Sal Fish Q&A On Baja 500 Results – race-deZert.com

Sal Fish Q&A On Baja 500 Results


The day after the race results were released and penalties issued. 2 weeks later more results and penalties were issued, what caused the delay between the first and second set of results and penalties?

We looked at information we received (in the days after) and talked to individuals that we were not able to talk to at the race, we listened to what they had to say. We wanted to make sure we had all the facts to make a correct decision.

Robby Gordon was DQ’d for 2 incidents of finish line misconduct, can you explain exactly what he did to incur this penalty?

He came around the finish right hand turn where he slid off the course into our spectator area that was behind our fence and some K barriers, thank god that he didn’t have any contact that I am aware of with them. Then he proceeded to do 2 spin outs in the area that I felt was very unsafe considering the situation with spectators on either side of the course there. I just felt it was totally unnecessary and jeopardizing people that were in the area and it was not the kind of conduct I expect from a professional racer such as Robby in that situation.

There was a second video of him doing a donut after he had gone through the finish line spectator area, was that the second incident of finish line misconduct?

Yes, if you look at that video its actually very frightening as there were people in that crosswalk area there and its just not the right thing to do.

Jesse Jones was DQ’d for going backwards on the course, the area where he did so was a wide graded road and he followed local traffic out on it at a slow rate of speed. What is the rule about this?

First of all it was the race course, there is no reason for a race car to go backwards on the race course he could have easily radioed his pit and had them come the direction of the race course to him. Its one of those things that he is a very professional racer and I know he soloed because he had to let his co-driver out 50 or 60 miles into the race and he did a trojan effort but unfortunately you have to conduct yourself in a responsible manner and you just cant go backwards on the race course. That’s all there is to it.

If he had a chase truck come into him would the chase truck then have to continue on the course or could they legally turn around and go back out on the course they came in on?

They could either wait till the end of the race or find an access road that is not the race course itself and turn out. Going backwards on the course would not be the correct thing to do.

How is the highway classified in Baja since technically chase trucks are “driving backwards” on the course when they are traveling back from a pit on the actual highway?

We don’t block the highways so you have the normal traffic going both directions on the highway. Obviously I think that’s self explanatory. The highway is not classified the same as the dirt race course sections.

Does SCORE review Youtube videos since it seems everyone has a cell phone with a camera now days?

Well we look at them but you have to remember there are things that happen before and after that video that you don’t see. I am very cautious about looking at them. Its something we are going to have to look at immediately, is how long do we keep this door open. If someone gives us a video now of something happening, is that a situation that we can go back and penalize. In real life that happens if someone is shown committing a crime and it doesn’t become evident to law enforcement till a year later something happens.

Is SCORE going to in the future have a time window that people will have to submit videos for review before final results?

I have not made a decision on that yet, my nephew Paul and I have been discussing it I think we have to be very cautious here to make sure we don’t set a precedent that could damage our sport or anything like that but I do think we have to look at it. Things have changed, society is different as you said everyone knows everything faster than everyone else. There are people spread out all over the country and our racing community has to realize that they are not out there in a vacuum, everything they are doing is under a microscope. Because of the tracker we keep an equal playing field and I think we have done that and people are respecting the race courses and the land and staying where we have permission to go. Now its gone to the next level where there are other things that are visible that we wouldn’t have known about before. I think we have to look at it and how we respond to it, well that’s gonna be an interesting question.

14 Comments

  1. I think penalizing people after the race is weak. That is the point of a competition review board; after the CRB the results should be final, and subsequent discoveries should not count against racers, but they could be the basis for new rules or blocking a racer from participating in the next event in the case of a safety violation.

  2. Sals correct, that was not a sensible thing to do, IF Robby has such great control he shouldnt of spun out in the first place, Then he does his look at me spin ?

  3. “Double Standard” Let’s throw in a few more fines, Speeding in the Pits, Speeding within 150 feet of Spectators just to name a few. Cheering in the Spectator Zone, I don’t see anyone Pissed or throwing anything at RG in protest. Bah… Just saying. Okay, off my Soapbox. Make some DUST!!!!

  4. It seems that every race lately Sal is put through the microscope where people always have a different or better opinion than he. I worked for the man for almost 6 years as his race director, and didn’t always agree with his reasons of making a decision, even a late one. But at the bottom line he has a very difficult job to do…keep everything on an even keel, enforce the rules without being heavy-handed, and try to keep as much of our racing as safe as possible. And lets not forget that he’s dealing with officials of a foreign government who want their hand in things. Not an easy task when you’ve got people in your face… Cut the man some slack! -Dr. Checker.

  5. hey sal, thanks for doing the interview with rdc. i think that a lot of the problems that people have with the score organization is due to the lack of a score spokes person to explain score’s policies and decisions to the racers, fans and the media. when there is no one there to represent your side of a story or represent a organizations decisions of events things are left to fester out of frustration due to a lack of information. i realize that you and score are very busy and do not have the time to worry about this but unfortunately for score the dezert racing community is a very “wired” group of people that uses the internet and every other form of media to communicate there thoughts through. deep down everyone knows that some how every year you continue to pull off the impossible and put on the most insane races known to man kind . and there is no one that dose not respect you for that. but you do have some pr issues that need to be addressed and having a spokes person might help score in that area. again much respect to you for coming on rdc and doing a interview you are a amazing man with a impossible job. and i wish you and score continued success. viva baja!,sal and score.

  6. Sal , you just took the first step ending SCORE as the premier promoter in off road racing, maybe ending SCORE period.

  7. HEY FELLAS IS IT GOING TO TAKE SOME DEWMOSS TO KILL OR MAIM SOME KID GET INTERNATIONAL LAWERS TO SUE AND FORFEIT RACING AL TOGETHER DUH CALIFORNIANS ARE DEWMOSSES BIG PICTURE BABYS SUCK IT UP SAL IS AWSOME WE ARE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE COMMITED PEOPLE OR YOU COULD VOLUNTEER AND STOP CRYING

  8. That is a bad move from Sal. The Dakar officials let Robby Spin and Jump on the stage and they don’t have a problem …

  9. I agree with some of this but most of it I think is ridiculous. I think there needs to be a big distinction between setting up a pit on the highway and breaking down while on the highway sections and needing to pull off the road and make a quick repair. What was I supposed to do if I got a flat in my chase truck while driving on the highway. Pull over, get out and fix it real quick. What was Rob Mac supposed to do? Wait for AAA? They didn’t pit on the road. He pulled over out of the road to change a flat tire.

    But Robbie Gordon is an Idiot!!

  10. The video that is shown of Rob Mac’s stop says “full pit on side of hwy 3.” I don’t see a pit. I see a truck pulled over with a flat tire and dozens of locals who always run over to see the action. No were do I see the makings of a full pit or even one of his chase trucks. Kind of ridiculous in my humble opinion.

  11. B.J. BALDWIN HIZO LO MISMO QUE ROBBY EN LA PASADA BAJA 500, Y QUE YO SEPA NADIE LE DIJO NADA NI LO PENALIZARON, APARTE, CON ESA ACTITUD DE SAL FISH, SOLO VA A LOGRAR QUE ROBBY, JONES, BIG MAC Y OTROS SE AUSENTEN DE LAS LEGENDARIAS BAJAS…FIGURAS COMO ROBBY SON LA ATRACCION DE LAS BAJAS, LA GENTE VIENE SOLO A VERLO CORRER, APARTE ES LA ADRENALINA QUE TODOS NOSOTROS COMO ESPECTADORES VENEMOS A VER, NOS GUSTA AL 100% LO QUE ROBBY Y OTROS CORREDORES HACEN, ES POR ESO QUE SON, HOY POR HOY LOS CONSENTIDOS DE LAS BAJAS….ASI QUE SR. FISH SE PASO DE LA RAYA, O QUE SANCIONE A B.J. PQRQ QUE SEA PAREJA LA COSA….FISH, TU MUY MAL….

  12. If the reasoning behind penalizing Robby is because it was not safe it seems a bit silly. All the race vehicles come around that corner flying. Move the spectators away from the racecourse where you can control it. If you cannot control it do not worry about it. I’m not saying that Robby was right about what he did. One has to realize that the bigger the event is the more control the organizer must have over they’re spectators. I know this is Baja and that would be impossible but don’t tell the guys and gals that you are putting on a race and tell them to slow down.

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