PHIL BLURTON AND CAN-AM WIN THE 54TH SCORE BAJA 1000 UTV OVERALL

At the 54th running of the iconic SCORE Baja 1000, Phil Blurton finished the 1227-mile point-to-point desert race in 33rd overall, winning the UTV overall and Forced-Induction class victory for Can-Am. Fellow Can-Am pilot Justin Elenburg put in a stellar race for the Pro UTV Open class victory and was 50th overall vehicle as well, while Honda Talon pilot Elias Hanna took 53rd overall and first in the Pro NA 1000 UTV class. Factory Polaris athletes Kaden Wells was second in NA 1000s with Joe Bolton (Pol) third, while Branden Sims and Wes Miller filled out the Pro Turbo podium.

Starting in Ensenada, Baja Norte Mexico, and running to La Paz, Baja Sud Mexico, the Blurton and Elenburg teams outpaced the competition for more than 1,200 miles to win first place in the premier Pro UTV Forced Induction (Turbo) category and the Pro UTV Open class, respectively.

Defending Best in the Desert Pro Turbo Champion Phil Blurton switched to SCORE for 2021 and topped the Pro Forced Induction class at the Baja 1000, turning in a 4-2-2-1 record for the series.

The Baja 1000 is Off-Road Livin’ at its finest. It is one of the most exciting off-road races in the world. Teams race for up to 25 continuous hours, making the race the longest non-stop, point- to-point off-road race anywhere. Adding an extra layer of challenge, to the race features wide-open portions, challenging technical terrain and some sections of public roads.

“It was a crazy opportunity to have our first Baja 1000 be a full peninsula run,” said Blurton. “We put so much pressure on ourselves to win that it feels unreal that we actually did it. Our Can-Am Maverick X3 was flawless all day. We never touched it – we just put gas in and drove our race.”

The Baja 1000 is a huge undertaking, from pre-race preparation weeks in advance all the way through to the end. It is a true team effort and journey from start to finish – for example, Blurton’s Turbo Division team included 27 members and nine support vehicles.

While Honda motorcyclists more-or-less invented the Baja 1000, the event is newer for Honda side-by-sides, but that didn’t stop Honda Talon Factory Racing driver Elias Hanna from topping the Pro UTV Normally Aspirated division. An Ensenada native and a Baja-racing veteran, Hanna enlisted co-driving support from Erick Kozin and Bobby Smith, and navigational support from Drew Stanton and Isaac Chapluk. Together, they took the Talon 1000R to the finish line in 29 hours, 18 minutes, 38 seconds. This was the second Baja 1000 win for the team’s Talon, which last year topped the Pro UTV Unlimited category. As if that weren’t enough, team owner Jeff Proctor also drove the Honda Racing Factory Off-Road Ridgeline truck to this year’s finish with a Class 7-winning time of 27 hours, 10 minutes.

“Today is a big day for Honda!” Proctor said. “To bring this Honda Talon to the finish line in the ultra-competitive Pro NA class at the Baja 1000 is surreal! I’m so proud of the efforts this entire team put in to get us here. Elias drove a very smart race and I’m so pleased for him!”

Forty-four UTV teams finished the 54th Baja 1000, and, while official points haven’t been tabulated and posted by SCORE, Phil Blurton’s win and Austin Weiland’s 10th-place finish will surely be how they finish in season points, with Blurton as champion. Through the Baja 400, Weiland had a 3-point lead on Blurton, 368-365, and longer races with more entries score more points. In Pro NA 1000s, Kaden Wells had a 13-point lead on Kristen Matlock, so his second and her fifth will likely hand Wells the championship. And Mike Cafro will win the Pro Stock UTV title for Polaris, while Justin Elenburg sealed the Pro Open title for Can-Am with an undefeated race season.

54TH SCORE BAJA 1000 UTV RESULTS

Pro Forced Induction UTVs

1. Phil Blurton/C-A…26:58:56.767

2. Branden Sims/Pol…27:39:50.957

3. Wes Miller/Pol…27:49:06.898

4. Jason Murray/C-A…28:39:26.084

5. Marc Burnett/C-A…29:29:43.676

6. John Kawell/Pol…30:16:18.509

7. P.J. Jones/C-A…30:38:30.772

8. Alex baker/C-A…31:14:10.967

9. Branden Schueler/Pol…31:16:17.810

10. Austin Weiland/C-A…32:03:22.423

Pro NA 1000 UTVs

1. Elias Hanna/Hon…29:18:38.049

2. Kaden Wells/Pol…30:09:24.616

3. Joe Bolton/Pol…31:30:07.762

4. Larry Janesky/Hon…36:09:48.127

5. Kristen Matlock/Pol…36:58:00.410

6. Christopher Boyle/Pol…41:20:14.078

7. Quirino Rene Gutierez/Pol…42:58:06.447

8. Allen Alexander/Pol…43:47:16.657

Pro Stock UTVs

1. Mike Cafro/Pol…29:16:36.494

2. Scott Trafton/Pol…34:50:44.176

3. Jared Cozzocrea/Pol…35:14:10.759

4. Scott Bergen/C-A…35:15:03.855

5. Curtis Friede/Pol…38:38:59.553

6. Carolina Snachez/C-A…39:39:53.353

7. Nick Bruce/C-A…44:45:29.667

8. Manuel Reyes/Pol…46:05:27.501

9. Dave Davenport/C-A…46:07:55.510

Pro UTV Open

1. Justin Elenburg/C-A…28:53:09.763

2. Tyler Backus/Pol…31:23:18.002

3. Wayne Matlock/Pol…33:10:07.507

4. Travis Zollinger/Pol…36:18:26.492

5. Josh Herzing/Pol…46:32:31.091

SCORE 2022 UTV/ATV SCHEDULE

1. Mar. 29-Apr. 3…San Felipe (250), Baja, MX

2. June 1-5…Ensenada (Baja 500), Baja, MX

3. Sept. 13-18…San Felipe (Baja 400), Baja, MX

4. Nov. 15-20…Ensenada (Baja 1000), Baja, MX

Contact…www.score-international.com

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