SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, email@example.com
January 25, 2015
29th Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250
Jan. 24, 2015 – San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
GUS VILDOSOLA, JR., No. 21 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — The race was good and the wind helped out a little bit. It was blowing from north to south so in sections heading north it was blowing right back at us. It wasn’t as easy to pass people here as it has been in the past. The truck was a handful at the beginning because we changed the steering rack so it took a little bit for me to get used to it. In the first 75 miles or so I was sweating and struggling with the truck and my hands hurt like hell. After that it loosened up a little bit and we were able to push. It was a good race with no problems but we got a little lost in a wash and had to go through a bunch of stuff to get back on the course. At Morelia Junction I was about three seconds behind Apdaly Lopez (driving the #5 SCORE Trophy Truck) when he pulled out of his pit right in front of me and at that point I knew I had him. I knew I had to keep his dust in sight but I didn’t push it. B.J Baldwin was always behind us and we got a nice comfortable two-minute lead and we just tried to keep it there. Our goal last year was to put the number one on the truck and we came up a little short but this year we want to put that one on the truck. We started San Felipe off on the right foot for the third year in a row and that is huge for us going into the Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500. It will be a blast and I can’t wait to get down there and win another one.
B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — I had one of the better working trucks today and I was catching people pretty easily in the bumps. We struggled a little bit in the wash because this truck is a little bit fatter than usual and is quite heavy. We started in the back and I got it into a position where it could have a really good vehicular fist fight with Tavo (Gus Vildosola, Jr.) and possibly win this thing. Tavo had a great run and I was trying as hard as I could to keep up with him. For about 30 to 40 miles I was within six seconds of him on corrected time but I blew a corner, hit a big bush and got a stick flat. After that there was no way I could make up the time in the 60 miles remaining so I backed it down and cruised it home. All things considered this was a great day because I’ve had a lot worse. We will regroup and try and get a little more speed out of the truck.
CLYDE STACY, No. 5 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) – CO-DRIVER APDALY LOPEZ said: We had two flat tires. One was after hitting a rock and the other just exploded while we were driving through a wash. The course was really rough but it was a fast track.
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 85 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We started too far back in the class and sometimes it was good with the wind but most of the time we were going the wrong way for the wind to help us. We got hung up behind (Kyle) Jergensen for what seemed like forever. We finally got around him and had clean air from then on. We made up a lot of time but it wasn’t enough. We ran out of fuel coming into a pit.
JASON McNEIL, No. 2 (Fifth in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — This is the first day we’ve had this truck out and we have new pits and new guys helping me so we are still getting familiar with the vehicle. We had some issues with the brakes and the transmission overheating but it was fun. Without the brakes we came down on the bumper pretty hard and the shock reservoir broke off so we had to get out and rig that thing up. The brakes were going to the floor so I don’t know if we boiled the fluid or if it because we tried something different this race with a new pad and rotor setup.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Sixth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We had a different strategy and were using this as a data acquisition race so we stopped three times on purpose and we stopped a few times not on purpose. We ran out of gas right at the end which was a little frustrating. We had some amazing battles and tried to out-line Jason McNeil a few times and tried to get B.J. Baldwin once. It was fun because San Felipe just has so many different lines. We had a flat early and a few guys got by us but we have really good pre-run data and at race mile 105 in the wash there is an old line and nobody was using. We went up it and when I came back into the main line I caught a tree.
EDUARDO LAGUNA, No. 17 (Seventh in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We had a flat in a wash and it took us a few minutes to get unstuck. The rear end kept getting warm so we had to check up and let it cool down. We would push it again and that’s the way we drove it from Borrego to the finish. I can’t complain for my first time driving a SCORE Trophy Truck.
GARY MAGNESS, No. 45 (Ninth in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — It was a long and grueling race. I think we needed more travel in the shocks because I don’t think we were hitting the bump stops. The weather was perfect with a little bit of wind and the right temperature.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11 (Tenth in class.) — We were doing really well until about mile 80 and we lost the alternator on the engine. The wire failed and shorted out the alternator. We went to the backup alternator and it appears that that one (the engine alternator) shorted the other one as well so we lost two alternators. At mile 95 we had to stop and wait for our chase guys to come in there. We had a pit there but they didn’t have the parts. It put us down too far and once you get in the back you are racing people that aren’t doing the winning pace and you’re caught in their dust.
ROB ARCHIBALD, No. 104 (First in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Archibald drove the entire race.) — We took it easy through the first half and tried to assess where the competition was and then we drove 100 percent for the last 100 miles without hitting any rocks. It was typical San Felipe with super rough sections and rocky areas. It was a challenge. When it’s your day, it’s your day to get a win in Baja and because it isn’t easy to conquer you end up breaking a lot of times. This is my first win in Class 1 in the Bud Light SCORE series. We got here the day before the race and didn’t get a chance to pre-run and have just two chase guys and one truck. A lot of the stuff looked familiar from other years when I’ve down here.
JIM ANDERSON, No. 180 (Second in class. Anderson drove the first half of the race and Brian Burgess finished.) — CO-DRIVER BRIAN BURGESS said: We were on cruise mode and running at about 80 percent when a belt came off and we almost lost it (control) because we lost power steering. I gathered it up in the trees and went to put on a spare belt and it was a little small so it took us a little bit of time to wrestle with it. There were only 20 miles left and we ran as hard as we could but couldn’t catch him (Rob Archibald.)
GEORGE PETERS, No. 131 (Third in class. Peters drove the entire race.) — It was a great race but it was my mistake that we ran out of gas. We had a flat at mile 100 and it took us 10 minutes to get the flat off because it was stuck. A few miles later we ran out of gas. This Baja kicked our butt today but that is normal for Baja. We will be back to do it again for the Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500 and we are ready to race the whole season.
JORGE SAMPIETRO, No. 1697 (First in class. Sampietro shared driving duties with Misael Arambula.) — It was a pretty rough course and we had a couple of flats but everything else was perfect. I got to the front in Borrego and stayed there all the way to San Felipe. It was an interesting race.
J. DAVID RUVALCABA, No. 1609 (Second in class. Ruvalcaba started to mile 130 and Esteban Cruz drove to the finish.) — It was a good run but we had a flat in Huatamote wash that probably cost us the race. We were able to get going again but were 14 minutes behind. We also had some brake problems.
AARON AMPUDIA, No. 1636 (Third in class. Ampudia drove the whole race.) — We were leading at El Chinero and got a flat and were passed by four guys. We were second again by Saldana and lost the brakes. We fixed them and got back to second by Borrego. We had problems again with the brakes and got stuck in the sand. Every time I hit the brakes I had to release them with my right foot so that was a pain.
VICTOR CESENA, No. 528 (First in class. Cesena shared driving duties with Gerardo Iribe) — Portions of the course were technical and that is our thing down south (in Cabo San Lucas.) It was great race and we loved it but it was really difficult race. We’re not used to driving whoops but are used to using a lot of steering wheel and shifting so sometimes we had an advantage in the technical parts of this course.
CARLOS DIAZ, No. 705 (First in class. Diaz drove the entire race.) — It was a really great course but we had two flat tires.
JAMES BURMAN, No. 818 (First in class. James Burman drove the entire race.) — This was the first time I’ve driven this truck. We drove four miles of shock testing and then we broke it and had to work on it for two days. We were a little green out there going at speed today but we got it around the corners and through the whoops and here we are. We had something come loose and ran out of differential oil and seized it up. We got a gallon of oil from a fan about 60 miles from the finish and made a miracle run at 25 miles an hour to the finish. We had to pour in the oil and let it sit for 45 minutes before we could get going.
MARK LAWRENCE, No. 1002 (First in class. Ray Griffith drove the first half of the race.) — We had a flat but other than that we did great. It was a good race and I loved the course. We were having trouble with the radio and had a hard time communicating with the chase trucks.
RAFAEL NAVARRO IV, No. 1009 (Second in class. Navarro drove the whole race.) — We went into the race just wanting to cruise the first half of it and that worked out well. We got to the halfway point and we were leading. Twelve miles from our pit at mile 151 we ran out of gas and were down for 11 minutes. While there about four cars passed us until our chase guys got to us with some gas. We didn’t have any problems after that.
TODD WINSLOW, No. 1081 (Third in class. Winslow started to mile 125 and Matt Winslow drove to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER MATT WINSLOW said: We didn’t have any problems except for one high-speed tire blowout and Todd Winslow rolled it. We are running bigger tires and we haven’t quite gotten the suspension dialed in. In the whoops it gets a little side-to-side and we really didn’t have time to test the car at all.
RAFAEL NAVARRO III, No. 1209 (First in class. Navarro started the race and Fernando Mayoral drove the last 100 miles.) — We started up front and finished up front. We ran our race and ran our pace. Everything went according to plan. We tried to run a little bit lighter at the beginning and then take some gas at the top (of the course) and the car ran flawlessly. It is an old, reliable beast. We left her alone except for the prep and the livery is the same as when we won the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000. We ran a really clean race.
CHAD BROUGHTON, No. 3030 (First in class. Paul Broughton started to mile 125 and Chad Broughton finished the race.) — We had a problem-free day and ran smoothly. This is the first time the truck has reached the finish and it was a perfect day. We raced all the Bud Light SCORE races last season but we had multiple issues with motors and transmissions.
SCOTT McFARLAND, No. 1942 (First in class. McFarland drove the entire race.) — We lost two belts and a tire so that slowed us way down. We battled back and forth with the guys in front of us between issues. Finally we had a little luck go our way and it got us here first.
JOHNNY ANGAL, No. 1921 (Second in class. Angal drove the entire race.) — We had quite a few problems including two broken axles, two flat tires and we lost our brakes about 50 miles before the finish. It was a great race that was brutally rough and we are happy to finish it. This is the roughest race course I’ve ever been on. We pre-ran and were ready for the extreme beating but sometimes we were surprised coming over a hill and there would be another mile or two of whoops that weren’t there during the pre-run.
COLTON UDALL, No. 5x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Udall started and rode to mile 165. Justin Jones rode to the finish.) — San Felipe is a funny thing, you’ve got to treat it with a lot of respect because if you don’t then you end up crashing. It’s all about keeping the bike together and the riders together. The course was so gnarly because of the way it was routed, the rain and the number of pre-runners made it really difficult. I don’t know if the other classes didn’t pre-run enough because usually they pack down the rocks. In sections of the course where I’m used to running wide open instead it was fourth gear and on and off the gas today. I was tiptoeing around to make sure I didn’t hit any big rocks. The washes out there are really scary. It was a guessing game because the sun was low and in a lot of the rocky areas I just squeezed my legs and leaned back a little bit and hoped to get through it. Losing a Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 is a big sting and I was in a position where I was wondering if I should keep racing in Baja and all of a sudden we were full bore, put two teams together and we are down here racing. Every time I line up I want to beat everybody and that’s why I race. It’s the fire in me and I want to win. I feel comfortable in San Felipe and we always have a good time. CO-RIDER JUSTIN JONES SAID: My biggest problem was that the wind was blowing the sand over and I couldn’t see any of the boulders sticking out. You are racing the course instead of the competitors. Being smooth and respecting Baja was really key. The rocks are gnarly and some of the sand whoops too.
MARK SAMUELS, No. 3x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Samuels started the race and rode to mile 38. Co-rider Ray Dal Soglio rode to mile 168 and Samuels finished.) — On the start, about six or seven miles in, I clipped a rock and went over the bars really hard and that set us back about 10 minutes while I was trying to catch my breath. I had just passed someone and the rock really just snuck up on me. I got back going and turned it over to Ray.
RUBEN ALAMO, No. 122x (First in class. Alamo shared riding duties with Antonio De La Vega and Carlos Yfarraguerri.) — It was really difficult. I had a little damage on my nose and it was bleeding a little bit after I was hit in the face with a stone. Everything else went as planned and we just wanted to take care of the bike. There was a place where I got a little bit confused with the course marking but I found two other guys and I was able to find the track again.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 300x (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Winkelman shared riding duties with Jim O’Neal, Kevin Murphy, Morgan Crawford and Ricky De La Pena.) — We’ve got Jim O’Neal riding with us and he’s 67 years old and has started every single Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250. He never gives up. It was a tough course out there but it was good though. We have one tough group ranging in age from 33 to 67. It has been a great race and San Felipe is a fun place to hang out. CO-RIDER JIM O’NEAL SAID: We rode smooth and consistent because we knew we didn’t have any competition in the class. The course was really torn up and with the wind and silt it was difficult to stay on course.
KYLE ABNEY, No. 444x (Second in class and tenth overall motorcycle to finish. Abney shared riding duties with Chad Thornton and Tim Fitzpatrick.) — We ran out front but kept looking in the back the whole time. The course was pretty brutal today but nothing major to stop us from reaching our goal of finishing but it was treacherous as always.
MARC PRINCE, No. 501x (First in class. Prince shared riding duties with Steve Williams, Chris Goolsby, Doug Smith, David Potts) — We had a leaky radiator that we had to change and that cost us about an hour. The bike was great and we had fun.
TONY GERA, No. 700x (First in class and eighth overall motorcycle to finish.) — It was a pretty rough and long race. I didn’t have any major bike issues but I don’t like the suspension on the bike. This was the first time I’ve ever ridden it and the suspension was really stiff and didn’t want to move. It was set up for somebody heavier than me. I battled with a couple of the Class 40 guys along the way but I never saw any other riders in the SCORE Ironman class. I’m going to try and race the whole season in the Ironman class.
FRANCISCO VERA, No. 7a (First in class and third overall motorcycle to finish.) Vera shared riding duties with Roberto Villalobos, Adolfo Arellano and Travis Dillon.) — The first section was very rough and I was a little nervous because Javier Robles Jr. (1a) was behind me and he is a pretty fast rider. In every race we are battling with that team.