SMD Ford Power Stroke Excursion wins Baja Mex 300.
After 1 ½ years of development and learning how to drive the 810 lb SUV we found the Finish Line 1st in Stock SUV Class.
This was the 1st ever Best in The Desert BAJA MEX 300 Race by Casey Folks. BITD is the primary series we race in Nevada and promoter Casey Folks 1st foray into Mexico but defiantly not his last!
This was one of the most technically challenging courses we have raced.
Father Steve (45) and Son Matt (19) teamed up for the driving chore.
Steve driving with Carlo Caya riding right seat almost ended the day early with a roll over at Mile Marker 5! However the LAST racer in the race stopped and pulled us back over. The Power Stroke Diesel fired up right away even after being on its side for 15 minutes. (Spectators commented it looked like a beached whale). After re stashing our extensive supply of spare parts and tools that spilled every where in the Rollover we where off.. Dead Last in class and the race.
We kept a steady pace and never had another problem, even in the VERY technical part between mile marker 30 and 50.
Our crew reported our nemesis ACE Expedition was down for welding repairs at Valle de Trinidad.
We left Valle de Trinidad 10 minutes behind the ACE Expedition!
Steve snagged a rock a tore a side wall in the curves section between Valle de Trinidad and Llano Colorado.
(side note) We can not say enough about the reliability and toughness of our BF Goodrich Tires and our APP Rims. We only get flats when the driver makes a mistake and snags a rock!
At Race Mile 167 Llano Colorado Steve Handed the Excursion over to Son Matt and Right Seat Pete Albano. Still about 20 minutes behind the ACE Expedition , we had passed the Sunderland Bronco earlier while he effected repairs.
At the driver Change we noticed the eccentric for the right upper ball joint was working its way out. A couple of quick blows with the hammer by Crew Chief Rod Goodsell and we thought we had it fixed.
Between Pit 4 and 5 Excursion reports ACE Expedition on the side of the track, with ACE Team owner and Driver Stein eating a sandwich, (sounds serious!) as Co Driver fixing something on front end..
Before Erinidra Pit 5 The Excursion radioed in reported a clanking on the Right Front. At the Erinidra pit we found the eccentric had come completely out! Into the extensive spare parts box of the Excursion.. However because of the rollover all the spare parts where everywhere! Just when we where about to give up finding the spare eccentric Steve (now chase / pit man) looks under the passenger seat and sitting there in plain site was the spare eccentric. Quick beat it in, weld it so it will not come out and off to the finish line.
Between Erindira Pit 5 and Pit 6 Matt and Pete pass the last Expedition broke down and we are in the lead!
At Pit 6 (last Pit) we air down the BFG tires to 28 lbs.. Because of some know soft sand washes just before the finish.
The Sunderland Bronco is about 20 minutes behind us..
Matt and Pete encounter 1 intentional mud hole by locals (booby trap, common in Mexico) get out of that unscathed and cruise to the finish and the win!
After much celebration and Matt and Pete jumping up and down on the roof at the Finish line (I guess that's why Ford sent us 3 spare roofs) it was off to the ESTERO beach Restaurant for our Team Dinner and Celebration. Since most teams where at the Estero Resort for the race it was a mostly all OFF Road race teams.
This Joyous day was interrupted just before Midnight when after race celebrants lead by the nefarious Greg Foutz and BITD Boss / promoter Casey Folks decided to go room to room and awaken any sleeping Racers. Steve was startled out of a dead sleep to find Greg Foutz and Casey Folks jumping up and down on his bed with accolades of congratulations with 30 - 40 on lookers.. !!