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Racing News: Polaris Factory Racing Tops PRO UTV Open Class at 2023 San Felipe 250

PolarisThree weeks following the announcement of the UTV industry's first factory racing program, Polaris Factory Racing was victorious at its first event, with a historic win at the 36th annual SCORE San Felipe 250. Veteran racer and team principal Craig Scanlon took the Pro UTV Open class victory behind the wheel of his race-modified RZR Pro R.

Scanlon got the Pro R over the finish line faster than any other UTV. However, a penalty administered after the race moved him to second overall, while maintaining his class victory. Rounding out the Pro UTV Open class podium were Polaris racers Wayne Matlock and Mike Cafro, both behind the wheel of race-modified RZR Pro Rs.

During the Polaris Factory Racing team’s  debut, factory racers Cayden MacCachren, Austin Weiland and Brock Heger, put their purpose-built RZR Pro R Factory vehicles to the ultimate test, navigating the rugged conditions of the 268-mile racecourse to finish fourth, sixth and 10th, respectively. Having all three drivers finish within the top 10 is a noteworthy accomplishment for an all-new program and vehicle in its first showing.

When the race got underway, all three factory drivers quickly made their way toward the front of the field, running 1-2-3 by the 50-mile marker. As the race progressed, Polaris supported driver Brandon Sims had taken over the lead, followed by Scanlon and MacCachren. The three racers were within minutes of each other, all pulling into the main pit stop at the halfway point nearly simultaneously.

By mile 150, MacCachren had taken over the lead and maintained it until the final miles of the race when Scanlon was able to navigate his way into the lead position. MacCachren nabbed a fourth place finish, while Weiland was steadfast all day, driving consistently throughout the 268-mile race to finish sixth and Heger crossed the finish line in 10th.

Polaris success this past weekend went beyond the Pro UTV Open Class. In the Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated class, Polaris racer Joe Bolton took the win, while Polaris Mexico racer Anibal Lopez claimed victory in the Pro Stock UTV class in a RZR Turbo R. The Polaris Factory Racing team will be back in action at the Baja 500 on May 31–June 4.

Hoonigan to Relaunch Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Competition  

Officials with automotive enthusiast brand Hoonigan have announced plans to relaunch Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid competition, which has not hosted an event since the 2019 installment in Poland. Gymkhana Grid features rallycross and drifting champions competing alongside amateur racers across different classes. Races—held in different venues worldwide—take place on a symmetrical course with drivers making timed runs on each track. Courses with tight corners encourage drivers to apply drifting techniques and feature obstacles like barrels, tires and ship containers.

The event has visited Irwindale Speedway (Irwindale, California); Santa Pod Raceway (Podington, Bedfordshire, England); Ciudad del Rock (Arganda del Rey, Spain); Marathon, Greece; Carnival City, (Brakpan, South Africa); and the Ptak Warsaw Expo (Warsaw, Poland).

The announcement was part of Hoonigan’s 24-Hour Content Marathon in honor of Ken Block, who passed away earlier this year.

Nexen Tire Motorsports Announces 2023 Motorsports Program Seeking Championship Wins

NexenNexen Tire Motorsports has announced the kickoff of its 2023 U.S. motorsports program. In addition to partnering with some of last year’s elite Nexen Tire Motorsports drivers in Formula DRIFT, Nexen has added several new off-road racing drivers this year. Nexen Tire Motorsports has entered the 2023 racing season with several podium finishes in King of the Hammers and is looking to capitalize on its early success.

Formula DRIFT kicks off its 2023 season with the “Streets of Long Beach” PRO Championship event in Long Beach, California, April 7–8. Nexen Tire Motorsports drivers will compete using the company’s latest extreme ultra high-performance tire N’Fera Sport R.

Last month, Nexen Tire Motorsports kicked off the new year with early success in King of the Hammers where a handful of drivers earned top-10 and top-five placements. Drivers compete using the company’s premium off-road tire choices, including Roadian MTX Xtreme Off-Road tires as well as the company's latest all-terrain tire, Roadian ATX.

This year, Nexen Tire Motorsports has added a new racing endeavor to its motorsports program. Austin Hertel is one of Nexen Tire Motorsports’ latest driver additions. Hertel races in one of the most competitive grassroots racing series in the country, GRIDLIFE Touring Cup. Last month, Hertel competed in the season kickoff at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where he placed fifth overall. Hertel relies on N’Fera Sport R extreme ultra high-performance tires and drives a modified Nissan 370Z sponsored by True Performance Motorsport.

Competing in the Tire Rack CAM S Challenge Series, Mike Manikas of SAF Motorsports is a new Nexen Tire Motorsports' driver competing in autocross and time attack events. Manikas pilots a modified sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, known throughout the series as an SCCA Solo CAM car, and is set to compete throughout the Midwest this season.

Martelli Brothers Acquire Parker 400, Announce Unlimited Off-Road Racing Series

martelliThe Martelli Brothers—organizers of the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 in Las Vegas, and the California 300 in Barstow, California—have acquired the historic Parker 400 off-road racing series based in Parker, Arizona. As part of the acquisition, officials announced the structuring of a brand-new desert off-road racing organization called Unlimited Off-Road Racing, which will include the Mint 400, the California 300, and now the Parker 400.  

Spanning across classes including youth, UTV, motorcycles, cars and trucks, Unlimited Off-Road Racing will allow teams to compete for cash, prizes, and a points championship across some of the most challenging and distinguished desert races in the sport. The Parker 400 will take place in January 2024, followed by the Mint 400 in March and the California 300 in October. More details are expected at a later date.

In related news, BLM has two off-road racing permits available in Parker and has issued the second permit to Legacy Racing of Las Vegas. The date for the Legacy Racing edition of the off-road race is slated for February 24, 2024.

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New F1-Spec Road Course Set to Open in Atlantic City

F1 NJOfficials in New Jersey have approved a $2.7 billion development proposal for a new road course and motorsports destination in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The new facility would be located at the former Atlantic City Municipal Airport, also known as Bader Field, and would include a 2.44-mile Formula 1 specification track surrounded by condominiums and retail establishments. The project, headed by DEEM Enterprises, is expected to take six to nine years to complete. The project aims to “create a world-class motor course destination that embodies the speed, power, and design innovation of the motorsport universe.”

Mayor Marty Small Sr. called the approval process a “historic day” for the city, one that he and the state have been working towards for nearly two years, according to published reports. Next, developers will have six months of due diligence on the proposed track, housing and retail space. If all goes well, this will be followed by the signing of a redevelopment agreement where plans will move forward.

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Xtreme Outlaw-POWRi Challenge Series to Span 11 Races

Officials with the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota and the POWRi National Midget League have announced both series will co-sanction 11 races in 2023 to form the Xtreme Outlaw-POWRi Challenge Series, a separate points championship with a $2,500 grand prize. The new miniseries will begin with the I-55 Outlaw Showdown weekend at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevley, Missouri), April 14–15, and conclude at I-44 Riverside Speedway (Oklahoma City) on October 14.

For every Xtreme Outlaw and POWRi co-sanctioned race on the 2023 schedule, all competing drivers will earn points toward the Xtreme Outlaw and POWRi National standings as normal. In addition, drivers will also earn points toward the Challenge Series standings, which will tally points across each of the co-sanctioned races on the calendar.

A $2,500 check will be paid to the driver with the most points in the Challenge Series standings after the final race of the Xtreme Outlaw season. The champion does not have to compete full-time on either national tour, opening the Challenge Series up to a broader array of drivers. For more information, visit or

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