Canaan, IN (May 15, 2021) The 2021 season is off and going for Polaris RZR/ Yokley Racing Driver, John Barnes. New 2021 RZR’s equal new development for the team. Barnes has had 1 win in 2021. This past Saturday was looking like another win or podium until the final 15 minutes. Yet, there was another learning curve for the team with Barnes battling for the win.
It was a beautiful spring day in May in Canaan, IN with temperature in the 70’s and partly cloudy. The conditions in the woods were perfect while the fields being a little dusty. A couple creek crossings adding a little mud splatter here and there. In other areas, there were deep dirt, a couple sections having large rocks and not to forget the long steep hill climbs.
Off the start, Barnes was off to 8th place out of a crowded field into the first couple turns moving into fourth at the end of turn 3. Barnes commented, “The PPEI tune has us starting faster. It took a few races to get the clutching figured out. Thank goodness that is behind us.” As the miles clicked off, Barnes made a pass into third by avoiding a downed log that was hanging up the field and darting ahead. Moving into second place came a few miles later, taking advantage of the 25 foot rule to make a short cut by taking out a couple saplings. “I was being over cautious making my way into second. Last weekend at the AXCC, I bent an A-arm trying to make a pass through some much larger saplings,” Barnes added.
At the end of lap one, Barnes was in a solid second and 15 seconds off the leader. He put in a strong charge moving in behind the leader till the power steering began to overheat from fatigue. Barnes reset the power steering and turned it down a bit. He was in fighting distance of the leader about to go into the white flag.
And then things got crazy! Hot green radiator fluid began to fly. The unit began to spray boiling radiator fluid like a water faucet, and steam encompassed the RZR. It was intense. The cooling system had failed. Barnes tried to continue, but the RZR was wounded. He got out to find the aftermarket radiator fan had failed. Barnes broke out a knife and wire trying to fix it, but the fan was finished. The day was over.
Co-pilot, Isaac short, commented, “We will go back to the drawing board on the fan. We will use an OEM fan and maybe even have a fan pushing and another pulling air in case one fails, we have a backup.” For Barnes, this is the second time this season for overheating. The last time was related to a faulty relay.
Barnes has plenty of racing left this season. Round 1 at Powerplex Park in Bowling Green, KY is at the end of May followed by several AXCC, Mid West XC, IXCR, and Mid East XC. Plenty of time to put the RZR back on the box like the team has done so many times.
A big thanks goes out to the 2021 Sponsors: Polaris RZR, Yokley Racing, Super ATV, Big Country Powersports, STI Tire & Wheel, Elka Suspension, Dynojet Research, Millennium Technologies, VP Racing Fuels, Double E Racing, Trinity Racing Exhaust, SSI Decals, CP Carrillo, Epowersteering.com, IMS, MTNTK Performance, PPEI Custom Tuning, RT Pro, Coffman Custom Machine, Longhorn Fab Shop, PRP Seats, Hot Cams, Razorback Technology, Mid TN Off-Road, STM, RZR Extreme, Alba Racing, Hess Motorsports, Tire Balls East, Monster Energy, Barnes Off-Road Marketing, LLC