Baja 500: Post race quotes, part 1

PRO CARS & TRUCKS SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK 12 Larry Ragland (class winner, 1st place overall four-wheeled vehicle) Quote by Brian Collins, co-driver with Ragland It was great -- anytime you get winner overall it's a great day. Everything worked...

PRO CARS & TRUCKS

SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK

12 Larry Ragland (class winner, 1st place overall four-wheeled vehicle)

Quote by Brian Collins, co-driver with Ragland It was great -- anytime you get winner overall it's a great day. Everything worked real well, we had one flat tire, threw it on the rack, left Billy out there in the desert with a bunch of guys but they'll bring him home. Larry got the flat tire about the last couple of mile coming into the finish line. (There were) no troubles other than the flat tire it was a terrific day. It was a tough course -- it was really good though, nearly perfect. I was just waiting for BJ (Baldwin) -- I don't know where he was at.

71 Robby Gordon (2 place in class, 2nd place overall four-wheeled vehicle) I didn't have any trouble with the course. I passed Mark Post just dropping back in the dirt here and I think I'm going to beat him 5 minutes from the dirt to here. I followed him from Uruapan - it was the difference to win or lose him; one time he got stuck and I hit him in the left front and he wouldn't move over. It was very hard to pass him. I only passed Mark about 15 miles out. We knew we were close -- we knew we would be about 13 minutes behind physically -- it's just unfortunate when you start back like that, you can't win - it's just impossible -- it was hard to pass -- very technical course but very good for our truck. No, there weren't other drivers - I drove the whole way; it was a very, very fast course.

1 BJ Baldwin (3rd place in class, 3rd place overall four-wheeled vehicle) I should have just tried to take the championship. He was 15 seconds behind me coming into town and I know he can beat me coming into town -- it's like running the alphabet backwards. Yes, I rolled it several times -- I ran on the side and a Jeep pulled me over and then I had to change a flat. It's sort of a disadvantage starting up front because you have a course full of motorcycles. Compared to prior years it is a much more technical race -- especially since I drive the whole thing alone.

3 Mark Post (4th place in class, 4th place overall four-wheeled vehicle) We checked the time. We're not sure when we crossed the finish line but we think its real close. The track was packed -- I got stuck in the silt back there, Robby got out there with me. We almost left it out there in the silt; we were stuck and couldn't see. The sun hit me right in the eyes going up the hill and we couldn't see at all. Then I got off line and we got stuck, thank god we were able to wiggle and get out of there or we'd all still be there. It was a very tough Baja 500 though I'll tell you, when that sun was eyeball height coming into the finish I knew Robby was coming in. I let him by on the pavement just to give him a shot at it because I knew I was a little bit out of it. I'll take a strong finish and we'll try to go for the championship this year and it was a good finish to get.

86 Josh Baldwin (5th place in class, 5th place overall four-wheeled vehicle) Yea, we had a drive shaft problem. We had to change the drive shaft and then our tranny kept slipping all day. We pulled into a pit and got two things of tranny fluid, put it in and kept putting tranny fluid in it all day. I think we just had an air bubble in the line. The same thing happened to me in the Baja 1000 last year too. Topped it off with fluid in the pit -- it was awesome. We're building a new truck -- we're going to have a new truck for next year. This old girl - she still hangs in there. We had some trouble with the pre-running with puncture flats on the tires from the sticks.

17 David Scaroni (6th place in class, 6th place overall four-wheeled vehicle) The course was fun with a little bit of everything. We had tight technical stuff in the last section and we had wide open fast road so it was a little bit of both and just a perfect Baja race. Sal couldn't have done a better job marking this race course and we owe a lot to him.

4 Gus Vildosola (9th place in class, 9th place overall four-wheeled vehicle) Fantastic -- very long, very tough course very demanding but extremely satisfying at the same time. We had a wheel break out in the Mike's loop and actually had the center of the wheel stay on the truck and the rest of the wheel took off so we had no brakes in the rear for the race since mile 220. My son drove half way and I drove the second half. Right after Mike's he lost the wheel.

28 Alan Pflueger (10th place in class, 10th place overall four-wheeled vehicle) -- We drove half and half. I started the race and got out at mile marker 250 and then Ricky Johnson, our second driver drove the rest of the way. We got in the silt bed and I just didn't want to get stuck in the silt bed and be slowed down and then that one car hit me. He didn't see me, I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, we were all blinded.

Quote by Ricky Johnson (second driver for Pflueger) This course was very challenging. This was awesome. It was really challenging. The new sections threw up a lot of silt, a little hairy sometimes, saw one bike go down, thought he disappeared but we were able to slow down and not run him over which is good. We just had one problem. We had a transmission over heat so Alan and Mike did an awesome job, brakes were good. Just one of those things when you're racing a truck that hard - transmission overheats, you have to change it. We're doing two things here -- goal # 1 was to win the race which we didn't do and goal # 2 was to get out and win the championship and you have to finish. We were down for almost an hour -- not only the transmission but the drive line, too. Got passed by a lot of people but at that point you have to make sure that you finish -- you lose the track position and at that point it was somebody else's race to lose not ours to win. I started driving at mile 255. This course had a lot more silt than the course last year -- the V8's and the amount of time allowed for free run really chews up the course. And I'm guilty of it -- when you have that much open space you want to open it up and let it run but when you do that you really mess up the course. I was lucky today because I didn't get caught in much dust -- my main competition was already gone

SCORE INTERNATIONAL TRUCK

81i Mark Miller (1st place in class) The course was very difficult - our strategy from the beginning was to go easy for the first 100 miles, pick it up for the second 100 if it was still super rough but just try to keep it in increments - keep going. Then the third hundred and then what happened at the finish was we got caught behind one car and couldn't pass him for 50 miles -- he was going half speed and it was unlucky in that way because if we would have had an open road we would have done some business. That's just the luck of when you start in the back -- that can happen. We didn't have a gap in the right place -- that's just how it works. You can't believe the abuse this thing took -- I can't believe I can even stand up right now. It's the roughest thing that this car has ever done.

83i Giniel De Villers (2nd place in class) The course was pretty good. The biggest thing for us was at the end was with the dust and then we were unlucky; we had a problem with our right rear tire; we had a slow puncture in one tire we had to change at the service point so we decided to replace all four tires. Then we got caught in a bad place in a section where we were very good but there were some in front of us that were slower and we could not pass so we were stuck the last 150 kilometers - but other than that it went pretty well. We were very good in the silty section and the twisty section but not so good in the bumpy section. Some parts of the course I did not enjoy but there were other sections I did enjoy driving.

CLASS 1

106 BJ Richardson (1st place in class) The race was long for me today. I was the only driver and leading in points right now. The course compared to last year was very tough. I was sick all day yesterday with the flu. I went to the hospital and I'm just really happy to be here right now.

108 Luis Ramirez, Jr. (4th place in class) Jim Meihul speaking -- Incredible! I took it in from 286 all the way in -- wow --really technical, a lot of dust, just a great course.

105 Bill Gasper (7th place in class)

Quote by Dave Gasper, Co-driver It was a good race. We only had one flat. We got hung up at the end of the race for the last 30 miles -- pretty much the same track as before except for the new section. It was pretty tight and technical and the silt bed was being beat up by the drivers. Actually we had two flat tires but we weren't down very long. We got in at mile 186.

CLASS 1-2/1600

1611 David Caspino (1st place in class) I got it out in front and I never looked back. It's been 10 years. It's been a long time. A lot of second (-place finishes), one first.

Quote from co-driver Don Johnson "What a hell of a last leg. That Eero-pan section was something else. A lot of dust. A lot of silt. It took a lot of concentration. (To win this race on this course) you have to drive the damn car. I took over at Santilmo.

1649 Blaise Jackson (2nd place in class) I got a flat tire. It was just a silly flat tire. That messed us up. Mike took over driving at Trinidad the second time.

Quote by co-driver Mike Sandoval We might have won it. I think it's very close on time. (Toward the end of the race) there were cars parked everywhere out there. The course was fun, but it was not the (most fun) course I've done in the last 20 years.

CLASS 5

519 Luivan Voelker (1st place in class) quote by co-driver Carlos Albanez I drove from Via Trinidad down here. No trouble at all. The starter's out now, but I'm not going to turn it out. Other than that, we did very well. Livian started and took it to mile 250 and I took over. I think (Kevin) Carr was behind me but I'm not sure how far. I know Bowman was behind that but I don't know how far. I never saw (Michelle Bruckman). I don't know how far she made it.

CLASS 10

1008 Lobsam Yee (1st place in class) I had a really bad day. I lost all my belts (early in the race). I made it to the check point without power steering -- I had to stop there and change all the bands twice. I lost like 25 minutes, but no flats at all. Three in a row -- that feels good.

Continued in part 2

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Mark Miller , Mark Post , Larry Ragland , Ricky Johnson