June 13, 2021
BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500,
Presented by 4 Wheel Parts
June 12-13, 2021- 466.00 miles – Ensenada, Mexico
NOTE: SCORE Trophy Truck and Class 1/2-160—UNOFFICIAL Results under competition review
Post-Race Finish Line Quotes (AS OF 5 :30 p.m. PT, 6.13)
(Finish line – As interviewed by Paul Hanson, Jose Vazquez; transcribed by Guilherme Torres)
Pro Cars, Trucks & UTVs
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS-THIS CLASS UNDER COMPETITION REVIEW: SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited CustomTrucks)
LUKE MCMILLIN, No. 1 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – Mason Motorsports did a great job building this brand new truck to come out to the SCORE Baja 500 – it ran flawlessly. It’s really impressive to come out with a brand new truck and don’t have any sorts of issues. Everyone that helped put it together, we got to thank them because they’ve put together a great truck. It’s the first race for it, we’re on the podium, and that’s always good. It was a little bit frustrating because I had a big learning curve driving it. The all-wheel drive is very different and that makes it even more difficult.
ANDY MCMILLIN, No. 31 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – It was a grueling course and a long day of racing. It was super dusty and we were hanging on Luke’s dust all day long. We didn’t have any big issues, we had one leaking tire coming in at Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) but luckily we put someone there with a tire for us. We got back in line behind Bryce (Menzies) and Luke (McMillin). Other than that, we ran our tails off. It was an amazing battle with Luke coming to the finish – what a driver, what a talent. We came all the way to the finish just trying to make up time and to keep as close as possible to him. Hats off to him for coming out with a brand new truck and just laying it down. There’s no one I’d rather battle with than my cousin and my family. It was close all the way in, we were pushing really hard. It was just an amazing race, thanks to SCORE and everyone for putting this race on given the circumstances. For us to be able to come down here and do what we do and represent our sponsors, win or lose, days like today are why we race. It’s about battling all the way to the finish, pushing your vehicle, pushing your body, pushing your mind, that’s why all of us do it. What a way to cap off a long pre-run, hard work getting to the race, with all the logistics and the planning…it was one hell of a race day.
LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – We knew it would be tough, I knew it would be ten hours, but it was every bit of what we expected, it was fantastic. I bet no one was disappointed. There were some good battles out there. There were places we were doing 130 and there were places we were doing two miles per hour just because of the rocks. We started tenth and just kept pushing. I went back and forth with John T. Lennon (No. 73) a couple of times and then Ampudia (Alan Ampudia, No. 10) crashed, Tavo (Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, No. 21) got a flat and we saw Menzies (Bryce Menzies, No. 7) on the pit around mile 300 and we realized we were fourth. We had no flats and didn’t do anything to the truck outside of sliding off the road a few times. It was just a very memorable race for us. My very first SCORE Baja 500 was in 1972 – I rode a 175cc. And here I am, over 40 years later and still hitting it. This is a very respectable finish and we’re really, really happy.
GUSTAVO ‘TAVO’ VILDOSOLA JR, No. 21 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – It was a tough course. Just for the attrition and how the trucks are going to finish today, we’re going to see it. We were near the podium but unfortunately, I didn’t drive us well enough to get to the podium. I made some mistakes early that really cost us a lot of time and a couple of spots. It’s disappointing. We had two programmed pit stops for the race and ended up stopping eight times for different things. It’s not a winning formula to stop eight times in a SCORE Baja 500 or in any race. We weren’t able to recover in the end but we pushed hard and did what we could. We’re here, I’m proud of that and hopefully this finish puts us in the top five and makes a bad day a little bit better.
DANIEL MCMILLIN, No. 23 (Finish to be determined) –CO-DRIVER JUSTIN BEAN SMITH said: Dan started 22nd and did a great job in fighting dust all day and bringing me the truck for the second leg in the top ten. We just kept pushing and the BFGoodrich Tires were awesome. The truck was good, the entire team did great and we’re very excited.
ROB MACCACHREN, No. 11 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) –We had no mechanicals with the truck, but I ended up clipping a rock and damaged the wheel. We had some trouble getting the truck jacked up and had to try it multiple times. We had a flat and couldn’t really get a new tire on because we couldn’t lift it as much as we needed. We just kept working and it took us about 20 minutes to get that tire changed. I’ve been with BFGoodrich now for 30 years and they build incredible tires. I have to thank my team, the chase guys and the pit guys too. I’d put this truck against any other out there for how many years this truck has been racing and how many finishes it got. It’s pretty incredible. Everyone has their day and it wasn’t ours today.
CHRIS MILLER, No. 47 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – We came completely under horse powered and under everything. The guys just said ‘let’s put this thing together and race’. I love the attitude of our team. A lot of guys would throw out the towel and give up. It was time for us to come together as a team and we did it. We came together, threw a Trophy Truck Spec together in two weeks and got the truck moving. They said ‘you’re going to get a good one’ and we got it together. We showed up to the race and put thousands of notes on this course so we could dive on every corner as hard as we possibly could and come out of every corner as fast as we possibly could. We really found a great flow, it was incredible. I have mad respect for this truck.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – I think we pushed it too hard in the fast and rocky area between race miles 225 and 250 and ended up getting too many flats in that section. We had to wait for some tires and it really put us behind. But other than that, the truck ran really well all day. Outside of the issue with the tires, which were entirely my fault, we have nothing to complain about.
RAUL GOMEZ, No. 90 (Finish to be determined, Raul Gomez started and drove to race mile 273. Darian Gomez drove race mile 273 to the finish) – CO-DRIVER DARIAN GOMEZ said: My dad took more of the crossover, hilly section while I had most of the fast section of the course, which I like better and it’s more my style. I just took it over really, really hard and I think we made up some time. It was an amazing race, I loved this course and can’t wait to come back for next year’s SCORE Baja 500.
JONATHAN BRENTHEL, No. 27 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – The course is gnarly, it’s one of the most technical courses I’ve done in a long time. I’m usually comfortable in the car for 10 or 12 hours, but after the first six hours I was beat. Those 466 miles felt like 1000. It was a really demanding and fun course but extremely technical and I’m glad to be here at the finish line. The truck ran great, we didn’t have any big issues and had a good day overall.
JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 4 (Finish to be determined, Justin Matney started and drove to race mile 226, Josh Daniel drove race mile 226 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER JOSH DANIEL said: We had a bunch of mechanical issues that put us pretty far down on time and that was about it. It was a long day but we’re happy that we got to finish.
JAX REDLINE, No. 22 (Finish to be determined, drove solo) – It was a crazy day. We started off really well. The goal was to run it really smooth in the first half and start picking it up. We were the second SCORE Trophy Truck on corrected time at race mile 55 but ran into a problem with our oil filter and had to spend a bunch of time to get the truck back on the road. But we finished, which was the main goal.
SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)—
ROLF HELLAND, No. 37L (First in class. 12th overall. Rolf Helland started and drove to race mile 225. Rick D. Johnson drove from race mile 225 to the finish) – It was a tough race. I was worn out after more than five hours on the truck and I needed a rest. Our Mason SCORE Trophy Truck ran really well. Rick and the crew did a terrific job in preparing it for the race, it ran flawlessly all day long. We had a couple of close calls and missed a couple of turns but overall we didn’t make any mistakes all day. Luckily we had a good finish here and in the SCORE Baja 250 in San Felipe. Now we’re looking forward to the SCORE Baja 400 and the SCORE Baja 1000. CO-DRIVER RICK D. JOHNSON said: We had a flawless, perfect day. The course was so fun, there were some really tight, technical areas that required a lot of patience. It was nasty out there, really slow. When I got in, I got the fastest section of the course.
ROBERT MALONE, No. 13L (Second in class. 42nd overall. Earl Desiderio started and drove to race mile 300. Robert Malone drove race mile 300 to the finish.) – We just had one flat tire in the first section. Baja gives you something new every day, nothing is easy outside the speed zones. We saw some crazy stuff out there but we made it. Special thanks to my crew and everyone who was working on this event.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)—
BROC DICKERSON, No. 123 (First in class. Eighth overall. Drove solo.) – The race was mostly good for us. We passed a lot of cars, didn’t nerf anyone at all, which was kind of surprising. I thought it was going to be that way coming out here because it’s a tight course. It was a clean race for us. I had a couple of flats because I got zoned out, I was getting tired, didn’t pay attention and hit rocks. We’ve been working with BFGoodrich Tires and they’ve been helping us a lot in trying to get things figured out and getting good tires for this car. I’m glad that we made it, it felt like a long day. It feels like we’re finally getting some luck. The SCORE Baja 250 San Felipe didn’t go our way and the race before that didn’t either. We were planning on skipping the SCORE Baja 400 and save it for the SCORE Baja 1000 but after this victory, we’re definitely coming back.
BRIAN WILSON, No. 138 (Second in class. 13th overall. Brian Wilson started and drove to race mile 270. Kyle Quinn drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER KYLE QUINN said: The car ran really well. I’m really happy with how it performed today. It’s our first time back after a year and we’re happy we managed to finish it today. The first part of the course was really tough and technical, but the second was really nice, flat and fast, definitely different from the start. It was a really nice course, very fun, and BFGoodrich Tires took us all the way home.
MARIO FUENTES, No. 179 (Third in class. 41st overall. Mario Fuentes started and drove to race mile 270. Jason Dudley drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER JASON DUDLEY said: There were some mud puddles out there and we just had to take our time and splash through them and try to keep the lights as clean as possible. Overall we had a good day. We got stuck on silt a couple of times but just dug ourselves out and kept going. Our BFGoodrich Tires were awesome and we had no flats at all.
RUBEN TORRES, No. 163 (Fourth in class. Ruben Torres started and drove to race mile 275. Dave Mason drove race mile 275 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER DAVE MASON said: It was an interesting day as Baja oftentimes is. We had a good run going with Ruben taking the start. He was pushing hard but a belt fell off and that put us behind a little bit. We had to deal with small issues like this the entire day but just kept it going. Overall it was a good effort and we’re happy to be here safe and sound. We were really hoping to contend for a win but we’ll take what we can get. The team was great and I hope I can get back with them for more SCORE races.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines)
JASON MCNEIL, No. 234 (First in class. Seventh overall.) – It was a tough race. We started fifth and right after Ojos Negros (race mile 20) some cars were getting stuck and we were able to go around them and move up to second behind Ryan Hancock’s team (No. 228). They passed some cars in the right areas and we got stuck behind those vehicles in some silty areas, which got us behind him on the crossover. I made a mistake and Pierce Herbst (No. 264) got by us. We also lost our brakes near San Quintin (race mile 280) but the team did a great job in fixing it really fast. I’ve never driven a truck that hard. It was a long day, we had a few more problems but we made it.
RYAN HANCOCK, No. 228 (Second in class. Ninth overall. Brock Heger started and drove to race mile 280. Ryan Hancock drove race mile 280 to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER BROCK HEGER said: We had a good day, no major issues. We had a good lead going time-wise. One of our co-drivers had an injury with a rock that hit his back and I finished the race alongside Ryan. We had a pretty clean race and never had to get out of the truck.
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 258 (Third in class. 11th overall.) – It was a pretty technical, tough course, typical SCORE Baja 500, with a lot of silt and people stuck. We set a good pace early on and got through some people who were stuck. We did what we had to do and were running up front but had some overheating and wheel issues. We battled it for a few minutes and then we got a flat. Sometimes you just need a little more luck but for a brand new truck, which we only got to test for 20 miles, I’ll take a top-three finish. We got a lot to build on and now we already know a lot of stuff we can do to improve this truck.
WILLIAM HEDRICK JR, No. 295 – (Fourth in class. 15th overall. William Hedrick Jr started and drove to race mile 226. William Hedrick drove race mile 226 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER WILLIAM HEDRICK said: The first half of the course was more technical while the second one was very fast. The key to having a good race today was to avoid getting stuck around race mile 170. We managed to get through it really well and got to the coast, which was the fastest portion of the course, in good shape. The car was perfect, we only had a minor issue that we got to change in the pit. I think we did a great race and didn’t make a lot of mistakes.
PIERCE HERBST, No. 264 (Fifth in class. 18th overall. Thor Herbst started and drove to race mile 225. Pierce Herbst drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – This was a really rough course, but a very fun one too. Unfortunately, we had a problem with mud on our air filter and had no power for the first half of our lap. We had to pull over and have that fixed and unfortunately had a flat after that too because we were pushing too hard, but we ended up with a great day.
VINCENT MUNOZ, No. 294 (Sixth in class. 23rd overall. Vincent Munoz started and drove to race mile 270. Roy Tomkins drove rave mile 270 to race mile 380. Vincent Munoz drove race mile 380 to the finish.) – We finished, but our starter broke. We had a good day overall, with no flats. I had a rollover on mile 80 but luckily the locals were there and pushed it over. We had a good day. The course was very technical, tight and fast. There wasn’t as much silt as I thought and it was fast coming back up. It was a fun course.
JOE DELUCIE, No. 205 (Seventh in class. 34th overall. Cliff Robinson started and drove to race mile 225. Joe Delucie drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – We started tenth and finished better so that’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully we keep finishing and don’t break the truck. We had a few hiccups with me feeling motion sick and a bike falling right in front of us but it all went well. The course had some technical portions but also a fast one and that was a good mix.
PAT SIMS, No. 211 (Eighth in class. 37th overall. Tim Wilson started and drove to race mile 270. Pat Sims drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – It was a perfect race. The course was awesome, beautiful. We took off so we could go our max. We didn’t break anything and haven’t had to replace a tire all day. We only stopped to put gas in and that was it. There was a little bit of dust at the end but that’s what makes it fun. I had a blast. Thank you Roger Norman and thank you SCORE.
JORGE SAMPIETRO, No. 200 (Ninth in class. Jorge Sampietro started and drove to race mile 270. Santiago Creel drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER SANTIAGO CREEL said: We had a couple of punctures and got stuck twice in the section near Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150). But besides that, it went all smooth. Our brakes also had a few issues, but nothing big.
CHAD HALL, No. 230 (Tenth in class.) – We had a good day. The truck was off-pace and we’ve been working on this thing for four years. It’s the only four-wheel drive Trophy Truck Spec here and we struggled a bit with the four-wheel drive system but now we got it dialed. Now we’re concentrating on tuning it. We were so much faster today than we were in the SCORE Baja 1000 last year. We started 22nd and passed 11 cars in the first 90 miles but then we lost our power steering hose, which got us down for an hour and that ruined everything. After that it was just about getting it to the finish.
ROD LEWIS, No. 286 (12th in class. Brad Pace started and drove to race mile 145. Brian Trotter drove race mile 145 to race mile 270. Rod Lewis drove race mile 270 to race mile 370. Brad Pace drove race mile 370 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER BRAD PACE said: Our main issue was getting stuck on the traffic jam on the silt section like everybody else. We had a pretty clean race other than that. We’d just like to thank Rod Lewis, our families and the whole crew.
CLASS 10 (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters)
FREDDIE WILERT, No. 1006 (First in class. 35th overall. Stan Potter stared and drove to race mile 275. Freddie Wilert drove race mile 275 to the finish.) – We had a long day. A power steering line came off and that gave some time to the field but Stan was able to get around the bottleneck and brought us back to the game. It was a tough course, SCORE just laid out another tough one. They just keep getting rougher and rougher but this car just kept going. Everyone that beat us in the SCORE Baja 250 San Felipe we beat today, so that’s good news.
J. DAVID RUVALCABA, No. 1009 (Second in class. 38th overall. J. David Ruvalcaba started and drove to race mile 280. Esteban Cruz drove race mile 280 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER ESTEBAN CRUZ said: It a rough course and we had to drive it intelligently. We were one of the rear starters and had a little bit of traffic to move along. David did great in the first section despite the silt and everything and gave me the car in San Quintin in the physical lead, but Freddie Wilert (No. 1006) passed us while we were pitting. I was in his dust until the end but I had to play it safe.
ARTURO V. MALO, No. 1027 (Third in class. 47th overall. Gustavo Pinuelas started and drove to race mile 222. Arturo V. Malo drove race mile 222 to the finish.) – Gustavo was doing great until they got stuck on the silt at race mile 60. But he caught up and handed me the car in third, but unfortunately I had a flat tire that took us some time. We just kept on going. It was a really demanding course and we had to give it all. I’m happy we’re here and I think we got a good finish.
MATT RUSICH, No. 1045 (Fourth in class. 52nd overall. Robert Foster started and drove to race mile 225. Matt Rusich drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – It was a decent day. We started off pretty well but ended up caught in a bottleneck at around race mile 190. We were fourth or fifth on the road, but had to stop because of an issue with our breaks around race mile 245. We had to race about 80 miles with very minimal breaks and after we got that figured out it was just about bringing it home to the finish. We’d like to be on the podium, but a finish is always good.
BRUCE YEE, No. 1014 (Sixth in class. Bruce Yee started and drove to race mile 254. Jose Robles drove race mile 254 to the finish.) –- The bottlenecks and silt beds were really difficult. We had to fix something that cost us 25 minutes and that set us back. We finished about one hour behind our class’s top finishers but it is what it is. We’ll be back for the SCORE Baja 400 and hopefully we can do better.
CHASE WARREN, No. 1088 (Seventh in class.) – We had a good race. We were first on the road the entire way but unfortunately we kept running through these spots where some of the Trophy Truck Specs and Class 1 cars couldn’t make through. We sat there for two hours and came out an hour down. That wasn’t good, but we finished.
ETHAN HAGLE, No. 1046 (Tenth in class. Ben Hagle started and drove to race mile 270. Ethan Hagle drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – It was brutal, a lot harder than I anticipated. That beach is pretty but what comes after it is ugly. We didn’t have a lot of trouble with the bottlenecks but had to deal with some other issues.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs)
JEFF PROCTOR, No. 709 (First in class. 27th overall. Jeff Proctor started and drove to race mile 310. Pat Dailey drove race mile 310 to the finish.) – It was one of those days where we perfectly executed our plan as a team. We did a lot of pre-running, we knew our lines and we knew that going up over Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) was going to be tough. There were bottlenecks up there but we managed to go through them with ease and I can’t thank my navigator enough. When we got the truck to Pat at race mile 310 we had a 70-mile lead. Pat just put it on cruise mode, conserved the truck and here we are. It was definitely a team effort, our guys were on fire in the pits. It’s a special victory for our team, it’s our fourth-straight SCORE Baja 500 win. It feels extra special, these are hard to get.
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs)
BRANDEN SIMS, No. 2969 (First in class. 30th overall. Drove solo.) – We started at the back of our class but worked our way up to the front pack and ran with them all day. I ran into a steering issue in the final 40 miles and had to get creative to get it together. We made it to finish and that’s pretty impressive considering the problem we had. We made a lot of passing and it’s a good finish for us.
PHIL BLURTON, No. 2944 (Second in class. 32nd overall. Phil Blurton stared and drove to race mile 270. Beau Judge drove race mile 270 to the finish.) – The UTV class is awesome, we had some crazy battles all day. We went back and forth and were all within 30 second during most of the day. This is our first year doing SCORE races, we did the SCORE Baja 250 in San Felipe and now are here. People warned us about the silt and I got to experience it first-hand. It wasn’t that bad during pre-running but today it was another level with a lot of cars stuck on it.
BRANDON SCHUELER, No. 2919 (Third in class. 36th overall. Cayden McCachren started and drove to race mile 225. Brandon Schueler drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – We had a good day. There were tons of rocks and we had no flats, which is huge. We had a couple of mechanical problems right from the get-go that took us some time and took us from first to third. But other than that we just stopped to put fuel in the car and had a good day. That coastline was fast, it was fun.
MIKE CAFRO, No. 2975 (Fourth in class. 43rd overall. Mike Cafro started and quickly switched to Jamie Kirkpatrick. Jamie Kirkpatrick drove to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER JAMIE KIRKPATRICK said: We had a fairly uneventful day. Other than a minor overheating issue and one tire, there was nothing else we needed to worry about. We got caught up on a couple of bottlenecks but we were able to get through them.
ERICK KOZIN, No. 2940 (Fifth in class. 48th overall. Drove solo.) – It was fun doing the entire race because we got to see everything the course had to offer. It was very technical and had tons of actions and bottlenecks. It was a really tough course but it was fun. We were pretty lucky and didn’t have any issues. We just had to pace ourselves because we knew it would be a 13-hour race so we wanted to conserve our energy for the sections where we could go fast. I just want to thank SCORE for putting on another amazing race.
AUSTIN WEILAND, No. 2954 (Sixth in class. 50th overall. Austin Weiland started and drove to race mile 273. Doug Fortin drove race mile 273 to the finish.) –CO-DRIVER DOUG FORTIN said: The course was technical for the most part and there were some fast sections. We didn’t have any major issues outside of a brake problem, but we got it fixed and managed to finish well.
P.J. JONES, No. 2998 (Seventh in class. Kyle Vestermark started and drove to race mile 227. P.J. Jones drove race mile 227 to the finish.) – It was a really good race for us. We didn’t have any car problems but got stuck for about 45 minutes in a bottleneck and that killed us. The car performed really well and our team did a great job. The final was really rough with the fog.
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)
MATIAS ARJONA IV, No. 1202 (First in class. 44th overall. Matias Arjona IV started and drove to race mile 170. Matias Arjona III drove race mile 170 to race mile 330. Matias Arjona IV drove race mile 330 to the finish.) – It was a really nice day for us, both my dad and I got to drive some fun sections. I blew a corner and a shock at the beginning but after that, we had a perfect race. Despite the fact that we raced more than 400 miles without our front shock, it was a great day.
OSCAR ALVAREZ, No. 1211 (Second in class.) – – It was a great race. The last 66 miles were rough as we had to deal with a lot of trucks and dust. It was difficult to get over the mountains because of the bottleneck but our preparation was excellent and helped us bringing it home. Thanks to SCORE for putting this race together, we’re looking forward to seeing you guys on the next one.
RICH ROBERTS, No. 1208 (Third in class. Rob Martensen started and drove to race mile 250. Rich Roberts drove race mile 250 to the finish.) – This car had been sitting for nearly a year and a half as we had trouble getting parts for the new gear box. My partner Rob started the race and he did really well, the only thing that happened to him was getting stuck on the long jam at race mile 170. Matias (Arjona IV, No. 1202) built a big lead and the only way he was going to lose it was if he broke. I got it at race mile 250 and just held my own until the end.
PRO UTV NA (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs)
KADEN WELLS, No. 1995 (First in class. Drove solo). – The race was going well at the beginning, we took the lead at about race mile 50 but shortly after we had some issues with our pumps and dropped back to fifth place. We’ve battled a few other issues the entire day but the bottleneck helped us to catch up. We had a pretty good car for the coast section and our plan was always to save the car and run the coast and it worked.
ZACH SIZEMORE, No. 1925 (Second in class. Drove solo.) – I got one flat after I hit a really big boulder. We got stuck in one of the bottlenecks out there for maybe 30 minutes and that held us up a little bit. We had a ten-mile lead but unfortunately broke our upper left wishbone and had to limp to one of the pits and get it changed, which cost us the lead. We didn’t want to risk anything else to happen so from there we just kept a good pace.
ADRIAN ORELLANA, No. 1985 (Third in class. Drove solo.) – We did well and the two co-drivers did great. We had one flat tire and a broken axle too. The crossover section was really hard. But the car did great and we didn’t get held up too much on the silt.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS-THIS CLASS UNDER COMPETITION REVIEW: CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)
ELI YEE, No. 1600(Finish to be determined, Eli Yee started and drove to race mile 225. Angel Barajas drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER ANGEL BARAJAS said: Eli had a problem with a flat tire and I had an issue with my brakes but those were the only issues we had the entire race. It was a very good race for us overall.
KEVIN SANCHEZ, No. 1621 (Finish to be determined, Kevin Sanchez started and drove to race mile 100. Christopher Sanchez drove race mile 100 to 225. Fernie Padilla drove race mile 225 to the finish.) – CO-DRIVER FERNIE PADILLA said: We didn’t really have any issues all day. Chris only had to wait for quite some time to get through the bottleneck. The car did great and I ran it as hard as I could to bring it to the finish. The last 60 miles were absolutely miserable and I’m exhausted.
PRO UTV STOCK (Stock UTV’s, FI or NA)
MIKE CAFRO, No. 3955 (First in class. Drove solo.) – We won it, but it could have been a little bit better. I rolled the car over once and we had some real issues in a bottleneck, which is one of those things you can’t avoid. But we savaged the win out of it, so I can’t complain.
NICK BRUCE, No. 3953 (Second in class. Drove solo.) – It’s been a long day. It’s the first SCORE Baja 500 that I drove it myself and we had a good time. There were plenty of rocks everywhere and a lot of silt. We kind of didn’t expect so many silt beds, we saw a few on pre-running but didn’t expect some to form in a few areas. There was this big bottleneck but we got through it okay. Overall we had a great race.
SCOTT TRAFTON, No. 3950 (Third in class. Drove solo.) – The race went pretty well, we had a solid day. Nothing too crazy happened to us. We just broke a right rear wheel and had some overheating issues early, but we just grinded it out. Visibility was more of an issue than I thought it would be with the hanging dust and the marine layer coming in when we got closer to the coast. But we grinded it out and made it to the finish.
PRO UTV OPEN (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement)
JUSTIN ELENBURG, No. 1870 (First in class. Michael York started and drove to race mile 255. Justin Elenburg drove race mile 255 to the finish.) – We only had one flat tire during the race but also had to deal with one of the turbo hoses that popped off. We got stuck in a bottleneck but the car did amazing. It was a fun ride, bouncing up and down, left and right. We had a clean race despite some technical difficulties with our Ipads and equipment.
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED (400cc or more)
JASON ALOSI, No. 97x (First in class. First overall pro motorcycle. 17th overall. Jason Alosi started and rode to race mile 105. Ross Neely rode race mile 105 to race mile 225. Wyatt Brittner rode race mile 225 to race mile 310. Ross Neely rode race mile 310 to race mile 370. Wyatt Brittner rode race mile 370 to race mile 400. Jason Alosi rode race mile 400 to the finish.) – I really like the course. It was obviously challenging, but overall it was great, just the way we like it. It was a little rough but we kept slogging away all day. Everybody rode really well and I’m really happy to be here. We really got to thank all of our families for allowing us to come down here and pre-run for a week and the countless hours spent in the garage preparing for this. I’ve been a part of this in some Pro Limited and Pro Unlimited teams and six weeks ago I decided it was time to do my own thing. I’m glad that Wyatt and Ross came on board, they rode exceptionally today. I just wanted to put this effort together and be taken seriously as a racer down here. I think we’ve done that today and I just wanted to build on this. We hope we can capitalize on this finish. CO-RIDER ROSS NEELY said: The section that I rode was really tight and technical, I definitely hit some brush. The silt pockets got deeper during the week, so it was interesting. I definitely enjoyed the course. We had a few little problems, Wyatt ran out of gas but managed to find some gas there and keep on going. There was a little sweat, but we didn’t break down and that was awesome.
DEREK AUSSERBAUER, No. 5x (Third in class. 26th overall. Derek Ausserbauer started and quickly switched to Nic Garvin. Nic Garvin rode to race mile 120. Colton Udall rode race mile 120 to race mile 270. Derek Ausserbauer rode race mile 270 to the finish.) – (First in class. First overall pro motorcycle. Derek Ausserbauer started and quickly switched to Nic Garvin. Nic Garvin rode to race mile 120. Colton Udall rode race mile 120 to race mile 270. Derek Ausserbauer rode race mile 270 to the finish.) – The course was fun and it was a good day. We had to change our plans because Nic (Garvin) was supposed to end the race for us but he got in a pretty gnarly non-race accident with a non-race UTV when he was going through the mountains on a non-race bike to reach me for a rider change. I rode his section also with no pre-running, I hadn’t even seen it. I was extremely cautious and was checking every corner to make sure I didn’t send myself off a cliff. It was good, Colton rode really well. I’m super stoked, he built the bike and this thing is completely rock solid. We rode it wide open all day long and it didn’t skip a beat. It was pretty gnarly, but we held it down and got the job done. CO-RIDER COLTON UDALL said: I was changing my wheel and my air filter when my guys told me about Nic’s accident. I rode like 50 miles trying to figure that out rather than focusing on the race. I was riding to the end of my section, which was race mile 271. Derek got on and he’s the backbone of the team. He’s an ironman and has plenty of experience in riding a few extra miles. His section was from 270 to 400 and then Nic was going to get back on and do the last 66. What we were just trying to be top-notch. Derek’s obviously going to compete for the championship and the points, that’s a given, but what we were trying to do was having a clean ride and being strong. That’s how we adjusted, Derek just kept riding. He started in SCORE race season winning the overall as an ironman, so he’s always been at a certain pace. We tried to up his level and give him a smaller section so he could go really, really fast. We pre-ran here a month before the race, rode really fast and he learned a lot. We won the hardest class with the smallest amount of money as a team.
PRO MOTO 30 (Riders over 30 years old)
JAMES JUSTIN SHULTZ, No. 308x (First in class.19th overall.) – CO-RIDER MORGAN CRAWFORD said: The course was good. Most of it was the same old trails as usual but they used a couple of new ones that hadn’t been used in years. We got to go 100 miles an hour down a road for like nine miles straight and that was fun. We’re in for the championships until the SCORE Baja 1000 so we’re definitely coming back for the SCORE Baja 400 and hopefully with the same guys.
PRO MOTO LIMITED (less than 400cc)
JORGE RAMIREZ, No. 106x (Second in class. 28th overall. Jorge Ramirez started and rode to race mile 80. Sergio Garza rode race mile 80 to race mile 170. Manuel Gomez rode race mile 170 to race mile 280. Jorge Ramirez rode race mile 280 to race mile 340. Manuel Gomez rode race mile 340 to race mile 400. Sergio Garza rode race mile 400 to the finish.) — I can’t thank my partners enough, they did an awesome job. We’ve been racing together since we were kids, so it’s like racing with family. I’m so proud of them and of the team. We did our homework. We were fast and we were fit. We’re hungry for more and we’re going for the championship. CO-RIDER SERGIO GARZA said: The course was awesome and it was super tiring. We rode the SCORE Baja 1000 last year and there were only two teams, but this time we had a couple more riders and teams and there was enough competition and we were happy that was happening. The more competition the more it pushes us to be better. We hope to come down for the SCORE Baja 400 and the SCORE Baja 1000. My partners Jorge and Manuel did an awesome job.
PRO MOTO 40 (Riders over 40 years old)
ALIRIO AMADO, No. 43 (Third in class. Alirio Amado started and rode to race mile 105. Guillermo Rinaldi rode race mile 105 to race mile 305. Alirio Amado rode race mile 305 to race mile 400. Guillermo Rinaldi drove race mile 400 to the finish.) – CO-RIDER GUILLERMO RINALDI said: We had some struggles because one of our riders got injured before the race and we had to change our strategy. But we kept pushing and got to second place in the second half. It was a difficult course, but we felt good. It was challenging to be one rider down but once we made it, it was a great feeling. We’re excited about our result and we hope we can have our entire team for the SCORE Baja 400 so we can follow our plan.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old)
GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 510x (First in class. John Griffin started and rode to race mile 70. Jim O’Neal rode race mile 70 to race mile 100. John Griffin rode race mile 100 to race mile 172. Giovanni Spinali rode race mile 172 to race mile 275. Troy Pierce rode race mile 275 to race mile 311. Earl Roberts rode race mile 311 to race mile 401. Giovanni Spinali rode race mile 401 to the finish.) — It went really well. We had a few crashes early but kept the lead the whole race and stretched it out to like a 30-mile win over the second place. We had a solid team, a solid ride and the bike ran great, so here we are. The course was set up a little differently. Around Meling Ranch (race mile 175), it was the worst silt I’ve ridden in a long time. It was four feet deep, I was going to bushes and trying to get out of it. It was a short course but probably one of the toughest SCORE Baja 500s I’ve ever raced, it was very technical.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN (Solo Riders)
JUAN CARLOS SALVATIERRA, No. 725x (First in class.) – It was a good day. I’m happy with my performance. I pushed through the entire race, which was nearly 14 hours. It was a really close battle with Edgar. The silt section was interesting. I’m kind of used to it from racing Dakar, so it wasn’t that difficult for me. The rocky sections were the most difficult for me. I had my first crash in Baja today, but luckily it wasn’t really hard – no damage for me or the bike. I’d like to thank my sponsors and all the people from Bolivia, Mexico and Latin America who were watching and supporting me.
EDGAR COTA, No. 723x – (Third in class.) – It was not the race we were expecting. It wasn’t the clean race we wanted. We had some problems in our first pit as my backend blew out and came apart. After that, I started riding an hour late and had a lot of work to do. I started catching my opponents at Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) and passed Juan (Juan Carlos Salvatierra, No. 725x), the last of them, in Santo Tomas (race mile 400). I never looked back and went all the way to the finish. I just wanted to thank everybody that helped me out – my whole team, my dad, my girlfriend and everyone who came down. I couldn’t have done it without them.
PRO QUAD (Open engine displacement)
ROBERTO VILLALOBOS, No. 18a – (Second in class. Francisco Vera started and rode to race mile 30. Javier Robles rode race mile 30 to race mile 100. Roberto Villalobos rode race mile 100 to race mile 220. Francisco Vera rode race mile 220 to race mile 300. Josh Row rode race mile 300 to race mile 370. Javier Robles rode race mile 370 to the finish.) – We managed to get a good pace in the morning but it got too challenging and demanding later on. There were a lot of rocks, it’s Baja and you always have to keep your eyes open. Everything went all for the most part. We lost some time in the Sportsman Shortcut and it took a while for us to catch the motorcycles and get back to our pace.