November 22, 2020
BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000,
presented by 4Wheel Parts
Finale of the two-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship
Nov. 20-22, 2020—898.40 miles–Ensenada, Baja California, MexicoPost-Race Finish Line Quotes(Interviewed by Paul Hanson & Jose Vazquez, transcribed by Guilherme Torres)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited CustomTrucks)
LUKE McMILLIN, No. 83 (First overall. First in class. Larry Roeseler started and drove to race mile 430. Luke McMillin drove race mile 430 to the finish.) –- It was a great day. Larry did an amazing job, he just kept it in line and had no downtime, which is exactly what you need to do in the first half of the SCORE Baja 1000. No one knows it more than Larry, he’s won this thing 13 times. He brought me a clean truck, we were third and were right up there with the top leaders when I got in. We were just waiting for them to make a mistake. Ampudia (No. 10) got a flat tire and I was just trailing my brother (Dan McMillin, No 23). I made a run for it and he let me go as the great teammate he is. We didn’t have a single flat BFGoodrich tire all day and that’s unbelievable. The race was tight all day between Dan, Ampudia and Rob Maccachren (No. 11). We got some gnarly silt and some tough bumps out there. Part of the portion I drove was also part of the course of the SCORE Baja 500, so it was just rough. It’s hard to pick up your pace in a 1,000-mile race and don’t beat up the truck too much, so we tried to be strategic on that. It was a tough course, but a great course. Jose Grijalva (SCORE’s president and race director) does an amazing job for SCORE and we have to thank him.
ROB MACCACHREN, No. 11 (Josh Daniel started and drove to race mile 480. Rob Maccachren drove race mile 480 to the finish.) – It went pretty well. What a course, 900 miles and 19 hours to win the race for Luke. Our truck was awesome and everyone that helped us on the pits did a great job. The truck was flawless and our entire team was fantastic. I feel extremely rewarded just for finishing this race. The course was brutal, very tight and twisty, there were a lot of places where you could put a foot wrong and make a mistake. Once I went through and saw how torn up the course was, I don’t even know how some of those limited vehicles get through there. They’re the real winners. Whoever finishes this race should be really proud. I was here pre-running for a week and there was this silt session and every day we could tell it was getting worse. Still, I was surprised how difficult it was today.
BRYCE MENZIES, No. 7 (Bryce Menzies started and drove to race mile 480. Andy McMillin drove race mile 480 to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER ANDY McMILLIN said: My section was really good, we had just a couple of little issues. Unfortunately, Bryce had a problem earlier on his run that put us down early. He did a great job, put his head down and got me a really good truck. We tried to push as hard as we could and actually made for quite a bit of time, but it was too late. We lost more time than we should too early. But the truck was amazing, it’s good to go another 500 miles right now. I couldn’t be any happier for my cousin Luke (No. 83) as he won the race. It was great racing at the SCORE Baja 1000 and we’ll try to win it next year.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 –- It was pure hell and fury, it was gnarly. We had a pretty good run going but we got stuck in the dust for a while. The SCORE Trophy Truck in front of us had no dust. We could see it, but we couldn’t get to it, because it was so gnarly. I don’t know if I’ve been that mad in a race car in a long time. When we entered that section we were just 16 minutes behind the leader and when we left it we were 30 minutes behind. But we had fun. The person who really deserves a huge accolade is our race engineer Mike Craft because he said if we raced in a certain way we’d be in contention for the podium and if we didn’t have these small mistakes along the way, we’d be right there. It’s a little frustrating, but also very gratifying because now we have four top-five finishes in the last six years at the SCORE Baja 1000. Thanks everybody at SCORE for doing all they did to get us down here.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Pat Dean started and drove to race mile 440. Tim Herbst drove race mile 440 to the finish.) –- Pat Dean did a great job with the truck, he kept us in the hunt the entire time. He took a pretty exhausting portion of the course and he was a little tired at the end of it. When I got the truck we had some little issues at the mountain. We hit some debris on the course and lost our driveline, so we had to stop and fix it. Other than that, we had a pretty good day.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Alan Ampudia started and drove to race mile 420. Aaron Ampudia drove race mile 420 to race mile 820. Alan Ampudia drove race mile 820 to the finish.) – The race was really good until it wasn’t. We were battling with Luke (No. 83), Pat Dean (No. 19) and Dan (No. 23), we were the four guys up front, kind of pulling away from everybody else. Luke caught us at the end and we were pushing really hard and trying to catch his dust but unfortunately we hit a little rock too hard. It buckled pretty badly and tore everything in the front. That was our race basically. Until there we were there with Luke, it was going to be a photo finish for sure and that was just unfortunate. If you’re not first or last, second and seventh are the same things, so we just tried to do it, but it didn’t work out for us this year. It’s a bummer, we’re really heartbroken, but we’ll be back stronger than ever next year for sure.
ROBBY GORDON, No. 77 (Robby Gordon started and drove to race mile 420. Damen Jefferies drove race mile 420 to race mile 740. Robby Gordon drove race mile 740 to the finish.) –-We had a problem with our fuel pump. The silt wasn’t too bad for us. I’m sure it was a lot worse for the cars that came behind us though. The more cars go across it, the worse it gets. I want to thank SCORE and the government here to allow us racing in such a difficult situation.
B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 – We had a really specific game plan for this particular race because it’s so tight and technical, more so than any other SCORE Baja 100 I’ve ever been at. I like going real fast where the consequences are real bad if you make a mistake. We’d typically have a 40-mile portion of the course that was really technical, but this time 70 percent of it was like that. I was running with razors in some of the tight stuff. It was very different and challenging. Unfortunately we had a problem with our fuel sensor that took us nearly 20 minutes to fix at the pit and when we returned we got stuck with the slower cars in a section in which I couldn’t really pass them. But it’s good to be back down here in Baja. I love the people here and even the courses like this, which are not exactly what I prefer, are really fun.
MIKE WALSER, No. 89 (Luke Johnson started and drove to race mile 435. Mike Walser drove race mile 435 to race mile 740. Mike Johnson drove race mile 740 to the finish.) – We had a rollover at about mile 180 and that put us behind. We had to change the steering box and from there we were behind other classes, chasing dust and never could really get back in the hunt again so we just wanted to survive and make it to the end. Going through the silt area in that situation was a problem, especially because a UTV rolled it over and landed on the top of our hood somehow. People were kind of losing their minds there and trying to get around and find ways out.
CHRIS MILLER, No. 40 (Chris Miller started and drove to race mile 300. Christian Sourapas drove race mile 300 to race mile 790. Chris Miller drove race mile 790 to the finish.) –- I’m happy that we got to cross the finish line, but disappointed with the result. I loved the course. It’s technical and just nasty in parts. From mile 300 and coming over the peninsula, it was super rough, super tight and super silted out. In several moments we couldn’t see anything, but we got through. We were following Rob MacCachren (No. 11) for quite some time and to keep up with their pace was cool. We made it across the finish line and I’m grateful for that.
SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)
ROBBIE PIERCE, No. 20L (First in class. Robbie Pierce started and drove to race mile 275. Ricky Johnson drove race mile 275 to race mile 605. Barry Karakas drove race mile 605 to the finish.) – We had a rough start with a transmission problem and nearly called the day at mile 15. We got it fixed and got the truck going, but it costed us one hour and a half. When Ricky got in we were behind all the smaller vehicles and had to push our way through and we ended up losing the front end of the truck. We had a few issues during Barry’s turn too, but got them fixed and got the car across the finish line. It’s a cliché and every driver has been saying it, but it was the probably toughest SCORE Baja 1000 I’ve ever seen.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 127 (First in class. Cody Parkhouse started and drove to race mile 420. Brian Parkhouse drove race mile 420 to race mile 685. Roger Starkey drove race mile 685 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER ROGER STARKEY said: It went great. Cody was first off the line and he gave Brian the car with a one-hour lead. He had a few issues and it tightened up a little bit but after we got in we didn’t make any mistakes and kept it until the end. We had three flats tires total and one of our belts flew off the motor, but outside of that, the car ran great.
GABRIEL TORRES, No. 103 (Gabriel Torres started and drove to race mile 340. David Ruvalcaba drove race mile 340 to race mile 640. Felipe Martinez drove race mile 640 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER FELIPE MARTINEZ said: We were a little bit unlucky to have three flat tires during the race. We didn’t struggle a lot with the silt, but the mountain section was hard to drive and there were so many rocks there. But it was an awesome ride. We’d like to thank our supporters who are cheering from home during this SCORE Baja 1000.
MARIO FUENTES, No. 179 (Mario Fuentes started and drove to race mile 275. Bob Lofton drove race mile 275 to race mile 400. Justin Lofton drove race mile 400 to the finish.) – We got into a bad accident with a Trophy Truck Spec at the beginning that pulled our spare tire out. And then we had a flat tire after I hit a ditch some miles ahead, but from that point on it was a smooth race. There was plenty of silt, rocks, everything, it was a very difficult race. But it was very fun and we’re very happy to be back here racing.
BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 162 (R.J. Anderson started and drove to race mile 302. Buddy Feldkamp drove race mile 302 to race mile 600. Brendan Gaughan drove race mile 600 to the finish.) – R.J. did a phenomenal job and got the first on the road, but unfortunately we lost three alternators and three batteries and had a long day after that. Everyone did a great job and Buddy had no issues during his section. I’ve been on BFGoodrich Tires since I came back to the desert, it’s been two years now, and I got my first flat tire. I’d love to say that it was its fault, but when the driver hits a tree the size of a pine tree, I don’t think that was the tire. These things are phenomenal, I love what they do for us. It was a great SCORE Baja 1000, so great job, SCORE. It was a beautiful course, I really liked it, it was a lot of fun and really tough and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines)
JEFF BADER, No. 261 (First in class. Dan Fresh started and drove to race mile 420. Jeff Bader drove race mile 420 to the finish.) — It was awesome. My co-driver Dan did an amazing job and gave us the truck in second and we kept on going and were able to go by Pierce Herbst (No. 264) around San Felipe. It was an amazing run, our BFGoodrich tires were awesome, we had no flats and that was great. Our Fox Shocks were fantastic too, we were going around 80 miles/hour through San Felipe like it was nothing. I couldn’t be happier with everything. The entire team did great and my family was here and had a lot of fun. – CO-DRIVER DAN FRESH said: The silt was a lot of fun. It seems we had to go through 100 miles of silt, it was unrelenting. The wind wouldn’t stop and we were constantly on dust from race mile 200 to 400, we never broke free of the dust. The front of the vehicle is all smashed and it wasn’t on purpose, for sure. Luckily it wasn’t enough damage to get us out of the race. What a great track that was.
PIERCE HERBST, No. 264 – It was a long and great day. We only had some minor issues with a flat and missed turns in the darks, but we had a lot of fun. We never got stuck in any silt, but there was a lot of it and it slowed us down a bit, we wish we could have gone faster in some portions of the course.
ELIJAH KIGER, No. 238 (Brock Heger started and drove to race mile 310. Sean Bogdan drove race mile 310 to race mile 603. Elijah Kiger drove race mile 603 to the finish.) – It was a great effort from the entire team. We hit a lot of stuff on the way and had a couple of flats and a lot of bottlenecks, but overall the day went pretty well. It was soft in a lot of sections but I don’t think I got the difficult part with silt.
WILLIAM HEDRICK JR, No. 295 (William Hedrick started and drove to race mile 405. William Hedrick Jr drove race mile 405 to the finish). — It was a very interesting race. My dad started second, he got us to first place and it was back and forth but we had a flat tire. It was exhausting and I had to take the wheel a little before we planned because he was very tired already. We had a pretty long night, but it was a very fun one. To finish the SCORE Baja 1000 is always special and this was one of the most difficult races I’ve ever been at. And to do it with my dad, that’s even greater.
JORDAN BRENTHEL, No. 273 (Greg Adler started and drove to race mile 320. Jordan Brenthel drove race mile 320 to 685. Chuck Dempsey drove race mile 685 to the finish.) — A flat tire was really the only thing that went wrong with the truck. The course was pretty good and it all went well for the most part.
CLASS 10 (limited Open Wheel race cars)
JEREMY DAVIS, No. 1085 (First in class. Justin Davis started and drove to race mile 330. Tyler Pederson drove race mile 330 to 620. Jeremy Davis drove race mile 620 to the finish.) –- It was a really long race and probably one of the toughest SCORE Baja 1000s ever. My brother did great, he had to deal with eight bottlenecks and he had to get out of the car quite a few times. At that point we were two hours down and we just thought we should keep going because it’s the SCORE Baja 1000 and anything could happen. We kept going and at one point we saw the car that was ahead of us out of the course with guys working on it. So we took the lead but the last 80 miles were difficult because I lost most of my brakes, the only one that was working was the left rear one. I hit some trees, bushes and a post, but I wouldn’t quit, it’s the SCORE Baja 1000. Thanks to SCORE for putting up an awesome event. Nothing compares to Baja.
RAFAEL AGUIRRE, No. 1022 (Rafael Aguirre started and drove to race mile 300. Adrian Saucedo drove race mile 300 to 630. Cesar Fiscal drove race mile 630 to the finish.) –- CO-DRIVER CESAR FISCAL said: It was a very tough course, but we finished it and did well. We’re happy to have made it to the finish line. We had quite a few issues with a flat tire, running out of gas and driving without our brakes from miles 730 to 820, but we made it. I’d like to thank our sponsors and our chase team that helped us a lot during this race.
BEN HAGLE, No. 1046 (Ben Hagle started and drove to race mile 420. Ethan Hagle drove race mile 420 to the finish.) –- The race was a lot longer that I imagined it would be but now my entire body and every muscle I have know it too. The Baja hype is real. It’s my first time in Baja and I totally underestimated how gnarly it was going to be. I still haven’t decided if I loved it or hated it, but we’ll be back next year whether I like it or not.
J.J. SCHNARR, No. 1062 (Andrew Myers started and drove to race mile 400. Roberto Romo drove race mile 400 to 700. J.J Schnarr drove race mile 700 to the finish.) –- It was great to be back racing, I was so excited for that. Unfortunately we had three power steering pumps failing and that’s what really got us behind, but we’ll take the result we got. The course was rough and gnarly, everything I love about Baja. We’re working to move to the Trophy Truck Spec class next year and I’m really excited about it.
ELISEO GARCIA, No. 1075 (Eliseo Garcia started and drove to race mile 192. Javier Montoya drove race mile 192 to race mile 360. Eliseo Garcia drove race mile 360 to race mile 695. Javier Montoya drove race mile 695 to the finish.) –- CO-DRIVER JAVIER MONTOYA said: This was a very difficult course. We had to go through extremely rocky areas and some cars took the wrong paths because they couldn’t figure out where to go. It was a very difficult SCORE Baja 1000 when compared to last year’s and the ones before. For us, to get to the finish line was a victory itself.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs)
RHYS MILLEN, No. 727 (First in class. Rhys Millen started and drove to race mile 430. Stephan Verdeer drove race mile 430 to race mile 822. Rhys Millen drove race mile 822 to the finish.) – It was a great day or, actually, more than a day. It was a very long race. We requested a rear start in our class to put us into greater pressure, but our greatest competition folded at mile 150 after a crash. So we knew that all we needed was to take good care of the truck and get it through the finish line to win the race. We slowed everything down and took our time in every pit to make sure we’d arrive one piece. We had no issues whatsoever, maybe just a slower overall time than what was planned.
JAMES BLUTH, No. 720 (James Bluth started and drove to race mile 300. Randy Bluth drove race mile 300 to race mile 680. Jason Spark drove race mile 680 to race mile 740. James Bluth drove race mile 740 to the finish.) – All we had to do was to keep going because the car didn’t have a single problem, it was very reliable. The silt wasn’t that bad, this truck just ate it up. It was pretty rough this year but we never got stuck. Even in this different year, the atmosphere was still amazing here in Baja and even a fan came out to help us with his four-wheel drive the only time we got stuck.
DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (Drove solo.) – What a rocky, nasty, rough course. And so twisty. I think they put in loops and circles in there just for the heck of it, just to try and make it longer. That was a wild course. We broke a spindle and we didn’t have a spare one, so the team had to go buy one and get it to us on course, at a spot that was really hard to get by. The team came through as usual, they were awesome. It was a hard race and a bumpy one.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs)
WES MILLER, No. 2989 (First in class. Wes Miller started and drove to race mile 160. Jason Luburg drove race mile 160 to race mile 379. Wes Miller drove race mile 379 to the finish.) – In the beginning the course was super dusty, it was gnarly. We hit a couple bottlenecks, but a little after mile 200 we were able to pass Jason Murray (No. 2917) for the physical lead. We just held a steady pace and had the physical lead the entire time from that point on until we got passed when we broke a lower A-arm bolt and had to stop and fix it. We had a pretty clean race and probably should have won by a lot more, but a win is a win.
MATT BURROUGHS, No. 2948 (Matt Burroughs started and drove to race mile 300. Bradley Howe drove race mile 300 to race mile 605. Mitchell Alsup drove race mile 605 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER MITCHELL ALSUP said: It looks like we clinched the 2020 SCORE Championship in our class. This course was rough. Every turn, every bump, every mile challenged you. It took a lot of patience to be here today. It wasn’t a sprint race, this was a long deal and hats off to Wes Miller (No. 2989), who pushed hard at the end. Finishing second for the day and taking the SCORE Championship home, we’re all very happy. It was nice to see some bonfires out there and interacting with the Baja community which has always welcomed us here so well for such a long time.
MARK BURNETT, No. 2905 (Drove solo.) – It was rough. Four-wheel drive trucks killed the course. I iron maned the race again and this time it definitely put a beat on me. The four-wheel drive trucks were just tearing up the ground like no other. I was blown away with the course, it was night and day compared with what we had seen when pre-racing. It was a great course and had great things. We broke two trailing arms within ten minutes in the beginning of the race, so luck just wasn’t with us this time. I’ve won the SCORE Baja 1000 on a bike and a truck, but never on a UTV, but I just keep on trying. I’ve been closer in the past and maybe one day I’ll get it done, we’ll see.
JUSTIN ELLENBURG, No. 2977 (Justin Ellenburg started and drove to race mile 253. Michael York drove race mile 253 to race mile 505. Mike Jeluso drove race mile 505 to race mile 691. Justin Ellenburg drove race mile 691 to the finish.) – The SCORE Baja 1000 seems to have a more challenging course every time. It was an up-and-down, rollercoaster ride when we came in. It was thrills and chills going all the way from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez and back to the Pacific again. It’s just a great thing to see and enjoy every time we come down here to Baja.
MIKE PRATT, No. 2967 (Mike Pratt started and drove to race mile 420. Nate Hale drove race mile 420 to race mile 760. Mike Pratt drove race mile 760 to the finish.) – It was a very fun and challenging course. There was a little bit of everything – deep silt, big whoops, technical rock climbs and lots of SCORE Trophy Trucks all over the course that we couldn’t get through. There weren’t a lot of sections in which we could go really fast and those were my favorite parts. We saw some fans at the beach and camping out and that was really nice, it’s the best part of the race in my opinion. We’re really stoked to have finished it. We’re glad SCORE had the race, we’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)
GUSTAVO PINUELAS, No. 1218 (First in class. Gustavo Pinuelas started and drove to race mile 250. Jose Robles drove race mile 250 to race mile 505. Cesar Castillo drove race mile 505 to race mile 690. Mario Alcalar drove race mile 690 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER MARIO ALCALAR said: Finishing a SCORE Baja race is never easy. We had some complications with our transmission at the beginning but our chasing team did a great job to get it fixed. The course was difficult in some sections, but this is how it is in Baja. It demanded a lot from us and from our car and that made it very interesting.
MIGUEL CORTEZ, No. 1205 (Miguel Cortez started and drove to race mile 125. Jesse Lopez drove race mile 125 to race mile 300. Armando Ventura drove race mile 300 to race mile 440. Mike Ley drove race mile 440 to race mile 685. Miguel Cortez drove race mile 685 to the finish.) – We were physically and mentally ready for a difficult race, but the key was to keep the car one piece. These are always difficult courses which can put you in trouble in a lot of different ways, but that’s part of the adventure. We heard it’s the longest SCORE Baja 1000 loop course and that makes us even prouder that we managed to finish it.
PRO UTV NA (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs)
FRANCISCO ARREDONDO, No. 1945 (First in class, First overall UTV). Francisco Arredondo started and drove to race mile 198. Cisco Bio drove race mile 198 to race mile 480. Jamie Campbell drove race mile 480 to race mile 685. Cisco Bio drove race mile 685 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER CISCO BIO said: We drove this brand new Honda Talon we only got to test for less than 50 miles before the race and it went flawless the whole day. On my first portion, I thought I’d hit a lot of traffic in the hills, but I only had one bottleneck and we were able to squeeze through. When I got down the valley we had the physical lead. The course was really rough. I won my first SCORE Baja 1000 in 2016 down in La Paz and it was nothing like this course, a lot has changed.
ADRIAN ORELLANA, No. 1985 (Drove solo) – It was a personal goal I had to complete the SCORE Baja 100 driving solo and all three navigators (Carlos Sosa, Manny Viena and Russell Porter) did a fantastic job in keeping me awake and keeping me going. The whole chasing team too and our sponsors that allowed us to be here. We had a couple of flat tires and we rolled the car in a bad bottleneck. I tried to go up and around it and the cliff gave out and we rolled on top of another truck. It took us about 30 minutes to get it back over and drag it out of there, but we kept it all going. We hammered it hard through San Felipe and here we are.
KADEN WELLS, No. 1995 (Kaden Wells started and drove to race mile 400. Travis Wells drove race mile 400 to race mile 680. Kaden Wells drove race mile 680 to the finish.) – It was a pretty good course. It definitely started showing how much longer it was when compared to previous races with the car breaking down near the end, but we made it. We had some issues, nothing super major, but all time-consuming stuff.
KRISTEN MATLOCK, No. 1954 (Drove solo.) – Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I’m super proud of my team for pushing all day and making all the way to finish line. I was hoping to do it in 22 hours, but it actually took us 28 hours. I made some mistakes at the beginning and that set the pace for the entire day and just slowed us down. I got back to my usual self near the end, but it was too late. But we made it to the finish line. You can’t win them all but sometimes Baja wins it, we are always fighting back and forth. And that’s OK with me because I feel like I always win when I cross the border and get down here to beautiful Baja. We’ll just enjoy what Baja has to offer now and hopefully I can do better in the next SCORE Baja 1000.
CLASS 1/2-1600 (single or two-seat desert race cars to 1600cc VW engines)
ELI YEE, No. 1616 (First in class. Eli Yee started and drove to race mile 310. Misael Aranbula drove race mile 310 to race mile 600. Angel Barajas drove race mile 600 to the finish.) – This was my 30th time racing the SCORE Baja 1000 and I had finished second eight times but had never won it before. I’d won the SCORE Baja 250, but not this one. We started well, built a one-hour advantage and that helped us setting the pace. It’s special to win this one, which was certainly the most difficult I’ve ever raced in my career.
PRO UTV STOCK (Stock UTV’s, FI or NA)
CAROLINA SANCHEZ, No. 3913 (First in class. Carolina Sanchez started and drove to race mile 30. Jaime Delgadillo drove race mile 30 to race mile 400. Carolina Sanchez drove race mile 400 to the finish.) – It was a very difficult and strategic race. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get into a good speed and it was a slow-paced race, so we needed to be patient to succeed. Racing the SCORE Baja 1000 was making a dream come true. I had been competing in other races, but to be here at the SCORE Championship was a challenge I accepted and worked hard to make work. It was a very demanding race and a very long one, the longest I’ve ever run. Luckily we had a clean race, with very few issues.
HAMMER TRUCK UNLTD (unlimited, custom 4-wheel drive Rock Crawler)
PAUL HORSCHEL, No. 4419 (First in class. Paul Horschel started and drove to race mile 440. Loren Healy drove race mile 440 to race mile 690. Paul Horschel drove race mile 690 to the finish.) – I was lucky and didn’t have to deal with any incidents, but Loren had to change the driveline and take our front CV apart, which costed us one hour or two. But other than that, the car ran great. There was silt on and off for 50 miles, it was insane. But luckily our truck got a four-wheel drive, so when the others trucks got stuck we just went around them in the bushes. It’s exciting to get this one done and to win it.
PRO UTV UNLTD (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement)
ELIOTT WATSON, No. 1893 (First in class. Eliott Watson started and drove to race mile 300. Steven Eugenio drove race mile 300 to race mile 505. Ben Ward drove race mile 505 to race mile 820. Eliott Watson drove race mile 820 to the finish.) – I’m stoked to have won the SCORE Baja 1000 on my first attempt. I’ve been coming here for years with my father and he’s a great mentor who helps me a lot. It means a lot to win this thing. For the most part, it was a smooth race. We had a few little issues last night, but that’s part of Baja.
CLASS 5 (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed)
MIGUEL PABLOFF, No. 507 (First in class. Tomas Fernandez started and drove to race mile 300. Ramon Fernandez drove race mile 300 to race mile 660. Miguel Pabloff drove race mile 660 to race mile 780. Tomas Fernandez drove race mile 780 to the finish.) – We had great teamwork during race. We had to change our original plan because I saw Tomas did really well in the first part and he would give us a better chance to win if he took the wheel in the final portion. I’ve been away from races for ten years between 2007 and 2017 but Greg Sullivan (No. 508) brought me back. We raced together a few times and he allowed us to use his old car in this race after he got a new one. He’s a great person and I’m really excited that he got to finish the SCORE Baja 1000 too.
CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)
EDMUNDO A. FERNANDEZ, No. 555 (First in class. Tomas A. Fernandez started and drove to race mile 200. Edmundo A. Fernandez drove race mile 200 to race mile 460. Sergio Sarmiento drove race mile 460 to race mile 600. Jorge Vela drove race mile 600 to race mile 780. Tomas A. Fernandez drove race mile 780 to the finish.) – It was a very fun and interesting race. I always dreamed about winning the SCORE Baja 1000 and I’m delighted we made it.
BAJA CHALLENGE (Spec Subaru-powered two-seat open wheel race cars)
EDWARD MUNCEY, No. BC4 (First in class) – We did it again and are looking forward to doing it another time next year. I knew the car could do it, it drove so well for each of us and we even got to help some people along the way. We just wanted to make it through at a good pace and everybody was just rocking and having a blast. The course posed a lot of challenges for everyone and it was definitely a very difficult one, but it was made for this car, it ran perfectly. You can go and change the course as much as you want, this car is going to do it. Hats off to the entire SCORE team that has been working on this race for a long time and has put together an extremely safe race for each of us.
CLASS 7SX (2 or 4-WD production-based mini or mid-sized trucks)
DARIO SERRANO, No. 744 (First in class. Dario Serrano started and drove to race mile 150. Jorge Serrano drove race mile 150 to race mile 300. Luis Gonzalez drove race mile 300 to race mile 410. Sergio Gudino drove race mile 410 to race mile 680. Jorge Serrano drove race mile 680 to race mile 740. Luis Gonzalez drove race mile 740 to race mile 820. Dario Serrano drove race mile 820 to the finish.) – This was our first experience at the SCORE Baja 1000 and I couldn’t be more impressed. The course was very technical and demanded a lot from us physically. It was our goal to finish the race and I’m proud we did it. Now we want to come back for every SCORE race in 2021.
CLASS 2 (Unrestricted cars/trucks including turbo and superchargers)
DARREN SKILTON, No. 2022 (First in class. Darren Skilton started and drove to race mile 420. Viry Felix drove race mile 420 to race mile 680. Elliot Pollack drove race mile 680 to race mile 822. Darren Skilton drove race mile 822 to the finish.) – It’s the second SCORE Baja 1000 for this car and the second win and that’s really exciting. It was difficult, going up the mountains over the night was a nightmare. The trails were just junk, people were getting stuck everywhere and the dust just hung in the air, so you couldn’t go much more than 20 miles/hour for four hours. It was a race for patient drivers.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 2021 (Curt LeDuc started and drove to race mile 65. Shelby Hall drove race mile 65 to race mile 195. Curt LeDuc drove race mile 195 to race mile 400. Jason Scherer drove race mile 400 to race mile 620. Johnny Campbell drove race mile 620 to race mile 770. Cameron Steele drove race mile 770 to the finish.) – The team was just unbelievable. The drivers all nailed their sections and the entire crew was on point. It’s an honor to be working with each of them and it’s been humbling to see the dedication of everyone to this project. Racing in Baja is always an honor, it’s always super fun. –CO-DRIVER SHELBY HALL said: This race was our mission. Each of us has put so much time and effort into it. I’m so proud of the team, they really stepped up. Every experience and lesson we had were important and we’re all learning from them. The Ford Bronco is a great vehicle and now it will be Baja-proven. I’m so happy to be part of this project.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more)
MARK SAMUELS, No. 1x (First in class. First overall pro motorcycle. Mark Samuels started and quickly switched to Justin Morgan. Justin Morgan rode to race mile 124. Justin Jones rode race mile 124 to race mile to 303. Mark Samuels rode race mile 303 to race mile to 604. Justin Morgan rode race mile 604 to the finish.) –- This was a very tough course and an extremely demanding one, it was the longest loop race ever here. It was very technical and they added some new stuff to it. You had to have good equipment and good riders to go, perform and win it, and luckily we do have that, we’ve built that over the years. For a SCORE Baja 1000, that was very brutal, tough and long and I’m glad to be the first one here. CO-RIDER JUSTIN MORGAN said: It was a really long, technical and physically demanding course for us on the bike. It was great, well laid out and they kept it interesting with some new things. This is such a reliable bike. We just stayed steady and it ran great all night and got us here with no problems. It’s a super big deal and we don’t take it for granted. We had help from a lot of people and we really appreciate it. CO-RIDER JUSTIN JONES said: This one was tough for me. It was my first SCORE Baja 1000 back since a knee injury and it kicked my butt. To be honest, I wasn’t ready for it, but I gave my best. It definitely wasn’t my best SCORE Baja 1000, but I kept it together, stayed off the ground, got the bike going and let my teammates bring it home and it ended up great. We had a good race and the bike was great.
SANTIAGO CREEL, No. 66x (Santiago Creel started and quickly switched to Eric Yorba. Eric Yorba rode to race mile 200. Dalton Shirey rode race mile 200 to race mile 425. Ricardo Villalobos rode race mile 425 to race mile 600. Brandon Prieto rode race mile 600 to race mile 820. Eric Yorba rode race mile 820 to the finish). — CO-RIDER ERIC YORBA said: It was a cool course. They threw us in some new stuff and there were portions that we hadn’t run in a long time. We had a good battle Mark Samuel’s (1x) team and even got the physical lead at one point, but we ran into some bike problems around mile 250 and that just set us back, which was unfortunate. I felt we were here to make it happen. It was just bad luck, but it’s part of racing. All in all, I just have to give a big shoutout to my teammates for keeping the bike alive. We busted our butts today and it’s unfortunate that we got to deal with some things that were out of our control, but that’s racing. There were plenty of times when we could have called it quits and just saved the bike, but we figured we got to do everything we could to get in here. I’m glad we’re here, we’re all in one piece and we’ll live to fight another day.
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old)
FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, No. 370x (First in class. Shane Esposito started and rode to race mile 65. Francisco Septien rode race mile 65 to race mile 300. Shane Esposito rode race mile 300 to race mile 505. Justin Shultz rode race mile 505 to race mile 650. Shane Esposito rode race mile 650 to race mile 690. Justin Shultz rode race mile 690 to race mile 740. Francisco Septien rode race mile 740 to race mile 820. Shane Esposito rode race mile 820 to the finish.) –CO-RIDER SHANE ESPOSITO said: Half the day went ok, but then we had to replace the front brake system three times. Justin was a last-minute rider with us and didn’t get down here until Wednesday to pre-run. He got lost down in San Felipe and that’s when Jano Montoya’s (325x) bike passed us. I was worried about the issues we had tonight, so I’m glad we finished it safely.
JANO MONTOYA, No. 325x (Bryce Stavron started and rode to race mile 65. Kyle Tichenor rode race mile 65 to race mile 120. Bryce Oxley rode race mile 120 to race mile 300. Kyle Tichenor rode race mile 300 to race mile 400. Jano Montoya rode race mile 400 to race mile 480. Alberto Ruiz rode race mile 480 to race mile 540. Bryce Stavron rode race mile 540 to race mile 633. Jano Montoya rode race mile 633 to race mile 700. Alberto Ruiz rode race mile 700 to race mile 740. Bryce Stavron rode race mile 740 to race mile 820. Kyle Tichenor rode race mile 820 to race mile 860. Bryce Stavron rode race mile 860 to the finish.) –CO-RIDER BRYCE STAVRON said: We had a lot of mishaps. We’ve been leaking oil since noon and we’ve been literally just filling it up with oil every pit. We lost the connection to our lightning system and there were a couple crashes too. We even had to replace a battery at one point. We had a lot to go up against, but we never keeled over, we just wanted it. I’ve wanted this since I started racing. CO-RIDER BRYCE OXLEY said: We had some problems right off the bat. We had to change the light at race mile 120. The zip-tight broke so the light came off and wrapped itself around the front wheel. We had to stop, kick the light off and wrap the wire around the clutch cable so it didn’t get into the wheel. It was the most technical riding I’ve ever done in my life. We just kept pushing on and the bike ran great the entire time. It was a statement to Stefano Caputo and Jano for putting together this great program.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (200cc to 400cc)
FERNANDO BELTRAN, No. 180x (second in class) – It was a very difficult race and the course demanded a lot from us. It was very cold too. We had to deal with a few problems during the race, but fortunately we made it all the way to the end, which was our goal.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)
VANCE KENNEDY, No. 522x (First in class. Dennis Belingheri started and rode to race mile 160. Vance Kennedy rode race mile 160 to race mile 300. Dennis Belingheri rode race mile 300 to race mile 407. Dave Mayer rode race mile 407 to race mile 470. Eric Zite rode race mile 470 to race mile 511. Dennis Belingheri rode race mile 511 to race mile 600. Steve Hatch rode race mile 600 to race mile 680. Dave Mayer rode race mile 680 to race mile 820. Steve Hatch rode race mile 820 to race mile 860. Vance Kennedy rode race mile 860 to the finish.) – Unfortunately Eric had a fall and broke his ribs and his collar bone, but outside of that, we had a really smooth race. I’d like to thank everyone at SCORE for putting on this event in 2020. It’s been a rough year, so to see this event going on and everyone following all the protocols, it’s really nice. I know how hard it is to put on an event and SCORE has created some great memories for us, so I really appreciate it.
PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old)
BERNARDO SEGURA, No. 440x (First in class. Alejandro de Mazo started and rode to race mile 150. Pablo Guillen rode race mile 150 to race mile 190. Bernardo Segura rode race mile 190 to race mile 320. Gerardo Rojas rode race mile 320 to race mile 360. Pablo Guillen rode race mile 360 to race mile 420. Luis Fallel rode race mile 420 to race mile 570. Patrick Goeters rode race mile 570 to race mile 720. Alejandro de Mazo rode race mile 720 to 870. Bernardo Segura rode race mile 870 to the finish.) – We were doing pretty well, but had some issues with our battery near the end. The bike wouldn’t start and we had to push it to get it going. We kept battling it until the finish line, but fortunately we had a considerable advantage over the other team and that allowed us to take our time with it. The San Felipe portion of the course is brutal, but Luis and Patrick had done pretty well there in previous races, so we let them take them. We couldn’t finish the SCORE Baja 100 last year because we had a mechanical issue, so to get the win this year is extra special.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders)
JUAN CARLOS SALVATIERRA, No. 725x (First in class. Rode solo.) – This victory is for Bolivia. I know a lot of people were watching and sending messages in my country. I knew it would be a long race, but there were more rocky sections than I anticipated and it was a very technical course and that kept the race at a very slow pace. That made it even more difficult, but I’m thankful I got to the finish line in good shape and that I’m taking the 2020 SCORE World Championship title to Bolivia. It’s been a difficult year for all of us and I’m happy to bring some happiness to my people. It’s also my first SCORE Baja 1000 victory and I still can’t understand all that happened in the last 33 hours.
FABRICIO FUENTES, No. 785x (Rode solo.) – I’m very thankful and really emotional. Racing the SCORE Baja 1000 was a great experience and more than that a childhood dream I had. There’s nothing greater than that and to finish the race makes me very emotional. I’ve competed in a few difficult races in South America, but there’s nothing like Baja. I’m in love with the Mexican people after everything I saw here these days. They were always willing to support us and that kind of passion is what makes the SCORE Baja 1000 a race that’s admired in the entire world. They even helped me during the race. My bike turned off and wouldn’t start again and then some people approached me to help and it worked.
JAVIER PEREZ POTSCH, No. 772x (Rode solo.) – The race took me longer than I thought it would, I had quite a few setbacks along the way. But I made it to the finish line and that’s what matters. I prepared really hard for this race. Unfortunately, I had a little accident right at the beginning, got behind several cars and bikes and it was difficult to keep moving. I wanted to challenge myself at the SCORE Baja 1000 for quite some time and this year I felt I was ready for it. I’m the first Chilean to race in the ironman class and I’m really proud that I managed to bring our flag up here.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement)
ADOLPHO ARELLANO, No. 1a (First in class. Adolpho Arellano started and rode to race mile 86. Marco Lousino rode race mile 86 to race mile 200. Adolpho Arellano rode race mile 200 to race mile 253. Edwin Lopez rode race mile 253 to race mile 305. Adolpho Arellano rode race mile 305 to race mile 350. Luis Meza rode race mile 350 to race mile 410. Christian Dujar rode race mile 410 to race mile 455. Esteban Ramirez rode race mile 455 to race mile 515. Felipe Velez rode race mile 515 to race mile 575. Christian Dujar rode race mile 575 to race mile 600. Felipe Velez rode race mile 600 to race mile 675. Esteban Ramirez rode race mile 675 to race mile 720. Felipe Velez rode race mile 720 to race mile 740. Edwin Lopez rode race mile 740 to race mile 810. Marco Lousino rode race mile 810 to race mile 830. Adolpho Arellano rode race mile 830 to race mile 870. Edwin Lopez rode race mile 870 to the finish.) — CO-RIDER EDWIN LOPEZ said: We made a lot of changes and our chase team did a great job in managing it and moving us around. The entire route was very well-marked. The last portions I rode were difficult ones because we were above sea level and it got really cold at times, especially during the night. There were some tricky parts too with gulches and ditches and I had to be extremely careful to take the quad to the finish line.