SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, email@example.com
February 28, 2016
30th SCORE San Felipe 250
Round 1 of four-race SCORE World Desert Championship
Feb. 24-28, 2016 – San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
BILLY WILSON, No. 15 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — Starting 11th we thought we would be pretty far back in the dust and having issues. We had some navigational issues with the GPS and in the first 20 miles we were kind of running in the dark and blind. It is hard to run at race speed without the GPS. Right off the bat around race mile two we noticed we had some oil cooler failures so we were pacing ourselves so we wouldn’t end the race in the first few miles. Obviously that paid off. This is my second race in SCORE Trophy Truck but I’ve been racing in SCORE for about seven years. Matomi wash collapsed and was narrower than the truck at one point so we were scraping by. We were behind a few people swapping back and forth but you’ve got to keep a clear head, a straight face and don’t overdo it or you’ll end up having issues.
COREY KEYSAR, No. 98 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We were pretty much the first truck on the road up until race mile 160 when we lost the power steering pump. It took us a while to change that out. The crew did great and we got back on the road. Matomi wash caused a lot of anxiety for everybody and once we got through that we felt really good. We were worried about getting a flat tire and getting stuck in there.
CARLOS LOPEZ, No. 1 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — The whole course was challenging but race mile 75 to race mile 100 was really tough because of the whoops and sand.
JASON McNEIL, No. 2 (Fourth in class.) — We had a good race but we had way too many problems today. We had some different wheels we were trying and some different pressures on tires. We had way too many tire issues to compete for the first spot. We will get ready again and make some changes for the SCORE Baja 500.
GARY MAGNESS, No. 45 (Fifth in class. Magness shared driving duties with Devin Housh and Steve Knudson) — With about two miles left in my section I drove over a huge rock and after that there were too many pieces. We got them all delivered, put them on and kept on cooking. CO-DRIVER STEVE KNUDSON said: We broke a drive shaft but we had been doing really well until then.
RONNY WILSON, No. 138 (First in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — The race went really well for us today. I ended up driving the whole thing because my nephew who was supposed to get in at race mile 150 got sick last night. I didn’t get to pre-run the last half of the race but my co-driver did a great job calling the turns. Everything was just perfect. The course was just brutal. I’ve been racing out here since 1987 so we know the terrain well and know that you have to drive at about 90 percent or you’ll tear a wheel off. It’s just that rough.
SCOTT REUSCHENBERG, No. 125 (Second in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — My navigator helped me keep out of every trouble spot and did a great job getting us here. We’ve got a stigma, we’re fast but we can’t finish… we just fixed that. I got in at race mile 148 and our goal was to keep a 65 miles-per-hour pace over that really rough stuff on old Puertecitos road. It was thirty miles of pure hell but we kept it at 65 and on top. We worked our way through the wash and tried to miss all of the boulders. Coming in at the end we had a right-rear shock issue and it was so loose it was easy to over-correct and over-steer. CO-DRIVER ANDY GRIDER said: This is a brand new team and the second race for the team. We stuck our heads down, dug deep and coming home with a second in our first finish for the team is just incredible. I was nervous going into this race because I hadn’t been in the car very much. I did a little testing on Thursday for about 20 miles. This morning I got strapped into the car and nerves started to go away. I got out of the car third on the road and I’m ecstatic to be part of a great team. Being at the finish with Scott proves that all the hard work over the last three weeks has paid off. The first thirty miles were tough because I wasn’t sure how hard to push the car. Baja is just so brutal on you. It physically beats you up. The last 10 miles in the car you start hearing weird noises and you think transmissions are going out and you think you are going to lose brakes. It is just a mental game.
DEREK FLETCHER, No. 106 (Third in class.) — We lost the clutch before the race even started and we lost the brakes about 10 miles from the finish so we were a little limited. It was a rough course with a lot of whoops and rocks but we had a pretty clean race other than the problems we started with. There was a really narrow line through Matomi wash and there wasn’t much silt but a lot of exposed rocks.
ERIC CHASE, No. 110 (Fourth in class. Chase shared driving duties with his father Stuart) CO-DRIVER STUART CHASE said: Eric was the first Class 1 car at the top of Matomi and he really stoked the crew. I brought him here for the first time when he was 8 years old on three-wheelers and in sneakers.
BRAD WILSON, No. 153 (Sixth in class.) — We are happy but we had an issue a few miles back that took us about 45 minutes to fix. This was the roughest San Felipe course I’ve seen and there were a lot of rocks going through my section. It was a mess but we picked our way through and we played it smart in areas where we needed to take it easy. If the race had ended ten miles earlier, we would have been happier.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
CHAD BROUGHTON, No. 202 (First in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — It was pretty rough. We drove the last 100 miles and my dad (Paul Broughton) did the first 150 and gave us the truck in third place. We passed the first and second place trucks in Puertecitos where they were broken down. The truck was running a little rough, but we made it.
ELIAS HANNA, No. 274 (Second in class. Hanna drove the entire race.) — We started back in the pack and we were struggling a lot to get it to the top of the line through the dust. We did a really good job but made one little mistake and crashed into a stuck vehicle on the dry lake and knocked out a power steering radiator. I had to stop every 25 miles to put power steering fluid in.
CRAIG CHRISTY, No. 220 (Third in class. Christy shared driving duties with Wayne Matlock.) — We got high centered up in Matomi wash but another vehicle popped us off the rock so we only lost about two minutes. We came around the other end and lost a tire and 15 miles later lost another tire so we were out of spares and had to baby it all the way until we met our crew.
TODD WINSLOW, No. 1081 (First in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — It was brutal out there with the whoops and square-edged rocks. It just went on for miles and they got bigger the farther you went. We rode a really smooth race and we tried to get through the dust as quickly as possible. The toughest part were the deep-sand whoops because it was hard for a small motor to get on top of them.
RAFAEL NAVARRO IV, No. 1009 (Second in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Navarro drove the whole race) — We started off second to last and we knew that the first 70 miles of this course were really fast so we wanted to push as hard as we could. By the time we got to race mile 72 we were fifth on the road and absolutely killing it. From then on we set our own pace and cruised. We managed to keep it together and at the end of the day it was a good race. Eight miles from the finish we started having ignition fuse issues because it was popping out and the car was dying on us. I had to hold the ignition fuse in with one hand while I was driving. It was an interesting end to the race. There was so much dust and it wasn’t moving. What’s great about San Felipe is that there is a nice little breeze from the west to the east but there just wasn’t today. The elements were tough today, but overall it was a fun course.
LUIS SALGADO, No. 1088 (Third in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Sergio Salgado drove the entire race.) — CO-DRIVER SERGIO SALGADO said: It was a hard day and it was grueling but the team was ready. It has been a while since we’ve been on the podium so it’s awesome. We had problems with our earplugs so we couldn’t talk to each other. We stopped twice to try and fix it but we didn’t want to let too much time pass.
JORGE SAMPIETRO, No. 1697 (Sampietro shared driving duties with Misael Arambula.) — The whole course was rough. In Matomi there were two pickups stuck so we had to make our way through the rocks. It was pretty gnarly.
JORGE SANCHEZ, No. 1602 (Second in class.Sanchez drove the entire race.) — It was a good race and a tough course.
RUBEN SANUDO, No. 1606 (Third in class.) — We didn’t have any problems or flat tires so everything went well. It was a perfect race.
MATT FERRATO, No. 1216 (Second in class. Ferrato drove the entire race.) — We did pretty good today and it was a rough course which this car loves. We came down on Sunday and pre-ran in an RZR. We pre-ran all week, did our homework and put it to the competition.
AARON AMPUDIA, No. 836 (First in class. Ampudia shared driving duties with Alan Ampudia.) — It was a really fun race. My brother Alan started the race and put us in the lead by an hour. I got in at race mile 145 and brought it home from there. CO-RIDER ALAN AMPUDIA said: There were so many whoops and I just needed to take care of the truck so I could give it to my brother in good shape. I didn’t let the adrenaline take over and push the truck faster than it could go. It is our first race in this truck and we only drove it 25 miles prior to this race so we didn’t know how far we could push it.
PETE SOHREN, No. 722 (First in class.) — It was a tough race. It was an incredible day and I can’t believe it. We had a lot of problems with this truck and we had some electrical failure. It would go from three cylinders to four cylinders and at one point I didn’t think we would make it. We had a big sand hill to climb but we made it and I learned how to drive it to keep it on all four cylinders. We ripped all the way to the finish.
THOMAS GRAVES, No. 1915 (Second in class. Graves shared driving duties with Richard Morel.) — It was a tough race and I think there were only four miles that were easy. We were going back and forth with all of the other UTV guys all day long. It was probably the most exciting race I ever had in the dirt. It was incredible.
Pro UTV FI
MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (First in class.) — It was pretty brutal out there and we worked all night on a brand new car. We had about five miles on it and we had never tested it. We had a flawless day. We kept it slow and mellow and kept it about 75 percent and got it to the finish line. There was a lot of carnage out there. We passed Class 1 cars that were hurting on the side of the road.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 2917 (Second in class. Murray shared driving duties with Jason Murray) — San Felipe is always a rough course but we were able to stay on top of the whoops for most of the day. There are a couple of spots where we had to slow down but all in all the car ran great. CO-DRIVER JASON MURRAY said: We battled a couple of cars but this car pulls super hard in the soft stuff so we got up on them and then around them. In the last mile we lost the alternator so we lost GPS, lights and power steering and I had to make a couple of circles to find my way in. The locals threw flashlights up and flashed us in so we were able to get back to San Felipe.
MIKE CAFRO, No. 2975 (Third in class. Cafro shared driving duties with Jamie Kirkpatrick.) — Today was pretty brutal. The course is not meant for RZRs but we got through it for sure. The whoops are just brutal out there and San Felipe is notorious for them.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED
COLTON UDALL, No. 1x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Udall started the race and rode to race mile 30. Co-rider Mark Samuels rode to race mile 146. Udall rode to the finish.) — We had a really gnarly battle with the 4x team (Francisco Arredondo) and they actually caught us over time. At race mile 146 when we changed a tire I got back on the bike and barely got in front of them. We were practically holding hands going down the highway. I was checking my odometer and we were going 58 or 59 miles-per-hour and just staying with each other. He had to peel off to pit and that’s the last time I saw him. This race course is so extremely gnarly. It really is a test of man and machine. The biggest terrain challenges were three and four foot-sized rock whoops where if you make any mistakes you’ll hit a rock the size of a football. It will throw the bike sideways or you’ll endo. After my pit I went down old Puertecitos road which is extremely gnarly. I just stuck my head down and it’s a full-body experience because it’s hard on your legs, arms, lower back and neck. I just kept on breathing through it and didn’t put the bike on the ground. I nailed everything I had through the sand washes and I got back here in one piece so I’m happy. We are really happy to be here and really happy to be safe. We have a solid package with our pit crews and they do a really good job helping us with our pit program. We do our own pits and we have our legacy that we try to carry on for Honda. Our knowledge has built up over 18 SCORE Baja 1000 championships. It is up to us to get it all figured out and it is definitely OX Motorsports getting the job done. Hopefully we (co-rider Mark Samuels) will race all season together and then for the SCORE Baja 1000 I hope to Ironman it and win overall. CO-RIDER MARK SAMUELS said: I got on at race mile 30 and Colton had just passed into the lead as he was pulling into our pit. I took off and got through my section but it was a tight race with the 4x team. They were about a minute back the whole time. Our bike worked really good and it put me in the position to control the race from there.
FRANCISCO ARREDONDO, No. 4x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Arredondo shared riding duties with Ryan Penhall, Shane Esposito, Roberto Villalobos and Justin Morgan.) — This course was the roughest terrain there is and the whole course was difficult. It is a big sprint and that makes it difficult. We ended up crashing but I’m glad we finished and are still in the chase. We were in the lead for a little bit at race mile 78 and then again later on in the race. Roberto Villalobos crashed but I’m glad he was able to get the bike to Ryan. We really want to chase the championship but if we didn’t win today second is a good place. CO-RIDER RYAN PENHALL said: The race was great and we were battling the whole time. We were right behind Colton (Udall 1x) and Mark (Samuels co-rider 1x) when Roberto (Villalobos) took a digger in a sand wash before race mile 200. He broke his shoulder and had to baby the bike in to me.
PRO MOTO 30
MARIO MURILLO, JR., No. 313x (First in class. Murillo, Jr. shared riding duties with Luis De Nicolas, Jorge Valenzuela and Jorge Flores.) — The rocks were challenging for me near race mile 174. I lost the GPS.
KEVIN JOHNSON, No. 302x (Second in class. Johnson shared riding duties with Ryan Gustine.) — We had a good plan coming in to take it easy on the flat sections and save our energy for the rest. I came off the start and everything was smooth and around race mile 12 I let up and hit a rock and tumbled. The front end was all twisted up and I lost a position. CO-RIDER RYAN GUSTINE said: There were a lot of whoops at the start and we didn’t have the suspension dialed in so he (Johnson) wadded up. We had to fix a brake lever, adjust the suspension and fix a front tire. Once we got the suspension dialed in at race mile 25 I ended up passing a few guys in our class.
PRO MOTO 40
JANO MONTOYA, No. 404x (Second in class. Montoya shared riding duties with Francisco Septien, Gerardo Rojas and Vicente Guerrero.) CO-RIDER FRANCISCO SEPTIEN said: It was a pretty good race but it had a lot of whoops but that’s to be expected here at San Felipe. Me and my teammates did an awesome job. We didn’t have any falls and we took it smooth and we’re glad we finished. The course was rough and there were some pretty good riders in our class.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN
CARLIN DUNNE, No. 705x (Third in class.) — It really goes back to the old saying “To finish first you’ve got to first finish.” The first 150 miles I was thinking don’t wad it up or wear yourself out. I set markers for myself along the way and it was just planning and good support. I had good peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from my crew. There was a lot of dust, a lot of whoops and I was just looking forward. Old Puertecitos road coming off the asphalt separates the men from the boys. I knew I had to have a little left in the tank to make it through there but once I got through I knew I could just take it home. I didn’t get a chance to pre-run the entire course and that was probably the saving grace for me because I conserved a whole bunch through the first two-thirds of the race. I didn’t know what was going to be at the end. Once I got into the rhythm near the end I came up on the first place rider in Ironman so I dug deep and grabbed and extra gear and went for it. The whole thing was hard and different flavors of tough.
PRO MOTO 50
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 507x (First in class. Winkelman shared riding duties with Jim O’Neal, Flipper Manchester and Andy Kirker.) — It was dusty today and San Felipe is a tough course. It has a lot of whoops and rocks and there’s never time to rest. It was all good and fun and SCORE put on a good race. We love Mexico.
PRO MOTO LIMITED
GARRETT POUCHER, No. 106x (First in class. Poucher shared riding duties with Michael Valenzuela.) — (On stopping to help an injured rider) We want to help each other out and hope the same from them if we go down. We are all out there pushing really hard.
JAVIER ROBLES, JR., No. 1a (First in class and first overall quad to finish. Robles shared riding duties with Josh Row, Felipe Velez and Jose Meza Velez.) — The course was very difficult but we didn’t have any problems.