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Rodriguez Racing 1/2 1600

By Nick Almada

When you think of some of the greats in off-road racing history, almost all of them start from the bottom and work their way up the ladder. For most, 1/2 1600 is the class that shaped the boys into Men. This class produced some of the greatest drivers in our sport including the co-winners of the Baja 1000, Rob MacCachren and Luke McMillin. And even to this day, some of the best racers and the closest battles come down to the 1/2 1600 class, and that brings us to the 2020 SNORE champions in class 1/2 1600, the Rodriguez Racing team.

Growing up in Santa Fe Springs CA, Alec Rodriguez has always been out at the races in support of his father who also raced class 1/2 1600, and every year he would grow up watching films like Dezert People and Dust to Glory, and it stuck with him. Now wanting to get out there in be included in these films he worked his way into a race car in 2013. After navigating he knew he was meant to be in the other seat and transitioned over in 2015 and has been racing ever since.

Having some memorable times growing up racing and learning from those around him, he would have his work set out for him if he wanted to compete in such a competitive class. Starting in sportsman and working his way up. The first win came in 2016 at RATR in the sportsman class battling Derek Bradley all day swapping leads several times all the way up to the last turn! And as his move into the 1600 class came, so did the competition.

At the 2020 SNORE Midnight Special, he went on to take his first win sharing driving duties with Fernie Padilla. “We held the lead from start to finish and I couldn’t believe I was able to get my first win with someone who I look up to in Off-Road Racing.”

A friend of Ruben (Alec’s Father) had put a Slowpoke Rodriguez sticker on the car before the race and it led him to his first Victory, and the mascot has been on the car ever since. “Although we are very competitive and want to win races, we do like to have fun when we race, it helps to keep things in perspective.”

Back in 2004, that first race car was built, a 2 seat Bunderson 1/2 1600 car that was raced from then all the way until 2020. And in 2021 a new car was built. A chassis built by Roberto Romo from Mexicali Mexico. Debuting the car at the 2021 RATR this past December. Even as technology advances, traditions stay true. Slowpoke Rodriguez remains on the car as a reminder to the family to continue to have fun and enjoy the time they spend together.

Back in 2008, Ruben Rodriguez went on to take the win at the first return of the Mint 400. A big accomplishment to the team with one of the biggest car counts and some of the fastest drivers out there in the Jean desert. Alec stated, “This is his greatest accomplishment, and it leaves me with a goal to achieve the same thing one day.”

When asked the question, “What does Racing mean to you?” Alec responded with, “I practically eat, drink and sleep every type of racing. All of my family and friends would say I’m obsessed with it. So I would say racing is deep in my veins but racing means more than just winning. It’s an amazing feeling to celebrate a win but if there is no one to celebrate with, it’s just no fun. The opportunity to be out with my family & friends in the desert and having a good time is what racing means to me.”

The Rodriguez Racing 2022 plans are to continue racing in the SNORE Racing series and a possible appearance at the Mint or a MORE Race.

Alec and family would like to thank their sponsors: Mom & Dad, Summithill Sales & Marketing, Freedom Medical, Danny Maurer (ISP), Fernie Padilla, Drewski, Chris Odel, All Friends and Family that come out and support what we like to do.

Vehicle Specs:
Chassis: Chassis Built by Roberto Romo from Mexicali Mexico
Weight: 1550+
Wheelbase: 115”
Engine: Jimenez Racing Engines , W/Custom ROMO Air Filter
Cooling: Derale Oiler Cooler w dual Fans
Exhaust: A-1 Performance Exhaust
Plumbing: Roberto Romo
Transmission: Dave Folts Transmissions
Driveline: ProAm 4 Speed Shifter, TCS Axles, CV’s 930 300m
Brakes: Wilwood Brakes, Jamar Pedal set up with cutting break
Fuel Cell: 20 Gal Pyrotect, Redhead Dry Break Quick Dump Set up
Tires: Rear BFG Baja TA KR2 15” , Front BFG Super Traction 16”
Wheels: USA Wheels by B&R Buggies
Body: Fiberglass Body Roberto Romo
Front Suspension: PME Front Hub Set Up, Foddrill King Kong 2 degree Spindle, Foddrill Front Arms
Rear Suspension: ROMO Rear Arms, TCS Torsion Bars
Rear Housing: PME Micro Stub Kit
Shocks: Rear FOX 3”Body 3 tube bypass, 14” Stroke 7/8” Shaft , Front Fox 10” POS Custom by ROMO
Suspension Tuning: Roberto Romo
Steering: MOMO Steering Wheel w/Quick Release, SACO Rack , E-Power Steering Set up
Paneling: Carbon Fiber Dash custom by Roberto Romo, Wrap by JCD Graphics Mexicali Mx
Skid Plates: Custom by Roberto Romo
Electronics: Lowrance Elite 7 touch screen GPS, Antigravity Racing Battery,
Wiring: Roberto Romo
Lights: 4 Baja Design Pods
Communication: PCI Kenwood 50W Radio, Com Link 10 Intercom
Seats: Roberto Romo
Safety: Impact Racing 5 Point Ratchet Seat Belts, 2-2.5 lb Red Fire Extinguishers, PCI First Aid Kit , PPR Window Nets

bajarex1600

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What would it cost to have Alumicraft build a brand new 1/2 1600 ?
I contacted them not too long ago and they said they didn't make them anymore...at least not to the average Joe...I see you have an Alumicraft already so maybe they would for you...I ended up going the Mexico route
 

B.HAGLE

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I contacted them not too long ago and they said they didn't make them anymore...at least not to the average Joe...I see you have an Alumicraft already so maybe they would for you...I ended up going the Mexico route
How much roughly, I am not at all considering building one just curious. Looks fun.
 

notime

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Call Romo and find out, PM me if you want their contact
 

tapeworm

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Probably in between 60-80 thousand. Alumicraft might be more, but last I talked to Lothringer a new chassis with body and arms was $15k, low comp motor $10-15k. I don’t have an estimate on a trans for you because you can’t get any parts from Weddle for them right now.

You can build a very competitive car for $60k doing some minor fab work yourself. Problem will be parts suppliers.

Or buy a used front running car for $30k that will take a beating and need nothing more than fluids, bushings, heims, and shims for an entire season of racing as long as you don’t crash the car or crack any cases.
 

michael.gonzalez

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Like this one:

Bryce Farrar is selling his 2005 Bunderson. It has a good record.

 

A-Tech_Racing

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You gotta love the simplicity of a ½-1600. Just enough material to get the job done -no wasted weight.

Some Class 10 cars on the other hand are way, way, way overbuilt. You overbuild one thing, then you got to overbuild something else, the next thing you know you have tank. What cracks me up the most are the plated/boxed rear upper shock mounts that look like they weigh 50lbs a piece! No wonder UTV’s are kicking their butts! lol.

Pro tip: a shock mount only needs to be as strong as a ½” bolt!

Observation: The screws on the steering wheel are loose, one is missing, might want to tighten them before the next race lol. j/k I know you probably removed it for the photo shoot.

Question, what is going on inside those custom air boxes, is there a center filter with dual centrifugal inlets?

Cool car guys!
 

bajarex1600

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Probably in between 60-80 thousand. Alumicraft might be more, but last I talked to Lothringer a new chassis with body and arms was $15k, low comp motor $10-15k. I don’t have an estimate on a trans for you because you can’t get any parts from Weddle for them right now.

You can build a very competitive car for $60k doing some minor fab work yourself. Problem will be parts suppliers.

Or buy a used front running car for $30k that will take a beating and need nothing more than fluids, bushings, heims, and shims for an entire season of racing as long as you don’t crash the car or crack any cases.
Yea I would agree…I would say $60k for one with everything brand new…maybe $70k if your labor is in the U.S.

Or $30-35k for a good used one and hope everything is in decent shape.

We went with a brand new chassis from Pelon Race Cars in Mexicali and just transferred the parts from our old car…recommend Pelon 100% over everyone else…my 2 cents
 

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offroadracer516

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Probably in between 60-80 thousand. Alumicraft might be more, but last I talked to Lothringer a new chassis with body and arms was $15k, low comp motor $10-15k. I don’t have an estimate on a trans for you because you can’t get any parts from Weddle for them right now.

You can build a very competitive car for $60k doing some minor fab work yourself. Problem will be parts suppliers.

Or buy a used front running car for $30k that will take a beating and need nothing more than fluids, bushings, heims, and shims for an entire season of racing as long as you don’t crash the car or crack any cases.
60k would be everything Brand new. And even then I think 50k is more the number. Stuff is expensive but there isn't much to these things.
 

tapeworm

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Definitely not lol. We have 5 different 1600 cars right now. And a 516. My brother has been racing class 11 cause its cheaper. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Your family is an exception to that rule. 1600 is surprisingly affordable once the car is up to date. I couldn’t build an 11 car right now for less than a 1600 car and used they are almost going for the same price too.
 

offroadracer516

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Your family is an exception to that rule. 1600 is surprisingly affordable once the car is up to date. I couldn’t build an 11 car right now for less than a 1600 car and used they are almost going for the same price too.
You could for sure build an 11 car for less than a 1600. Shocks alone you save thousands. We are literally running 2.0's on our 11 with the bump can. No 1000+$ shocks for us. And we just smoked the field at RAGE. 1600's should be going for more used. People keep giving them away.