Baja 1000: Post-race notes

110 views

Sal Fish, SCORE CEO and President It's very special being here at the 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. I hope I can do this for another 10 years and be here or in La Paz for our 50th anniversary. If you look at the times, how ...

Sal Fish, SCORE CEO and President
It's very special being here at the 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. I hope I can do this for another 10 years and be here or in La Paz for our 50th anniversary. If you look at the times, how close some of these classes were after running 1,300 miles, it is just fantastic. I can't really put into words I am feeling right now, but I am filled with incredible gratitude to all of our amazing SCORE race crew. And it would take me 40 years to thank every single racer who has made SCORE what it is today. Please accept my heartfelt thank you!

General

-The 424 starters were the second most in race history (431 last year).

-The 239 finishers were the most ever in race history (previous record 234 last year)

-The 56.4% finishing rate is the 10th highest all-time for this race. Of the 40 races, the finishing rate has ranged from 25.6% (in 1978) to 70.2% (in 2000). This marked the 19th time that at least 50% of the starters have finished. The aggregate percentage for the 40 races is 49.59% (5,053 finishers, 10,189 finishers).

-The field set a SCORE all-time race record for both number of states (44; all except for Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota) and number of countries (20; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States of America, Yugoslavia, Wales).

This year 27 racers attempted to finish the course as a solo driver or rider, and six successfully accomplished their goal (15x Gabriel Williams, 48x Greg Godfrey, 281x Todd Harrison, 290x Colby Brinnon, 54a John Crowley, 309x James Curzon). Last year 37 individuals attempted to finish the 1,048 miles by themselves, with 16 succeeding.

-Four vehicles averaged at least 50 miles per hour for the entire course; 1x Robby Bell, 3 Mark Post, 14x -Tim Morton and 4 Gus Vildosola. Last year two motorcycles surpassed the 50 mph average but five trucks accomplished it.

-The 2007 SCORE Baja 1000 finished in Cabo San Lucas for just the second time in the history of this race. There were six individuals who have won both times the course has done the Ensenada-Cabo San Lucas route; Troy Herbst (Class 1), Steve Hengeveld (Class 22), Johnny Campbell (Class 22), Craig Adams (Class 40), Chris Haines (Class 40 in 2000, Class 50 in 2007) and Richard Jackson (Class 50 in 2000, Class 60 in 2007).

Pro Cars & Trucks

SCORE Trophy-Truck

Post and MacCachren claimed their third class win of the season (along with the SCORE Baja 250 and the Las Vegas Terrible's Cup III), winning every alternating event on the schedule. The duo also won the SCORE Overall Point Championship, becoming the first SCORE Trophy-Truck to garner that honor. One of just four SCORE Trophy-Trucks to complete all six events this season, they are the only one to have a top five finish in each as well. The class victory gave both drivers their seventh career race title, tying them for fifth place along with Robby Gordon. MacCachren has now won five SCORE Baja 1000 titles (two in Class 1 and two in Class 1-2/1600 before this year) while Post collected his first. MacCachren also duplicated his feat of winning the SCORE Trophy-Truck season championship (he won the inaugural title in 1994), making him just the third season champion to win multiple titles.

Baldwin entered the race just one point behind Post and MacCachren for the season point championship. Baldwin held a slim lead at the Bay of LA (around race mile 517) before falling behind.

Nineteen vehicles finished out of the 29 starters, the most finishers in this class in race history. In 2006, 16 of 31 starters crossed the finish line while in 2005, 17 of 30 did so. In 2004, 14 of 24 took the checkered flag and in 2003, 13 of the 24 finished. This marked the fourth straight year that a different SCORE Trophy-Truck team has won the SCORE Baja 1000 following a stretch of five years (2000-2004) which saw just two different winners.

Class 1

Roeseler won his third class title this season (along with the SCORE Baja 250 and Terrible's Primm 300).This was also his 16th SCORE Baja 1000 victory, good for the second most ever, extending the winning streak to four straight years here.

Billy Gasper finished in fifth place in this race, which ensured him the 2007 season points championship for the class. He entered the race with a 16-point lead over Roeseler, Ronny Wilson and Eric Chase. Roeseler's victory earned him 15 more points than Gasper, leading to a one-point margin for the season total in Gasper's favor. Gasper was one of only three racers to have completed every event, and with the exception of the Terrible's Primm 300 he had a top 10 finish each time (one of only two racers with five top-10 placings).

Class 1-2/1600

Ramirez became the sixth different driver to collect a class win this season (in six races). In the SCORE Baja 1000 history of this class, there have been different winners in each of the last six years. Ramirez won by a slim margin of just 70 seconds.

Class 3

For the sixth straight season, Donald Moss has won this class in the SCORE Baja 1000 race. Moss also was victorious in this year's SCORE Baja 500 and Terrible's Primm 300, but this ended a run of five consecutive season point championships, with that honor belonging to Dylan Evans (who placed second in the SCORE Baja 1000). Moss also won his 25th career class victory.

Class 5

Drew Belk became the fourth different racer to win a class title in the five races this season. This was his fourth consecutive top-five finish in the SCORE Baja 1000, having finished second, fifth and fourth leading up to this year.

Class 5/1600

Ernesto Arambula won a SCORE Baja 1000 class title for the fourth time. He won in this class twice before (in 1987 and 1996), while claiming a Class 7 victory in 1988. In the past four years in the SCORE Baja 1000 he has placed fourth, second, seventh and third before getting the win this season.

Class 7

Don Chamlee sealed the points championship with his second victory of the season (also having won the SCORE Baja 500). After placing second two straight times in the SCORE Baja 1000 (in 2003 and 2004), Chamlee has now won for the second consecutive year.

Class 7S

Mike Horner won for the third time this season, adding to his trophies from the SCORE Baja 250 and the Laughlin Desert Challenge. The victory marks the fourth career SCORE Baja 1000 win for Horner, who previously won in 1985, 2002 and 2003.

Class 7SX

Noe Sierra became the fourth unique winner (out of five races) in the 2007 SCORE Desert Series with the class win.

Class 8

Glen Greer ended the year strong, winning both the Terrible's Primm 300 as well as the SCORE Baja 1000.

Class 9

The course was not kind to Class 9 vehicles, as of the three starters, only one made it to the first BFG pit (race mile 121), and the one that did, Gary Dixon, was unable to reach the third pit (race mile 321).

Class 10

Cullen was bound to win the SCORE Baja 1000 after improving from eighth place in 2004 to third in 2006 to his first place finish this year. He is the fourth unique winner among this year's six races.

SCORE Lite

Noe entered the SCORE Baja 1000 with a lead in the season points race despite the fact he had yet to win this year, as five others had won the five competitions. Noe had all top 10 finishes this season, including four in the top four. With his second straight SCORE Baja 1000 victory, he became the first ever defending champion to repeat since the class started in 1997.

Class 11

Ramon Fernandez must have wanted to be the last official finisher of the 40th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000 -- what else could explain his finish time of 53 hours exactly, which just happens to be the time limit for every vehicle (meaning one second later and he would not have been considered an official finisher).

Stock Full

Chad Hall ended the season the same way his brother Josh began the year -- by winning a Stock Full race. Josh won in Laughlin in January, while Chad won a SCORE Baja 1000 title for the sixth time (also in 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004). The win also means that one of the three Halls (the two brothers plus father, legendary racer, and one of this year's Grand Marshals, Rod) has been the driver of record on the winning team in the SCORE Baja 1000 for the seventh straight year and 11th time in the 15 years of this class' history.

Stock Mini

Rod Hall won for the fourth time in five races this year in Stock Mini. The all-time leader in class championships in SCORE Baja 1000 races, Hall extended his title total to nineteen. He won in the first ever edition of this race (in Production, 4wd class) in 1967, and with the exception of 1970-1977, has never gone more than three years without winning a SCORE Baja 1000 title. He is one of just two racers to compete in all 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races.

Protruck

Johnson became the fourth different winner in the five races this season. He won the SCORE Baja 1000 for the third time in four years, also crossing the line first in 2004 and 2006, meaning he has won the last three times the course has ended in Baja California Sur. Nuckles was also part of the winning team in 2005 (with Jeff Dickerson).

Class 17

Mike Shaffer became the first in Class 17 to finish a race this year, taking the checkered flag ahead of the only other competitor to complete a race this season (Norman Cesena Jr.). Shaffer also won the SCORE Baja 1000 last year, and his two wins are the most by any racer in this class (which began in 2003 but had no official finishers in 2004 or 2005).

Jeepspeed

Ted Holt was the only starter in the inaugural Jeepspeed race in the SCORE Baja 1000, but was unable to finish.

Baja Challenge

Jim Christensen became the fourth different winner in this class in the last four years of the SCORE Baja 1000. Amazingly, all 18 starters were able to complete the course in the allotted time, doubling the finish rate from 2006 (last year 10 of the 20 starters were able to finish).

Pro Motorcycles

Class 22

The American Honda team won by a "mere" one hour, 18 minutes and 55 seconds over the next fastest motorcycle. Bell completed the sweep this season of the three races in Baja, winning each one. As has been the case every year since 1993 (when Ivan Stewart was the fastest overall finisher), a motorcycle clocked the fastest time in this race. This year's margin was over an hour quicker than the first SCORE Trophy-Truck, marking the biggest time difference since 1991. The win was the 18th time a Honda has won the SCORE Baja 1000 and extended the streak to 11 straight years.

Individually, the riders padded their impressive resumes with this victory. Johnny Campbell claimed his 10th SCORE Baja 1000 title, and all 10 times he was the overall fastest finisher. Hengeveld kept pace with him with his 10th victory in this race, and extended his current winning streak to six consecutive years. This was the seventh time Hengeveld was part of the overall fastest team, second only to Campbell in that department.

Class 21

Arredondo got the win, quite an improvement over his 11th-place showing at the SCORE Baja 500. Second-place finisher Carlos Casas had won the other two races this season. This marked the third straight SCORE Baja 1000 race with a different winner, following a period of six years with just two different winners.

Class 20

This class was reinstated as part of the SCORE Baja 1000 last year after an 11-year hiatus. Ryan Penhall took the checkered flag, completing his sweep of the three races this season.

Class 30

Jim O'Neal took a stab at Class 30, after winning three classes in last year's SCORE Baja 1000, and the result was the same -- another victory. Combined with his 2004 and 2005 wins, he now has claimed six SCORE Baja 1000 victories in four different classes. The 61-year old rider has won in Class 30, 40, 50 and 60. All 11 starters completed the course in the allotted time, compared to 11 of 15 last year.

Class 40

Brett Helm led the pack, with a class victory of over one hour faster than the next competitor in Class 40. Helm is the only racer to win since 1998 other than Chris Haines (winner every year between 1999 and 2003) and Jim O'Neal (winner in 2004, 2005, 2006) in this class. All 15 starters were official finishers, a vast improvement from last year's 40% rate (four of 10 starters completed the race).

Class 50

Chris Haines' win meant that three unique racers won the three different races on this year's schedule. Haines is starting a new win streak in the SCORE Baja 1000 as he collected his 13th career victory in this race. First winning in 1987, he added four more victories in a five-year span before reeling off seven consecutive from 1999 to 2005.

Class 60

This class saw three different winners in the three races this season. Jackson outlasted Donald Lewis, the winner of both last year's SCORE Baja 1000 as well as this season's SCORE Baja 250.

Pro ATVS

Class 25

Prather won all three races this season, giving him five consecutive victories in SCORE races (also won last year's SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000). This marks the first time since 1991-92 that a racer has been able to successfully defend their title in Class 25 in the SCORE Baja 1000. His margin of victory was less than 10 minutes.

Class 24

Francisco Servin posted nearly an eight-hour victory over the next fastest finisher in the class. Servin won for the second time this year, as he was also victorious in the next longest race, the SCORE Baja 500.

-credit: score intl

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCORE