Winning one of the most grueling off-road races in North America once is a feat—doing it twice is nothing short of incredible. But when defending champion Phil Blurton faced an early delay that cost 30 minutes, repeating his 2017 victory looked unlikely. His nearly stock Can-Am Maverick X3 had some work to do.
Once back underway, Blurton and co-driver Beau Judge were classified down in nearly 39th place but decided to just follow their original plan, hoping more than 10 hours of racing would re-shuffle the order in their favor.
It did: after more than 500 off-road miles, Blurton and Judge raced their race-prepped Can-Am Maverick X3 to victory in the 2018 Best in the Desert Vegas-to-Reno event, for the second year in a row. Amazingly, they’re also in the record books with the fastest-ever finish by a side-by-side vehicle.
Behind every big success there’s a great story, and a big part of Blurton’s career is his father, Phil Blurton, Sr. who attends races and is an active member of the team. An experienced racer in his own right, Blurton Sr. was among the first to handcraft a Rotax-powered off-road race buggy with Chenowth Racing (since closed) in the ‘80s, creating one of the first off-road desert race cars with coil-over-spring, A-Arm suspension.
In fact, it’s remarkably similar to the overall design concept for the Maverick X3, the vehicle Phil Jr races. Even a Maverick X3 off the showroom floor retains this off-road DNA—details you can read about here.
With Phil Sr helping to inspire and support his talented son and the team at every turn, it’s clear that the Blurton family legacy is just getting started.