Shelbyville, TN (3/16/2017) - The
winter layover and long nights in the workshop
installing parts from our sponsors and preparing
the machines to be race ready came to an end
at last. The GNCC racing nation began its
pilgrimage to Round 1. To change things up
a bit, Big Buck in South Carolina was our
first destination making the Hog Waller mud
bog in Florida Round 2. It also meant our
UTVs would not be making an appearance until
Round 1 – Big Buck, SC
Sitting back on board the Polaris Scrambler
XP 1000 for the first full race since his
wreck at Ironman, Pro 4x4 racer and team owner,
Michael Swift, was all repaired and ready
to get back to normal. He was prepared for
the next couple of races to require some adjustment
as his full bike fitness returned to normal.
However, before he was able to take to the
start line, his son Tayton Swift would be
riding a new geared machine in the 90 Limited
8-12 class. Tayton set the bar for his Dad
with an excellent 3rd place.
Lining up alongside Swift, co Pro 4x4 rider,
Kevin Trantham, was fresh from Winter training
and keen to see what the 2017 machine would
do on the varied terrain. As the 10 seconds
was called and all of the pre-season nerves
rose, the flag dropped and our riders were
underway. The competition set the early pace,
but Trantham was in sight the entire time
and brought his Polaris home in 3rd. He said
the varied course of Big Buck lent itself
well to the high maneuverability of the Scrambler.
The motor was strong and the Teixeira-Tech
chassis components were key to this. Swift
also looked strong back on the bike and it
was only a small technical issue that held
him back rather than anything to do with his
fitness. He brought the bike across the line
in 7th. He said he was very happy to be back
on the bike and ready to join Trantham and
put his machine back on the podium.
UK and now US-resident rider, Graham Widdicombe,
returned for a 2nd season in 4x4 Senior and
was joined by Canadian/South African Nic Snyckers.
Ready to fight for the championship, he raced
hard to finish 5th after some issues held
him back. Snyckers was joining the class to
bring up his speed and enjoyed the experience.
So that concluded Round 1. Team UXC put a
Polaris on the Pro 4x4 podium and came away
from the winter break feeling the hard work
was worth it. Now to put our Factory UTVs
on the podium in Round 2 ATV/Round 1 UTV…
Round 2 ATV / Round 1 UTV – Wild
With just a few days to be sure all of the
machines were ready, the team headed south
to the warmth of Florida. It’s always hard
to know what will happen in Florida as it’s
a unique terrain compared to the rest of the
tour. However, the sand, pine trees and bog
combination always means a rough, often tight
track that would only get much worse. It presents
a challenge to both the machine and the racer
with sand sapping both power and energy. Swift
and Trantham would take on the Hog Waller
course twice in UTV Pro XC1 after racing their
Scrambler ATVs in the morning.
Joining the team for the first time was Factory
Polaris Ace 900 XC racer, Jesi Stracham. Many
will know Jesi’s story, but for those who
don’t; an unfortunate accident left this young
lady paralyzed. However, never one to let
anything stand in her way, she has found that
racing single seat UTVs has given her a great
release. After finishing her first race in
the Ace 2 years ago she said ‘it made her
feel like she had legs again’. We look forward
to having her on the team and her continued
success!! UK/US racer, Becky Widdicombe will
also be returning to the single seat class.
Another new racer joining our UTV team is
Bair’s Powersports #TeamRZR racer, Matt Ashton.
Running in the Amateur Limited class, Ashton
would be competing in his first GNCC race.
Fresh from the momentum of putting Polaris
back on the podium in Round 1, Swift and Trantham
headed to the start line. As the flag dropped
lap 1 looked to have been an interesting one;
Swift lay in a good position in 4th, but Trantham
was down in 10th. By the end of lap 2, Swift
was up to 3rd and Trantham had dispatched
the other 6 riders in their class to put himself
right up to 4th. Running hard on chasing the
win, as the riders crossed the finish line,
Trantham took a very well earned 2nd place
in class and the overall and Swift a strong
4th. As Trantham cooled off in the cool zone,
he was quick to sing the praises of his Custom
Axis Shocks partnered with Teixeira-Tech A-Arms
and the STM Powersports/Airdam Clutches pairing.
He said it gave him the maneuverability and
power to out drive the competition and use
the full strength of his Polaris package.
Swift crossed the line in 4th and was immensely
pleased with his own performance in such demanding
conditions. He said he was proud to see the
Polaris machine climbing back aboard the podium
where it belongs.
With such a strong ATV race, our XC1 Pro
racers wanted to repeat the performance in
their Factory Polaris RZR UTVs. Trantham got
his RZR off the line with Swift just another
car behind. They both began chasing the lead
hard. After an entire day of racing, the course
had taken a pounding. It was rough and the
dust was unbelievable, but it was the same
for everyone. Both drivers began picking off
cars. Unfortunately, Trantham’s drive was
cut short due to a technical issue. Swift
was still working hard and brought his RZR
across the finish line in 7th. Speaking after
the race, he said he was pleased with the
performance and had a clear idea of what to
do to get both machines on the podium.
Our Ace racers went off the line like rockets.
Stracham got a beauty of a holeshot and set
the early pace with Widdicombe tucked in behind
in 4th and still in contention. The GNCC course
was designed with the new, wider XC Ace in
mind. However, it was still pretty tight in
places and presented the racers with a good
challenge. Unfortunately, Stracham caught
a tree which affected the steering on her
machine and she had to pull out.
Stracham was frustrated but took the positives
away and said she was amazed by the new Polaris
Ace 900 XC and feels that she will be able
to put it on top of the podium. Widdicombe,
was still racing hard but also fell foul to
a bit of contact with another racer and got
a puncture. Equally frustrated as Stracham
as she too could feel the true potential of
the machine even in full stock set up.
The rest of the team performed superbly.
Tayton Swift continued his charge on the 90
Limited 8-12 class with an excellent 2nd place
after leaving the line last. He was mere seconds
behind the 1st place rider. Graham Widdicombe
pulled out a 2nd place in Senior 4x4 and this
was after trying to drown his machine in one
of Hog Wallers infamous bogs. He said he was
thankful for his Tire Balls for keeping him
afloat! Competing in his first GNCC of 2017
and also coming back from a shoulder injury,
4x4 A racer, Josh Day was content to get a
finish under his belt and came across the
line in a strong 6th. To finish our team’s
line up, UTV Amateur Limited racer, Matt Ashton
brought his RZR home in 2nd place.
Team UXC takes a very solid performance to
ATV Round 3 in Sparta, GA. We thank our sponsors
for helping us put together a strong package.
Come say hi and relax in our new pits!
Team UXC Racing
is sponsored by:
Polaris Factory, Maxxis Tires, Custom Axis,
SSI Decals, Teixeira Tech, Evans Cooling,
Fly Racing, DP Brakes, K/N Filters, Alco Cleaners,
Polaris Engineered Lubricants, Polaris Power
Generators, Scott Goggles, Fasst Co., Rox
Speed FX, Leatt, STM, All Balls Racing, Ricochet
Off Road, Quad Tech, Cool-It Thermo Tech,
Spider Grips, Airdam, Rigid Industries, Night
Krawlers Kustoms, Dirtworks Motorsports, America’s
Motorsports, Driven Powersports, OMF Wheels,
RCV Performance, Tire Balls, Bair’s Powersports,
Big Gun Exhaust, Carbo Rocket, FPS Racing,
Hilliard, Quad Logic, TEAM.