The Baja 1000 story of Car #103

LukeMcMillin83

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Here's the Baja 1000 story of #103.

Chris Olimon, my co rider and I started car #103, we took off the start line cautiously... and great, 2 turns into the race we pass #101 doing a driver change. That left 1 more class 1 car in front of us, ohh not to mention, it was JOHN HERDER in front of us! We chase him a fair distance back for a long time and as anyone who has raced class 1 against him knows, John Herder CHARGES HARD off the start! I knew I could not run a comfortable Baja 1000 pace and try and catch him, so I had to let him go. I knew we had a better fuel plan and figured we could get him in the pits...

We had a VERY interesting first 100 miles. With the talent I had in my right seat guiding me, we started to charge through dust and picking off trophy trucks (maybe hitting a couple of them a little too hard, sorry). For the first time in my racing career my co rider, Chris was actually yelling at me to “Hit him, hit him, hit him!!!”, usually he's calming me down, haha! By about mile 35 (Ojos area), to my disbelief we had passed over 15 TROPHY TRUCKS and not much later we were running 15th on the road!!! I was running about 3 minutes behind John, but was very happy with where we sat in overall track position. Keep in mind we are at mile 50 of a 1121 mile race!

FINALLY, on our way out to K77, we had some clean air, and one of my favorite roads of baja, where I knew I could rally the car hard, I wanted to utilize the clean air to close the gap on more TT's. Down a graded road I had been down a million times in my life, I thought I was doing good. This was only my second time leaving Ensenada in the class 1 car and I underestimated that the smallest dips at pre run speed can become A LOT bigger when you are doing 95MPH!! We hit a little dip doing 95MPH, straight through the shock, we SLAM bottom and STRAIGHT BACK UP ON OUR NOSE AT 95MPH!!! yeehaw! We ride the nose for about 100 yards! Hurt my co riders back and head, but he pushed through it... Time to back it down!!!! Hahaa! I thought for sure we just broke every transmission and motor mount in the car, this was NOT good! BUT the car was totally fine... down the road we went!

I knew Herder was pushing it hard, but I had to have some self control and let him run away, unfortunately for them, I passed them while they were upside down in a ditch at mile 100 area, it looked like they took a hard hit! We slowed down for them, Brian gave us the wave and off we went, 1st place in class 1 and deep into the TT's!! I kept a comfortable pace, picking off a couple more TT's before the goat trail (Salgado and Vanderway).

We finally get to our first gas stop at mile 170, we take a full tank of gas and a light bar in 20 SECONDS and off we went down the San Felipe whoops!!! After a while, my pit finally radios to us that we have a 20 MINUTE class 1 lead... That then is where I decided to back it waaay off and go for a class win rather than try and keep pace with the TT's. In order to keep up with the trucks we would have to push it through the whoops and I knew a class win was a smarter choice. Keep in mind we are driving a 9 year old buggy on 35 inch tires... keeping up with new TT's on 39 and 42 inch tires through the SF and Puertocito's whoops was just NOT going to happen. We have those stupid things called CV's!!!

We had an uneventful next couple hundred miles hanging out with TT #2, Pete. Other than the fact that our main lower light bar wasn't working, becuase of hitting the TT's... LOL

Finally I get it to 350, our next gas pit and driver change, Justin Smith and Josh Abbott would get in the car for the next few hundred miles... They did exactly what they were suppose to, they ran a steady pace without a single problem and got the car back to me in 1 piece with a bigger lead...

Chris Olimon and I get to North Loretto, where we would get back in the car to take it home the last few hundred miles. We took off into the night, into my favorite part of the entire course, North Loretto! Where a buggy would FINALLY have the advantage, really tight and twisty! We get the radio call from my dad to “Take it easy, slow down, you have over an hour lead!!” We cruise on for a few hundred mile's... We are finally getting somewhat close, and i'm starting to think, wow we are going to win this.... Nope, it's about to get good...

We leave our last gas stop, about race mile 1,000, the car is running great, we are on the home stretch! NOPE! As we go cruising down a straight away at 80MPH, the car DIES! Within 2 second, the dream baja race goes down the drain as we coast off the course!!! It takes about 10 minutes for my co driver and I to diagnose the problem. We find out it is the power to the fuel pumps, because neither of them were working... We wiggle a bunch wires up at the dash and the pump fires up for about 2 seconds. We have no idea what we did to make it work, but it is something electrical... What were we going to do, tear into the electrical? Nope, Chris figures out a way to use my parker pumper power which was luckily mounted near the fuel pumps and uses that power to fire one of the fuel pumps and off we went!

We cruised it into this finish, through a forest of cactus (my bad). We finally reach La Paz and WIN the race in class 1 by over an hour and a half! So stoked!

So many people to thank, first my Co Rider Chris Olimon, who saved the race multiple times! My co driver and his co rider, Justin and Josh, they did an awesome job, together we have won 5 out of 6 races together, including ALL 3 2012 BAJA RACES OF 2012!!! Thanks to my whole crew, crew chief, Cameron Parrish, and everyone else at the shop for prepping a winning car! And of course the sponsors, BFGOODRICH TIRES, not a single flat ALL race! Fox Racing Shocks, Baja Designs, and K&N Air filters! Thanks!
 
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DEZERTSUB

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That was a helluva write up...almost like being along for the ride!! Good work kids.
 

J Burleson

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congrats on the win! I wish I put some $ on this race, cause I knew you guys were gonna put a whoopin on! way to race smart to and clinch the championship! you gonna go for back to back cl1 championships next year or get into a tt?
 

LukeMcMillin83

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congrats on the win! I wish I put some $ on this race, cause I knew you guys were gonna put a whoopin on! way to race smart to and clinch the championship! you gonna go for back to back cl1 championships next year or get into a tt?

Unfortuantely we didn't race laughlin, so we did not win the championship. I will be racing the 1 car agian next year, to go for a championship.
 

randy s

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way to go killer, but you've missed your calling as a writer. if you keep doing well in racing, the more practice you'll get at being a writer...something to think about when you hang up your fire suit in 2040. you might even land a job at dirtsports ja ja......
 

squirelmurphy

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Awesome job all year. Maybe not the champs, but perhaps a King of Mexico title is in order!

I wonder if your dominance will make other teams rethink their tire sizes? Those 35's might be the secret to those CV's staying alive.
 

JAM1600

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Unfortuantely we didn't race laughlin, so we did not win the championship. I will be racing the 1 car agian next year, to go for a championship.

Luke, I am sure you are a champion in everyone's eyes. Class act for sure and following nicely in your family's footsteps. Grandpa Corky would be proud for sure.
 

LukeMcMillin83

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Really tempted!!!

Racing trucks is so much easier on my body. The Class 6 I drove at the 1000 didn't even hurt me - can't say that about the 1600.

Call me if you want a driver for Sunday in it......$$

Nice, hope your bring it out, it's really shaping up to be another good 1600 race with Geer, Bean, Boyer, Coleman and more! Fish here rode in the winning BAP car, he can wheel it around for you! We are just missing that Pat Daily guy! Pat find a 1600 car!!!
 

Ryan_P

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Congrats Luke, you and Justin are on fire right now.

Thanks again for the spare tire your crew lent to Travis Chase. He has your tire and I have the address to your shop, working on getting it there. If you'll be at Rage, I'll bring it up to ya. Congrats again dude!
 

LukeMcMillin83

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Congrats Luke, you and Justin are on fire right now.

Thanks again for the spare tire your crew lent to Travis Chase. He has your tire and I have the address to your shop, working on getting it there. If you'll be at Rage, I'll bring it up to ya. Congrats again dude!

Thanks Ryan, and glad we could help Travis out with a tire. That must have been Caleb Gaddis at Gonzaga bay with our spare tire.
 
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