Can-Am Sweeps Heartland Challenge Pro Utility Class Podium

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney

The / UXC Racing / Can-Am team of Michael Swift, Clifton Beasley and Adam McGill won the Pro Utility class riding a Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc at the 2011 Heartland Challenge off-road endurance race in Carlisle, Iowa. The trio of Can-Am racers, who normally compete on the Can-Am GNCC Racing circuit, finished the grueling 10-hour endurance race more than one half hour ahead of their class competitors.

“Swift, Beasley and McGill, aboard the Can-Am Outlander 800R, proved to be the perfect formula for dominating the Heartland Challenge,” says Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “It’s pretty clear they were the team to beat in this true test of endurance for man and machine. They lapped their class a couple of times. I also have to praise the rest of the Can-Am finishers for their efforts, especially Forrest Whorton who completed 25 laps, riding solo for 10-plus hours to win the Ironman division on a sport utility quad — amazing!”

Beasley began the day coming out off the Le Mans-style start in third place. On lap three he charged out front on the Can-Am and took over the lead by more than a minute. The team’s strategy was to have each racer complete four laps each time out before switching riders. They made short work of the seven-mile course and the competition as Beasley, Swift and McGill expanded their lead with each passing lap. Eventually they lapped everyone in their class at least twice on their way to winning the Pro Utility division and bringing home the $5000 winner’s paycheck. Team / UXC Racing / Can-Am ended the day seventh overall in the combined results with a total of 31 laps in a time of 10:16:10.

“I have to thank everyone who helped us out for this event. We took the win and were able to put our sponsors on the podium,” says Swift. “We asked Adam McGill to race with us and we had a great time. He did a good job and was able to run the same lap times that we were doing, so it all worked out well.”

FD Racing, also riding a Can-Am, fared well in Iowa as well, completing 29 laps in 10:18:15, earning second place in the Pro Utility class and 13th overall. Zakowski Motorsports / Can-Am X-Team tandem of Zac Zakowski and Kevin Trantham and fellow GNCC regular Andrew Langston, overcame two minor mechanical issues with two of their three race quads to finish on the podium. They ran in last place for most of the day before rallying during the latter portion of race. Riding a Can-Am Outlander 800R, Trantham took over the controls and eventually challenged for the third-place position. A gutsy-but-determined pass near the finish line put the team, which completed 28 laps in 9.59:47, in third and led to a Can-Am podium sweep.

Forrest Whorton (Team UXC) put in a truly impressive solo performance aboard an Outlander 800R in Iowa. The 52-year-old GNCC veteran won the Ironman class by completing 25 laps in a little more than 10 hours without a teammate.

“I had a great race and achieved what I set out to do,” says Whorton. “I guess I’m not getting too old.”

In Friday’s side-by-side classes, Team Xtreme put its Can-Am Commander on the podium, finishing second in the Open class and third overall. MPR / Can-Am X-Team racer Mike Penland also competed in the Commander 1000 X. He ended up in fifth place in the Open UTV class and finished 11th overall.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including,,,,, and many more.

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