SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, email@example.com
November 18, 2018
51st SCORE Baja 1000
Nov. 12-18, 2018—806.76 miles–Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
(Finish line—as interviewed by Paul Hanson & Jose Vazquez)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited CustomTrucks)
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (First in class and first in overall four-wheel vehicles. Pat Dean started and drove to race mile 538. Steele drove to the finish.) — It was a good day. The team was firing on all cylinders. The Desert Assassins were on point. The pits were great, the prep was amazing. Rene gave a great truck. Even my navigator Cody did pretty good. And a lot of praise for Pat Dean and Shane Robinson, he’s been driving with me for five years, a couple of old guys that never really accomplished much, but here we are, right on pace for the podium, so we will see how it goes. Pretty amazing. A lot of respect to Rob and Bryce and our other competitors. So many of our friends that can’t be here – my dad. We prayed this morning about my dad and Cody’s mom and all our friends that can’t be here anymore. It is special to us to represent for them and for the team. I want to thank God for keeping us safe. The whole team really deserves this. This isn’t just about one driver or two drivers, it’s about everyone that puts the will in and I just want to thank my wife and baby because they give up a lot for us to be here and I love them. And I love the people of Baja. Thank you. Thank you Mexico, thank you Baja because this is our life, we come here, we love this place, we love these people. If it’s true that we won the Baja 100, it will be pretty amazing to put the Steele name on top for the overall. My dad started doing this in 1971 and we never achieved the overall so this would be pretty cool. A lot of people from Baja to thank. There is a hell of a lot of time I thought we were going to quit. BFGoodrich have given us an opportunity to come and race with them and shifted our paradigm. Thank you Monster Energy for believing in us and Method Racing Wheels, BajaDesigns, Bulletproof Diesel, Lucas Oil, those are our main sponsors. And thank you to so many others like Fox Racing, VP Racing Fuels. Thank you to the entire team. We ran the entire thing with no first gear. They told me it would make it and they were right. The race started off wharky, we had a competitor come up from behind us and catch us on the pavement and then ram us in the dirt and kinda set a weird tone for the beginning of the day. We lost first gear about that time so for us it was about persevering until the end.
ANDY MCMILLIN, No. 31 (Second in class. Andy McMillin started and drove to race mile 490. Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER GUSTAVO ‘TAVO’ VILDOSOLA said: Andy had a decent day, had two flats, both around race mile 405, 407, back to back. He was in second place before that. He gave us the truck in fourth place and as soon as I got in it I knew it was running a little low on power from running through all that silt around race mile 380 on. So as soon as I hit my first silt bed the truck died. It wouldn’t go faster than 25 mph. We finally were able to stop and clean the air filters and then it ran good after that but then Cam passed us. This was a really rough SCORE Baja 1000 and we were glad to team up with Andy again.
ROB MACCACHREN, No. 11 (Third in class. MacCachren started and drove to race mile 480. Jason Voss drove from race mile 480 to race mile 600. MacCachren drove to the finish.) – – It was definitely a good race. I gotta thank everybody at SCORE, Roger and Elise Norman for all their hard work. They keep throwing these SCORE Baja 1000’s at us that are tougher and tougher every time and it seems like an old adage that I keep saying that this one is tougher than the last one, but you know this course had everything in it. It was a real battle out there in the beginning. I started the race and Ricky Johnson he started first and was really hauling the mail. We were just pushing hard all the way through San Felipe all the way down into Catavina and that loop. The silt was amazing, it was ridiculous the dust, just everything that went on. Jason Voss, I gave him the truck at 480 and he did a great job. I think he got car sick or something, he wanted to get out. The truck ran flawless. I gotta thank everybody at Rockstar, Makita, BFGoodrich tires, Vision Wheels, Fox Shocks, Polaris RZR, everybody that helps us, the guys that work on this truck. It’s been a whole year in the making. When the last SCORE Baja 1000 happened, we were already making notes for this year and now I’m already making notes for next year. These races are tough, they are tough to win, the competitors are incredibly strong nowadays – Andy, Tavo, Bryce, Ricky, Luke…they were first on the road crossing Santo Tomas and it looks like Luke got a little crossways and he was jammed up in a ditch. I don’t know how we got by him. I was asking Johnny how are we even going to get by him, there’s no room and he said just force your way through there. So there was a little bit of a gap and we clipped him when we went by. I hope he’s OK. They were both standing outside of the truck and helped us get around. It’s awesome. I love everybody in Ensenada. Again, thank you SCORE, everything you guys do. These are pretty badass races, I gotta say. And thank you fans. We ran all four SCORE races this year. What a great series. There is really great news for next year coming. It’s getting incredible. I’m so thankful to be a part of off-road racing, so thankful that SCORE does what they do to allow us to do what we love doing. Again, thank you to Roger and Elise and everyone that they have, SCORE and the volunteers, all the dignitaries here in Baja that help us run out here in the desert. It’s all the unsung heroes I want to thank – everybody that helps make this go on. I know there is really a lot of people and a lot of effort and same as our team. I think we had about 80 people here, helping us this race. We had four fuel pits, 12 chase trucks. We combined the Voss team and crew, they had about 10 people here. I was down here pre-running about 10 days, Jason Voss was here for seven; we just really put the work in, as many teams do. Again, I’m thankful for making it here to the finish line. We didn’t have any problems with the truck all day long – that’s a testament to the crew and the guys that work at the shop. I got to thank Kevin Kroyer on the engines. KC Hilites, Steel-It, so many people help us with this truck and so many people have helped me throughout my career, have stuck with us. One of the biggest things for me is giving this reward to all the people who support me.
DAN MCMILLIN, No. 23 (Fourth in class. Dan McMillin started and drove to race mile 495, Gary Weyhrich drove to the finish.) – – We had two slow-leaking flats that our pit crew had to change early and then I had a flat and had to get out and change it ourselves. There was a lot of dust and no wind from about race mile 380 to race mile 480 so it was standing still dust. Then Gary got in and had one slow-leaking flat that we were able to change. So that was it, just a couple flat tires and a lot of dust. We are happy to be here.
BRYCE MENZIES, No. 7 (Fifth in class. Bryce Menzies started and drove to race mile 380. Toby Price drove from race mile 380 to race mile 600. Menzies drove to the finish.) – – We had a good truck. We were in third when I put Toby in at race mile 380. There actually was a stuck spectator on the course that Toby hit and got stuck for about ten minutes, which put us back a little ways. I got back in at race mile 600 and tried to catch up from there. We made up a much time as we could; I think we ended up 4th or something like that. Brand new truck, all-wheel drive. This thing was amazing, we just have to figure out the little things for it. We will come back next year for that SCORE Baja 1000 win.
KEVIN THOMPSON, No. 70 (Sixth in class. Kevin Thompson started and drove to race mile 380. Harley Letner drove to the finish.) – – We started the race running really clean, running really fast, got out of town, nice and clean and came into San Felipe and probably found about the biggest cactus they had out there and plowed through that thing and that slowed us down for a bit. We came into pit one really pissed off. We are still pulling cactus out. I’ve been coming down here for about six years now and this is my first time racing the SCORE Baja 1000, first time racing in Baja, first time racing a Trophy Truck and we pulled off physically a 7th place finish so we will see where that puts us when the results come out. CO-DRIVER HARLEY LETNER said: We had a little throttle issue and had to throw a bungee cord on for a throttle return spring so we lost a little time with that, just trying not to make a mistake. Wanted to make it to the finish line. I haven’t been in a Trophy Truck in Mexico for a while and it’s Kevin’s first time racing the SCORE Baja 1000 so we wanted to make sure we finished. We knew the lead was a little bit out of our grasp so we were just trying to cross the finish line. A little disappointed we couldn’t get fifth or sixth but we are here. Conquering the SCORE Baja 1000 is the number one thing to do. It is the toughest and gruelingist in the world and just crossing the finish line – super stoked for that. Still want that win but we will get it. We are coming back for sure.
ZAK LANGLEY, No. 50 (Eighth in class. Zak Langley started and drove to race mile 380. Kyle Jorgensen drove to the finish.) – -CO-DRIVER KYLE JORGENSEN said: We had no problems. Fought dust and this is where we are at. This is the best we could have got. We tried. 6th place or 7th place, that’s perfect. These big trucks just motor through the silt. No flats, no mechanical issues. That’s what you have to have down here. Thank you to everyone. It takes a lot to finish one of these.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Seventh in class. Alan Ampudia started and drove to race mile 20. Aaron Ampudia drove race mile 20 to race mile to 280. Rodrigo Ampudia drove race mile 280 to race mile 540. Alan drove to the finish.) — Rodrigo drove in the silt and did good, kept it in one piece, only had a couple of issues that were quickly fixed. We lost first gear in Ojos Negros so we just limped all the way home and just wanted to make it to the finish. I’m pretty sure someone blew a turn and hit some trees and we ripped some body panels off. There was a lot of rocks out there. There was so much dust and no wind, unlike pre-running when there was wind and no dust.
ZAK LANGLEY, No. 50 (Eighth in class. Zak Langley started and drove to race mile 380. Kyle Jorgensen drove to the finish.) – -CO-DRIVER KYLE JORGENSEN said: We had no problems. Fought dust and this is where we are at. This is the best we could have got. We tried. 6th place or 7th place, that’s perfect. These big trucks just motor through the silt. No flats, no mechanical issues. That’s what you have to have down here. Thank you to everyone. It takes a lot to finish one of these.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Tenth in class. Ryan Millen started and drove to race mile 200. Ed Herbst drove from race mile 200 to race mile 540. Tim Herbst drove to the finish.) — It went pretty good. There was one incident with Ryan Millen, they had a fuel delivery problem and in a very difficult area to get it fixed, but once they did, it ran really well. So other than that we had a pretty good day, being back as far as we were and having to deal with the dust. There were lots of rocks but we didn’t have any flat tires.
*SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)—
CLYDE STACY, No. 5L (First in class. Armin Schwarz started and drove the race mile 380. Todd Riley drove from race mile 380 to race mile. Clyde Stacy drove the last section.) – – Amin did a great job, Todd did a good job, we brought it home. The silt was bad, but Todd did a good job. We have four-wheel drive so the silt didn’t bother us as much as other teams. CO-DRIVER ARMIN SCHWARZ said: We had a very clean run, no flats, good tires thanks to BFGoodrich. We had a fantastic truck thanks to RPM and Geiser who prepped the truck. Thanks to my navigator, Im used to the crazy notes from rally racing, so without our notes and my navigator I would not go that fast through the dust. So that put us in a good position when we handed over the truck.
ROB REINERTSON, No. 72L (Second in class. Rob Reinertson started and drove to race mile 480. Mike Salimbeni drove from race mile 480 to race mile 740. Reinertson drove to the finish.) – – I did the first 480 miles, then Mike drove, then I got back in. We had our share of silt, a couple of trees got in the way and we lost a fender and there was one guy that was broke, stuck, kinda blocking the course and we clipped him a little bit. We want to thank our crew and Jimmy Sizelove, he prepped the truck for us and the truck was phenomenal. CO-DRIVER MIKE SALIBENI said: There was a truck rolled over and we clipped him. We want to thank our BFI crew guys that came out in full force, Sean Roper from Roper Designs, Mike and our whole crew that did an awesome job supporting us. We had the easy job.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)–
MORGAN LANGLEY, No. 150 (First in class. Morgan Langley started and drove to race mile 240. Paul Keller drove from race mile 240 to race mile 600. Mike Malloy drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER MIKE MALLOY said: The whole course was pretty rough but a few little things here and there, nothing major. Just tried to stay smooth all day, keep it on four wheels and bring it here in first place.
BRANDON BAILEY, No. 129 (Second in class. Larry Job started and drove to race mile 380. Brendan Gaughan drove from race mile 380 to race mile 600. Brandon Bailey drove to the finish.) – – It was good times. Johnny Nelson navigated the whole race. It was a great race. We had some issues with the brakes and the GPS went out on us so it was a little rough trying to go through the night that way but we did what we could and got it finished and we are happy. We had two deserved flats after hitting some big rocks. The course has changed so much since pre-running but it is the SCORE Baja 1000. It is going to take it from you. We are definitely happy that we got the finish. We will see how it works out but hopefully we got the podium. Everything that Baja could throw at our team it did. We are just grateful to be here and grateful to have a good team.
BRAD WILSON, No. 153 (Third in class. Justin Munyon started and drove to race mile 380. Ronny Wilson drove race mile 380 to race mile 490. Brad Wilson drove to the finish) – – I had a little eye issue coming into the end so my cousin jumped into the driver seat for about 40 miles. I just couldn’t see but we are here. Happy. I gotta talk to Roger about the silt – look at my eyes. Maybe we saw 20 miles of this course. Other than that we were sitting in dust all day. Everyone around here that is finishing, hats off to them because this course was nasty. But we are here. This clinches the Championship for us. We are happy. I think we finished third. Podium on top of that is great. I’m happy for the team. It’s a great day.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines)
BRYCE SWAIM, No. 242 (First in class. Bryce Swaim started and drove to race mile 480. Austin Jones drove from race mile 480 to race mile 740. Garrett Stone drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER AUSTIN JONES said: It was fantastic. We had a good run. My partner Bryce Swaim took it to race mile 480. I got in from there and took it home. I was having a little pressure from the back but all we had to do was keep our pace. We just secured the points championship and a SCORE Baja 1000 win so we are pretty stoked about it. We got caught up a little bit in the silt and spent about 10 minutes in there digging. It was rough out there and I didn’t even have the bad section so I can only imagine what Bryce had to go through. We are lucky; It was a crazy race out there, some gnarly stuff. My navigator, Jason Duncan, did a phenomenal job, as he always does. He is probably the best in the game I would say. It was great.
ELIAS HANNA, No. 200 (Second in class. Elias Hanna drove solo.) – – It was a rough day. I charged really hard the first couple miles to get the lead. Unfortunately I blew a corner and got a flat tire so that took me a little bit longer to get the lead, but by race mile 200 we were battling back in forth for the lead until pretty much the final miles here. It was good. My BFGoodrich tires didn’t let me down.
JASON MCNEIL, No. 234 (Third in class. Jason McNeil started and drove to race mile 160. Jerry Larimore drove from race mile 160 to race mile 491. Jason McNeil drove to the finish.) – – This is a truck we barely got together in time so we definitely had some issues, especially with the fuel filling. We started in the back so all in all for what we had, I think we did a good job. We are happy with what we got.
CHAD DOHRMAN, No. 218 (Fourth in class. Chad Dohrman started and drove to race mile 380. Tim Weston drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER TIM WESTON said: It was an eventful day. Chad Dohrman started the race and got high-centered on a rock right before the goat trail, around race mile 107. Then they had to put a new driveshaft in it. Then he ran pretty clean until he handed it off to me around race mile 380. I got in and the silt was unreal. You couldn’t see five feet in front of you. There was no wind. It was lingering. I can’t believe we made it through. There were so many stuck cars. I hit a cactus ten miles in and drove the next 90 miles with cactus stuck in me. I got out of the truck at race mile 480 and changed driver suits and continued on. We had one flat in the silt trying to plow down cactus to find a way through. It was an adventure. I’ve been up for 28 hours now. We made it. This is Chad Dohrman’s first Mexico race ever, so it was pretty cool of him to ask me to team up with him and drive the second half.
WILLIAM HEDRICK JR, No. 295 (Fifth in class. William Hedrick Jr. started and drove to race mile 380. William Hedrick Sr. drove from race mile 380.) – – CO-DRIVER WILLIAM HEDRICK said: My son started in first place and held first place until race mile 380. Then I got in at race mile 380 going towards the Pacific Coast. I had a few issues. The steering pump froze and it took us a couple of hours to take it out of the car and put in the spare one. I had two flats in the silt beds and the rocks and I got the car behind because of those delays but we are leading in Championship points. All we needed to do was finish. So I think we got the Championship. We will find out tomorrow.
CHAD HALL, No. 230 (Ninth in class) – – This was the first time down here with this truck. It is a four-wheel drive. The goal was to finish so we spent a lot of time fine tuning in Vegas. We came down here and it was too soft. We got passed in the first 100 miles and got into fifth. We broke a knuckle, but it’s in one piece. We plan to run the 500 and the SCORE Baja 1000 in this truck next year.
CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters)
RUBEN TORRES, No. 1063 (First in class. Ruben Torres started and drove race mile 500. Gabriel Torres drove to the finish.) – – The whole entire time we were covered in dust due to passing other vehicles. In the first 100 miles, we passed ten vehicles which helped us land in first place.
RAFAEL AGUIRRE, No. 1022 (Second in class. Rafael Aguirre started and drove race mile until race mile 200. Adrian Alanis drove race mile drove from race mile 200 to race mile 385. Jorge Sauceda drove from race mile 385 to race mile 480. Javier Robles drove from race mile 480 to race mile 730. Aguirre drove to the finish.) – – It was a very difficult time from race mile 380 to 400 and around race mile 480. It was horrible. It was a cemetery of cars stuck in the silt. Jorge was up for the challenge. We have never experienced that, stunned and shocked, a bunch of cars with no where to go. We had a lot of luck and with some help of the chase trucks we were able to get helped out of the silt. Thanks to my team, family and friends. Viva Baja and Viva Mexico.
- J. SCHNARR, No. 1062 (Third in class. J. J. Schnarr started and shared driving duties with Roberto Romo.) – – It was good the first 200 miles was super dusty. We escaped the silt bed situation, which was awesome. We had three hours of down time but we physically came in third, so we are happy.We tore a front arm off but Romo found a welder and built a new arm.
HAMMER TRUCK UNLIMITED (unlimited, 4-wheel drive Rock Crawler)
CASEY CURRIE, No. 4422 (First in class. Casey Currie started and drove to race mile 380. Cody Currie drove to the finish.) – – It went good. There was a lot of cars in front of us. To start behind class 10 is tough. We had a good run, very little mistakes. We just had once incident in the silt that I ran into the back of a 1600 car, damaged my front end and all my lights got ripped off so we had to do some repairs. But overall it was an awesome day. CO-DRIVER CODY CURRIE said: This Monster Energy KMC Nitto Jeep ran awesome. We had no problems. I got in at mile 380; my brother did the first half and got out in front right away and ran away with it. We had no issues. The only time we ever had to stop was to do the driver change and fuel. Other than that, it was hammer down the entire time. It was silt for about half the time.
CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive truck/SUV, no displacement limit)
EDUARDO RAMIREZ, No. 809. (First in class. Eduardo Ramirez started the race and drove to race mile 380. Manuel Robles drove from race mile 380 to race mile 600. Ramirez drove to the finish.) – – I started the race to mile marker 380. Robles took it to 600 and I brought it home. Robles did us a huge favor by taking up the 220 miles that were terrible. I’m so grateful that he did that for us. Thanks to all my co-drivers and teammates that pulled together to make this happen. I will take a break and miss most of the races next year because I’m going for the SCORE Baja 1000 Ironman, if its possible.
CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)
BRUCE YEE, No. 1614 (First in class. Bruce Yee started the race and drove to race mile 280. Jose Robles drove from race mile 280 to race mile 540. Angel Barajas drove to the finish.) – – It’s a team effort. We started second. We got in the lead in Ojos Negros. We took it all the way to San Felipe in first place, then had a problem with the suspension and fell back to second. Then I handed it off to Jose and we took over the lead again, and Angel took it home. We will be ready for next year. I want to thank everyone on the team, for everyone giving their all. BFGoodrich for their great tires. Method. Fox Shocks.
ERNESTO ARAMBULA, No. 1618 (Second in class. Elizandro Yee started the race and drove to race mile 380. Alonso Angulo drove from race mile 380 to race mile 530. Ernesto Arambula drove to the finish.) – – The whole course was very difficult and once the sun set it became very cold. This is my 38th SCORE Baja 1000. Please don’t stop making these types of races. I want to thank my drivers and co-pilots, family and friends. Viva Ensenada.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)
FREDDIE WILLERT, No. 1206 (First in class. Freddie Willert started and drove to race mile 287. Stan Potter drove from race mile 287 to race mile 540. Tex Mitchell drove to the finish.) – – It’s amazing. Last year was the first year of this team. To win the first time out was amazing. We thought we’d make a run for the Championship. But with a DNF with 13 miles to go in the San Felipe while leading and a DNF in the 500, so we would looking forward to having a better race. Tex did an amazing job prepping this car. And Tex and Stan did an even better job driving it. I’ve had four victories in the motorcycle class over the last fifteen years but to do it two years in a row in a car is amazing. Team effort. It’s an incredibly rough course. Tex did a great job at the finish. Stan drove the middle section. It was great by the team and the chase drivers. CO-DRIVER STAN POTTER said: I drove second. I was fortunate that Tex and Freddie asked me to drive the middle section, which was really tough but it helped me understand what real Baja driving is all about. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. From 380 to about 540 where I got out it was silt the whole way. We won it last year. This car hadn’t raced in ten years, then we dusted it off and won last in the the 50th (running of the SCORE Baja 1000) To win it two year in a row, it’s a dream come true. CO-DRIVER TEX MITCHELL said: I heard so many rattles the last thirty miles I thought every bolt was coming off this car. It was unbelievable what this little car goes through and it still runs. It’s a testament to the companies that support us and support off-road racing down here in Baja. The products are just unbelievable. It’s mind-blowing what you go through in this little car.
JEREMY DAVIS, No. 1258 (Second in class. Jeremy Davis started and drove to race mile 380. Bud Ward drove race mile 380 to race mile 670. Chad Cummings drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER CHAD CUMMINGS said: Jeremy invited me to be his teammate this year. My regular navigator couldn’t be here for this race so he opted to get in, so he opted to get in, which I think is pretty cool for us to finish as teammates. He just turned 18 years old but I’m 50 years old so he’s one of my little buddies, I’m pretty stoked about it. I think we got the Championship for the year. Bud Ward came upon an injury so he stayed there with the guy for four hours until the helicopter could get him out of there.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs)
DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (First in class.) – – I think its a win. That makes 14 championships. BFGoodrich tires and King shocks. I was so happy with these shocks. No flats. We got a new battery sponsor. We had to use the winch in the silt a few times, too many times. But the full-throttle batteries that we got worked great. I was liking my new dashboard. Sunoco fuel was great. It was a great race. We had three navigators that did a great job and had to dig a lot of silt. We are excited to be at the finish line. The 709 pulled us out then they got stuck further up and we went by.
JEFF PROCTOR, No. 709 (Second in class. Alexander Rossi started and drove to race mile 177. Jeff Proctor drove from race mile 177 to race mile 380. Pat Dailey drove from race mile 380 to race mile 605. Johnny Campbell drove to the finish.) – – I think everybody is talking about that near-death experience that Alex had the navigator Evan had over there in Ojos Negros. For a first-time racer I thought Alex drove really well. He basically started with the toughest race in the world to start his off-road career so he did well. He sent it over that Ojos Negros jump and he is lucky he did because he was high enough to clear it (a vehicle on the race course). He skated away with no issues. We are happy that everybody is safe and nothing happened and nobody got hurt and the truck didn’t roll. We got stuck a little bit in the early going of the race and made up some time, then brought it to me at race mile 177. I got in and made up a lot of time in the San Felipe whoops. We were just pounding those whoops hard, just pushing the truck to its limits. At one point we had shock temps up to 380 degrees, almost boiling our shocks. I had to back out of it a little bit. We got down to Coco’s Corner area and had a couple flats down there and we had to back out of it a little bit until we had some spares on the rack. And then we pushed on to race mile 380, where we had caught the leader. Pat got in and caught the leader and dropped into a silt bed with the leader. From there they were kinda stuck. We had a recovery vehicle in there and even with the Bronco four-wheel-drive recovery vehicle it still took a long time to dig ourselves out of what we are calling the graveyard. There was about 50 cars stuck in there. It was pandemonium. But luckily we got the truck out and got it moving. Our Bronco guy pulled out our competition as well. We go up five miles and get stuck again. He sees our line and our competition goes around us and he checked out unfortunately. We kept on going and Johnny got in the truck at race mile 605 and he safely drove it to the finish in P2. Not the race we had hoped for. Baja is always tough, but we are glad to be here and safe. We will take a P2 in the toughest race in the world. CO-DRIVER ALEXANDER ROSSI said: It was an awesome experience. Obviously we are disappointed to not win, but we came home second. I loved being down here and participating in this event. The whole Honda Ridgeline team did an amazing job. We will take it. We brought the truck back in one piece so that’s the most important part; no one is hurt, everyone is safe and we can start thinking about next year. I definitely hope to be back.
CLASS 5 (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed)
BEN SWIFT, No. 524 (First in class. Zac Reish started and drove to race mile 280. Ben Swift drove from race mile 280 to race mile 600. Pete Swift drove to the finish.) – – It was tough. They say it’s the toughest race and this is the toughest I’ve ever done. I’m honestly shocked to be here. Elated, but shocked. Zac and Erik drove the first 280 miles and brought me the truck with a 100-mile lead. Perfect mechanical, good tires. I got in and went to 600 with my navigator Taylor Morford. We had a lot of down time but we prevailed. Handed off the car to my dad, Pete Swift and his navigator. They reeled in the leader and we are the first ones here. It was easy pre-running. No stress. But you get a helmet on and you hear everyone telling you on the radio you should be worrying about the silt and of course you are going to worry. We got stuck three times. But we used all our tools and our knowledge and a couple of prayers and somehow we made it here.
GREG SULLIVAN, No. 507 (Second in class. Miguel Pabloff started and drove to race mile 200. Mike Sullivan drove from race mile 200 to race mile 380. Jose Marquez drove from race mile 380 to race mile to 600. Greg Sullivan drove to the finish) – – We were stuck in the silt and literally had a class 8 drive over the top of us, knocked our spare tire off, completely sheared it. Broke bars in the back of the car. Later, around race mile 620, we had CV bolts break off. We had a lot of little stuff. But you know when you have a team like the Pabloff family to give you all the support, you can’t go wrong. It’s a done deal.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs)
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 2971 (First in overall UTV and first in class.) – – It was rough. It was a long day, a really long day. I was the only driver. We started the race second to last. By mile 180 we took over the physical lead, going back in forth with Cory Sappington. Around mile 270 or 275, we locked the lead down and led from 275 to the end. We smoked a wheel. Driver error – came over a hill and there was a rock and there was nothing I could do about it. I’ve never been in silt that bad in my life. The car did good though. It soaked it all up. I think we are the points leader.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 2917 – – (Second in class. Jason Murray started the race and drove to race mile 300. Derek Murray drove from race mile 300 to race mile 600. Dan Fisher drove to the finish.) – – We had a pretty good day overall. We started 20th. My brother Jason started and rode with Mike Kendrick and they had a really good start, got up to pretty much the top two in their section. I took over about race mile 300 to 600 and held that spot through all the rock. It was silty, it was rough on these little cars out there. But we had a good clean run. I handed it over to Dan and it looks like we brought it in second.
RHYS MILLEN, No. 2966 (Third in class. Rhys Millen started the race and drove to race mile 600. Mitch Guthrie Jr. drove to the finish.) CO-DRIVER MITCH GUTHRIE JR said: Super happy with where we finished. I think we came out with third overall so really overall. Rhys Millen started the race and then I finished it off. Thank you to Polaris, Pennzoil and our whole team.
BRETT COMISKEY, No. 2921 (Fourth in class. Peter Carr started the race and drove to race mile 280. Brett Comiskey drove from race mile 280 to race mile 535. Daniel McKenzie drove to the finish.) – – Peter set the pace for us. Handed me a car that was in pristine condition. Unfortunately I drew the short straw and got the silt section. Well, I’ve never seen anything like that before. Big shout out to my team. Awesome group of guys. A lot of them come over on there own from Australia. We got guys from Kansas, guys from Phoenix, and LA. I can’t thank them enough for what they do for me. This is our second time down to Baja and now we have two finishes. We are off to a good start. We are definitely going to push for a podium next year. We weren’t far off. We had a few issues. That’s the way racing is. We will get back to our normal racing schedule after this and next year we will put something better together.
LUIS FORTANEL, No. 2978 (Fifth in class. Luis Fortanel started and drove to race mile 290. Adrian Lopez drove from race mile 290 to race mile 603. Carlos Valencia drove to the finish.) I started the race all the drove all the way to Puertecitos. Adrian Lopez and his brother got in there. It was a very difficult track with lots of rocks and dust. We were determined to be the first Mexicans to compete in our class. If all goes well, we will get to the podium and the Championship.
MARC BURNETT, No. 2900 (Sixth in class. Marc Burnett started the race and drove to race mile 540. Bobby Smith drove to the finish.) I was going to solo it. But we weren’t doing so hot. The silt was was gnarly. I’ve raced down here several times and it was definitely the worst I’ve ever seen the silt. The Can-Am went through OK, but we finished. It wasn’t the result we wanted, we wanted to win, but at least we finished.
PRO UTV (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs)
TYLER BACKUS, No. 1902 (First in class. Tyler Backus started and drove to race mile 380. Trent Backus drove to the finish) – – I don’t know how I feel yet. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m tired. It was a hard course. Relentless. Just kept going. But we made it. I’d like to thank my brother for prepping the car and all the team. We do the easiest part and just drive the miles. Double Barrel Industries and SCORE – thank you. CO-DRIVER TRENT BACKUS said: At about mile 450 in the rocky section we had to side-hill in a bit and we got out and helped a few trophy trucks and two side-by-sides get up and helped put a battery in another car. We are here. Had two flat tires. That’s it.
KADEN WELLS, No. 1995 (Second in class. Kaden Wells started the race and drove to race mile 330. Corbin Wells drove from race mile 330 to race mile 600, Kaden Wells drove to the finish.) – – It was a rough race. At the start we ended up having to swap front brake caliper and rear hub because it was bent. And then it went good until the driver swap at race mile 330, we ended up having some more brake issues happen there. And then our axle kept pushing our hub out, it actually pushed it out three times. Then finally we got it all fixed at the second driver swap at race mile 600 and then ran from race mile 600 to the finish with no problems.
PAUL CHAMPION, No. 1955 (Third in class. Paul drove solo.) – – It was brutal, but it was fun. There was a lot of great sections but there was a lot of hard sections. It was for me, just because I drove the whole way, it was very, very tiring. But there were a lot of fun things that we got to see and do. The silt was the best. When you can’t see your lights, when you are driving in the dark because the silt is that tall, that’s fun. The goat trail is great, it’s fun, it’s fast. Before you get into San Felipe that is a lot of fun. I mean there are a ton of fun sections out there. Race mile 40 we hit a rock and it broke our spindle and so we limped out to the highway and had to stop at a few places to try to get it welded up. We did get it patched. Then we drove another couple hundred miles to another pit where they had a better welder and they did it up right and then we were able to start racing. We had a great time.
PRO UTV UNLTD (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement)
KRIS WERTH, No. 1899 (First in class. Kris Werth started the race and drove to race mile 280. Hans Leunger drove from race mile 280 to race mile 540. Brandon Meredith drove to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER BRANDON MEREDITH said: It was awesome. What a great little trail you guys made out there. We were just bee-bopping around. We had a few blown belts, no flats. The silt was in my lap. I was limited to half throttle the last portion of the race so we need to go diagnosis that.
AL MCBETH, No. 1857 (Second in class. Al McBeth drove solo.) – – This is such a team effort. We ripped a couple A-arms off this thing and and the help was unbelievable. I got to thank my team and co-driver. I got to thank Simpson, Walker Evans racing, Method Wheels, Polaris RZR and others that help us. The course was rad. The harder the better. The silt beds were chaos. The sun was just coming up and it looked like Armageddon. It was cool.
CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)
LUIS HERRERA, No. 577 (First in class. Ernie Negrete started and drove to race mile 180. Daniel Gutierrez drove from race mile 180 to race mile 380. Dave Simpson drove from race mile 380 to race mile 600. Luis Herrera drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER DANIEL GUTIERREZ said: It went great. We had a plan and Luis Herrera had the logistics planned and we stuck to that plan. We knew the difficulties when you are in a limited class following the large number of unlimited cars. So going through some terrain for these limited classes, it is really hard. We go through and its tore up. So our plan was to keep the car moving, which we did and we continued to make up time. And that’s where we became finishers. We finished first and hopefully it stands. Luis Herrera prepped the car; him and Ernie. They have been teaming up the last couple of years. Luis did a phenomenal job prepping the car. Everyone did a phenomenal job driving to get this car to finish. I have my own 516 car. I’ve been racing against Ernie for 20 years. He called on me to race to race for him and I’m very honored. As I’ve been trying to win this race for many years and actually 15 years ago I finished first but timed out. It’s ironic 15 years later I team up with somebody else instead of doing it on my own and we win, or in contention to win. So I thank Ernie and Luis for calling on me for this. This is a great opportunity and an amazing feeling. Winning the SCORE Baja 1000 is amazing. The mystique of Baja, you can lead and it can come back and get you, I’m a perfect example of that 15 years ago. Hopefully now I get my first win.
RUBEN GARCIA, No. 569. (Second in class. Ruben Garcia started and drove to race mile 177. Mark Winston drove from race mile 177 to race mile 325. Steven Fuentes drove from race mile 325 to race mile 545. Guy Savedra drove from race mile 544 to race mile 745. Garcia drove to the finish.) – – I feel very happy, very welcome with the whole team. We had a lot of problems. I really want to thank all the chase guys, my brother, Frank, Rudy, Joe and more. Those are the heroes. We were done last year, but these guys were like no, let’s do it again. We had no tire issues. Thank you BFGoodrich. We had every other problem but not tires. We went through two transmissions and a roll-over. A few booby traps. I hope I don’t forget anyone. I am so tired but we love everyone. Moonshine Mark.
BAJA-e (single or two-seat electric powered Unlimited 4-wheel vehicles)
RAUL RODRIGUEZ, JR., NO. E402 (First in class. Raul Rodriguez, Jr. started the race and drove to race mile 120. Molly VerMeer drove from race mile 120 to race mile 600. Rodriguez, Jr. drove to the finish.) – – History here with the first electric car to finish the SCORE Baja 1000. We wanted to get this car out here to see how it runs. Molly is the co-driver and engineer. She can tell you more about it. We had a few problems here and there. At one point the battery stalled a little bit, one completely died on us. One of our guys was able to charge them quick enough so we finished with two battery packs. Everyone knows this is the future. Baby steps. Giant leaps. A huge thanks to Roger and Elise Norman. We are getting ready for next year. CO-DRIVER MOLLY VERMEER said: It’s great to see what this car can do. It’s great to push it to its limits. It was rocky out there. The logistics of the pit stops was challenging; we had to change the batteries and all the monitoring. We definitely used the batteries differently. We are learning how to organize that as a team and learning how the technology responds to off-road. It’s incredible to finish. It’s exciting. It’s the first electric vehicle to ever finish the SCORE Baja 1000. It was a lot of work but the team came together and we learned a lot of things. This is the first one so we are looking to make improvement for the next one.
BAJA CHALLENGE (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich Tires)
LARRY MCRAE, No. BC1 (First in class. KyleTucker started the race and drove to race mile 380. Brian Finch drove from race mile 380 to race mile 535. Larry McRae drove from race mile 535 to race mile 670. Finch drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER BRIAN FINCH said: Brian and I got in at race mile 380 and drove the silt. We lost a timing belt at race mile 411 and had to take the motor apart with hand tools and re-time the cams and get this thing back out. First we lost an oil line in San Felipe and lost the lead. We sat there for two hours. We lost three hours in Chapala putting a timing belt on. We ended up in a ditch sticking straight up in the air and had to get drug out and lost an hour and a half there. But no flat tires. What can you say about the awesome KM3.
EDWARD MUNCEY, No. BC4 (Second in class. Roger Norman drove the start to race mile 40. Edward Muncey drove from race mile 40 to race mile 200. Charles Emerson drove from race mile 380 to race mile 535. Johnny Primiano drove from race mile 535 to race mile 690. Emerson drove to the finish. Driving duties was also shared with William Muncey, Slade Cutreer, Terry Houin, Damian Clapper and Don Grasso) – – CO-DRIVER JOHNNY PRIMIANO said: There was a total of nine drivers. Roger Norman drove and his brother drove. My section was good. Totally different that pre-running last week. It is amazing to see what the Trophy Trucks do to the tracks. CO-DRIVER DON GRASSO said: We ran the section through San Felipe. We hit some soft sand and silt but kept grinding through it. It was a new experience for us. But it was awesome. CO-DRIVER CHARLES EMERSON said: I want to thank Roger Norman and Monster Energy and Warrior Built. I wish my dad was here, Gary Emerson. He was a dirt bike guy and went down three years ago, broke his neck and passed away, but I know he would be super happy to see me doing this and cross the finish line.
CLASS 3 (short wheelbase 4X4 based on production vehicles)
DONALD MOSS, No. 302 (First in class. Donald Moss started the race and drove to race mile 180. Ken Moss drove from race mile 180 to race mile 280. Dave Grundman drove from race mile 280 to race mile 320. Donald Moss drove race mile 320 to race mile 480. Ken Moss drove race mile 480 to race mile 600. Donald Moss drove race mile 600 to race mile 730. Ken Moss drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER KEN MOSS said: It went pretty well. We had a pretty clean run, just had to change one belt when we got a rock in it and it threw the belt off. Other than that, no stucks, no flats. Just worked our way around.
PROTRUCK (Spec Production Trucks, V8 engines)
CODY SWANTY, No. 1350 (First in class. Cody Swanty started the race and drove to race mile 380. Rory Ward drove to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER RORY WARD said: I got in the car about 12:30 last night at race mile 380 and played in Roger Norman’s sand pit for about three hours, digging myself out. I’d like to thank Roger for that. We really had to work for it. It was a rough son-of-a-*****. This truck never missed a lick, all we had to do was change the starter on it and put oil in it at the end. Those silt beds were just brutal. Collin Motorsports did a hell of a prep on this truck. BFGoodrich tires – same tires that we started with. Method Wheels. Ironclad gloves. No flats at all. We were running hard. The Kroyer motor worked great. We had no issues with the truck.
STOCK FULL (Stock, Full-sized Trucks)
MARK VAN TASSEL, No. 8155 (First in class. Mark Van Tassel started the race and drove to race mile 112. Ryan Nakaya drove from race mile 112 to race mile 280. Kurt Williams drove from race mile 280 to race mile 491. Dave Connors drove from 491 to race mile 667. Van Tassel drove to the finish.) – – Today was an adventure. We lost our coil with about five miles left and so we had some locals Juan Carlos and Victor and they helped us trail-fix it. They gave us food and water too. Once we got it going, it was great. We spent most of the morning pulling people out of the silt beds. Racing in Mexico is different. That’s why we love coming down here. If if weren’t for those guys we would probably be sleeping in our rig right now. We have the best crew around. A lot of volunteers here today. We are here about 12 hours later than we wanted to be but they stuck around. I got to thank our family who sacrifices for us to be here. They all hate us because we are slow, until they need us to pull them out. A heavy 4 by 4 truck like this gets through the silt beds.
CLASS 7SX (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks)
MIGUEL SANDOVAL, No. 747 (First in class. Miguel Sandoval started the race and drove to race mile 95. Marion Moreno drove race mile 95 to race mile 282. Oscar Solniza drove race mile 282 to race mile 480. Aldo drove from race mile 480 to race mile 740. Solniza drove from race mile 740 to race mile 800. Sandoval drove to the finish.) – – It was all the dream to race this. We lost Carlos in 2015, during the race, fighting for the win. His dream was to start the SCORE Baja 1000 and get to the finish line. What better way to honor him that an unofficial win.
CLASS 11 (Stock, VW Sedans)
VIRY FELIX, No. 1104 (First in class. Viry Felix started the race and drove to race mile 140. Roberto Robles drove from race mile 140 to race mile 280. Felix drove race mile 280 to race mile 320. Driving duties were also shared with Adrian Guerrero and Cicso Bio.) – – It was great. It was exciting. I drove from the start to San Matias. Then Roberto drove the second part. Then I also drove in Puertecitos and then Santo Tomas to the finish. We had one problem with a shock, but other than that everything was perfect. There was a lot of silt that got other class 11 cars stuck but we got through.
DENNIS HOLLENBECK, No. 1100 (Third in class. Dennis Hollenbeck started the race and drove to race mile ten. Armando Salazar drove from race mile ten to race mile 110. Brian drove from 100 to 208. Paul Nauleau drove from race mile 208 to race mile 310. Dave Forest drove from race mile 310 to race mile 545. Nauleau drove from race mile 545 to race mile 680. Hollenbeck drove from race mile 680 to race mile 700. Salazar drove to the finish.) – – It’s been a points battle all season with Viry. Great competitor. I think she is going to take it this year. We are strong in our faith. He put us on this mission. This is our first Ensenada finish. We are excited to bring home an unofficial second place. I had issues during the race. I laid it over on its side. I got stuck a few times. I recently had a heart attack so I didn’t get to race I wanted to race, but others got to race. We put Armando Salazar behind the wheel. Look at Pochito. He’s a mess. But it’s a good day to be alive.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more)
JUSTIN MORGAN, No. 7x (First in overall motorcycle, and first in class. Justin Morgan started and rode to race mile 280. Mark Samuels rode from race mile 280 to race mile 540. Justin Jones rode to the finish) – – It was a great race. Thank you to SCORE and Ensenada and everybody who helps put on the race; it was really good. I was to thank SOR Honda and Monster, our main sponsors and everybody who helps out the team – it’s a lot. CO-RIDER MARK SAMUELS said: The race went really good. Justin Morgan started the race, went from zero to 280. I chased him down and I got on at 280 and rode it to 540, which was a very difficult section, very technical with silt and rocks. Then I handed it over to Justin Jones and he rode up the coast. Feels good to be here for the fourth time, well I call it 4.5. Justin kicked butt this morning and gave me a little bit of a lead to play with and I added to it. It was a really smooth race and I’m happy. I want to thank all of our pit crews because it takes a lot people to come out here and pit us. It takes a lot of people to put this race on from the helicopter to all our pit crews and chase crews and racers and girlfriends and family – I want to thank all them and for FLY, LAVA propane and SDI tires.
SHANE ESPOSITO, No. 1x (Second in class. Colton Udall started and rode to mile 200. Nicolas Garvin rode race mile 200 to race mile 380. Shane Esposito rode race mile 380 to race mile 540. Ian Young rode from race mile 540 to 720, then Esposito rode from 720 to the finish.) – – We were kind of rough off the start, 6th, because of the Rosarito race, but everyone did their job and they just got out front and once they got there that’s about where they stayed. We were just dealing with dust – in the morning it was kind of hard. The course was good. There are other issues – the go karts – they really chewed it up. But I guess that’s where it’s going – everyone is pre-running in UTVs. We want to thank Larry Janesky, Contractors Nations, without him we wouldn’t be here. He’s been riding Ironman all year. Colton, Ian and Nic, Chris Haines, and everyone that is involved, especially the chase guys, and all our family and friends. CO-RIDER IAN YOUNG said: It feels great to race my dirt bike with my brother, it’s my dream. I was hoping this ramp wasn’t too slippery because last year at the SCORE Baja 1000 I came in first, a little hot and heavy on accident and I’m really sorry for that, but it is great to come back here this year with Shane and my brother and Nick and Chris Haines I can’t thank them enough. A lot of people came together at the last minute. I will give it up to our old teammates Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, Justin Jones, they really did a great job today. You have to give respect where respect is due. For me, I’m going home healthy, we are racing dirt bikes, we are in Baja, I get to love life, I get to be here with my family – my whole family is in the crowd and at the end of the day you learn more from your failures than your successes. It’s a dream come true – a lifelong memory. Thanks to SCORE and Roger Norman and my dad and everyone at home, my mom, and Eric. We are in Baja living the dream. CO-RIDER NIC GARVIN said: This year I got a chance to ride a different bike. The last two years I got to ride with Colton and be under his wing a little. When he called and asked if I wanted to race I’m like Hell Yeah I’ll do it. Like Ian said, I’m just grateful to Shane, Colton and Ian. It’s really cool. I want to thank my mom and dad and my girlfriend and all my people that follow me and the 300x team for letting me do this.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc)
SANTIAGO CREEL, No. 100x (Third in class) – – CO-RIDER RAUL HERNANDEZ said: I’m pretty happy about winning the Championship for the year. We had some small issues through the race. All our riders crashed. Larry (Serna) broke his collar bone and had to ride 50 miles or so like that. We lost about three hours when I took a small crash in the silt. After 2 1/2 hours a friend, Michael, helped me out, saved my life. Basically I was starting to make a fire to spend the night.
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old)
CHAD THORNTON, No. 333x (First in class. Steve Tichnor started and rode to race mile 77. Jason Trubey rode from race mile 77 to race mile 180. Tichnor rode from race mile 180 to race mile 280. Chad Thornton rode from race mile 280 to race mile 380. Dennis Bilingheri rode from race mile 380 to race mile 535. Paul Luce rode from race mile 535 to race mile 635. Carl Maasberg rode from race mile 635 to race mile 740. Trubey rode to the finish.) – – I don’t know what’s wrong but we have had a terrible draw the last four races. We have been last in class and have had to push through the dust. CNJ Equipment Racing has paid the bills for us and pick up our sponsorship. FMF, DDC racing sprockets, Reno Motorsports, so many great sponsors, so many great friends and family.
RYAN LEIBELT, No. 300x (DNF. Ryan Leibelt started and rode to race mile 100. Greg Bardonnex rode race mile 100 to race mile 200. Rowan Trefz rode race mile 200 to race mile 380. Andrew Puckett rode race mile 380 to race mile 480. Justin Shultz rode race mile 480 to 580. Puckett rode race mile 580 to race mile 680. Leibelt rode to the finish) – – We lost a fuel pump about race mile 540. We fixed that. Went going again and then some other fuel issue about race mile 700. It did not run well the entire rest of the way and I had to push it the last couple of miles to the finish. So, its been a tough day. I’m tired and I need a beer.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)
GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 510x (First in class. John Griffin started and rode to race mile 73. Troy Pearce rode from race mile 73 and hopscotched with Griffin to race mile 280. Earl Roberts rode from race mile 280 to race mile 380. Giovanni Spinali rode from race mile 380 to race mile 480. Spinali, Roberts and Griffin hopscotched until race mile 720. Spinali rode to the finish.) – – I feel awesome. This is the first time we have actually won the SCORE Baja 1000. We had three goals – to win our class, top 10, which I think we did, and not get caught by a Trophy Truck. We had a really good bike and solid team. Four guys – John Griffin, Earl Roberts, Troy Pearce and myself. We all rode every race this year and won them all. You can’t say any more than that. CO-RIDER JOHN GRIFFIN said: I started this morning. I rode the section of whoops by San Felipe then did the section going up to Santo Tomas, a couple hundred miles. It was a great day, everything went pretty much to plan. The SCORE Baja 1000 is all about logistics, with the team and the chase and the exchanges. We saw a lot of kids out there, showing them our grey hair were able to beat a lot of them and show em that the old guys can still get it done once in a while.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders)
AARON RICHARDSON, No. 739x (Second in class) – – Started off not so good. I crashed right in the morning, in the first hour, and broke my GPS off and kinda thought I was going to end my day there but I managed to get it taped back on and rode a little smarter the rest of the day. It was good, it was fun. It was punishing near the end, but I expected that.
TONY LUKSA, No. 744x (Third in class) – – The Mexican people are unreal, just fantastic. It’s been quite an experience. Every time I stopped I was given water, food. I think I put weight on over the race. This is my first year running the SCORE Baja 1000, first time in Mexico. Lloyd asked if I would come over here and go for a ride with him and it looks like I’ve beaten him home. That is bragging rights.
LAWRENCE JANESKY, No. 714x (Fourth in class.) – – It was brutal. You start the race at night so you are fresh. The sun comes up, the first day goes great. And then 13 hours of dark, it’s like the dark night of the soul. We went through the 100-mile section with all that silt and it was inhumane. Really. If real people saw what we ride through, they can’t even walk through it. It was really discouraging and frustrating when you can’t see. I went two miles in 45 minutes.And I’m so discouraged because I can’t see and the silt is two feet deep and ruts and I’m falling over. And then a trophy truck comes through and and blinds me again. You just keep pushing through and pushing through. Some people didn’t make it through that section – they are still out there. Their vehicles are stuck. So I picked through the desert to try to stay out of it but sometimes you couldn’t avoid it. But then the sun comes up again and now there is hope. And then I rode great. I call that Chapter 3. The first chapter is the first day, the second chapter is the night and the third chapter is the second day. I rode great all day long. I mean I just killed it today. We are real happy, got a great team. We had a perfect plan and we executed it perfectly. Everything went exactly, except the course and the silt kicking my butt, which I didn’t anticipate would be that bad. We had planned on finishing in 32 1/2 hours. We finished in 33 hours and 45 minutes, so we weren’t far off. If it weren’t for the silt we would have finished right exact what we planned. We executed. The whole team knew exactly what was going on at every stop, at every moment, what needed to be done next. It was great. My son and I entered the 2015 Sportsman class SCORE Baja 1000 and we won by 60 seconds. We made a movie about it…Into the Dust. It’s on YouTube. It now has 1.3 million views. It is one of the most popular movies about motorcycles here. So many teams said I’m here because of your movie. The year we won there were ten teams in Sportmans class, now you have 28. We are going to make another movie. We have been waiting for the ending, about the Ironman. So my son finished his first attempt I got hurt. My son did not finish, I did not finish last year. He decided alright, I got that T-shirt, it is horrible torture and suffering so he sat out this year, the SCORE Baja 1000. We both raced the 500 – the first father and son to finish an Ironman event here at SCORE this year. But I had to finish the Ironman SCORE Baja 1000. So here I am back here the third time, because I don’t quit and it means so much to me to finish.
LIZ KARCZ, No. 722x (Fifth in class.) – – I’m just so happy to be done. As soon as I saw the sunlight again this morning I knew I made it through the night which is the most challenging part of the whole race, surviving Friday night in that very difficult section. So when we made it, there were other challenging sections but just getting through that stretch and seeing the sun come up, knowing I was almost done is something else. I put the bike down a few times and it just kept getting progressively heavier and heavier to pick up. But somehow you just, you know no one else is going to pick it up for you so you just have to woman-up. Towards the end when I tipped the bike over one last time because I’m so tired and I was just getting weak, I was still making OK time but I didn’t even care if I timed out. Every rock, every bump was just beating me up so when the bike tipped over I was just ready to throw in the towel. But then I somehow got out from under the bike and said I didn’t work hard all year to time out now so I just found it in me to stand up and literally had to give it every ounce that I had until the finish and I didn’t time out. That’s all I needed. We made it.
PRO MOTO 60 (Riders over 60 years old)
GUY LAYCRAFT, No. 649x (First in class. Dave Potts started and rode to race mile 178. Guy Laycraft rode from race mile 178 to race mile 320. Bob Johnson rode from race mile 320 to race mile 580. Craig Adams rode from 580 to 730. Potts rode from 730 to 780. Laycraft rode to the finish) – – It was a tough night out there. There was a lot of raunchy silt beds and it was a hard go. We had five guys. The day went pretty well, but last night was a grinder. It was pretty smooth overall; we have a lot of experience. Bob Johnson and Craig Adams have been racing here since the 70’s so we had a really good bunch of guys. I’d like to thank Doug Smith. He did a hell of a job with building the bike and picking the team. He took care of every detail there was, right down to the hotel rooms, then a couple days ago broke a couple of ribs and ruptured a spleen so he is back in the states, up all night like a grandmother, texting us and keeping everything going. But it was really good.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement)
SAID SANCHEZ, No. 1a (First in class. Said Sanchez starts and rode to race mile 200. Felipe Velez rode from race mile 200 to race mile 370. Javier Robles rode from race mile 370 to race mile 480. Luis Velez rode from race mile 480 to race mile 520. Mike Sloan rode from race mile 520 to race mile 700, Francisco Vera rode from race mile 700 to race mile 800. Sanchez rode to the finish.) – – I rode start to 200. It was a very challenging track. We made up time on the track. We put together an awesome team to dominate the SCORE Baja 1000. Thank you to family and friends. Viva Baja.