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2022 Red Bull Mountain Scramble

RED BULL MOUNTAIN SCRAMBLE RETURNS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, DRAWING 100 SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPETITORS FOR OFF-ROAD RACE

Tennessee’s John Barnes Wins SXS Pro Race While Ohio’s Ariel Buyarski Takes First in SXS Sportsman Race at Seven Springs Mountain Resort

SEVEN SPRINGS, Pa (June 1, 2022) – Red Bull Mountain Scramble returned to Seven Springs Mountain Resort this Memorial Day for the second straight year, becoming the first race in the Red Bull Scramble Series to return in the multi-stop circuit. In year two, 100 professional UTV drivers and recreational racers took on the challenge of an unforgiving, narrow, rocky backwoods course that saw just as many DNFs as it does finishers.

Venue for Red Bull Mountain Scramble in Champion, Pennsylvania, USA on May 30, 2022. // Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool

The race featured two classes: the SXS Pro for the more experienced racers and the SXS Sportsman for amateur off-road enthusiasts. With a time of 1:18:54, John Barnes from Ashland City, Tennessee won the SXS Pro race taking home $5,000 worth of Polaris accessories. Chagrin Falls, Ohio product Ariel Buyarski, one of three female competitors in the race, won the SXS Sportsman race with a time of 1:26:21, earning her a new set of BFGoodrich tires and $500.

John Barnes competes in Red Bull Mountain Scramble in Champion, Pennsylvania, USA on May 30, 2022. // Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool

In the single-heat races, 100 racers took position in a staggered field at the starting line for a dead engine start in two-minute intervals. After unpredictable terrain, crashes, steep hill climbs and flat tires throughout the approximately six-mile-long course, only 26 racers finished all five laps of the race. That number slightly increasing to 50 competitors who finished the race to completion. Even Buyarski, the Sportsman race winner, suffered two rear flats but was saved from tire blocks.

Ariel Buyarski competes in Red Bull Mountain Scramble in Champion, Pennsylvania, USA on May 30, 2022. // Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool

Barnes, returning to the course for the second year at a chance of domination, faced that unforgiving fate at last year’s Red Bull Mountain Scramble after getting t-boned on the 346-foot uphill ascent. This year, he had better luck, getting a second row draw and jockeying for first place between the 2021 winner Devin Smith and Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team member Mitch Guthrie Jr., who finished fourth last year.

Barnes credited his brand-new Polaris RZR Pro XP, that made its race debut, for soaking up the rocks, handling the challenging terrain and helping him pull 35 seconds on Smith in the final two laps for the win.

“The first lap was relatively smooth,” Barnes said. “As lap two went in, it was getting worse. By lap three, it was, ‘Bam, bam!’ You’re clacking off all these rocks, and I was just praying nothing would break off the car. “

Mitch Guthrie Jr. competes in Red Bull Mountain Scramble in Champion, Pennsylvania, USA on May 30, 2022. // Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool

Guthrie Jr. did not have the same luck on lap two. He suffered a front right flat tire after hitting a stump trying to pass a lap car in a new line. But he still managed to finish all five laps.

“I knew we could probably limp it in, just kind of took it easy, and we did make it,” Guthrie said referencing a quick pit stop he took before returning to the course. “From there, it was just push as much as I could to change the trend and make some passes and have fun.”

Guthrie Jr. did not best his fourth-place finish from last year but came in a respectable 13th.

“This race is crazy because it’s in the trees,” Guthrie said adding if he had a wider car he wouldn’t make it through some narrower spots. “From lap one to lap five, the course was completely different. You may have bottlenecks where a car might break down in the road and you have to run over trees to get around them and figure out a way. It’s a lot different from most of the scrambles, and that’s the cool thing I like about the series. We can go from desert to snow to trees to rocks and see a little bit of everything.”

TOP FINISHERS:

SXS PRO CLASS

  1. John Barnes (Ashland City, Tennessee) – 1:18:54
  2. Devin Smith (Terre Haute, Indiana) – 1:19:29
  3. Robert Boynton (Toms River, New Jersey) – 1:20:35

SXS SPORTSMAN CLASS

  1. Ariel Buyarski (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) – 1:26:21
  2. Joseph Winder (Perryopolis, Pennsylvania) – 1:29:18
  3. Tyler Betz (Montgomery, Pennsylvania) – 1:29:29

Red Bull Mountain Scramble is one segment in a multi-stop original collection of SXS races in the Red Bull Scramble Series, which featured both amateur and professional racers. Spanning every corner of the continental U.S., no single race is the same as each boasts many unique elements, but all include exhilarating racecourses and thrilling competition.

Photos by: Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool