Minneapolis–The Henderson 250 was the last race of the six-race Best in the Desert series, and the Pro UTV title was on the line. Four-time championship winner Jagged X led the series by a few points with Matt Parks right on their tail. The Transwest Ford Henderson 250 would be the deciding factor.

The race started before dawn with freezing temperatures and howling winds in Jean, Nevada.  The Jagged X crew was confident with the No. 1919, but in racing, nothing is ever a sure thing. By mile 14, they realized how something as small as a clogged fuel injector could change an entire season. Brandon Schueler managed to limp the No. 1919 into the second pit and after some diagnosis and a quick repair, the car was back on the course at 100 percent. Even a few minutes lost in a short race like this is detrimental. Schueler was able to make up some time but in the end, was short of the finish they had hoped for. When the dust cleared the Jagged X No. 1919 team ended the incredibly great season in the second overall position.

Parks was having some trouble of his own with extreme helmet fogging, making it difficult for him to see. He worked his way up to first place after the end of the first lap, and decided he needed to raise the ride height of his RANGER RZR 4 800 to keep from dragging on the heavily-crowned, rocky course. The adjustment made for a lengthy pit stop half way through the race. Knowing he was quite a way ahead of Jagged X, Parks had the team completely check the RZR 4 over, add more pre-load to the shocks and he worked on the helmet fogging issue.  While he was in the pits another UTV got by, but Parks knew that second place would be good enough to win the title. Back on the course, he gained a little on the leaders on the final lap, but didn’t push too hard because he didn’t need to win the race in order to win the title. Parks cruised to the finish line in second place and took the championship.

We would like to congratulate Matt Parks on his first Best in the Desert championship,” said Donna Beadle, race team manager for Polaris. “Both Parks and Jagged X’s dedication to racing Polaris products is apparent and they’ve made it a fun and exciting season.”

Parks is sponsored by Maxxis Tires, Walker Evans Wheels and Shocks, Kroyer Racing Engines, Holz Racing Products, OMF, Muzzy Exhaust, Desert West Off Road race prep, Tire Balls, Utendorfer Graphics, Bill Abshier, UTV Underground, Pure Polaris Lubricants.

Jagged X is sponsored by Polaris Industries, BF Goodrich Tires, CR Designs- Custom Painting and design, Cutting Edge Manufacturing- laser cutting and CAD design, OMF Performance- Custom beadlock wheels, Elka Suspension- Shocks, Simpson- Harnesses & safety products, Total Auto Pros- equipment for support trucks, Affordable powder coating- durable high quality coatings, Summers Brothers- Axle shafts, Walker Evans-Wheels, Pure Polaris Lubricants, Vision X- Off road lighting

Minneapolis – Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno race is the longest and toughest, off-road desert race in the U.S., and Polaris RANGER RZRs were out in full force. In the starting field of 14 for the 553-mile race, was the four-time defending champions, Jagged X in their No. 1919 RANGER RZR XP 900 and Polaris Regional Sales Manager, Matt Parks in his Holz Racing RANGER RZR 4 800. When the dust settled, Jagged X would have their fifth consecutive Vegas to Reno win with Parks finishing second. With only five Side-by-Sides finishing, RANGER RZRs would sweep the podium with a RANGER RZR XP 900 also finishing third.

The Jagged X team dedicated most of their summer race break preparing and fine tuning the No. 1919 RANGER RZR XP 900 race car. The XP has performed well since its debut at the Silver State 300 in April, but the team has been working on small refinements and adjustments to make this machine the best it could be. Jagged X, with much help from Chad Riccio of CR Designs, stepped up their game on the support side of things with two completely equipped chase vehicles.

All this work combined with some great drivers and co-drivers paid off when the flag dropped early Friday morning. The No. 1919 driven By Brandon Schueler with Mike West in the navigation seat took no time to take their seventh starting spot to the front of the pack. By Pit 4, they found themselves chasing the always-consistent Polaris RANGER RZR 4 of Matt Parks, watching for any chance to get out front for some fresh air. The two RANGER RZRs swapped the lead several times in the first 350 miles with both teams being plagued by minor problems. With an elapsed time of 13 hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds the Jagged X RANGER RZR XP 900 finished 52nd overall out of 99 car and truck finishers proving just how tough Polaris off-road vehicles are. The win moves Brandon Schueler into the points lead for the 2011 BITD championship series with two races left to go.

Parks and co-driver Jason Spiess were fortunate enough to draw the first starting position and had a clean run and had a nice lead at the half way point in the race when Mark Holz and his co-driver Rob Utendorfer took over. Holz held the lead until he noticed that battery was losing voltage and at the next pit stop, they pulled the hood to get more air to the rectifier and returned to the race in second place. Holz and Jagged X swapped the lead several times and the top two cars were running nose to tail 425 miles into the race and still hadn’t been caught by the Trophy Trucks and unlimited buggies.  Unfortunately, the car had a rear A-arm bolt snap which took them out of contention for the win. They patched the car together to get him to a pit with the proper parts and Holz was on his way to the finish line.

“We came into Vegas to Reno with the points lead and knew that we had to finish this 553 mile race in order to stay in the hunt for the championship,” said Parks.  “We had a blast racing out front and dicing with the Jagged X guys.  Without the more than three hours of down time, we might have had a shot for the win, but honestly I am super stoked to finish this race and to get second.”

Matt Parks is sponsored by Holz Racing Products, Walker Evans Wheels and Shocks, Kroyer Racing Engines, Maxxis Tires, Tire Balls, OMF, Pure Polaris Lubricants, Valley Cycle, Utendorfer Graphic Design, Desert West Off Road Race Prep, Muzzy’s.

Jagged X is sponsored by Polaris Industries, Cutting Edge Manufacturing, Vision X Lighting, BF Goodrich Tires, Wicked Built, CR Designs, Summers Brothers, Simpson, OMF, Affordable Powdercoating, Mountain States Contracting, Total Auto Pros, Walker Evans, Elka Suspension, UTV Underground

Minneapolis–Polaris RANGER RZRs had another great showing at Best in the Desert’s Bilek Racing Silver State 300 this past weekend, in Henderson, Nevada.

Polaris Regional Sales Manager Matt Parks and his Holz Racing RANGER RZR 4 800 were victorious taking the “Pro UTV” class and the Pro Overall. The tight and technical terrain of the course mixed with some really fast areas was different than what Parks is use to racing, but when the dust cleared, he crossed the line first.

Jagged X debut their new No. 1919 RANGER RZR XP 900 desert racer and took second in the “Pro UTV” class. The car was completed only hours before the race allowing Jagged X no time for tuning or testing, so the team relied only on our past experience and knowledge to get it right the first time. The new No. 1919 worked nearly perfectly for the entire 300 mile race, with only a couple small issues, and fought hard in an epic battle with Parks at the end of the race.

The next Best in the Desert race is the Epic Racing Bluewater Gran Prix, May 13-15, in Parker, Arizona.

Parks is sponsored by Holz Racing Products, Walker Evans wheels and shocks, Maxxis Tires, Tire Balls, Kroyer racing engines, Muzzy, Pure Polaris Lubricants, Utendorfer graphics, D.W.O. race prep, UTV Underground and Valley Cycle in Bakersfield, Calif.

Jagged X is sponsored by Polaris Industries, BF Goodrich Tires, CR Designs- Custom Painting and design, Cutting Edge Manufacturing- laser cutting and CAD design, OMF Performance- Custom beadlock wheels, Elka Suspension- Shocks, Simpson- Harnesses & safety products, Total Auto Pros- equipment for support trucks, Affordable powder coating- durable high quality coatings, Summers Brothers- Axle shafts, Walker Evans-Wheels, Vision X- Off road lighting.