Bryce Menzies EARNS 7th at the 42nd SCORE Baja 500 among World Class Desert Racers LAS VEGAS- Bryce Menzies spent the past two weeks in the wilds of the Baja Peninsula preparing for the 2010 SCORE Tecate Baja 500. This past Saturday, the Las...
Bryce Menzies EARNS 7th at the 42nd SCORE Baja 500 among World Class Desert Racers
LAS VEGAS- Bryce Menzies spent the past two weeks in the wilds of the Baja Peninsula preparing for the 2010 SCORE Tecate Baja 500. This past Saturday, the Las Vegas standout kicked off Menzies Motorsports foray into the Baja desert racing scene as the #70 SCORE Trophy Truck lurched from the start line set alongside the Pacific Ocean in the historic downtown Ensenada, Baja California.
After 438-miles of torture through the extreme terrain of Mexico's remote peninsula, Bryce Menzies had earned a top ten finish among the world's top off road desert racers. Driving the #70 SCORE Trophy Truck to an impressive 7th place finish in his first SCORE Baja race, the performance by Menzies Motorsports has sent a message to the world of desert racing. The "Big Red Machine" has arrived to SCORE International desert racing.
Baja racing is much more than just desert racing. It is a heritage that dates back over four decades and includes the likes of Parnelli Jones, Ivan Stewart, Jimmy Johnson, Robby Gordon and more. Bryce Menzies has now etched his name into the record books for the first time in what is only the beginning of the Menzies Motorsports legacy of Baja off road racing.
The 42nd edition of the SCORE Tecate Baja 500 was not for the faint of heart. This race is the second oldest desert race in the world and was held in front of 100,000 spectators who lined the 438-mile racecourse throughout the Baja Peninsula. With entries from around the world, this year's race was arguably one of the toughest SCORE Baja 500's in recent history. The Baja Peninsula suffered through one of the most rainy winter seasons in over a decade and that coupled with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake only one month before the race, much of this season's race course near the summit was littered with destruction from the intense Easter Sunday earthquake.
This year's SCORE Baja 500 saw a whopping 39 SCORE Trophy Trucks take the green flag, charging into the mountains and deserts of Mexico in search of greatness. Facing his first ever Baja racing experience, Bryce Menzies took note of the surroundings and put it all into perspective.
Bryce explained, "It's Baja, but it's still racing. We race for a living each and every weekend and our team took it as just another race. We tried not to get caught up in all the frenzy surrounding this huge event and we hit the racecourse to do what we do all the time. Once we got untangled from near disaster in the first 10 miles, things just came together. I was fortunate to have help from Jesse Jones, Brian Collins, B.J. Baldwin and others that really have the experience racing in Baja and the advice they gave me led the way for a tremendous race."
During the two weeks leading up to the race, Bryce Menzies, put himself into a desert racing crash course of sorts, as he and his co-driver, Pete Mortensen, racked up the prerun miles day in and day out.
"This was our first race in Baja and we knew we had to do our homework each and everyday. We also had to make the Menzies Motorsports Trophy Truck Prerunner last through the abuse of logging a couple thousand miles. We had to overcome some obstacles, but that's all in the definition of desert racing," said the smiling navigator, Pete Mortensen.
As race day got closer and the race course began to take shape, it was evident that the SCORE Baja 500 was going to be anything but an easy task. With a crew of 16 spread out along the race course in 5 different chase vehicles, the #70 Menzies Motorsports race truck blazed from the start line in 29th position. Bryce carefully weaved his way through the thick Baja dust lingering in the valleys outside of Ensenada.
By the time they reached race mile 80, Bryce had already made up time on a slew of teams suffering early problems. The duo made their way up to the summit and crested to the Eastern side of the rugged Baja Peninsula, descending to the hot desert floor at Laguna Salada. Once they were fueled, it was a solid run through the Borrego desert before turning west towards the Pacific coast.
Chasing the glossy red #70 through the desert was team owner, Steve Menzies. "The boys did good all day long. We chased them across the peninsula and they really had a clean run. It was a great learning experience for the entire team and to top it off we had a great finish. I'm proud of Bryce and the team coming together to tackle one of the greatest races ever in off road desert racing."
Once Bryce cleared the Pacific Ocean he turned the truck over to Baja racing veteran, Larry Job, who wheeled the race truck into the finish without any issues as navigator, Pete Mortensen, called the obstacles and turns from the right seat.
"Bryce gave me the race truck in near perfect condition. After racing more than 350 miles in difficult terrain, I expected the truck to be beat up. However, the handling of the truck was incredible and we had a solid run to the checkers," said a smiling Larry Job after climbing from the MasterCraft 3G driver's seat.
Embracing his son and smiling proudly, Steve Menzies commented, "We have to take this all in and realize this is something special. I'm so excited for the team to have a solid run in our first Baja race. We'll be back here again and hopefully we'll have our turn in the top spot."
On June 25-26, the "Big Red Machine" will kick off a weekend of short course racing in beautiful Tooele, Utah at the exquisite Miller Motorsports Park for Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2010 Lucas Oil Off Road Series season.