724F 2019 Jeep Gladiator Baja 1K Race Report

Dave Cole 4454

Well-Known Member
I have been fortunate to be the Driver of Record for the 2019 SCORE season. This same vehicle finished 5th in the Stock Class at King of the Hammers driven by Erik Miller and Robby Gordon.

Dan Fresh, who had been the other driver all season, got an offer to drive a Spec Truck but suggested his former partner and 5 time B1K class winner, Doug Siewart, take his place.

With Doug driving the first 330 (San Matias), and my son Bailey taking the stretch from 330 to 510 (Zoo Road), that left me to take the final stretch, hopefully to the finish.

Before the race, we built a strategy that would help set our pace regardless of what the competition was doing. 7F is a battle of attrition more than speed. With 4 cars in class, we estimated a time of 32.5 hours would win the race.

Doug executed his section flawlessly. Our biggest mechanical issue was a broken passenger side windshield wiper. Doug stayed middle of the pack through the first 275 miles. Eventually coming across the class leader rolled in the middle of the course. Because its what we do, we did our best tonget him back on his wheels. Unfortunately it proved to be more than a one winch job, breaking the winch line in the process

Its probably appropriate to mention that except for the Fox Shocks and Dynatrac 60s, this vehicle is bone stock, still has carpet and full interior. We have run the stock 3.6 liter motor, stock transmission, and stock Tcase ALL YEAR. With the exception of a broken stock control arm mount breaking in the 250 we have completed every mile of the SCORE season on the same untouched drivetrain and factory stock cooling system.

In the middle of the night, coming through Matomi, Bailey got a crash course on how brutal and desolate Baja can be.

A cotter pin on the tie rod end broke and the nut came off. Fortunately the tie rod couldnt completely fall off because the Drag Link was directly above it. With the steering hanging on by a literal thread, Bailey and Matt "Texas Jesus" Fallis limped the Jeep to RM 454 where there was a BFG Pit was located and Chase 2 manned by a bunch Ultra4 racers from Indiana caught up with them. After crossdrilling a 5/8 lugnut "borrowed" from the BFG pit the steering was race ready.

Bailey delivered the car at 510 with a 2 hour lead. Time to get to the finish. Not so fast.

Dave Cole 4454

Well-Known Member
During the drivers change Bailey mentioned a noise coming from the rear end.

Upon further inspection we found the carrier bearing on the rear drive shaft was disintegrating.

The first attempt to fix was to stabilize the intermediate shaft with ratchet straps.



Dave Cole 4454

Well-Known Member
Between limping the car to El Chinero and a driver induced flat tire, we were down to a 1 hour lead over 714F Justin Park.

At El Chinero we talked about pulling the rear shaft completely and fixing it out of the truck while limping to RM 580 Saldana in FWD.

Then the best baja fix Ive seen in awhile happened. Chase 1 laced fire sleeve in and out of the carrier bearing mount effectively creating a bushing and stabilizing the shaft.


Dave Cole 4454

Well-Known Member
After El Chinero, the Jeep felt brand new and apparently we were the only car in class still going.

After an uneventful and fairly easy cruise the last 200 miles we got to the finish. In the midst of celebrating we found out 714Fs tracker hadnt been working and he was coming in.

After a couple tense moments we were able to fully celebrate our teams first Baja 1000 win. In doing so, we also secured a season championship.

Thank you to Jeep, Savvy, Falken Tires, Raceline Wheels, Fox Shocks, Warn Winch, Sparco Seats, and JE Reel Driveline for getting us to the finish line.


jon coleman

Well-Known Member
' only in a jeep'!;)👍👍.ps , too bad racers have to clean cars to cross boarder, nothing screams ' bk1 is Brutal' more than a roached out mudd bucket.


Well-Known Member
awesome fix..... thats something to remember. how did the "heat shield carrier" look when it finished?


Well-Known Member
"Its probably appropriate to mention that except for the Fox Shocks and Dynatrac 60s..." Stock? Stock you say? That rear trailing arm sure looks like it is too long to fit into that front mount with nothing bolted into it. And it comes with coilovers, bumps and bypasses? Not trying to be a weenie, but come on, you guys finished and won, no need to butter up the already eaten muffin.

Dave Cole 4454

Well-Known Member
Point taken Gil...but,

It is a full stock cab, stock motor on the stock motor mounts, stock transmission and tcase.

The radiator is stock with all stock electrical.

The control arms, shocks, bumps, axle housings, tires, wheels, seats, belts, fuel cell and fiberglass bedsides are the only thing that isnt exactly the way it came from the factory.

When it raced KOH the bed, control arms and suspension were all stock too.

The thing that really impressed me was all the little stuff that rattles apart on a new car when it hits the dirt still works.

And that transmission makes all the difference from the JK to JL/JT