SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, Dominic@SCORE-International.com
June 5, 2022
BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts Round 2 of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship
June 1-5, 2022 – 463.12 miles Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Post-Race Finish Line Quotes
(Finish line – As interviewed by Paul Hanson, Guilherme Torres; transcribed by Cindy Clark, Guilherme Torres)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Custom Trucks) ROB MACCACHREN, No. 1 (First overall. First in class. Rob MacCachren drove solo.) – – It was a good day. We started out on our pace. The three all-wheel-drives in front of us were pulling away a little bit at a time. When Bryce (Menzies, No. 7) lost a motor, that put us third on the road to the bottom of the Summit. It is an unbelievable pass; it takes probably 20 minutes to get down it. It is awesome. Half way down we caught up to (Mike, No.89) Walser but then he took off again. But then he got a flat and we started hauling ass knowing Luke (McMillin, No. 83) was ten minutes ahead of us. I couldn’t see his tracks anymore after a while. So that meant we were first on the road. I just had to maintain the gaps back to (Broc, No. 31) Dickerson and (Alan, No. 10) Ampudia. We started taking it easy and being cautious and careful about everything and it went well.
BROC DICKERSON, No. 34 (Second overall. Second in class. Broc Dickerson drove solo.) – – This is my fourth SCORE Baja 500 but the first in a Class 10 or Class 1. I am surprised I made it to this level. We started twenty-first and crossed the line physically in third. Our plan was to take it easy and save the car. We sat there having fun and set a good pace and went with it. It all worked out. It was a technical course. We only passed five trucks, the rest we passed when they were pulled over. We had a blast. We caught a couple bushes. We had to add a little oil. The truck can probably go another whole race right now. I can’t, but this truck can. I’m excited for the next event. We will have a good starting position. I think we proved a lot today. Now I know I can run with the leaders. It was fun.
LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 (Third overall. Third in class. Larry Roeseler drove solo.) – – I think we finished eighth physically, maybe fifth or sixth on time. It was a really tough race course. We battled all day and kept pushing. Uncharacteristic for me, we had several flats. Luke (McMillin, No. 83) and I won the SCORE Baja 1000 two years ago and we went the whole way without any flats. This race was super technical with the rocks and sticks. If you overshoot a corner, it is easy to get a stick flat. They were all slow leakers, that makes it lean towards a stick flat. Maybe even the bead lock. Other than that, we kept pushing all day. I battled with Dan (McMillin, No. 38) all day and we just kept coming through the pack. I am super happy to be here. Anytime you get to the finish line is awesome. With all the competition, we are pleased with our finish. It was a team effort. It was fun but it also kicked our butt. Justin Morgan, my navigator, did an awesome job. I normally don’t get tired, but I am more tired today than I was at the SCORE Baja 1000.
MIKEY LAWRENCE, No. 85 (Fourth overall. Fourth in class. Mikey Lawrence started and drove to race mile 310. Ray Griffith drove from race mile 310 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER RAY GRIFFITH said: Today went great. We had a pretty flawless day. We did get a flat at the end trying to chase and run Luke’s (McMillin, No. 83) pace. Other than that, we had a perfect day. The course was super tight and technical; it made you stay on your toes. The last one hundred miles the sun was blinding so it really made you stay on your toes. The Lawrence Motorsports truck and team were perfect. We had a good run.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Fifth overall. Fifth in class. Alan Ampudia drove solo.) – – We were a little cautious at the start of the race. We were behind Andy (McMillin, No. 38) and we knew that after we passed Herbst (Tim, No. 19) we’d have to move faster. We got to pass them during an early pit, but we were having some issues with our steering wheel every time we had to turn left. We had to take it easy because of that and then Rob (MacCachren, No. 1) built a huge advantage over us. The cars ahead of us were all having issues and we tried to push harder at the end, but the car was too hot. At the end of Mike’s Ranch, Rob had nine minutes on us. We managed to cut it to six, but it wasn’t enough.
LUKE MCMILLIN, No. 83 (Sixth in class. Sixth overall. Luke McMillin drove solo.) – – We started up front and had about a ten minute lead and lost the power steering box. We had to change out the whole box. We knew the win was probably gone but we wanted to stay in it for the Championship. We got back on the road in tenth place and made it up to fourth. We made a really big push but then got held up. It was a very technical course. I am glad we had a minor issue, not a major issue and I’m glad we are still in the points race. The whole team worked hard together. Thank you to the fans in Baja.
TRACY GRAF, No. 58 (Seventh overall. Seventh in class. Tracy Graf started and drove to race mile 248. Justin Smith drove from race mile 248 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER JUSTIN SMITH said: It was warm in our section but not as hot as the desert section for the other guys. But it was super technical and desolate for us. We just had to play it smart. In our sections it was like we were in Neverland so we had to not do anything stupid. But we had to keep pushing because everyone is fighting for every spot. It was good. There was a lot of dust at first and that cost us some time. Thank you to the Graf team and SCORE and the all the fans.
SAM BALDI, No. 82 (Eighth overall. Eighth in class. Sam Baldi drove solo.) – – It went really good. We got a flat tire up in the pass that messed us up. We got caught up in an area that was really hard to get in and out and we lost some time. But other than that, it went well. It was tight and technical. The average speed was down because of that. Hard on a SCORE Trophy Truck. I don’t know the attrition rate but we made it. We are here.
JUSTIN LOFTON, No. 41 (Ninth overall. Ninth in class. Justin Lofton drove solo.) – – It was a good day. You can’t complain when you make it to the finish line of one of the toughest 480 miles that anyone can throw at us. It was grueling right from the start. We didn’t have the right starting spot to contend for the win. We did what we wanted to do – we finished the race and finished fairly strong. The truck ran great. We made it. Big thanks to Yokohama Tire, Fox Shocks, Method race wheels and all the people that help get this truck on the road. It was great to see all the fans along the course and great to see the fans here up close and personal.
DAN MCMILLIN, No. 23 (Tenth overall. Tenth in class. Dan McMillin drove solo.) – – It went good today. We started 22nd and finished up here. We got stuck behind some trucks slowing us down in the beginning. We were in dust all day. We had no problems, no flat tires. The tires were great, thanks to BFGoodrich Tires. This truck ran great. We were picking off trucks coming down the summit and then got down to the desert and hauled ass. Tried to catch the lead group but the dust was brutal. It was a very tough race.
RAUL GOMEZ, No. 90 (Eleventh in class. Raul Gomez drove solo.) – – It was amazing, it was great. We had a great time. Definitely a tough course. This is my first SCORE Baja 500. It was exciting.
SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)— GUSTAVO VILDOSOLA SR, No. 21L (First in class. Ricky Johnson started and drove to race mile 310. Gustavo Vildosola Sr drove race mile 310 to the finish.) – – Any time you get to make it to the finish line, it’s a good day. We had a problem in our car early on and had to stop every 40 miles to put some oil on. That cost us too much time and got us really worried about the race. But luckily, we made it to the end and were the first SCORE Trophy Truck Legends to do so. We came here to win. We won the SCORE San Felipe 250 and are really excited that we get to lead the championship. The fans were awesome. The road was packed two or three miles before the finish line and it was really exciting to see that. CO-DRIVER RICKY JOHNSON said: For me it was a big day. I started. A couple of top contenders fell out so we went from eighth to sixth. When we went down the mountain we realized that our transfer case was getting hot. By then we had a five-minute lead, but we had to stop every 40 miles to put in oil. So we were playing that game all day.
ROLF HELLAND, No. 37L (Fourth in class. Rick D. Johnson started and drove to race mile 245. Rolf Helland drove race mile 245 to the finish.) – – It was a long day. We were ninth on the road coming at the Valle of Trinidad, but had an issue at about road mile 355 that costed us quite a bit of time. At that point we had the lead on the SCORE TT Legends class, so it’s a little disappointing. It’s my 15th race here and 15th-straight finish, so at least we kept that alive. Happy for that, for really sad for the whole team. We got a brand-new Mason truck here and we didn’t have a lot of time with it before the race. We’re still getting used to it and it was a challenging learning curve here. But I really enjoyed the week here with all the pre-running and all.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)– SHELBY REID, No. 168 (First in class. Cody Reid drove solo due to his mother having to leave for a family emergency.) – – CO-DRIVER CODY REID said: I gave us a flat; it was totally my fault. I was getting tired in the second half but woke back up. We had a plugged air filter and we got that fixed. It was a very technical course. I think it made this all-wheel-drive car shine. We were picking them off left and right. It was an excellent day. Thank you to my chase crew and family and SCORE.
BRIAN PARKHOUSE, No. 100 (Second in class. Brian Parkhouse started and drove to race mile 246. Joe David drove from race mile 246 to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER JOE DAVID said: It went great. I had one flat tire, but other than that, we had a clean run. It was very technical and we saw many cars on the side of cliffs. There were boulders and running through trees; a little bit of everything. I am pretty excited to be here. I think we had a great finish. I would like to thank the Parkhouse family for giving me this opportunity, Checkers Off-Road, my dad – he raced his first SCORE Baja race in 1974. This is my second SCORE Baja and my first one ever finishing. I am pretty happy.
KYLE QUINN, No. 138 (Third in class. Kyle Quinn started and drove to race mile 245. Ronny Wilson drove from race mile 245 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER RONNY WILSON said: It was very technical and tight and twisty. With the sun setting and the dust, it was a very challenging course. SCORE set up a good course today. We lost a motor twenty miles from the finish. We are just running on three cylinders and we can’t believe it made it to the finish. Thank you to BFGoodrich Tires, King Shocks, Vision Lights, Method Wheels, and the whole crew. We bring 70 guys down here, volunteers, and the full-time guys at the shop, it is amazing what they do to these cars.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) JORGE SAMPIETRO, No. 297 (First in class. Jorge Sampietro drove solo.) – – It went good. We just had one flat the whole race. We had some temperature problems but managed to get through it. It was super technical and super hot. It was one of the toughest SCORE Baja 500s. We made it. The guys at the shop did a great job. My mother and father were here and it was great.
MASON CULLEN, No. 207 (Second in class. Matt Cullen started and drove to race mile 245. Mason Cullen drove from race mile 245 to the finish.) – – We had a great day. We had no flats, thanks to BFGoodrich Tires. We had a fun, tight, technical course. We had amazing stops all day, shout out to my crew and everyone that gets us here.
CHRISTIAN SOURAPAS, No. 210 (Third in class. Brett Sourapas started and drove to race mile 304. Christian Sourapas drove from race mile 304 to the finish.) – – It started out all right, then my brother got a right front flat and got passed by a couple people. Then he got back on the road and encountered an accident on the summit that he stopped to help with for about an hour. I got in about race mile 304 and took it to the finish.
CHRISTOPHER POLVOORDE, No. 204 (Fourth in class. Christopher Polvoorde drove solo.) – – We had some problems and we will learn from them and go forward. It was a wild day. I think I am one of the first trucks to make it through the log jam. We made it. My navigator, Andrew, helped push me through to the end. Baja won this one; we stuck it in a ditch. But we are here for the points so we pushed through. Between all the guys, we have over 30 guys out the course. It doesn’t seem real that 30 people would come waste their weekend to be with us.
DUSTIN GRABOWSKI, No. 272 (Sixth in class. Dustin Grabowski drove solo.) – – The course was good, technical, the way I like it. There were sections I was holding my breath the whole way. It was a good race except for a couple of our mishaps. We rolled the truck and ran out of gas. That cost us about 30 minutes. But I think we finished in the top ten.
CHARLES DORRANCE, No. 299 (Seventh in class. Charles Dorrance started and drove to race mile 246. Larry Job drove from race mile 246 to the finish.) – – It was a rough course. It was a great course, though. I heard there was a log jam behind us. We were fortunate to get through. We ran hard. We lost a hood. We had some overheating problems. We lost a brake line but fixed it in five minutes. That may have cost us the podium. Overall, I’m grateful.
CHRIS MILLER, No. 240 (Eighth in class. Chris Miller drove solo.) – – We were in first place but then had a bunch of flat tires today. We had three flats; that just killed us. But we fought back and here we are. Bittersweet. What today proved is that we can win. We are playing to win. We were right there. All our sponsors did great. Thank you SCORE for opening up Mexico and thank you to the Mexican people for having us. It is such a special place.
CHELSEA MAGNESS, No. 232 (Ninth in class. Chelsea Magness started and drove to race mile 165. Matt Robinson drove from race mile 165 to race mile 340. Michael McNaughton drove from race mile 340 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER MATT ROBINSON said: My section was hot for the most part. It was rough and tough, as usual for a SCORE race, but we love that kind of stuff. CO-DRIVER MICHAEL MCNAUGHTON said: My section was very fun, not very fast, very twisty, but no silt. I loved that there was no silt; but it is all fun. I was able to go into triple digits on those access roads and then I was crawling up hills at nine miles an hour. I saw everything. It was all fun.
CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters) STAN POTTER, No. 1006 (First in class. Stan Potter drove solo.) – – It was a tough, tough race. I had my doubts that I would make it this morning. We stretched our pit to try to get in front of everyone. I passed a couple people that had flats. It was a kick-ass race. I want to thank SCORE. I don’t think people back in the United States realize that this is legit racing. There is nothing that even comes close in terms of pure ruggedness.
MARCO DURAN, No. 1021 (Second in class. Eric Duran started and drove to race mile 160. Marco Duran drove from race mile 160 to race mile 310. Evan Duran drove from race mile 310 to the finish.) – – It was a rough day. It was my first day in the (Class) 10 car; I was promoted. It was a rough day out there. My dad started the race in 24th place, in the back of the pack. I got in at race mile 160 in fifth place. Then my uncle got in and two passed us. From there we just tried our best. We had a great day for my first race. I had a lot of fun. It was a great day overall.
JUSTIN BUCKLEY, No. 1064 (Seventh in class. Justin Buckley started and drove to race mile 245. Mavrick Gaunt drove from race mile 245 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER MAVRICK GAUNT said: We had no problems all day, we just got stuck in the bottleneck at mile 100. Justin had a great race going and gave me the car in first place. But I had never pre-ran the first part of my section. They never passed us but they took different lines and got around us on alternate ways. It was a good battle between all three of us. It was fun.
ALBERTO MENDEZ, No. 1019 (Eighth in class. Alberto Mendez started and drove to race mile 200. Edgar Lara drove race mile 200 to race mile 330. Alberto Mendez drove race mile 330 to the finish.) – – We just had a little issue at the start and then got stuck when a truck had a problem and blocked our way. But besides that, it all went well, we had a clean run. The course was fun, but also very demanding. It was probably the most demanding SCORE race I’ve ever been at. We’re satisfied with our result and the performance of the entire team. I’d also like to thank SCORE for the dedication to organize events like this one.
COREY GOIN, No. 1036 (Ninth in class. Corey Goin drove solo.) – – It was good. We had a little mechanical issue in the first ten minutes. That put us behind in the next class and we just had to pick our way through. I think we finished fourth on the road. Not a bad day. It was a super technical course but fun. Once you get locked in, the car just goes. It was super fun.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs) DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (First in class. Dan Chamlee drove solo.) – – It was a good race, nice and smooth and comfortable….ha-ha. But seriously I did adjust my shocks and they worked perfectly. I did lay it on its side on a steep hill and landed on another rolled car. But I winched back up and got going again. It was bumpy but not as silty as previous races. I have these 40-inch BFGoodrich Tires and they worked awesome. The truck worked good, my lights worked good, I could see through the dust. It was perfect.
PRO UTV OPEN (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement) — MIKE PRATT, No. 1867 (First in class. Dodge Poelman started and drove to race mile 147. Chance Lee drove from race mile 147 to the finish.) – – We were pushing hard and trying to save the car. The course was fast and rough and everything. It was fun.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs) AUSTIN WEILAND, No. 2954. (First in class. Austin Weiland started and drove to race mile 310. Justin Wragg drove from race mile 310 to the finish) – – CO-DRIVER JUSTIN WRAGG said: It was good. We only had one flat. Austin started 22nd and brought it to me physically first in our class. And then I just maintained that pace. Overall, it was a great race. It was dusty and rough and technical but what would the SCORE Baja 500 be without all that?
BRANDON SCHUELER, No. 2919 (Second in class. Cayden MacCachren started and drove to race mile 315. Brandon Schueler drove race mile 315 to the finish.) – – We had a really good day. We had no flats, just a couple of little issues here and there, but we hammered through and got a really awesome finish. It was a rough course, but a really interesting one. The way it was routed, it was awesome. Our team did the homework and it all worked out well.
BRANDEN SIMS, No. 2969 (Third in class. Branden Sims drove solo.) – – We had a great day. I am pretty mentally exhausted. I don’t know how many of these races I have done, but this is definitely the roughest and most brutal one of all. Glad to be at the finish. We got stuck in the bottleneck, but didn’t have any other problems. This is the first time I have ever pre-run an entire course and it helped.
MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (Fourth in class. Marc Burnett drove solo.) – – It was pretty rough today. We had to replace three axles at about race mile 70 and that just killed us to be in the hunt for the win. But our crew and the mechanics did a great job in taking care of the car and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. They killed it. We’re happy just to finish, but we definitely want some podiums and wins. The course was very different than what I expected. Hats off to SCORE, it was a challenging race, for sure.
PRO UTV (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs) ZACH SIZELOVE, No. 1925 (First in class. Zach Sizelove drove solo.) – – The day went really well. We had no issues at all with the car or anything else, we just lost some time on a bottleneck on the Summit. Our tires went great. I have to thank Jeff Proctor and the Honda off-road racing team for letting me race this car and be a part of this fantastic team and also SCORE and everyone involved for making a great event happen. The course was really gnarly. The last 50 miles were so brutal and would never end, it was insane. I was just waiting for that last 37-mile-per-hour speed zone and I was happy to get there.
JOE BOLTON, No. 1957 (Second in class. Joe Bolton started and drove to race mile 190. Austin Bolton drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER AUSTIN BOLTON said: It was a good race for the first 100 miles until a bottleneck, but after that it was good again. I got in at race mile 190. The top five in our class was within ten miles of each other, it was close racing all day. I had one small issue that set me back a little. The course was rough, but I enjoyed it. It was fun.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single – 1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc) OLIVER FLEMATE, No. 1203 (First in class. Antonio Rodriguez started and drove to race mile 430. Oliver Flemate drove race mile 430 to the finish.) – – Everything went well for us. Antonio did an excellent job from the start and pretty much won it for us. It was his first race in the SCORE Lites class. I basically just had to take it to the finish line. It was one of the most challenging courses I’ve ever raced, there’s was a little bit of everything. I’d like to thank SCORE for putting on events like this. It’s great for us as locals to have won it.
OSCAR R. ALVAREZ, No. 1211 (Second in class. Oscar R. Alvarez stated and drove to race mile 160. Adrian Guerrero drove race mile 160 to race mile 360. Oscar R. Alvarez drove race mile 360 to the finish.) – – It was a fun course, we had no flats at all. We were fighting for the win until about race mile 350, but we had some technical issues and had to stop. But we’re happy to make it to the finish line. Some of the hill climbs were really tough and there were some of them in different parts of the course.
CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) ELI YEE, No. 1616 (First in class. Eli Yee started and drove to race mile 250. Angel Barajas drove race mile 250 to the finish.) – – My part of the race was pretty clean, I didn’t have to leave the car for anything. We were the last car to start the race in our class and, when I handed it to Angel, we were first. He did a great job and was able to keep us up front until the end. We’re very happy that everything went so well for us.
RUBEN OSUNA GALLARDO, No. 1699 (Second in class. Ruben Osuna Gallardo started and drove to race mile 75. Omar Iniguez drove from race mile 75 to race mile 200. Fernando Flores drove from race mile 210 to race mile 360. Ruben Osuna Gallardo drove from race mile 360 to the finish.) – – We feel pretty happy that we have several top five finishes. We would like the win and we will fight for that for the future. I took it out and drove to race mile 75 then got back in at race mile 360, so I did about 180 miles. The car was very good. Fernando did an excellent job. We had no flats. It was a heck of a race.
PRO STOCK UTV (Stock UTV’s FI or NA) – ANIBAL LOPEZ, No. 3919 (First in class. Francisco Lopez started and drove to race mile 160. Daniel Gonzalez drove race mile 160 to race mile 330. Anibal Lopez drove race mile 330 to the finish.) – – CO-DRIVER DANIEL GONZALEZ said: We had some issues at the start and had to stop twice in the first hundred miles. We started second and went down to third, but ended up taking advantage of issues of other racers to finish first. It was very fun competition. The course was tough, but had it all and it’s been a long time since I had that much fun on a race. Despite the early issues, the car did great. Our crew got us here, they were 110% the entire day. We are really excited about that.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more) JUAN CARLOS SALVATIERRA, No. 10x (First in class. Juan Carlos Salvatierra started and handed it off to Arturo Salas Jr who rode to race mile 70. Shane Logan rode from race mile 70 to mile 160. Diego Llanos rode from race mile 160 to race mile 250. Salvatierra rode from race mile 260 to race mile 315. Logan rode from race mile 315 to race mile 360. Salas rode from race mile 360 to the finish) – – Thank God we all had a good race, no crashes, no problems, no issues and I was super stoked to be able to ride the bike with a seat this time. We are so happy. Two years ago it was a dream to just participate in the SCORE Baja 500 and then I won the Ironman. I couldn’t have dreamed that I would also win the Pro Moto Unlimited class. It is a dream come true. This race is technical and rough. It was very physical and demanding on the body. I haven’t had blisters on my hand in a long time, not even in the SCORE Baja 1000 or when I did the Ironman, but I got blisters here. I had no issues with my tires. I want to thank SCORE International and all the Mexican fans that show up to greet all the riders. It is great out on the course. This result wouldn’t be possible with all our team members and my mechanic from Bolivia and Arturo Salas’ family. We made a strong and powerful team. CO-RIDER ARTURO SALAS JR said: It was very technical and you have to be very aware. I had over 20 cars I had to watch out for my safety. I want to thank everyone for helping us out and giving us this opportunity. CO-RIDER DIEGO LLANOS said: My section, from race mile 160 to 260, was very technical, but also very fast. We had a good strategy as a team and are all pleased that we managed to get a good result. I didn’t have any problems at all. I tried to be cautious in several moments and the bike responded really well. None of us had any falls or anything and our team did a great job in preparing the bike and taking care of it too. We’ve been pre-running and it helped me to know my section better and not make any mistakes. CO-RIDER SHANE LOGAN said: In my section I felt like I was either going really fast or really slow. It was technical and you had to pay attention a lot and remember all my lines and keep it on two wheels. I made sure I stayed safe today. I did a lot of homework and pre-running.
FORREST MINCHINTON, No. 3x (Second in class. Forrest Minchinton started and rode to race mile 70. Ciaran Naran rode from race mile 70 to race mile 214. Nick Lapaglia rode from race mile 214 to 360. Minchinton rode from race mile 360 to the finish) – – It was all technical, even the fast sections. You can’t lose your focus for a second or it will bite you. We had a flawless plan and stuck to it, no crashes and the bike worked great. It all went well. We have our friends and family here pitching in. It is a beautiful thing.
JASON ALOSI, No. 4x (Third in class. Jason Alosi started and rode to race mile 70. Irving Powers rode from race mile 70 to race mile 203. Ray Dal Soglio rode from race mile 203 to race mile 360. Alosi rode from race mile 360 the finish.) – – I had a good crash around mile 60. I was feeling good, getting second off the line. We were gapping third place, but didn’t manage the sun very well and hit the ground hard. We busted up the bike pretty good and we had some repairs. We had to make more repairs at mile 203. My crew and family stepped up and made the bike rideable again. A bummer day. Thank you to SCORE for putting this on. At least we got to finish in one piece.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc) FERNANDO BELTRAN, No. 180x (First in class. Mauri Herrera started and rode to race mile 70. Larry Serna rode race mile 70 to race mile 160. Luis Flores rode race mile 160 to race mile 220. Larry Serna rode race mile 220 to race mile 270. Luis Flores rode race mile 270 to race mile 320. Larry Serna rode race mile 320 to race mile 350. Mauri Herrera rode race mile 350 to race mile 440. Fernando Beltran rode race mile 440 to the finish.) – – We didn’t have to deal with any major issues. Just had to replace our tires at about mile 70 because of the temperature, but from there on we had no problems at all.
ANA RIVAS, No. 121x (Fourth in class. Ana Rivas started and quickly switched to Nestor Curiel. Nestor Curiel rode to race mile 30. Hosea Struiksma rode race mile 30 to race mile 77. Raul Ortega rode race mile 77 to race mile 160. Isaac Struiksma rode race mile 160 to race mile 200. Nestor Curiel rode race mile 200 to race mile 250. Roberto Arguth rode race mile 250 to race mile 300. Raul Ortega rode race mile 300 to race mile 340. Hosea Struiksma rode race mile 340 to race mile 430. Roberto Arguth rode race mile 430 to race mile to the finish.) – – CO-RIDER ROBERTO ARGUTH said: It was a very difficult race, the course was very technical. We were in second place after the first miles, but we had an accident with a rock, lost some time dealing with it and ended up in sixth. We got on a good rhythm after that, but some bikes were already an hour ahead of us. We caught a few of them and here we are. The team did a great job and we didn’t have major issues, only a few falls.
PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old) RYAN LIEBELT, No. 400x (First in class. Ryan Liebelt started and rode to race mile 70. Justin Shultz rode from race mile 70 to race mile 160. Steve Tichenor rode from race mile 160 to race mile 215. Jason Trubey rode from race mile 215 to race mile 315. Tichenor rode from race mile 315 to race mile 360. Liebelt rode from race mile 360 to the finish.) – – I fell in the silt in the dark this morning and someone fell on top of me. I had to help him pick up his own bike and then my bike. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful day. We ran the same tires all race. It was a rough course but we figured it out and made it work.
BRAD WHITE, No. 432x (Second in class. Ted MacNeille started and rode to race mile 160. Brad White rode from race mile 160 to race mile 240. MacNeille rode from race mile 240 to race mile 340. White rode from race mile 340 to the finish.) – – It was a good day, it went pretty smooth. Towards the end of the race I was getting tired so I had some get-offs. We were supposed to have three riders but ended up with only two because Mike Rynhard broke his ankle, so the two of us rode some sections we had not pre-run so that part was interesting. It went better than I thought it would go, though. We pulled together. I thought I would get more tired than I did.
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old) JANO MONTOYA, No. 325x (First in class. Riding duties were shared between Bryce Stavron, David Zarate and Jesse Canepa.) – – We didn’t have any flat tires or crashes but we did have some fuel issues around race mile 200. It took us about 15-20 minutes to fix it. But that is part of racing; we were able to get it fixed and finish. My pit crew is awesome. We had all the parts ready to go. I want to thank SCORE for a great race and Ensenada for the hospitality and my sponsors and my riders for doing a great job.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders) AARON RICHARDSON, No. 739x (First in class.) – – Everyone told the me SCORE Baja 500 was easier but I don’t know about that. This was definitely harder than the SCORE San Felipe 250. It was rough. It was a treacherous, torturous course. It was a long day but it was good. It was just what I wanted. Thank you to SCORE for putting this on. This was my first SCORE Baja 500.
PAUL HART, No. 733x (Fourth in class.) – – It was good. It just started getting dusty once the trucks caught me. My hands were so sore. I got caught in the pits but I just twisted the throttle and never got passed. It was cool to race someone and not get passed. I feel like I got first place in my mind. I am fried.
RISTO NIEMI, No. 771x (Fifth in class.) – – It was really tough. The race course was one of the toughest I have ever done. I have been racing here for thirteen years. I was doing really well and I was having a good battle with Eddie Meek (No. 712x); we were going back and forth.
ADAM RACHAC, No. 760x (Sixth in class.) – – I had a rough day but it all worked out. I made it to the finish, that is all that matters. I didn’t give up. I had a whole bunch of reasons to give up, but I didn’t. It feels good.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old) GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 500x (First in class. Giovanni Spinali started and rode to race mile 30. John Griffin rode from race mile 30 to race mile 160. Darren Elliot rode from race mile 160 to race mile 202. Griffin rode from race mile 202 to race mile 246. Spinali from race mile 246 to race mile 302. Jim O’Neal rode from race mile 302 to race mile 310. Griffin rode from race mile 310 to race mile 340. O’Neal rode from race mile 340 to race mile 360. Griffin rode from race mile 360 to race mile 430. Spinali rode from race mile 430 to the finish.) – – We were behind for the first two hundred miles but we knew it was a long race. They must have had some repairs to do and we gained the lead. It was more technical for the cars but it was a great wide-open course for the motorcycles.
PRO MOTO 60 (Riders over 60 years old) GUY LAYCRAFT, No. 649x (First in class. Guy Laycraft started and rode to race mile 40. Doug Smith rode from race mile 40 to race mile 160. Laycraft rode from race mile 160 to race mile 240. Dave Potts rode from race mile 240 to the finish.) – – We just ground it out. It was rough and it was hot and you just have to pace yourself. You just have to grind through. We have a really good bunch of guys with a lot of experience. The summit was brutal and the desert was hot. It was a gnarly tough course.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement) SAID SANCHEZ, No. 10a (First in class. Adolfo Arellano started and rode to race mile 77. Jose Robles rode race mile 77 to race mile 120. Adolfo Arellano rode race mile 120 to race mile 197. Said Sanchez rode race mile 197 to race mile 270. Javier Robles rode race mile 270 to race mile 320. Said Sanchez rode race mile 320 to race mile 370. Adolfo Arellano rode race mile 370 to race mile 440. Said Sanchez rode race mile 440 to the finish.) – – It was a perfect race for us. We didn’t have any problems at all. I have to thank my teammates, my family and my sponsors who did a great job with us in getting this car ready.
LUIS ERNESTO VILLAFANA, No. 7a (Second in class. Jose Luis Mesa Velez started and rode to race mile 77. Jose Osuna rode race mile 77 to race mile 83. Gilberto Perez rode race mile 83 to race mile 145. Nicolas Velez rode race mile 145 to race mile 160. Luis Ernesto Villafana rode race mile 160 to race mile 205. Nicolas Velez rode race mile 205 to race mile 245. Jose Osuna rode race mile 245 to race mile 340. Luis Ernesto Villafana rode race mile 340 to the finish.) – Nicolas had an accident at about race mile 325 that slowed us down a bit, but luckily, he was fine and managed to continue and finish second. I’d like to thank SCORE and our entire team for the work they put on today.
PRO QUAD IRONMAN (Open engine displacement, solo Rider) FAELLY LOPEZ, No. 83a (First in class.) – – It was a difficult day and the course was tough, but we made it to the finish and that was the goal. The course brought a lot of different challenges, especially because we didn’t get to pre-run. We were by ourselves in the class, so I was challenging myself the entire time. I set a time I wanted to hit and went for it. Unfortunately, we had a lot of issues with the quad and that delayed me a lot. The team did a great job and we’re happy about it.