259 starters challenge SCORE Baja course
Menzies blasts to Overall 4-wheel, SCORE Trophy Truck win;
Luke McMillin wins Class 1 at 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Kawasaki’s Bell/Hengeveld/Pearson snap Honda’s 15-year overall motorcycle winning streak
Yamaha’s Row and team capture overall ATV victory over Honda and Can-Am teams
ENSENADA, Mexico—Returning to the desert for the first time this year, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies came back to Mexico Saturday to earn a second consecutive overall 4-wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy Truck victory in the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Menzies blasted his way over 450 miles of Mexico’s blistering Baja California desert in the No. 1 Menzies Motorsports Red Bull Ford F-150 in a winning time of nine hours, 13 minutes, 39 seconds, averaging 48.77 miles per hour.
In the second-closest finish in the storied history of this race, Menzie’s crossed the finish line second, but won on corrected time in the elapsed-time race by just 11 seconds over fellow Las Vegas B.J. Baldwin. Baldwin, who led much of the race in his No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Monster Energy Chevy Silverado, finished second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck with a time of 9:13:50, averaging 48.75mph. Ironically, in 2008, Baldwin won this race in the closest finish ever by just seven seconds over Las Vegas Rob MacCachren.
Following final data tracking review of the vehicles and any necessary penalty assessments, third place overall was confirmed to be Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., in a time of 9:29:45 in his No. 76 Jones Motorsports Ford F-250.
The second-oldest desert race in the world, Round 4 of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, featured 259 starters, competing in 36 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.
SCORE is in its 39th year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization. This race is traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule and is the first desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
Entries this year came from 34 U.S. States from Hawaii to New York and the U.S. Territory of Guam along with the additional countries of Mexico, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Spain.
With racing continuing in the elapsed-time race that had a 22-hour time limit until 9:17 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday, both the start and the finish line were located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It was the fifth straight year that both the pre-race activities and the finish were all held on this historic boulevard. SCORE released the official results following complete data tracking review Sunday morning after the course closed.
Pulling off a stunning upset in breaking the 15-year winning streak of Honda, Kawasaki’s Robby Bell led his team to the overall motorcycle victory while recording the fastest time of the race. Bell, Menifee, Calif./David Pearson, Panaca, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Flagstaff, Ariz., split the riding time on the THR Motorsports Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F to a winning time of 9:10:03 with an average speed of 49.09 mph.
With the Johnny Campbell’s JCR Honda 1x team lead by Colton Udall slowed some by two crashes during the race, Kawasaki’s winning trio defeating the Honda team by two minutes, 28 seconds. Udall raced with David Kamo, Caldwell, Idaho and Tim Weigand, Valencia, Calif. to a time of 9:12:31. Udall injured his shoulder on his second spill and Weigand was forced to stay on the bike and ride the 48 mile final section to the finish line that he had not pre-run prior to the race.
In giving Kawasaki its first win in this race since 1996, the victory was Bell’s fourth overall win in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, Hengeveld’s seventh and Pearson’s first. It was also Kawasaki’s ninth overall motorcycle win in this challenging desert race.
Completing the top five finishers group was a pair of third-generation desert racing brothers. Finishing fourth overall among 4-wheel vehicles and fourth in SCORE Trophy Truck for the second straight race was the team of third-generation desert racer Dan McMillin, 24, La Mesa, Calif. and Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., with a time of 9:46:27 in the No. 23 McMillin Homes Ford F-150.
Luke McMillin, 19, El Cajon, Calif., won the unlimited Class 1 race and finished fifth overall in the McMillin Homes Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race care in 9:53:22. Luke McMillin also won Class 1 in March at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
The third McMillin family team in this year’s race, Dan and Luke’s cousin Andy and their uncle Scott McMillin (Andy’s father), gave the family three top 10 overall finishes by finishing seventh overall among 4-wheel vehicles and sixth in SCORE Trophy Truck. Andy and his father Scott were the overall 4-wheel winners in this race in 2010.
A surprising overall ATV winner, Yamaha’s veteran Greg Row, 48, brought in a couple of very special riders to his team to compete for the victory. Row, who was also the overall ATV winner in this race for three consecutive years (1990, 1991 and 1992), had a couple of very special riders on his team this year, both of whom are regular racers in US ATV series.
Among the riders with Row on a Yamaha YFZ450 were his son Josh and Dustin Nelson, a six-time QuadCross series point champion. With DJ Noerr also riding for the Row team, the Yamaha squad defeated the prominent Honda teams for Wayne Matlock and Brandon Brown along with Can-Am’s Josh Frederick. The Row team covered the course in 10:50:07 with an average speed of 41.53mph.
For Menzies, 24, the reigning SCORE overall and SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion in his rookie season in the SCORE Desert Series, the victory was his third career race win in SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. The win was also the 29th overall 4-wheel victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 for BFGoodrich Tires, which Menzies runs on his race truck.
Menzies defeated a near-SCORE-record field of 36 SCORE Trophy Truck starters. The SCORE record for starters in the premiere desert racing class was 37 set at the 2006 Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
“What a tough race the SCORE Baja 500 is,” said Menzies at his team’s rousing finish line celebration. The course was definitely rougher and a lot more chewed up and a lot more silt than last year. For me it was definitely slower because I was in a lot of dust all day.”
“It's so challenging. I thought we only had a four second lead on corrected time so I hucked it in at the finish and kinda did a donut. Not on purpose at all. That's what a close race is all about. Running and coming up to the finish and you're only seconds ahead or behind B.J. Baldwin who is such a great racer and it was neck and neck all the way, so we were pushing as hard as we could. I fought dust all day after starting 19th in class but I love coming to the finish and pushing the truck as hard as possible not knowing who is going to win until you get to the finish. It was just an awesome day. We were all over the road hitting rocks, ditches and trying to make up all the time. It made it such a great race. I love it.”
The total number of starters (259) was the 23rd highest total in the 44-year history of the popular race. The starting list included 156 cars and trucks and 103 motorcycles and ATVs. The total of 181 finishers is tied for the sixth-most number of finishers with the 2004 in the event’s 44-year history, for an event-record 69.88 percent finishing rate.
Remaining undefeated for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series with their fourth straight class win was Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco). For Moss, it was also his eighth class victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and the third for Carr.
Winning for the third time this season were Wes Bevly III, Corpus Christi, Texas (Stock Full, Ford F-150) and Andy Bell, Long Beach, Calif. (Stock Mini, Toyota Tacoma).
Also picking up his second class win this season in a car and truck class was Matt Cullen, Long Beach, Calif. (Class 10, AlumiCraft-VW).
Among the other first-time car and truck class winners this season were Jason Coleman, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Class 1/2-1600, Kreger-VW), Victor Herrera, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 7, Ford Ranger, Brent Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif. (SCORE Lites, Moulton-VW), Ricardo Garcia, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 7SX, Mike West, Chandler, Ariz. (Class 7-2, TrophyLIte-Chevy), Gavin Skilton, Anaheim, Calif. (Class 6, Honda Pilot), Jose Lopez, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 5, VW Baja Bug) and Chelsea Magness, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., (Protruck, Ford F-150).
Traveling all the way from Bristol, Tenn. and Bristol, Va., Justin Matney’s RPM Off-Road team, which opened the season with 11 total class wins in the two rounds in Laughlin in January, had a race-record eight entries in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and added an impressive five more class wins to their season total. RPM now has earned a spectacular 18 class wins in the four rounds of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
Winning their respective classes for RPM in Ensenada were double-winner Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug and Class 2, Mason-Chevy), Rodolfo Iribe, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 8, Chevy Silverado), Derek Fletcher, Abington, Va., (Class 4, PSD-Chevy) and Jim Bunn/John Matney, Bristol, Va. (Sportsman Buggy, Geiser Chevy).
In all, seven of the eight RPM vehicles finished with Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico eighth in SCORE Trophy Truck (Chevy Silverado), Stacy and Justin Matney teamed up for a second-place finish in Class 1 (Geiser-Chevy). Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 6, Ford Ranger) did not finish this race
RPM’s Stacy now has two wins in Class 5-1600 this year and three in Class 2 while Iribe is undefeated with four, Fletcher has three in Class 4 and Bunn/Matney have three in SPT Buggy.
Winning their respective motorcycle and ATV classes for the second of three SCORE Baja races here were the teams led by Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas (Class 30, Honda CRF450X), Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) and Marc Prince, Malibu, Calif. (Class 50, Honda CRF450X). It was the sixth class win in this race for Kaplan.
Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif., led a team in Class 21 to victory on a Honda CRF450X to give him 16 career wins in this race and Richard Jackson, Action, Calif., earned his 14th class win in helping rider of record Al Perrett of Canada captured Class 60 on a Honda CRF450X.
Among the other first-time motorcycle and ATV class winners this season were Gabriel Williams, Provo, Utah (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Manuel Jimenez, San Felipe, Mexico (Class 24, Honda TRX450R and Carl Vella Ardsley, N.Y. (Class 26, Can-Am Outlander800).
The fastest sportsman motorcycle racer was Carlos Sanchez, Chula Vista, Calif., who led a team to victory on a Husaberg 450. The fastest Sportsman 4-wheel vehicle was Nick Tonelli, Huntington Beach, Calif., who won the SPT Truck in a Ford Ranger for his third class win of the season.
The rugged 450-mile course, which ran in a clockwise direction, resembled a deflating balloon, winding east to Ojos Negros, down to near San Felipe, back West to the Pacific Ocean below San Vicente and back north east through Santo Tomas on the way back to Ojos Negros and then Ensenada.
Not only was there a significant variety of terrain on this desert race course, elevations ranged from sea-level to the 4,155-foot summit at race mile 110.47 with temperatures fluctuating between the low 50s to the 100s Fahrenheit between the Pacific Coast, summit, dry lake beds, washes and Sea of Cortez.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers were also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes were also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck Pro class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 27th consecutive year, a total of 24 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series after the first four rounds in the five-race series.
Racers were also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award. All categories, except Engine Builder and Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer, will be determined by public on-line voting while Engine and Buggy awards are determined by season points.
With season point championships on the line, the season-finale of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series will be the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races. This year’s anniversary event will be a race down Mexico’s Baja California peninsula run, Nov. 14-17, starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of the three SCORE Baja races.
MasterCraft Safety is co-title sponsor of the 26th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Desert Series are:
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Baja 1000 are:
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
Additional SCORE Sponsors are - Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
Tecate SCORE Baja 500
All-time Overall winners
1969--Bud Ekins/Guy Jones, Baja Boot-Olds
Doug Douglas/Jim McClurg, Ducati
1970--Parnelli Jones, Ford
Bill Silverthorn/Gene Fetty, Husqvarna
1971--Bobby Ferro, Funco-VW
Malcolm Smith/J.N. Roberts, Husqvarna
1972--Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Gene Fetty/Bill Silverthorn, Honda
1973--Parnelli Jones, Ford
Howard Utsey/Mickey Quade, Husqvarna
1974--Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Mitch Mayes/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna
1975--Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Harley-Davidson
1976--Bobby Ferro/Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna
1977--Ivan Stewart, Chenowth-VW
Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson, Husqvarna
1978--Bud Feldkamp/Malcolm Smith, Funco-VW
Brent Wallingsford/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1979--Malcolm Smith/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Jack Johnson, Husqvarna
1980--Bob Gordon, Chenowth-Chevy
Bruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller, Yamaha
1981--Malcolm Smith/Bill Newbury, Chenowth-Chevy
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Yamaha
1982--Larry Ragland, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Chuck Miller, Yamaha
1983--Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-VW
Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna
1984--Larry Ragland, Chaparral-VW
Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna
1985--Ron Gardner/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Kurt Pfeiffer/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1986--Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Garth Sweetland/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1987--Bob Gordon/Tim Crabtree, Chenowth-Porsche
Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr., Kawasaki
1988--Mark McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Dan Ashcraft/Kurt Pfeiffer, Yamaha
1989--Robby Gordon, Ford
1990--Robby Gordon, Ford
Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte, Kawasaki
1991--Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Garth Sweetland/Paul Krause, Kawasaki
1992--Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Larry Roeseler/T. Hunnicutt Jr./P. Krause, Kawasaki
1993--Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Danny Hamel/L. Roeseler/T. Hunnicutt Jr., Kawasaki
1994--Ivan Stewart, Toyota (Trophy-Truck)
Dave Ashley/Dan Smith, Ford
Paul Krause/Ted Hunnicutt Jr., Kawasaki
1995--Curt LeDuc, Jeep (Trophy-Truck)
Mike Julson/Bob Lofton, Jimco-VW
Paul Krause/Craig Smith, Kawasaki
1996--Rob MacCachren, Ford (Trophy-Truck)
Troy Herbst, Smithbuilt-Porsche
Paul Krause/Ty Davis, Kawasaki
1997--Ivan Stewart, Toyota (Trophy-Truck)
Mark McMillin, Jimco-Porsche
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda
1998--Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda
1999--Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Jonah Street/Torsten Borstrom, Honda
2000--Larry Ragland, Chevy
Jonah Street/Steve Hengeveld, Honda
2001--Mark McMillin, Jimco-Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Jonah Street, Honda
2002--Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2003--Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2004--Alan Pflueger, Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2005--Robby Gordon, Chevy
Mike Childress/Mouse McCoy, Honda
2006--Brian Collins/Larry Ragland, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda
2007--Larry Ragland/Brian Collins, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Steve Hengeveld, Honda
2008--B.J. Baldwin, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda
2009--Rick D. Johnson, Ford
Bill Boyer/Donnie De Arman/Nicholas Blais/Rudy Iribe, Honda
2010--Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Ford
Kendall Norman, Quinn Cody, Honda
2011--Bryce Menzies, Ford
Kendall Norman, Quinn Cody, Honda
2012--Bryce Menzies, Ford
Robby Bell/David Pearson/Steve Hengeveld, Kawasaki
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44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Round four of 2012 SCORE Desert Series
June 1-3, 2012 – Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
BRYCE MENZIES, No. 1 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle. Menzies drove the entire way) -- We started 19th and we chased dust all day. We had three flats on my part so we were down a little ways. We got stuck behind Troy Herbst for 60 miles when he was doing 40 miles per hour it seemed like. Once we got around him we pushed really hard. We knew we were behind B.J. by a minute thirty. He started third so he had a lot of clean air. He's one hell of a driver and I was trying to track him down. My hat's off to him. What a day. Coming into mile 300 we were only a minute thirty down and we knew from there we would be able to push it and get him. We got stuck behind Troy and I couldn't get around his dust. We followed him for like 40 miles asking him to pull over because he was going so slow. We pushed as hard as we could and are just glad to be at the finish. It was real dusty. We just sat in dust all day. We were just charging this thing. I don't think I've ever driven this truck that hard. We had three flats. Two of them due to my part and another one was just a stick flat. We were just pushing really hard through the dust so we were hitting rocks. What a tough race. It (the course) was definitely rougher and a lot more chewed up and a lot more silt. For me is was definitely slower because I was in a lot of dust all day. The course has definitely been driven on the last three years so it is getting chewed up but it makes it fun. It's more challenging. I thought we only had four seconds to win so I hucked it in at the finish and kinda did a donut. Not on purpose at all. That's what it (a close race) is all about. Running and coming up to the finish and you're only eleven seconds down from B.J. (Baldwin) and it was neck and neck, so we were pushing as hard as we could. I fought dust all day but I love coming to the finish and pushing the truck as hard as possible not knowing who is going to win until you get to the finish. It was just an awesome day. It made it way more exciting for me and my co-driver. We were all over the road hitting rocks, ditches and trying to make up all the time. It made it such a great race. I love it.
B.J.BALDWIN, No. 97 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle. Baldwin drove the entire way) -- Bryce (Menzies) had me worried about 50 miles ago. We had three minutes and 30 seconds on him and we were just cruising but he went through Uruapan pretty fast. When I went into town we had 42 seconds on him and that kinda got me excited so I've been in kill mode for the last 40 minutes. Since mile 90 third gear has been slipping so we can't really lean on it hard in third gear and get the top speed that we like to get. No excuses but that is about as fast as I can go given the vehicle that I've been given today. The only person we are worried about is Bryce. He had me running pretty hard. I think everybody else is way back there. I do what I can but I was kind of embarrassed the first 100 feet because I spun out on the first left corner. It was a little bit sandier on the pavement and a little bit slicker than I'm used to. I like to put on a show and I like to hit the first corner all the way out. Realistically we should not be here. We had some issues with the truck early on so all the high speed stuff was hard for me to deal with the way the truck was running. We had some transmission problems. The last bit of the course the truck would run fine and I was still trying to get away from Bryce and he was just on a mission. I was going as fast as I could to try and hold him off and I just couldn't do it. The kid is talented and this is his second Baja 500 win. My hat's off to him but I'm not buying the drinks tonight. It is a hard thing to do to find a good co-rider because they've got to be good at everything. Good at working on the truck and fixing issues, navigating and they've got to be able to calm you down when they need to. Most of all, which is the hardest thing to find, they've got to be ready to die. It is always tough to find a co-driver ready to die and not get sick on top of that. It doesn't really affect my performance but I try and eat a big breakfast and I always get sick in the first 50 miles but it settles out. We had transmission issues. Third gear was slipping since mile 90 and that's ultimately what kept us from winning. The fastest we could really go with the truck was 105 and the truck will do 140.
JESSE JONES, No. 76 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle. Jones drove the entire way) -- Sal (Fish) puts on a great race and thank you to SCORE putting it on and for letting us come down here and play with our toys and race in Baja. The truck was awesome. It worked really well. We started all the way in the back and fought our way to the front and had some problems but we are here. We were in bad, bad dust all the way to mile 275. I got by Robby (Gordon) there and it kind of started to open up a little bit for us. These guys just got away from us and we really couldn't run them down. We had to settle for whatever place it is and hopefully we'll go into the top 12. We fought our way through stuff today. It was a battle. It was a lot of fun and was our first race back in a year.
DAN McMILLIN, No. 23 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle. McMillin shared driving duties with Chuck Hovey) -- CO-RIDER CHUCK HOVEY said: It was a decent day. Daniel (McMillin) had a really good run and unfortunately the sway bar broke on him and took out the rear brakes. Cameron and I drove it the rest of the way in with no sway bar and no rear brakes. It was tough. We've got a little exhaust leak or something like that too. It was a tough day and one of the toughest drives I've done probably. This thing wanted to keep tipping over. You drive these things with the rear brakes and I didn't have much rear brake. It (the return section of the course) is getting silty and it is tough because we've only pre-run it going out so coming in it is pretty tough. It is definitely getting chewed up from the cars going out and very dusty.
MARK WEYHRICH, No. 9 (Fifth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle. Weyhrich drove the entire race) -- Jesse Jones and I were stuck behind (Robby) Gordon for probably 80 miles and couldn't get by him. Earlier me and Jones were stuck behind Gordon and I got by and then our GPS malfunctioned and we missed a line so Jesse got by us then we got back by Jesse and then we got by Robby. I knew that I had Robby between me and Jesse so I started to try and put time on Jesse and I bagged a rock in San Mateas wash and lost the driveline. Ryan (Williams) had to change it and it took us quite a bit of time. Other than that we did good. No flats. Just a driveline and that was driver error. It cost us 20 minutes probably.
ANDY McMILLIN, No. 31 (Sixth in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle. Andy McMillin shared driving duties with Scott McMillin) -- CO-RIDER SCOTT McMILLIN said: I got in at the meadow at Valle Trinidad and we had some vapor locking problems early in the day that Andy was fighting with and they continued with me all the way to the finish. Jessica (McMillin) was my co-driver and she did a great job pointing all the corners out to me. We had one flat on over the rocks in Erendira and bent a rim really bad. Luckily I had a pit right there and they were there and changed it. We had a great pit crew out there today helping us. When I got in at Valle Trinidad it was sunny and beautiful and when we went over to the beach it was just like this, dark, cloudy and we moved our way back to Ojos Negros it was sunny and coming back in by the arches there was this big cloud.
CHRIS KEMP, No. 93 (Seventh in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle. Kemp drove the whole race) -- That was probably the most challenging thing I've ever done in my life. It was awesome. I had a great time. I can scratch that off my bucket list. This is my first Baja race in the truck. The whups were making it rough but we had a good time and it was challenging for sure. A lot of good competition out there. I'm not (doing it again) right now, I don't even want to think about it. We'll see what happens. I think I'm out of shape. The truck works really good but it's just me. Learning the truck and what it is going to do. I think that something like this I would rather split it up until I get more comfortable.
JUAN C. LOPEZ, No. 18 (Eighth in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle. Lopez drove the whole race) -- We had a fuel pump problem at mile 260 which cost us 20 to 25 minutes. We had been running close with Rob MacCachren and felt competitive until that point.
KEN LOSCH, No. 34 (Tenth in class. Losch drove the whole race) -- The last 100 miles was a little brutal. We got two flat tires and it just got dark at the end with some dust so it was nice and challenging. Mike (Marsceo) over here has got a new nickname. It's Ralph. He did it about five times. This truck has been set up really hard and it is tough on the bumps. My other co-driver had to get out. We are usually doing 85 mph down the set of whups near Mike's Sky Ranch and I had to go down to 43 mph for that 15 mile section because his kidneys were hurting. So this thing is set up nice and hard. I like it that way because it handles when pitching it into the corners and on the throttle it just locks and goes. We blew it right at the start. There was a rock sticking out and we lost a front right tire. We lost eight positions 10 miles into the race. We've had four flats today.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 20 (Eleventh in class. MacCachren drove the whole race and came into the event as class points leader) -- It was a pretty darn good day. We can't complain too much. We had two power steering pumps go out. One at San Mateas at mile 220 and one on the Mike's crossover road and we just had to drive it back down to Valle de Trinidad and get another pump on it. Once you lose track position you get back in the dust and can't make up any time. You just can't have problems today. These trucks are so reliable and everybody is pushing so hard if you have any down time at all you're not going to be able to win the race. That's what happened to us today. We are going to go back and try and find out what happened with the first pump and then we went another 50 miles and lost another one which is really kind of weird. We've got to figure that out and get ready for the Baja 1000.
LUKE McMILLIN, No. 104 (First in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle. McMillin and Justin Smith shared driving duties.) -- We had over 20 minutes at Ojos Negros and I still didn't see anyone. A flawless day. Literally not a single flat. Not a single hiccup. The pits were fast. The car held up beautifully. It couldn't have gone any better. Me and (John) Herder went back and forth six times. It was insane. CO-DRIVER JUSTIN SMITH said: At about mile 385 Ronny Wilson (107) overdrove it into a corner and it looks like they had themselves in the corner a little bit far.
CLYDE STACY, No. 103 (Second in class. Stacy and Justin Matney shared driving duties) -- CO-DRIVER JUSTIN MATNEY said: The course is really rough right around Borrego and we lost our GPS coming into Santo Tomas so coming back into town was really tough but it happens. It's Baja.
BUDDY FELDKAMP, No. 118 (Third in class. Feldkamp drove the entire race.) -- We started in the back and took our time and chose where to go fast and where to slow down with the goal of finishing and we found ourselves here in second place. With a 12 year old truck we're excited to get a second place.
CODY PARKHOUSE, No. 101 (Fourth in class. Parkhouse shared driving duties with Brian Parkhouse) -- My dad (Brian Parkhouse) started and got to about mile 100 and burned up the rear brakes so luckily (Mike) Julson happened to be stopped there with a broken truck and they have the same brake calipers as us. So we switched those out and that took about 45 minutes to an hour. I got in at Borrego and got about halfway through the Mike's loop and lost the power steering servo. We stopped and changed that and then the next power steering servo went out. It was leaking so we had to stop every 50 miles and refill the power steering fluid. We made it. That's what matters.
LYLE BASK, No. 114 (Fifth in class. Bask drove the whole race) -- It was my first race in Mexico. No major problems. We had one flat tire. We had a couple turnarounds and a whole bunch of rock and silt and cliffs.
JASON COLEMAN, No. 1605 (First in class. Coleman shared driving duties with C.J. Hutchins) -- Just at the start of the summit I had a flat and then it just took me a while to get going again. It was an easy change and then we were just cruising. Having to limp without a spare tire cost us about 10 minutes.
HIRAM DURAN, No. 1649 (Second in class. Duran shared driving duties with his brothers Eric and Evan) -- We got one or two flats but no other problems. Second place isn't bad. During the (2011) Baja 1000 we fried the motor so when I got to Ojos Negros today, I felt second place was good. We'll keep that one.
ARTURO VELAZCO, No. 1604 (Fourth in class. Velazco drove with his brother Abel) -- We were in the lead most of the day until we had a distributor problem but I carry a complete distributor in the car so it happened that I had everything with me. It took about an hour to change it. We lost the alternator and then the car only had six volts so it wouldn't crank over. There was enough power for it to run but it wouldn't crank over.
DONALD MOSS, No. 300 (First in class. Moss shared driving duties with his brother Ken) -- I believe this is 40 wins with this same truck. What a rough course. We had no problems at all. We ran our own pace and we didn't touch a tool or change a tire. Nothing. We checked the oil and that was the extent of our maintenance. We just kept driving the whole way. The course is rougher because of the number of times it has been used for a race course. We ran this same course twice last year. (The 40th win) means a lot of work. Every one of these takes a ton of work. This crew that comes out every time... most of us have been running together for 20 years now. That's what makes the difference. A good crew and good people.
GAVIN SKILTON, No. 618 (First in class. Skilton drove the whole race) -- I drove the whole race. I got in at staging this morning and I haven't gotten out yet. Minor issues with the car but nothing major. Minor adjustments here and there. The crew guys were all where they needed to be so we could make those adjustments happen pretty quickly. The hardest part was being in the dust in the dark and not having somebody navigating off the GPS. You can't drive fast enough or you're going to hit something whereas when people are calling it out, like 'hard right hand turn coming up.'
VICTOR HERRERA SR., No. 703 (First in class. Victor Sr. shared driving duties with Victor Jr.) -- CO-DRIVER VICTOR HERRERA JR. said: We've been out (of racing) for a while and my dad decided to come back and we put it together with a very, very limited crew. I think we had maybe eight people total. If it wasn't for people on the coast of Erendira and the fans that just helped us out. We got stuck in the water when the tide came in and we were down for probably an hour. They used three different trucks to finally get us out. If it wasn't for them we would probably have still been there, so they definitely saved us. There were probably a dozen cars (stuck) there. We were one of the ones that made it the furthest and got out. I had one flat. I hit a rock in the dust. It cost me an hour and with all the water we lost an alternator belt as well. All the stuff, like kelp, wiggled the belt loose. We cut it off and put a new one on there.
MATT CULLEN, No. 1004 (First in class. Matt Cullen shared driving duties with Chuck Sacks) -- CO-DRIVER CHUCK SACKS said: It went pretty good actually. Matt (Cullen) did a pretty good job getting us the car at mile 205. We ran really clean until we ended up with a flat tire over by the beach area. We had to get out and change it just past the silt. We ran clean again all the way to the fire roads above Santo Tomas and then we ended up losing our power steering. We had to come in about 15 miles without power steering on a pretty severe fire road. That took its toll on us. We were able to do a little patch work on it and the steering worked the rest of the way. You've got to muscle it through.
MIKE LAWRENCE, No. 1011 (Second in class) -- I drove the whole day and my legs feel like Jello. I plan to do the whole Baja 1000 too. I had a flat like an idiot which is probably why I was a little bit behind Matt (Cullen.) I missed a couple turns but nothing major. The biggest time consuming one was probably the flat. We lost a little bit of power steering and we had to top off at mile 407 so that lost time too. From the beach I was thirty minutes behind him (Cullen) and then when I came out at 407 they said I was 13 minutes behind him so I thought maybe I can do this. That last section was really tough and I didn't want to take any chances.
MORGAN LANGLEY, No. 1001 (Third in class. Langley shared driving duties with Dan Martin and Zak Langley) -- CO-DRIVER ZAK LANGLEY said: I was going to drive the Trophy Truck but since it broke I got into the 10 car. The Trophy Truck broke at race mile 53. So I got a ride after all which was nice. It is always good to get a podium in any class you are racing. We were trying our best to catch the guys in front of us, but that's racing and they were faster than us today. We had an oil warning light so we pulled over right before the meadow in Ojos Negros. We tried to assess it but we didn't see any oil. We checked the oil and it seemed to be fine so it must be a faulty sensor so we just drove the rest of the way with the oil warning light on. It cost us five minutes of looking around the car.
SERGIO SALGADO, No. 1000 (Fourth in class) -- I started the race and had some lower back problems and I had to get out of the car at race mile 100. Co-driver Gustavo Pinuelas had to get in the car sooner than he planned. He was supposed to get in at race mile 235. From there he took it to the finish. He did a great job. He drove more than he expected and we had planned.
BRENT PARKHOUSE, No. 1201 (First in class. Parkhouse shared driving duties with Brian Burgess) -- We can't do this without the crew and they are a big part of winning. CO-DRIVER BRIAN BURGESS said: We had a pretty good day. Brent drove the race of his life. He gave it to me second on the road and that's all we needed. We had some brake issues on the beach, got that fixed pretty quick and just cruised it in from there.
OTONIEL HUERTA, No. 1249 (Second in class. Huerta shared driving duties with Jaime Huerta) -- We broke a front shock at mile 200 and then we broke the second one at mile 230. We lost 30 minutes replacing them. This was our first Baja 500 and we are planning on running the Baja 1000.
JEFF SANCA, No. 1202 (Third in class) -- Our day was great until mile 130 when we blew a tire and then it took out a brake line. From mile 130 to the finish we bled the brakes, we disconnected that side and had to re-bleed them. We disconnected the right side and bled the left. That took a lot of time. I got out at mile 230 and Herb (Ruppe) and Doug (Maxwell) got in at mile 300 and brought her home.
DEREK FLETCHER, No. 419 (First in class. Fletcher shared driving duties with Edgar Alvarez) -- The last 150 miles I couldn't talk to my co-driver. I could hear him but he couldn't hear what I was saying. If I yelled he could hear that I was talking but not really what I was saying. Fortunately I could at least hear him and if I had to pick that would be the way I would want to go. We got stuck at the beach for a while. We were there for 15 or 20 minutes. There were five other cars stuck with us because the tide was really high and we were in knee-deep water almost. Some people towed us out. CO-DRIVER EDGAR ALVAREZ said: I got the car from the starting line to Borrego and had a lot of issues. The first thing to happen was the transmission linkage. It disconnected and we lost about 20 minutes. We had some suspension issue and then the rear shocks got loose and we couldn't be faster. We had to slow down a little bit so we wouldn't break the car. We got stuck two times before Borrego.
ROBBY BELL, No. 4x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Bell rode with David Pearson and Steve Hengeveld) -- I kept stopping at locals across the side of the track trying to get some gas and finally I found two that had some and they were more than happy to give me enough gas to get to pit two. I would really like to thank them. It is pretty awesome that out in the middle of nowhere, two guys have some gas and they'll give it to me. They kept us in the race though we lost about four or five minutes from that but it kept us in the race. My teammates Steve (Hengeveld) and David (Pearson) rode so well. I'm so happy with how the day went. It (having Kawasaki back on the podium) is great for the sport and for the brand. I'm stoked to get Kawasaki down here because I know Honda has a huge history in Baja but so does Kawasaki. It feels good. I didn't actually run out of gas (after missing the first pit) but I was getting really low around mile 57 or 58. It wouldn't have been much longer until I ran out but I found a couple of locals that had some gas and they were more than happy to help me out. The course was awesome. It felt great and my teammates did so well, Steve (Hengeveld) and David (Pearson), they did a really fantastic job. A little bit of miscommunication on the exact location of it (the pit) and there were a lot of people and I was just going too fast. We had the lead before I had the gas dilemma and then I lost it (the lead). Colton (Udall) went by my while I stopped to talk to some locals and David (Pearson) got it back for us and from there we took off. If I had to guess, I got a solid two gallons of gas. They spoke good English and I told them I was from San Diego and they were more than happy to chit chat with me for a couple minutes while we were slow-pouring the gas in. Only in Baja. CO-RIDER STEVE HENGEVELD said: We started off third and it went pretty good but we had a little problem outside of Ojos Negros. Robby Bell had a littlee problem but I'm not quite sure what happened but we lost about five minutes and the lead. David Pearson got on and went over the summit and made all kinds of time and put a pass on the 1X (Colton Udall). It was a good race today and the course lived up to it's name, the Baja 500. Tough, technical and a real adventure. I rode a little tight and I probably actually rode better pre-running. I got tight and wasn't that loose and probably suffered a little bit. I was tight on the bike and was pumping up a little bit and not as loose as I should have been.
COLTON UDALL, No. 1x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle. Udall rode with David Kamo and Timmy Weigand) -- I just fell a little bit and basically picked the bike up and it bent the disc and instead of stopping and straightening it I continued. I went in about five corners later and just pushed the front and went over the bars. I bent the whole rear end of the exhaust up and basically squished the exhaust so the thing was plugged. There were sections where the fastest I could go was 80 on the dry lake wide open. Total failure by me really and we had a four minute lead and just kinda threw it away. It's a bummer but it is good that we are second, but it is a bummer. My shoulder is messed up and why I didn't ride into the finish and Timmy (Weigand) did. Timmy rode an awesome race and he was pretty much right there at the last Honda pit that we were at and only 15 seconds down. He did a good job but he had to ride my section but he didn't know it. I went 65 miles with a pinched exhaust and then we swapped the exhaust and continued. All of our service went over time. I crashed at race mile 102.
KURT CASELLI, No. 7x (Third in class and third overall motorcycle. Caselli rode with Ivan Ramirez and Mike) -- CO-RIDER IVAN RAMIREZ said: It was a good. All day we were battling and trying to catch those guys (Robby Bell and Colton Udall) but it was a tough day for me. I think it is pretty good to be in the top three and I'm happy with the team. I had trouble in the start around mile 15. I was in the dust and couldn't see a rock and went over the bars and had a little concussion and hurt my elbow. I tried to be up front again but those guys rode pretty good and didn't have any problems. I'm happy with the race.
KENDALL NORMAN, No. 9x (Fourth in class and fourth overall motorcycle. Norman rode the race by himself) -- It was awesome. It (riding solo) was a new experience. I'm pretty fried right now. It was an awesome experience and probably one of the most memorable and most fun times I've ever had in Baja. I just thank the awesome friends that I have that stepped up and wanted to help me do what I do because everything was so last minute. I broke my hand eight weeks ago. In pre-running, I think I rode more before noon (today), then I have since the Baja 1000. Coming out and doing it and having all these people help is just awesome. I honestly didn't know how the day would go. I had one blunder. I thought a pit was supposed to be in a place and I ended up stopping for a minute and going 'Oh my God, where's my pit at? I need gas.' I ended up stopping at a big crowd of people and yelling 'neccisito gasolina.' It was like a Chinese fire drill and one guy pointed and I saw a five gallon can full of gas. I ran over and we filled the bike to the top and this guy goes 'hey, what's your name?' and I said Kendall and he said 'hey, I'm Charles.' It was Kurt Caselli's old mechanic who is a good friend. In the middle of nowhere where I stopped you are right here with five gallons of gas.
GABRIEL WILLIAMS, No. 179x (First in class. Tim Morton shared riding duties) -- It was hot and dusty. It was the driest I've ever seen it. We were just smooth with no problems at all today. I think that's what it takes.
JIM O'NEAL, No. 102x (First in class and second overall motorcycle. Shane Esposito, Scott Meyers, Morgan Crawford and Ricky Brabee shared riding duties.) -- CO-RIDER SCOTT MEYERS said: We had a pipe blow apart that we had to switch and we had to change a whole exhaust system which cost us about 10 or 15 minutes. We had one burn and come apart so we had to put another pipe on so that cost us some time. Other than that, everything was great. The Honda five pit did everything. They were doing the wheel and the exhaust and fuel and everything. They got it going. It took us about 15 minutes to get everything done and then we got going. We lost a lot of time. That's a big gap. We would have been real close to third overall I think. Shane (Esposito) had a couple of little tumbles in the dust and other then that it was a perfect day.
MIKE JOHNSON, No. 300x (First in class. Jason Truby, Ben Brinkley, Shane Bell and Steve Garnett shared riding duties)-- CO-RIDER JASON TRUBY said: Our day was pretty smooth. I started and went to mile 100 and it was clean, just a lot of dust. We passed seven or eight bikes maybe. About midway through the race we started having motor issues. Maybe carburation but I'm not exactly sure what the problem was but it was just cutting out really bad off and on and was unpredictable. We more or less nursed her home. Everyone stayed safe and no major crashes. It wasn't a perfect day but it was a good day.
JEFF KAPLAN, No. 400x (First in class. Ron Wilson and Louie Franco shared riding duties) -- I rolled the start and went to the hotel and then Ronny (Wilson) started and had a great ride and gave it to me with a pretty good lead and then we just maintained it. We gained a little bit throughout the day but not a lot. The guys racing us were fast and stayed with us all day. They kept the pressure on. It was a good day. Louie (Franco) had a clean ride. Nobody hit the dirt, nobody did anything wrong. Really clean. Johnny Campbell talked about getting on the bike but he didn't get on.
MARC PRINCE, No. 501x (First in class. Dave Potts, Eric McKenna, Ray Spore and Doug Smith shared riding duties) -- We were ahead for a while but I got passed on the bottom of the summit. I got off the course and got passed. We had a six or seven minute lead and we lost a little bit coming through. It was hot and it was dusty. A quad passed me and I got stuck in his dust and got off the course. We won the 250's and now we've got to get to the Baja 1000. I've never done the point to point before and I'm looking forward to it.
AL PERRETT, No. 601 (First in class. Richard Jackson and Mark Force shared riding duties) -- I'm glad I'm here. I'm 74 years old. I wanted to do this when I was maybe 35 and 40 but, you know, family and business... I came down here in 1990 for my first Baja 1000. I was 52 years old. It gets into you and you've just got to come back. It's a challenge for sure.
GREG ROW, No. 5a (First in class and first overall ATV to finish. Josh Row, Dustin Nelson, Travis Dillon and D.J. Noerr shared riding duties) -- CO-RIDER JOSH ROW said: For the race that we had it was a day of mistakes and bobbles and things like that. We were just making less mistakes than everyone else. We had gas and go all day, other than a couple of rider errors and getting a couple of flats. Other than that, everything was flawless. I can't explain it. I was stoked. I was coming over the summit and I overshot a corner and stuck it into some rocks. I had to get off and pull it out. It tired me out a bunch. Finding all my lines, it was a long day but it was well worth it. This is my second or third Baja 500 racing to win and we got it done today.
BRANDON BROWN, No. 3a (Second in class and second overall ATV. Richie Brown, Jorie Williams, Kenny Sanford and Jamie Kirkpatrick shared riding duties) -- We had a pretty solid day all day. The competition is tough and we just kept on doing whatever we could do. We had our pivot bolt come loose and luckily we were able to catch that before it got catastrophic on us. We had to fight that all day but really it didn't take that much time off of us. Everybody worked hard and rode hard and we could have used another three minutes from the sound of it. I'm pretty proud of everybody involved in our program. We came up a little bit short but we'll be back at the Baja 1000 and see what we can do there. We split up the riding evenly for what we had and we had a pretty good day.
MANUEL JIMENEZ, No. 102a (First in class. Dorian Mendez, Julio Gomez, Heriberto Marquez and Daniel Salazar shared riding duties) -- The day was very hard and Saldana was very hot. At mile 100 we were in third and the axle was a little hard on the tires but everything was good. The lock in the axle was broken and the nut was out. In mile 300 we fixed the axle and everything was good.
CARL VELLA, No. 200a (First in class. Vella shared riding duties with Mike Penland) -- It was a rough, rough course. I took one tumble, I fell, got bruised but dusted myself off and got back on the bike, but here I am.