BFGoodrich Tires 54 SCORE Baja 1000 presented by 4 Wheel Parts
Finale of the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship
November 15-20, 2021 – 1,226.35 miles Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur
Finish Line Quotes (interviewed–Paul Hanson, Guilherme Torres, Jose Vazquez; transcribed-Cindy Clark)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Custom Trucks) ROB MACCACHREN, No. 11 (First overall. First in class. Rob MacCachren drove from the start to around race mile 700. Luke McMillin drove to the finish.) – – The race was incredible. It’s an honor to be asked by Luke McMillin and the McMillin Race team to drive with them. I didn’t have any issues at all, just wanted to take care of the truck and give Luke a good truck. Luke did a heck of a job. Everything went as planned. When the previous SCORE Baja 1000 ends you start planning for the next one. This is the one we all want to win. I came down on three separate occasions to pre-run. Luke came down a couple times doing his section. He is a lot like me. We want to win this one bad. He was down here pre-running when the race started. It’s also beautiful. The whole course. Pre-running, the scenery, the sunrises, the sunsets, the beautiful cactus, the food, the people, fans that come out even for pre-running was pretty incredible. It is definitely good to be down here in La Paz again. CO-DRIVER LUKE MCMILLIN said: It was a great day. Rob (MacCachren) brought me a great truck in second place. He got on the radio and told me it was a perfect truck so that put the pressure on me that it’s go time. We did our homework, we did our pre-running. We hit our marks. Zero flat tires, zero close calls. We just stayed on the course and did our thing. That made it fun. Especially when you hear you are picking up time and closing the time gap. We knew if we could just keep it up we would be in pretty good shape. And that is what happened today. We just kept going and going and got our lead up to 41 minutes, but we weren’t doing anything crazy. The spectators were good. The silt wasn’t bad with our AWD. We just cruised.
TAVO VILDOSOLA, No. 21 (Second overall. Second in class. Tavo Vildosola started and drove to race mile 430. Ricky Johnson drove from race mile 430 to race mile 708. Tavo Vildosola drove from race mile 708 to the finish.) – – The course was great. We had absolutely no issues. No flats. We didn’t have to get out of the truck for anything, we stayed in the truck the whole night. This is the time I thought we would finish, around 8:20am. Luke (McMillin) just had a phenomenal day, unfortunately for us. It was tough to catch him. He put a lot of time on us. It took a bit to get used to the AWD but we started second, stayed second and finished second. This wouldn’t be possible without the 150 people who come down here. Everyone from the guy that holds the fire extinguisher or the girl taking times to the guy changing the tires, whatever it is, it’s a team effort and I’m just the driver. We are just proud that everyone is down here and everyone is enjoying it. We finished and you don’t finish every day. We put together a family effort and want to race the SCORE Baja 1000 again. CO-DRIVER RICKY JOHNSON said: We did a short section in the middle to give Tavo a break between race mile 430 and 708. The Mason truck was awesome. The Vildosola Racing gave us a perfect truck. Tavo did an unbelievable job. I am really proud to be part of this team. My section was really fast. You have to be careful passing the bikes; your approach speed is so much faster than them. Safety first. Everything was flawless. With the Mason AWD, the silt was almost non-existent, we just blast right through it.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Third overall. Third in class. Ryan Arciero started and drove the first half. Cameron Steele drove to the finish.) – – Ryan (Arciero) started and kicked butt for us. He brought us in within good striking distance. But then the gap increased from there on out from Luke. We had a good race with Tavo (Vildosola) at the end. We wanted to push harder, but it has been leaning oddly for the last couple hundred miles. I felt more prepared this year than in previous years. In past years I didn’t feel as on it, but this one I was on my game. For the Steele family, it is great to be up here with the McMillin’s and the Vildosola’s. I got food poisoning yesterday and when I got to Loreto, I felt hot and sick. I had to stop and go to the bathroom. Hopefully we didn’t lose by those two minutes. It takes an army to do this; we had 90 people around the Peninsula and almost all of our own pits. We have all spent a month down here. My family has been coming down here since the 70’s. It is incredible to be involved in this. CO-DRIVER RYAN ARCIERO said: I tell you what, the SCORE Baja 1000, especially to La Paz, never disappoints. This is one of the toughest races in the world. To finish it, is a feat. To win it, is a feat. The truck ran perfect. We had a small issue, but didn’t really lose any time. We were hoping the guys in front of us would have more trouble. There was no wind, so the dust just sat there. So where we were hoping to go 130 mph, we could only go 70-80 mph. We saw the moon last night and the eclipse. That was very, very cool. The eclipse at the SCORE Baja 1000 – how cool is that? This is one of the toughest races in the world to compete in. Our support crew was flawless – the Desert Assassins. It takes a team.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Fourth overall. Fourth in class. Jax Redline started the race and drove to race mile 490. Ken Block drove from race mile 490 to race mile 635. Alan Ampudia drove from race mile 635 to the finish.) – – Jax (Redline) had some axle problems, so we lost an hour or so early on. Nothing we could do there. When the night came, we sat in dust the whole time until the morning. The truck ran great, no tire problems. My section was flawless. They killed it in the pits. Thank you to all the volunteers. Thank you to the Block family and the Redline family for having me. I wish we could have finished better, but we had a good time. CO-DRIVER KEN BLOCK said: This is my second time at a SCORE Baja race. My first time was back in 2007 with the Baja Wide-Open crew. I didn’t want to come back until I could do it in a top-level ride. I had great teammates with Jax Redline and Alan Ampudia. They put together a good program for us and unfortunately we had some mechanical issues about 400 miles in. That held us up from being on the podium or potentially winning, but that’s racing. That’s the way it goes. You put in the right effort, have the right set-up for everything and then gremlins just held us back. I was in dust most of my section, but that’s racing; I really enjoyed it. We had good notes from pre-running. Coming from rally, I like to note things too much. My section had some tricky parts but the rest was flat out, which suits my driving style, coming from Rally. I wish we could have been battling for the win, but that’s life.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Fifth overall. Fifth in class. Pat Dean started the race and shared driving duties with Tim Herbst. Troy Herbst drove to the finish.) – – It went pretty well. Pat Dean did an excellent job starting the truck off. We had an uneventful section. We decided to change a driveline before passing off to Troy (Herbst). A lot of dust that slowed us down a little. We have 60 or 70 guys down here helping with a couple of our trucks. We couldn’t do it without them. CO-DRIVER TROY HERBST said: We saw the red lunar eclipse. We had a good day, running hard. We had a couple of issues, but we are here. Our support team is fantastic, Terrible Herbst Racing, Monster, we couldn’t do it without our guys.
JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 4 (Eighth overall. Sixth in class. Josh Daniel started and drove to race mile 500. CJ Hutchins drove from race mile 500 to race mile 935. Justin Matney drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – Josh (Daniel) and CJ (Hutchins) did an excellent job; they were just killing it throughout the night. When I got the truck we had an opportunity to get a top five, but I missed a corner and that cost us the top five. But we are here. We had to change out a few parts here and there, but it will all buff out. It was dusty and smoggy and foggy. No flats. It’s hard to beat these guys. Thank you to Geiser brothers and RPM and the Ampudia’s for awesome stops for us. Those guys are awesome to work with.
ROBBY GORDON, No. 77 (Thirteenth overall. Seventh in class. Robby Gordon started and drove to race mile 220. Steve Strobel drove from race mile 220 to race mile 470. Casey Mears drove from race mile 470 to race mile 623. Robby Gordon drove from race mile 623 to the finish.) – – It went pretty well, but unfortunately we got the truck off the road and that killed us. We didn’t have to put a wrench on it all day. But we did get a double flat. We finished. The truck is tough. It went off a ten-foot cliff and landed it, just ripped the hood off. That was unfortunate because we worked really, really hard. It’s a lot to be able to do this. I thought this was going to be the one. It would have been fun to pull it off in La Paz. But congrats to Luke (McMillin). He and (Bryce) Menzies had a race going. My goal was to be within 15 minutes of them near the end and then see what we got at the end. But unfortunately we were too far behind at that point. CO-DRIVER STEVE STROBEL said: It was a good run. Robby handed the Speed Energy truck off to me in a good position. We caught a double flat so with only a single tire on there we had to manage it and then we fought getting it off, so we had some down time there. It’s hard to overcome that with the competition that is here. Overall, the speed of the truck, that thing’s a rocket ship for a truck. I love driving it. Robby does a nice job with that. Very exciting. I got to have my son, Christian, co-drive with me for the first time in the SCORE Baja 1000. Father-son deal. That was pretty cool. And even for Robby, he is a father-son team too, with Max. Heck of a deal. I was honored to be able to race with Robby. It’s a classic SCORE Baja 1000 race, with the Peninsula run. It throws everything it has at you. One minute you are in rocks, the next minute you are in a sand wash. That’s what we design these things to do. Go through the desert. MAX GORDON said: When we started the truck had no problems at all. We were just cruising, maintaining a pace. We knew Bryce (Menzies) was going to get us a little bit, maybe 30 minutes. Unfortunately, after we passed the truck off to Steve (Strobel), at about 10 miles in he went wide open off a cliff and blew the front end off of it. That cost us about an hour and a half. At the end, we towed Larry Roeseler and that meant a lot to them. All in all, the truck had no problems. Thanks to Casey for prepping the car and thanks to everyone who came out here and helped us. There were people coming from everywhere to help us get to the finish line. We couldn’t do it without them.
LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 (Seventeenth overall. Eighth in class. Larry Roeseler drove solo.) – – I have some stories, it was an amazing day. We started really well, we got by Cameron (Steele) and were running with the pack. On the beach, Dan (McMillin) crashed and Tavo (Vildosola) got by me in the pits. I settled in and we were running a good pace. I pulled back the pace a little since it was only 200 miles in. By the middle of the night, I was fourth physically and was hoping for a podium finish. A podium is like winning the race to me. But then the transmission let go at race mile 980. We were lucky to get it to the BFG pits at 1000 and put in a couple gallons of oil. We kept filling it with oil but it would pour out as fast as we added it. We literally had gallons in Eric’s (Brandt) lap and on the floorboard and between us. He was just pouring oil in and we were just trying to make it to the finish. At the top of the hill with 10 miles to go, it just stopped. Robby (Gordon) came up behind us and stopped and offered to pull us in. He pulled us all the way to the pavement. I have all the respect for him. Really cool that he gave us a few positions to help us. I would still be out there sitting if it weren’t for him. During pre-running, I flew back in a helicopter and just took it all in, looking at Baja and the terrain and what we are so blessed to be able to race through, all the cities, we race by missions built in the 1700’s. It is just amazing. The countryside, the people, the fans everywhere. And to share with the Baja Jerky team and Eric Brandt, who rode the whole way with me. He gets a lot of credit too. I think it is easier to drive than to sit right seat. He did a great job for me. The whole team. Of course we would have like to finish better. But I feel like this was a win. I’ve done some amazing events throughout my career. This one rates up there. This is one I will never forget, the highs and the lows. My family was here waving the checkered flag. That was pretty special. My hat goes off to SCORE and Jose G. and Roger Norman. This has to give them headaches but they pull it off.
DALLAS LUTTRELL, No. 87 (Eighteenth overall. Ninth in class. Dallas Luttrell started and drove to race mile 500. Billy Goerke drove from race mile 500 to race mile 880. Larry Ragland drove from race mile 880 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER LARRY RAGLAND said: It was a great course. A lot of fun. Happy to be here. I haven’t done it for 11 years. Clean run. Collins Motorsports prepped a great truck and Brian Lopez who rode with me. The pits were flawless. We had a good trip. My section was good. Dust and silt beds were a challenge, but we went right through them. It’s the best to come all the way down. They should come all the way down every year. That’s the best.
BOBBY PECOY, No. 14 (Twenty-first overall. Tenth in class. Bobby Pecoy started and drove to race mile 632. Rhys Millen drove from race mile 632 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER RHYS MILLEN said: The course was absolutely amazing. It had every challenge possible, from crazy hill climbs and descents, to salt flats, dry lake beds, rock quarries. Running through the towns is part of what make this so iconic down here, in Baja, going through the missions. The course is exactly what we were looking for – an adventure and a challenge. Unfortunately it got a little bit of the better of us today but we still had a blast and made it to the finish. I’ll take a finish in any position over a DNF any day. There is so many aspects of driving and pre-running and the capabilities of the vehicles and these trucks are phenomenal. I haven’t been in a SCORE Trophy Truck since 2006, since I raced with Roger Norman, so it’s been a fantastic ride to get back into a truck and share it with my co-rider Preston Murray. He did a great job all day long calling notes and keeping me on course. Minus a little bit of the door missing here.
DAVE TAYLOR, No. 26 (Twelfth in class. Dave Taylor started and drove to race mile 350. Sara Price drove from race mile 350 to race mile 930. Taylor drove from race mile 930 to the finish.) – – We had a great day. Had a little trouble right off the bat. The torque converter started slipping and locking up. So we changed out the transmission at race mile 168. That took some time and put us behind but it was the right thing to do. We had a few other challenges after that, like a pile-up around race mile 350 in the silt. So we had to figure out a way around that in the middle of the night. We have some broken suspension parts now so the last 200 miles we had to milk it to just get it here. But we are here and excited about that.
*SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)— ROLF HELLAND, No. 37L (First in class. Jon Walker started and drove to race mile 400. Rick D. Johnson drove from race mile 400 to race mile 825. Rolf Helland drove from race mile 825 to the finish.) – – I feel great about this. It was a great event. This is one of the greatest spectacles in motorsports. We are really fortunate to be able to come down here and run this race. SCORE put on a super race. Roger Norman and Jose G. and the rest of the crew did a terrific job putting on a terrific course. The fans are just amazing down here in Baja. They are just terrific friendly people. Terrific fans. Rick D. Johnson, I couldn’t have had a better partner than him. And my navigator, Mike Valentine, I couldn’t have gotten through that silt without him. I got my air filter plugged up with about 70 to go and that cost us a bunch of time and some positions, but we made it here. I couldn’t be happier, I just couldn’t be. I am very fortunate that I can come down here and do this. My employees back at home, Lucas Oil, VisionX, BFGoodrich Tires. These Mason chassis’ kick ass. Man, I’m really stoked about this. We had a top ten in 2019 I thought it was fluke but maybe it wasn’t. No words can explain what this race is; I think you have to live it. There is nothing like it. It is just amazing.
MARK POST, No. 3L (Third in class. Curt LeDuc started, then Ed Herbst drove, then Mark Post finished.) – – We were down three hours to the leader. We had some problems in the first third. Ed Herbst got in the middle section. I drove the last section. We were able to make up a lot of that, but I had a broken spring and shock for the last 30 miles that cost at least 20 minutes, or they would not have gotten by me. We are happy to be here. This is the SCORE Baja 1000. This is my 32nd SCORE Baja 1000. My first one was in 1972. There is nothing like it. It is magical. We were fortunate in this truck to win the 40th Anniversary SCORE Baja 1000 overall. 1450 miles. The second longest SCORE Baja 1000. We just keep coming back to Baja. There is something about it. I want to thank my team. Between myself and Curt LeDuc and Ed Herbst, we have 185 years of racing. I don’t know if that is experience or stupid. I’m just glad to get her here. She is wounded. I just wanted to get home. It is still Baja. It is still trying to kill you the whole way. I just want to win, but finishing is massive. That was a tough course. I always say it is 1/3 driver, 1/3 prep, maybe more prep than that, and 1/3 support. That truck has to come out of the shop ready to endure 1,250 miles. It is beyond belief what these trucks take all day and all night. It is a beating. Viva Mexico.
CO-DRIVER CURT LEDUC said: It started off a little dusty, a little rough. Then it got more dusty, more rough. Then I handed it off to Eddie Herbst and he did a great job. Then Mark (Post) got in and brought her home. My job was to give them a perfect truck. We had to adjust the lights a little bit. But other than that, Baja is supposed to be tough, and I think SCORE does a great job of making sure it is tough. Some of the things everyone was worried about, like the tractor trail, turned out to be nothing. Except I saw one truck that went off, but he was on his wheels and lights were on. It’s just Baja, it’s legendary, and that’s why people come from all around the world to test themselves and their friends and their families year after year. We watch the sunrise and the sunset. It’s unique. Everyone is being safe. I have been coming for 35 years. I got to come back last year with Ford and the Bronco and now to get a call from Mark to race with the Legends. You forget about the war, but you remember the smiles here in La Paz. I am encouraged by the future of the UTV’s in this sport. Those guys are going to climb the ladder. They are going to bring sponsors and prove how durable and reliable they are. That’s going to help develop a better product for everybody. I was encouraged by hearing that Robby Gordon helped Larry Roeseler. That kind of stuff pays you back. You hear those stories. I heard Robbie Pearce had an accident. That’s part of racing. I’ve crashed everything I’ve ever raced. I’m the man in the steel cage.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)– BRAD WILSON, No. 153 (First in class. Brad Wilson started the race and drove to race mile 470. Ronny Wilson drove from race mile 470 to race mile 750. Justin Munyon drove from race mile 750 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER JUSTIN MUNYON said: Brad Wilson started and had a good run and handed it off at the Bay of LA third car on the road. His dad, Ronnie, got in and drove to San Juanico and handed it off to me in second. We had a good run but then lost an alternator so we had to change it. Then we were in the dust and came over a rise and went like 40 feet in the air and nosed in and somehow pulled it off. The throttle cable ended up getting stuck so I pulled into one of our pits and got a bungy cord and bungy corded it back from race mile 1,120 to the finish. But we are here. Long day. We got one rear flat. That was all me. I clobbered a rock, trying to push and make up time. It looks like second place it is. Big thanks to everyone at Wilson Motorsports, all of our pit guys. They did phenomenal pits all day long. BFGoodrich Tires, Method race wheels, King Shocks, VisionX lighting, DirtBags Off-road, Adam Wicks engines. Our engine ran flawless all day long. Doug Fortin transmissions. Everybody that helps us on this car, I appreciate it. I appreciate the Wilsons giving me the opportunity to drive for them.
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 100 (Second in class. Cody Parkhouse started and drove to race mile 600. Joe David drove from race mile 600 to race mile 883. Brian Parkhouse drove from race mile 883 to the finish) – – It’s the SCORE Baja 1000. Even if it’s a fast SCORE Baja 1000, it’s still a long day. We had a clean run. We are really excited. We won our first SCORE Baja 1000 last year but it was a loop race and now it looks like we won this Peninsula run and it means that much more. This Is how it all started so it means more. There were fans everywhere, it was awesome. They were cheering for us. We had a good clean run.
MASON CULLEN, No. 105 (Third in class. Mason Cullen started and drove to race mile 352. Cade Garcia drove from race mile 352 to race mile 500. Broc Dickerson drove from race mile 500 to race mile 952. Matt Cullen drove from race mile 952 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER CADE GARCIA said: It has been crazy from start to finish, especially with the competition so tight. The top three Class 1’s all ran at a fast pace. Mason Cullen started fourth and worked his way to physical second. Handed to car off to me. I kept it in physical second and handed it off to Broc (Dickerson). They had one issue and the Wilsons got around us. But here we are and it looks like we got third place. The competition was tough, but Baja was tougher. This is my first SCORE Baja 1000, my first Peninsula run. I am super honored for the opportunity to run a Class 1 car. Thank you to all the family and crew members that come out to make it happen.
SHELBY REID, No. 168 (Fourth in class. Adam Pfankuch started then Cody Reid drove then Shelby Reid drove to the finish.) – – It was a long day. Adam Pfankuch did real good. Then Cody (Reid) has been driving his butt off. We had a lot of brake problems but the car ran good. I want to thank everybody that has been helping us. BFG. We didn’t have any flats all day. Raceline Wheels, Lucas Oil. Wicks Racing engines, everyone that helped us. Baja Designs lights. The lights were awesome.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) ELIJAH KIGER, No. 238 (First in class. Elijah Kiger started and drove to race mile 440. Jason Coleman drove from race mile 440 to race mile 890. Sean Bogdan drove from race mile 890 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER SEAN BOGDAN said: Elijah got a good start and was able to get around two trucks. I got in around race mile 890 when the silt started. We had good luck through there and got around a couple of trucks stuck in the silt. After that we motored through the fog and watched the sunrise. At the last pit we pulled off the hood. We have been pre-running for three weeks. Big shout out to our pit crew for chasing us all week, back and forth to Ensenada, week in and week out, day and night. Thanks to Collins for prepping this truck, TSCO, Vance, my father-in-law for getting us down here and be able to race. TK, without him we wouldn’t be here. Everybody. There are so many to thank. Congratulations to everyone who crosses the podium. It’s a heck of a race and anyone that finishes, congratulations.
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 258 (Second in class. Dustin Grabowski started and drove to race mile 500. Justin Davis drove from race mile 500 to the finish.) – – We lost the hood along the way; it decided to take flight. We lost a body panel, but overall we had a pretty good day. We had a couple flats that set us back a little bit and we got caught up in the dust and the traffic. Sometimes the luck isn’t on your side. But we are glad to be here. We will see what happens. I need to thank Jason at the shop who preps the truck. He does a phenomenal job. Everybody. The whole crew. They did a phenomenal job today. We look forward to next year.
JORGE SANPIETRO, No. 200 (Third in class. Jorge SanPietro started the race and drove to race mile 635. Santiago Creel drove from race mile 635 to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER SANTIAGO CREEL said: It started really well. We got the lead around mile 400 and held it until race mile 900. Then I got stuck in the silt and lost about 20 minutes and several guys in my class passed me. When I got unstuck I passed a couple back. At the end I don’t know what position I finished. It was really good. We need to see how the Championship plays out. The course was great, I loved ir, especially for these cars.
RYAN HANCOCK, No. 228 (Fourth in class. Ryan Hancock started and drove to race mile 370. Brock Heger drove from race mile 370 to race mile 700. Eric Dondell drove from race mile 700 to the finish.) – – It was tough. It was 24 hours. Probably one of the toughest races I’ve ever done. We had some brake issues around race mile 250. If we didn’t have those problems, we would have been right there. Overall the guys killed it today and the truck drove flawless. It was rough everywhere. It was a tough course. Just glad to make it here.
JEFF BADER, No. 261 (Fifth in class. Dan Fresh started and drove to race mile 680. Jeff Bader drove from race mile 680 to the finish.) – – It was definitely a long race. We got in at race mile 680. Dan started fourth and got it to first by about mile 100 but unfortunately our second alternator caught on fire so that put us down a little bit but he was still battling. We got in the truck in second place and then we had a steering issue. We changed the power steering pump but that wasn’t the problem, it was in the rack, so we wasted about a half hour there. Then we missed the serpentine belt on the alternator so we only made it about 30 miles until we only had six volts of power so we had to get out and re-route that. So we lost about an hour and a half between those three issues. But the second half, a lot of whoops, fast, good fun course, silt. We ran through so much silt that out air cleaner got clogged and we could only go about 40 miles an hour. So we had to replace it. But anytime you can finish a SCORE Baja 1000 we are super happy. We are three for three. Not quite the finish I had last time, which was first, but at least we finished and we are happy with a fifth place. We put in a ton of work. By the time I get home I won’t have seen my family for three weeks. Shout out to my wife for supporting me in this endeavor, and my kids.
JASON McNEIL, No. 234 (Sixth in class. Jason McNeil started and drove to race mile 430. Tyler McNeil drove race mile 430 to race mile 920. Jason McNeil drove race mile 920 to the finish.) – – We’re happy to be here, it was a rough course. We lost the transmission early, which costed us two and a half ours, and that put us behind a lot of classes which were difficult to pass in the night and the dust. We didn’t get past them before the final 500 miles and that made the race a lot more difficult. I believe we could have won the race if it wasn’t for it, but we managed to win the Championship, so that’s nice.
PIERCE HERBST, No. 264 (Ninth in class. Thor Herbst started and drove to race mile 500. Pierce Herbst went from race mile 500 to race mile 935. Riley Herbst drove from race mile 935 to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER RILEY HERBST said: It was very eventful. Not my section, but for our other driving partners. But we got it down and late this morning and me and Jordan Dean rallied back to a pretty good finish. We are happy for sixth. Obviously we came here to win so other than that it’s kind of a failure. But all in all, it was fun to be down here in Baja and for the Peninsula run. We had the pace to run with the leaders, but we got stuck in the silt early on.
CHELSEA MAGNESS, No. 232 (Fourteenth in class. Chelsea Magness started and drove to race mile 350. Matt Robinson drove from race mile 350 to race mile 680. Mike McNaughton drove from race mile 680 to race mile 1050. Magness drove from race mile 1050 to the finish.) – – It was brutal. It was a long day. I started and drove all the way to race mile 350 then passed it off to my husband, Matt (Robinson). I got back in at race mile 1,050 and it was pretty smooth. Had a little hang-up in the silt. It was awesome. We limped it home and finished. CO-DRIVER MATT ROBINSON said: It was intense, hard. It was a lot. It was fun.
CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters) ETHAN HAGLE, No. 1046 (First in class. Vic Bruckmann started and drove to race mile 302. Ben Hagle drove race mile 302 to race mile 846. Ethan Hagle drove race mile 846 to the finish.) – – We went to hell and back on this race and now that we’re at the finish, I guess it’s heaven. My dad has won the Peninsula run I believe in 1986 in Class 10 and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to do it as well. It almost brings a tear to my eye to be here, I can’t believe it. This race is incredibly challenging in everything that it takes going into it, the preparation, the team, the yelling at each other in the radio. But then when we get it down here to Baja and see the great people here, it’s all worth it. This race is once in a million and I hope I get to do it again someday.
ELISIO GARCIA, No. 1075 (Second in class. Eliseo Garcia started and drove to race mile 445. Javier Montoya, Sr. drove from race mile 445 to race mile 935. Javier Montoya Jr. drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – It was Javier Montoya Jr.’s first race in the car. He did great and defended second place. It was tough. It was a great course. It had everything. Everything you could ask for. It was an adventure. We spent three week pre-running, each team ran their section four times. Javier and his son live here in La Paz so they know everything down here. I think they are really proud of what they did. It was great.
MATT WINSLOW, No. 1081 (Third in class. Matt Winslow started and drove to race mile 370. Zachary Summers drove from race mile 370 to race mile 705. Todd Winslow drove from race mile 705 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER TODD WINSLOW said: Matt (Winslow) had some issues in the first part of the race but they persevered and got it to Zach (Summers) on lap 370. They basically went through the night. They did extremely well. I was taking a nap and was surprised when they called and told me they were only 50 miles away. Then I got in with Kyle (Krikorian) and we drove to the finish, 520 miles. I turn 57 years old in two weeks so this was a nice accomplishment to finish this. They threw everything at us in that 500 miles. There was 100 miles of sand whoops. We just drove as hard as we could chasing the 1075. They are really good drivers and they know the area, it seems. We had a great battle with them for about six hours. We finished a minute behind them, but they started behind us so they got a well-deserved second place. We are happy to finish third. I got a hard-working team here. They did a heck of a job. We are thankful to finally log a Peninsula run.
FREDDIE WILLERT, No. 1006 (Fourth in class. Stan Potter started and drove to race mile 440. Tex Mitchell drove from race mile 440 to race mile 847. Freddie Willert drove from race mile 847 to the finish.) – – I did the last Peninsula run, but the middle section. This time I did the last section. It has not gotten any easier. It’s a tough, tough race. It’s an awesome feeling to be down here again. We were going for a Championship. We were leading in points coming into this. But unfortunately it looks like we are not going to get it. We will see how everything shakes out. It was a good run.
HIRAM DURAN, No. 1016 (Fifth in class. Eric Duran started and drove to race mile 405. Evan Duran Jr. drove race mile 405 to race mile 890. Hiram Duram drove race mile 890 to the finish.) – – Eric managed to get the physical lead at the start of the race, but he got stuck and handed the car over in second. We were fighting with the other two cars all the day and Evan gave me the car just a minute behind the first-placed. I got to pass them but with 105 miles to go we got some issues with our GPS and the cars that were behind got to us. We got hit by one of them and that led to an electrical issue. We ended up losing a lot of time to get things in place and despite doing really well at the end, couldn’t regain the lead. We were fighting for the Championship but unfortunately that finish won’t get us there. But we know we can’t always win and we’re happy we made it to the end.
TY GODDE, No. 1049 (Sixth in class. Ty Godde started and drove to race mile 175. Steve Hext drove from race mile 175 to race mile 500. Gabe Giuntori drove from race mile 500 to race mile 635. Godde drove from race mile 635 to race mile 1000. Steve Hext drove from race mile 1000 to the finish.) – – We had a long staging. My wife actually rode with me the first 175 miles. She has never ridden with me before. It was a good time. I think we started 21st. When I got out we were second on time and 10th on the road. We had a nice big push. When nightfall hit, then we got bottle necked. We broke a wheel. When I got out at race mile 1,000, I was beat. This car was brand new before the SCORE Baja 500. It has taken about a year to get all the things worked out. It should be dialed in and ready for the 2022 SCORE San Felipe 250. All the wives are flying to Cabo right now. We have a van coming to pick us up right now and we are on our way to join the wives in Cabo.CO-DRIVER STEVE HEXT said: This was super fast. Great. Way too much silt, but smoother than the SCORE Baja 500. This is the greatest race on earth to come all the way down to La Paz. We stayed up all night driving. We are glad to be here in La Paz, celebrating with everyone. Thank you to SCORE for putting this on. We are going to keep coming back.
ROBERTO ROMO, No. 1062 (Seventh in class. Roberto Romo started and drove to race mile 300. Roberto Romo Jr. drove race mile 300 to race mile 560. Cesar Fiscal drove race mile 560 to race mile 850. Rodimiro Amaya drove race mile 850 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER RODIMIRO AMAYA said: It was a long day for us. We first had an electrical issue that put us two hours behind and when we were making up for the lost time, we had a problem in our front suspension that required us to get some parts replaced. After that, we still had to replace our transmission too. But the goal was to make it to the end and we did it. Being mentally strong plays a big part in doing well in a race like this and we’re fortunate to have a team with people who have racing in their blood. Nothing would stop us today. Finishing the race was an accomplishment for us.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs) JEFF PROCTOR, No. 709 (First in class. Jeff Proctor, Alexander Rossi, Richard Glaszczak, Steve Hengeveld) – – I don’t even know where to start. Baja is tough as everybody knows. There is a reason why this is the toughest race in the world. SCORE puts on an incredible, world-wide event. We are just so thrilled to be here. I can’t thank SCORE enough for putting on such an amazing event. As you know, these races, they start in the race shop. They start with prep. They start with logistics. They start with planning. They start with countless hours of strategizing to get an entire team down here. And to be here at the finish line, first in our class, is just…I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say other than all the hard work we put in, so many guys, put in so much effort. I can’t thank those guys enough. This race is for them. And then after you put in all the effort, to link all the dots, for 24 to 30 hours, and to execute that plan and to overcome challenges to be here…it is really hard to put into words. Everything that goes on, the emotions during the race, the highs, the lows, the “oh no, is this going to put us out”, “OK, we are winning now, we have a sizeable lead….oh wait…” the highs and lows. It is just an emotional rollercoaster getting down here to La Paz. And to finally be here, it is tough to articulate my thoughts. A point-to-point race, this is a special one for us to win. We have won the SCORE Baja 1000 before, it is always special to win the SCORE Baja 1000, you are never going to discount that. But when you win a Peninsula run, and you win it straight up and you beat your competition, this is where it is at. The third longest race in the history. Gosh, it feels so good to be here. We are going to go celebrate with our crew and with Honda. We had the President of HPD, which is the racing division that builds our race car, in Ensenada for the start. He watched the start but had to get back to the office. I’m going to make a phone call here in a minute. This is our seventh SCORE Baja 1000 representing the Ridgeline and American Honda. We want to push on for another decade of this program and make Honda a part of this sport. CO-DRIVER ALEXANDER ROSSI said: It was a good race. I drove the graveyard stint from 3am to 9am, so it was pretty tough going out to the Coast with the fog. The Honda Ridgeline was easy to drive and it ran really well. It was a smooth day for us. The pace of the truck was good. We had no down time. That’s what makes it smooth for everyone. This is my first point-to-point race. This is a different animal than the loop races in Ensenada. I had a good time. I love racing here. I love coming down to Mexico. I love the excitement of the fans. It’s unlike anything else. I feel very lucky to be here. It doesn’t compare to other forms of racing, I do except for the four wheels and an engine. There is a learning curve for me coming from open wheel circuit racing. When I first got a taste of it in 2018 I loved it and I’m glad we are able to do this journey with Honda and Jeff and the whole team and finally get Honda the coveted SCORE Baja 1000 win.
DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (Second in class. Dan Chamlee drove solo.) – – I drove from start to finish. I had five or six co-drivers. It was rocky and rough and bumpy and all through the night we couldn’t see the tip of my hood. My visibility was horrible. Killed my average speed. I just couldn’t see. I got to do something different for driving in the dust. We never had any issues with our BFGoodrich Tires. King Shocks were nice and smooth. Full Throttle batteries, best batteries. I am so happy with them. I was glad we finally got to do a Peninsula run.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs) PHIL BLURTON, No. 2944. (First in class. Phil Blurton started and drove to race mile 430. Beau Judge drove from race mile 430 to race mile 1,000. Phil Blurton drove from race mile 1,000 to the finish) – – It was a pretty flawless SCORE Baja 1000. It was our first one ever so we didn’t know what to expect. There were some bottlenecks; we sat for many 20 minutes at one point. Then we cruised along the rest of the day. We pre-ran a bunch and I think that helped. We raced all the whole SCORE series this year to get used to racing in Mexico and it seems like that paid off for us. The course was really fun. When we first pre-ran, it was a lot smoother but it got a lot more beat up by the end of today. But it was a super fun course. A little bit of everything. I could do without those whoops at the end though.
BRANDEN SIMS, No. 2969 (Second in class. Branden Sims started and drove to race mile 465. Eric Morgan drove from race mile 465 to race mile 935. Sims drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – We had a small little mishap with an electrical issue on that last section. We got it fixed and back out on the course and continued on. We were running in second place at that point. Then Wes (Miller) got back in front of us and we battled him from that point all the way to the end. It was pretty epic. This is the first time that I ever done the Peninsula run so it’s cool to come down and have a great showing on my first try, with no pre-running after the first hundred miles.
WES MILLER, No. 2989 (Third in class. Wes Miller started and drove to race mile 444. Dodge Poelman drove from race mile 444 to race mile 935. Miller drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – I selected a rear start so we were 27th off the line. My goal was to be methodical and work our way through. We knew it was a long race and wanted to keep the car in one piece. I was surprised. We got through the pack pretty quick and got to top ten quickly. We had a long pit and three guys got by then we got stuck in dust and then we got in a bottle neck around race mile 280 and we probably lost 20 minutes there. That let Phil (Blurton) get away and he built a gap up and I knew that would be hard to close. The course was fun, it got chewed up, it was rocky in some areas and silty in some areas and then fast in some spots. There was a good mix. Branden Sims and I had a good battle all day long. He got by when we were in a pit. We tucked in behind him. It was hard to pass. But then we got by him and I knew it would be hard for him to pass us back so I kept the hammer down. I am happy but we have the goal of winning. I’ve never won a Peninsula race. I think I’ve gotten second and third, but I need to win one of these. Next time.
JASON MURRAY, No. 2917 (Fourth in class. Derek Murray started and drove to race mile 400. Cole Freiday drove from race mile 400 to race mile 935. Jason Murray drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – The SCORE Baja 1000 Peninsula race was awesome this year. It was a somewhat fast course compared to years past. The car was running really good. With about 300 miles to go, the front diff fell out of the car. We had to hogtie it up and weld it together. It stayed together for a little bit but then we pushed it too hard and just had two-wheel drive at the end. So we couldn’t push as hard as if we had 4WD. But we made it, that’s what it is about. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and our guys. They work super hard to get the car here. They work super hard pre-running. They work super hard during the race. Even though we didn’t make the podium I am super stoked just to be down here celebrating with the guys in La Paz.
MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (Fifth in class. Bernie Gomez started and drove to race mile 400. Marc Burnett drove from race mile 400 to race mile 1000. Cowboy Ceroni drove from race mile 1000 to the finish) – – This was the first time I ever had anyone else drive my car. My friend Bernie gave me the car in 17th position. It’s the first time I haven’t iron-manned, but the guys did a good job. Brought it home clean. I had my own fair share of problems, but overall we came in and tried as hard as we could and the car stayed together. Beside the fire, it was pretty crazy, but we are here though.
JOHN KAWELL, No. 2958 (Sixth in class. John Kawell started and drove to race mile 351. Jeff Kawell drove from race mile 351 to race mile 710. John drove from race mile 710 to race mile 936. Jeff drove from 935 to the finish) – – I started and my wife co-rode with me all the way. This was one of her bucket-list items. She was a rock star and hung in tough the whole way. It was a good run. It was rough in some spots. Off the start, I didn’t know what pace to set. I’ve never raced a side by side down here. I used to race back in the day in a Class 12 car. I got behind (Matt) Burroughs and he was crawling through some rough stuff so I just crawled with him. And then when it sped up, we sped up. I’ve never driven a car so slow. Just up and down, up and down through some rollers. We lost turbo right at the start, so we didn’t have that the whole way.
P.J. JONES, No. 2998 (Seventh in class. P.J. Jones started and drove to race mile 400. Kyle Vestermark drove from race mile 400 to race mile 935. Jones drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – This was a lot of fun. We were running with the lead pack until about race mile 500. Then we broke a front differential. It took a while to get the driveline off. We lost about 2 hours. So that pretty much dashed our hopes for a top 3. Other than that, we just cruised on down. It was a tough course. A lot of silt. Really nice in some areas. Rocky and whoopy in other areas. Great course. A lot of fun. I wish we could do more Peninsula runs, not just every 4 years.
BRANDON SCHUELER, No. 2919 (Ninth in class. Cayden MacCachren started and drove to race mile 633. Pat Stone drove from race mile 633 to race mile 845. Brandon Schueler drove from race mile 845 to the finish.) – – Our section was rough and I loved it. It tried our car, it tried our team. I am happy to be here. We had a nasty washout but the car handled it great. The 100 miles of whoops were out of control but that’s a Peninsula race for you.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single – 1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc) DOUG SATTERFIELD, No. 1229 (First in class. Doug Satterfield started and drove to race mile 351. Robby Kennedy drove from race mile 351 to race mile 633. Scott drove from race mile 633 to race mile 931. Satterfield drove from race mile 931 to the finish.) – – I think this gives us the Championship. This is my first point to point SCORE Baja 1000. This is a milestone. This is different terrain. The first part I was used to from the loop races. Coming down to La Paz adds to the whole experience.
MIGUEL CORTEZ, No. 1205 (Second in class. Miguel Cortez started and drove to race mile 200. Hugo Zerecero drove race mile 200 to race mile 400. Mario Aguilar drove race mile 400 to race mile 600. Daniel Reyes Jr. drove race mile 600 to race mile 900. Victor Valenzuela drove race mile 900 to the finish.) – – It was a really difficult race. The course was very challenging, especially the final 25 miles, which were truly brutal. We’re super excited to be here. Not many racers get to the finish line of the SCORE Baja 1000 and we’re fortunate to be among them. We have a great team and are thankful for the support of our sponsors.
LEE BANNING, No. 1248 (Third in class. Lee Banning started and drove to race mile 200. Cory Boyer drove from race mile 200 to race mile 460. Rob Martinsen drove from race mile 460 to race mile 700. Rick Graf drove from race mile 700 to race mile 935. Lee Banning Jr. drove from race mile 935 to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER LEE BANNING JR said: It was a tough course from start to finish. It threw a little bit of everything at us. As usual, SCORE put together a challenging race course. It was a lot of fun. This was the first race for this car in 10 years. We won this race in 2011 and took it home and washed it and parked it. We decided to pull it out and run it on its 10th anniversary and she is like she’s been racing the whole time. She’s perfect. Having all our guys where they needed to be has been the biggest challenge. We are thankful we can do it.
PRO UTV (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs) ELIAS HANNA, No. 1920 (First in class. Elias Hanna started and drove to race mile 400. Bobby Smith drove from race mile 400 to race mile 634. Eric Kozin drove from race mile 634 to race mile 934. Hanna drove from race mile 934 to the finish.) – – This is my favorite race. Today I won my sixth SCORE Baja 1000 and my third Peninsula run. We ran a faster pace through the night because we didn’t have any dust. We started tenth off the line but took the lead on corrected time soon after. We never left the lead after that. I was pushing so hard at the end because I knew (Kaden) Wells was coming in fast. So we pushed.
KADEN WELLS, No. 1995 (Second in class. Kaden Wells started and drove to race mile 630. Travis Wells drove from race mile 630 to race mile 890. Kaden drove from race mile 890 to the finish.) – – We were leading until we got a flat tire at about race mile 200. We got back in the lead around race mile 300. Then we ended up getting hit by a truck. That didn’t help our day at all. I think it messed up our chassis a little bit. We overcame a couple other little issues. I got out and gave the car to my dad, Travis (Wells) and my uncle Arnie, around race mile 630. I got back in around race mile 890. We lost a tire. Then a trailing arm. Got that changed and made it to the finish. My first time to Mexico was the Peninsula run in 2017, but we only made it to race mile 600. We had parts failure. It was cool that even though we had issues, we still finished on the podium. It was a long enough race.
JOE BOLTON, No. 1957 (Third in class. Joe Bolton started and drove to race mile 350. Auston Bolton drove from race mile 350 to race mile 700. Dana Jones drove from race mile 700 to race mile 935. Mike Leslie drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER MIKE LESLIE said: This Peninsula run is great. I ran my first one 30 years or so ago. It is nice to be able to come back and finish this race. We had a couple little problems, clutches, my co-rider helped me a lot.
CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) ELI YEE, No. 1600 (First in class. Eli Yee started and drove to race mile 650. Alexander Corona drove from race mile 650 to the finish.) – – I started and was in first place for about 150 miles, then we were in second place. At race mile 936, we took first place again. We were very happy. No problems, no flats. This should give us our second Championship in a row. This is my 27th SCORE Baja 1000. I prefer the Peninsula races.
KEVIN SANCHEZ, No. 1621 (Second in class. Kevin Sanchez started and drove to race mile 150. Bud Ward drove from race mile 150 to race mile 300. Abraham Gutierrez drove from race mile 300 to race mile 500. Neri Sanchez drove from race mile 500 to race mile 600. Chris Sanchez drove from race mile 600 to race mile 935. Fernie Padilla drove from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER FERNIE PADILLA said: The race was awesome. I did Loreto to the finish. I got the car in second, only 5 seconds from first. But unfortunately we didn’t get it. My section was fun. I had a blast. There was rough sections and smooth, fast sections.
RUBEN OSUNA GALLARDO, No. 1699 (Third in class. Ruben Osuna Gallardo started and drove to race mile 250. Omar Iniguez drove from race mile 250 to race mile 530. Emilio Salcido drove from race mile 530 to race mile 750. Fernando Flores drove from race mile 750 to race mile 1050. Gallardo drove from race mile 1050 to the finish.) – – 1200 miles is difficult, I don’t know how we did it. It’s a dream come true. Not everyone can say they raced the SCORE Baja 1000 and finished third. I am very thankful. Not even one flat. We were in fourth, but 70 miles ago we passed for third. The course was horrible, especially the last 20 miles. We just wanted to make it to the end.
PRO STOCK UTV (Stock UTV’s FI or NA) — MIKE CAFRO, No. 3955 (First in class. Mike Cafro shared driving duties with Adan Ibarra.) – – The course was very long. A peninsula run is always very challenging, whether it’s pitting or driving or chasing. The whole thing is challenging. It’s no different than any one, honestly. They are all hard. I almost threw it away in the last 40 miles. I went off a drop-off and almost rolled, but we saved it. These Polaris RZR’s are awesome.
SCOTT TRAFTON, No. 3950 (Second in class. Scott Trafton started and drove to race mile 350. Marc Behnke drove from race mile 350 to race mile 760. Trafton drove from race mile 760 to the finish.) – – This was a huge accomplishment. This was my first tip to tip. I have done a loop SCORE Baja 1000. We are super stoked to be here. He had some visibility issues due to dust. We got here. I think that locks up second for the Championship. Our Polaris RZR was really good, it was awesome. It’s always a war zone at first. We beat Baja again and look forward to doing it again next year.
SCOTT BERGEN, No. 3908 (Fourth in class. Brock Kelly started and drove to race mile 250. Scott Bergen drove race mile 250 to race mile 600. Kelly drove race mile 620 to race mile 925. Bergen drove race mile 925 to the finish.) – – It meant a lot. This is my first SCORE Baja 1000 finish and unofficial third overall. So it’s pretty special. Nothing went right. We had brake issues, four flat tires, overheating issues, you name it, we combatted it. The challenge is unbelievable. The last 100 miles were brutal. We just got here on willpower.
CLASS 4700 (Jeepspeed 4700) ANDREW HULSE, No. 4733 (First in class. Andrew Hulse started and drove to race mile 433. Mike Kraft drove from race mil 433 to race mile 834. Wayne Guidinger drove from race mile 834 to the finish). – – The first miles were fun. We are passing a bunch of vehicles. But then it got brutal. Slow, rough. The coast was beautiful. Mike Kraft had a little barrel roll so we have no more body panels. So that took a couple of hours. Then they got buried in silt. We have been racing for two years as part of our wolf pack team. I can’t say enough about my crew. We got Pam from Canada. We have all three countries in North America covered. My first race was the SCORE Baja 2000. I finished that in 56 hours. But this course was ten times harder. It was one of the hardest courses I’ve ever done and I’ve been racing for over 20 years.
PRO UTV OPEN (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement) — JUSTIN ELENBERG, No. 1870 (First in class. Mike York started and drove to race mile 395, Justin Elenberg drove from race mile 395 to race mile 700. Ernesto Taylor drove from race mile 700 to race mile 1053. Elenberg drove from race mile 1053 to the finish.) – – I started at race mile 395 and drove to race mile 700. Then got back in at race mile 1053 after getting some sleep in the back seat of a car and took it home for the win. What an amazing ride. The shock therapy suspension on this Can-Am, just having the multiple selections and the LoneStar suspension, just everything held together. It was so amazing. It is a love-hate relationship. The peninsula run, you prepare for months, almost a year to get things done. It’s so stressful but when you get there and are in the mix and are actually doing it, it is so much fun, it is so exciting. It’s so much of a challenge. I don’t think many people ever really get to do something so challenging. To be a part of this has been a dream come true. It has been on my bucket list for years to be able to win the SCORE Baja 1000.
TYLER BACKUS, No. 1885 (Second in class. Tyler Backus started and drove to race mile 400. Ty Rejewski drove from race mile 400 to race mile 800. Backus drove from race mile 800 to race mile 1000. Rejewski drove from race mile 1000 to race mile 1200. Backus drove from race mile 1200 to the finish.) – – It was insane. It has been a long day. It was epic. This is the second time I’ve done this. We did it in 2014. It was fun. It was good.
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 1872 (Third in class. Wayne Matlock started and drove to race 465. Josh Row drove from race mile 465 to race mile 932. Matlock drove from race mile 932 to the finish.) – – It went well. We had a good finish. Our goal was to get this car to the end. It is a brand new car for Polaris. We wanted to race a car with stock components, stock drivetrain, stock suspension and here it is, sitting here. The car has a ton of potential. Just a few things we got to work on, but it has a ton of potential. It is extremely fast. The course was fun, rough. It’s always rough. It is supposed to be rough. It is Baja.
CLASS 3 (Short wheelbase 4X4 based on production vehicles) – CESAR GUTIERREZ, No. 319 (First in class. Cesar Gutierrez drove solo.) – It was a very difficult race, we had several issues to deal with – we had to replace some parts and even tilted the car. We haven’t slept in two days and we were really looking forward to get to the finish line. I just want to thank the entire team, our drivers and co-drivers, mechanics and sponsors and also my family, especially my wife, who understood I needed to be here even after our baby was born last week.
CLASS 5 -1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs) — DON CHASE, No. 523 (First in class. Travis Chase started and shared driving duties with Arrow and Chris Schweers. Don Chase drove from race mile 1000 to the finish.) – – We are really excited to be here. We anticipated taking 34 hours to get here. We are here in 28 hours. This car is flawless. We did go into limp mode a couple of times and we had to reset the computer. Other than that, it just didn’t miss a beat all day long. I’ve been racing since 1983. This is the first SCORE Baja 1000 win. And that’s what is going on my obituary.
BAJA CHALLENGE (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich tires) — JOHN WILLIAMS, No. BC1 (First in class. Kyle Tucker and John Williams started. Then Brian Finch drove. Then Brad Lovell. Lance Clifford drove to the finish, ) – – CO-DRIVER LANCE CLIFFORD said; It was amazing. It was a super tough race. 1,227 miles. The longest La Paz race I’ve ever done. The car worked great. We had zero flat tires. These are off-the-shelf BFGoodrich mud terrains that you can buy at any store. I can’t say enough about BFGoodrich and their support of the sport and the pits and of us to come out here and show that these tires are tough. We knew when we pre-ran that the silt would be worse on race day and it was. We just kept the hammer down through the silt. Couldn’t see anything. But it was fun. I am exhausted. I did 400 miles and I’m pretty beat up. I respect those guys that can ironman it. That is really tough.
EDWARD MUNCEY, No. BC4 (Fourth in class. Edward Muncey, Roger Norman, Fran Muncey, Don Norman.) – – We had a killer race. Our family drove. We had a long race, but we had some mechanical problems right at the beginning and at the end, but we made it. Wide Open always finishes. We finished but it wasn’t without resilience, especially from our Wide Open team. CO-DRIVER ROGER NORMAN said: My mom started the race. She had a great time. She was super nervous about racing off-road but she did it. She pre-ran her section. She did a great job. She did it perfectly. Then my sister took over. She ran flawless. Then my niece took over and she was flawless. No flat tires. Everybody did a fabulous job. My brother, Ed Muncey, and Joe did the brunt of the work. They put in the miles. They spent the night out there in the desert. We had the most time on course! I don’t know if there is anyone behind us. My mom is in the American Motorsports Hall of Fame. There is only 10 women and she is in there with some of the most famous women in the world. My step-father died in an accident and he always asked her to continue on and keep the team going no matter what. She did it with flying colors. She won seven Gold Cups and five Championships and I couldn’t be prouder of her for being nominated into the Hall of Fame. We make two or three big move each years with SCORE. Big investments. Every single thing we have done has been worth it. A lot of things we have done has saved lives. That was the whole reason I got into this sport. I made best friends with a guy by running him over. He and I worked real hard to make changes in this sport as far as making a Sportsman shortcut and it didn’t work out so I bought the sport and made the change and nobody has died from being run over. So that’s a huge accomplishment. Wide Open Baja is amazing because you have a chase car and mechanics, spare engines and transmissions. What an epic moment this whole race has been, for me and my family and having my mom and dad and the fact that they are the oldest competitors to ever attempt this and the fact that they wanted to do it is amazing. They had a great time. They both pre-ran their sections.
CLASS 7SX (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks) – RIGOBERTO CAZARES, No. 750 (Fourth in class. Rigoberto Cazares shared driving duties with Hector Cazares.) – – We finished in a good rhythm. We were behind a few cars before the final portion but caught them and finished really well. It was a very difficult race. It’s our fifth SCORE Baja 1000 and even though we had completed the course before, it was the first time we did it on time. We’re really happy for that.
CLASS 3000/Trophy Lite (short wheelbase, production, 2.2/2.4-liter Ecotec engine) — JOHN SLAVIC, No. 6076 (Second in class. John Slavic started and shared driving duties with Jonathan Slavic and others.) – – This is our first effort. We started two cars so one can support the other. The terrain was satisfying and that we got to conquer the difficult parts of the SCORE Baja 1000 that I had only heard about and finally got to experience. We started five years ago to have a goal to compete in the SCORE Baja 1000. The Cobbs helped us, we are very grateful for all they have done for us. CO-DRIVER JONATHAN SLAVIC said: It was an awesome course. We held it together. I have no idea how. Very well built. Huge team effort. We had two trucks but one broke and we had to push it across. CO-DRIVER ELLIOTT SLAVIC said: This is the first time a Trophy Lite has ever finished a SCORE Baja 1000.
CLASS 11 (stock VW sedans, safety modifications) HECTOR MARTINEZ, No. 1145 (First in class. Porfirio Gutierrez started and drove to race mile 250. Hector Martinez drove race mile 250 to race mile 400. Hector Mayrez drove race mile 400 to race mile 700. Hector Sarabia drove race mile 700 to race mile 1,050. Salomon Gutierrez drove race mile 1,050 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER HECTOR SARABIA said: I’ve been racing for 40 years and had this dream of winning this race, but hadn’t been able to do it before. I’ve won the SCORE Baja 1000 four times before, but always as a loop race, never when it ended here in La Paz. I had decided this would be the last year I’d try it and we finally did it. And to do it now, with my nephew behind the wheels, it’s just amazing. It wasn’t easy, our transmission broke just 20 kilometers away from the finish line and we were really tense as we didn’t know if we’d be able to finish the race. But that’s part of the SCORE Baja 1000, anything can happen.
JESUS ORTIZ, No. 1104 (Second in class. Jesus Ortiz started and drove to race mile 150. Carlos Salgado drove race mile 150 to race mile 300. Gustavo Leon drove race mile 300 to race mile 700. Jorge Mendoza drove race mile 700 to race mile 920. Juan Peralta drove race mile 920 to race mile 1,080. Jesus Ortiz drove race mile 1,080 to the finish.) – – It was difficult. It took us more than 40 hours to get here and we’re really tired. We had to make quite a few stops to fix things, but we’re here, which is what matters. The entire race was a battle between the Class 11 cars. The top four cars got a little edge at the start of the race, but when we were about halfway here the ones who were behind caught us. And the battle between the four of us went on until the very last miles. Class 11 is a tough one but all of us race with our hearts, we give you lives to it. Completing the SCORE Baja 1000 is a dream. We started the team five years ago and the main goal we had was to be in this race.
ALEX GONZALES, No. 1196 (Third in class. Alex Gonzalez started and drove to race mile 200. Tim Sletten drove from race mile 200 to race mile 420. Clyde Stires drove from race mile 420 to race mile 720. Armando Ventura drove from race mile 720 to 935. Sletten drove from race mile 935 to 1050. Gonzales drove from race mile 1050 to the finish.) – – It was a long two days. Had a couple little mishaps early on. Had to change the transmission. I got stuck and blew out reverse gear. So that took about 2 ½ hours. A couple other shock problems. Then I caught up to everyone else and was racing door to door up to race mile 900. Then we had another electrical mishap and fell back to second. About 15 miles ago, we ran out of fuel and found some and made it in for a third place finish and locked in the Championship for the season. It was a phenomenal battle in the Class 11s. The top 3 or 4 cars were battling all day long.
ERIC SOLORZANO, No. 1111 (Fourth in class. Eric Solorzano started and drove to race mile 300. Leon Burgoin and Armando shared driving duties.) – – It was very tough. It has been the best race and exposure for us. Everyone worked together. The first four cars, all of us led at one time. This class has been evolving. We had problems like everyone. What killed us this race is we had a short and it burned wires and we lost a few hours and then we lost a fuel pump and then we ran out of gas. But this is racing. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I have won it eight times. I have been on the podium a few times, I know how to win. I miss winning but I feel very comfortable making it to the finish line. All of us are finishers and warriors.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more) MARK SAMUELS, No. 1x (First in class. Sixth overall. Justin Morgan started the race and rode to race mile 444. Mark Samuels rode from race mile 444 to race mile 816. Kendall Norman rode from race mile 816 to race mile 1,000. Brandon Prieto rode from race mile 1,000 to the finish) – – We had a good battle. Justin had a lot of dust to deal with at the start. He made some passes and put it into second place when he handed it to me. I had some dust to deal with over the whole Bay of LA; I sat in dust for over one hundred miles. Then I was finally able to get a pass, made a little bit of a ground, then handed it over and let the boys finish it off. CO-RIDER JUSTIN MORGAN said: It was awesome. We have been up for over 24 hours now. We started at two in the morning and I rode until about 11:30 in the morning. Mark and Brendan and Kendall all did great and everybody did their job and we were really patient; I think that was a big part of it. We had an awesome bike built by San Diego Powerhouse. It was perfect all day. We are stoked. CO-RIDER KENDALL NORMAN said: My teammates did a great job giving me the bike in one piece in Scorpion Bay, where I rode to race mile 1,000 and then gave it to Brandon. I am really stoked to be here with this team. Many thanks to SLR and my chase crew, for all their hard work. CO-RIDER BRANDON PRIETO said: This is actually my first SCORE Baja win out of all of them. I’ve been wanting this for a while. I am super thankful for my team and SLR; they did an excellent job all day. They gave me the bike in a pretty good lead so I just had to get it to the finish in one piece. And I just got engaged to my pretty girl. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while.
DEREK AUSSERBAUER, No. 5x (Second in class. Colton Udall started and rode to race mile 467. Derek Ausserbauer rode from race mile 467 to race mile 943. Udall rode to the finish) – – It’s a great feeling to finish the course like we did. It’s not easy to come down here and finish. To get a team of guys to figure it out is impossible, so to do it with my buddy, is pretty awesome. It wouldn’t be realistic without the right coach and that’s what Colton has always been to me. He has been a mentor and a brother. I’m just stoked to be here. The silt was gnarly with hidden kickers in there, but I had a pretty good time most of the way. It was wild to have Mark (Samuels) right behind me for about two hours. That was a cool experience. The whole course was fun. I can’t wait for the next one, honestly. CO-RIDER COLTON UDALL said: The race went really good for us. We had no bike issues. We executed our plan. We spread the riding of 1,220 miles over two riders; we did it the old school way, the Johnny Campbell way, the Bruce Ogilvie way. We are proud to bring the bike in within 24 hours. Derek rode great. We really persevered over some pretty heavy odds over the last couple weeks so we are really stoked.
JASON ALOSI, No. 97x (Third in class. Ross Neely started and rode to race mile 305. Wyatt Brittner rode from race mile 305 to race mile 630. Jason Alosi rode from race mile 630 to race mile 932. Ray Dal Soglio rode from race mile 932 to the finish.) – – The course was challenging. It had a mix of everything. It kept us on our toes all day. You had to pay attention the whole way. Overall it was a good course. It was exciting to see all the fans out there cheering us on. It was a cool feeling. Our goal was to podium and unofficially it looks like we did. It is all I could ask for. SLR Honda team and the team of Colton (Udall) and Derek (Ausserbauer) are no joke and we were able to run with them early on, then they started to pull away from us. This is my first Peninsula run. There was new terrain, and it is more challenging logistically to pre-run. It was cool. I like to see different stuff, it was really cool to see the Southern part of the Peninsula.
SHANE REDLINE, No. 22x (Fourth in class. Chris Phillips started and rode to race mile 80. Mauri Herrera rode race mile 80 to race mile 150. Javier Salazar rode race mile 150 to race mile 300. Larry Serna rode race mile 300 to race mile 500. Phillip Herrera rode race mile 500 to race mile 700. Mauri Herrera rode race mile 700 to race mile 920. Phillip Herrera rode race mile 920 to race mile 1,050. Carlos Pardini rode race mile 1,050 to the finish.) – – CO-RIDER CHRIS PHILLIPS said: it was definitely a super fun course, it was super fast. It was rough in some areas and we’re stoked to be here. CO-RIDER CARLOS PARDINI said: I got the final portion of the race and it was a very demanding one, with a lot of rocks. We are all happy that we made it to the end as that was our main goal.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc) CHRISTOPHER GIL, No. 109x (First in class. Christopher Gil started and shared riding duties with Ciaran Naran, and Kevin Murphy. Gill rode to the finish.) – – We rode in the dark for a little while, with electrical light issues. We tried to see in the dark, and then the lights decided to work and then we plugged away at the miles. I got off in the silt. No flat tires. The bike worked great. Everything went well. I want to thank Elements Heating and Air Racing, BRP, State of Ethos bike worked absolutely mechanically flawless. I can’t thank the team enough, Baja Bound, my dad, all the chase guys, my riders, all these guys that came down here and put in the work and the effort for two weeks to study the course. It was a team effort; couldn’t be more thankful.
JAKE ELIASON, No. 115x (Second in class. Kooper Eliason started and rode to race mile 225. Kutter Eliason rode from race mile 225 to race mile 351. Kooper rode from race mile 351 to race mile 444. Kutter rode from race mile 444 to race mile 634. Shawn Carlsen rode from race mile 634 to race mile 934. Jake Eliason rode from race mile 934 to the finish.) – – CO-RIDER SHAWN CARLSEN said: Everything went smooth. We had a couple of small battery issues but other than that, we couldn’t ask for anything more. I love this course. I love the fast stuff and the rocks. It showed everybody’s abilities through the different terrains.
JORDAN LAIDLAW, NO. 123x (Fourth in class. Jordan Laidlaw ceremonially started. Eddie Meek rode from the start to race mile 100. Freddie Mitchelmore rode from race mile 100 to race mile 200. Pancho rode from race mile 200 to race mile 377. Meek rode from race mile 377 to race mile 400. Laidlaw rode from race mile 400 to race mile 465. Yvan Perrod rode from race mile 465 to race mile 710. Meek rode from race mile 710 to race mile 935. Perrod rode from race mile 935 to race mile 1,000. Pancho, Mitchelmore, Perrod and Laidlaw shared riding duties to the finish.) – – There was a lot of silt between race mile 200 and 377 so we had to do some maintenance on the bike. But got back out there.
PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old) RYAN LIEBELT, No. 408x (Ryan Liebelt started and rode to race mile 200. Shane Esposito rode from race mile 200 to race mile 350. Liebelt rode from race mile 350 to race mile 500. Greg Bardonnex rode from race mile 500 to race mile 700. Jason Trubey rode from race mile 700 to race mile 935. Brandon Wright rode from race mile 935 to the finish.) – – It was a pretty uneventful day. We did have a get off around race mile 705 and did a couple wheel changes and an air filter change. Other than that, very uneventful, which is what you want. You couldn’t ask for anything better at the SCORE Baja 1000. Steve Tichenor, who has rode with me every race this year, broke his arm Sunday, play-riding with his 13-year-old son. He goes into surgery on Monday to put two plates in his wrist. So he has been our home logistics guy, staring at the computer all day and all night and constantly texting us updates. A big thanks to him. He has been a part of this all year. He deserves this medal more than any of us do. CO-RIDER BRANDON WRIGHT said: It was a lot foggier than I was hoping for. Pre-running was light fog. I rode without goggles for about 250 miles because of the fog.
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old) GREG BARDONNEX, No. 308x (First in class. Greg Bardonnex started the race and shared riding duties with Shane Esposito, Morgan Crawford, Sean Kepler, Shane Schorno, and Chris Brown. Francisco Septien rode to the finish) – – I started the race but I’m coming off of injuries so I’m not 100%. But I was fortunate enough to get a few miles on second place, then Shane Esposito did about 200 miles, then Morgan Crawford did about 160 miles and they laid down some pretty good times. From there, Sean Kepler got on and did a pretty technical section on the cross-over and put in some good work. Everybody did a solid race. It is a tough grueling course, really hard on the materials, but these guys kept it on two wheels. Other than one flat, we had no other problems.
JANO MONTOYA, No. 325x (Second in class. Kyle Tichenor started and rode to race mile 150. Alberto Ruiz rode from race mile 150 to race mile 200. Bryce Stavron rode from race mile 200 to race mile 300. Alberto Ruiz rode from race mile 300 to race mile 400. Montoya shared riding duties with Stavron and Tichenor. David Zarate rode to the finish.) – – The course was fun. It was the SCORE Baja 1000, a little bit of everything we wanted to see, there was some whoops, more rocks than we have ever seen, there was some fast areas. The silt, you expect that from the SCORE Baja 1000. Most everybody that rode had a great time. We wanted to keep the guys fresh so we switched a few times. We had no issues with tires, just some wiring issues with the lights. We are all here and safe. No major crashes. This is my third SCORE Baja 1000 peninsula race. I started racing SCORE Baja in 2014. It is such an awesome race. There is nothing like it. It is incredible.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders) JUAN CARLOS SALVATIERRA, No. 725x (First in class.) – – It was brutal. This was easily the toughest race I’ve done in my life. I did the SCORE Baja 1000 last year and it was obviously difficult but I felt that I used my brakes more, I think I had a faster pace this time. The course was extremely long and the last 40 or 50 miles were insane. I had a little fall but I was fine and the bike too, so I could just keep going.
JUSTIN MOORE, No. 741x (Second in class.) – – I want to thank my wife for giving me the strength and confidence to get this done, my badass friends and chase crew, Mark and Cindy, Dan and Wade. They did a killer job. We have been at this for a long time. Baja threw everything at us. I definitely like to thank all the people from Ensenada all the way down. They come out and cheer us on. It makes a difference. Their enthusiasm goes a long way.
MIKE FRICK, No. 719x (Third in class.) – – It was crazy. We lost some electrical for a little bit. But we made it. Hardest race I’ve ever done down here. I was worried I wouldn’t make it. I had some heat exhaustion and they packed me in ice. My son helped me, Andrew, Amanda, Shane, Brady. Two trucks and they did an amazing job. I couldn’t thank them enough.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old) GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 510x (First in class. John Griffin started and rode to race mile 200. Jim O’Neal rode from race mile 200 to race mile 250. Griffin rode from race mile 250 to race mile 350. Earl Roberts rode from race mile 350 to race mile 600. Troy Pearce rode from race mile 600 to race mile 700. Mike Carter rode from race mile 700 to race mile 844. Giovanni Spinali rode from race mile 844 to race mile 1000. Pearce rode from race mile 1000 to race mile 1056. Carter rode from race mile 1056 to race mile 1126. Spinali rode from race mile 1126 to the finish.) – – We are super happy about the win. It was a battle until about race mile 880. We were less than two miles apart for the whole race. When I got on the bike we were two minutes down. I caught them and passed them. I don’t know if they had bike issues or what but we put 60 or 70 miles on them. It was a relief to be able to just get on the last one hundred miles and just bring it home. Preparation is the key. I’ve done this race nine times and only won it one other time and that was a loop. This is my first point-to-point victory. We always had issues. Everybody has issues. We had battery problems. It is how you adapt to the problems and solve them and keep the bike moving. We finally did it. We won one to the tip so we are super happy.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement) OSKAR ESPINOZA, No. 8a (First in class. Adolfo Arellano started and rode to race mile 50. Francisco Vera rode race mile 50 to race mile 150. Marcos Cousino rode race mile 150 to race mile 250. Oskar Espinoza rode race mile 250 to race mile 360. Adolfo Arellano rode race mile 360 to race mile 480. Francisco Vera rode race mile 480 to race mile 600. Marcos Cousino rode race mile 600 to 680. Oskar Espinoza rode race mile 680 to race mile 820. Adolfo Arellano rode race mile 820 to race mile 900. Francisco Vera rode race mile 900 to race mile 1,080. Marcos Cousino rode race mile 1,080 to race mile 1,200. Oskar Espinoza rode race mile 1,200 to the finish.) – – The course was very demanding, especially because of the conditions of the road. We had tough competition from the start with two other quads. After mile 600 we got some separation and created a two-hour advantage to the second-placed. The quad was making some weird noises and we thought it wouldn’t make it to the end, so we slowed down and played it safe so we could bring it all the way to the finish line.
RODRIGO MORA, No. 3a (Second in class. Rodrigo Mora started and rode to race mile 100. Edwin Lopez rode from race mile 100 to race mile 150. Steven Lopez rode race mile 150 to race mile 200. Pedro Loya rode race mile 200 to race mile 250. Rodrigo Mora rode race mile 250 to 330. Jesus Osuna rode race mile 330 to race mile 500. Rodrigo Mora rode race mile 500 to race mile 600. Edwin Lopez rode race mile 600 to race mile 700. Pedro Loya rode race mile 700 to race mile 730. Ricardo Baeza rode race mile 730 to race mile 1,000. Edwin Lopez rode race mile 1,000 to race mile 1,125. Rodrigo Mora rode race mile 1,125 to the finish.) – – I’m very happy about the support we got from our team. We had quite a few issues with our quad but we never gave up. We had an accident, had to replace several parts and we couldn’t race for four hours during the night as our lights went off. And we still finished in a pretty good position. It’s my first time racing all the way to La Paz and the scenario is really beautiful down here. There was a good mix of technical and fast sections and we had to take really good care of the quad during the rocky stretch.