Polaris RZR/Yokley Racing Driver, John Barnes debuted a 2020 Polaris RZR Pro XP on Saturday at Round 1 of the Indiana Cross Country Racing (IXCR) series at the Badlands.
The Badland Facility is a great place to do a Polaris test and ride. A variety of terrain can be found at the off-road riding park. It happens to be home to Indian’s largest Polaris dealership. The starting area and a few parts of the course were sand dunes. The woods were what one would expect with quality dirt. Mud holes were available as well. The elevation changes allowed for hill climbs, and last but not least, long straight stretches of whoops, lots of them.
The Polaris RZR pulled up to the starting line absolutely brand new with 2 miles on it. It would be the first unit the team would drive in racing conditions and decked out with all the performance parts. Barnes drew a row 2 starting position from the hat, making a long day with 10 units in row 1 and 10 more in row 2 and many more in rows 3 through 10. At 5:30 PM Eastern time, the green flag dropped on the 36-degree chilly day. The team was off to third in the holeshot in the row after missing a flipping SXS by inches that held up a lot of the field.
Early on in the race, the braking was in and out. A rock had knocked the pads off the rear caliper. Barnes commented, “I couldn’t understand what was going on with my braking. It was making all kinds of noise and was working part of the time. I had lost some time at the beginning of the race due to not knowing what was going on. It started working a little better, and we charged back into the top 15 in the next couple of laps.”
Barnes was driving conservative with not a lot of seat time in the unit and braking turns to be questionable. He was mainly concerned with a finish on Saturday and the ability to test the car in action. Barnes added, “We passed every brand on the track today on the way into the top ten. I can’t wait till we get more seat time in it and get faster.” Barnes finished a respectful 7th on Saturday with over 60 entries.
The team has a great start in getting ready for woods racing in a Pro XP. The clutching worked flawlessly on the RZR. Co-pilot, Nathaniel Woodard commented, “The car can handle an increase in power without worrying with belt heat blowing a belt. It’s cooling great.”
The rougher it got, the better the machine carved. Overall, the Pro XP performed better than expectations for Barnes. As the race went on, the team was getting smoother and able to handle the terrain at higher speeds. Barnes mentioned, “I had to get use to it. I didn’t know I could sip a cup of coffee traveling 70 mph through the whoops. The credit needs to go to Polaris, SuperATV, Elka Suspension and Double E Racing on that.”
Yokley Racing is looking forward to a fun exciting year with the new RZR. The team will return to racing on April 4, 2020, at the Midwest Cross Country (MWXC) Series season opener.