RJ Anderson stands on the first place step at the podium after winning the race and fast lap award at the Lucas Off-Road Racing Series Round 8 at Estero Beach, Baja California.
Most racers credit the fact that their dads raced when asked why they got into racing. Twenty-three year old R.J. Anderson of Riverside, California acknowledges that it was his dad and the work he does that got him involved in racing UTVs.
A UTV, or side-by-side, is a four-wheel vehicle like an ATV, but it can seat two or more passengers and features all-around protection while an ATV can usually only accommodate one rider and has no cage or protective shell.
Anderson became familiar with the machines because his father owns Walker Evans Racing, which manufactures wheels and suspension products for trucks and UTVs.
Anderson holds the winner's and fast lap awards after the round 8 Lucas Off-Road Racing Series Round 8 event at Estero Beach, Baja California.
"In 2009 when UTVs first started to appear, my dad was making suspension products for them and I would test them out," explained Anderson. "After awhile I got into racing UTVs." He got a hold of a Polaris RZR UTV and hit the tracks.
"I wasn't that serious about it at first," he continued. "Racing UTVs started on the West Coast, which was nice for me and it was something I could do that was fun. After I started doing well, I attracted support from Polaris and once I got factory support, it turned into more of a job."
Anderson races in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, WORCS, SCORE, BITD, and Terracross.
In 2013 he won the Baja 1000 and after he turned pro in 2015 he won his first Pro2 race in Estero Beach, Mexico.
Anderson sits behind the wheel as he guides the #37 UTV during a recent race.
His career victories and honors include:
- Five off-road racing championships
- 46 career Lucas Oil and WORCS racing victories
- More than 100 combined career podiums in Lucas Oil, Score, BITD, Terracross, and WORCS
- 2015 Off-Road Hall Of Fame – Short Course Rising Star
- 2015 Lucas Oil ProLite Champion
- 2014 Lucas Oil Pro 2 Rookie of the Year
- 2013 Baja 1000 1900 (Pro UTV) Champion
- 2013 Terracross RZR 1000 Pro Champion
- 2012 Lucas Oil ProLite Champion
- 2012 DirtSports Short Course Driver of the Year
- 2012 Lucas Oil Off Road Driver of the Year
- 2011 Torc ProLite Rookie of the Year
He raced for his dad's Walker Evans Racing team. He started his own racing Team, RJ37 racing, in 2014. He, his brother, and a cousin race for the team.
RJ Anderson takes to the air during a lap in the Lucas Off-Road Racing Series Round Three event.
K&N Engineering has been sponsoring him since 2010.
"Back in the day I was racing at a local track and after I won a race a K&N representative approached and said K&N wanted to help me out. I have been using their air filters on everything I race and they have been a huge supporter for me and for UTV racing," said Anderson.
His other sponsors include Polaris, Rockstar Energy, Walker Evans Racing, South Point Casino, B.F. Goodrich, Traxxas, Loan Mart, Impact, Holz Racing Products, FK Rod Ends, Makita, Eibach Springs, UTVUnderground.com, Kroyer, Rugged Radios, Active Screen Printing, and Oakley.
He has done a number of videos for UTVUnderground.com, a media network that promotes UTV racing. He is currently doing a video series for Polaris titled The Boss. – RJ37 Series Presented By Polaris RZR. The series started filming in 2014 and covers the progress of Anderson and his team. Episodes include how he started his team, how he got into racing, how to make a team better, winning his first race as a team owner, what it takes to be an off-road racer, and the partnership he has formed with Polaris.
Anderson 's Polaris UTV kicks up dirt during the Lucas Off-Road Racing Series Round Seven event.
"We have been developing content for two and a half years and it was released this year," said Anderson. "The purpose is to promote me and Polaris, but each episode could be used to teach potential racers how to get involved in the sport. Three episodes have been filmed so far with another three to be done this year for a total of six."
The series is displayed on Anderson's racing team website RJ37, on UTVUnderground.com, and on Youtube. In addition, a video of Anderson breaking the record for the longest jump by a UTV in August 2013 as well as other RJ Anderson clips also appears on Youtube. The longest jump video shows Anderson racing through an abandoned iron mine complex in the Colorado Desert in California on his modified 2014 Polaris RZR XP1K.
According to Anderson, half the WORCS and Lucas Oil Series races have been run and he has competed in a total of 15 races so far this year. Currently, he is third in points in the Pro2 Class in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series.
Anderson plans to compete in these remaining races:
Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
- July 23-24 Glen Helen Raceway, Devore, CA
- August 13-14 Wild West Motorsports Park, Sparks, NV
- September 23-24 Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, Lake Elsinore, CA
- October 22-23 Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ.
Remaining Schedule for WORCS 2016:
- September 16-17 Round 8 Glen Helen Devore, CA
He is bullish about UTV racing. "UTV racing is growing. The products are getting better and better and the field is getting bigger every year. The future of UTV racing is very bright," Anderson concluded.