Phil Blurton Wins Fourth Career UTV World Championship presented by Polaris

Kaden Wells, Vito Ranuio complete Pro Turbo podium; visit UTVWorldChampionship.com/live for full unofficial results

For the fourth time, Phil Blurton can call himself a UTV World Champion, after taking top honors in Saturday’s Desert Pro Turbo race from the 2021 UTV World Championship presented by Polaris in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Blurton, who won the event three times in a row from 2017 to 2019, was locked in a battle with defending champion Ryan Piplic for much of the day, with each driver facing adversity on the final lap that eventually broke in favor of Blurton and co-driver Beau Judge.


“We decided this morning that we were going to set a good pace and see where we were at about halfway,” Blurton said on the podium. “There were a couple guys on the first lap who were pushing at a crazy pace, and it sucks to let them leave you, but we knew what the car could take. Coming into the last lap (Ryan and I) were six seconds apart, I made a mistake and had to change a tire, and thought ‘aw, man, second place,’ but then we saw him break down.”


Coming out of a battle for the win in the NA race earlier in the day, Kaden Wells returned to the course in his same car and took second place overall. Through the combination of adversity and the technical aspects of the 28.6-mile course, Wells was able to outpace many of the Turbo cars despite having less horsepower on his side.

“We started 23rd off the line, and we were running an NA car so we were a little slower, but we just kept going,” said Wells. “We started making a couple of passes here and there, a couple of people were dying off, and my co-driver did awesome with the calls. We had a pretty flawless race—we had one tire issue, but that was about it.”

Completing the podium was Vito Ranuio, who spent much of the day in the top 10 and continued to benefit from the adversity that affected other drivers. When all was said and done, Ranuio would cross the lane with more than 10 minutes in hand on Piplic, who eventually settled into fourth.

“We ran a conservative pace all day,” explained Ranuio. “Last year, we pushed a little hard, and it cost us a finish. So we were kind of seeing where our placement was, really just trying to get a podium, and we were able to do it with the pace!”


The unofficial top finishers from Friday’s UTV World Championship Desert Pro Turbo class race were as follows:

  1. #T944 Phil Blurton, 3:52:17.359
  2. #T195 Kaden Wells, 4:02:41.934
  3. #T950 Vito Ranuio, 4:07:17.297
  4. #T815 Ryan Piplic, 4:17:45.283
  5. #T907 William Long, 4:27:07.626

“A huge congratulations to all of the winners, and finishers, of this year’s UTV World Championship,” said UTV World Championship CEO Matt Martelli. “Taking on this year’s course was no easy feat, and the finish was as dramatic as any in UTV World Championship history. Thanks to all of the great partners, racers, and fans that helped us make it happen, and we can’t wait for the next one!”

The UTV World Championship presented by Polaris takes place on October 13-17 in Lake Havasu City, AZ. Live coverage of the event continues all weekend at utvworldchampionship.com/live. For up-to-date information on the event, visit utvworldchampionship.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @utvworldchampionship.

Chris Leone

A veteran of the motorsports industry (both physical and digital), Chris Leone contributes coverage of race events of all types to Off-Road Racer. Elsewhere, he is the marketing/communications manager at iRacing, media director of Jim Beaver's Down & Dirty Show, and a frequent contributor to UTV Underground.