|John Angal of UTV Inc. Pilots his Polaris RZR XP4 1000 at the Parker 250|
The 2015 Best in the Desert Parker 250 was the first race of the season. As we were pulling in to the tech inspection parking lot I was quite surprised to see a parking lot packed full of trucks and trailers. We quickly learned we would be racing the largest BITD UTV race in history. 55, yes 55 UTVs were ready to do battle! Everyone had one thing on their mind: Win! They have come from Texas, Louisiana, California and who knows where else. As we sat in tech inspection and looked around we could tell this was not going to be an easy race. With teams such as Jagged X, Cognito Motorsports and LSR Racing all fielding multiple cars. Then the guys Like Branden Sims and Ryan Poelman had great starting positions. I thought to myself “Well we start 13th and this is going to be a fast course I’m not sure we will be able to battle to the front”. The racing is getting so competitive these days, you can race 1275 miles across Baja and have a team only 3 minutes behind you.
Anyway, we are told to expect an 11:30AM start time. The sky is covered with clouds and a light rain starts about an hour and a half before the race. I am thinking it’s a good thing because it will help with keeping the dust down. Around 11:00AM we head to staging and get put into position starting side by side, two at a time off the line, 2 cars every 30 seconds.
|1921 UTV Inc. at the start of the Parker 250|
We are set to go and as we get the green light my window net flies open! I think oh shit that’s a problem I forgot to latch it! So I let off the gas a bit and while driving with one hand get it latched. Not a good way to start a race I think to myself. We get the hole shot and into a long whoop section we pass a few cars and slowly work our way to the front. A light rain starts again so as we are driving I have to keep taking my hand off the steering wheel and wipe off my helmet shield. This lasts for about 10 minutes and we learn as we start passing the next car that the dirty water that flies up on your shield as you’re trying to pass is no fun either. But, hey, we are racing! Around mile 40 we can see three cars are way ahead of us. Around mile 50 we pass the next one and around mile 60 we see Craig Scanlon and somebody else battling it out in front of us. We slowly catch them and watch a crazy battle for second place right in front of us. As they come into what I believe is the worse part of the course starting, around mile 53, these guys are pounding their machines hard and the car that was in second makes a mistake and Craig passes for second place. I am still running in fourth position and decide to back it off. The guy in the car in front of me does not understand I am faster that’s why I am on his bumper. He should pull over and let me pass, but he doesn’t. I sit back and watch him pummel his car into the hard rock section we are racing and wait for him to break or wreck. Not long after he is pulled off the course broken.
|On the hunt for first place|
I am guessing after 10 miles or so we finally get around Craig in the Jagged X car. We are in second place as we come into and out of the pits. We are on the leader’s bumper and we slowly get passed them not long after. We race for the next 75 miles or so in the front of the pack, keeping our fingers crossed we would have no problems. Well as luck would have it we finished the race with no problems in 1st place in our 2015 Polaris RZR XP4 1000 running ITP Tires, Method Race Wheels, Rigid Industries Lights, FOX IBP Shocks, Lone Star Suspension, wrap by Wolf Designs. Huge thanks to my team for all the long hours and my co-driver Eric Ringler.
|On the Podium for a First Place Finsh|
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