BRYCE MENZIES, No. 70 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle.) — We started second and we were just kind of cruising and not taking it that fast and somehow we came up with a flat in Uruapan. (Jason) Voss got by and then we had another problem on the beach and Luke McMillin got by us. We kept charging and didn’t give up and we passed Voss (when he had) a flat. We passed Robby (Gordon) coming down Mike’s Sky Ranch. Once we were there we knew we were in clean air and we needed to play it smooth. Something was going wrong with my truck near the finish. The brakes were out so I had to really cruise the last seven miles. I love being down here and this is my favorite race of the year. On the beach section the weather was cool and everything was running really cool. We knew it was going to get hot when we got to San Felipe and it got really hot. It was probably over 100 degrees down there but the weather was perfect and the wind was moving just enough that we could run up on guys and pass them. I wish we didn’t have all the problems that we did but we are standing here first across the line. I think the reason I like the SCORE Baja 500 so much is because it is an endurance race but it is also a sprint race. You have the longevity but you’ve got to go fast as well. You get every type of terrain. You get roads, mountains, silt, rocks and that’s what draws me to the 500. You go from the coast all the way over to the mountain and back.
JASON VOSS, No. 35 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle.) — The race unfolded as we planned and we just stuck with Bryce Menzies and Robby Gordon in front of us. We wanted to stay close enough that if they made a mistake we could capitalize on it. Bryce pulled over with a problem and we passed him. Robby was setting a slow pace and we were stuck in his dust and tried to make a run on him out on the coast. We got up and showed him our bumper and we crisscrossed lines a little bit but we weren’t able to get him. We chased him all across Rancho El Coyote and Mike’s Sky Ranch and ended up pulling over with a flat tire and Bryce got me back. We went another 10 miles and Robby was pulled over and we both went by him. Bryce got the jump on me after one of our pit stops and I just couldn’t catch him after that.
JESSE JONES, No. 76 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle.) — We started 16th and had to fight our way through and halfway through the race we started looking like we were in the lead. At mile 400 we started losing power steering belts and we had to stop and put them back on. We did it five times and it took us 10 minutes. We felt good about the possibility of a win.
B.J. BALDWIN, No. 1 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle.) — I had a couple of flats and I’m not sure what happened. I also had some transmission trouble that set us back quite a bit. Overall these guys, Bryce (Menzies) and Robby (Gordon) were running a great race. I don’t know what happened to Jesse Jones but he was leading for the last 100 miles and he was beating everyone. I saw him pulled over twice with some trouble but he ran a great race. This is my favorite race. I’ve been second for like four years in a row and I’ve led the race for so many years but I just can’t catch a break here. I’ve always had bad luck at the very end of the day. It is what it is, but at the end of the day I’ve gotten to race a SCORE Trophy Truck with some of the best drivers in the world. I’m looking forward to having a three-peat of the SCORE Baja 1000 so that’s what I’m really focused on. Right now I’m going to get on a plane and go to X-Games and race an SST truck, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11, (Fifth in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle.) We were leading the points going into this event and Tavo Vildosola was second (in points.) When we were in San Matias, where the race course goes both ways on the highway, we were at race mile 320 and he was still at race mile 262 so I know we finished pretty far ahead of him. I’m sure we still have him on points and we will keep working at it. Everything was going really well until race mile 110 when we lost a rear brake line so we lost six or seven spots there. Track position is critical and we were trying to get by guys along the beach and we ended up clipping a rock and getting a right rear flat and we lost a few more spots. From that point we were chasing people in the dust and trying to get track position back. When you’re not running up with the leaders the pace is different. You have to stay in the top pack to be running that pace. Typically the top guys aren’t having problems and if you are in the back running in the dust you are losing seconds every mile.
LUKE McMILLIN, No. 83 (Sixth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle.) — We started off strong and stayed right behind the two guys in front of us until we got a well-deserved flat tire trying to make up time. I went into some sharp rocks pretty hard. Nobody’s fault but mine. The flat wrapped the wheel around the caliper and it took 10 minutes to get it off. The jack wasn’t working right because we were on the Mike’s loop on our side. Later we hit a water crossing really hard and went sideways up on the bank and messed up the steering. It is hard to steer left now and I don’t know why. We had a clean day the rest of the race but we had to cruise it a few times because we had a converter overheating.
MARK WEYRICH, No. 9 (Seventh in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle.) — We lost a header outside of Ojos Negros but it (the truck) sounds a lot worse than it is. We didn’t have any issues today except that we qualified 22nd. We were just trying to close that gap and couldn’t quite do it. I slid it into a tree sideways about two miles from the finish line and got flats.
GARY WEYHRICH, No. 98 (Eighth in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle.) — We had a good run going and passed a lot of cars. Going up toward Mike’s Sky Ranch, Cameron Steele was high centered in the road with a flat. It is all cliffs up there and there is no way around. He (Steele) tried to point me to a way around him and then we were stuck with him, so it was even worse of a mess. We got ourselves unstuck but we overheated the motor and pumped out all of the coolant. We had to stop at the bottom of the hill and put coolant in it and three trucks went by us. All the work in that first 260 miles was gone and we knew we couldn’t win the race.
JUAN C. LOPEZ, No. 18 (Ninth in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle.) — It was a tough race but we knew that going in. We had some brake problems at point on the course where we most needed them.
KYLE JERGENSEN, No. 44 — We had a clogged air filter and almost ran out of fuel but that was about it. These guys outdrove me for sure. This is my first SCORE Baja 500 and my dad (Todd Jergensen) just told me to be smart and keep it calm. That’s exactly what we did. We kept the wheels on it and kept moving forward. I’ve raced a lot in the United States but Mexico is so much harder. The track is 100 percent harder.
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 100 (Parkhouse started and drove to race mile 310 and Brian Parkhouse drove to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER BRIAN PARKHOUSE said: We’ve got a coil pack that we think is shorting out and we really don’t have full power. It comes back at higher RPMs but it has been a battle all day. We started in first and we’ve been in front all day. We got it done and that’s great. This car can go 165 miles on a load of fuel so we can do it with two fuel stops when a lot of people had to do three or four.
BRIAN WILSON, No. 138 (Wilson shared driving duties with Rick Wilson and Randy Wilson.) — CO-DRIVER RANDY WILSON said: We had a power steering pump go out and we had to change that. It put us down a while and made us drive into the night more than we wanted to do. We just really didn’t have our lights set up the way we should have to drive at night.
SHELBY REID, No. 168 (Reid shared driving duties with Darren Ebberts.) — Darren got stuck for a little bit and that put us down about 15 minutes. Other than that we had a great driver change and I just kept on motoring. When it got dark I struggled a little bit because, in the dust, the bumper lights were pointed up and it made it worse.
RONNY WILSON, No. 153 (Wilson shared driving duties with John Herder.) — CO-RIDER JONATHAN LINTON said: We had a tire come apart and we stopped at a BF Goodrich pit and they changed it for us. We got stuck once and we had a brake balance beam in the pedal come apart so we had to stop and take one off of a pre-runner.
LYLE BASK, No. 114 (Bask shared driving duties with Mike Ferguson.) — It is a long race and a long day so we make up our day and race our own race and see where we are at the end. The day went pretty well really. We had a flat and the silt beds are pretty tough. CO-RIDER KENNY EVANS said: (On his first time as a co-rider in a desert race) There are hardly words that can describe what goes on. The diversity of the country and the fans makes Mexico amazing. I’m blown away. It is far more than I expected and it is beyond belief. I’ve had five days of explosive, energy-infused life.
JOSE DAVID RUVALCABA, No. 1609 (Ruvalcaba shared driving duties with Esteban Cruz.) — CO-DRIVER ESTEBAN CRUZ said: Jose had a flawless ride from the start. We started in the seventh position and he was able to pick up all of the racers. By the time I got in the car he was in the lead by 12 minutes. I got in at race mile 265 all the way to the finish. I had a flawless ride with no issues at all. I just maintained to come in for the win. We took a lot of time pre-running the course and we knew the problematic areas and what to expect so we were prepared. The team was focused.
RAMIRO ESCOBEDO, No. 1631 (Escobedo shared driving duties with Misael Armambula and Ricardo Escobedo.) — CO-DRIVER RICARDO ESCOBEDO said: It was a very complicated race because there were a lot of bottlenecks. There was a lot of dust and silt and with a few breaks we could have finished first. We will be back for the SCORE Baja 1000.
EDSON CRUZ, No. 1685 (Cruz shared driving duties with Hiram Montano and Manuel Cruz.) — We were really hurt by the bottleneck and we had a flat tire which cost us the lead.
WENDY BELK, No. 511 (Belk shared driving duties with Mike Belk and Dave Bonner.) — My brother Mike started the race and got caught up in a couple of massive logjams with 25 other cars. We had an oil leak that turned into a massive oil spill and 16 quarts of later we are here. We went slowly through the dust and just tried to get it home.
PETE SOHREN, No. 722 (Sohren shared driving duties with Jayson McNeal.) — CO-RIDER T.K. McNEAL said: We passed the two guys in front of us by race mile six and we didn’t have any problems until a bottleneck with a bunch of people stuck after Ojos Negros. We were there for about a half-hour. Right after Mike’s Sky Ranch there was another bottleneck that lasted 15 minutes. We broke a sway bar but we just left it broken.
RICK SANCHEZ, No. 808, (Sanchez shared driving duties with Humberto Arce and Miguel Padilla.) — This is my fourth SCORE Baja 500 in Class 8 and in almost every race I was leading but something happened to the truck. In two races I was close but about 50 miles from the finish I broke down. After persevering it is nice to get this one.
MIKE JOHNSON, No. 1031 (Johnson shared driving duties with Mike Majesky.) — My day was pretty easy because Mike Majesky gave us a really nice lead in the beginning. Mike ran a really good race up front and I just put it on autopilot and kept it. He handed me a 25-minute lead and luckily we had good space. The hard part was picking through the slow SCORE Trophy Trucks and Class 1 cars just because they create so much dust. There wasn’t a lot of room to move around Mike’s Sky Ranch so that was a little bit tricky. We stopped one time to tighten the steering rack up a bit but other than that it was pretty much business as usual.
CODY REID, No. 1068 (Reid shared driving duties with Cory Goin.) — Early on we got stuck in a small bottleneck. After that we just tried to run a clean and smooth race to make time where we could. When I got the car I just tried to push it for the last 250 or so miles hoping to make ground. The car ran flawlessly all day and we didn’t lose any parts. At the halfway point we had to change a few tires that still had air in them but we didn’t want to risk it.
JEREMIAH WATSON, No. 1021 (Watson shared driving duties with Hiram Duran.) — We had a good run. We were really picking cars off and just being patient. We got caught in a bottleneck in Uruapan and we couldn’t get through it. There were probably 10 to 12 Class 10 cars lined up behind the first place. He got through and everybody else was stuck for another 10 minutes. It was an adventure out there today. It was a lot of fun and one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever done. It is the first SCORE race I’ve ever done.
PATRICK DAILEY, No. 1045 (Dailey shared driving duties with Travis Clarke.) — CO-DRIVER TRAVIS CLARKE said: Patrick started the race and worked his way through chaos and carnage in the silt beds with trucks stuck everywhere. He made it through and gave me the car in fifth or sixth spot and we picked our way through and had a great day. We never stopped and kept moving. It was a great course and a lot of fun. It’s rewarding to finish.
MIKE LAWRENCE, No. 1006 (Lawrence drove the entire race.) — Right off the start we had to change a power steering servo at race mile five and we were down for an hour. Every Class 10 car passed us and by the time I got to the beach we were physically in third place. I made up an hour of time but coming into Ojos Negros my brakes were shot so I had to stay in first or second gear.
CHELSEA MAGNESS, No. 1350 (Magness shared driving duties with Steve Knudson and Todd Burt.) – CO-DRIVER STEVE KNUDSON said: On a scale of one to 10 this course was about an eight. It was tough. It was really technical with a lot of switchbacks and tight turns. There were not a lot of high-speed sections and we are built more for speed than we are for the tight turns. The nemesis of everybody is silt and we didn’t see much, which was a good thing because it is no fun getting stuck. You want to race and not dig.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
JONATHAN BRENTHEL, No. 872 (Brenthel drove the entire race.) — Our day was pretty rough. I got stuck behind about 10 guys on an uphill silt and after that I rolled the truck at race mile 100. We lost a lot of time early on in the silt beds.
MARC BURNETT, No. 1905 (Burnett drove the whole race.) — I lost my GPS in the middle of the course around race mile 100 where the silt beds were. It was just brutal. I couldn’t see and I was just going by Braille. We had a belt break on the car and 12 miles before the finish the transmission was about to give and I barely made it here. I had to milk it in at 30 miles per hours.
BRANDEN SIMS, No. 1913 (Sims shared driving duties with Jacob Carver and Justin Krause.) — We started in the back of our class and had to work our way through the field. There were a lot of traffic jams out there and we had to tow the bigger trucks out of our way because they were stuck in the silt. There were times that we would be sitting there for 15 to 30 minutes. We were passing everybody in the silt. We passed a lot of big cars that should be faster.
RICKY BRABEC, No. 4x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Brabec shared riding duties with David Pearson and Max Eddy Jr.) — I started first off the line and rode to Uruapan and David Pearson got on and rode it to Camalu to give the bike back to me. He had a little bobble and the Honda bike (1x Colton Udall) got around us. When I got back on I got around the Honda and we had the lead since Camalu. It wasn’t an easy race and we were both pinning it the entire way. You can’t give up just because you’re in second place so we kept pushing and here we are at the finish line. If you just ride the race as clean as you can and keep the bike on two wheels that seems to be the best strategy here in Baja. I liked running the course backwards and going to the coast first. I think it is cool that Roger Norman changed it up.
COLTON UDALL, No. 1x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Mark Samuels rode the start to Santo Tomas, Ian Young rode to Mike’s Sky Ranch and Samuels rode to the finish.) — CO-RIDER MARK SAMUELS said: We definitely had a shot today. Ian (Young) passed for the lead at one point and we had a pipe go out and a rear wheel. We had to replace another rear wheel at the end of the dry lake bed. That set us back pretty far. It was kind of crazy riding some of the sections the other way as it was so much different going backwards. It was cool and a new experience.
RICKY DE LA PENA, No. 113x (De La Pena shared riding duties with Paul Lopez, Rene Magana and Austin Miller.) — CO-RIDER AUSTIN MILLER said: Our stabilizer broke and we had to deal with a slipping clutch but we managed to work our way back home. I really liked the course this year. It was really fast and sandy but there were still technical spots so it gave you spots to rest and spots to push when you wanted to.
FRANCISCO ARREDONDO No. 349x (First in class and third overall motorcycle to finish. Arredondo shared riding duties with Scott Myers, Shane Esposito and Ryan Dudek.) CO-RIDER SCOTT MYERS said: We won a few Class 40 championships and I’ve been on six Class 30 championship teams but for some reason most of the guys I ride with and hang out with are in their 30s. I’m 15 years past that point (of being thirty and eligible to compete in Class 30) and I’ve been racing down here for 16 years. It is fun to ride in Class 30 and there isn’t so much pressure. Of course we want to win our class and we want to get up there and compete with the big boys (in Open M/C) and show them what we’ve got but we do it without so much stress and pressure. The bike ran well and we didn’t have a hiccup all day. Not a single scratch and nobody laid it down so it was just a perfect day.
JOE LEAL, No. 440x (Leal shared riding duties with David Hammers, Mario Acosta, Jesus Rios and Jose Manuel Ochoa.) — CO-RIDER DAVID HAMMERS said: We pick a section and pre-run it the best we can. We plan pretty methodically up front so there is not a lot of mission communications. We know where we need to be and when we need to be there. It seems to have paid off.
JIM DIZNEY, No. 611x (Dizney shared riding duties with Mike Castro, Max Christensen, Robert Koch, Jim O’Neal) — I got passed by two SCORE Trophy Trucks and you can’t see when they go by you. The weather was great and the course was great. I just wish it was longer. It is better than watching TV (racing at 61 years old.)
TONY GERA, No. 702x (Gera finished first in class.) — I had an air box issue after I ripped apart the back fender and it wouldn’t let the bike rev all the way. I had to ride for a while until we could change out the air filter. For the most part, the day went well and I didn’t have any issues. I’ve done the whole season as an Ironman and I’m looking forward to the SCORE Baja 1000. I don’t really have a pace and I just go as fast as I can until I get tired and peter off a little bit. Then I come back as strong as I can.
ADOLFO ARELLANO, No. 1a (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Arellano shared riding duties with Travis Dillon and Christian Vera.) — We started first and stayed there all day and never looked back. It was a great battle with the 10a (Javier Robles Jr.) We prepared well and didn’t have any problems today. Everything went as well as we could expect.
JAVIER ROBLES JR., No. 10a (Second in class and fifth overall motorcycle to finish. Robles shared riding duties with Felipe Velez, Jorie Williams and Mike Cafro.) — CO-RIDER JORIE WILLIAMS said: We were down about 10 minutes in the first 80 miles and we were clipping away (at the lead) all day. The dust off the start was a factor for us.
SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org