LAS VEGAS, NEV—The Monster Energy/BF Goodrich/Terrible Herbst Motorsports Trophy Truck team rebounded from the early exit of one of its two entries to post a solid sixth-place finish in class and seventh overall in the 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race in Baja California, Mexico, November 16-20. Team members Brian Collins and Troy Herbst came from the middle of the field and drove spectacularly in challenging conditions, and their determination paid off as they completed the 1061.69-mile race distance down the Baja peninsula in 20 hours, 49 minutes and 39 seconds, averaging 50.94 mph over the most treacherous terrain in all of motor racing.
“We were very comfortable and confident going into the race,” Troy Herbst said. “With two fantastic Trophy Trucks prepared by the best crew in off-road racing, and along with my brother Tim, Larry Roeseler and Brian Collins, we couldn’t have had a more talented, hard-core group of guys to get the job done.”
With a rich legacy in off-road racing that includes back-to-back Baja 1000 wins in 2004 and 2005, Herbst Motorsports was fully prepared to add another win in the legendary race. The team was under the gun right from the start, however, as unfavorable starting positions meant that the drivers of both entries would have their work cut out for them. The number 49 Monster Energy/BF Goodrich/Terrible Herbst Motorsports Trophy Truck driven by Collins and Troy Herbst started 23rd in the field of 292 entries, while the number 19 driven by Tim Herbst and Larry Roeseler started 25th, one minute behind the 49 truck. Despite setting a fast pace early, the 19 truck was forced to end its quest for victory at Race Mile 150 due to an engine failure, according to team crew chief Mike Smith.
“It was disappointing, but things happen in off-road racing,” Smith said. “Both of our trucks were immaculately prepared, and I’m not just posturing to say that we really believed that we would bring home a 1-2 finish in the race for our Herbst Motorsports team and for our great sponsors, Monster Energy and BF Goodrich. Then to have something like that happen, which is a real anomaly because our engine builder is the best in the business, it just tears the heart out of a crew that worked practically every waking hour to prepare for the Baja 1000. Fortunately, the number 49 truck showed just exactly what our team is made of. Those boys charged the whole way.”
Indeed, they did. Collins, who had to contend with blinding dust brought on by an unusually dry and still climate on the Baja peninsula this year, passed some of the sport’s elite Trophy Truck teams before handing the number 49 truck to Troy Herbst, who never let off the gas as he battled through fog and methodically picked his way toward the front of the field in the Baja darkness, finishing
“It was the most technical course we’ve raced,” Herbst said. “Fog, silt … you name it. Brian (Collins) drove to San Ignacio (approximately Race Mile 559) and then we got in. The fog was horrific, but it is a beautiful night to be over at the beach. We did blow a turn, and we had to sit and wait for a farmer to show up, and then we had to negotiate a little after getting stuck in the silt. We were following Jesse (Jones) and (Andy) McMillin, two or three feet off each other’s bumper, running without lights and letting the lead guy go, and Jesse blew a turn, so we all blew a turn together.”
Herbst and Collins drove a masterful race, running flat out all the way to the finish, aided by a fast truck flawless pit stops and sheer reliability from perhaps the most important component on any off-road racing vehicle, their BF Goodrich tires. Over 1061.69 miles, Collins and Herbst didn’t suffer a single flat tire, a testament to BF Goodrich’s legacy of building tires that can go the distance in the world’s toughest race.
After such a grueling event, it would be understandable if Herbst Motorsports took a break from planning and preparation for their next event, but the team is already hard at work with plans to renew its two-pronged Trophy Truck assault at the 2011 Best In The Desert Parker 425 in February.
43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
2010 Final Round of Five Race 2010 SCORE Desert Series
Ensenada to La Paz Peninsula Run
1061.69-Mile Race Course
TOTAL STARTERS: 292 / TOTAL FINISHERS: 197 (68%)
(37 States, 19 Countries)
SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)–1. Gus Vildosola Jr. /Gus Vildosola Sr., Mexicali, Mexico, Mexico, Ford F-150, 19:00:04 (55.87 miles per hour); 2. Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 19:22:22; 3. Roger Norman, Reno, Nev., Ford F-150, 19:56:27; 4. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas/Chad Ragland, Vista, Calif., Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 19:57:20; 5. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150, 20:08:04; 6. Troy Herbst/Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram1500, 20.49:39; 7. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas/Will Staats, Valencia, Calif., Ford F-150, 20:54:18; 8. Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 21:10;11; 9. Jason Voss/Rich Voss, Cupertino, Calif./John Swift, Santa Ynez, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 21.13:14; 10. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Ford F-150, 21:15:03.”]