Muzzys Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jon Crowley got off to a perfect start at the Valley Off Road Racing Association (VORRA) season opener, racing through the muddy course to win the first two rounds of the series. A few hundred miles away in the desert town of Surprise, Ariz., Funco Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Garrett George scored the first podium of his career with second in the SXS Production 850 class at Round 4 of the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS).
While the VORRA event organizers originally planned to host the opening rounds over the course of two days, after a week of torrential downpours, the course was so saturated they decided to cancel racing altogether on Saturday to give the track a chance to dry out. With two full rounds to complete Sunday, racers had to prepare mentally and mechanically, for a long day of racing. Each round consisted of three motos, where the winner would be determined by the overall score. After three grueling motos through the mud, Crowley finished 3-1-1 to earn his first win of the series.
“The course was incredibly muddy,” says Crowley. “It was just a thick, clumpy, soupy mess. Instead of racing on a one-mile course for six laps, they had to eliminate half the course and changed the race to 12 laps. Many of the Class 11 and Class 9 vehicles were getting stuck because they were only two-wheel drive and sliding all over the place. With my Teryx I just powered around them like stationary obstacles. I knew from the beginning it was going to be a race of attrition. It was kind of like a desert race where you have to beat the desert before you can beat your competitors.
“My Teryx is extremely versatile and the Muzzys powerplant is a torque-monster. It can go desert racing, rock crawling, short-course, and I can go play in the dunes. It’s not just a race car, it’s a play car. On Sunday, I made some crucial last minute changes like going with a larger, 27.5” tire because of the soupy terrain. I knew it wasn’t a good short-course tire, but I needed to get the Teryx off the ground and needed a tire that flung mud instead of packing it. I also set my ride height a little higher so I wouldn’t be dragging through the mud. The bigger tires and additional clearance made a huge difference. Even with all that mud weighing it down, the Teryx just powered right through it.”
Still working the bugs out of his first season racing on four-wheels, Garrett George has been trying to find a groove in the WORCS series aboard his Teryx. Making ground on competitors in the motocross sections of the course he was able to eventually catch the leader and finish in the runner-up spot. He currently sits fifth in the points standings.
“I’m pretty pumped to get on the podium,” says George. “The dirt on the course was super sticky and by the end of the parade lap we were already caked with mud. My strategy once the race got started was to be cautious and stay out of trouble for the first couple laps. I knew it was going to be a long 45 minutes, so as soon as everyone broke loose and got away from each other I put down a good pace and started reeling in the leader. I had so much fun on the motocross track. My Teryx was hooking up great out there and got me on the podium in second. I can’t wait for the next couple rounds with motocross tracks.”
While many short-course UTVs are very specialized race machines, Crowley feels the versatility of his Teryx was the key to his success in the VORRA at Folsom. After seeing how saturated the track had become by race day, Crowley decided to make some last minute adjustments to better adapt his Teryx to the challenging course. The strategy clearly paid off as he went on to sweep the opening weekend of the VORRA season opener, taking wins in the first two rounds of the series.