2021 UTV RACING AND RECREATION NEWS
As we’ve reported over the last few months, the pandemic and response to it have caused a spike in OHV/UTV sales and recreation and 2021 UTV racing and recreation news. Better yet, the lockdown lull in UTV racing and jamborees also had positive effects and created a renewed interest in UTV racing. To keep busy and prevent COVID cabin fever, race promoters worked on their 2021 racing schedules as they waited to resume racing. Last month, Best in the Desert (BITD) and SCORE announced their 2021 UTV-racing series plans, with BITD celebrating its silver anniversary with a special Casey Folks V2R “The Other Way” racing first. BITD and SCORE begin their 2021 desert races in February, with the SCORE San Felipe 250 on the 9th–14th and BITD Parker 250 on the 18th-21st.
The first week of 2021, Polaris Factory Racing will attempt to dethrone Monster Can-Am’s Casey Currie as Dakar Rally UTV champion with a team that includes the 2019 SCORE overall champion Wayne Matlock, 2020 Baja 500 UTV champion Kristen Matlock, and 2019 Baja 500 champion Craig Scanlon. This is huge for UTV racing, as the two largest American teams battle to keep the Dakar UTV title in America. See UTV Action’s Dakar report here: https://utvactionmag.com/austin-jones-and-can-am-win-dakar-utvs-stage-1/ The second weekend of 2021, TexPlex Park will begin its 10-round 2021 Texas UTV Racing Series with a $200,000-series purse!
Former WORCS honcho Brian Adkinson is now TexPlex’s race coordinator (TRC), and former TRC Billy Champion has moved to Oklahoma and MidAmerica Outdoors (MAO) to oversee the $210,000 CroSxS 2021 UTV race series! The nine-round CroSxS series begins on March 20th and has a Mud National round on April 10th. Competitors will compete in 16 Pro, Amateur and Youth classes, with rounds over Memorial Day, Labor Day and Halloween weekends. See the schedule or UTVActionMag.com for race dates and more information.
In mid-January, the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) will kick off its 2021 UTV season at Buffalo Bill’s Casino in Primm, Nevada. WORCS will have nine rounds for Pro, Amateur and Youth UTV classes in Arizona, California and Nevada, returning to Primm for its Nationals finale in November. And as we reported last month, the newly formed Legacy racing ceries will kick off its first of four UTV rounds with the Pahrump 250 in Nevada. See “Inside Scoop” and schedule.
As the virus hit cities in 2020, UTVs were making history at the Ultra4 King of the Hammers (KOH). For the first time ever, UTV entries for the Can-Am UTV KOH race outnumbered all other 4×4 and bike classes combined, and the UTV race kicked off the Hammers weekend. Like NASCAR’s Daytona 500, the Can-Am UTV KOH race will begin the nine-round 2021 Ultra4 racing season with its biggest event on January 31st. After the Hammers 4400 KOH race, there will be three races each for East, North and West Regionals, with races in Sturgis, South Dakota, and at Crandon International Raceway being two regional rounds before the Ultra4 Nationals in Reno, Nevada.
And in March, the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS) will kick off its 2021 short-course season at California’s Glen Helen Raceway on the 19th and 20th. The Production 1000 and Turbo stars will have a double-header in Arizona and a triple-header at Lucas Oil Speedway in Missouri before returning to California in October for its finale rounds. Other series are sure to follow, but this is the earliest that so many series have announced their new year’s schedules.
Another benefit of the lockdown lull in racing has been that manufacturers and the aftermarket have had months of extra time to develop new machines and products, with Yamaha announcing the all-new Wolverine RMAX2 and RMAX4 1000s last month. Limited editions of these new recreational machines come with the first-ever factory-installed iQS Fox 2.0 shocks. Check out our “On-the-Fly Shock Adjustment System Guide” starting on page 68, and see what WER and SDi have in store for RZRs with WER needle and Velocity shocks! Recreational riders with Velocity shocks will also want to check out a new upgrade WER is developing. See “Inside Scoop” for a first look.
Also, the Trump administration and state governments are continuing to expand and enhance OHV recreational opportunities. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt went to Farmington, New Mexico, to embrace a new partnership between the BLM and Glade Run Recreation Area and expand OHV opportunities in the 19,000-acre park. The Great American Outdoors Act will fund new camping areas and more trails. A new Appropriations Act also funds the Recreational Trail Program to develop more trails through September 2021. OHV areas in New Mexico, California, Montana and Washington have reopened for riding and camping as well.
So, the 2021 UTV racing and recreating prospects look so bright that, as Sarah Connor said in Terminator, “Anyone not wearing 2 million sunblock is going to have a really bad day!” Strap in, stomp the throttle and hang on!