Preference: Charlene Bower and Ladies Offroad Challenge winner Megan Stevenson will be reporting live from the 50th Anniversary of the Baja 1000 as they expose the complexity of the BFGoodrich Tires Pit Support Program, highlight all the ladies racing and of course talk racing! This article is by Megan Stevenson:
This year’s BFGoodrich Tires Battle of the Banos competition at the 2017 50th Baja 1000 brought out the best. Frank, Nate, Charlene and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone’s efforts. It took us over an hour reflecting to come up with a winner. Here are the Commode Contestants:
Pit 1 – Most Patriotic
Description: A red, white and blue BFG themed toilet. The sides were painted red white and blue with corresponding triangle flags on the front of the door. On the outside of the front door BFG was spelled out in various automotive parts, tools and motorcycle chain. There was tire tread that covered the floor on the inside and a little bit of the area walking up to it as well. The inside had a steering wheel hanging from the ceiling with lights on it, a motorcycle cam shaft was the poo-paper holder, extra poo-paper with hand sanitizer was in a basket on the wall, an offroad magazine sat next to the seat for your enjoyment, and a wrench was attached to the inside of the door for use in getting yourself back up and out. A mirror hung just above the toilet; written in red lipstick was “Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.” The toilet lid had part of the tire that read T/A glued to it, which made us giggle. Outside there was a hand washbasin with soap, a box truck mirror to gaze at yourself in, and a paper towel holder complete with blue shop towels to dry your hands.
Comments: We enjoyed that this one was 100% BFG. The use of car parts and tools throughout was very artistic. The hand wash area set up, the side mirror off the box truck and paper towels added a very welcomed extra touch. Good call on the blue shop towels too, those things are very sturdy. Everyone loved the mirror (well almost everyone). The tire tread on the floor was a nice insurance policy that you would have good traction should you need any extra leverage during your period of time in the potty.
Pit 2 – Most Elaborate
Description: An iconic BFG theme. The inside was adorned with magazine cut outs of both men and women for all to enjoy, even on and around the seat. It had an open roof for ventilation. The real work went into the cutouts that were preplanned and painted with some very intricate detail. One side of the privy was a large yellow red Ethyl gas pump sign with a cut out of a motorcycle getting filled up. To the left of the motorcycle was the Valvoline Mickey Thompson Class 1 car and the Big ‘Oly Truck being filled up at a Sunoco pump with a big BFGoodrich 50th SCORE Baja 1000 sign above it. There were also colorful Christmas lights that were strung over the top of the truck and class 1 car.
Comments: The interior was visually exciting, for guys and girls. The use of iconic vehicles such as the Mickey Thompson Class 1 car and the Big Oly Truck was very creative and original. We are awarding this one the ‘Most Elaborate’ award for all the time and detail they put into making this so extravagant.
Pit 3 – Most Original
Description: This one was themed as a Brick S**t House and a Mexican Post Office combined into one. The outside was made to look like bricks, adorned with wanted posters, and the inside had a professional looking paint job of white with swoops of pink and green like an actual Mexican post office. The wanted posters had photos of BFGoodrich Tires leaders Frank DeAngelo, Richard Winchester, Dan Newsome, and Sam Wilshire. Each had their own reward amount in pesos – want to guess whose head bounty was the highest? There were white Christmas lights strung from the semi leading out to the pooper and inside for mood lighting. “Drop Parcels Here” was written on the seat lid with a steering wheel on the inside of the door to assist you in getting up. There was hand sanitizer and Fabreeze available.
Comments: This was a very different and creative latrine with above average craftsmanship. The lights served as a shining star in the darkness of night leading us to the hole of relief. Everyone enjoyed the originality of it. The ‘drop parcel here’ actually made us want to ‘drop a parcel’ there. We are giving this one the ‘Most Original’ award for their outside the box thinking.
Pit 4 – Most Scenic View
Description: A cutout of a BFG Baja Challenge car. A hole was cut in the side of the outhouse so that you could stick your head out and it would appear as if your face was in the driver’s seat of the car. The inside was left bare which provided an authentic experience. The Christmas lights that strung into the outhouse appeared to be as bright as a dome light in an actual BC Car.
Comments: If you’ve always dreamed of racing the Baja 1000, Pit 4 has provided you the next closest thing; and you don’t even have to leave you ‘seat’ to do it! The cut out was very creative and the paint job of the car was very well done. The inside was unsoiled. Just place your face in the drivers seat and you could peel out before you wipe out! We are awarding this one the ‘Most Scenic View’ award because you can gaze outside as you do your doody, literally.
Pit 5 – Most Legit
Description: Their portable privy package got confiscated for use at the hospitality area of Pit 1. They were given the opportunity to participate with the guidelines of decorating their pit bosses seat and him, if he would let them. While they didn’t have anything official for us to judge, we did get to use the flushing toilet in one of their hotel rooms next door and washed our hands with running water!
Comments: Using a flushing toilet and being able to wash our hands was pretty darn wonderful after already being on the chase for 24 hours. We are giving them the ‘Most Legit’ award because, well, how do you beat a real toilet??
Pit 6 – Most Ingenuitive
Description: This was a desert themed doody depositer. There was a cleared walkway lined with stones and an elaborate bone garden with a cactus in it. All the wood had been thoroughly painted grey. It had a palm fawn roof, several animal skulls hanging, and a toilet paper holder made of horns and a bone. There was Fabreeze and hand sanitizing wipes sitting next to the seat.
Comments: This was very creative with the use of what was around their pit. The walkway up to it was really well done; there was no chance of tripping over rocks in the dark! The little garden with the cactus and bones in it reminded me of a little sand box. Note to self: don’t play in this sand box, cacti hurt. The whole paint job was very well done and somehow the grey color blended well with the surrounding environment; this depositor was inconspicuous. The palms on the roof were a nice touch allowing for ventilation and an almost cabana feel. At least until you looked down again and you were staring face to face with an animal skull! We gave this one the ‘Most Ingenuitive’ award for their ability to make the their pooper fit well into their location; it fits in where it sits in, or something like that.
Pit 7 – Most Authentic
Description: It was unpainted; they went with the natural plywood look. There were sticks placed at the top to look like antlers and an outline of a crescent moon spray-painted with black on the front door. Next to the seat it said “Complaint Department” with an arrow pointing toward the seat and on the seat itself it said “Deposit Complaints Here”. Next to the toilet paper there was an arrow pointing to it with “Complaint Paper”. The inside had some sharpie graffiti doodled throughout. Baby wipes were provided.
Comments: Even though the pit crew didn’t really want us to look at it, we thought the graffiti was actually pretty funny. I thought about taking the complaint paper and writing a complaint, but then realized where my complaint would actually end up and decided it was a s**ty idea. We are giving this one the “Most Authentic’ award due to just that, it looked pretty much like what you would expect from an outhouse.
Pit 8 – Most Secure
Description: There were two loos sitting back to back placed atop 4x4s over a large hole in the ground; one loo for the crew and one for the hospitality guests. They were decorated with red, white and blue spray painted graffiti. There was BFG written on the front of one and a very nice scenic skyline across the sides of the two. The inside was undecorated but did have a few red solo cups randomly placed and quite a bit of extra toilet paper around the seat and on the floor; we were assuming to give it a realistic feel.
Comments: The graffiti idea was actually really well executed. The very wide and openly visible poop hole was a bit visually unappealing. Upon initial inspection I noticed that the hospitality hole was locked so I went back and got the code. The code didn’t work. I called for help. Clark came to my rescue, or so I thought. He tried the same code I was given. It didn’t work. He yelled back to the pit for the code and he was given the same code plus an additional one to try. That didn’t work either. Another pit member came jogging over to help. He tried both of the codes, no dice. At this point they started tugging on the lock. Frank came running over to aid in our struggle. He tried the codes and then started yanking on the lock as well. At this point we were all laughing at the comedy playing out before us. Clark started yelling at the potty as if it would magically open, which it didn’t, and then grabbed a rock and started hitting the lock. It took three tries but he finally knocked the very tiny suitcase combo lock off the door. My face hurt from laughing so hard. We are giving this one the ‘Most Secure’ award because how many men does it really take to open a porta-potty? Apparently that number is three grown men and a rock.
The Final Judgement
Judging these lavish loos we took into consideration the creativity, originality, and overall design. It was a hard fought battle until the end and took us over an hour of reviewing pictures and notes to make a decision. Both Frank and Nate are really, really proud of the effort that everyone put into this competition.
The BFGoodrich Tires marketing team is excited to support the winning BFG Motorsports Pit Team with Yeti cups as well as custom “Crappy” t-shirts to commemorate the event.
Are you ready to know who the winner is…?????
…..Drum roll please….
We really loved the amount of work that you put into creating a true BFGoodrich Tires theme. Every aspect of the outhouse had been considered including adding a wash station in concern for cleanliness. The use of tires and tools really took some energy to be successful in the execution. When we came to Pit 1, you really set the standards high. Congratulations on your Battle of the Banos win!
Charlene Bower is the owner of Bower Motorsports Media since 2008, Ladies Offroad Network and Offroad Marketing School among other projects. Bower is a Performance Team Member for BFGoodrich Tires in addition to other honors and certifications. She has been working in the offroad industry for 23 years and has recently focused all her attention on supporting the ladies who love offroading. For the 50th SCORE Baja 1000, Charlene ran the 2nd Annual Ladies Offroad Challenge where anyone from across the country could enter to be her media assistant or participate in two other events. Megan Stevenson from CA earned the opportunity and is helping in the execution of this exciting project in coordination with BFGoodrich Tires.