Post Race Quotes, 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 –

Post Race Quotes, 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000


November 15, 2014

47th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Final round of five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship
Nov. 11-15 – 1,275 miles
Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur
Post-race quotes

Pro Cars & Trucks

ROB MACCACHREN, No. 11 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. MacCachren shared driving duties with Andy McMillin and Jason Voss.) — Andy and I drove last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 together and we really wanted to win that race but some things didn’t quite go our way so I wanted Andy to come back and run with me again this year. I had a conflict earlier in the season so I had Andy drive my truck and he won which got us in the points lead. Andy and I were going to split it up this year but when we started hearing about all the devastation down here from the hurricane I woke up early one morning and the light bulb went off that we needed three drivers. I gave Jason a call and asked him to give some thought to it. He called me back the next morning and was all in. To win the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 on a peninsula run takes a lot of planning and a lot of people. We had over 100 people down here supporting us and 60 of them were south of Ensenada on Monday. Starting the race really took the pressure off me because I just needed to get the truck down the trail in a timely fashion. It really paid off. I took care of the truck, Andy took care of the truck and when Jason got in north of Loreto he was putting about a minute every 10 miles on the rest of the people. When that happened, I knew that our strategy was a good one. It was really important to SCORE and all of us to make this race come all the way down the peninsula and when the hurricane happened we thought it might not. I knew we were going to La Paz when he (Roger Norman) said La Paz needs us more now than ever. CO-DRIVER ANDY MCMILLIN said: The guys in the shop prepared an impressive truck that lasted three pretty aggressive drivers for 1,275 miles. Rob gave me the truck near El Crucero and we were third truck on the road. Bryce (Menzies) was leading, Robby Gordon was second and we were in third. I just picked up where Rob left off and kept following those guys. I had a little flat outside of Bay of LA and it took us some time to change it. Robby Gordon had a flat and Bryce dropped out somewhere in that section. We started picking our way through and I started gaining on him (Gordon) near San Ignacio when I hit a huge rock and got a really bad flat. We got it changed and threw some oil in the truck and headed out to the beach section and turned it up figuring I needed to push Robby and try and make him push his truck harder. I believe that our truck is stronger than his. We passed him in the pit and there was no looking back from there. CO-DRIVER JASON VOSS said: When Andy handed the truck over to me at mile 922 it felt like a brand new truck. Andy handed it to us in the lead and we set a good pace and tried to put some time on the guys behind us. Luckily we never had to look back and we had a smooth day.

LUKE MCMILLIN, No. 83 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. McMillin shared driving duties with Dan McMillin.) — Today the difference between first and second was just a little bit of luck that we didn’t have. We had a couple of small issues that weren’t anybody’s fault. The truck started shutting off because of electrical issues but we don’t know what the cause was. It is a mystery, but it happened up by San Javier wash and it was really, really wet. The goal for a peninsula run is to have a clean day and we (Dan McMillin) both did and were reasonably close (to winning) but they (Rob MacCachren) had a cleaner day. CO-DRIVER DAN MCMILLIN said: Luke started and drove to race mile 655 and then I got in. He had a flat tire and was a little bit off the lead pace. He got into Frog Canyon just before El Crucero and just put the hammer down and made up a lot of time. He brought me the truck third physically and second on time. I got past Troy Herbst who was having some issues in the silt and when I got to Loreto, Robby (Gordon) had some issues and I was just trying to catch Jason Voss (Rob MacCachren No. 11) at that point. We had some ECU issues and it took about five minutes to fix but five minutes is a lot when the race is this tight. I had one flat tire but I earned it. I hit a huge rock.

CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Steele shared driving duties with Pat Dean.) — When I started the race I said if we could get on the podium it would be as good as winning. We are here on the podium and I have no complaints. I could have driven it harder but we were managing our equipment. My decision had to be made at Ciudad Constitucion on whether I was going to go for it on Luke (McMillin). He was about 30 minutes ahead of us and we had an hour clear behind us so there was no way we would get the win unless Jason Voss (MacCachren No. 11) broke the truck, so I figured I would race hard but not do anything crazy. We closed up on Luke a little bit and then he got away from us. I’m really happy. We had five unscheduled stops and you can’t do that. We had great pit stops under a minute but we had a few flat tires. We got into a situation where we ran without spares for a little bit, so we really had to tail it back. At one point I pulled up on Luke’s bumper when he was pulling out of a pit and had it been a different race, we might have run up and nerfed him but because it was a 1,275-mile race I decided not to. My partner Pat Dean raced up on Luke as well one time but hit a rock and got a flat. We put ourselves in a position to be competitive.

TROY HERBST, No. 91 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Herbst shared driving duties with Ryan Arciero.) — We had a good finish and it was a great result for the way the day started out. Ryan was 20th off the line and moving up pretty quickly when he got stuck in a silt hole at race mile 398 about a mile from the pavement. I think when he got going again we might have been the last SCORE Trophy Truck running.

MARK MCMILLIN, No. 23 (Fifth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. McMillin shared driving duties with Chuck Hovey.) — I put the truck in the race because I wanted to drive it. My goal was to get fifth or sixth. I started 23rd and I only passed three people running but outsmarted the other eleven. They are stuck in the silt. Our biggest problem was coming into Vizcaino and Chuck had to put in two new rotors after he hit a big rock.

STEVEN EUGENIO, No. 7, (Sixth in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Eugenio shared driving duties with Gus Vildosola and T.J. Flores.) — Everybody did an awesome job. The Vildosola’s and their logistics plan put everybody into place. Normally I’m always pushing in the truck and I have to give myself a little pat on the shoulder for actually keeping my cool and making it to the finish line without a problem. We’ve been consistent all year and when it comes down to the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 if you get a good finish and are in the right position it can all work out in your favor. I only got one race in a SCORE Trophy Truck last season so this is like my rookie season really. It was really a team effort more than people understand.  CO-DRIVER T.J. FLORES said: I’m thankful that Steven called me a few weeks ago and said I made a deal with Tavo before the last race and it is going to be a two-team effort and it doesn’t matter who is first or second. It worked out with Gus starting and setting a good pace and being conservative and keeping the truck together until handing it to Adam. Adam just picked off guys and ran smooth. The game plan when I got in was to stay smooth and keep the number 5 (Clyde Stacy) behind us and that’s what we did. It was a huge team effort and it was awesome to be involved with this. CO-DRIVER GUS VILDOSOLA SR. said: I think we had a great day and it was my privilege to start. I had a great time.

CLYDE STACY, No. 5 (Seventh in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle. Stacy shared driving duties with Eduardo Laguna and Carlos Lopez.) — He (Laguna) started the race and had us in a great position coming from eighth to fifth really quickly but then we had a problem with the truck. Juan Carlos got in and brought it back up from as low as 18th (position.) Once he got in and started rolling he really rolled. I got in the truck near the finish because it was the first place I could catch him to get in.

ZAK LANGLEY, No. 50 (Eighth in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Langley shared driving duties with Rick D. Johnson.) — CO-DRIVER RICK D. JOHNSON said: Just to make it down to La Paz is a feat in itself. Zak started the race and drove to Vizcaino and I took it to the finish. It was fun driving through the night and watching the sun come up and going through the mountains was really cool. I’ve got to count my blessings because I started racing in a Class 9 car twenty-nine years ago. I think back to about how much I admired Walker Evans, Roger Mears and Ivan Stewart and watched those guys grow. Then the SCORE Trophy Truck thing evolved and watched them and I was in awe. Now I’m doing it. It has been a great experience.

GARY MAGNESS, No. 45 (Ninth in class. Magness shared driving duties with Devin Housh.) — NAVIGATOR AUSTIN FARNER said: We came around a turn and B.J. Baldwin’s truck was stuck in the silt and we stopped a little late and got stuck there. Luckily our chase crew was nearby so we were only there 15 minutes and they yanked us out. We were just in cruise mode and wanted to get to the finish.

DAVID KLEIMAN, No. 58 (Tenth in class. Kleiman shared driving duties with Brian Wilson.) — I raced bikes down here for a long time and I know that start like the back of my hand but traffic was a little tight so I pushed hard in the beginning and got a flat tire. It pushed me back four or five places and my game plan was to just gas and go after that. The truck is quick and light so I just wanted to keep the truck rolling. This is the first time I’ve run a SCORE Trophy Truck and it wasn’t what I expected. Having a one-minute air gap instead of the thirty seconds in Trophy Truck Spec is really nice.

JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 185 (First in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Davis shared driving duties with Scott Schovajsa.) — We had a couple of wiring issues so we turned some lights off and we never missed a beat since then.

JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 101 (Second in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Matney shared driving duties with Ricky Johnson and Kellon Walch) — Ricky Johnson started the vehicle and took it to Bay of LA because I hurt my back pre-running. My co-driver Kellon Walch took it from Bay of LA to here where I got in at the highway section to get the points. I go into surgery next week for two ruptured disks. Kellon really stepped up when I got hurt and did my whole section. CO-DRIVER KELLON WALCH said: When I got in at Bay of LA at night we were behind a few cars and the dust was so thick there I was losing patience because we were going 35 when we should have been going 105. I tried to pass a couple of guys and slid off the road once and scared myself. I knew we needed to finish well for the championship so I backed it down. The goal at the beginning of the year was to win the championship.

DAMEN JEFFERIES, No. 121 (Third in class. Jefferies shared driving duties with Louis Chamberland.) — CO-DRIVER LOUIS CHAMBERLAND said: (On the close finish with Cody Parkhouse, No. 100.) We ran into some traffic and almost came to a dead stop about a half-mile from the finish because of a speed bump and local traffic. We ran hard for the last 100 miles.

CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 100 (Fourth in class. Parkhouse shared driving duties with Brian Parkhouse.) — We made up the most time over Damen Jefferies (No. 121) in the whups between Ciudad Constitucion and Valle Verde.

CHRIS WESTERN, No. 161 (Eighth in class. Western drove the entire race by himself.) — I was racing buggys in Australia and I saw something in a magazine about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. This is the first Australian built buggy to be racing in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. We prepped it at home, ran one race with it and shipped it over. We put in a lot of work for the last two years organizing and we stuck to plan A. The race was beyond my expectations.

CLASS 1/2-1600
J. DAVID RUVALCABA, No. 1609 (First in class. Ruvalcaba shared driving duties with Esteban Cruz, Roberto Rivera and Ernesto Inowe.) — CO-DRIVER ERNESTO INOWE said: We had a pretty good day except for the gas pedal getting stuck a few times. We got it fixed in the pit and we were good from there.

HIRAM DURAN, No. 1614 (Second in class. Duran shared driving duties with Eric Duran and Evan Duran.) — We had some electrical problems coming into Loreto and I lost about 20 minutes. We had to replace the lights before the finish and we had to replace a tire but had a problem with the jack which cost us time.

PETE SOHREN, No. 722 (First in class. Sohren shared driving duties with Jason McNeil and Eric Filar.) — This is the first time I’ve ever won the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. I’ve raced in a SCORE Trophy Truck forever and I’m in a pretty stacked field and it isn’t easy to win so we put the V-6 Ford Ecoboost into our trophy truck so we can race in the V-6 class and now we are basically dominating the class. We have four wins this year in the SCORE series. The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is the biggest off-road race in the world in my opinion. They say Dakar is bigger, but it isn’t bigger than the Baja 1000. Everybody wants to win this race. That’s my dream and it has always been my dream since I was 19. We didn’t have any flats in 1,275 miles.

KASH VESSELS, No. 1055 (Second in class. Vessels shared driving duties with Cam Theriot and Andy Grider.) — It was a great performance by everybody on our team and hats off to the guys that won. Mike Johnson and their crew drove a heck of a race and they deserved to win. CO-DRIVER CAM THERIOT said: By finishing all 1,275 miles in this race we have, through other contributions along with my team’s contributions, raised $70,000 for Stand Up To Cancer which is why we are together racing. We are doing something for somebody else while we are out here having a good time with our team. We have the best team there is and that’s all there is to it. CO-DRIVER ANDY GRIDER said: I’ve got to thank the guys that prepped the car and thank Cam for his big heart and spreading that heart to the whole world. Stand Up To Cancer means a lot to the whole team.

LEE BANNING, No. 1023 (Third in class. Banning shared driving duties with Lee Banning, Jr., Steve Melton and Rick Graff.) — CO-DRIVER LEE BANNING JR. said: Steve got stuck behind a Class 1 car in a silt bed and we got stuck near the finish for about 30 minutes when a quad fell over and we had to stop to avoid hitting him. We had a couple of flat tires but other than that we had just a few little issues but nothing major. We’ve finished every Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 we’ve entered since 2009.

MARC BURNETT, No. 1905 (Sixth in class. Burnett drove the race solo.) — We won the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and we were in it to win it for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. We had a lot of problems and made mistakes that we need to get together and work on. We are all about winning and we stuck it out. I ironmanned this race and am the first person to solo a UTV 1,275 miles. It took 41 hours so I probably won’t be able to do that again. I thought I could do it in 30 hours but it took a little bit longer. I was doing fine until things broke. We were in the top two when the alternator pulley on the driveshaft came loose so I had no lights or alternator. We got that fixed in about an hour and a half. We ate up the time and by San Ignacio I was back in the hunt again. From there we broke a brake line so I had to crimp it off with vise-grips. We had an arm break on the suspension but other than that the car ran great.

Pro Motorcycles

RICKY BRABEC, No. 4x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Brabec shared riding duties with Robby Bell, Max Eddy and Steve Hengeveld.) — We finally ended Honda’s streak and it feels good. It didn’t come easy because we were behind all day. We had problems all day long with tires and lights. Max Eddy had a wheel blow out on him at about race mile 680 and later had to change a tire out there. When I got on the bike the lights went out so I had to pull the radio out of my bag and get ahold of my chase crew. I got the new set of lights and it all started coming together. Honda can be beat and we did it today. CO-RIDER STEVE HENGEVELD said: We’ve been trying to do this since 2009 and we’ve had some really bad luck. We had some problems today but we never gave up. Our bike didn’t break today but in 2009 we had problems and in 2012 we broke coming to the finish. It is luck sometimes. Our guys rode well today and the Honda team rode well today too. We just never gave up. We were down about 25 minutes when I got on the bike in Loreto. Our game plan was to not throw it away. Don’t crash the bike, keep the bike straight and make sure you get it to the next rider. Baja is always a challenge. I just pre-ran the course on Wednesday night and somehow it has already changed since then. There were spots in my section with more silt than when I went through on Wednesday.

COLTON UDALL, No. 1x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Udall shared riding duties with Ian Young and Mark Samuels) — I went off the start and got by Robby (Bell 4x) and I had about a seven-minute lead when I flipped and twisted the front end of the bike. My shoulder is messed up now but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I managed to ride another 455 miles after that. I rode with a flat tire for 45 miles through Catavina until I finally got to our pit. My brother (Ian Young) rode his section and I don’t know what happened but he crashed pretty hard so we had to scramble to find him and I was riding across the desert not knowing where I was going. I finally found him and we switched bikes and I took it to the next pit. We changed handlebars and gave it full service, so with everything we changed up, it is quite a feat to be at the finish line. As young as our team is I think we were successful. CO-RIDER IAN YOUNG said: I crashed while we were in the lead and I bent the bike all up. It is super disappointing because we had the race under control and we had a 40-minute lead and I blew it. I just remember picking the bike up with a broken wrist and shoving it into gear and trying to keep going. I rode for about 20 miles with a broken wrist. I didn’t want to give up at all, but it is just depressing. CO-RIDER MARK SAMUELS said: Once the sun came up it was fun though it was gnarly looking into it for a little bit. I had a light go out on the bike and it was really hard to see at speed, so when the sun came up I started having some fun. We all had little issues today. When Ian crashed he broke the light system so we decided to switch it and about 30 miles into my ride one of the lights went out and the other one started flickering when I hit big bumps. I lost a lot of time there.

FRANCISCO ARREDONDO, No. 349x (First in class and third overall motorcycle to finish. Arrendondo shared riding duties with Ryan Dudek, Shane Esposito, Jay Rabjohn and Chris Haines.) CO-RIDER RYAN DUDEK said: I’m pleased with the win but when you are out there it doesn’t feel like you are doing a good job. I made a few mistakes here and there and it seems like everything is working against you out there. It was a struggle the whole way. We decided to race in Class 30 because we were just a little bit off the leader’s pace (in Open M/C) so we thought we could win Class 30.

MIKE PRUNTY, No 400x (First in class and fifth overall motorcycle to finish. Prunty shared riding duties with Sterlyn Rigsby, David Glass, Bill Sekeres and Collie Potter.) — CO-RIDER BILL SEKERES said: We ran out of gas twice after using a lot of fuel keeping it pinned and trying to catch 410x (Giovanni Spinali). The whups section before Santa Rita was difficult but it was a lot of fun. The water crossing after the mission was deep stuff and it went over my helmet three times but I kept it going.

FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, No. 730x (First in class and sixth overall motorcycle to finish.) — This was just what I expected, fun. I won’t do it again though, one time only. I’ve always wanted to do it (ride solo) and I wanted the one that came to La Paz. Everything came together with people helping me so I said what the hell and did it. I went down twice but it was nothing serious.

Pro ATVs
JAVIER ROBLES JR., No 10a, (First in class.) — CO-RIDER FELIPE VELEZ said: From the start we were battling the 1A (Adolfo Arellano) for the lead. We had a very clean race and everything went well.


JIM BUNN, No. 1444 (Second in class. Bunn shared driving duties with Thomas Fernandez and Raymon Fernandez) — CO-DRIVER RAYMON FERNANDEZ said: I feel good just crossing the finish line on time but we had a lot of problems on the course and we lost a lot of time. We had problems with the axles and then we lost a steering box. We lost five hours changing the steering box and then 20 miles before the finish line I broke a shaft so I have to drive five miles an hour to the finish. I wasn’t sure how much time I had left to finish but once I got here they told me I had an hour left.

MICHAEL CARUFEL, No. 1957 (The Sportsman Unlimited UTV was last vehicle to finish before the course closed and first in class. Carufel shared driving duties with Jesse Miller, Lacrecia Beurrier and Luis Barajas) — This was our first off road race of any kind. We took the hazards of Baja and let all of the other racers go through it and then we go through it. I have goose bumps right now. It was 14 months that Jesse and I worked to put this team together. This machine came from Cory Sappington and it is a podium finishing machine from last year’s pro class. We knew that we had good equipment and we have excellent drivers and that’s how you have to put together a team. CO-DRIVER JESSE MILLER said: (In the closing miles of the race) I was hoping the car wouldn’t break down so I could make it to the finish line. I was taking it easy and being nice with the car. Twenty years ago I finished the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 by myself in Class 9.