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Saturday, March 25, 2023
Elite Partners

The Future of Off-Road Races is Here: Polaris Factory Racing New Purpose Built Race Machine

Courtesy of Poalars Factory Racing

Polaris Off-Road, the leader in off-road vehicle innovation, is ushering in a new era of off-road racing with the introduction of its Polaris Factory Racing Program and purpose-built race UTV. Polaris has assembled an elite team of drivers and racing veterans, boasting over 150 years of combined experience, to pilot three all-new Polaris-engineered race machines. Joining Polaris’ Factory Racing team are rising off-road stars Austin Weiland, Brock Heger, and Cayden MacCachren.

The Polaris Factory Racing Program stands apart from other factory racing programs because of its comprehensive support for the team. Polaris has supplied its own management team, crew chiefs, mechanics, and sponsors such as Rockford Fosgate, Synchrony, Progressive Insurance, and GoPro to help the Polaris Factory Racing team reach its full potential.

The Polaris Factory Racing team is also supported by a host of performance brands with long-histories in off-road racing. Fox Racing handles vehicle livery and apparel design; Fox Shocks provides their renowned Live Valve suspension technology; Polaris Engineered Lubricants, Rigid Lighting, BFGoodrich Tires, and Method Race Wheels all provide critical products and technical support.

Polaris’ Vice President of Off-Road Recreation Reid Wilson says: “Racing is integral to everything we do, driving performance innovations that inspire the products we bring to showroom floors – ultimately pushing the industry forward and advancing the consumer side-by-side market. We’re absolutely chomping at the bit to now showcase Polaris’ engineering prowess and ingenuity through our new Polaris Factory Racing team.”

Unlocking the Secrets of Polaris Off-Road Engineering

Led by Polaris Off-Road Racing Technical Director Robert Wilmot, a team of dedicated Polaris off-road engineers worked diligently to create three purpose-built vehicles that would be used in professional racing. This was their dream come true, and they spared no effort in ensuring each vehicle was designed and crafted to the highest standards. Robert Wilmot oversaw this process while the team of engineers continued to test and develop the vehicles.

The Polaris Off-Road Racing Team is dedicated to providing top-notch racing UTVs for professional racers, and they’re confident their purpose-built vehicles are up to the challenge. They have worked tirelessly to ensure these vehicles will provide an unforgettable racing experience, allowing drivers to push their limits on the track. With these vehicles in their arsenal, Polaris Off-Road Racing will surely have a winning season!

Let’s meet the Polaris Factory Racing Team:

Information provided by Polaris

Driver: Austin Weiland

Weiland has always had a passion for racing, transitioning through the youth ranks of karts, oval dwarf cars and eventually moving into short course off-road racing. He has been competing full-time in the Best in the Desert and SCORE series in the Production Turbo class, with notable wins in the 2021 Vegas to Reno, 2022 King of the Hammers Desert Challenge and 2022 Baja 400, 500 and 1000 wins. 

Driver: Brock Heger

Emerging as the next big name in off-road racing, Heger has excelled in every discipline of racing and has over 100 wins and 200 podiums to his name. Most recently, Heger has raced in Pro-Lite short course trucks and Production UTV’s in the Champ Off Road series, earning championships in both classes as well as competing full time in the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class.  

Driver: Cayden MacCachren

A third-generation racer from one of the most iconic families in off-road racing history, MacCachren, will pilot the the team’s third vehicle. The offspring of off-road royalty, it’s no surprise that MacCachren followed in his father Rob’s footsteps to become a championship racer. In just four short years, he has collected as many year-end championships, along with multiple race wins at varying levels of the sport. 

Team Principals: Craig Scanlon & Travis Clarke

The team will be run by long-time off-road racing veterans and team principals Craig Scanlon and Travis Clarke, a duo that packs two decades of combined off-road racing experience. The two have formed SCI (Scanlon Clarke Industries) as the program management arm of the Polaris Factory Racing team.

Formerly an executive for Polaris Off-Road, Scanlon has been a driving force in the industry on and off the race course. In addition to his work for Polaris, Scanlon dove headfirst into his passion for off-road racing by creating Scanlon Motorsports Group, a professional racing program where he also served as driver, claiming his first UTV Pro Class victory at the 2019 Baja 500.

In addition to experience racing and winning in off-road cars himself, Clarke brings a wealth of experience in racing business and athlete management. Well established as one of the sport’s premier sports marketing executives through his work with Wasserman Media Group, Clarke’s client list includes some of the sport’s more renown drivers, including Bryce Menzies, BJ Baldwin, Andy McMillin and Justin Lofton. He’s also been a key player in the ongoing evolution of King of the Hammers, driving critical sponsor support, instrumental to the overall progression of the premier U.S.-based off-road event. Outside of the off-road world Clarke has been responsible for establishing some of the top teams in Supercross/Motorcross, NASCAR and the rally racing community, including RCH, Two Two Motorsports, Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division and Pastrana Waltrip Racing.  

General Manager: Ryan Thomas

Off-road industry veteran Thomas will oversee the team’s day-to-day operations and manage driver and sponsor relations as the team’s General Manager. Thomas has spent his lifetime on both the business and racing sides of the industry initially working for his family business , Chenoweth Racing Products, which developed some of the most successful cars in off-road racing history. Most recently, he was President of Ultra4Racing and prior to that spent ten years as Director of Wide Open Baja in Cabo San Lucas. Thomas also packs serious racing credentials from his days as a top-tier driver, with five Baja 1000 titles to his name. 

Operations Director: Adam Arsenault

To manage the team’s state-of-the-art 10,000 sq. ft. race shop in San Diego, Calif., the team tapped Adam Arsenault, who will serve as Operations Director. Since 2010, Arsenault, a Marine veteran himself, has owned and operated Broadsword Racing, an off-road team of active-duty military, veterans, and first responders. Arsenault brings the team a wealth of operational management skills learned throughout his 20-year military career in the Marines Special Operations Division, including mission planning, tactical communication, and navigation. In his role, he will manage the vehicle fleet, oversee the race parts inventory and develop and manage the race volunteer roster. 

Crew Chief: Johnny Nelson

Former off-road racing co-driver Johnny Nelson will operate as the team’s Crew Chief. After winning multiple Baja 500 and Baja 1000s as a co-driver, Nelson shifted gears to the technical side as a mechanic, where he was voted SCORE Mechanic of the Year while wrenching for McMillin Racing in 2019, an award he has won multiple times. In his role, Nelson will collaborate alongside Polaris engineering, manage the senior and junior mechanics, and develop and execute pre-run and race-day strategy.

Mechanics

The team will have three Senior and three Junior Mechanics to ensure the vehicles are race ready for each event. They will also be responsible for maintaining the shop, chase trucks, trailers, and pit equipment.

About Polaris

As the global leader in powersports, Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII) pioneers product breakthroughs and enriching experiences and services that have invited people to discover the joy of being outdoors since our founding in 1954. Polaris’ high-quality product line-up includes the Polaris RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; Sportsman® all-terrain off-road vehicles; military and commercial off-road vehicles; snowmobiles; Indian Motorcycle® mid-size and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot® moto-roadsters; Aixam quadricycles; Goupil electric vehicles; and pontoon and deck boats, including industry-leading Bennington pontoons. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a robust portfolio of parts, garments, and accessories. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. www.polaris.com


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