**DanZio Dessert Assassins #113 Baja 500 report**

SHAM WOW!!!!! What a gnarly trip that was!!!! Tipped over prerunner, wearing a dress, prerunning from dusk till dawn..... I don't think I was ever prepared more for a race!!!

The trip starts by my wife Kelly helping me pack all my supplies for the week. Not only did she help clean and pack all my stuff, but she also hooked me up with a sweet dress for the Mike's party. She's my biggest fan and she also hooked me up with the sweet race updates on Saturday morning before my section.

Next I am meeting my good buddy Jake Johnson at my house early the saturday one week before the race. Jake was gonna co-drive for my since my normal co-driver Allen Hickerson was still healing from our crash in Parker. We load up his stuff and hit the highway. We gotta haul the mail to San Diego to meet Cameron Steele and crew for a meet and greet with Oscar from SCORE, the Mexican Board of tourism, and the Govenor of Baja. WE make an apearance for an hour or so and then haul it to Ensenada!!! We have prerunning to do. As Cameron said all week "We're burnin' daylight!!!!"

We get to our hotel with zero problems. We throw our junk in the room and unload the prerunners. We jump in and beat it down to run the Europan (sp?) section of the course. It was awesome to lose myself in Mexico with my friends driving off road cars, and getting away from the pressures of work and the economic fall that has effected our country.

The whole rest of the week is filled with prerunning from sun up to sun down. On our tuesdays expedition, I turned my prerunner on its' side going zero miles an hour!!! It's an amazing story that can be best told by Cameron's master video skills. So I'll save that story to be told by such!!

Wednsday night was the Mike's Guy Rancho dress party!!! What a den of debachery that was!! 20 or so dudes all in drag!!!! I still have visions of Fast Eddy burned into my brain!!!! It's an image not for the homophobe!!!! I'll give that one a two SHAM WOW shout for that action!!!! However, we did raise $1,000 for a local orphanage that really needed it!! It seemed to me that Pistol Pete was touched most by the donation. I saw a side of him this week that gained me a lot of respect for him and also became more of friends, rather than an aquaintance that I race against.
Jake and I preran our section no less than 3 times and in some spots 4 or 5 times. This was the most I have ever been prepared prerunning for a race!!! The rest of our crew showed up thursday with the race car!! Chris and Mitch from DanZio did an excellent job prepping the car!!! I dont think we have ever been more ready to race!!

RACE DAY!!!!!!! Mike Voyles and his son Mikey are running the first half. Our plan for the day is to run a steady conservative pace. Right off the bat we get involved in a 20 car pile up. No worries, Mike gets through it and we have not lost any positions. We run down to mm100 and wait for the car.

The COPS Penhall car is in the pits and we are about 15 seconds behind him. We pull in and fuel the car...bam...30 seconds later we are back out in front of the COPS car!! Bitchen pit stop and we gained a postition. It was one of the highlights of the day for me to have such a clean, organized , and fast fuel stop.

Since I get in the car at rm222, I get on down to my spot and wait. Mike brings the car in 5th postion. The only one to get around is Kory Halapoff. Tires, fuel, light bar, and driver change. Pretty fast and well done again!! I'm out of there!!!

I hit Mike's Sky Ranch road and I see Harleys dust a little ways up. I roll on the gas in old Sheila and give pursuit. I get her up to about 115 and...BAM...no power steering!!!! Belt shreaded off. We get it changed and we are off again. 3 trophy trucks get by and we are now behind Pistol Pete....We are in Hot Pursuit!!!!

We sit behind Pete's dust and wait like a Cougar preying on a 22 year old in a bar.... Waiting for the opportunity....and I get it!!! Pete misses the fork to the right and goes left!!! The same dang turn that I missed every day of prerunning!!! I hit the right trail and see Pete coming the other way on the other trail!!!! Yes! I'm past him!!!

Next is Householder. About 2 miles after we pass Pete, Jake notices something strange with the dust on the trail...it just stops. He looks to the right and we are blazing pass Householder...upside down in a little ravine!!! Our stomachs sink!!! I jam on the brakes and get the car slowed down around the next turn. "What do we do??", Jake asks. "We should help him!!". I tell him "We should stop and help, but if we turn around, we are in danger of Pete coming around the bend and going head on with us!!!".

We are in a dilemma...help our buddy and risk ours and petes lives....We decided to call weather man and report a code red. We also knew that Householder had a chopper in the air and hopefully they were already on top of it. We moved on with heavy hearts...I just experienced a bad accident and knew how it felt!!! Fortunatly, Adam was OK and was able to finish the race.
We continue on with the race. about mm 250, the car starts running bad. I thought maybe we had a plug wire come off or something, possibly by the belt coming off!! We continue on for another 80 miles while the car is getting slower and slower. Finially, the car won't rev past 4,500 rpm. Since Sheila's engine was made to spin to 8,000 rpm, we were extremely low on power. We scroll through the dash and noticed the fuel pressure extremely low. The probable cause....plugged fuel filter.

We radio to the pit at mm330. The pit is run by Trey from the Dessert Assassins...It was nice to have a friend there. Him and the guys rip the pannel off and get the filter off. We pull it apart and it is full of dirt. Clean it, put fuel in the car, and we are off again!!!! 3 miles later...BOOYA....another belt!!!!!!

We get out once again to fix the belt. Parkhouse and Romano go by!! Dang... I'm losing more spots because of these issues. We get it fixed and we are back on the move. Now I gotta try and run down these two and do it at a conservative pace....Opportunity strikes again!!!

I take pursuit on the highway being careful to not exceed the 60 mph speed limit. romano is getting held up in traffic... we are gaining on him. We are now aproaching the hill climb. Jake yells out that parkhouse is in a traffic jam too!!! We catch up to him and we are now 3 class 1 cars going down the highway like a train!!!! My blood's pumping...what's gonna happen???!!!!

We hit the hill climb....Parkhouse busts right up a different trail and Romano goes straight for the hill. I am up his A S S... I have to pass him or I am screwed!!!! He veres a little to the left to avoid the gigantic holes and ruts on the right....here is my opportunity...I bombed through the holes on the right side of the hill like a chupacabra on a goat!!!! I think I have the gas peddle pushed past the front bumper!!! All the locals lined up on the hill are going Ballistic!!!! We smoke up the hill and pull off the pass on romano. We head up the highway and Parkhouse isn't there yet!!! We mash through the Military check like some dudes from the drug cartel with a care load of weed and are outta there!!!! Probably one of the most exciting things I have ever done!!! Jake and I are high fiving each other in the car!!! It was the craziest pass I have ever pulled off!!!!

The rest of the day is rather uneventful...except for one flat tire and the bolts in the front end broke...We limp her home. We are coming down the hill and I see the street lights!!! We are almost there!!! I hit the gas on the pavement and bust down the hill!!! I hang a right into the wash and have the Richards Performance Mufflers 8 into 1 on the pipe!!!! I can hear it echoing in the wash and under the bridges!!! It should scare away any remaining chupacabras that might be lurking near by!!! We hit the streets and are almost home. Last right hander...I toss Ole Sheila into a slide and Lay on the gas hard!!! We drift her all the way up to the chered flag and roll through!!!

We are finished and in 5th place to boot. I dont think that's too shabby for the first time racing Baja and having about an hours worth of problems!!!! The fans are going crazy and want to take pictures and have autographs signed. I am more than happy to oblige!!!!

I want to thank all my awesome crew and sponsors for doing the best job for me!!! Dessert Assassins for showing me the ropes of Baja, Yokohoma for the great tires, Wright Gear Box for the awesome transmission (it worked flawlessly), Richards Performance Muffler, Palomar Communications for the best communications in the business, Dailey Dry Sumps, D&D Laser Screed, GBC Construction, Racer Engineering, and last but not least DanZio and my partner Chris Muzio!!!!! Without all of you we couldn't do this!!!!!!

See all of you at the next one!!!!
Josh D
 
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Allen H

Crows
Nice story, i wish i could have been there with you guys. You did real good. Congrats!!
 

troyharper

DA Meatball
Epic story Josh! Heres 1 i clicked just north of coyote cals.
 

Attachments

Fourstroker

Well-Known Member
Good stuff Josh. Congrats on finishing your first Baja 500!
 

nimrod

KOOK!
Awesome race report!
Nice job yourself Mikey.........We would have been happier beating you but I'm glad for you and your team.

Josh you ROCK! Great job to the Voyles, Jake and you. It was such an honor to get to hang out with you all week.....

I am so in love with Sheila. Man oh man does that 8 into 1 sound SAAWEEET!!!!!!
 

randy68

#1 Enemy of Google
X2 Josh, great report & most of all, GREAT race!
 

HDRA1

The Godfather
good job josh glad baja was a great run for ya can't wait to hear shelia run through the night in ridgecrest
 

Dezertpilot

Well-Known Member
Great write up! Sheila is my favorite car besides the Shark. Something about 37's, 6x6.5's and 8n1 headers drive me crazy!:)
 

TreyP

"F" you Bill
Great write up Josh.

The turn you did into the pit was great. Had the natives scattering.:D

Glad we were able to help. That filter was pretty bad. Nothing a can of brake cleaner couldn't take care of.:cool:
 
Great write up Josh.

The turn you did into the pit was great. Had the natives scattering.:D

Glad we were able to help. That filter was pretty bad. Nothing a can of brake cleaner couldn't take care of.:cool:
jajaja!! I almost forgot about the Dukes of Hazard u-turn into the pit so you could get to the dry break lokacated on the opPosite side!!!! The locals were probably crapping their pants!!! jajaja!!!
 
We were camped just north of the DA pit and I caught your massive u turn on my camera. It was pretty hectic with Pistol charging bye on the course at the same time, us drunk gringos didn't know which way too run!!
 

deano

McDeano
sweet race report j-daniels, i felt like i was going 100 mph just reading the thing !!!! way to pop your baja-cherry in true class form, and very impressive only having one flat w/the yokies .... great job :cool: d-no
 

trent06

Mush
I have to say you had one hell of a Baja Debut and it was awesome watching it on IRC! On a side note I dont know what analogy is best, but I must say after reading these, Shiela must be a muchacha cochina!:rolleyes: LOL

We sit behind Pete's dust and wait like a Cougar preying on a 22 year old in a bar....
I bombed through the holes on the right side of the hill like a chupacabra on a goat!!!!
We mash through the Military check like some dudes from the drug cartel with a care load of weed and are outta there!!!!
 

chicken lips the ocho

Most Annoying RDC Poster
i took this picture of your car with the letner car right on your back bumper in borrego, the crowd loved it, and congrats on your finish

 
i took this picture of your car with the letner car right on your back bumper in borrego, the crowd loved it, and congrats on your finish

Sweet shot!! Mike Voyles told me that he had a good battle with Kory for a long time!!!! Looks like it from the picture!!!
 

juice

Member
josh thanks for the good time down south lets the hoffman crew know if you ever need anything it was a good time.
 

GunnSlinger

Captain Backpack
JOSH IS MY HERO!! :) ... great job dude, nice showing in your first race in baja!!!


see ya in the dirt!
 
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