Kristen Matlock Takes 3rd Overall In 2016 UTV World Championship

Kristen Matlock Takes 3rd Overall In 2016 UTV World Championship

“Black Rhino Sponsored Athlete Kristen Matlock Takes 3rd Overall in the 2016 UTV World Championship”

Written by: Wayne Matlock

El Cajon, CA, March 1, 2016- The UTV World Championship race was going to be a big one for us and Terabbit Racing; we would debut our new Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo built by Jimco Racing Inc., it was Kristen’s first pro race in a UTV and only her second race ever behind the wheel of a race car, and for the first time Wyatt, our 6 year old son, was going to race his new Polaris RZR 170. To say we had our hands full with this event would be an understatement.

After missing this event last year, I was bound and determined to make sure we made it this year. Our new Turbo car was running way behind schedule as new car builds always do. Luckily for Kristen and me, she would be racing our Jimco Racing Inc. RZR from last year that had multiple Baja wins on it and had been fully prepped for her to race by Black Rhino. For me, this meant that I had less to get ready because that car is proven and did not need much after winning the Baja 1000 just a few months prior. For Kristen, it meant that she knew what the car was capable of and the rest was up to her. I think that played with her head a little before the race because she did not know how she would do against so much competition.

We finished the new turbo car at 10:30 in the morning on Thursday, the day we left for the race. We literally finished the car, drove it for 5 minutes in the parking lot at Jimco Racing Inc., put it in the trailer and left for Laughlin. We stopped at the desert along the way and drove the car for a grand total of 9 miles to give it a quick shakedown. The only issue that we had was for the next several hours my face hurt because I had a permanent grin on it. We got to Laughlin at 8pm and headed out to meet Adam from Airdam Clutches. We tuned the clutches until we were all beat tired until 12am and thought it was good to go.

The next day was tech inspection and the entire spectacle that is the UTV World Championship. For the first time ever we went through tech as a family with Wyatt’s RZR 170 in between mine and Kristen’s race cars. That was a highlight for us, for sure. I had a lot of people checking out our new Turbo RZR, but Kristen definitely had her fair share of attention as well. Every time I turned around she was either posing for a picture or video while they interviewed her. I could not have been more proud or happy to see her receive some recognition.

The next morning, Kristen and I would find ourselves sitting on the same starting line just one row apart. As I was trying to get focused I kept thinking about things I needed to tell Derek, Kristen’s co-driver. I think I was more nervous for her and her race than for my own. I wanted her to have a good race and gain some much needed confidence. As the flag went up, I knew it was go time and I know she thought the same thing. My race strategy was much different than hers, mine was checkers or wreckers and I knew I had the car to do it. Hers was to take her time get used to the car and then put the hammer down if needed in the end.

Well my strategy bit me in the ass…the new car worked so well that I could push really hard without beating it, but we ended up tearing the drive line in half. We limped back in, cut it off, and headed back out in 2-wheel drive. Kristen, on the other hand, was doing great and was moving through the pack at a steady pace. With the drive shaft removed out of my car I could now get after it, but only in 2-wheel drive. I figured we were out of the race, so now let’s see about the fastest lap time, right…LOL! Well that was a lot of fun while it lasted. This new car is incredible, but I pushed it passed its breaking point and snapped both rear axles in the same turn. With no front wheel drive and no rear axles, we were dead in the water. I was bummed out until I heard Kristen and Derek over the radio and forgot all about my race. I was out of the car and cheering them on as they came by. Kristen was really getting after it and had moved up through the field of racers. To say that I was pumped would be a complete understatement. She came through the turn, where Sam and I broke, hauling the mail and looked like she had been driving that car for years, easily in the top three fastest through the turn.

As we waited to get towed out of the desert we saw our buddy, Johnny Angal, approaching. Sammy and I had a score to settle with him from last year’s Baja 500, so we ran out to the track and readied ourselves. By ready ourselves, I mean we pulled our driving suits down to our ankles. As he rounded the turn, we bent over and gave him a show that he could never un-see. As we started spanking our own asses and laughing, we got towed back to the main pit just in time to help swap an axle out of Kristen’s car in record time. She was back out on the track in no-time and now driving a little upset about breaking an axle. As she came back through the hot pit, she was on fire and was passing her way back to the front of the pack.

After the last lap we packed up and headed to the finish line to see her come through. She was so happy at the finish line as neither one of us could stop smiling. She loved it and had tons of fun doing it. She did several interviews giving thanks to all the sponsors until we both had to literally run to the start of the kid’s race. Wyatt was sitting on the starting line in his new RZR 170 with his Nana and Grandpa helping him get ready. I could not help but smile as I looked at him. He is so small that he couldn’t even see over the wheel, forcing him to look through it the entire race.

The kid’s race was a ton of fun to watch. Wyatt put on a heck of a show by making sure to make the highlight reel. He ended up blowing a berm on two wheels landing on the back side and bicycled it, somehow he pulled it off. The good part is it was all right in front of the Mad Media crew. You know what they say, if you’re not going to win make sure you at least put on a great show doing it!

Thank you to Best in the Desert and Mad Media for putting on this spectacular event. Job well done!

We would like to thank all of our family and friends for all of their support as well as all of our generous sponsors: Polaris RZR, Polaris Industries, Terabbit Racing, Matlock Racing, Maxxis Tires, ‬ Greg Forsberg at ‎gforsracing,‬ Alba Racing, ‬ Fox Racing Shox, ‬ Black Rhino, ‬ Douglas Wheel – DWT Racing, ‬ Jimco Racing Inc., ‬ Coyne Powersports, NecksGen, ‬ Baja Designs, ‬ Rugged Radios, ‬ Factory UTV, ‬ Airdam Clutches, Fly Racing, Maxima Racing Oils, ‬ Uni Filter, ‬ CryoHeat Cryogenic Metal Treatment, ‬ Motion Pro, Inc., ‬ IMS Products, ‬ Impact Racing, ‬ Monster Seal, ‬ Lone Star Racing‬ and Josh Williams at Copy Boy Printing.