Irvine, Calif. (June 29, 2011)
– Muzzy’s Monster Energy Kawasaki driver Robert Van Beekum piloted his Kawasaki Teryx® to consecutive podium finishes in the UTV unlimited class at Rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Although the weather turned out to be perfect, the track was a different story. Drivers were surprised to find the track’s dynamic changing so drastically throughout the course of each race. Van Beekum overcame the track’s ever-changing conditions and powered his way to the podium both days of the two-day race weekend, finishing third on Saturday and first on Sunday. Kawasaki Teryx driver Tyler Winbury ran consistently through the weekend to finish in second place both days. Funco Monster Energy Kawasaki driver Chad George was slowed by suspension issues, but still managed a 4-4 weekend.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Under the Tent
Van Beekum arrived at Miller Motorsports Park armed with a brand new Muzzy’s power plant in his Teryx and high expectations for the weekend. After a few laps around the hardpack course, he knew his Teryx had more than enough power to run up front with the four-cylinder SR1-UTV class. On Saturday, Van Beekum ran into a suspension issue and had to slow down, but finished on the box in third place. By Sunday, he was able to work out all the bugs and finished first in the UTV unlimited class.
“My new Muzzy’s power plant is awesome,” said Van Beekum. “With all the additional horsepower my Teryx was right out front, battling with the SR1s. On Saturday I got a good start and was running at the front of the pack, but one of my shocks got damaged from a hard landing so I had to slow down and finished the race in third place. On Sunday, I went out for qualifying and ran into some suspension issues right away. We had to recalibrate the shocks for the hardpack track. Even though I started the main event at the back of the pack, I got off the line quickly and worked into fourth place by the second turn of the first lap. I pushed up to the front quickly and continued to battle for the lead with Dan Kelly in his Kawasaki-powered SR1. I ended up finishing first in the UTV unlimited class so I’m pretty happy with the new engine and how the weekend went.”
George came out to Miller Motorsports Park looking to extend his lead as the series points leader. However, the weekend did not go as he had planned and suspension issues left him fighting to salvage points. On Saturday, George was feeling good on the track, but a broken shock left him in fourth place. He tried to get the bugs worked out by Sunday, but found himself in a similar situation and finished again in fourth place. Although he dropped a spot in the points, George finished out the weekend only six points behind the current leader.
“It was a point salvage weekend for me,” said George. “Its mentally frustrating when you know you have the speed, but crazy bad luck holds you back. I am super-pumped on this new engine, it runs hard and stays cool. I felt like I really had the most power in my class out there. No matter where I start, I’m confident I have enough time to get to the front of the pack within the timeframe of a race. Now we just have to figure out the suspension issue we’re chasing right now. I’m confident my Teryx will be totally dialed-in by next race. At the track we didn’t have to time or resources to get it fixed in time, so I just did the best I could with what I had. There are still seven rounds left in the LOORRS season which is plenty of time for me to get back on top of the points lead.”
The track at Miller Motorsports Park was described by racers as one of the most challenging tracks on the LOORRS circuit. It is difficult not because of its terrain features, but because of the composition of the soil. The clay mixture creates a dynamic unlike any other track on the circuit. When the track is wet, it becomes extremely slick, but as soon as it dries out, it provides great traction on a cement-like surface.
“It was the most extreme changing track from start to finish that I have ever experienced,” said George. “The track has such a strange, clay-like composition. When the race started it was usually super wet and slippery. By the end of the race it was super dry and serious hard pack. It’s like driving on cement when it’s dry. It was really hard to pick the right tire for the race. You had to pick a tire that would perform better at the beginning of the race or one that would perform at the end of the race because the conditions were so different. Tracks always change, and you expect them to change somewhat throughout a race. This track went through such extreme changes that by the end of the race, the track was completely different from what you started on.”
In the SR1-UTV class, the Kawasaki drivers dominated the weekend taking over the top of the podium both days of the two-day race weekend. On Saturday, Dan Kelly piloted his Muzzy-powered Kawasaki to the front of the pack to take the win in the SR1-UTV class. On Sunday, Kawasaki drivers swept the number one spots on both UTV podiums. Doug Mittag scored the win in the SR1-UTV class and Van Beekum grabbed the win in the UTV Unlimited class to round out the weekend.
At the beginning of August, Teryx drivers head back to the Golden State for Rounds 9 and 10 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. Muzzy’s Monster Energy Kawasaki driver Van Beekum is looking to keep the wins coming as he continues to climb up the leaderboard. Funco Monster Energy Kawasaki driver Chad George is looking to take back his spot as the series points leader on his path to earn his fifth-consecutive championship in a Teryx.