The road to the 2017 Baja 1000 in ProTruck #1350

Rory

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My good friend Cody Swanty wanted to get back into the drivers seat for the 50th Baja 1000 and invited me to drive a section. This plan originated after the MINT 400 and the vehicle of choice was NOT the ProTruck but his Vintage Walker Evans class 8 Dodge Dakota. Cody owns the Dodge dealership up in Kingman Arizona and also owns the only Dodge ProTruck in existence.



The last race for his Dodge was the 2010 Vegas to Reno and it has since been sitting in his race shop as racing has taken a back seat to business and family.

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With the purchase of the Dakota class 8 last year, the plan was to restore it and race it this year. It was a good plan but trying to get simple things completed before the tear down for a ground up restoration was taking too long so Cody looked over at the lonely ProTruck and said "Hey, why don't we race that one instead"? The Dodge had a complete prep after its last race (Vegas to Reno in 2010) but was still going to need some love. The motor was going to need a fresh prep, along with the trans, rear end and a few other odds and ends. The fuel cell was also leaking so a new one was going to have to be built. ProTruck had some upgrades available which included 37" tires, allowance of a bigger fuel cell and shocks.

The truck had a shake down run last April with no issues and is pretty much in show room condition as everything was painted or powder coated at the last prep....this thing looked and preformed GREAT! We expect it to do much better with the upgrades.

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After talking it over the choice was made to change gears and put the ProTruck on point. With a list of things to do to the truck, and both Cody and myself being "Prep guys" instead of "Fab guys", the choice was made to transport the Dodge up to Collins Motorsports in Las Vegas and have them do the important work...

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On the to do list was to upgrade the shocks to King coilovers and By-pass, which would also mean that new mounts would have to be fabricated to allow the slightly bigger shocks to fit. A larger fuel cell would also be designed and fabricated into the old spot so it would open up the fuel range to allow more miles between fuel stops. The 35" General tires would be scrapped for the new 37" BFGoodrich KRs which also meant the spare tire racks might need to be altered a little.

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Luckily for me the truck was being handled by Collins Motorsport and the majority of work would lye in their hands. Work on MY end would mostly have to do with logistics like hotels, food, pit books, fuel stops, pit support, insurance and figuring out how to get 30-40 people to and from Mexico in a safe and timely manner. Since I have been doing this myself over the past few years for the NORRA 1000 and I have a pretty good idea what to do, but the Baja 1000 creates more challenges due to the fact their will be 3 times the people, even more on the HWY and 3 less days to get to La Paz.

Everyone knows that the HWY is the most dangerous part of the Baja 1000 and keeping the support team safe is priority #1. I'll get into this later when the planning starts getting a bit more refined. When planning for the Baja 1000, the HWY logistics can be the most difficult as you have to keep in mind the road is narrow the majority of the way to La Paz and any accident with throw a monkey wrench into your program.

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Hopefully this thread will give some of those who have NOT raced the Baja 1000 some insight to what goes on behind the scenes to get a race vehicle and crew to the starting line.....let alone the finish.

*Feel free to add anything that might help others, or even myself with planning something like this. I have a pretty good understanding of what needs to be done but sometimes there is an easier way of doing things that I/we just haven't thought of yet. Hope you guys find this thread enjoyable/educational. Stay tuned...
 
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freddy

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Very much looking forward to following this thread. Thanks for sharing Rory.


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El Hueso

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I'm looking forward to any insight you can share on this Rory. Seems like an awesome opportunity. What motor is the Dodge running?
 

Rory

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Is that the same Ryan Thomas Chenowth Dodge?
Todd, I believe it is!

Anyways, lots going on over here for the Baja 1000. BFG logistics just came out so we now know where our fuel stops will be. We have a little bit of juggling to do with chase trucks but that is the norm. Once I can nail down the fuel supplier we can sign up for the BFG pit support service, I'm shooting for Monday for that to happen. Today I went ahead and put in for the entry to SCORE. Make sure you read the instructions first before starting the process instead of thinking since you are a man and you don't need no stinking instructions. I had to do it a couple times before i figured out i was an idiot......QUIET PEANUT GALLERY!

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I will start on the pit books this week as there will be a lot of info needed for the chase crews. The BFG books offer a lot of info for the race including chase roads and mileage. The pit books are more designed for our pit locations, radio freqs, emergency contact numbers, what to do in case of an emergency, Local hospitals up and down the Peninsula along with locations and directions to team hotels. Luckily for me I have had the privilege of pitting with some very successful teams over the years and I use their pit books as a reference (Collins Motorsports, Herbst Motorsports and YT Motorsports)...

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And of course your planning would not be complete if you do not have some references to be able to look back on...

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More to come....
 

Rory

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I'm looking forward to any insight you can share on this Rory. Seems like an awesome opportunity. What motor is the Dodge running?
360ci Dodge built buy Kroyer Racing Engines.
 

Rory

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Christmas came early to Collins Motorsports in the form of a brown UPS truck. The shocks finally showed up from King and they look marvelous!

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On the same day the fuel cell showed up from Harmon...

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And Cody did a little shopping of his own and got this impact gun for the "Co-rider"...

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Another purchase was made for something we hope we won't have to use, a winch. It's just another tool that is nice to have and hope that you don't have to use...

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On a side note, does any of our Pro Truck friends have some tie rods they would like to sell us or borrow? If you're not planning on racing the Baja 1000 we would love to have some spares just in case.

While Collins is busy with the truck we are working on the pit books and getting stuff done. Just about got all the rooms lined up, thanks to Sean Hoglund for a few that we needed at the last minute, we appreciate it buddy. We have exactly 4 weeks to go before we show up down in Ensenada, and we're busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.
 

JDDurfey

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I am surprised more teams don't carry a winch for emergencies.
 

51rcr

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we have always wondered about the winches also. Being from the rock crawling side of off road were having one for this and a pull pal. good choice Rory
 

y2kbaja

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I saw a class 9 at the 500 in '12 that had a winch. I thought it was brilliant.
I can't wait for the rest of the write up on this thread.
 

Rory

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More work being done on the ProTruck up at Collins Motorsports. With the Baja 1000 less than a month away we have some work to do but very comfortable that the truck is in the right hands. A little front end prep along with the motor back in the truck after being freshened up at Kroyer Racing Engines. Still waiting on the by pass shocks to show up from King so Greg from REF can build the new exhaust...

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The trans has also been serviced by Gearworks so the drivetrain is ready to go...

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The fuel cell has been placed into the back of the truck and is now waiting for a few fabricated pieces so it can be buttoned up...

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The dash is apart waiting for some new wiring for the new front lights...

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You can see the "X" on all the existing shock mounts that need to be removed for the new King shocks...

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Working on the pit books now, close to 50 pages and possibly more. Logistics for the Baja 1000 is a major undertaking, thank god for BFG pits who will be taking a load off of our shoulders with handling all the fuel stops.
 

Rory

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Cody had to replenish his chase trucks with updated equipment so he called our friends over at PCI Race Radios and got the hook up! Here's the GPS stuff for the chase trucks...

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Some new Kenwood race radios...

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Along with some accessories...

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He also ordered a new helmet and head /neck restraint due to his old one was out of date...

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And of course the Maxx Traxx skids for those pesky silt beds near San Felipe, Visciano and Insurgentes/Constitucion...

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Is anyone having issues trying to get a Stella mounting kit ordered? The time crunch is coming....
 

Rory

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Cody Swanty was busy buying up all of Method wheels inventory for the vehicles heading down to Baja to support the #1350 ProTruck. Of course the original Swanty chase truck now outfitted with the new PCI radio and Lowrance GPS systems...

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The Jeep retrieval or parts runner but i would rather refer to it as the insurance policy (with chase 2 sitting next to it)...

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Of course the trailer got some love...

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Last but not least the 2nd insurance policy, The Ford Raptor, also decked out with PCI radio and Lowrance GPS...

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The Method race wheels should show up in the next few days so we can mount the 37" BFGoodrich KR2's to them with the fresh red beadlocks...

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Only 3 weeks till departure for Mexico for Swanty Racing.........Oh boy!
 

Rory

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Collins Motorsports is busy with Baja 1000 preps and the ProTruck is on the move. All of the shock mounts have been cut out with the Collins plasma table machine and ready...

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New ORMHOF inductee Bill Savage was on hand to give Robert some direction on where and how he wanted stuff mounted...

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The fuel cell is mounted, just need to put the crossbar in...

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All the shocks mounts had to be redone and used the references for the "ProTruck" shock mounts. Here's the rear trailing arm mounts for the By-pass...

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Upper rear shock mounts..

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The front shocks...

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And soon the mounting of the new Hella DOT approved front headlights...

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More to come!
 

Rory

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Almost forgot, here was the artwork for the t-shirt design...

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And here's the final version after Chad from Ntense Tee's got finished with it adding logos and background...

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Mike @ pit b

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Do you ever sleep Rory?
 

Rory

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Still plugging along, less then 10 days to go and prep work still going at full steam as we speak. Cody has been working on the Chase boxes and chase trucks. The other day the trans went out in one of the chase trucks so it is being replaced now. I guess it's better here then halfway down the Peninsula right?!? Cody is taking no chances with the trailer either, all new hubs and bearings and spring hardware...

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The new 37" BFGoodrich KR2's are mounted onto the 17x8 Method beadlock wheels with Powder coated beadlock wheels from our buddy Gary Messer at ALLCOAT in Kingman Arizona...PURDY!

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Pit book are about 75% complete, just waiting on a few more things like copies of insurance policies for all the vehicles, trailer and race truck...

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We also picked up a new sponsor for this event....MagLock. These things are sweet. My buddy who founded Ironclad gloves has just come out with this product and has been testing it with some notable racers. We will be getting our hands on a couple sets for the Baja 1000 and we'll let you know what we think of them. Anyone who has had to fight with their pumper hose when jumping in and out of the race car will appreciate this little nugget...

https://www.race-dezert.com/forum/attachments/img_4769-mov-mov.185559/

Greg at REF Unlimited completed the exhaust yesterday and we are currently waiting for a call to drive to Vegas to go testing. Cross your fingers...
 

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Rory

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A closer look at the “MagLOCK”.....

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