Can-Am Racers Shine at High Lifter Mud Nationals

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
Steve Hittle Mud Nationals

Can-Am ATV and Side-by-Side racers competed in roughly 17 events for more than $22,000 in prizes at the 2014 High Lifter Mud Nationals at Mud Creek Off-Road Park in Jacksonville, Texas. Team Gorilla Powered by Can-Am, Performance Power Sports / Can-Am and S3 Racing / Can-Am and others combined to earn 24 podiums and win seven classes, including both RUV classes, in the Can-Am / BRP Mud Bog and Mudda Cross competitions.

“Can-Am mud racers had an exceptional and dominant performance at Mud Nationals. To win both RUV classes Friday and Saturday night with the Can-Am Maverick 1000R, which included a podium sweep in the RUV mud bog, was simply outstanding,” says Jeff Leclerc, racing project leader, Can-Am. “No matter if it was an ATV or side-by-side, our racers proved that Can-Am is the brand of choice for mud riding and racing.”

Team Gorilla Powered by Can-Am

Team Gorilla Powered by Can-Am had a great showing at the 12th running of Mud Nationals. The most significant and historic victory for the team and Can-Am came Friday night when longtime Gorilla member and mud racer Steve Hittle took home the top spot in the Can-Am / BRP Mud Bog RUV class. It marked the first Side-by-Side overall win at Mud Nationals for Can-Am and was also the first time Can-Am swept the class. Hittle also put his Gorilla-backed Can-Am Maverick 1000R on the box in the Mudda Cross RUV class, taking second.

Team Gorilla Powered by Can-Am won the Massimo Obstacle Course, as rider Seth Russell was the quickest to tackle the man-made course of logs, tires, crushed cars, dirt hills and water pits. Team Gorilla Powered by Can-Am pilots Dakotah Klein and Dave Ostapiw won the Endurance Challenge, which required two-person teams to negotiate a deep, long mud hole, from one end to other, as fast as possible. Russell and his wife Caroline were second.

“We were one of the most dominant teams at Mud Nationals this year,” says Jason Shanas, Team Gorilla Owner, “which was highlighted by Maverick racer Steve Hittle’s RUV win.”

S3 Racing / Can-Am
Shane Dowden Mud Nationanls

Five podium finishes, including two victories, were earned by S3 Racing / Can-Am X-Team member Shane Dowden. He began his successful weekend with a solid second-place run in the Mud Bog with a Maverick 1000R Friday evening. Dowden followed that up by piloting his Maverick 1000R to the win Saturday night in the Mudda Cross RUV class. He also had a win in the Mudda Cross Pro Series A class on his Outlander ATV and two podiums with his Outlander MAX in the Mudda Cross Pro Series B and Mudda Cross Super Modified ranks.

“I had a good weekend with five podiums in six classes,” says Dowden. “It was nice to be part of the Can-Am Side-by-Side vehicle dominance in the bog and Mudda Cross this year.”

Performance Power Sports / Can-Am

Can-Am X-Team member John Soileau took third in the RUV class in the Can-Am / BRP Bog with his Performance Power Sports / Can-Am Maverick 1000R. The Performance Power Sports team featured nine Can-Am racers, including Jace Cheramie, who ended up with six total podiums. He won both the Mudda Cross Super Modified and Lite classes. His teammate Matt Bernard won the Mudda Cross Pro Series B class.

“It was an outstanding and total team effort,” says Soileau. “Can-Am ATVs have always dominated the mud racing here, but we wanted to make a statement with the Maverick Side-by-Side. We’re starting to be a force with it as well.”

The weekend belonged to Can-Am riders. Team Anyting Goes’ Ryan Hormell won the Mud Bog 601cc and Up class on an Outlander 800R. Team Offroad Explosions, Full Throttle Racing and Team LaFontaine Racing also had podiums with Can-Am ATVs. The Can-Am Maverick MAX 1000R of Matt Evans was named Bad 2 ‘da Bone “show-and-shine winner. Can-Am DS 450 freestyle riders Jon and Derek Guetter also were part of the show.

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.

More by Lucas Cooney