FRANKLIN, Tenn., June 14, 2019 – For Team ITP racers Derek and Jason Murray, the 2019 Annual Baja 500 race was an event marked by both jubilation and disappointment. The brothers initially celebrated a first-place finish in the 484-mile course, but ultimately took third in the competition after a late penalty was assessed.
Not to be outdone, Team ITP driver Marc Burnett finished in second place at the 51st Annual Baja 500 race June 2nd in Ensenada, Calif. Only 14 of the side-by-side vehicles entered in the Pro UTV Forced Induction ranks were able to reach the finish line, but far less truly competed for the prestigious win.
“The SCORE International Baja races are always brutal, especially on tires and wheels,” said Rhett Turpin, Director of ITP Sales at The Carlstar Group. “Both teams ran Ultra Cross tires, which are specifically designed for desert racing and the world’s toughest terrain, and both teams were nicely rewarded with podium finishes.”
Brothers Derek and Jason Murray led the field most of the race in their turbocharged Can-Am Maverick X3 side-by-side vehicle outfitted with 32-inch Ultra Cross tires.
“We finished first, but then after a 10-minute penalty was assessed in the morning we dropped down to third place,” stated Jason Murray. “SCORE decided to remove four VCPs (virtual check points) due to race day circumstances. After the results were posted, they decided to add back one of the four VCPs, giving us a 10-minute penalty.”
Without the penalty, the team would have won the event by nearly three minutes, with a total time of 13:33:52.138, still enabling them to land a podium spot in the top-three.
“We ran ITP’s 32 x 15 Ultra Cross—with no flats,” said Jason Murray. “The tires hooked up and worked great through the whole event.”
Burnett, who ran another exceptional race for Team ITP with a time of 13:27:19.881 in his Monster Energy-supported Can-Am Maverick X3 car, moved up one spot in the final class standings due to the Murray’s misfortune. Even with the second-place run that had him finishing just 39 seconds behind the winner, Burnett called himself out for miscalculating a deeply rutted silt belt about four miles from the finish line. The veteran racer said in a post-race report that he kept hitting large rocks in the nasty silt beds, so on one particular silt bed he attempted to straddle it, but ended up laying the unit on its side. It took the ITP racer roughly three minutes to get going again. In racing, every second counts. “The bottom line; I was too cautious,” stated Burnett.
“Burnett has been running the ITP Ultra Cross R Spec tires because they’ve proven to be resistant to against punctures. Having him announce that he was hitting hidden rocks in the silt beds at racing speeds speaks volumes about the durability of our products,” added Turpin. “These races always have a high number of DNFs, so to compete for the win end up with two teams on the podium is a big positive.”
For more information on ITP Tires and its complete off-road tire lineup, visit www.itptires.com
Since 1982, ITP has been the world’s #1 ATV/UTV aftermarket tire and wheel source. The premier ITP products are developed utilizing an experienced staff of engineers, designers and technicians at its two American tire facility in Clinton, Tennessee, and Jackson, Tennessee, to develop award-winning tire-and-wheel designs for virtually all ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. Numerous outlets distribute ITP tires across the United States and in more than 25 countries worldwide. ITP is a registered trademark of The Carlstar Group, LLC. For tech questions call: 1-909-390-1905. Visit: www.itptires.com
About The Carlstar Group
The Carlstar Group is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee and is a global manufacturer of original equipment and aftermarket specialty tires and wheels for the agriculture, construction, outdoor power equipment, powersports, high speed trailer and manual markets. The diverse portfolio of solutions are offered under several leading brands including Carlisle® tires and wheels, ITP® tires and wheels, as well as Cragar®, Black Rock® and Unique® wheels and Marastar® flat free and manual tires.
The Carlstar Group employs over 3,400 associates in 17 facilities located in 4 countries. The Carlstar Group has a culture of converting great ideas into advanced products and has created a legacy of excellence in product innovation, quality, and customer service. For more about The Carlstar Group, visit www.carlstargroup.com