47th annual Bud Light SCORE Baja 500
June 6-7, 2015
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
CARLOS LOPEZ, No. 5 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We had a good day but at race mile 100 we lost our brakes and we lost 5 to 10 minutes. After that everything went pretty well and we regained the time we lost. This is the first 500-mile race that I’ve driven solo. The toughest part was the endurance. I’m very proud that the Mexicans appear to be dominating SCORE racing. When I was 10 years old it was my goal to someday win in Baja. OWNER CLYDE STACY SAID: I’m very proud of Apdaly, he did a great job and ran hard all day and stayed right in the thick of it. It has been a great race. Our guys were ready to go and I knew we were going to place well. Apdaly can just about write his own ticket, he’s good and he’s getting better all the time.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We had a good run but we got caught in the dust early. For the first 65 miles we were losing time to the people in front of us and finally Jason McNeil had something go wrong and he was parked in the middle of the road. We had to stop and figure out a way to get around him. Once we got around him we were making up time on that front group and ended up clipping a rock with the right front and got a flat tire. We lost two spots changing that. We were running as hard as we could to get caught back up. We ran really hard down in the desert and started picking up spots. I’ve raced SCORE Trophy Trucks since 1994 and it has never been more competitive than it is now. The races weren’t as close and there weren’t as many people that could win these things. I think we are racing a sprint race from the start all the way to the finish now. That didn’t used to happen in the old days. It is a testament to all of the guys that work on these trucks.
JESSE JONES, No. 76 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We qualified poorly and got held up at the beginning of the race and once I finally got some clean air I just could not catch up. The course was really, really rough and I’m an old man with a broken toe and a broken finger and it is hurting me. I dislocated my shoulder when I rolled the truck during pre-running two weeks ago. Race mile 150 to mile 180 was really brutal on us and I think I lost the race there because I slowed down a little bit because I was hurting physically. When I came out of that section I was a little too far behind to catch up to the lead group. The section had sharp edge whoops with cross grain and it was really tough.
GUS VILDOSOLA JR., No. 21 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel to finish.) — The whole race was extremely competitive. From the beginning we were fighting back and forth with (Kyle) Jergensen and it was a great race throughout. I think we ended up throwing it away because we got a few flats in the middle portion of the race. It was a hard-fought event and we were neck and neck with Apdaly (Lopez) through Borrego and up to San Matias and across to the beach. It was back and forth all day. With this type of competition and the talent in the SCORE Trophy Truck division you need to have a clean race. We are seeing every single race closer and closer and harder fought. Having a clean day is imperative to winning. We weren’t able to put that together today.
JASON VOSS, No. 35 (Fifth in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — It was good all day. We started in fourth position and moved up to third early on. We got to chase Luke McMillin and Robby Gordon up through the pine forest and we battled Luke down through La Rumorosa where he got us on a good pit strategy. He held the lead on us all the way out to the Pacific side where we passed him while he had his hood off. We had a little down time near race mile 200 and that’s where Tavo (Vildosola) and Apdaly (Lopez) got by us and then we chased them the rest of the day.
MARK WEYHRICH, No. 9 (Sixth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We started in the back so I knew it was going to be a long day coming through. I slammed a tree in the pine forest and had one flat. We had a pretty clean day from there forward and we just kept picking guys off. The wind died right when we caught Tim Herbst and he was slow today so we lost a ton of time. We didn’t figure we would win unless a lot of guys had problems. It was a pretty easy day and pretty easy course so I don’t think a lot of guys went down. It was a fun course and marked really well.
TIM HERBST, No. 91 (Seventh in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Herbst shared driving duties with Larry Roseseler) — Larry did a great job this morning getting us the truck eighth on the road. We had a good day with no flat tires and we kept a pretty good pace. There was a lot of dust from Urupan over to Ojos Negros but we fought it and the truck ran well.
STEVEN EUGENIO, No. 1 (Eighth in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Eugenio shared driving duties with Armin Schwarz.) — We had a small tire issue and some suspension stuff. We were losing a bit of oil so we had to stop quite a few times and that cost us a bit of time. We hit a rock and bent a tie rod and that is really what set us back. CO-DRIVER ARMIN SCHWARZ said: We’ve got a little bit of a wounded car and it wasn’t quite straight anymore when I got in. We had a good race and kept fighting even when the car wasn’t straight. We had one flat that was my fault for driving rally style. The course was demanding as always.
TROY HERBST, No. 91 (Ninth in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Herbst shared driving duties with Ryan Arciero.) — We had a tough time qualifying after Ryan put it on its side but the team worked tirelessly to get the truck back in for the race. We started 26th and Ryan drove his butt off and passed a lot of the field. When you start that deep in the field it is really tough to come through everybody. It was a fast-paced day today and there were a lot of quick guys out there.
NICK VANDERWEY, No. 84 (Vanderwey shared driving duties with Kyle LeDuc.) Kyle LeDuc put it second right behind Robby (Gordon) on the pole and kept following him and everything was going well until he had a little mishap. CO-RIDER MIKE VANDERWEY said: Kyle kept it really steady and kept it within 20 seconds of Robby Gordon until he came over a little ravine and hit a rock. Right then six guys got around us. From there we ran clean air to the pit at race mile 150 without a spare tire so we had to pull it back.
ROBBY GORDON, No. 77 (Gordon drove the entire race.) — It didn’t go as well as we wanted but I’m stoked for Apdaly Lopez winning because it is big for Mexico to have a local win the race. I had a puncture early and lost three positions and then had another which cost me another three positions and later I just got myself into some bad stuff. I was trying to pass Rob MacCachren and I hit a rock coming out of Uruapan.
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 100 (First in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Parkhouse shared driving duties with Brian Parkhouse.) — It was an absolutely perfect day. My dad started and ran a great race and gave me a great lead. I just drove it in. My section of the course was fast and smooth and just a good time. We had amazing prep on the car and our team and strategy helped get us back-to-back wins. You can’t do it without a perfect car to run all day and perfect pits. I’ve learned a lot from my dad and to be able to get to do this as a family is great.
ROB ARCHIBALD, No. 104 (Second in class. Archibald drove the whole race.) — I never got the entire GPS download into our Lowrance so we had no GPS for the forty miles going out or coming back in. It was a little tricky coming back in. I drove the whole second half of the race with a stuck throttle and at first I thought my transmission was going bad. My fiancé, Judy Catona, co-piloted with me today and this was her first race in a Class 1 car. We have good teamwork and it proves how well we communicate because when your life is on the line pushing high speeds in an off-road car in Mexico, I don’t know when it matters more.
BRENT PARKHOUSE, No. 128 (Third in class. Parkhouse shared driving duties with Chuck Sacks and Matt Cullen.) — CO-DRIVER MATT CULLEN said: We are new to class one and we are happy with third. We will figure it out with a little more seat time and then go play with the big boys.
VICTOR BARREDA, No. 160 (Fourth in class. Barreda shared driving duties with Juan Cota) — CO-DRIVER JUAN COTA said: We had a few problems with the clutch and the course was very difficult. We weren’t used to this course and the one for the Bud Light Baja Sur 500 was much different. This course was much more difficult.
JAIME HUERTA JR., No. 175 (Fifth in class.) — We had a clean race until about race mile 400 and then we had some issues with the steering. We were battling with Brent Parkhouse until we had the steering problem. We had a fast car and qualified well. We are continuing to improve and make the team better.
AARON AMPUDIA, No. 1636 (First in class. Ampudia shared driving duties with Alan Ampudia.) — My brother Alan started the race in 11th place and gave the car to me in first place at El Chinero. He had one flat and after that we had no problems. All the pre-running we do and all the time we spend out there before the race day really makes a difference.
CESAR FISCAL, No. 1644 (Seventh in class. Fiscal shared driving duties with Fabian Fiscal.) — It was a pretty good day. The last section from Acambaro to Ojos Negros was really tough with a lot of cars stuck in the silt but we made it through to the finish line and that is the important thing.
VICTOR CESENA, No. 528 (First in class. Cesena shared riding duties with Gerardo Iribe.) — We had a perfect race without any problems. The last 50 miles of the race was probably the roughest piece of off-road course I’ve ever seen. It was super technical with silt beds and a bunch of stuck cars in the middle. I want to thank SCORE for bringing us a different course.
CARLOS DIAZ, No. 705 (First in class. Diaz shared driving duties with Miguel Sandoval.) — CO-DRIVER MIGUEL SANDOVAL said: I got a flat at race mile 285 and then it was all good racing until race mile 455 when I got stuck in the silt. We got lucky and worked our way through it. It was a great course and though I didn’t get to drive the La Rumorosa section they say it was beautiful.
RICK ST. JOHN, No. 1027 (Fourth in class. St. John shared driving duties with Ramsey El Wardani) — CO-DRIVER RAMSEY EL WARDANI said: It was a very, very rough course with people stuck all over the place. There were a lot of broken cars out there. We did a lot of bushwhacking and digging around in the silt to get around everybody.
CLAY LAWRENCE, No. 1058 (Sixth in class. Lawrence shared driving duties with Ray Griffith.) — We lost a fair bit of time after blowing an alternator belt. We ran pretty clean other than that but we got stuck behind a lot of SCORE Trophy Trucks coming down from La Rumorosa. We had a great starting spot but we lost a lot of our competitive advantage because the Trophy Trucks are so big and wide and have such a hard time getting down there. It was great fun and I’m getting more adept at driving the car.
RAFAEL NAVARRO III, No. 1209 (First in class. Navarro shared driving duties with Fernando Mayoral.) — It was a really long day. We tried to stay clean but there were a couple of guys who wanted to run aggressively. We’ve been doing this long enough that we were able to get out of any trouble we found, kept pushing while staying consistent. We didn’t have any unplanned stops.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
LARRY CONNOR, No. 871 (First in class. Connor shared driving duties with Jason Ruane and Neal Mason.) — Jason and Neal started and did an outstanding job and frankly drove the most difficult sections. I got in at race mile 270 and we had a good lead there and a really good pace. We worked hard and did a lot of preparation to get us in this position. We didn’t have any real issues so we cooled it coming to the finish.
BILLY WILSON, No. 884 (Second in class. Wilson drove the entire race.) — The day started off really well and we were running within ten minutes of the leader all day long. The rear end started making some noise so we backed it down a little bit to get to the finish line.
LEE BANNING, No. 855 (Third in class. Banning shared driving duties with Lee Banning Jr. and Gary Williams.) — This is the first solid finish we’ve had with the truck. We’ve had a couple of issues today but we had a great run. We had some fuel pump and shock issues to dial in and other little things. We raced so long in limited classes that you learn to read the terrain and you learn to appreciate your machines and make them survive. We are speed freaks so it is a natural progression for us to go faster and faster. Trucks seem to be the future of racing so we went here (Trophy Truck Spec) with the idea to step up to SCORE Trophy Truck eventually. The truck is a little more intense but it is a lot more forgiving. I feel like a million bucks. I went 200 miles but I feel like I could do another 500 if I needed to. We are trying to get ourselves prepared for the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 and get more familiar with the truck. It is definitely a lot different racing this vehicle in Mexico than it is in the United States because of the terrain.
CHAD BROUGHTON, No. 3030 (First in class. Broughton shared driving duties with Paul Broughton.) — My dad started the race and drove to race mile 267 and it sounded like they had a flat and he came in with the lights all bent up and no hood. I got in and had an electrical problem but it was smooth sailing after that.
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 1971 (First in class.) — We’ve been trying to conserve the car since the desert floor. It was a brutal course but we had a lot of fun.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 1917 (Second in class. Murray shared driving duties with Jason Murray.) — My brother started the race and he had one flat and rolled the car onto its side in a silt bed. They got it upright but lost a couple of positions. We ran out of gas near race mile 160 and lost about 40 minutes. We were battling all day in the top five or six and slowly at the end started picking people up. It was a day of ups and downs.
BRANDON SCHUELER, No. 1932 (Fourth in class. Schueler shared driving duties with Keith Redstrom.) — We had a bunch of electrical issues and we were fighting injector wires the whole day. We had fuel delivery problems but we finally ended up getting it fixed around race mile 315.
RICKY BRABEC, No. 1x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Max Eddy Jr., Justin Morgan and Ian Young rode for Brabec. Eddy started to race mile 57. Morgan rode to race mile 267. Ian Young rode from race mile 267 to race mile 430. Max Eddy rode to the finish.) – CO-RIDER IAN YOUNG said: Once the 5x motorcycle (Colton Udall) had an issue we passed for the physical lead and we took off from there. We persevered through all the hard times and kept true to what we were going for and that was to keep the bike on two wheels and to burn gas and rubber all day long. (On leaving the Colton Udall team to ride for Ricky Brabec) The reasoning behind that is because we couldn’t find a balance between me and the whole team. My brother (Udall) and his business partner and teammate Mark Samuels are great dudes and they are my family. I love those guys more than anything but my switch to Kawasaki is what I had to do. It was to help bring me to the next level and when they told me I should go my own direction with racing it opened my eyes to what I needed to do. When I got the phone call to race the Kawasaki I called Colton and told him what was going on. They were all very supportive and I’m sure they are bummed for their own race today but pretty proud of me for pulling this off. CO-RIDER JUSTIN MORGAN said: We were a couple of bikes back so it was really dusty in the morning so the sunlight made it a little difficult. We started picking the other bikes off and at the bottom of the hill we passed for the physical lead and never looked back. We had to do an unexpected wheel change at Santo Tomas. It was weird luck and we just hit something wrong. Other than that it was very smooth. CO-RIDER MAX EDDY JR. said: It is a huge victory for us because we’ve had some back luck this year. I crashed in San Felipe and took us out of the race and we didn’t finish the SCORE Baja Sur 500 so to come back up here and have a flawless day was good. We didn’t push hard and rode our own race and got to the podium first. Everyone did their job with no problems or issues. You can’t ask for a better day than that. There is a lot of luck and skill involved in this and we had both of them today.
RAUL HERNANDEZ, No. 14x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Hernandez shared riding duties with Rodolfo Patron, Miguel Munoz, Ricardo Munoz and Larry Serna.) — Right after I got on the bike I was struggling a little bit but things got better. I rode smooth and I rode smart. I gave it to my teammate Larry (Serna) and he did an awesome job. It was a smooth race and we didn’t have any major problems and we brought it home. We were taking care of the bike over half of the race course. This is a dream come true. I’m proud of my team and my country. We just made history right here. It is a 100 percent Mexican team so I’m glad we made it through.
DUSTIN McCARTHY, No. 21x (Third in class and fifth overall motorcycle to finish. McCarthy shared riding duties with his brother Gavin McCarthy and Lance Lewis.) — I was tight in the beginning and I had to work through that. Once I got a good pace going it started to go smoothly. I had a couple of close calls which I guess is normal but it was a good day. This was our first SCORE race.
FERNANDO BELTRAN, No. 100x (First in class. Beltran shared riding duties with Emmanuel Verdugo, Fernando Tavarez and Carlos Miranda.) — For the most part everything went well but there were some rough spots out there. We got here in fine shape. It was a good course and in my opinion there were a lot of rocks and a great deal of sand to take on.
CHRISTOPHER SCHULTZ, No. 301x (First in class. Schultz shared riding duties with Travis Rock, John Bach and Geoff Hill.) I got caught up with some SCORE Trophy Trucks and that was a little frightening so I got out of their way. We weren’t just racing against the other bike in our class but racing against Baja and just to come across the line is cool. This was a tough but fun course.
JANO MONTOYA, No. 404x (First in class and third overall motorcycle to finish. Montoya shared riding duties with Francisco Septien and Gerardo Rojas.) — We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The guys that rode with me did a great job. We started with a game plan and the guys stuck to it. We were racing a few other riders for a while but we stuck to the race plan because eventually it will pay off. Francisco Septien did a great job getting off the starting line and keeping the bike up front. I took the bike and kept it at the same pace. We pre-ran and knew what we could do and where the rough areas were and where we could open it up. At some points other bikes would pass us but we knew where the tough areas were coming and where we could open it up and get back ahead of them. You just have to keep the pace and not get crazy out there. We have been working on this bike since the SCORE Bud Light San Felipe 250 and SCORE Bud Light Baja Sur 500. We didn’t finish either race, so we have been testing and testing and finally we got the bike where we wanted it to be.
MARC PRINCE, No. 501x (First in class. Prince shared riding duties with Steve Williams, David Potts, Kris Goolsby and Doug Smith.) We have a strong team and none of us really had any problems. We were all riding smart and kept it in. We had a little problem with a rear wheel so we had to stop twice. This was a rough race because there were so many whoops and rocks.
JAVIER ROBLES JR., No. 1a (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Robles Jr. shared riding duties with Josh Row and Felipe Velez.) — It was a perfect race and we didn’t have any major problems. Our only problem was a flat rear tire at race mile 300.
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