GUS VILDOSOLA JR., No. 21 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) – It was a less than perfect race because we had a lot of navigational mistakes. It was one of those wins that just falls into your lap. It is about perseverance and continuing to chip away. We are excited about the win and we came out here to points block for the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 because if we won then nobody would go further up on us in points. We hope to go out and do well enough to win the championship, which was the goal last year and is the goal again this year. Our strategy was to beat him (Steven Eugenio #1) off the line and we did, but he knows this desert like the back of his hand. There was a reason he was ahead of us the whole race and that’s an indication of talent and knowing this race course really well. He passed me right as we left the infield section and I followed him all day long. He was putting down a really good pace so I thought he would probably take this race and we would be fighting with Andy (McMillin, driving for Rob MacCachren #11) for second place. During our pit at the end of the second lap Andy went by us and when we got on the road he was stopped so we went by him and then we got a flat. I thought he would go by us again but he never did so we cruised it in and passed Steven Eugenio who was broken down about five miles from the finish. It was really hot and the dust didn’t move especially in the third lap when the sun went down and the light was reflecting off the dust particles. We couldn’t see much of anything so following the slower classes made it a rough race. We came out here thinking that second place was no good for us and we needed the win because we couldn’t have Steven, Apdaly or Rob win because they would move closer to us or further ahead of us in points. We called this our points blocking race and if we won it we would leave in the same shape as we came in.
EDUARDO LAGUNA, No. 17 (Second in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We didn’t have a chance to pre-run well because our pre-runner broke down. The first few miles were really rough and we lost the front bump stop at race mile five so we took it easy the first lap. On the second lap we tried to get some time back but unfortunately the engine tried to quit on us and we started losing oil pressure and had temperature problems. We had to baby sit it for the rest of the day. We added oil every 25 miles until the finish so it worked for us.
JAMES BULT, No. 47 (Third in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — It was hot and we had problems with cooling all day. We sat for about 30 minutes but fortunately ran into some SCORE guys with water and they poured three or four gallons in the radiator and we finally got it all purged right. On the last lap we ran pretty well but on the first two laps we kept having to pull over for the overheat problem.
SHELBY REID, No. 168 (First in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Reid shared driving duties with Darren Ebberts.) — Darren Ebberts drove the first two laps and he was having a bit of a problem with the engine going into limp mode. He figured out that he could trick it by turning it off and then back on. He gave the car to me in first and when I got up into the sand hills I started struggling and it went into limp mode and shut the motor down. I got stuck in the sand for a little bit and had to go down the berms to get some momentum. I got in the car in the dark and we’ve been lost a few times and been off course.
BRADY TURNER, No 166 (Second in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Turner drove the entire race.) — The strap for my tool bag on the back of the car broke and the bag fell onto the headers and caught on fire. The fire burned up the coil wires and it cost us an hour before we could get a coil and new wires. The sand section was terrible and it was a rough course but we had a great time.
JAIME HUERTA JR. No. 175 (Third in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Huerta drove the entire race.) — NAVIGATOR BRYAN HANSON said: We started off the day really well but at mile 10 there is a left turn that we nailed hard and we got stuck in the sand. We tried to motor it out but got buried all the way to the chassis. We got the jack out and it took us about 15 minutes to get undone. We got tangled with another car and broke off our top lights and front lights so all we had were the amber lights all night.
TODD WINSLOW, No. 1081 (First in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Winslow shared driving duties with Matt Winslow.) — My son Matt drove the first two laps and we thought he might get out of the car after the first lap because of dehydration but he went the whole second lap. He had us in first place and I jumped in and I hadn’t seen the course before. My son had pre-run the course before but I hadn’t so it was tough. We stood it on the nose a bunch.
CODY REID, No. 1068 (Second in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Corey Goin drove the entire race.) — CO-DRIVER COREY GOIN said: We had a great day. We didn’t have any problems but on the last lap I got it into a ditch and it took us a minute to get out. Another truck pulled us out and I owe him a lot. It cost us a good 10 minutes because when he pulled us out he flipped us on the side so they had to unhook and pull us back over. We started side-by-side with the (Todd) Winslow 1081 car and I had him for a minute in the infield but he out pulled me and got away and I couldn’t get back to him. We ran the second lap hard trying to make some time on the first place car but he just out drove me.
JARED TEAGUE, No. 1047 (Third in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Teague shared driving duties with Josh Deyer and Ryan McCoskey.) — CO-DRIVER RYAN McCOSKEY said: On lap two we had some electrical issues and got them taken care of pretty fast and rest of the time was just going and picking through it carefully.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
LARRY CONNER, No. 871 (First in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Connor drove the entire race.) — There is no way in these kind of conditions that you can come out here and drive and expect to win. This was absolutely a team effort and the truck was well prepped and we didn’t have any problems at all. It was a little trying out there today but we cruised it in. It was very dusty which became an issue with the sunset and it was really bumpy and the course got really torn up.
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 1971 (First in class.) — We didn’t have to touch the car at all day today. We put gas in it one time and that was it. It was just a flawless race. We hope we hit all of the VCPs because it was pretty dusty out there. To put 80 miles of course into this little area is kind of tough but it was a good layout. There were rocks, sand washes, sand dunes, lake beds and it was a lot of fun. By the time we left the infield section on the first lap we had a little over 20 seconds on the guy who started next to us. The only battle we had was a Class 1 car that was racing in Sportsman. We followed him for two laps and when we would catch him and horn him he would jackrabbit out in front of us. The dust was killer. The course is rough and silty but it has some fast stuff so it is a mix of everything. It is absolutely brutal in some spots.
SCOTT McFARLAND, No. 1942 (Second in class.) — It was a really rough course and pretty dusty when we started out but it didn’t take us long to get into the clear. For a dusty course we had a lot of clean air all day. We had a couple of mechanical issues and lost a belt. We had belt cooling problems so we had to hold the car back quite a bit. We would have been able to run faster in a lot of places had our belt been working a little better.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 1917 (Third in class.) — We know these races are rough so we were running at 80 percent knowing that we will finish first or second. I wasn’t racing for first today, I was racing to beat everybody in the points hunt. We had some GPS issues early on so we had to turn around one or two times when our GPS would power down which cost us five to eight minutes.
MARK SAMUELS, No. 3x (First in class. Samuels shared riding duties with Ray Dal Soglio.) CO-RIDER RAY DAL SOGLIO said: I did 200 miles of the 270 miles because our focus was on the 5x bike today so I had the duty of just getting it to the finish. Two hundred miles is a lot on this course because it is hot and all whoops and really rough. It pushed my physical and mental fitness. It was a cool course but it will separate the amateurs from the professionals. It was one relentless section after another. Mark Samuels started and gave me the bike in second place at race mile 70 right in front of the 1x. They (the 1x) passed me in the whoop section but fortunately their bike broke so we just kept it consistent after that.
COLTON UDALL, No. 5x (Second in class. Udall shared riding duties with Mark Samuels.) — This race was really gnarly and the bumps were huge and they come out of nowhere because all the sand is super white. The course had huge whoops with big rocks. Everything was pretty severe and I had to have the right goggle tint to see the bumps coming at me. The bike handled really well so the rocks that we did hit didn’t cause us to crash. I wanted to get through the race so I was riding pretty steady. The 1x bike passed me on the dry lake bed and I lost the ribbon and only found it again because he was on it and I followed his dust. I was able to pass him back around race mile 35 and started checking out there because my bike handles really well. I think that was the difference because we were able to pull some time out and make a big difference. The whole back section the of the course behind Superstition was so rocky and whooped out we had to ride in third gear rather than normal speeds which is fifth gear wide open. It was a super technical race and three laps made it difficult. I’m happy that the cars didn’t play a big part and they were pretty courteous and moved over when they heard you coming. I rode a lap and eight tenths to remote pit two and Mark Samuels got on after riding eight tenths of a lap on the 3x bike. We had a rear brake issue and some other issues so we had to make some mechanical adjustments.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 300x (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Morgan Crawford and Aaron Tuck shared riding duties.) – CO-RIDER MORGAN CRAWFORD said: I rode a whole lap and gave it to Aaron Tuck in second place overall and then he pulled up on the leader and they battled it out for the whole last lap. CO-RIDER AARON TUCK said: I think the key was that we didn’t run 100 percent all day so we stayed trouble free.
JANO MONTOYA, No. 404x (First in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Montoya shared riding duties with Shane Esposito.) — It was technical and hot but the bike was good and ran without issues though we lost a couple of little levers but nothing major. The course was well marked so there were no issues there. In the morning we lost the light and it was hanging so we had to pit to get it off and that cost us a couple of positions. We were able to make them up on the first lap and after that it was just keeping a steady pace. It was about taking care of the bike and taking care of the body.
JAVIER ROBLES, JR., 1a (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Roberto Villalobos and Josh Row shared riding duties.) — CO-RIDER ROBERTO VILLALOBOS said: The heat was incredible. The silt was bad in places and there were a bunch of cars stuck there.