Polaris Off Road, is establishing a new standard for off-road racing with the development of a comprehensive RZR Factory Racing program and the sport's first-ever purpose-built race-ready UTV. Piloting three all-new Polaris-engineered race machines will be rising off-road stars Austin Weiland, Brock Heger and Cayden MacCachren. The trio of drivers are backed by the full power and innovation of Polaris engineering, along with an elite management team and crew made up of some of the sport's most proven and successful off-road racing veterans.
The new Polaris Factory Racing Program is unprecedented for its comprehensive nature, featuring a management team, crew chiefs and mechanics. This industry-leading crew has been completely curated by Polaris from the ground up with the complete hands-on support of Polaris engineering and its development of the purpose-built factory racing UTV. Typically, the term "factory racing program" has been used loosely to describe OEM-sponsorships and stock vehicle-oriented support for established independent racing programs with pre-existing management teams, crew chiefs and mechanics.
The new Polaris Factory Racing team will enjoy invaluable sponsorship support from a lineup of top brands that share the same commitment to premium quality and elite performance. Sponsors include Rockford Fosgate, Synchrony, Progressive Insurance, and GoPro. In addition, the team enjoys support from a who's who lineup of performance brands with long-histories in off-road racing that will provide critical products and technical support, including Fox Racing for vehicle livery and team apparel design, Fox Shocks for its industry-leading, semi-active Live Valve suspension technology, Polaris Engineered Lubricants, Rigid Lighting, BFGoodrich Tires and Method Race Wheels.
"Backed by nearly 70 years of innovation, Polaris is not only responsible for literally inventing the performance side-by-side category, it also has a long and storied history of winning at the highest levels of off-road racing, so it simply makes sense that we'd be driving the industry forward yet again with the first, full-fledged UTV class factory racing program," said Reid Wilson, Vice President, Polaris Off Road Recreation. "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."
While the brand-new RZR race machine takes center stage, Polaris hand-picked its team of highly trained off-road racing specialists and emerging young racing phenoms. Team operations will be based in Vista, Calif. Amongst the Polaris Factory Racing team's 12 full-time employees are more than 150 years of combined off-road experience, expertise and proven champions.
Engineering: Polaris Off Road
The development of the three purpose-built vehicles was led by Polaris Off-Road Racing Technical Director Robert Wilmot, overseeing a team of Polaris off-road engineers for whom racing and racecraft isn't merely a job, it's a personal passion. For these engineers, the development of a purpose-built factory racing UTV is literally a dream come true. Alongside Wilmot, the Polaris engineering team will assist in the progression of the program from standpoint of ongoing race vehicle testing and development.
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 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. 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, 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.
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.
This Polaris Factory Racing team is driven by a singular goal – winning. In 2023, the team will compete in the SCORE International series and the Best in the Desert's Vegas to Reno race. The season will kick off at the San Felipe 250 on March 28-April 2, followed by the Baja 400 from May 31-June 4, Vegas to Reno on August 16-20, the Baja 500 on September 12-17, and the Baja 1000 on November 13-18.
Full details and information about the purpose-built Polaris Factory Racing UTV will be released on March 15. For information about Polaris RZR, visit its website.