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Desert Dirt - Off Road News - April 2010

Posted in News on April 1, 2010
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Polaris Joins the National Guard
The National Guard Bureau, the federal organization that oversees equipment purchases for the National Guard, has just purchased a number of Polaris Ranger 800 UTVs from Polaris Defense. The $2.4 million purchase of the side-by-sides will support a critical role the National Guard has conducting missions abroad and at home, including disaster relief.

"The National Guard's state-side mission to protect the homeland and respond to disasters fits Polaris vehicles extremely well," said Mark McCormick, managing director of Polaris Defense. Polaris defense won the contract in a full and open competition conducted by the National Guard Bureau. The '10 Ranger 800 Crew features an exclusive adjustable dual A-arm front suspension in addition to its legendary smooth independent rear suspension. The new suspension allows for superior ground clearance for a vehicle of this type and a great ride when carrying heavier loads and using accessories for work applications. The vehicle also offers anti-kickback steering, high payload and towing, ease of attaching accessories and capability to carry six people.

For more information, contact: Polaris,

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Team ATK Engines Goes Back-to-Back in Baja
The ATK Engine-powered Jeep proved its toughness once again at this year's 42nd running of the SCORE Baja 1000 when it crossed the finish line in Ensenada, Mexico, after 24 hours and 11 minutes of brutal Baja racing, besting all class competitors for a second straight Baja 1000 Class 3 victory. The race marked 9 wins in 10 races for the ATK Jeep, including two Baja 1000's and a Baja 500.

Darren Skilton, along with co-driver Skyler Gambrell, piloted the race Jeep for the first 400 miles of the event; charging from the rear start position in Class 3 (short wheel base 4WD) to the front of the pack in the first 15 miles of the course.

For more information, visit: ATK Engines,

Yamaha Gives Over $1 Million in Grants
Companies like Yamaha have been in the business of giving back to the off-road community for years. This time the Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., through its OHV Access Initiative, has provided more than $1 million in critical funding into OHV projects across the country. In less than two years, more than 100 Yamaha GRANTs (Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation's Trails) have been given to local, state, and national organizations that are leading efforts to support safe, responsible OHV riding and sustainable, open riding areas.

Programs receiving GRANTs historically incorporate projects that directly impact specific trails, such as trail construction and maintenance, safety patrols, mapping and trail signage, as well as projects that address OHV usage on a broader scale, like educational and land stewardship campaigns and legislative or legal efforts supporting responsible OHV access to public lands. GRANT-funded projects span the country from New York to California, Florida to Oregon.

A complete list of GRANT recipients can be found at:

Robby Takes Home the Title
The powerhouse combo of Robby Gordon and navigator Andy Grider won the 2009 SCORE Overall Points Championship and SCORE Trophy-Truck Championship, both being the first ever for Toyo Tires. Running on 37X13.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires, Gordon and Grider had accumulated enough points during the season in this historic desert racing series to only have to finish the 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 to secure the overall point championship.

Gordon's #77 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy CK1500 trophy truck endured the 672.85-mile course around the Baja California peninsula to finish in fifth place with a time of 15:14:31. The team competed against 327 other starters from 39 U.S. states and 14 countries, nearly half not finishing the punishing race. The next event for Robby Gordon and Toyo Tires is the 2010 Dakar race, which begins January 2 in Argentina. For more information, visit: Toyo Tires,

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