In a dominating performance, six Can-Am racers posted overall class victories at the fifth annual GBC Heartland Challenge in Carlisle, Iowa. Motoworks / Can-Am racer Kyle Chaney (UTV Open) and Can-Am / UXC Racing’s Michael Swift (4×4 Open) led the way, winning the two marquee classes. Across the country in the New England ATV Motocross series, BCS Performance / Can-Am DS 450 pro Josh Creamer won two classes at round eight held in Minot, Maine. At the General Tire Vegas-To-Reno round of the Best in the Desert (BITD) series, Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 teammates Dillon Zimmerman and Josh Frederick earned third on the Quad Pro class podium, while Murray Motorsports finished third in its Commander the UTV Pro class.
“I was pleased with the results from our Can-Am racers at three different racing series across the country. Can-Am racers ruled the Heartland Challenge. It was thrilling to see Kyle Chaney and Michael Swift each earn the hard-fought overall wins. Winning four more class titles was icing on the cake,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “Josh Creamer kept rolling in the NEATV-MX series as he once again put his DS 450 out front and on top of the podium. And although we missed out on a Vegas-To-Reno victory, having both the DS 450 and Commander teams reach the podium was truly an accomplishment.”
The Heartland Challenge had its largest attendance in the race’s five-year history with 109 entries. The endurance event, which uses a Lemans-style start, features ATV and side-by-side vehicle racing with 10- and 4-hour race times, respectively.
In the 4-hour UTV race, Chaney fought off numerous challenges to take a popular win in the UTV Open class in his Motoworks-prepped Can-Am Commander 1000 X. Chaney got off to a slow start, but quickly worked his way through the 22-car field and into the lead pack. Just after the halfway point, Chaney inherited the lead and never relinquished it, despite a few challenges. At around 11 p.m., and with a four-minute time advantage, he drove across the finish line with the UTV Open class victory.
Swift won the Pro 4×4 Ironman class and was joined on the podium by Can-Am racers Bryan Buckhannon and Chris Robinson. Buckhannon was out front early but missed a turn and allowed Swift to take over the lead. Swift then rode for the next five hours straight before stopping for a break. A refreshed Swift resumed his race pace to outdistance Buckhannon by four laps for the overall win. D&S Racing (UTV 850 Mod), Stalker Racing (A class), Team Katers / Zakowski Motorsports (4×4 Open) and Justin Steck (Open Ironman) also earned overall class wins with Can-Am vehicles. Can-Am racers Forrest Whorton (third, Open Ironman), Sammy Joe Racing (third, B class) and Go Blue Racing (second, 4×4 Open) earned class podiums.
Creamer continued his undefeated run in both the Pro and Pro-Am classes in the NEATV-MX series this year. At Hemonds MX in Maine, Creamer rode his BCS Performance-supported DS 450 to four holeshots, four moto wins and victories in both the Pro and Pro-Am ranks. He has yet to lose in the 2012 NEATV-MX series aboard his Can-Am.
In the UTV class, brothers Jason and Derek Murray of the Murray Motorsports / Can-Am team battled with more than 20 other side-by-side vehicles on their way to an impressive finishing time and third overall on the 534-mile desert course. The Can-Am Commander pilots led a good portion of the race, but issues with a flat tire late in the race slowed their pace and allowed two other teams to pass. The Murrays repaired the tire and finished on the podium in third, earning 152 valuable points in their chase for a title.
“We were running in the lead most of the race. We had a logistics issue with a flat and lost the lead with not enough time to catch up,” said Derek Murray. “The Commander ran great, and with the third-place finish we still hold the points lead.”
With a time of 10:44:11.867, the DS 450-mounted Frederick and Zimmerman finished the Quad Pro class in third place and 12th overall on the day in the Motorcycle/Quad division.
For more information on Can-Am racing, the entire 2012 schedule, the ’12 contingency program and DS 450 amateur racer support program, please visit www.can-amxteam.com.
Image courtesy BRP