April 19, 2015
Inaugural Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500
Round 2 of five-race SCORE World Desert Championship
April 15-19, 2015 – 424.52 miles
Cabo San Lucas to Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
EDUARDO LAGUNA, No. 17 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — This is my second race in a SCORE Trophy Truck and I’m proud of the win and representing Mexico. We caught the leader Carlos Lopez at about race mile 310 but had a hard time getting around them. At one point we went over a jump and got a flat tire. The tire shredded and we finished the race on the left rear rim. We had a refueling problem today as well.
STEVEN EUGENIO, No. 1 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Armin Schwarz started the race and drove to race mile 150.) — The course was really good and really fast. I had a flawless run. When I got the truck we were down some time and I made back about seven minutes but I was behind Rob (MacCachren) and in his dust. I wanted to push harder than he did but the course was fast and to pass Rob I would have to be taking some serious chances. I had a blast and the course was awesome. The people were great and I’m here safe and my team is here safe so it’s an awesome day.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — Our day went fairly well. We started fourth and got tied up behind B.J. (Baldwin) for a while. We had a good clean run but had a flat on the way in after we clipped a rock. The race was awesome. Racing from Cabo San Lucas to Loreto and seeing the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California is incredible. When do you get to finish with a picture like we have here with the ocean being 100 feet away? It was not an easy race and the pace was very fast. When I first started pre-running I thought it was going to be very slow but the more I pre-ran the more I started picking up the pace. The SCORE Trophy Truck competition is so tough and everybody is pushing hard to try and win. Five of the top 10 trophy truck guys were here running the race and the pace was as if none of them were missing.
CARLOS LOPEZ, No. 5 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We tried to run an intelligent race. We led for much of the race but lost the lead when we had a flat tire and it took us about 30 minutes to fix it. Steven Eugenio and Rob MacCachren passed us while we were fixing it. After repairing the flat we collided with Eduardo Laguna and ruptured our fuel tank. The course was interesting and much different from the courses in the north because it is much faster.
GARY MAGNESS, No. 45 (Sixth in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We blew out one tire and made a few small errors in course judgment but didn’t lose any time. I thought the course was going to be really tight but we wiggled right through it.
CARLOS OLMOS, No. 107 (First in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — I kept the car in good shape and we didn’t change tires the entire race. I pre-ran the course four times so I did my job. We had some problems with the throttle so we lost about 15 minutes.
SHELBY REID, No. 168 (Second in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Reid shared driving duties with Danny Ebberts.) — At the SCORE Baja 1000 we blew a motor and then put a spare in. We went to the Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250 and we went three miles on the spare motor and it blew up. The new motor is done and we came here to test it out. I’m mad at myself because I would have finished higher if I hadn’t screwed up a few times. I was told that at the beginning of my section there would be some silt and in the middle of it there is a tree. When we did the driver change I got passed so I was right in that guy’s dust and I drove right into the tree. I had to back up through the silt and get going again. I missed a corner in another silt bed and went through some trees and cactus. We had a flat tire that killed us.
VICTOR BARREDA, No. 160 (Fourth in class.) — It was a pretty tough day and pretty tough race. We had a problem with cars in front of us creating a lot of dust. I had a flat up in the mountains about 20 miles from the finish line that cost me two places. The last 50 miles of the course was really slow and rocky. It is winding, you are tired and you want to get to the finish line so it seems like it takes forever.
GEORGE PETERS, No. 131 (Seventh in class. Peters shared driving duties with Joe Bednar.) — Joe (Bednar) brought me the car in third place about five minutes behind the leader. We were changing drivers at race mile 255 and three other cars went by. I got in and immediately started having motor problems and air filter problems. We drove for 35 minutes like that and I decided to stop. We stopped at a random pit and a bunch of the locals jumped on it and knocked the air filters out. We started going again and I lost every gear except third for the last 70 miles. It made it tough. Baja beats you up.
AARON AMPUDIA, No. 1636 (First in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Ampudia shared driving duties with Alan Ampudia.) — We had a pretty good day. We had one flat during the first leg but after that we had a clean race. We race all of the SCORE races but this one was definitely faster. It wasn’t that rough on the car but it is a fun track and has a little bit of everything.
GREG DISTEFANO, No. 1616 (Second in class. Distefano shared driving duties with Cameron Steele.) — I got a flat tire near race mile 360 after I hit a big rock, centered it and it came up and hit the left rear wheel and gave us a flat in a really cruddy section. It really slowed us down through there. We lost our GPS note from race mile 150 to 262 so we were a little down in there. All we had was a track line so that was kind of a bummer. There were a lot of fast and smooth sections without rocks and easy S turns and then other sections were really rocky.
VICTOR CESENA, No. 528 (First in class. Cesena shared driving duties with Gerardo Iribe) — CO-DRIVER GERARDO IRIBE said: We had a great time. The course was incredibly beautiful and probably the most beautiful course I’ve ever been to and I’ve been racing for 21 years. I think they did a great job in bringing us a great event.
DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (First in class. Chamlee drove the entire race.) — We have a new motor and we were worried about it because we didn’t have test time but the motor did really well. We had one hose pop off in the first five miles but it was flawless from then on. I’m really happy. The course was different and kind of suited the UTVs more than us but I need a course with giant whoop-de-dos. My brakes weren’t doing great so I was nervous to go really fast because there are a lot of corners to sneak up on you. My tires hooked up good and we laughed at all the silt.
ENEMICIO LOPEZ, No. 823 (First in class) — Ten miles into the race we got stuck in a hole and it took us over an hour to get unstuck.
CODY REID, No. 1000 (First in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Reid shared driving duties with Corey Goin.) — Corey Goin gave me the car in second place at race mile 260. We were five or six minutes behind Morgan Langley (1011) so we went out on a mission chasing them. We made it to our fuel stop at race mile 340 and they told us that we were first car on the road. With about 40 miles to go we missed a turn because our GPS wasn’t tracking quite right so he got around us there. It was a battle for the last 30 miles to the finish.
STEVE LAWLER, No. 1002 (Second in class. Lawler shared driving duties with Ray Griffith.) — CO-DRIVER RAY GRIFFITH said: Cody Reid (1000) was in front of me and in the last 100 miles I reeled him in. I passed him and tried to put as much time as I could on him but I needed a few more miles. We are soaking wet because in the speed zone we decided we had to take our chances flying through the water.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
LARRY CONNOR, No. 871 (First in class. Connor shared driving duties with Jason Ruane.) — CO-DRIVER JASON RUANE said: We got held up in a couple of spots with some farmers and some stuck people. There were some guys stuck and we had to motor around them and it drove us into a tree. Mexico is tough and we know that. We like to play it smart and we come well prepared for how bad Baja can be. The biggest thing is beating Baja.
ELIAS HANNAH, No. 874 (Second in class. Hannah drove the entire race) — The day started really well but around race mile 80 we started having a lot of problems with the fuel pumps. From mile 80 to the finish line it was unbelievably hard to drive. Changing from fuel pump one to two and back every five minutes was a hustle. The course was really nice but the fuel pump issue kept me from driving my rhythm.
BRANDON SCHUELER, No. 1932 (First in class. Schueler shared driving duties with Scott Kiger.) — CO-DRIVER SCOTT KIGER said: We got screwed up on our pits and didn’t make it to the pit we were actually supposed change drivers in. I’ve never been in this car until today so I actually stalled it once and didn’t know where the ignition switch was. We looked like rookies and we had some mechanical issues.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 1917 (Second in class. Murray shared driving duties with Jason Murray.) — We followed a truck for about 90 miles and I didn’t have brakes in single-lane dust. Every time I would come up on him to pass he would jackrabbit. I was frustrated because if I could have gotten around him I could have picked up five more minutes. I was just pissed off for the last 80 miles. We were overheating at anything over about 65 miles-per-hour for some reason and we lost brakes too. We pushed it as hard as we could all day.
JOHNNY ANGAL, No. 1921 (Third in class. Angal shared driving duties with Branden Sims.) — CO-DRIVER BRANDEN SIMS said: We started second and Johnny led all the way through race mile 100 until we broke a clutch and had to get the chase trucks out there to replace the clutch. The clutch failed again so we had to repair it again. We had a hard time getting back on the highway to catch up to the race car at the scheduled pit so he had to wait a few minutes for us. We made the driver change and from that point on it was gas on. We passed everybody and then we got a flat tire.
ALONZO LOPEZ, No. 1949 (Fourth in class. Lopez drove the entire race.) — It is a long trip coming all the way down to Cabo from Rosarito so we didn’t have any pre-running time. We had issues with the GPS the whole day and got lost four times.
BEN WILSON, No. 1927 (Sixth in class. Wilson drove the entire race.) — My day went flawlessly. We had a small issue with the suspension early in the day but we got it fixed around race mile 40 and after that I never got out of the driver’s seat. We never had one mechanical issue. It was an awesome race, an awesome course and it was very diverse and fun.
COLTON UDALL, No. 5x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Udall rode the entire race.) — I Iron-manned this race and that’s the biggest milestone for me. This Inaugural Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500 was an awesome experience but I wish I had a helicopter because there was a lot of scary stuff out there. One awesome moment in the race for me was when Justin Morgan (Ricky Brabec 1x co-rider) and I were racing just after La Paz and we battled back and forth and we both had the bikes wide open. It was a battle for the power of the dust. I’m happy that I’m here and I didn’t put the bike on the ground once. We used a different strategy for this race by using a four-gallon tank that is nearly a gallon bigger than our normal race tank. When you are starting in Cabo it is a different game because it is harder to stay focused because it is a party town. I love it down here. There was a lot of the terrain similar to races starting in Ensenada but not so many whoops and the course is very fast. I’m holding the bike wide open a lot down here. I really like the fact that SCORE races are being televised because that is huge for our race team. We are running this race team on heart and that is pretty much all. We have some key sponsors that are getting the job done but it is a lot of work and a huge investment that I hope will pay off in the end.
-MARK SAMUELS, No. 3x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Samuels shared riding duties with Ray Dal Soglio.) — This whole course was really fast with a couple of technical sections. It was fun but a little scary because we were running high speeds for so long and there was a lot of local traffic and animals on the course.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 300x (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Winkelman shared riding duties with Kevin Murphy and Morgan Crawford.) — CO-RIDER MORGAN CRAWFORD said: It was a fast course with a lot of speed zones so you had to stay on top of your GPS. Kevin Murphy probably had the most fun section through the washes in San Javier. Kevin crashed in the wash right before the finish while we were pre-running on Thursday when he hit a hidden rock and wadded up the bike. He got a minor concussion and had to have a local rancher pick him up and bring him in.
KYLE ABNEY, No. 444x (Second in class and fifth overall motorcycle to finish. Abney shared riding duties with Chad Thornton, Paul Luce, Alan Cameron, Tim Fitzpatrick) — I had a great ride through the dust to race mile 75 when I gave it over to Chad Thornton who made some great moves for us. We had to pass a lot of riders and get through a lot of dust. Some of the other teams had some issues but we had issues too. We won the Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250 but after the race we were penalized for missing some VCPs. We took it with a grain of salt and we’ve done some homework with our VCPs and hopefully that won’t be an issue.
KEVIN DANIELS, No. 706x (First in class and sixth overall motorcycle to finish.) — This is my first full season of racing these races and I’ve never raced on a team. The only thing I know is riding by myself. I’m finding my stride and still learning how to ride the bike and when to press it and not press it. More than anything it is a mental game for me. Physically I can go for a long, long time. I’m still figuring out how to ride the machine. I went over pretty good near La Paz and the bike went on top of me and I broke my GPS. At that point I had lost my speedometer and odometer so I didn’t know how fast I was going or where I was on the course.
SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org