July 3, 2019 — Driving his 2019 Yamaha YXZ1000 UTV race car, local sand drag racer Gary “G” Armstrong battled his way into the semi-finals and a third-place finish at the annual UTV Takeover Side by Side Wars at Box Car Dunes in North Bend last weekend.
This year’s event drew an estimated 20,000 UTV enthusiasts to the Oregon Dunes for a week of camping, recreational riding and sand competitions. UTV’s — also called “side by sides” because they can accommodate up to four people — are a fairly new breed of 4-wheeled recreational vehicle that have become increasingly popular due to their car-like characteristics, safety and handling.
UTV Takeover hosts four similar events in the U.S. each year.
Armstrong, of Florence, will compete in the Albany Sand Drags this weekend to qualify for the NW Pro Car Sand Drag Championship Race Series, where he is currently tied for fourth place in the standings.
Armstrong’s racing sponsors are Florence Yamaha/Polaris/CanAm, Fullerton Sand Sports Tires and Wheels, Dasa Racing products, Direct Drive CNC, Redline Racing, Oneal Racing Clothing, Dirt Wheels Magazine, Santa Cruz Bicycles and local Florence businesses Jack Smoot Welding and Siuslaw Signs & Graphics.