Polaris RZRs represented 60-percent of the field at Best in the Desert’s (BITD) General Tire “Vegas to Reno” presented by FOX. When the dust settled, Team RZR’s Kristen Matlock had her first Pro Production win in her No. 1954 RZR XP4 1000.

Matlock, a role model for female off-road enthusiasts, piloted her RZR through 540 miles of harsh desert terrain and extreme heat which claimed nearly half of the UTVs entered. RZRs finished one-two in the Pro Production class with seven of the top-ten finishers racing them. In the Turbo class, Sven Ellstrom, alongside Mark Holz, took a second-place finish in a RZR XP Turbo EPS. Half of the top-10 class finishers raced RZRs with Team RZR’s Mitch Guthrie Jr. taking a fifth-place finish, Wayne Matlock taking sixth and Brandon Scheuler taking eighth.

Credit Daniel Schenkelberg©

“I did it!!! I got my first win in the UTV Pro Production class,” said Kristen “Iron Woman” Matlock. “I can’t stop smiling, I’m so pumped right now!”


Guest Star Car driver Travis Pastrana put in 300-plus miles of strong driving in the Polaris RZR Star Car Friday, facing down sweltering heat, dust, and rough terrain as he joined team regulars Jolene Van Vugt and Jim Beaver for the longest off-road race in America.

Pastrana took the opening stint, driving the Polaris RZR Star Car off the start line and some 211 miles to the first scheduled driver change. Van Vugt took the reins for the next 100 miles, then Pastrana returned to carry the team to Mile 400.

The grueling race saw heavy attrition, with many vehicles throughout the field sidelined even before the mid-point of the event. Of the 336 total entries in classes ranging from the high-power Trick Trucks, to motorcycles, near-stock light-trucks, buggies, and UTVs, about 200 completed the full mileage to cross the finish line, with crashes, mechanical failures and sheer exhaustion taking their toll on more than a third of the field.

The Polaris RZR Star Car team was on pace for a late-night finish as Beaver and Van Vugt prepared to swap in for the final section to the finish when an inspection during a scheduled stop at Pit 11, in the Gabbs Valley region, uncovered a crack in a key piece of the aftermarket engine safety cage. Mechanics explored a temporary fix and were prepared to get the vehicle moving again just after midnight — nearly 12 hours after the Friday morning start.

But with just over 100 miles of terrain ahead that included some of the roughest and most remote areas of the race course, the team made the difficult decision to call it a night rather than risk an overnight stranded in the hostile Nevada desert for Beaver and Van Vugt.

“I drove the Polaris RZR Star Car for 300 miles of some of the craziest desert terrain in the Vegas to Reno and it held up to an amazing amount of abuse,” said Pastrana. “There were jumps and rocks and silt and every other kind of obstacle out there and the UTV handled it all.”

The next BITD race is the Polaris RZR Silver State 150 presented by Method Race Wheels, in Caliente, NV, Sept. 23.

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