– Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Kimbrell showed the UTV Unlimited class that he and his Kawasaki Teryx™ are podium-worthy, earning the pole position during Friday’s qualifying and then going on to finish second in Saturday’s Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Even with a broken throttle cable during Race 2 on Sunday, Kimbrell acted quickly and was able to come from second-to-last and finish just off the podium in fourth. Muzzy Kawasaki’s Robert VanBeekum had a good showing on Sunday with a second-place finish, while reigning UTV Unlimited champion Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Chad George finished 4-5 for the weekend.
With two seasons under his belt, Kimbrell came into the season not sure where he stood against the competition. Friday’s qualifying put Kimbrell on top with a time almost one second faster than his closest rival and in good position for the weekend of racing. In Saturday’s eight-lap race, he was out front nearly the whole race, but finished second after a minor water pump issue.
“At the first race, you don’t really know where you are going to stand up against everyone,” said Kimbrell. “We went out pretty good last year and since we went with the same motor package for this season, we thought we would do well. We were definitely relieved that our work paid off.”
During the second race on Sunday, Kimbrell jumped out to the holeshot, but on the second jump his throttle cable broke. He used quick thinking to use his hand to push in on the throttle body. With one hand on the throttle body and one hand on the wheel, Kimbrell worked his way through the field to finish in fourth.
“It was not the easiest thing to hold the throttle body and steer with one hand,” said Kimbrell. “I did get a little break since we had a red flag and the mandatory caution. It wasn’t too fun, but being able to still race and not DNF was the positive side to it.”
George used his experience to get him through the first weekend of racing, as he faced different challenges in each race. After qualifying third on Friday, George’s first race didn’t go according to plan after he lost his front wheel drive on the first lap. He was able to pull through for a fourth-place finish, despite his troubles. On Sunday, the set-up didn’t suit George and he played it safe for a decent running to fifth place.
“This weekend didn’t really go according to plan,” said reigning champion George. “We made some changes that helped us in the long run, but hurt us a little this weekend. Going into the next race, we already know what to change and what our speed will be. I definitely want to get back on top of the podium.”
Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
Las Vegas Motor Speedway- Las Vegas, Nev.
March 6-7, 2010
Unlimited UTV Saturday Results
1. RJ Anderson, Polaris
2. AUSTIN KIMBRELL, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
3. Tyler Parks, Polaris
4. CHAD GEORGE, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
5. John Dempsy
Unlimited UTV Sunday Results
1. RJ Anderson, Polaris
2. ROBERT VANBEEKUM, MUZZY KAWASAKI
3. TYLER WINBURY, KAWASAKI
4. AUSTIN KIMBRELL, MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
5. CHAD GEORGE, MONSTER ENERGY/FUNCO/ KAWASAKI
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