Round 2 of four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship
June 1-2, 2019 – 485.02 miles – Ensenada, Baja California, MX
(as recorded by Don Jose de Vazquez, Paul Hanson & Tom Blattler;
transcribed by Mickey Bruber)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited CustomTrucks)
ANDY MC MILLIN, No. 31 (First in class, First overall) – – We had clear air all day, just a couple of motorcycles and quads especially here toward the end and then it got silty. We were having a good run all day. Had a couple of mechanicals we had to stop for out there on the track. Other than that, we had three planned pit stops and it went flawless. It was just a great day. My cousin Luke was really pushing out of Mike’s Loop and down the beach, up through Sana Thomas and Uruapan. It was really fun. I’m not sure what happened to him, I don’t know if he had a flat or what. We were running neck and neck, heading out of Uruapan coming to the finish line and what more could you ask for after close to 500 miles to come down to the wire like that. Great start to the season for us, one at San Felipe and a win here at the 500. Couldn’t really ask for more. We had a few punctures, I hit a few rocks and we had to get out and change it, so that set us back a little bit a couple of times, but other than that, flawless truck, flawless team and I couldn’t be happier. For the most part, the course was what I was expecting. I was a little nervous about the finish coming back in because we all ran that going out today. It was definitely treacherous, a lot of silt, a lot of blind rises, and with Luke pushing me, we had to go a lot faster through there than I was planning on. It was fun and went by quick and it was just a great day. We could see Luke behind the hills and leaving Uruapan, we had split times on him. He got within a minute and 20 seconds on the beach, had me by 40 to 50 seconds and then we kind of whipped it up and put 5 to 10 seconds on him. At Uruapan we were about neck and neck at times and I was like, hey this is it, last 30 miles, show him what you are made of, so it was a good run.
LUKE MC MILLIN, No. 83 (Second in class) – – It was a good day, we had two flat tires and we lost first gear early, so we ran in 2nd and 3rd all day. The truck just wasn’t on point all day.
CARLOS ‘APDALY’ LOPEZ, No. 9 (Third in class) – – It was rough, we got stuck at race mile 2 because in front of us were low riding vehicles who just stopped on the silt and got stuck. We got stuck behind all those trucks for about 15 minutes. After that we ran clean all day with no flat tires. The team did a great job. My chase group also did a great job.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 (Fourth in class; Aaron Ampudia start to mile 247; Alan Ampudia mile 247 to finish) – – It was good, I got in at mile 247. My brother did a great job. I only had a couple of minutes with downtime. Had a couple of issues, but other than that, he ran a clean section and got it to me somewhere in the top 10 physical. I started driving and was behind Robby the whole time basically we literally battled for like half a mile bumper to bumper, so it was exciting. I had to slow down for some fans, and I couldn’t see a thing and didn’t want to hit him, so I went far right and just tried to slow down. I ended up hitting some concrete poles, which messed up the tie rod and just broke it. We lost about 20-30 minutes, so I’m bummed about that, but we just hung out with the fans for a little bit. The dust made it hard and the last 60 miles were silty and technical where you could mess up and hurt yourself, and we knew we needed to finish. We were trying to win for our Mom who couldn’t be here as she had surgery on Thursday.
ED HERBST, No. 19 (DOR TIM HERBST) (5th in class) – – It was challenging, obviously the first 35 miles and the last 35 miles were the epitome of adventure, but that is what Baja brings you is adventure, so we didn’t get any less. It was challenging and you had to have patience through it. We had a couple mishaps with flat tires. My brother went about halfway, we changed at Mike’s Sky Ranch. Overall the course was the Baja 500, challenging and adventure and this and that. All and all we had a good day, just a couple of mishaps. I have the big motor in it and have to learn to drive it, it has some power. This motor my brother Troy and an engine builder from Joe Gibbs racing put together. We would like to win one, we’re getting old and running out of time.
BRYCE MENZIES, No. 7 (Sixth in class) – – It was a wild day, long day. Right off the bat we got a flat, kind of put us back a couple of positions. We were held up by BJ for about 10-15 minutes, so coming off Mike’s Road I was 15 minutes down to Andy and I think I made up 14 minutes on him and we got a flat and I think that cost us. A flawless day, the truck ran awesome, my team was flawless in the pits and I love the SCORE Baja 500 and if can get a second with this one, it kind of sucks, but we finished, so it’s good. The truck is fast! We need to figure out a couple little things and it will be hard to beat once we figure it out.
MIKEY LAWRENCE, No. 85 (7th in class) – – Finishing first is my main goal now. This is my third year in the truck, quite a bit of a jump from Class 10. I have no problem being at a good pace and finishing, it is just that next level of being in the top 5 all the time, all day. I still need to work a little bit more on it. It’s a big jump, bigger vehicle, more power and everything. No issues today, no flats, I think I may have missed one VCP on a pre-run line that we didn’t edit out of the GPS. We were having a little bit of a motor flood type thing right when we left, like it had been sitting too long, but it cleared out and we were good. I’m really stoked. I raced the 10 car for ten years and then we jumped up to this. My uncle Clay has been racing my old 10 car for the last five years now and, unfortunately, that car ripped an arm off, so it didn’t make it. We are a big family unit and we have a family business that funds the whole thing. Like everyone else, sponsors don’t pay for it.
DAN MC MILLIN, No. 23 (8th in class) – – It was looking like a 1, 2, 3 Mc Millin finish, but being that we started so far up front, we knew we had a lot of big guys behind us and it was going to be tough. We were 1, 2,3 flying, going really fast all the way to mile 300. Luke and Andy kept going, we were coming to Colonet Bridge and we hit a hole on the grated road that we didn’t mark on the GPS the first time and it broke the ballast and caved in all the way to my feet by the throttle and bent the throttle linkage. The truck was down about 30-35 minutes. Half an hour down time at the SCORE Baja 500 is good to most teams, but for us it is just a big bummer. But here we are at the finish and Luke, my brother, got a great finish and congrats to my cousin Andy. It was fun. I could see both of their dust and it was fun.
ROB MAC CACHREN, No. 11 (9th in class) – – We got held up like mile 2. We turned the corner and there were five or six trucks stuck in the silt and it was kind of a mess. Truck was good, our day was really good actually. We had that little problem in the beginning and then just the dust got some guys that were running a slow pace in front of me and we had to follow them all the way over to K77. We were down 22 minutes, so we started picking up time and at our fuel stop we were down 19. We got to Borrego and we were down 16 minutes. When we got up to Mike’s, we were down 15 and then I caught up to the Ampudias. I caught up to them and then we were just trailing them across all the way to Highway 1 and then the two of us caught Robby Gordon. I gassed on the highway and long story short, Ampudia had an issue, I got by him and we got right up on Robby and just couldn’t get him. At Erendira, we lost a ring and pinion, so we had to change that out and that is what put us back. I was hoping for a 4th place finish. The truck was good and I knew once we got some clean air up over the summit, I just ran the pace I thought I needed to do to win, but I needed to be in the position and that was the problem, we weren’t. It would have been fun to be up there. Just the way these races are, San Felipe dictated the start where we finished 18th. You just can’t be back there, can’t make up ground and now here we are at the SCORE Baja 500. I figured it would be good to put on a good show.
BILLY WILSON, No. 15 (10th in class; Billy Wilson start to 380; Greg Adler 380 to finish) – – Everything was good all day, just cruising. Besides the bottleneck and swapping back and forth with a couple of guys, I got flagged right into the corner and there were two trucks in front of me. I didn’t get stuck, but I waited and then I saw everyone off to my left bypassing, so I had to take a risk and see whether or not I was going to get stuck by going into unchartered territory, but it worked out. That was the only issue, just cruised along all day. GREG ADLER said: For almost 500 miles of desert and some rallying and just some crazy racing and to end up with just ¾ of a mile to go on a short track against one of the best, I have had a lot of great battles with Rob so it was fun. I didn’t know he was there and all of a sudden there is Rob and we had a good battle, glad the fans liked it and kept the fenders on these trucks, which are more expensive than the short course ones. Rob and I are super friendly. We drive together in the King of the Hammers and he is one of the best and he is one of the cleanest drivers out there, but the last couple of laps, he will do whatever it takes, and it was fun at the end there. The truck was awesome. This is the first time in it for me and I’m really getting the handle on what it can do and how hard I can push it. Great run and I was just trying to be careful and not do anything stupid. We’ve been doing a lot of desert stuff for a long time and SCORE Baja is where I started, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. It was great Bill Wilson gave me the chance to race and I had a lot of fun.
SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited custom Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)—
CLYDE STACY, No. 5L (First in class; Nick Vanderwey first section; Clyde Stacy finished) – – It was really rough, a lot of deep ruts, but it was a great course, that is what racing is all about. We really enjoyed it. Nick did a great job, set me up really good to bring it in. It was easy, but that is what I did.
MARK POST, No. 3L (Second in class; Larry Roeseler started; Mark Post finished) – – We had an extremely tough time. We lost our brakes about 150 miles from here and then we lost first gear and reverse. I was probably never more afraid coming over that mountain range in all that silt with no first gear. A couple of times I thought we were done, but we were fortunate and got through. What really set us back was one of the trophy trucks on the beach just railed me, hit me full blast, no warning or anything and both my spares came off so I had to cruise into Santa Thomas because if you get a third flat you are done and then we had to put them in the rack and the whole nine yards. We lost the race from that guy hitting us. I couldn’t go any faster over that mountain and if I had gotten into a situation here I had to do a three-point turn or something was in front of me, we were out of the race because reverse was gone. Larry had one flat tire and I had a perfect run until I was hit, but that is off road racing, you have to survive, you can’t quit.
ROLF HELLAND, No. 37L (Third in class) – – Pretty pleased about our finish. We were fortunate to finish second in San Felipe. Today I got hung up in the bottle neck at the start, but that hurt our chances. I’m not sure if we can compete with Mark Post and Larry Roeseler and so on, but I’m pleased. We are going to do all four SCORE races and we are going to try and win a championship. I think we have a shot at it. Smooth and consistent might just make it. Rick is one hell of a great teammate in preparing the truck. It is an older truck, but it performs well and did good here today. It was a tough course and kept coming at you. I was ready to get out of the truck about 260, I had had enough fun, but I got my money’s worth. I’m pleased with what we’ve done and to be on the podium.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)—
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 185 (First in class; Larry Job start to 187; Justin Davis mile 187 to finish) – – The only problem we had was some steering issues in the beginning, a line came lose and we lost some time. From 187 on we tried to make up time and passed everyone and kept it rolling and had no flats, no issues and the car was solid. It was interesting in the beginning getting through the traffic, but once we got some clean air, it was smooth sailing.
BRIAN WILSON, No. 138 (Second in class) – – The race went alright. It started off actually a little bit tough. We got stuck in a bottle neck at the silt hill. A trophy truck actually backed down the hill onto our bumper, so we were kind of locked there for 10 minutes or so and after that it was pretty much smooth sailing. We had a game plan today of just kind of running a pre-run pace and getting this new car to the finish line so we could actually do some research on it and go from there. The car is a year old this race so we haven’t quite made it to the finish line per se, we won the first day at the Tijuana race and then it broke the second day, but we had some driver errors and some mechanical issues and we feel like we have got it worked out now and it is good to see this car at the finish line. This car at the finish line is like a win for us today. It was a very challenging course for sure.
BRAD WILSON, No. 100 (Third in class) – – I would say it was an okay day. We had some throttle issues that we fixed early on and the we just had a motor that we think had a bad sensor, so it kind of set us back a little bit, but the car was still running fine, so we just pushed where we could push and held back where we had to hold back and sometimes you have to race with the cards that you are dealt. We ran a great race and we will take it to the SCORE 400 and try and get it back. We were fortunate enough to get the win in San Felipe and we will go to the SCORE 400 and see what we can do. There was a bottle neck at mile 2 and we made it through there, it was a nightmare, just a silty mess with a bunch of trophy trucks, but it is what SCORE has to do sometimes to get you out of town. Once we began having issues, it was just about making sure the car got to the finish and have some fun. We should go into the SCORE 400 first or second in points and we will see what happens.
BILLY GOERKE, No. 162 (DOR BRENDAN GAUGHAN) (Eighth in class; Brendan Gaughan start to 350; Billy Goerke 350 to finish) – – We had a rear hub issue when Brendan was driving and had to fix that. Had some small little gremlins, had a few electrical issues going on, motor keeps dying on us. The course was definitely technical, a lot of silt. It was a fun course, challenging.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines)
CHARLES DORRANCE, No. 299 (First in class) – – It was a great run. We were kind of patient and just let the race come to us. I did make a few mistakes, but they weren’t catastrophic. I ran through the weeds and bushes out around mile 160-170, stuck in the dust. Every now and then I missed a turn. I did 350 miles and then Dave and Chuck Dempsy jumped in after that. I bought this truck early last year, but I didn’t race it until Tijuana last year and it’s been a great truck and ran well today. No hiccups in the truck, but I did a couple of bone headed moves, but I’ll live with that. Ivan Stewart says the guy who wins is the one who can go fastest without mistakes. We just tried to be consistent with no wins and bring it home for a win.
SARA PRICE, No. 204 (Second in class) – – We had a solid race. We started second, we got the hole shot and were behind first place. He ended up getting stuck and we bypassed him in the first 10 miles. Then when we were in first, we had an awesome race and had a well deserved flat and we got out to change it and our jack didn’t work so we had to go 10 miles on a flat tire. We kept stopping at local pits to see if they had a jack and they didn’t, so that really was a struggle and we rode the best race we possibly could and the truck ran great the whole time, but unfortunately the time we lost wasn’t enough time to get first place. We got second and are first losers once again and that is the name of our game I feel like. I’m tired of being first loser, I want to win now, but congrats to first place.
WILLIAM HEDRICK JR., No. 295 (6th in class; William Hedrick start to mile 230; William Hedrick Jr. 230 to finish) – – This class is very competitive. I think there were more than 30 drivers and I think we did a good job. We finished sixth and started 12th. The last 30 miles were tough and nasty, a lot of dust and silt. It was tougher than last year. Dad started and he did a good job, had an issue with the brakes and lost like 10 minutes there. He gave me the truck with no issues. I jumped in and I was struggling with the dust since I started. I was behind a class 10 that got stuck and then I got stuck and lost like 20 minutes. We continued the race with no issues. I’m happy to be here. We made it!
CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters)
CODY REID, No. 1068 (First in class) – – We had a hell of a run going, Bud Ward drove the first half of the race and had zero issues as far as I know. Apparently, he hit something a little bit hard because when he brought the car to me it had a bent tie rod when we did the driver change. Swapped that out really quick and held the first place position. Charlie and I have been down here for a little over a week now pre-running. We had our lines, had our plan and we stuck to it and we never had a split, so we kept trying to keep an easy pace until we hit Cama Loop. Mile 365 we finally got a split and we were like Oh that is not enough. We took off and held our own, passed probably 3 or 4 more trucks and we were on our way to the finish. Our whole game plan was to get off the highway and get to the last 30 where nobody is passing anyone and just go. Unfortunately, we came around a hard right in the silt and had nowhere to go. We were stuck there for about 30 minutes. We were able to get out and were able to bring it home for a second-place finish. We should be the points leader going into the SCORE 400.
ROBERTO ROMO, No. 1062 (Second in class; Andrew Myers start to mile 230; Roberto Romo 230 to finish) – – We started last and Andrew Meyers gave me the car in 5th place. We tried to push it hard all the way to the finish. I wanted to take care of the car and we made it. This is SCORE Baja and you need to take care. I have raced for 22 years and this was the roughest finish in my whole life. You only come from mile 30 to the finish in first gear, shift to second and then push the brake hard and push again. The car was perfect, no problems at all.
EVAN DURAN, No. 1016 (Third in class; Hiram Duran, Eric Duran and Eric Fernando Duran all drove) – – We had one flat and besides that we were good. It was fun.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs)
CRAIG SCANLON, No. 2931 (First in class; Solo driver) – – It was a blast. It was a long day. We thought we were going to be in the car for about 12 and a half hours and it was just that. I drove start to finish. I had a backup driver, but that was the deal this year. It was a long day. The rear stabilizer bars went out three times, but nothing catastrophic and it’s a little dirty, but what the heck.
MARC BURNETT, No. 2095 (Second in class) – – The course was gnarly, completely hard. We put it on the side right here in the wash six minutes ago. It was awesome, but we had to replace a hub, had to do a clutch. Earlier in the day it looked pretty bad, we were probably 20th, but we moved all the way up and I’m surprised we brought it back in. I’m just happy making it here. I know we are leading the points now, which is very nice.
JASON MURRAY, No. 2917 (Third in class; Jason Murray start to 230; Derek Murray 230-finish) – – About 50 miles to the finish, we had a 10 mile lead, but got stuck in a silt bed and put the car on its side and had to get pulled out and set us back. This Can Am Maverick pushed hard to the end.
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 2971 – (Fourth in class) – – The course was brutal, and it was a long day. We worked for this one, the hardest I’ve ever fought for a 4th place. The start was gnarly, it was a little tight, silty. The finish was just miserable and tough.
CORY SAPPINTON, No. 2904 (Fifth in class; Scott Sappinton start to 230; Cory 230 to 380; Ryan Johnson 380 to finish) – – It was a great race, an awesome SCORE Baja 500. I loved the course; I loved the roughness and technicality. I loved every bit about it, thank you SCORE. We only had one broken shock. Start wasn’t bad for us, the four-wheel drive UTVs can plow through that stuff no problem. The end was a little soupy and fast, so we just held the throttle down and let it steer itself. It was fun.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)
STAN POTTER, No. 1206 (DOR FREDDIE WILLERT) (Second in class; Stan Potter start to San Matias; Freddy Willert from San Matias to the finish) – – I think the 500 is probably one of the roughest races. People talk about the SCORE Baja 1000 as being the toughest, but I’ve never won the 500, but I’ve won the SCORE 1000 three times, and this is the hardest race. It is so technical, and it just takes everything to go right and it didn’t go right for us today. I got a flat and we had some issues with the starter and the battery went dead. Freddy had some issues, but all in all we still got second place. You have to be patient and when it looks bad, you have to keep going. That is the spirit you have to have, or you won’t finish racing. We would have rather won, but I’m happy with this and will celebrate. Congratulations to Matias Arjona on the win.
RICH ROBERTS, No. 1208 (Third in class; Kirk Contils started to 190; Rob Martensen 190 to Mike’s Sky Ranch; Rich Roberts from Mike’s to the finish) – – We beat SCORE Baja for sure. We fought and battled all day long. We had one flat tire. BFG gives us a good product and offer us support that is just unparallel by any other tire maker period. We used them and we had highs and lows and we were getting passed by third place all day long and in the end, I got by him after we lost a power steering belt and had to stop it. Wow, what a ride. All the devils were in the last 30 miles and I had to drive on it because there was no place to stop with a flat tire. I got stuck in the silt and got hit by a trophy truck which knocked the wires off, so the engine wasn’t running good. We had some locals pulling on the tow strap by hand to get us out after we got stuck and then we got to the finish line. Incredible.
PRO UTV NA (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs)
KRISTEN MATLOCK, No. 1954 (Second in class) – – I had a great time, it was a really fun course. I just had some mechanical issues throughout the day that slowed me down. I had a great start and I think I was up to 4th overall in the UTVs physically at one point. After that, unfortunately, my race went a little bit south and I couldn’t get the car going well enough to get back up there. We figured it out at the very end, so I had fun on the way to the finish line. It is part of racing and I still really enjoyed myself and we got second even after all of that. I’ve gotten a first and a second so I’m sitting pretty good for the championship.
ADRIAN ORELLANA, No. 1985 (Third in class; drove solo) – – The first 30 miles at the beginning were a heck of a challenge. It was good to use a UTV to our advantage and use the four-wheel drive and just be able to get around a lot of stuff. The rest of the course was fun. Mike’s Sky Ranch was excellent. Going into the coast was beautiful, as always. Coming into the last 30 miles it definitely looks different at night. It was a lot of fun.
CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)
ANGEL BARAJAS, No. 1616 (First in class; Angel Barajas start to 260; Alejandro Coronoa 260 to finish) – – Start of the race was very difficult. The main thing was not to lose your head and to focus on getting your line. The first 30 miles were very technical. You had to make good decisions, or it was going to cost you. After mile marker 70 in San Felipe, it opened up and it was much better for speed on that part of the course. Eli .G took it from 260 to the finish line with no issues.
ALAN ARAMBULA, No. 1650 (DOR ADOLFO ARAMBULA) (Second in class; Adolfo Arambula start to 190; Eduardo Acevedo 190 to 340; Alan Arambula 340 to finish) – – Dad started the race and had a little problem nine miles into the race where he got stuck. He continued without problems until mile marker 190. Eduardo took over and had no issues at all during the course until mile marker 340 where I got in to finish the race with no problems. Very difficult course, also very challenging. The new part of the course was unexpectedly difficult, but it was worth it every race mile.
CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)
DUSTIN GRABOWSKI, No. 527 (First in class; Neal Grabowski start to 186; Dustin Grabowski 186 to finish) – – The course was really gnarly this year, especially the end. The finish was super tight and just silty, and every single corner wanted to suck you off a cliff. We will be back for the SCORE Baja 1000.
CLASS 7F (Stock frame, engine, body, 2 or 4-WD mini or mid-size trucks)
JEFF PROCTOR, No. 709 (First in class; Jeff started to 380; Pat Dailey to finish) – – I would say this is probably one of the most challenging, technical, rough courses that we have raced in the last five years. It was just brutal out there from the first five miles of the race with bottle necks and silt, getting stuck in the canyon. We were just warriors out there all day fighting and overcoming a mechanical with a hub and getting stuck a couple of times. We just kept fighting and just passed for the lead about 20 miles out. We were down by over an hour and we came back and passed for the lead. This is the testament to how hard this team fights to get to the finish line and it is unbelievable. We just finished this truck Friday at 5 a.m. and we won. I can’t thank our team enough.
JUSTIN MORGAN, No. 1X (First in class, rode to mile marker 180; Mark Samuels rode to mile marker 450; Justin Morgan finished) – – I had a fall over out in the desert. I was all by myself and just ran out of talent for a minute. It was right near mile marker 180. We had a great time and are really thankful for everything and it was awesome. There was a lot of silt coming into town, which I think is a lot of fun personally, it is kind of a challenge and makes everything a little slower speed, but it is always annoying if you crash in it for sure. CO DRIVER MARK SAMUELS said: There was silt between Mike’s area, but luckily, I didn’t have to behind anyone so that made it nice. I plowed through it and kept it going. There are a few whoopty do’s and the high speed was choppy. The trophy trucks tear it up. Their wheels are as big as our dirt bikes, so it gets some square edges. Everything went very smooth and luckily Justin gave me the bike with a decent lead, and I got to add onto it and I got to ride how I wanted to, so it was good.
TROY VANSCOURT, No. 4X (DOR RAY DAL SOGLIO) (Second in class, Dylan Gillespie started and finished the race; Justin Morgan rode; Nic Garvin rode mile marker 240 to 350) — Today I got on the bike about race mile 91 and took it to Mike’s Road where I gave it back to Nick Garvin. There was plenty of silt, and I had no mishaps actually had a very clean run, no issues. I was a bit fatigued coming into the whoops and rocks, but no issues with anyone else as far as I know. Fortunately had a clean run this race, so I’m very happy about that. CO-DRIVER DYLAN GILLESPIE said: The coast was really fast and there was a little bit of whoops and rocks going up the wash and after that pretty much the only silt I had was the finish. I ran into a big tree that got stuck across my brake pedal and front tire, so I had to pull over and yank it out really quick. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates Troy and Ray. They put this team together and I couldn’t be happier to be here. Thanks to my Dad for taking the week off work and coming down here and to everyone else, thank you so much. NIC GARVIN added: I rode Mike’s road with a lot of rocks and choppy stuff but was fast and easy. No mishaps and had a nice solid ride. I filled in for Ray who broke his femur the other day. It is actually my second time around this section that I rode today. We will be at SCORE Baja 400 and I will be running with a team I have and will be looking for a good result there.
MITCH ANDESON, No. 66X (DOR SANTIAGO CREEL) (Third finisher in class; Rode section 350 to finish; Brandon Prieto rode start to 80; Massimo Mangini rode 80 to 185 and 240 to 350; Taylor Stevens 185 to 240) – – Section 350 to 445 was the original plan, but I took it all the way to the finish. Once Brandon went down and broke both of his wrists, we had to switch up the strategy. Some riders got quite a bit more added on their section, so I took the last 40 plus miles and I rode it to the finish. I had a few close calls; one oncoming car on the road in Cama Loop, but my ride was thankfully uneventful. BRANDON PRIETO said: I had a pretty rough get off in mile 60 and broke both my hands, but I was able to ride the bike to the highway, approximately mile 80 and then my team took it from there and they did an excellent job and everything went good and smooth and I am happy the bike came to the finish line and all the riders are safe. I just had surgery three hours ago and I wanted to come here to receive Mitch because they did such an awesome job and I am happy.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc)
ALEJANDRO SARDI, No. 100X (DOR SANTIAGO CREEL) (First in class – Alejandro Sardi rode 0 to 115 and 450 to end; Carlos Miranda 115 to 200; Alvaro Miller rode the crossing to 250; Larry Serna 250 to 450) – – I started the bike at 4 am and it was nasty. We had to go from behind, we thought we were going to go second, but we started from the back. It was really tough and personally I had a big crash at mile 70. We broke the lights, the front fender. Thankfully it didn’t go to something bigger, it was just little bruises and nothing broke, but my knee hurts. I had to go from mile 450 to the end and we made it happen. The team got everything perfect, we got the bike fixed and it was nice to go from the back because I didn’t pre-run the first section, so I had to go blind at 4 a.m. All the guys went by me by the river and we had to go pick them off one by one and it was satisfying that now this champagne tastes better. When I crashed I thought it was over? It was so fast and a long straight away. The bike was good, and I was pushing hard. This race is for Charlie, my uncle. He made it happen.
MARCO PENA, No. 120X (Third in class – Marco Pena started and rode first 30 miles; Mauri Herrera mile 30 to 130; Miguel Cordovez mile 130 to 211 and then the finish; Joshua Ripperman and Brian Ripperman also rode) – –
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old)
FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, No. 370X (First in class; Shane Esposito start to mile 116; Francisco Septien 116 to finish) – – We are stubborn gold guys who did it between Shane and me. Shane crashed on mile 5 and then I crashed just when I got on the bike at mile 116. Other than that, everything went well, we didn’t have any other problems. We just tried to keep it on 2 wheels, and we did okay. I didn’t get hurt, just some bruises, but nothing serious. There was plenty of silt coming in, I haven’t seen it like that in years, it is really bad, a lot of silt, but that is racing.
HOMERO DIAZ, No. 360X (DOR SANTIAGO CREEL) (Second in Class – Salvador Hernandez started; Kevin Murphy ran next; then Jim O’Neal; Homero Diaz from Mike’s Ranch to 405; Raul Hernandez 405 to finish) – – Salvador crashed twice and then the rest was trying to keep the bike on two wheels. We were a bit far back and the plan was to just try and keep up and catch up with the rest of the guys. I think we did a decent job. We are not so happy with the end result because we know we can win the class and I think Monkey Business deserves a win by now.
JANO MONTOYA, No. 325X (Third in class – Alberto Ruiz, Jeff Kawell also rode) – –
It went great. We had zero mishaps until the end with the silt, I put the bike down a few times, but all in all we had a great race, no one had any issues, the bike had zero problems. It was a smooth race.
PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old)
STEVE ROBERTS, No. 420X (DOR PAUL THOMAS) (Second in class; Steve Roberts start to 115;) – – Start to 115; Thomas to finish) Here we are having a good time in Baja. It was really, really silty at the start and the finish, had to ride the same section forwards and backwards and it was tough to keep the bike on two wheels, but here we are, we made it.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)
GIOVANNI SPINALI No. 500X (First in class) – – John Griffin started to mile 80 and 185 to 231; Jim O’Neal 80 to 97; Troy Pearce to 185 and 231 to 258; Giovanni Spinali 258 to 350 and 450 to finish; Earl Roberts rode the coast to 450). I was the only one with an accident, in the last 10 miles I hit a really silty downhill and my front wheel popped out of it and it was an easy fall, but I went down and filled my glove up with silt and got back on, I was fine. Probably one of the most difficult parts was they ran the Sportsman on the street so when I got on the bike, I had like 10 Sportsman and quads on my way through and I ate more dust. We had a solid ride; the bike ran great. We did puncture the radiator within the last 20 miles, so we are just happy to make it to the finish.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders)
JOSE CARRASCO, No. 721 (First in class) – – It was awesome. It came down to the last lap literally when we got here. I couldn’t be more excited to be back in one piece, safe and sound. It was one of the toughest SCORE Baja 500s that I’ve experienced, and I’ve done eight of them. It was just tough, the weather made for hard conditions, visibility in the morning and then we had a little bit of trouble. We hit a bush and it made our stella mount bounce around the whole time. It was just a cool race, glad to be holding the #1. I hit a tree and it didn’t knock we down and I had a lot of close calls, but luckily that is all they were. I’m going to be very sore, though, I’ll tell you that.
MICHAEL SKURKIS, No. 729X (Third in class) – – Led the race until 468, someone threw barbed wire in front of me in the middle of the course on the downhill and it wrapped around my rear wheel and threw me off the bike. I’m short on words, I apologize.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement)
SAID SANCHEZ, No. 1A – – (Javier Robles start to mile marker 80; Luis Velez mile 80 to 110) – –
We were holding a lead over the second quad which was six and a half minutes by the time we were on mile 110. Christian Vera got on the quad and rode all the way to Saldona. By the time he got off, we had an eight-minute lead. We had a rider change and checked the bike over and everything was smooth. Javier got back on the bike until Borrego so by the time we got to San Matias, Fillipe got on the bike and everything was good. We had no problems with the bike all day, so we managed to finish 6 or 8 minutes ahead of the second quad. I had a close call, crashed before the finish and had a problem with the silt.