BITD: Baja 300: Mongo Racing race summary

Ensenada, Mexico was the site of the 2003 Best In The Desert "Baja Mex 300 World Championship," the fourth race of the Best In The Desert Racing Association schedule. Mongo Off-Road Racing of Parker, Arizona with driver Randy Merritt in his Ford...

Ensenada, Mexico was the site of the 2003 Best In The Desert "Baja Mex 300 World Championship," the fourth race of the Best In The Desert Racing Association schedule.

Mongo Off-Road Racing of Parker, Arizona with driver Randy Merritt in his Ford F-150 started the day chasing the field of trucks from the last starting position in class. With Co-rider Chris Golding sitting in the passenger seat, the team was confident in their ability to contend for the win, but also for the season point's championship. With only two trucks remaining that have completed every race, Randy Merritt and Greg Foutz looked to go head to head for the Class 8100 Full-Stock Point's Championship. Randy Merritt started last in class and Greg Foutz started one minute ahead and used it to his advantage early in the race. The Ford truck of Mark Hadley and the AMC Hummer of Eric Henn were between Greg and Randy. The dust and early morning race crowds kept the trucks in line, but the Ford Trucks of Dave Morrison and Greg Foutz were able to put gain two and a half minutes on the rest of the class by race mile marker 34.5. By race mile marker 57, Randy had passed Henn and Hadley and set his sights on Greg Foutz.

Just before the second pit in Erendira, Mexico Randy passed Greg who had rolled his Ford F-250. Randy stated we went by and they looked to be checking out the truck to see if they could continue, and continue they did.

In Llano Colorado, nestled in the hills, was the location of Pit three, race mile marker 135 and the Fords of Dave Morrison was in the lead followed by Randy, who was only 45 seconds behind Dave on corrected time, followed by Greg Foutz and then the Hummer of Eric Henn. What a sight seeing a class run so tight that far into a race, all the trucks were with in five and a half minutes was heard from the crowd that had built to watch the race vehicles pit and cross the highway. Randy left his chase team behind as he and Chris crossed the mountains to Valley of Trinidad. The Mongo Racing pit crew then headed to El Pipila, race mile marker 285 and wait for Randy and Chris to drive a smart race to reach them.

The Mongo Racing pit support were standing by at El Pipila when Chris radioed in that they had just passed mile marker 2-7-1 and were right behind the Ford of Greg Foutz, this enthused the crew because they had not been able to talk to the race truck for almost two and a half hours. Four minutes later Chris radioed in they had just broke the main leaf spring on the passenger side, crew members Steve Solaiza and Steve Draper went to work getting everything prepared with Randy's dad Roger talking to the race truck. The crew watched Greg Foutz speed by, but could only wait for Randy to limp the Ford F-150 six miles so they could change the spring and try to catch Greg. Eight minutes later Randy rolled in the pit six were Steve Solaiza and Steve Draper went to work changing the rear leaf spring. With help of surrounding teams, the Mongo Racing Ford F-150 was back on the track in 23 minutes.

Two and half miles later Randy and Chris came upon the Ford Ranger of Rob Mc Cacren who was trying to pull race leader Greg Foutz from a wash out he had slid into. With some encouragement, Randy tried to yank Greg out of the position he was in, but Greg's truck was too big and in the worst position possible. After several attempts, Randy and Chris left Greg who waited for the next truck who might be able to pull him out. This put Randy and Chris in first and only 18 miles left to the finish line. The team did everything they could do to get to the finish line safely and watched as Randy and Chris cross the finish line for Mongo Racing's first Best In The Desert Win!

"Another great race, the Goodyear MTR tires and Sway-A-Way shocks performed as expectedly, no flats thus far this season and the shocks made the difference," Randy said. "The course was fast and rough, but we had a plan, every body had a problem we were just fortunate to get ahead everyone for the win," added Chris.

Mongo Racing wants to thank Goodyear, F & M Baldenegro Farms, Sway-A-Way, Signcraft, Valley Spring Service, Gibb's A/C, For You Tire & Auto, Parker Oil, Lickity Stitch, Reno Metal Products, Racecraft Seats, AUTOMETER, Autocolor Auto Body & Paint, Rust's River Glass, NAPA of Parker, Parker Roofing and the Corona Hotel. You can keep up with Mongo Racing at www.mongoracing.com.

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Series Offroad
Drivers Greg Foutz