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Finish Line Quotes: K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400
SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, Dominic@SCORE-International.
‘Celebrating 50 Years of SCORE Desert Racing Excellence’ K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400, Presented by VP Racing Fuels Post-Race Finish Line Quotes September 16-17, 2023
(As interviewed by Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, Ariana Medrano, Cindy Clark, transcribed by Guilherme Torres) Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVsSCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Custom Trucks) BRYCE MENZIES, No. 7 (First in class. First overall. Bryce Menzies drove solo.) – It was a good day. We started sixth and it was dusty, we knew we were going to have to fight really hard, so we just charged as hard as we could. We got Letner (Harley, No. 70) early on, he had a big crash, and Tavo (Vildosola, No. 21) pulled off. We got Alan (Ampudia, No. 10) in the pits and then we caught Luke (McMillin, No. 1) right at the crossover. Down the highway, he pulled off in his pit and we got him there. My plan was to try to be first on the road by the beach, but when I got there, around race mile 230, I lost my front-wheel drive. I knew it was going to be a long way from there with those guys charging hard from behind me. I just had to play it smart, keep my eyes on the ball and have no flats because that was really going to make it hard for us. We kept those guys behind us and just kind of cruised all the way from there. I had to go back to my two-wheel drive days, but it was unreal. What a day. To win the SCORE Baja 400 three times in a row and get to start the SCORE Baja 1000 in first place, I can’t wait for it. I love being down here in Mexico, I truly appreciate it. LUKE McMILLIN, No. 1 (Second in class. Luke McMillin drove solo.) – It went pretty well. We started a little bit conservative and Toby Price (No. 46) was backing up the pack a little bit, maybe it was his strategy. We were all bunched up in like two minutes, then I just took my time and got a flat tire. I might have hit the same rock 100 times pre-running and it was never a problem, but now it was. We pulled over, changed it and kept going. When we stopped at the pit to re-rack it, we got back in fifth place and my heart was down on the floor because I knew it was going to be really hard to get back to first. We got back to third by Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) and were very close to Ampudia (Alan, No. 10). We took our time in the super rocky section and then Bryce (Menzies, No. 7) closed in on us. We had to make a pit stop on the highway and he really got on us. We chased him all the way home and it is what is. For us, it was a good qualifying for the SCORE Baja 1000. We won it three years in a row and this is a great starting spot. ANDY McMILLIN, No. 31 (Third in class. Andy McMillin drove solo.) – It was great. It was a clean day, we had no problems and were just dusting the rust off and getting back used to it. Our qualifying wasn’t great and we were just following the pack of guys in front of us up until Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) and then we started picking them off one by one. The only ones left in front of us were Bryce (Menzies, No. 7), Luke (McMillin, No. 1), Alan (Ampudia, No. 10) and Polvoorde (Christopher, No. 89) and we made a pass on Polvoorde on the move to the beach. It was a fun day and we’re really happy to be here. ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Fourth in class. Alan Ampudia drove solo.) – It was a good race, but I wanted so badly to win this one. We were first on the road and everything was going smooth, but unfortunately, we had some brake problems and that held us back. I ran like a third of the race with no brakes and that was very hard. We were still first after our pit, but we had lost a lot of time and the guys passed us. We were chasing them, but then lost brakes again. I was just trying to keep the truck on the road and had a good time, but it sucks to not get a win here on the Mexican Independence weekend. I’m not happy with my finish because we could have won this race easily. It wasn’t meant to be, I guess. But we’re happy with the finish and we still have the SCORE Baja 1000 and we’ll prepare for that. CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Fifth in class. Cameron Steele started and drove to race mile 191. Ryan Arciero drove from race mile 191 to the finish.) – I had a very clean run. My navigator and I had a goal of just having fun and having a good run. We got the car running fourth on time and overall, I thought it was a great run. We qualified 13th and had to do a little bit of work to move up on the pack. It was a beautiful day. Fans were out there all day and seeing them having a lot of fun makes us happy. CO-DRIVER RYAN ARCIERO said: We had a great day today. Our main goal today was to get into the top five, top six and get a good starting spot for the SCORE Baja 1000. We needed a good finish in the SCORE Baja 400 but also take good care of the car, so we pushed when we could and took it easy when we needed to. The worst thing that happened to us all day was getting a flat tire. We tried to see if we could run from race mile 190 all the day to the finish with the flat, but it was a bit too long. The dust was miserable and there was no breeze on the coast, but we made it to the finish. ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11 (Sixth in class. Rob MacCachren drove solo.) – The race went well. We qualified 11th and ended up having a very clean race, we had no problems at all. The only thing that held us back today was the dust. We got to Tim Herbst (No. 19) and Dan McMillin (No. 23) by Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150), followed them and ended up letting the people behind us close up. When we pulled in to fuel, Andy (McMillin, No. 31) got by me and we ended up falling behind another trucks. We ran super hard coming up the coast because we had no dust and ended catching up to Ray Griffith (No. 91) and Dan and there was a train of SCORE Trophy Trucks coming up to the finish. MIKE WALSER, No. 89 (Seventh in class. Mike Walser started and drove to race mile 192. Christopher Polvoorde drove from race mile 192 to the finish.) – My section was really dusty. I didn’t qualify very well and had to start on the back. When I got some clean air, I started to get by a couple of guys but then I got a flat. We were still able to move up a few positions and I think we got a decent finish for the SCORE Baja 1000. CO-DRIVER CHRISTOPHER POLVOORDE said: It was a good race, and an interesting day. I got in at this truck after getting out of my truck (No. 91), so it was a hectic day for me. It was my first time racing a Mason all-wheel drive and I have a lot to learn. Luckily Rod Walser (navigator) got me off to speed and I started getting on the groove. Unfortunately, when I kind of figured out the all-wheel drive and started to catch up with some other trucks I made a few mistakes. The dust today was insane, it was a crazy amount of dust, you couldn’t even see your dash. We didn’t want to risk anything, so we just played it safe and tried to maintain it all day. It was great to get some seat ahead of the SCORE Baja 1000 as I’ll be racing with Mike again. LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 (Eighth in class. Larry Roeseler drove solo.) – It was one heck of a race. We had some steering issues again, unfortunately, but we pushed hard all day and had no flat tires, so thank you BFGoodrich Tires. It was a really technical and good course. We just tried to run with the pack. I got by Harley (Letner, No. 70), but then he got back in front. It was hard, I’m tired, but very glad to be here. The fans were amazing. I can’t wait for the SCORE Baja 1000. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing yet, if I’ll run solo, have a partner or be part of another team, but regardless, of course I’ll be there. DAN McMILLIN, No. 23. (Ninth in class. Dan McMillin drove solo.) – It went well. We didn’t have a single flat tire, we never got out of the truck or stopped for anything. I was probably way too conservative and drove way too slow on the first half and tried to pick up on the beach. At that point I was told I was fourth on the road. I’m hoping for a good finish to have a good starting spot for the SCORE Baja 1000. Our team did a great job. We didn’t have a single issue and credits to the BFGoodrich Tires. CHRISTOPHER POLVOORDE, No. 91 (Tenth in class. Christopher Polvoorde started and drove to race mile 120. Ray Griffith drove from race mile 120 to the finish.) CO-DRIVER RAY GRIFFITH said: We had no flats all day, no issues, actually. We beat the hell out of the truck trying to run with the all-wheel drives and the big SCORE Trophy Trucks and it was rock solid. We did a very good job. HARLEY LETNER, No. 70 (11th in class. Harley Letner drove solo.) – The race didn’t’ go very well. About race mile 23, I had an issue that limited my left steering to 30 degrees. It’s kind of hard to not be able to give full steering in a SCORE Baja course. I overshot a corner and had to turn around it pretty slowly. From race mile 90 on, there wasn’t much more I could do in terms of trying to catch the other guys, so we had a clean and safe run trying to make it here to the finish line. We’ll start preparing for the SCORE Baja 1000 soon and try and make a run to the podium there. TIM HERBST, No. 19 (16th in class. James Dean started and drove to race mile 180. Tim Herbst drove from race mile 180 to the finish.) – James Dean did an excellent job in the first half of the course. Unfortunately, the second half of the day didn’t go as smooth as we got two flats and lost an alternator. It was a little challenging, but the truck ran a lot better than the result we got. It was another great SCORE Baja 400 and it’s always great to be here. SCORE TT LEGENDS (SCORE Trophy Truck drivers over 50 years old) GUSTAVO VILDOSOLA SR, No. 1L (First in class. Ricky Johnson started and drove to race mile 180. Gustavo Vildosola Sr drove from race mile 180 to the finish.) – We had a trouble-free run, no flats, no overheating, nothing at all, it was just a great day. To win it on Mexico’s Independence Day was really nice. To get to wave Mexico’s flag and celebrate with the fans was awesome. I’m very proud of my team, we did an incredible job. This truck just keeps getting miles and it’s here at the finish line again. It’s our seventh-straight first-place finish in a SCORE race and that’s certainly worth something. We want to get another win at the SCORE Baja 1000. CO-DRIVER RICKY JOHNSON said: The race went fantastic, it was a great day for us. I screwed up in qualifying, I got two flats in the parade lap and had only spare, so I had to be very cautious on my timing lap. In the race, I felt like we put ourselves on the right places. Some guys got flats and we were there to pass them. I was able to catch dust and capitalize when they made a mistake. The truck went great all day. I’m 59 years old but when I get out there and race, I feel like I’m 20 years old again. I want to congratulate SCORE for another great race. It was really nice to have the race on Mexico’s Independence weekend and see all the flags out there. I also wanted to give a shoutout to K&N. They had been gone for a while and it’s great to have them back with off-road racing. NICK VANDERWEY, No. 5L (DOR – CLYDE STACY. Second in class. Nick Vanderwey drove solo.) – It went OK. We had some overheating issues on the Highway 3 side but had it dialed down. Then, we lost a belt on the Pacific side, so we had to get out of the truck to get it back on. But other than that, it was just a few little things. It was a very rough course, very technical. The fans were everywhere, they even helped us put the belt on. CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters) DAMEN JEFFERIES, No. 121 (First in class. Damen Jefferies started and drove to race mile 225. Steve Strobel drove from race mile 225 to the finish.) – It was a great day. We had no issues at all and no flats with our BFGoodrich Tires. We just had to deal with a lot of dust all the way here. Steve had only driven the car for ten minutes before this race and he did a fabulous job. He had some problems with brakes, but our team was right there to fix it. CO-DRIVER STEVE STROBEL said: Damen got me the car in a really good spot. It was my job to get it to the finish line and it went really well. When you’re coming closer to the finish and you’re in the lead, you just want to bring it home and I’m glad it all went well. We had a very safe race out there and I’m very thankful for that. Those last 50 miles that SCORE put together were some of the toughest off-road racing I’ve ever done. It was brutal, but I loved it. CODY REID, No. 168 (Second in class. Cody Reid drove solo.) – The race was going fantastic until about race mile 225, when I broke the car. We were down for a few hours, but got the car flipped back over. I got to give SCORE a lot of credit for checking in and making sure we were fine. Then we took off and here we are. I didn’t have many issues with Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) and the coast was fast. I was expecting the course to be a lot worse, but it was a lot of fun. AL TORRES, No. 101 (Third in class. Javier Robles started and drove to race mile 200. Al Torres drove from race mile 200 to the finish.) – We had a bad day, but still managed to finish it, which is always good. The Uruapan section (race mile 310) was really hard. We lost a belt in the last ten miles and had to stop to replace it. We also got a couple of flat tires and had a little crash too at around race mile 260. TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) JASON McNEIL, No. 234 (First in class. Jason McNeil drove solo.) – It was a pretty ridiculous day just with everything. We got hung up on a rock and damaged the drive shaft, so we could only go up to 80 miles/hour, it was vibrating pretty bad. We got passed during a bottleneck, but ended getting back around them and just kept going after that. It was a great race, SCORE did a good job and I’ll remember this one for a while. The entire team helped me out so much, I couldn’t have done it without them. THOR HERBST, No. 219 (Third in class. Thor Herbst started and drove to race mile 190. Pierce Herbst drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER PIERCE HERBST said: This was a very fun race and we’re very glad to be here. Thor had a phenomenal run, with no mistakes and no flats. We got in and had a very solid run until Uruapan (race mile 310), where we had a little mishap and ended up on the side. It was a little bit of a bruise in our confidence, but we’re happy to be here. I made a few mistakes but made it here to the finish line and that’s the best part in racing. MICHAEL MARSAL, No. 236 (Fourth in class. Michael Marsal started and drove to race mile 230. Troy Grabowski drove from race mile 230 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER TROY GRABOWSKI said: We had a pretty good run from the start. We were 30th and Michael got us up to ninth, but right before he got to me, he had a flat and we dropped back to 13th. We did our homework pre-running, our notes were all very helpful and brought us to the finish. We’re hoping for a good starting position for the SCORE Baja 1000. The truck went great and ran fast all day. CHARLES DORRANCE, No. 299 (Fifth in class. Charles Dorrance drove solo.) – The course was really good. It started pretty technical but then it took us to some long speed sections. It had a good mix of everything. SCORE did a great job in laying it out and everything was great. We had some transmission issues towards the end but we were able to manage it and take the truck to the finish line. SCOTT SHIELDS, No. 247 (Sixth in class. Scott Shields started and drove to race mile 190. Kevin Shields drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – We had a terrible day of qualifying on Thursday and started 26th. Because of that, we had to battle through the field all day and it was rough out there. We were missing a fender when we turned the truck to my brother, but it was a great day out there. We’re a smaller team with friends and family and that’s what this is all about. What a great place to be during Mexico’s Independence Day. MASON CULLEN, No. 207 (Seventh in class. Mason Cullen started and drove to race mile 225. Matt Cullen drove from race mile 225 to the finish.) CO-DRIVER MATT CULLEN said: It was a good race. We had a driveline issue, but we managed to get it changed up really quick, and then lost a driveshaft. The dust and the sun were hard to deal with, but we were able to get it done. We’re happy to be here and are hoping for a good starting position for the SCORE Baja 1000. STEPHEN BEAL, No. 241 (Eighth in class. Stephen Beal started and drove to race mile 190. Sean Geiser drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – It was a super tough race. The start was very dusty, I couldn’t see well and put the truck on the side. The locals put us back on and I want to go back there and buy them a case of beer. We got back going and started working our way up. We had a terrible qualifying, started almost dead-last and got a pretty good finish. Sean did an amazing job. CO-DRIVER SEAN GEISER said: I did the last 200 miles and my section was really fast. We had a flawless run, made a bunch of passes and brought it to the finish line. GARTH OWENS, No. 283 (Ninth in class. Garth Owens started and drove to race mile 220. Nick Owens drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) – We had all kinds of fun today. We were running on two wheels a few times, came close to getting it on its side and had some flats as well, but other than that, it actually went really well. I started out at 28th and got to 14th at about race mile 220. It was just great, I love it. We’re not done yet, we’ll tune things up for the SCORE Baja 1000. SCORE has put on a good race and I truly appreciate it. CO-DRIVER NICK OWENS said: It was rougher than I thought it was going to be. I also got motion-sickness issues and just took it easy to get here. We got a couple of flats, but other than that, everything else went fine. DAVID ZIEGLER, No. 266 (Tenth in class. David Ziegler drove solo.) – The race went fine. We had a broken seat, so the first half of the race was a little wild. We had a new seat put in, but that put us way back. Besides that, our BFGoodrich Tires held well and the truck finished in one piece, everything looks great and I’m happy with that. VINCENT MUNOZ, No. 294 (11th in class. Vincent Munoz drove solo.) – It was a good race. The dust was a challenge, especially because I started 31st, but we worked our way up pretty well. I didn’t have any flats or any issues with the car. We just lost about ten minutes on a bottleneck right after Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150). It was a clean race and we’re ready for the SCORE Baja 1000. OLIVER FLEMATE, No. 244 (16th in class. Oliver Flemate started and drove to race mile 190. Luis Magana drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – We started in 34th place and it was hard to deal with the dust at the start. Luckily, we recovered from a bad qualification finish, and got to ninth place. However, in a section with a lot of spectators, I ended hitting a rock and lost about two hours and nine or ten spots. These things happen but it’s bittersweet. It’s shame because we had a perfect race up to that point. CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters) FRANCISCO VERA, No. 1091 (First in class. Francisco Vera started and drove to race mile 220. Alexis Vera drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) – My section was very beat up. The big trucks leave the course on a very tough condition for those coming after them, but we played it smart and got a good result. We kept pushing with patience and found our way to the finish line. I had a little issue as the car went off and didn’t want to turn back on. But we didn’t waste more than a couple of minutes because of that. CO-DRIVER ALEXS VERA said: I had a constant battle with the big trucks and it’s always hard to do it. We wanted to keep pushing and had a lot of cars chasing us but got here in first place and with the car in great shape, which is awesome. J. DAVID RUVALCABA, No. 1000 (Second in class. J. David Ruvalcaba drove solo.) – We started second-to-last and had a really hard time going through the pack, but we never lost our calm and had a very good race. The course was very technical and very dusty. We got stuck for a while at Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) too, which was probably the most challenging section. CESAR CUEVAS, No. 1011 (Third in class. Cesar Cuevas drove solo.) – It was a very difficult race for us. We had issues even before the race started and also had problems with our power stream, as well as some physical issues too as I had some pain on my shoulder. The goal was to make it here and get the best possible finish. We reached our goal and are very happy about it. It was a very technical course with a lot of dust and a lot of turns. It was very exciting and I like races like this. We’ll now prepare for the SCORE Baja 100. BRITNEY MYERS, No. 1023 (Eighth in class. Tamara Myers started and drove to race mile 180. Britney Myers drove from race mile 180 to the finish.) – We had a good run. My sister had a flat tire, which put us back a bit, but that happens. We held a good pace and were keeping up with the pack. I was catching up the other cars but then all of a sudden, we started having issues with our transmission, so we had to back off because it was more important to finish and we didn’t want to break 100 miles from the finish line. This was one of the hardest races for me because I always want to go out there and be the first, but this race I had to remember that it wasn’t just about me, it was about the entire team and that finishing was the most important thing. CO-DRIVER TAMARA MYERS said: It went really well. I only had one little accident, getting a little bit out of control and hitting a bush, which blew the tire. Other than that, everything else went well. It was very technical and silty, but it was a fun race. PRO UTV OPEN (two-seat open UTV open-displacement) BROCK HEGER, No. 1896 (First in class. Brock Heger drove solo.) – It was a long and rough day. There was a lot of dust, but we had a good day. We started 13th and came in first physical, so that’s a good day. We had one flat tire and blew our rear shock, which we had to change. But besides that, we charged hard and made it here. It feels good to be here. BRANDEN SIMS, No. 1886 (Second in class. Branden Sims drove solo.) – For us, it was basically a sprint. The way this class is getting now, it feels like everyone is just sprinting now. The pace is absolutely crazy, it blows me away how fast we’re running. From start to finish, it was just a sprint. The course was rough, it definitely tested us in everything I can think, they threw everything at us. There was rough and smooth and some little breaks here and there. There were some really good battles. I got a flat in Uruapan (race mile 310), but other than that, it all went well. JUSTIN LAMBERT, No. 1869 (Third in class. Justin Lambert drove solo.) – That was the most brutal course I’ve ever been on. It was nine and a half hours of brutality. It was very tough and this car held together really well. We didn’t have one flat tire and had only five minutes of down time at race mile 98. But all in all, we’re here and got a pretty good finish. KRISTEN MATLOCK, No. 1854 (Fourth in class. Kristen Matlock drove solo.) – It was a brutal day. It was fast, we’re here almost before dark, but it was a big battle in our class. I had a lot of back and forth with Brock Heger (No. 1896) and Branden Sims (No. 1886) and we’re all here at the finish line. We had a good run, just made a couple of mistakes with tires and had a couple of flats, but other than that, it all went well. KADEN WELLS, No. 1895 (Fifth in class. Kaden Wells drove solo.) – It was one of the roughest SCORE Baja 400s for sure and I had a couple of issues. I had a flat tire and got stuck on traffic for a while and that set me back a little bit. CAYDEN MacCACHRON, No. 1821 (Seventh in class. Cayden MacCachron drove solo.) – It was a good day, for the most part. I was able to run some of the day first on the road, but unfortunately had a part failure and that moved us back quite a few spots. But overall, we’re here and it was a good run. This car has had a couple of not great races and that’s unfortunate, but that’s what makes up keep coming back. Hopefully we can finish on top at the next race, the SCORE Baja 1000. I feel like we can get up there and that’s the plan. SIERRA ROMO, No. 1829 (Eighth in class. Sierra Romo drove solo.) – It was a little rough, but we made it. We had a flawless day, but unfortunately my navigator broke a rib during the race, so we had to make a switch. We were doing very well until the last 20 miles, when we broke an upper A-arm and had to fix it. It’s unfortunate, but that’s racing. I’m just so excited to make it to the finish. It’s my first SCORE race here in Baja and it means a lot to be here. I couldn’t’ have asked for more. WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 1817 (Tenth in class. Wayne Matlock drove solo.) – It was very dusty out there. We had some mechanical issues that kept us from being where we wanted to be in the pack. But we got here at the end, got some points for the Championship and we’ll see how it goes. The tires held well, we didn’t have any issues with them. The fans were awesome today and really motivated us to keep going on a pretty hard day of racing. ROGER NORMAN, No. 1888 (13th in class. Roger Norman drove solo) – We had a good time today. We lost the front diff at about race mile 65 and when that happens, you know you’re going to lose both rear axles next. And that did happen, but didn’t happen for quite a while. We changed them, but we only had one spare set, so we had to take it easy. The funny thing is that, even taking it easy, I almost rolled. But any day is a good day when you’re cruising in Baja. I was having so much fun, I couldn’t stop, I had to keep going. This car has only gotten 600 miles on it and we had the same issue both times now. We know what to do, we only have to do it. PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs) MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (First in class. Marc Burnett drove solo.) – The race went well for us. We had a good start and we got to push a little bit and hold back a little bit. We knew we were on the lead and just wanted to keep the car together. It’s really rough out there. We had an issue with our transmission and a few other little things, but the car is coming together now. We’ve been fighting it for the whole year and now it’s time to start winning races. This win was a long time coming and I’m happy to be here. I’ve won the SCORE Baja 1000 on a bike and on a truck, but never on a UTV, so doing it in November is my goal. It’s going to be a new course and a big challenge, so it’s going to be about figuring everything out and making sure we have a bullet-proof car. ERICK KOZIN, No. 2940 (Second in class. Erick Kozin drove solo.) – The race was long and rough. There were a lot of accidents and a lot of things that made the day very long, but the race was good. All the new sections were nice because it was a lot of places we hadn’t run before. We just had little issues with the car, but all very normal here in Baja. He had no flats thanks to BFGoodrich Tires and that helped a lot. RICKEY ARSLANIAN, No. 2915 (Third in class. Brian Cooper started and drove to race mile 235. Rickey Arslanian drove from race mile 235 to the finish.) – Brian had a very clean race, but there was a lot of dust and very limited passing. I took over the car and we had to push through the rough course. The second half was rough, but also a lot of fun, so SCORE did a great job. The car run flawlessly. We have a lot of good guys in our class and it was difficult to pass, but we did fine. JASON MURRAY, No. 2907 (Fourth in class. Derek Murray started and drove to race mile 220. Jason Murray drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) – We had a rough race. Early on, we had an issue with our trailing arm and that set us back a little bit. We got that fixed, but lost our front-wheel drive at around race mile 180 and finishing the race on a two-wheel drive really made it difficult, especially in the silt. We battled just to make it to the finish line. Baja threw a bunch at us this time and we did what we could. I think we’re still first in points and that’s huge for us going to the SCORE Baja 1000. EDGAR GARCIA, No. 2987 (Fifth in class. Edgar Garcia drove solo.) – It wasn’t a good race for us. We had all sorts of issues and it took us probably around one hour and a half to deal with all of it. It was just a lot of stops to get things fixed and that’s a shame because I think we handled the course well. But we made it to the finish and that was very good for us. CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVS) DANIEL CHAMLEE, No. 700 (First in class. Daniel Chamlee drove solo.) – There was some dirt, some rocks and some bumps out there. We had a good race once we were moving, but lost the transmission at race mile nine. It’s a new transmission and the back half of the transmission case just cracked off. We had to change it, and as soon as we got going, we broke the brake line. For the last half of the race, we got no turbo pressure, so I was driving all motor and didn’t have as much power as I use to, but it was enough. The coast wasn’t as bad, but coming in late, there was a lot of fog. But it wouldn’t be a SCORE Baja race if there wasn’t something to make it difficult for you. SCORE LITES (Limited single-1776cc- or two-seaters-1835cc VW engines) OSCAR R. ALVAREZ, No. 1211 (First in class. Oscar R. Alvarez started and drove to race mile 220. Doug Satterfield drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) – We have a really good team, starting with the shop and the prep and coming all the way to the drivers. Doug is a SCORE champion for a reason, every time he gets behind the wheel, he brings it home. We worked on the suspension and the engine for this race and it worked very well for us. Our pre-running was very good and we were able to replicate it during the race. CO-DRIVER DOUG SATTERFIELD said: We tried to make of this a positive SCORE Baja experience. We were the only ones in the class, so we just wanted to make sure we had a good time and brought the car across the finish line, which we did. This is our third race together and we’ve been making great improvement all the way around. The car was ready before the race, so we could run and test it, and that was huge. We’re the only ones gunning for the Championship, so we just got to show up for the SCORE Baja 1000 and we’re locked in. PRO UTV NA (two/four-seat Normally Aspirated OEM engine UTVs) GABE MATTHEWS, No. 1980 (First in class. Gabe Matthews drove solo.) – It was good, it was fun, it was rough. What an awesome race. We were flawless. I blew a couple of turns, but we didn’t’ have any issues at all, my navigator was on point. Being here on Mexico’s Independence weekend was pretty cool. The fans were everywhere and we saw some crazy parties out there. That just made us want to keep pushing. 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: My dad said his section was rough. The second half was a lot of fun. Uruapan (race mile 310) was rough like always, but you just got to deal with it. We battled the two other top guys in our class all day long. We got to pass one of them, first place got away from us a little bit and we couldn’t catch them, but it was good. I broke an axle and there’s something wrong with the front end too. DAVID PEDDER, No. 1984 (Third in class. David Pedder started and drove to race mile 230. Ricardo Torres drove from race mile 230 to the finish.) – The first section of the race was really tough. Going through all those mountains at Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) was absolutely brutal, I had never seen anything like that. I’ve raced everywhere before coming here to Baja and if someone tells me they’ve raced on a better place, I’d tell them they’re lying. This is amazing and there’s nothing like it in the world. This car is brand new, it had only 38 miles on it when we started, and here we are, with no problems, except for a flat tire. CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) ERIC PAVOLKA, No. 1625 (First in class. Travis Reese started and drove to race mile 220. Eric Pavolka drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) – It was rough, as usual. My section was challenging, but a lot of fun. I didn’t have a GPS and that made it a bit hard for me to find my way here. The car did great, I didn’t have any problems in my section. But Travis had some issues early on. PRO UTV STOCK (Stock UTVs, FI or NA) ANTONIO MENDEZ, No. 3959 (First in class. Antonio Mendez started and drove to race mile 125. Alonso Gonzalez drove from race mile 125 to race mile 220. Edmundo Fernandez drove from race mile 220 to the finish.) CO-DRIVER EDMUNDO FERNANDEZ said: I got a lot of dust in my section, but it actually went pretty well. We had an electric issue within the first 70 miles and were trailing our opponents and it was hard to do it with the dust. We did a very good job in getting to first place and we’re all very happy that we managed to overcome the adversities. RICARDO ZARAGOZA, No. 3924 (Second in class. Ricardo Zaragoza drove solo.) – We were going well, but then had a little accident around race mile 220. It took us some time, but we were able to manage it and kept going. The other cars were able to get by us but it was close and we don’t know what the final results will be. The course was crowded all day and that was hard. Our GPSs didn’t work well either and we had some problems with it. JORGE CANO, No. 3936 (Third in class. Jorge Cano drove solo.) – It was a tough race and we had three cars in our class battling until the end and getting to the finish line very close from one another. The last miles were very challenging. The car did well during the race, we just had a couple of flat tires after we hit rocks that were hidden on the ground. ANIBAL LOPEZ, No. 3900 (Sixth in class. Anibal Lopez started and drove to race mile 190. Daniel Gonzalez drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – Everything was going to plan at the start, but we had some issues with our water supply around race mile 50. The course demanded a lot from the car and we were trying to prevent it from overheating until race mile 77, when we fixed it. Daniel also had a little issue during his section, but we made it here. I think sometimes races are decided at the start and this time, with all the dust, that was the case. It was very complicated to make passes at the start and those who got behind had a difficult day. CLASS 5 (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed) ELI YEE, No. 511 (First in class. Eli Yee Jr. started and drove to race mile 120. Eli Yee drove from race mile 120 to race mile 270. Angel Barajas drove from race mile 270 to race mile 350. Eli Yee drove from race mile 350 to the finish.) – It was our third victory in three SCORE races this year and we’re very happy. This was also the first time my son got to drive in a SCORE race. It’s Mexico’s Independence Day and that makes it more special. Last year we won three out of the four SCORE races and now we’ll try to go four out of four at the SCORE Baja 1000. CLASS 11 (stock VW sedans, safety modifications) OLIVER FLEMATE, No. 1105 (First in class. Antonio Espinoza started and drove to race mile 190. Oliver Flemate drove from race mile 190 to the finish.) – We are so happy to have won the SCORE Baja 400, it was a very tough race. It was very technical and hard and we saw a lot of accidents out there. It was a really tough course and I found it more difficult than the one of the SCORE Baja 500, but we made it. And we started all the way back in 36th. Luckily, we were able to come back from a qualifier that didn’t go well for us. But we knew the race was going to be different. We built the car in our shop here in Ensenada and it took us a lot of effort to get it done. We have won our last four races and we’re the points leader and are ready for Round 4 at the SCORE Baja 1000. ERIC BRANDT, No. 1143 (Second in class. Eric Brandt started and drove to race mile 125. Tim Sletten drove from race mile 125 to race mile 225. Clyde Stires drove from race mile 225 to the race mile 310. Tim Sletten drove from race mile 310 to race mile 350. Eric Brandt drove from race mile 350 to the finish.) – We had a good run, were in second for most of the time. The 1111 car (Eric Solorzano) was running really hot, so we let them go. It was really fun. We had a good clean run, no mistakes, nice and easy, just taking care of the car. The final section was a challenge because the course was completely chewed up. It’s not a ‘give me’ when you get close to the finish, you have to keep going. We didn’t have any major issues with the car and our BFGoodrich Tires held great, we have to thank them. CO-DRIVER TIM SLETTEN said: It was a long day. The Mike’s Sky Ranch section (race mile 150) was torn up, but it wasn’t too bad. But the Uruapan section (race mile 310) was six times worse than when we pre-run. We kept our cool today, our goal was to make it to the finish line and we did just that.
Pro MotorcyclesPRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more) JUAN CARLOS SALVATIERRA, No. 1x (First in class. First overall. Shane Logan started and rode to race mile 120. Diego Llanos rode from race mile 120 to race mile 230. Justin Carnes rode from race mile 230 to race mile 330. Juan Carlos Salvatierra rode from race mile 330 to the finish.) – We’re happy to be here at the finish line and that everyone is fine, which is the most important thing. It was a fun race and we had great battles with 3x (Ciaran Naran) and 11x (Arturo Salas Jr). We had some good moments, but missed some time fixing our exhaust pipe, but that’s racing. We didn’t give up and we’ll be back for the SCORE Baja 1000. ADRIAN ORTIZ, No. 13x (Second in class. Adrian Ortiz started and rode to race mile 120. Danny Mendoza rode from race mile 120 to race mile 190. Gustavo Gonzales rode from race mile 190 to race mile 270. Albaro Ortiz rode from race mile 270 to the finish.) – Unfortunately, we started last in our class, but we had a good race. The start was hard because of the fog and the dust, but when the bikes got a little bit more separated, we managed to keep a good pace. Our team did a very good job. Danny got the bike in second place and was able to keep us there. My brother Albaro did a great job too, he was the fastest among us and helped us get a good finish. His future is bright. ARTURO SALAS JR, No. 11x (Fourth in class. Arturo Salas Jr started and rode to race mile 180. Clayton Roberts rode from race mile 180 to the finish.) – It was a very fun course. I think that it doesn’t matter what they do with the course, it’s always a challenge to overcome it here in Baja, especially for us in motorcycles. We didn’t have any mechanical issues and had a very good day. Except for a little fall, we had a pretty clean run. It was great that we got Clayton to finish the race. I was ready to come back at about race mile 350, but he was feeling good and I wanted him to have the feeling to finishing a SCORE race here in Baja. CIARAN NARAN, No. 3x (Fifth in class. Forrest Minchinton started and rode to race mile 70. Ciaran Naran rode from race mile 70 to race mile 190. Derek Ausserbauer rode from race mile 190 to race mile 270. Nick Lapaglia rode from race mile 270 to the finish.) – Forrest ran the first 70 miles and he did a phenomenal job. It was foggy, it was brutal and he had to deal with some dust too, but he made it happen and handed me the bike in the lead, so I just got on and charged forward. When I left the bike, we had close to a five-minute lead and that was great. It boosted my confidence going into the SCORE Baja 1000. Derek and Nick also pulled it off and made us very proud. I’m so stoked for the boys and all the hard work we put into this program. I’m just very excited right now. CO-RIDER FORREST MINCHINTON said: We started in second place, but luckily, I was able to make a pass early on. We got the lead at about race mile ten and kept it all day, which was awesome. The guys from 11x (Arturo Salas Jr) kept on us until the end. We had a five-minute gap at one point but they cut it to thirty seconds. Luckily Nick was able to get two minutes between us and them. It was close, but it was really fun. We have a lot of respect for those guys, it was a great race. We had a clean race, with no issues at all. CO-RIDER NICK LAPAGLIA said: It was beautiful, the best race of my life. I’ve been racing on these bikes for 20 years and this was the best race ever. It’s been a beautiful week here in Mexico. It also set us up pretty well for the SCORE Baja 1000. It will be my first peninsula run and I’m just very excited to do it. I’ve made some runs from Ensenada to Cabo for fun, but that’s going to be great. CO-RIDER DEREK AUSSERBAUER said: It was great. I had a bit of a hard time and crashed it like three times, but only got to hit the ground once. Other than that, I felt really good on the bike all morning and I’m just excited for the SCORE Baja 1000 now. PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old) JANO MONTOYA, No. 300x (First in class. David Zarate started and rode to race mile 70. Jano Montoya rode from race mile 70 to race mile 120. David Zarate rode from race 120 to race mile 230. Kyle Tichenor rode from race mile 230 to race mile 350. Jano Montoya rode from race mile 350 to the finish.) – Fortunately, it was a good race for us. We didn’t have any issues with the bike and no major falls, which was great. The bike did great all day. The entire team did an excellent job and our pit crews were always ready for us. The course was harder than I expected, with a lot of whoops and rocks, but that’s Baja. We come here to race on this kind of course. PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 450cc) ELY RAMIREZ, No. 114x (First in class. Ely Ramirez started and quickly switched to Manuel Lopez. Manuel Lopez rode to race mile 77. Ely Ramirez rode from race mile 77 to race mile 120. Alexander Lopez rode from race mile 120 to race mile 185. Ely Ramirez rode from race mile 185 to race mile 230. Marco Guizar rode from race mile 230 to race mile 310. Manuel Lopez rode from race mile 310 to race mile 350. Alexander Lopez rode from race mile 350 to the finish) – The course was fast, but technical. It had a lot of rocks and whoops, I thought it was very fun. The bike ran pretty well. We had a couple of small falls, but no issues beyond that. STEVEN ABRAMS, No. 102x (Third in class. Steven Abrams started and rode to race mile 130. Patrick Pennington rode from race mile 130 to race mile 220. Kellen Kerbs rode from race mile 220 to the finish.) – The race was great. We started off pretty well coming through Ojos Negros (race mile35). When we made the first switch, we had a pretty decent lead on 114x (Ely Ramirez), maybe five minutes. Unfortunately, we had some issues and Patrick went down. He pulled it together, but we got a little bit behind and from that point on, it was pretty much about trying to bring it home. The bike did fine and we’re thankful that we managed to make it to the finish line, it’s always tough here in Mexico. PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old) RYAN LIEBELT, No. 400x (First in class. Jason Trubey started and rode to race mile 125. JD Triffon rode from race mile 125 to race mile 220. Ryan Liebelt rode from race mile 220 to race mile 350. Jason Trubey rode from race mile 350 to the finish.) CO-RIDER JASON TRUBEY said: My sections were a lot of fun, very dusty and foggy, especially in the morning. Our problem was that we lost our clutch at about mile ten and we couldn’t replace it until race mile 220, so we rode with no clutch for about half of the race. That gave us some challenge there and cost us about 40 minutes, but we finished and got here safe. ADRIAN INDUSCO, No. 435x (Second in class. Rodolfo Patroc started and rode to race mile 40. Adrian Indusco rode from race mile 40 to race mile 77. Rodolfo Patroc rode from race mile 77 to race mile 270. Adrian Indusco rode from race mile 270 to the finish.) – This was a very tough course. We had only two riders in our team and the load was a bit too heavy for us, but we managed to split it in a way that allowed us to race the sections we wanted. We had a very clean race, with no errors, except for a little fall. We had a tough battle at the start, but got to first place at around race mile 100 and never lost our position. PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old) ROBERT CREEMERS, No. 501x (First in class. Robert Creemers started and rode to race mile 70. Kevin Archer rode from race mile 70 to race mile 184. Sean Clarke rode from race mile 184 to race mile 222. Wayne Jennings rode from race mile 222 to race mile 308. Sean Clarke rode from race mile 308 to the finish.) – CO-RIDER SEAN CLARKE said: It was great. Robert had a great start and the entire team did a great job. The course was dusty and rocky, just like always. The bike went really well all day, we had no problems at all. PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders) EDGAR COTA, No. 723x (First in class.) – It was a very fun race. It demanded a lot from us, like always, but I was feeling good from the start. I managed to get to some quads at the crossover, but visibility wasn’t great, so I ended hitting a rock and went down and Brandon (Wright, No. 700x) got to me. I managed to catch him, but had another fall. After that, I didn’t give up and focused on keeping my pace and getting to the finish line. I spotted Brandon again at about race mile 290 and that gave me more energy to keep pushing – I didn’t stop until the finish line. The bike is a little beat up but made it here. I’m just very happy to have made it here. BRANDON WRIGHT, No. 700x (Second in class.) – The morning was tough for everybody with all the fog and the moisture in the air, it was messing everybody’s goggles. I felt it cleared when we got to race mile 77 and everybody started going faster. It was a pretty rough course for most of the day, but I just kept hammering. I couldn’t really settle to a really fast pace, but I found a medium pace that worked well for me. It was a good day, the bike was great and the entire crew did a great job. Everything went to plan, but maybe I just didn’t go fast enough. FABRICIO FUENTES, No. 785x (Third in class.) – It was a very demanding and complicated race, but also beautiful. I had some issues with the bike, including losing my GPS. I had to go back and find it to keep going. I also had some issues with the fog and had some falls early in the race. I’m very happy to be here and would like to thank SCORE for putting on a challenging, but very safe race. I come all the way from Bolivia and love the Mexican fans. PRO MOTO 60 (Riders over 60 years old) KEVIN WARD, No. 644x (First in class. Kevin Ward started and rode to race mile 90. Jeff Kaplan rode from race mile 90 to race mile 220. Louie Franco rode from race mile 220 to race mile 350. Kevin Ward rode from race mile 350 to the finish.) – The start was incredibly dusty with the mud and the fog, it was crazy. I didn’t get any clean air until race mile 60 or so. That’s when I was finally able to start making some moves. We didn’t have any major problems except for Louie hitting a rock by the beach that put a hole on the case. We should have probably finished one hour earlier, but we’re here and that’s great. CO-RIDER LOUIE FRANCO said: I broke the case at about race mile 300. I had some J-B Weld with me, so I just put it all over the case, waited for 20 minutes for it to dry and put oil on it and kept going. It was a fun ride for most of the time, until I saw the helicopters coming with the SCORE Trophy Trucks. I don’t think I have ever run so fast in my life, but they never caught me. I was nervous, it was good motivation.
Pro QuadsPRO QUAD (Open engine displacement) NICOLAS VELEZ, No. 1a (First in class. Nicolas Velez started and quickly switched to Jose Luis Meza. Jose Luis Meza rode to race mile 77. Nicolas Velez rode from race mile 77 to race mile 140. Felipe Velez rode from race mile 140 to race mile 310. Jose Luis Meza rode from race mile 310 to the finish.) – We had a very clean and fun race, we had a lot of fun out there. The quad dealt very well with the course, we had no issues at all. We prepared very well for the race and it paid off. PRO QUAD IRONMAN (Open engine displacement, solo Rider) FAELLY LOPEZ, No. 83a (First in class.) – The most difficult moment was around race mile 260 as the quad had some electrical issues and we didn’t know if we would be able to make it here. We had to deal with it for 120 miles. Other than that, everything else went well. The area of Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) was very hard, but I like the challenging sections and have a lot of fun with them. Now we’ll prepare for the SCORE Baja 1000.