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Verano Caliente Series at Milestone Ranch MX Park, Round 5

UTV Battle - second and third battling for position.

One of the many rollovers in the first moto that kept many spectators on their feet.
One of the many rollovers in the first moto that kept many spectators on their feet.
There is a new series on the west coast for ATV/UTV racers. The nice folks over at Podium Productions have put together a great 7- round series. All rounds are to be held at the NEW Milestone Ranch out in Riverside, CA. The ranch is equipped with lights on two of the main tracks, so they offer night practice and even racing under the lights.

With this being the fifth round that means the point race is heating up as well as the summer time temp. With the decent turn out came vendors. We spotted SRF Racing, Triumph Motorsports, and Works Shocks all with booths set up helping racers with their questions or parts needs.

Practice started at 9 pm and racing at 10:30 pm, so things were great for practice. By the time we got halfway through the race schedule, it was getting caliente (Spanish for HOT). There haven't been as many pros showing up since they moved the series over to the Vet track. Maybe because the course is easier, or it could be that it's just been that hot here. The end of summer in California really heats up toward the end, and the heat is almost unbearable. Even I sat this race out because of the heat. The one thing we did notice is the UTV numbers have increased, and they were actually a blast to watch!

Since the pro class had such a low turn out, some of the A Class riders bumped up to pro. Hopefully, the next round will be a better turn out, and maybe we will have some cooler temps. Even spectating at the point was unbearable, and almost like a job in itself. The pros lined up and off they went for the first moto. One of the riders that bumped up was Justin Roache aboard his new Honda race machines. Last year he was racing the Yamaha YFZ450 and made the switch to the big red machines. With his moto one performance looks to be a good move for him. If you remember, Roache is the lucky racer that won the YFZ450 that Yamaha gives away at the end of the ITP/Yamaha Quadcross season. Unfortunately, Justin isn't racing the YFZ this year. Let's get back to the race. Roache lead the pack from beginning to end.

The A class lines up for battle.
The A class lines up for battle.

Justin Roache leading the pro class in both motos to take home the overall.
Justin Roache leading the pro class in both motos to take home the overall.

The Wagon Burner overall UTV winner.
The Wagon Burner overall UTV winner.
Next up were the UTV races. There were a few classes combined and plenty of UTVs/pilots to cause some carnage. The Wagon Burners showed up with three UTVs of their own. They lined up for the start and out of the hole one of the barnburner machines snagged the lead early. Man, what a show! These guys were going at it like they were all in the same class. There were a few rollovers and one that drove the tires right off the wheels. You talk about some good racing action! It had the crowd cheering and laughing at what was the best race of the day. Now you see why they are called the Wagon Burners. They are out there to have nothing but a good time. The #82 Wagon Burner machine of Jamie Winbury would take home the moto overall and tops in his class.

The temperature was in the hundreds for the final pro moto of the day. Everyone was ready to pack it up and go home. It was hot, and it was even humid. That's definitely not the norm for California, we usually have a really dry heat, and it's not as bad. So, even with the heat and humidity, the pros lined up for the moto. Again Justin Roache got a jump on the rest of his class and took the holeshot. Once out in front he never looked back. His one-one finish earned him the overall, of course. Let's see how he does when he goes up against the usual pros that normally race this series next round!

The final race of the day would be the UTVs, and, man, what a race! We thought the first moto was crazy, but this moto has proven to be just as much fun, even though one of the Wagon Burners didn't make it back out on the track because of a bent/broken steering. He suffered his second moto rollover. From the start the remaining few of Wagon Burners were dueling it out just like in the last moto. Fortunately, there weren't any rollovers in this moto, but some really fast-paced racing. The remaining two Wagon Burner machines battled it out. However, once again the #82 machine took first and the overall in his class.

All in all, it was a great weekend of racing for both ATVs and UTVs. Hopefully, the next round won't be nearly as hot, and hopefully there will be a much larger turnout. So, check back with us and see the Verano Caliente series wrap up. Who will prevail and take home the championship?

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