The Chapo Racing Team and an Uber Driver Team Up to Let the Arizona Team Rejoin the Bluewater Desert Challenge with a New Engine

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Chapo Racing can always be expected to do the unexpected. Their grit and resourcefulness will take them far in the exciting world of UTV racing.

Chapo Racing thought the Bluewater Desert Challenge was over for them when their car blew a head gasket. Quick thinking by the racing team brought Uber to the rescue. and they were able to replace the engine in time to rejoin the race.

Uber is what marketers often call a “disruptive” business model. Like all truly innovative business ideas, it changes a traditional business model in unanticipated ways and becomes the new normal. This was true with television and smart phones, and now the Uber has changed the conventional wisdom of the vehicle-for-hire industry.

Like cabbies, Uber drivers get us home safely when we shouldn’t be behind the wheel and get us where we need to go when we have no other alternative. Sometimes riders even tell them their secrets. But Uber goes further. They find solutions to unusual problems. They can decide what to do in an unexpected situation, and act in a way that cabbies might consider above and beyond the call of duty.

One Uber driver recently provided an example of how the innovative company was able to save the day for the Chapo Racing team at the Bluewater Desert Challenge. The Uber business model may be “disruptive” but its willingness to do things differently can make our lives run more smoothly.

Recently, the Chapo Racing team was almost unable to finish the first lap at Bluewater and continue in the race. Their #1921 Can-Am Maverick race car suddenly developed unanticipated engine trouble. The motor’s electric fan had failed to turn on, and caused the engine to overheat.

After pulling over to check the engine, Justin Elenburg, the driver and Ernesto Taylor, the vehicle’s co-pilot, discovered the source of the problem and quickly rewired the fan. They waited a few minutes for the temperature to drop, and then slowly moved the car into the hot pits—where only crew members and racing officials are allowed, for safety reasons. Once there, they poured fluids into the radiator to cool it down. They returned to the course, hoping to regain some of the ground they’d lost.

Unfortunately, the overheating had caused too much damage to the engine for it to be easily repaired. The head gasket had blown and it was clear the Can-Am couldn’t remain in the race unless something was done quickly. At this point, most racing teams would have seen no reason to keep trying to fix the engine. But the Chapo Racing team doesn’t give up easily.

Elenburg and Taylor asked the other teams if they had had a spare gasket. When their friends on the Murray racing team learned, what had happened, they immediately volunteered to help. As it happened, one of the Murray team members had a spare motor sitting in his garage in Corona, California and offered it to the Chapo team if they could send someone to pick it up.

With no way to transport the rebuilt engine from Corona to the race on their own, the Chapo team hurriedly booked a ride with a nearby Uber driver, using a cell phone to contact him. When the driver arrived, he managed somehow to fit the motor into the back of his vehicle, retrieved it, and drove it halfway to Parker, Arizona, where the race had already started, so that someone from Chapo Racing pick up the engine and bring it to the waiting crew.

Working through the night, the Chapo Racing team—with the help of the Murray team—was able to install the rebuilt motor by 5 am on the second day of the race. Chapo Racing was back in business and ready to roll.

Because of their quick thinking and extraordinary effort, Chapo Racing was nominated for the coveted Best in the Desert Perseverance Award. They had proven their remarkable ingenuity and unflagging determination by solving a difficult problem in a very short time, returning to the race, and still were able to achieve a respectable finish.

It’s hard to imagine any other team having the skill, patience, and imagination to stay in the race—and finish it—under such challenging conditions. Without Uber, the outcome could have been much different. No cabbie would have been willing to make the decision on the spot that the Uber driver did. Like Uber, Chapo Racing can always be expected to do the unexpected. Their grit and resourcefulness will take them far in the exciting world of UTV racing.

About Chapo Racing

Chapo Racing competes in major UTV competitions throughout Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico. The rugged four-wheel drive utility terrain vehicles are rapidly becoming the vehicles of choice for some of the world’s best race car drivers.

The Chapo Racing team’s founder is serial entrepreneur Justin Elenburg, a pioneer in the Mobile Pay-Per-Call Industry. He the owner of three Internet companies: QuoGen (, a lead generation enterprise, mobileFUSED (, a CPA networking company, and Islands Miracle (, a vitamin supplements e-commerce company that sells its products on Amazon.

Late in 2015, Justin "Chapo" Elenburg decided to race in the Southwest’s 1900 UTV class. He encountered many great drivers and fascinating people, and ultimately started his own racing team. Chapo Racing includes friends, family members, and UTV fans. Everyone involved with the team has either been a fan of off-road racing, or has become an enthusiastic fan.

Chapo Racing has competed not only in local and regional races, but in Mexico’s brutal Baja 1000. Their willingness, determination and perseverance has impressed fans and potential sponsors alike. With the enthusiastic support of Lone Star Racing, Can-Am, Rugged Radios, and other highly regarded patrons, Chapo Racing has competed fiercely in some of the country’s toughest races, turning every race into a learning experience. In the future, they expect put together a long string of podium finishes.

Chapo Racing is fast becoming a team to watch as it gains experience in some of the toughest races on the continent. It is rapidly attracting the attention of top sponsors and becoming known for the dialogue it has established with its growing fan base and the exciting brand of racing the team provides.

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Martin Grossman

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