March 13, 2011
25th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
Round 2 of five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series
March 10-13, 2011 – San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 20 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle. MacCachren drove the entire race.) – We’ve been struggling with power steering since San Matias. Every bump you hit…you can’t go hard; you just cruise. We took off with just a real conservative pace and they started dropping one by one. When we dropped into Matomi Wash, Jesse (Jones) was first on the road, (Gary) Weyhrich was second and I was third. Jesse Jones had a flat right at the beginning of Matomi and we got by him. He was getting stuck so we went by and right at the end of Matomi, we got by Weyhrich and then we had the physical lead all the way in. The power steering, we were really struggling with that and Jesse was pretty much on my bumper the whole way in. I knew he had to get by me and put 30 seconds on me to win and we were going to do everything we could to keep that from happening. There were absolutely no problems at all with the truck (other than the power steering) and we didn’t have any flats. I really needed this (win); it’s great.
JESSE JONES, No. 1 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle. Jones drove the entire race.) – We had a flat tire going into the wash and when we stopped to change it, we got stuck. It’s my fault – I threw the race away. That cost us about 10 minutes. Once we got first on the road, I had kind of backed the pace down a little bit to save the equipment. Our rear end was running a little bit hot and I made a mistake today. It was my fault – I wish I could blame it on somebody else, but I can’t. Good job for Rob (MacCachren). What a great day anyway; we all got to race really, really close and that’s what it’s all about so that’s more fun anyway.
ANDY McMILLIN, No. 31 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle. McMillin drove the entire race.) – It was a really, really fun day. About three miles out from the finish, the truck started bobbling at like 110 miles an hour so I backed it down to about 80 and it quit bobbling and we kind of ran consistently. And then there’s a hard left and another hard right on the very last straightaway and it came into the corner and it died. My heart sank – I knew we were leading – and then, luckily, we were only down for maybe 30 seconds and we got it fired up again and got here (to the finish). It was close at the finish line. That was the only problem I had and I have no idea what it was. I just cruised off the start, stuck to my game plan all day and we’re here. It was so rough out there. I’m going to be so sore tomorrow but it’s worth it, that’s for sure.
NICK VANDERWEY, No. 84 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle. Nick Vanderwey drove the first 120 miles and Larry Vanderwey drove the final 132 miles.) – It was a good day. We had some problems on the lake bed (70 miles into the race) with oil temperature so we lost a position there. We had a good, clean day other than having to slow down on the lake bed. Those top two guys (MacCachren and Jones) drove a great pace. But it was a lot of fun.
GARY WEYHRICH, No. 98 (Fifth in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle. Weyhrich drove the entire race.) – We had no problems. We had no flats and only hit hard really once the whole day. We went back and forth with Jesse (Jones) and Rob (MacCachren) and Nick (Vanderwey) for a while and that was fun. It’s the roughest it’s ever been. I can usually race this 250 and be fine (but) I’m tired. But it’s all right; it’s all part of the deal.
BRYCE MENZIES, No. 70 (Sixth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle. Menzies drove the entire race.) – We just took it easy off the start and we kind of paced Andy (McMillin) a lot of the way. I think he got a flat and pulled over and we got around him. By our fuel stop, we were leading on time and all the way into (mile) 220, we were leading on time and got a front flat and changed it and the power steering went so after that, we had to just coast it in at like 50 miles an hour and try to just work it to the finish. It was like that for the last 40 miles of the race. It was a short race but it was real brutal. We only had one flat tire and I (changed) it myself so other than that, the tires worked great.
ADAM HOUSEHOLDER, No. 24 (Seventh in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle. Householder drove the entire race.) – Besides the rear shocks melting away, it was a good race. We pitted at (mile) 101 and they were leaking. That was it and it was tough to hang on the rest of the way. It was rough but it was fun. I love this course; I love all the toughness. We still had a good, clean run. We probably could have pulled off a top-three (finish without the shock problem). There was a lot of good racing out there.
JESSE JAMES, No. 54 (Eighth in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle. James drove the entire race.) – It was rough but it was good. I expected it to be rough. I had one flat (tire) but that was it. I’m happy with eighth. This is my first top-10 in SCORE – and in Mexico – so that’s pretty good. I’m happy with it. We’ll do the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 (in June), for sure.
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 108 (First in class. Davis drove the entire race.) – We had no flats, no problems. We just cruised in and had a good race. It was a perfect day. It was definitely rougher than last year but we made it to the end. We passed most of the cars (that started ahead of me) before the end of Zoo Road and then just got behind the SCORE Trophy-Trucks and had a clean run.
BRIAN PARKHOUSE, No. 111 (Second in class. Brian Parkhouse started and drove to race mile 121 and Cody Parkhouse drove from mile 121 to the finish) – Co-driver Cody Parkhouse said: My dad (Brian) decided he didn’t like the roof on the car anymore (and rolled it). Other than that, we had no issues. I had no idea what was going on (with the other vehicles in the class) because we lost the radio with all the damage to the roof. We had no radio and no GPS – it was just go and see what happens.
DAMEN JEFFERIES, No. 120 (Third in class. Jefferies drove the entire race.) – It was a good day. We had no flats and no problems. It was just hot and dusty. The course was very rough – brutal. I didn’t even pre-run a lot of the course because the pre-runner I was in was such a piece of junk. I pre-ran the last 20 miles but I didn’t pre-run the 70 previous to that.
RANDY WILSON, No. 109 (Fourth in class. Jeff Quinn started and drove to mile 120 and Wilson drove from mile 120 to the finish.) – We broke a caliper off the front right off the start and it pumped all the fluid out of it so we didn’t have any brakes. We finally got brakes on it at (race mile) 168 – but that’s a long way to go with just rear brakes. We put brakes on it and then it was OK. That’s a hard drive with just rear brakes.
STEVE APPLETON, No. 106 (Sixth in class. Appleton drove the entire race.) – We’re bummed…we broke a CV joint. We were about five minutes behind the lead, running No. 2 at mile 175 and then we broke a CV joint. We got it fixed in an hour. We had one flat but other than that, we had no problems. The car was working fabulous, really. We wanted to make sure we finished in the top 10 for the draw for the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 so I guess I can’t complain too much.
CODY ROBINSON, No. 1648 (First in class. Roberto Romo started and drove to mile 100 and Robinson drove from mile 100 to the finish.) – When I got in the car, I think I had a 10-minute physical lead – more on time – at mile 160. From there, I didn’t really have many problems until I lost a (CV) boot at mile 180 so I was stopping and greasing it. But besides that, the car ran good. It works great in the rough stuff; this is my second win in a row here at San Felipe.
JORGE SANCHEZ, No. 1607 (Second in class.) – The race was tough and the first place is two guys who are 20 years old. I am tired – very tired. I had no flat tires, zero problems. I only stopped one time for gas and that was it. It was very close racing out there.
LUKE McMILLIN, No. 1600 (Third in class. Andy DeVercelly started and drove to mile 100 and McMillin drove from mile 100 to the finish.) – We just had minor issues with the throttle pedal – it got bent and it wasn’t returning all the way so, basically, it was a stuck throttle. We had to bring it into the pit and work on it for a little bit. That was a couple of minutes of downtime and that was the difference in the race. It was close racing. It’s definitely one of the roughest courses I’ve ever been around.
KEVIN CARR, No. 500 (First in class. Kent Lothringer started and drove to mile 98 and Carr drove from mile 98 to the finish.) – It’s always good to be first place. It was a real rough race. San Felipe takes its toll – it will humble anybody. We had all kinds of problems. We blew a front tire from a driver error in the morning, I got tangled up with a 16 car, we lost the oil pressure gauge and then we broke off one of the vents off the engine and it started shooting oil out of everywhere. We pulled into the next pit and put silicone and tape and everything on it trying to get it right. We had all kinds of issues…but it’s good to be here with a first place. It was definitely a San Felipe race.
HEIDI STEELE, No. 619 (First in class. Rene Brugger started and drove to mile 168 and Steele drove from mile 168 to the finish.) – I felt a lot of pressure making the driver change because he was bringing it in first. And then when Dave Caspino got by us at the pit, I was like, “Now I have to chase him down? Oh, man.’ We caught him at race mile 190 or 200 and then somehow he got by us again and we didn’t see him. Then we got back by him at about race mile 243. Rene had one flat but I had no problems. The truck ran great and the motor ran great. It feels good to win. This is my first San Felipe 250 and I’m just so stoked that we won. It feels good to have a 250 win under my belt now.
NOAH OSTANIK, No. 801 (First in class. Ostanik drove the entire race.) – It was extremely rough but it was a good day. We had minimal issues – we just had a driveshaft issue about mile 115 and took care of it. Other than that, it was a flawless day. We’ll take the win any day.
MATT CULLEN, No. 1002 (First in class. Chuck Sacks started and drove to mile 108 and Cullen drove from mile 108 to the finish.) – We’ve been dealing with steering problems the last two races. It killed us in Laughlin and it killed us again here – but not quite as bad. The servo kept blowing fluid out so it’d get to where it was dry and then you’d have to manhandle it and pull over and dump some (fluid) in. We had to do that about seven times but no flat tires and the car ran like a champ. It was pretty clean sailing (other than the power steering problem). The course was some super fast, some super rough – it was typical Baja. We’re excited; it was a good day.
SERGIO SALGADO, No. 1000 (Second in class. Salgado started and drove to mile 95 and Gustavo Pinuelas drove from mile 95 to the finish.) – At race mile 107, the car caught on fire. I looked up and (saw) nothing but fire. We picked up and finally Tavo got it in second place. I don’t know what happened but I think the oil was dripping. We lost about 10 minutes like that but here we are in second place.
PERRY McNEIL, No. 1210 (Second in class. McNeil drove the entire race.) – I lost the power steering about (mile 80). I thought maybe it was out of oil and hoping it was something minor. We stopped like three times to try to fix it so finally we just decided to go for it. Other than that, we lost a cylinder and it got worse and worse and worse.
RAFAEL NAVARRO IV, No. 1206 (Fourth in class. Navarro started and drove to mile 107 and Vic Bruckmann drove from mile 107 to the finish.) Co-driver Vic Bruckmann said: At mile 100, the power steering ram ripped off of the beam, so we had to replace that and it took like 35 minutes to get everything fixed. After that, we had to stop at every pit and just pack grease in the CV boots just to keep going. It was pretty bad but we made it to the finish. We’re going for points so we have to finish races.
LEE BANNING, No. 1208 (Fifth in class. Banning started and drove to mile 124 and Rick Graf drove from mile 124 to the finish.) My portion was tough. We tested the car on Wednesday and it handled awesome. This morning, when I hit the first big whoop, I thought I was going to die, it had changed so badly. We stopped three times to get the shocks adjusted. We were probably running ninth or 10th at one time today and we got the shocks working and I handed the car off to Rick and he brought it in.
BRUCE FINCHUM, No. 722 (First in class. Finchum drove the entire race.) – That was pretty cool. We had a flat in the pit – a great place to have a flat – and my seat came undone. Other than that, we ran a clean race. My wife (Fawn) won this race last year so we kept it in the family.
COLTON UDALL, No. 6x (First in class and first motorcycle to finish. Udall rode from the start to race mile 30, Jeff Kargola rode from mile 30 to 170 and Udall rode from mile 170 to the finish.) – The course was rough. Those (cars and trucks) bring up rocks that are bigger than a car and you clip them and you do flips. No problems at all. You’ve just got to go take it easy and weave and bob through the rocks that are gnarly. This bike ran great. I can’t thank my team enough. I don’t know what it is – I feel really good here in San Felipe. I love Baja. (On two consecutive wins in San Felipe:) I think San Felipe just has a good spot. When you get your first win, you’re always super confident on it. To beat Kurt Caselli (No. 4x), that’s the first time I ever beat him in my life. That guy is one heck of a rider.
Co-rider Jeff Kargola said: My part of the ride went really well. It was long stretch, let me tell you. San Felipe is no joke – it’s not smooth. It’s brutal out there. It beat the heck out of me but it’s a marathon, it’s not s sprint. You just can’t go out there and hammer the bike and expect it to respond. I took it easy toward the beginning and tried to pace myself and ride a smooth, clean race. My first goal was not to lay the bike down. I kept it on two wheels and kept making forward progress. It was a perfect race two years in a year.
SHANE ESPOSITO, No. 5x (Second in class and second motorcycle to finish. Bobby Garrison started and rode to mile 30, Esposito rode from mile 30 to mile 108, Steve Hengeveld rode from mile 108 to 170, Garrison rode mile 170 to mile 216 and Esposito rode from mile 216 to the finish.) – I don’t have any complaints; I had a good ride. They (Udall and Kargola) were just on it today. Steve was on the bike and we lost a couple of minutes on a tire change because nobody was ready for it. It was a lot rougher than I expected. For me, everything was good.
DAVID GONZALEZ JR., No. 104x (First in class and fourth motorcycle to finish. Gonzalez started and rode to mile 8, Carlos Casas road from mile 8 to mile 108, Gonzalez road from mile 108 to mile 215 and Casas rode from mile 215 to the finish.) – Co-rider Carlos Casas said: I had a pretty bad crash and my lip is kind of swollen and I have a big bruise on my leg. That was about mile 106 and I had like two miles left but I could see the 101x up front so I was trying to charge a little bit and I just flew over the forks. Other than the crash, everything was good. The course was good. It was really rough but it’s pretty much the same old San Felipe. I noticed a lot of bikes blew up so it was a tough course, but it was fun.
MIKE JOHNSON, No. 306x (First in class and third motorcycle to finish. Johnson started and rode to mile 30, Steve Garnett rode from mile 30 to mile 90, Johnson rode from mile 90 to mile 170 and Garnett rode from mile 170 to the finish.) – Co-rider Steve Garnett said: I had a good, clean ride. I was a little bit tight this morning, though, when I first got on at mile 30. The first 30 miles I was having trouble – lot of whoops and I just couldn’t flow right. I came down from Matias (Pass) and then I started feeling good. I don’t know if Mike had any issues or not but he did well. All in all, I had a great ride. That last section of mine was flawless. I just kind of slowed down a little bit to go faster. It was great and I had a good time. I’ve got to thank Mike Johnson for putting this team together. It was a good day – a Class 30 win.
MIKE PRUNTY, No. 401x (First in class.) – It was a good race for us. Everything went according to plan and we had no problems.
JIM DIZNEY, No. 501x (First in class and ninth motorcycle to finish. Dizney started and rode the first 15 feet because of a broken leg. Eric McKenna then rode to mile 46. Paul Doebereiner rode from mile 46 to mile 100. Williams rode from mile 100 to mile 168, Doug Smith rode from mile 168 to mile 178 and McKenna rode from mile 178 to the finish.) – It was a pretty clean run – outside of the start. I rode about 15 feet (because of a broken leg). I’ve won San Felipe twice (before) but this is the first time on a bike. This is only my second bike race and we won the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (in November) so we’re 2-for-2 now.
MIKE CAFRO, No. 12a (First in class and second ATV to finish. Cafro started and rode to mile 30, Levi Marana rode from mile 30 to mile 90, Beau Baron rode from mile 90 to mile 177 and Cafro rode from mile 177 to the finish.) – Things went pretty slow at first; we had some catching up to do. We didn’t pre-run this race so we were kind of in the dark with everything. And then, right over there (by the start/finish line), the bike basically started to blow up. I stalled it, got some people to push me and it fired back up and I rode it in just behind the 9a, but enough time to get the win. That was the only problem I had. (The engine) is gone right now.
BRANDON BROWN, No. 100a (First in class and first ATV to finish. Brown shared riding duties with Jorie Williams, Kenny Sanford and Robbie Mitchell.) – Co-ride Jorie Williams said: The bike was flawless all day. I think we’re even on the same tires we started the race with. Everybody rode smart and we made it to the finish – you can’t ask for much more than that.