Holland, MI (3/12/2016) - William Yokley made his return to GNCC competition a celebration as he drove from the back of the field in his RT Pro-equipped Polaris RZR to finish fifth in the XC1 Pro UTV race in Palatka, FL. Michael Swift finished seventh in XC1 Pro and Joe Krcelich was fourth in the XC2 Pro Sport UTV race. Jesi Stracham, driving an RT Pro-built Polaris Ace XC900, snagged the holeshot in the Single Seat race, but contact with a tree ended her day early.
Yokley debuted a brand new Polaris RZR XP1000 in the race. Though the multi-time GNCC UTV Champion, didn’t race last season, he showed his veteran chops in the rough and difficult race. After starting on the fourth row, Yokley was off and running and drove his way through the field to record the top five.
“It feels good to be back,” said Yokley. “The Polaris RZR XP1000 ran really well even though it only had three miles on it before the race. The first time we even tested it was in practice, so we’re happy with fifth.”
Combining tight woods sections with wide-open fields, the track was rough and difficult. Yokley relied on his RT Pro components to survive the race.
“It was a rough track, but the RT Pro suspension components and bumpers really helped me get through the track and run with everyone,” said Yokley. “It was hectic for those first few laps, but then we got out there on our own and ran consistent lap times. I’m looking forward to starting on the front row at the next race.”
Swift started on the third row in the event. His Polaris XP1000S was on rails during the race due to the RT Pro suspension components. While RT Pro’s superior bumpers and nerf bars get the headlines, Swift also relies on a lot of its other suspension and steering parts.
“We’re running RT Pro cage, door systems and nerf bars, but they also make a lot of other stuff people may not be familiar with,” said Swift. “We’re running their swaybar systems, frame braces and I really like the way they build it. I like the way they sell their parts. For example, if you bend one part of your bumper, you can just purchase that part and not have to purchase a whole new kit. We like the quality and the way it performs.”
Swift has run UTV races in the past basically for the enjoyment. This year, he is more focused, a fact that was shown in his race result.
“During the last few years, we really did the UTV racing because we were there and it looked like a lot of fun,” said Swift. “We’re focused more on the RZR stuff this year so we can be more competitive. We’re training and testing much more this year.”
In the XC2 Pro Sport UTV class, RT Pro’s Joe Krcelich started off the season with a solid fourth place finish. Krcelich just missed the class championship last year by nine points, so he is looking to make it happen this year, and he is off to a great start.
Stracham is running her single seat effort out of Swift’s UXC tent. Her RT Pro Polaris ACE is specially built with hand controls because she doesn’t have the use of her legs. Unfortunately, the track was a little too narrow for Polaris’ new wider XC900 single seat machines and she had trouble navigating between the trees.
“Jesi Stracham got the holeshot, came into a corner too hot, sideswiped a tire and it damaged something in the steering rack,” said Swift. “So she stopped and there wasn’t anything we could do. She went out, turned another lap and got some points.”
These RT Pro drivers will be back in action as the series heads to Moree’s Sportsman’s Preserve in Society Hill, SC April 22-23.