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Murray Racing Captures 2nd Place Finish in 47th Annual Bud Light SCORE BAJA 500

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Murray Racing set out to conquer the 47th Annual Bud Light SCORE BAJA 500

Murray Racing set out to conquer the 47th Annual Bud Light SCORE BAJA 500 in only their second race in their new K&N filters equipped Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo UTV

>Leaving the 2015 Baja 500 starting line at 1 PM, Jason Murray took on driver’s duties for the first half of the 510 mile race

Leaving the 2015 Baja 500 starting line at 1 PM, Jason Murray took on driver’s duties for the first half of the 510 mile race with Monty Aldrich as navigator and quickly took the lead

The Murray Racing crew of Jason & Derek Murray, Bill Kugel, Monty Aldrich, Bob Jones, and Aaron Juarez set out to conquer the 47th Annual Bud Light SCORE BAJA 500 in only their second race in the new Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo. The Murray Racing crew had counted on some additional pit crew help, however, when the time came they would have to rely on just six people to race, chase, and pit for 500 miles across the northern Mexico desert. With such a new race vehicle this presents a huge challenge, however the Murray Racing team double and triple checked everything to ensure that the 2015 Baja 500 wouldn’t be the team’s first DNF in over 35 Best in the Desert series races.

Come race day the number 1917 K&N filters equipped Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo left the starting line second in the UTV Class 19 around 1:00 PM. Jason Murray took on driver’s duties for the first half of the 510 mile race with Monty Aldrich acting as navigator. Murray Racing quickly passed the lead UTV and built up a hefty lead due to a traffic jam further back. That lead didn’t last long when a cracked wheel forced Jason and Monty to pull over and install the spare. This, combined with a roll over in a silt bed, put Murray Racing in sixth place as they came through the race pits at race mile 105.

After refueling, giving the K&N equipped Maverick Turbo a once-over for damage, and loading up a new spare tire Murray Racing was off again and headed toward a 40-mile section of brutally tough whoops. Jason Murray and Monty Aldrich made up several positions through the whoops section as many competitors, from several classes, were stopped on the course after breaking something. Sailing through toward the second pit at race mile 267 the number 1917 Can-Am Maverick was back in second place.

Derek Murray and Bill Kugel sailed through race mile 320 passing two other UTV racers at a pit stop

Derek Murray and Bill Kugel sailed through race mile 320 passing two other UTV racers at a pit stop putting the # 1917 K&N powered Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo back in second place

The 2015 Bud Light SCORE Baja 500 became a sprint to the finish line for Murray Racing

The 2015 Bud Light SCORE Baja 500 became a sprint to the finish line for Murray Racing with Derek Murray attempting to chase down the # 1932 UTV with a mere 50 yards to go

The team had another setback at race mile 255, just 12 miles from the next scheduled pit stop, when the Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo ran out of fuel. The team scrambled to grab their gear and supplies to head back to mile 255 where the number 1917 was sitting. After struggling to find the car and refuel it, Murray Racing was back in action with Derek Murray behind the wheel, and Bill Kugel navigating the # 1917 K&N filters equipped Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo. At that point the team was sitting in fourth in Class 19 UTV and prepared to make up for lost time as the sun began to set.

Derek Murray and Bill sailed through race mile 320 passing two other UTV racers stopped in their race pits. This put the # 1917 K&N powered Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo back in second place. During a fast section along the coast and cliffs, Derek suffered a loss of brakes in the Can-Am Maverick forcing him to race conservatively until the next pit stop at race mile 430. The crew diagnosed the braking issue as a loose banjo bolt on a rear caliper caused by a rock contacting the fitting and quickly made the repair. As quick as they were, it wasn’t quick enough, as the number 1932 UTV came by Murray Racing putting the team back in third.

Due to correction factors based on starting time, and penalties accrued while racing, the number 1932 UTV finished fourth in class

Due to correction factors based on starting time, and penalties accrued while racing, the number 1932 UTV finished fourth in class with second place going to # 1917 Murray Racing

Now in third place with 80 miles to go, Derek Murray quickly caught the 1932 UTV making the pass and regaining second place. Another cracked wheel on the K&N filters sponsored # 1917 Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo necessitated a spare tire swap letting the 1932 UTV by once more. The Baja 500 quickly became a sprint to the finish line with Derek Murray attempting to chase down the # 1932 UTV with 50 yards to go. Unable to close those last 2 feet and make the pass in time, the number 1917 Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo of Murray Racing crossed the finish line third in Class 19 UTV.

The next afternoon official results were announced at an awards ceremony. Due to correction factors based on starting time, and penalties accrued while racing, the number 1932 UTV actually finished fourth in class with the second spot going to Murray Racing in the K&N equipped number 1917 Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo. With their second place finish in the 47th Annual Bud Light SCORE BAJA 500, Team Murray Racing moved up to first in the points standing with two more races to go.

Looking forward to their next race, from Las Vegas, Nevada to Reno, Nevada, Murray Racing already has the # 1917 Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo torn down to refresh, rebuilt, or replace parts. Murray Racing would like to thank their sponsors, who make outstanding products, including: Can Am, ITP wheels/tires, Lone Star Racing Suspension, Fox Shocks, K&N filters, Beard seats, Yoshimura exhaust, Bert’s UTV, Shorai batteries, Lazer Star lights, TORCO fluids, AMR graphics, Rugged Radios, and Monster Tire Seal. Plus they’d like to thank all their team members, wives, kids and the many friends who came out to support them.


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