Super ATV’s Katie Vernola BITD Mint 400 Race Report
San Clemente, CA (3/7/2017) – Super ATV’s Katie Vernola overcame mechanical issues to score her first finish in the Best in the Desert UTV Pro Turbo class during the Mint 400. Driving a Polaris RZR Turbo, she teamed with Matthew Hove to finish 17th in the difficult race.
Vernola, a veteran of WORCS and Terracross UTV racing, is running her first full BITD season this year. She proved she is making progress as a driver and gaining experience as she goes.
“I finished my first Mint 400,” exclaimed Vernola. “This is just my second Best in the Desert race and my first ever finish. I could not be happier. BITD is a whole other animal from short course racing. That is huge for me. I grew up in the desert, but I never raced in the desert. The experience is what makes it awesome. I got to do it with Matt, who is a good friend and great driver.”
Mechanical issues slowed her charge during the first lap. After pitting and correcting those issues, she was off and running and ran consistent and quick laps on the rough and challenging course.
“During the first 30 miles, I went through two belts and an axle, but that’s the Mint 400 for you…it was brutal,” said Vernola. “We figured out the problem, fixed that and kept picking up the speed from there. We tried to stay smooth and consistent and let the car do its thing. Once I came around the short course area, I saw some big UTV teams and was happy to finish the race with the top guys.”
SuperATV Long travel kit and King Shocks did amazing in the roughest Nevada terrain!!!
With a tune provided by Addict Racing and tires and wheels by Fuel Off Road, Vernola’s Polaris was fast on course. She was thankful for the sponsors that got her here, which also include Baja Design, Katie Speed Shop, XTC Power Products, and Got Sand Performance, as well as Polaris.
“Jim Osier from Addict Racing clutched and tuned my car to perfection and this thing hauls ass,” said Vernola. “I drove it stock, he put a programmer on it and it goes about 10 mph faster. The Fuel Off Road Tires had no flats and no issues. The tread is still there and I could probably run another race on this set of tires. Fuel makes the best wheels and tires out there for any off road vehicle. I can’t thank all my sponsors enough.”
Vernola also participated in the Friday Contingency Day in Las Vegas. The event showcased sponsors, racers and their rides, thrilling fans on Fremont Street.
“We did the contingency, shot a ton of photos and spoke to a lot of potential sponsors,” said Vernola. “The event is exciting, entertaining, fast cars, and loud motors; what’s not to be enjoyed?”
Vernola will look to build on her finish here when BITD heads to Laughlin, NV April 14-15 for the UTV World Championship.
I want to thank my pit crew: Pete Corwin Niko/Angelo Skiparnias, Jay Rockow, Jim Osier and Sara Price for helping me get to the finish line!
Race Report written by Harlen
Photo Credit: Harlen with Atv Riders, Erik with SnM-Media, Nick Cress with Rockitwest.
2017 Katie Vernola Sponsors:
Super ATV, Fuel Off Road, Polaris Industries, Nav Atlas, Got Sand Performance, KING Shocks, Addict Racing, XTC Power Products, BAJA Designs, K&N, P.C.I, Fuel Safe, Miller Sign Corp, Cryo Heat, K1 RaceGear, Maverick Powder Coat