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McMillins master field for Overall Baja 500 win

SCORE Tecate Baja 500
Sunday, June 06, 2010

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Continuing to add to the legacy of one of the sport’s legendary family of racers, third-generation desert racer Andy McMillin and his father Scott, of San Diego, split the driving in their No. 31 McMillin Realty Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck Saturday to master the world’s best desert racers in the 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Dicing over the rugged 438.81-mile with several of the top competitors for the majority of the race, the McMillins stayed focused and consistent to outlast all challengers in finishing the grueling test in nine hours, 15 minutes and 13 seconds, averaging 47.20 miles per hour to win the overall 4-wheel and the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, which had a SCORE-record 39 of the 850-horsepower, high-tech, unlimited production trucks leave the starting line Saturday morning in Ensenada.

Round 3 of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series, the second-oldest desert race in the world and part of the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, was held in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 100,000 spectators enjoyed the world’s best desert racers in action at the 42nd anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Entries came from 26 U.S. States from Hawaii to Connecticut along with the additional countries of Mexico, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Uruguay and the U.S. territory-Guam.

With racing continuing in the elapsed-time race that had a 22-hour time limit until 9:20 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 third time in race history that the pre-race activities and the finish were all held on this historic boulevard.  SCORE officials released the official results following complete data tracking review Sunday morning after the course closed.

The total number of starters (289) was tied for the 12th highest total with 2008 in the 42-year history of the popular race. The starting list included 164 cars and trucks and 125 motorcycles and ATVs.  The total of 192 finishers is the fourth-most number finishers in the event’s 42-year history, for a tremendous 66.4 percent finishing rate.

Johnny Campbell Racing gave American Honda the top two overall motorcycle finishing positions as Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif., gave Honda its 15th overall motorcycle victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with their winning time of 8:47:00 at 49.96mph on a JCR Honda CRF450X.  In the elapsed-time race, they edged the twin Honda CRF450X of teammates Colton Udall and Jeff Kargola of San Clemente, Calif., by just 26 seconds.

It was the fourth overall victory in this race for Norman in the last five years.

For the second time in three years, Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif., rode the fastest ATV in the race, recording a winning time of 10:24:35 on a Honda TRX700XX. Sharing riding duties this year with him this year were Josh Caster, also of El Cajon, and Wes Miller of Fallbrook, Calif.  Their average speed over the boulder-strewn course was 42.15mph.

Andy McMillin, the budding 23-year old superstar has now won three of the last four SCORE races, the 2009 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and this Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with his father Scott, and this past January’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge driving solo.  This victory was also the fourth career SCORE Trophy-Truck race win in his young desert racing career. It was also Andy McMillin’s second class win in this race as he won the unlimited Class 1 with his father in 2005.

For Scott McMillin, 50, who drove the second half of the race, the victory earned him his sixth class win in this race and his third overall victory have won the overall with his late father Corky McMillin in 1983 and 1986 in Class 1.  It was also Scott McMillin’s second career SCORE Trophy-Truck race win, adding to the victory he had in last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 with his son Andy.

After battling closely during the first half to three-quarters of the race with several racers including Rob MacCachren, Robby Gordon and Jesse Jones, the McMillins gradually pulled away and held off Gus Vildosola Jr., B.J. Baldwin and Roger Norman at the end to earn their overall four-wheel victory.  The win gives BFGoodrich Tires is 50th SCORE Baja overall race title.

“It was a smooth day, no problems,” said Andy McMillin at the finish line waiting for his father to finish the race. “I just kind of followed in the dust and waited for the dust to clear and waited for my opportunities to open up. Sooner or later, I was the third truck on the road behind Jesse (Jones) and Robby (Gordon) and Robby went down with a tranny and I was behind Jesse, just trying to make up time on him and get my dad in a good position to capitalize on whatever mistake Jesse did make, if he made one. Jesse drove a stellar race up to where my dad passed him – I think he had a flat or some issue and he was pulled over. We’re starting to click as a team and I think we’re the team to beat if we’re having a good day – and we’ve been having a lot of good days lately.”

The only remaining undefeated car and truck class driver following his third consecutive class win in the 2010 SCORE Desert Series was Dave Caspino, Tarzana, Calif., in a Ford Ranger in Class 6.

Winning their respective motorcycle and ATV classes for the second of three SCORE Baja races here were the teams led by: Matlock, Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 30, Honda CRF450X), Lou Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X), Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev. (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. (Class 50, Honda CRF450X) and Rob Ransford, Chicago (Class 26, Can-Am 4X4).

O’Neal now has 13 class wins in this race.

Winning the unlimited Class 1 and finishing fifth overall among four-wheel vehicles was the team of Steve Appleton, Boise, Idaho and Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., in a Jimco-Chevy.

This popular SCORE early summer race began in 1969 under the auspices of a different organization and SCORE began its enduring run with it on July 26, 1974.  This year will be the 37th anniversary of the first SCORE race in Baja.

In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season.  Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 25th consecutive year, a total of 22 drivers remain eligible after Round 3 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.

Included in the nearly $300,000 in contingency posting and cash purse for the race was the special $10,000 MasterCraft Safety cash contingency bonus for qualified racers in the car and truck classes.

Round 4 of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be the 15th SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 on Sept. 10-12 in Primm, Nev.

Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull-official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, MasterCraft Safety, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.

Additional sponsors in Baja are the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.

In 2010, BFGoodrich Tires is proudly celebrating its 35th year of competing in Baja with SCORE International.

For more information regarding the series, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.

TOP OVERALL FINISHERS

Pro Cars & Trucks

1. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:15:13 (47.42miles per hour) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

2. Gus Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico, Ford F-150, 9:22:14 (46.83mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

3. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 9:34:21 (45.84mph) SCORE Trophy-Truck)

4. Roger Norman, Reno, Nev./Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:34:54 (45.80mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

5. Steve Appleton, Boise, Idaho/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 9:40:29 (45.36mph) (Class 1)

6. Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Chevy Silverado, 9:45:46 (44.95mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

7. Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./John Herder, Tucson, Ariz., Jimco-Chevy, 9:48:29 (45.09mph) (Class 1)

8. Rick D. Johnson/Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Ford F-150, 9:49:49 (44.64mph) SCORE Trophy-Truck)

9. Bryce Menzies/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 10:23:29 (42.23mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

10. Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., Alpha-Chevy, 10:25:35 (42.09mph) (Class 1)

11. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150, 10:25:41 (42.08mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

12. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:26:43 (42.01mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

13. Steve Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., Prill, 10:28:11 (41.91mph) (SCORE Lite)

14. Joe Arzate/Duvalier Alvarez/Adan Leggs, Irvine, Calif., BTC-Subaru, 10:29:18 (41.84mph) (Class 1)

15. Chet Huffman, Northridge, Calif./Jerry Whelchel, Portola Hills, Calif., Chevy C1500, 10:36:08 (41.39mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

16. Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 10:40:47 (41.09mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

16. Adam Householder/Terry Householder, Orange, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 10:40:47 (41.09mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

18. Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 10:54:19 (40.24mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

19. Dennis Boyle, Ventura, Calif./Ross Devlin, Paso Robles, Calif., HMS-Chevy, 10:58:08 (40.01mph) (Class 1)

20. Jason Voss/Rich Voss, Cupertino, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 11:02:51 (39.72mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)

Pro Motorcycles

1. Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:47:00 (49.96mph) (Class 22)

2. Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, San Clemente, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:47:26 (49.92mph) (Class 22)

3. Robert Underwood, Reno, Nev./David Pearson, Panaca, Nev./Ivan Ramirez, Ensenada, Mexico, KTM 450XCW, 9:01:24 (48.63mph) (Class 22)

4. Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico/Shane Esposito, Lake Elsinore, Calif./Brian Pinard, Sun City, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 9:38:20 (45.53mph) (Class 30)

5. Louie Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif./Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Brett Helm, Poway, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Scott Myers, Menifee, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:10:25 (43.13mph) (Class 40)

6. Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas/Rex Cameron, Albuquerque, N.M., Honda CRF450X, 10:27:45 (41.94mph) (Class 30)

7. Sol Saltzman, Vail, Colo./Matthew Karlsen, Denver/Pete Schmidtmann, San Felipe, Mexico/Bill Boyer, Lomita, Calif./Ryan Kudla, Victorville, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:29:11 (41.85mph) (Class 21)

8. Mark Fillebrown, Allentown, Pa./Brandon Prieto, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 10:37:35 (41.29mph) (Class 21)

9. Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif./Doug Heil, Monrovia, Calif./Andy Kirker, Santa Ana, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Steve Willis, Tehachapi, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:40:11 (41.13mph) (Class 50)

10. A.J. Stewart, Jamul, Calif./Bryce Stavron, Palmdale, Calif./Jesse Casillas, Jamul, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:40:17 (41.12mph) (Class 22)

Pro ATVs

1. Wayne Matlock/Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif./Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif., Honda 700XX, 10:24:35 (42.15mph) (Class 25)

2. Javier Robles, Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico/Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico/Felipe Velez, San Felipe, Mexico/Gilberto Ramirez, Tecate, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 11:14:30 (39.03mph) (Class 25)

3. Craig Christy, Burbank, Calif./Dave Scott, Belen, N.M./Andy Lagzdins, Burbank, Calif./Cody Mitchell, Las Vegas, Honda TRX700XX, 11:33:40 (37.96mph) (Class 25)

4. Josh Edwards, Peoria, Ariz./ Travis Dillon, El Cajon, Calif./Robbie Cockrell, Barstow, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 11:40:46 (37.57mph) (Class 25)

5. Roberto Villalobos, Dulzura, Calif./Jorge Acosta, San Diego/Christian Vera, Lemon

Post-race quotes

PRO CARS & TRUCKS

SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK

  ANDY McMILLIN, No 31 (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle. Andy McMillin started and drove to race mile 260 and his father, Scott McMillan, drove from mile 260 to the finish.) – It was a smooth day, no problems. I just kind of followed in the dust and waited for the dust to clear and waited for my opportunities to open up. Sooner or later, I was third truck on the road behind Jesse (Jones) and Robby (Gordon) and Robby went out with a tranny and I was behind Jesse, just trying to make up time on him and get my dad in a good position to capitalize on whatever mistake Jesse did make, if he made one. Jesse drove a stellar race up to where my dad passed him – I think he had a flat or some issue and he was pulled over. We’re starting to click as a team and I think we’re the team to beat if we’re having a good day – and we’ve been having a lot of good days lately.

  SCOTT McMILLIN said: It’s great to be in Ensenada and Andy did a great job. We just make a good team because we love to drive together. He did all the work and he gave the truck to me and I think I was the second truck on the road and didn’t have much dust so I was able to run a clean run. I’m glad to hear that he was a little nervous (waiting at the finish line) because normally I’m waiting at the finish line for him and I hate it.

  GUS VILDOSOLA JR., No. 21 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle. Vildosola drove the entire race.) We had a good pace going and by the time we got to where the driver change was programmed, I think I was eight minutes behind (Jesse) Jones and five minutes behind Andy (McMillin) so we decided if the horse is doing well, then don’t change it. Our biggest disadvantage here was starting 24th. Andy started in the top 10 and Jesse Jones started in the top 10 so going through that many cars in the beginning, I think, kind of wore us down a little bit and it allowed them to escape. Closing that gap on such good drivers and the McMillins and Jesse Jones is difficult but we did what we could but in the end, we’re in second place. We accomplished what we came down here for, which was to finish and finish at our own pace. We had a couple of bad-luck races in Laughlin and San Felipe, where we were doing very well and it’s nice to be at the finish line for a change.

  B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle. Baldwin drove the entire race.) It could have gone much better. This truck just beat the heck out of me all day long. We didn’t have much test time and we couldn’t get the stiffness in the front end worked out of it. I knew it was going to be rough but I didn’t know it was going to be THAT rough. Everybody just left me in the bumps and once I got on the roads, I got them back but there weren’t enough roads for me to get all the way to the front. The nice part is that this thing can be fixed and it can be massaged and it’s going to be killer fast for the SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 (in September). But for a truck that was kind of scraped together in the last 30 days and was barely even done, it did a great job.

  ROGER NORMAN, No. 8 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle. Larry Roeseler started and drove to race mile 198 and Norman drove from mile 198 to the finish.) That’s awesome – I’m so happy to have a good finish after starting 37th. The dust was unbelievable and we just couldn’t get by it. We had a little down time – stopped for about 10 minutes – and (co-driver Larry Roeseler) had one flat tire. Besides that, there were really no issues. After my incident, I really wasn’t in the best of shape mentally so I wasn’t driving real fast. We were going up Mike’s Sky Ranch Road ... and I hit a motorcycle. It was just a real bummer (but) I’m very, very happy to hear he’s OK, though.

  NICK VANDERWEY, No. 84 (Fifth in class. Larry Vanderwey started and drove to mile 150; Curt LeDuc drove from mile 150 to mile 290 and Nick Vanderwey drove from mile 290 to the finish.) We started 34th for the day and we just had a lot of traffic. Larry cut the number of cars in front of him in half and Curt LeDuc got in with 24 and came in with 12 (ahead of him) and now we’re back in fifth. It really felt like the Class 8 days, starting in the back and just working through all those buggies – but in this case it was all SCORE Trophy-Trucks. The course was technical and there was a lot of traffic so that Class 8 experience really paid off. I had no rear brakes since the time I got in the truck. It made it very hard for those tight 90-degree turns out there. But it was a lot of fun and a great day.

  RICK D. JOHNSON, No. 71 (Sixth in class. Bob Shepard started the race and drove to race mile 156 and Johnson drove it to the finish.) It was a lot of dust frustration all day. We had no problems -- just being in the back and maybe not being aggressive enough. Other than just a lot of dust, we didn’t have a flat or any other problems today. It’s just hard being back there because you get caught up in traffic ... but that’s the luck of the draw.

  BRYCE MENZIES, No. 70 (Seventh in class. Menzies started and drove to race mile 360 and Larry Job drove to the finish.) Larry Job said: My teammate, Bryce, did a fantastic job for his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500. He got a little tired and I got in at Santo Tomas and didn’t do anything stupid and here we are with a good finish for the Menzies Motorsports desert program. The first time I drove it was when I got in it at Santo Tomas. It was a great truck.

  ROBBY GORDON, No. 1 (12th in class. Gordon drove the entire race.) – We broke a transmission on Mike’s Sky Ranch Road. I haven’t broken a transmission in years. It’s a disappointment. The guys did a good job and we got it changed in about an hour and a half and I think that’s what we got beat by. I was the second car on the road and on the Mike’s Road we were maybe 15 seconds behind (the leader at the time) and unfortunately it broke. That’s kind of the way it goes, though. We’re obviously working hard but it’s kind of one of those years. Last year we couldn’t do anything wrong and this year we can’t do anything right. It’s always fun to come down here and race and we had a good time.

CLASS 1

  STEVE APPPLETON, No. 101 (First in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Appleton started and drove to race mile 220 and Mike Julson drove from mile 220 to the finish.) – It feels great. Mike (Julson) did a great job. I drove the first half and the car, from Jimco, was working awesome. It was a race to the finish. (Ronnie) Wilson, when (Julson) came into the last pit, they were within one minute of each other and Wilson was taking fuel and he only took one can and took off as soon as Mike was about to pass him and they raced all the way to the finish. Mike passed him somewhere when they got into town. It was awesome – a lot of fun.

  RONNY WILSON, No. 117 (Second in class. John Herder started and drove to race mile 200 and Wilson drove from mile 200 to the finish.) About five miles (from the finish), we made a wrong turn and lost over a minute. It would have been a heck of a shortcut; the locals kind of cleared the way for us – the kids are holding the (course) markers the wrong way. We knew it wasn’t right so we turned around, went back and found the course and that’s when Mike (Julson) got by us. It’s just another Baja race.

  KORY HALOPOFF, No. 108 (Third in class. Halopoff started and drove to race mile 260 and Harley Letner drove from mile 260 to the finish.) Harley had one flat and we had one bad pit stop at (race mile) 95 that put us back a little back. Then, towards (race mile) 170 or 180, the car shut off and I couldn’t figure it out. I don’t know exactly what it was but I switched to the second fuel pump and it ran great from then on. It was pretty rough, dusty ... it was a really tough course compared to other years. It was dustier and rockier.

CLASS 1-2/1600

  BRIAN WILSON, No. 1606 (First in class. Wilson started and drove to race mile 210 and Sammy Ehrenberg drove from mile 210 to the finish.) I got one flat tire – actually, it wasn’t a flat tire; I blew the rim out. I got the lead about 50 miles into and we kept it all the way. I gave it to (Ehrenberg) in first place and he brought it around. Besides my mistake, blowing the wheel apart, it was an awesome day. At one pint, they said we had a 23-minute lead and then about mile marker 170 or 180, we ran out of water in the car and I got dehydrated so we cruised and lost some of the lead, but (Ehrenberg) was able to get in the car and keep the lead the entire way.

SCORE LITE

  STEVEN EUGENIO, No. 1203 (First in class. Eugenio started and drove to race mile 290 and Adam Pfankuch drove from mile 290 to the finish.) I was by all the (Class) 10 cars by Ojos and just cruised it from there. I gave the car to Adam and he brought it in with no problems. This is my second win in Baja – I don’t know how many Adam has. We’re going to be back all next year doing it again. We’ll have an all-new car and an all-new team.   

PRO MOTORCYCLES

CLASS 22

  KENDALL NORMAN, No. 1x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Norman started and drove to race mile 95; Quinn Cody drove from RM 95 to RM 200 and Norman rode from RM 200 to the finish.) I got the physical lead before I left the wash. There was one bike in front of me and I was able to get him and then I had really clean air. We didn’t have a single problem all day – which is pretty darn amazing considering how tough and gnarly this course is. I’m just really tired but it feels to be here in one piece and then to get my fourth Baja 500 win. When things are going good it seems like things just keep going good. Our JCR Honda was unreal out there – we didn’t miss a beat. I can’t say enough about my team; I wouldn’t be here without them. There was a lot of traffic, a lot of spectators – pretty much every obstacle imaginable but I dealt with it today.

  COLTON UDALL, No. 12x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Udall started and rode to race mile 96; Jeff Kargola rode from mile 96 to 260 and Udall rode from mile 260 to the finish.) – We had a real quick tire change that helped us pass (third-place bike No. 10x). It probably took them a minute to change the tire whereas is took us about 30 seconds. It was really rough out there, it was really long and it took it out of me. We got whooped by the ‘A’ team (teammate Kendall Norman) and I’m kind of bummed about that, but congratulations to them.

  ROBERT UNDERWOOD, No. 10x (Third in class and third overall motorcycle to finish. Ivan Ramirez started and rode to race mile 100. David Pearson rode from mile 100 to 200. Ramirez rode from mile 200 to 260. Pearson rode from mile 260 to 290. Underwood rode from mile 290 to 370 and Ramirez rode from mile 370 to the finish.) I was in the dust and I kept on telling myself that anyone can finish second down here to Honda so I wanted to win. I was riding over my head, I guess, and hit a rock and went through a barbed-wired fence. My knee hurts real bad – I think I tore some stuff up in there.

CLASS 21

  SOL SALTZMAN, No. 101x (First in class. Saltzman shared riding duties with Matthew Carlson, Pete Schmidtmann, Bill Boyer and Ryan Kudla.) It was awesome out there. The only problem I had was losing my muffler – that, and my rear tire (which was chewed up). That explains why I was sliding everywhere on the way (to the finish line).

CLASS 20

  JASON TRUBEY, No. 151x (First in class. Trubey shared riding duties with Carl Maasberg, Jermey Purvines and Ron Purvines.) It was an up and down day. We had some issues, a crash, but the bike ran perfectly all day. We’re trying to figure out what we have to do to make that thing last for 1,000 miles for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. It’s a little tired right now so we’ve got some logistical issues to work out before the next race. We would have liked to have had a better overall finish ... but two wins in a row in our class is pretty good.

CLASS 30

  FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, No. 305x (First in class and fourth overall motorcycle to finish. Septien shared riding duties with Shane Esposito and Brian Pinard.) I think that the luck was on our side this day because (the other riders in the class) were running pretty fast. I haven’t gone through the summit in a couple of years so it was like new to me. I’m not that good in the rocks but I couldn’t do it without Shane.

CLASS 40

  LOUIE FRANCO, No. 407x (First in class and fifth overall motorcycle to finish. Franco shared riding duties with Ricky Johnson, Brett Helm, Jeff Kaplan and Scott Myers.) It was rough, dusty and miserable but all my boys did their job and we got the thing to the finish and nobody flipped it. Everybody had a prefect ride. I did the best I could because it was so dusty and I couldn’t see anything and I didn’t want to throw it away. The track wasn’t nasty but you just couldn’t see because of all of the dust.

CLASS 50

  JIM O’NEAL, No. 500x (First in class. O’Neal shared riding duties with Andy Kirker, Doug Heil, Jeff Kaplan and Steve Willis.) Andy Kirker said: I wear contact lenses and one of them fell out and I could hardly see so I was struggling. But this Honda ran great all day. I wasn’t scheduled to the finish; I was supposed to give up the bike earlier but they weren’t ready for the change and they waved me on. I fell once. The rear tire was down to the cords and I was sliding everywhere; I ended up sliding into a ditch. But the whole package is really all about getting across the finish line first and that’s what we did.

PRO ATVs

CLASS 25

  WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 1a (First in class and first overall ATV to finish. Matlock started and rode to race mile 77. Josh Caster rode from mile 77 to mile 200; Matlock rode from 200 to 250; Wes Miller rode from mile 250 to 402; and Matlock rode from mile 402 to the finish.) The race was really good. It was definitely a challenging course. We had some problems in the beginning of the course and had some slip-ups in the pits. After that, we put our heads down and everybody did their job and here we are. It was a pretty beat-up course this time but it was fun. I’d like to thank all of my teammates for getting the quad back up there and working hard and got us up into first place. 

CLASS 24

  ROBERTO VILLALOBOS, No. 117a (First in class and fifth overall ATV to finish. Villalobos shared riding duties with Jorge Acosta.) Jorge Acosta said: When Roberto was out there around race mile 160 or 170, he passed every single (Class 24 ATV) but then he fell and we had a little problem with the suspension. We got that fixed and had no other problems. The engine worked great. This is my first SCORE win in Baja and it feels good. (Were you surprised you were able to start 17th and still win?) I obviously know Roberto is a good rider and I have a good bike and I don’t think I ride bad at all.

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