly stock except the wheels, tires and Flexx bars and ran with an auxillary gas tank to minimize fuel ups.
Coastal Racing would take on their first-ever Baja 1000 with drivers Scott Kiger, Mark Holz and RJ Anderson; and co-drivers Rob Utendorfer, Tyler King and Brian McLean. The Coastal Racing No. 1934 RZR would be the first in the UTV Pro Class to cross the finish line. The race would take Coastal Racing 27 hours and almost 17 minutes to complete.
Jagged X’s Matt Parks is no stranger to the Baja 1000 and he would pilot the No. 1932 RZR with WORCS 2013 UTV Champion Beau Baron and Alan Kleinemas. Co-drivers were Jason Spiess, Eric Anderson and Keith Redstrom. Jagged X, with wins in the Baja 250 and 500 under their belt, would take second to Coastal, by about 24 minutes, and seal the first-ever UTV Pro Class Championship continuing RZR’s dominance in racing.
Another team competing for the first time was Cognito Racing. Drivers Justin Lambert, Ryan Piplic, Victor Hererra, Justin Sheakley with co-drivers Jeremiah Staggs, Jim Neasbitt and Casey Fillippi would pilot the No. 1908 RZR to a fifth place finish and make their inaugural run one to remember.
Fresh off their SCORE Championship win, Jagged X would take on Best in the Desert’s Henderson 250 for the chance to take home their second title for the year. When the dust settled, the No. 1919 would prove victorious, winning the race and sealing the championship for the year. Coastal Racing would take second in the race and finish third for the year.
Jagged X came into this last race having worked out all the different points scenarios in their minds. With the Coastal team having the number one starting position Jagged X knew that Brandon Schueler had a big job in front of him. There was only one strategy for this race and it was to put it all on the line and that’s exactly what Brandon and Blake did! The No. 1919 started in the second row so they had to be within 30 seconds of Coastal to win on corrected time. Brandon was right on the bumper of Coastal but late in the race, Coastal had to pull off for a short mechanical and the No. 1919 went by and was able to solidify the win. In the end, Team Jagged X edged out the season championship by just two points.
The BITD Bluewater Desert Challenge saw Jagged X’s Brandon Schuler and the No. 1919 RZR 4 900 take the checkered flag for his first win of the season. The win catapulted Schueler into second place in the series, a point ahead of Scott Kiger’s Holz/Coastal Racing No. 1934 RZR 900.
After Jagged X/Polaris Driver Matt Parks won the opening round of the 2013 SCORE Baja championship, at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, he knew he would need to share the driving duties for the second round, the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Parks enlisted teammate Brandon Schueler, who races in the Best In The Desert series, to not only drive, but to start the race. The strategy would pay off with the Jagged X Team winning their second straight SCORE race.
“Schueler has more UTV racing experience that anyone out there and I knew he would do a great job in Baja,” Parks said.
Schueler and his co-driver Keith Redstrom took the green flag in the No. 1932 RZR XP 4 900 and kept a steady pace through the first fuel stop but encountered a huge bottleneck at the 100 mile mark where a long line of cars were stuck in a particularly nasty section. Once through the section, Schueler took after the lead UTV. Once in second place and 230 miles into the race, Schueler handed the RZR over to Parks and co-driver Jason Spiess.
‘We were in second place approximately 35 minutes behind the leaders, and while I knew we needed to make some time on them, we also needed to keep the car in one piece,” Parks said.
The race continued into the night as racers made their way towards the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula. Despite getting a flat in a very rocky section, Parks was making up time on the leaders. He got fuel 335 miles in and headed to the coast, but encountered dense fog in the middle of the night making visibility and navigation tough. A few miles up the road, they encountered the UTV class leaders who had crashed. Parks stopped to make sure their fellow competitors were ok, and told them they would have the BFG pits relay their location to their chase team. With the lead car out and Parks way ahead of the rest of the pack, the team just needed to race the course to finish.
But Baja wasn’t done with the No. 1932 Jagged X RZR XP 4 900. After the final pit stop, 415 miles into the race, they headed into the hills and encountered one of the toughest parts of the course with heavy silt, more fog, stuck vehicles and very steep rocky hills. But as day break approached, they could see the lights of Ensenada and ultimately the checkered flag.
‘Winning the Baja 500 is a big deal,” Schueler said. “And racing in Baja has been a great experience.”
The next race in the SCORE series is the 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 14-17.
After a win at the last Best in the Desert Race, The Mint 400, Holz Coastal Racing’s Scott Kiger and Mark Holz in their No. 1934 RZR XP 900 would line up for the Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 with hopes to make it two in a row and their second Silver State 300 win. When the dust settled, they would not disappoint.
With Cognito Powersports and their RZR XP 4 900 getting the nod to start first, the teams would have to work hard through the typical high-speed, dusty conditions to overtake the leader. Coastal Racing would start right after Brandon Schueler’s Jagged X No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900 setting up a speed dual to take over the lead. With Kiger driving the morning half, he would pass Schueler and all but one of the remaining cars that started in front of him, Cognito. Holz would take over for the second half of the race and suffer a couple flats moving him back to third, and putting the No. 1919 in second behind Cognito. With Cognito sitting with a 7-minute lead and Jagged X and Coastal running neck-and-neck, Cognito would suffer a clutch failure ending their reign and setting up an exciting finish between Jagged X and Coastal Racing. In the last miles of the race, Holz in the Coastal car would make his move finish first with Schueler in the No. 1919 finishing second.
The Mint is the oldest, roughest, most spectacular off-road race in North America and has attracted thousands of racers and celebrities who have tried to master the harsh Nevada desert. This year, Polaris not only sponsored the race but had one of their sponsored teams take top honors in the “Pro Class,” Holz Coastal Racing’s Scott Kiger and Mark Holz in their No. 1934 RZR XP 900.
In the starting field for Polaris, was Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler in the No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900, Jagged X’s Craig Scanlon in the No. 1931 RZR XP 4 900 and Scott Kiger’s Holz Coastal Racing No. 1934 RZR XP. Joseph Vinagro in a RZR finished second, Jagged X’s Scanlon finished fourth and Jagged X’s Schueler finished eighth.
Thirteen side-by-sides, including Jagged X’s Matt Parks and Jason Spiess in their 1932 Jagged X/Polaris RZR XP 4 900, lined up for the first SCORE race of the season, the San Felipe 250. The race was the inaugural race for the “Pro UTV” class in the series and when the dust settled, Parks and Spiess would take the checkered flag and be one of only two side-by-sides to finish from the class.
The San Felipe 250 is notorious for being the roughest race in North America with endless whoops, deep silt and rocky sand washes. But after Parks did his pre-run, he knew that this would be a race of survival.
“The UTVs start dead last in SCORE races and after 240 vehicles had been through the course, it was unbelievably rough. So, we just decided to set a steady pace and take care of the car,” Parks said.
At the 100 mile mark, the Jagged X RZR XP 4 900 was in second place and was working its way through some of the trucks and buggies. At the second fuel stop at race mile 173, Parks was leading by more than 20 minutes and they just needed to bring it home. Driving the last two hours in the dark, the team took the checkered flag and sprayed champagne on the podium at the famous San Felipe arches.
“I am super stoked that we started the year with a win,” Parks added. “Jagged X did a great job prepping the RZR and Jason Spiess did a great job calling corners and keeping me patient. I’m excited for the 500!”
In the starting field of more than 20 side-by-sides, was Jagged X’s Brandon Schueler in the No. 1919 RZR XP 4 900, Jagged X’s Craig Scanlon in the No. 1931 RZR XP 4 900 and Scott Kiger’s Holz Coastal Racing No. 1934 RZR XP, all who run the Pro UTV Classfor Polaris.
Jagged X’s Schueler and Scanlon would start the two-lap, 160-mile course one, two with Schueler pulling away. The teammates would complete the first 80-mile lap in their starting positions with Cognito Motorsport’s RZR XP 4 in third and Coastal Racing in fourth. Schueler continued to pull away until an unfortunate failure would take him out of the race leaving Scanlon the lone Jagged X racer in the field to battle the RZRs of Cognito Motorsports, Coastal Racing and Kingpin Motorsports. When the dust settled, Scanlon would cross the finish line first but finish second to Kingpin Motorsports RZR XP4 due to corrected time. BITD Champions, Coastal Racing would take third. All in all, it was an impressive day for RZR claiming the top seven spots in overall as well as a first place finish in the Sportsman class.