San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
McMillin Racing ran strong and brought home a prestigious award at the 50th anniversary NORRA Mexican 1000. The very first NORRA Mexican 1000 was run in 1967, creating the sport of offroad racing. In fact, the name “Offroad Racing” was conceived by Mike Pearlman in 1967 to describe this new form of racing. A unique event that travels the entire length of the Baja Peninsula, the Mexican 1000 honors the past, while forging the future. A perfect venue for two generations of McMillin’s to compete. Dan and Luke are forging the future, driving their 1999 Stewart Race Works prerunner in the Evolution Unlimited group. Mark honors the past driving his famous “Macadu” Porsche powered Chenowth in the Vintage 6-cyl Buggies class.
Mark and his Father Corky made a huge impact in the early days of the sport after they started racing in 1976. Among Mark’s many accomplishments are his five Baja 1000 victories. He won the race in 1981, 83, 84, 86, and 88. Mark added to the McMillin family racing legacy at the Mexican 1000 with a prestigious BILSTEIN Madonna award.
The tradition of the Madonna Award in the United States began in 1984 with the NASCAR Winston Cup Championships, and has evolved to recognize the accomplishments of individuals in many areas of motorsports, including Dale Earnhardt, Ivan Stewart and Mark Stahl. The BILSTEIN Madonna award is given to “an individual who wins a championship in a major American racing series, displays sportsmanship and positive character traits on and off the track, and possesses an intense desire to win while overcoming adversities.”
Dan, Luke, and Bryce Swaim ran the first three days of the rally with Dan to Loreto. Josh Burrows flew down and would ride from Loreto to the finish in San Jose Del Cabo. At least, that was the plan. “We were set for a Top 10 Overall finish amongst some very fast company of Trophy Trucks and fast class 1 type buggies,” said Dan,
“We had no problems, and no flat tires thanks to BFG the entire rally. On the last day, 70 miles from the finish, we lost a transmission and did not finish. It was a big bummer, but we still had a lot of fun, NORRA did a great job organizing the event.”
Mark’s rally went exceptionally well, finishing second, and taking home the Madonna. Mark drove the first two days Nick Rivaldi doing the navigating. On day 3, he gave Hector Cuadras a chance to take the wheel before jumping back in for days 4 and 5.
“The old 1982 Chenowth ran perfectly,” said Mark, “We had no flats to our BFGoodrich Tires and the original Bilstein shocks on our car were soaking up the terrain perfectly; despite being decades old. We avoided the typical pitfalls in Baja, and finished in one piece. After we crossed the line, the Bilstein Representative Emil Foldager informed us that we had won the Madonna award.”
The NORRA Mexican 1000 is a mix of having fun and being highly competitive. McMillin Racing accomplished both with a great time during the rally and another trophy to build on their impressive Baja racing legacy.
Photography By: Bink Designs