CENTRIX Financial Teams Finish in Top-Five Positions of The Baja Challenge Class in The 2004 Tecate Score Baja 1000
Third consecutive victory for Team CENTRIX
Centennial, CO - November 22, 2004 - Team CENTRIX entries locked up the top five finishing positions in the CENTRIX Financial Baja Challenge (BC) class of the 2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race with current Champ Car driver Michel Jourdain Jr., his father Michel Jourdain Sr., and uncles Bernard Jourdain and Jean Pierre Jourdain bringing the BC4 car in for the family's first win, giving Team CENTRIX its third consecutive BC class victory.
"We are smooth," said Michel Jourdain Jr., referring to the fact that his team had not blown any tires during the 1000-mile event on the rough terrain. "Winning with my family makes this even more special; we had a great time. Bob Sutton and everyone at Team CENTRIX put together a great group of drivers and that's evident since all five teams finished in the top-five."
CENTRIX Financial, a national financial services firm, was an event sponsor for the first time as well as sponsor of the CENTRIX Financial Baja Challenge class. The BC class featured 12 identically-equipped, Porsche-powered Baja Touring cars shod with BFGoodrich tires prepared by Todd Clement and his team at Wide Open Baja.
"I'm proud of Team CENTRIX's performance with our drivers finishing first through fifth - we were all winners today," said Robert E. Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CENTRIX Financial, after his fourth place finish. "We recruited a skilled team of drivers from many disciplines and they proved up to be up to the task, with the Jourdain family bringing home a victory for Team CENTRIX. This was truly a unique event that tested our strength, endurance and commitment to teamwork like nothing else, and I want to congratulate everyone who participated in the 2004 Baja Challenge class."
Finishing second for Team CENTRIX was 1985 Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan, Champ Car driver Oriol Servia and retired Indy Racing League driver Roberto Guerrero. Despite being sidelined for two hours due to damage sustained early in the race, 2004 Champ Car World Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais and US D1 Drifting Championship driver and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner Rhys Millen finished third.
"It was a cool experience," said Bourdais. "I had a good time. I caught Michel (Jourdain Jr.) after 70 miles and it was looking good but I started to have a misfire and was concentrating on that and didn't see the ditch until I hit it. It broke the rear lower A-arm and we lost almost two hours. Once it was fixed I drove to San Felipe where Rhys (Millen) took over and continued to make up some time to finish third. Overall it was great fun!"
Sutton, who won the event in 2002 and 2003, finished fourth with co-drivers Paul Newman, co-owner of Champ Car World Series team Newman/Haas Racing, Pikes Peak Hill Climb Winner Rod Millen and Jeff Zwart, Rally Driver and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner. After reluctantly handing the driving duties to a teammate Newman remarked "You know, I think I like dirt more than asphalt."
Five-time Baja 1000 winner Ryan Thomas and his teammates David Sutton, Ryan Millen and Wally Fisk finished fifth for Team CENTRIX. The race began on Thursday, November 18 at Mexico's Baja Peninsula and ended Saturday at approximately 12 noon PT in the southern town of La Paz. Over 300 racers competed for three days over 1,000 miles through the region's rugged terrain, pristine beaches and rustic towns. Thirty US states and 10 countries were represented.
About CENTRIX Financial, LLC
CENTRIX Financial, founded in 1990, is a financial services firm that offers innovative lending products focused on the auto finance industry through its nationwide network of auto dealerships and more than 200 financial institutions. CENTRIX has underwritten more than 150,000 loans totaling more than $2.0 billion since 1998. CENTRIX is the Official Auto Finance Company of NASCAR.