Baja 1000: Enduro's Ashley, Smith win Trophy Truck

Enduro has won yet another Baja 1000 race. Dave Ashley and Dan Smith took their Ford Trophy Truck to a record third consecutive win at the rugged Baja 1000. Owner Dick Landfield was very pleased with the triple Baja wins as he commented to Ford...

Enduro has won yet another Baja 1000 race.

Dave Ashley and Dan Smith took their Ford Trophy Truck to a record third consecutive win at the rugged Baja 1000. Owner Dick Landfield was very pleased with the triple Baja wins as he commented to Ford engineer Tom Greene; "Ford was a big part of enabling us to win this race - thanks to everyone." Landfield went on to comment on the flawless powertrain. He said it was the strongest engine and a perfect shifting trans that supported their problem-free run in the team's Ford truck at this year's event. The team flogged the Ford at an average 62.33 mph (with some segments averaging over 80 mph).

This was the fastest-ever average speed 1000 mile race clocked at just over sixteen hours (62.43 mph average). The Enduro Team finished within a minute-and-a-half of the fastest and overall winning motorcycle. Ed Herbst's Ford team finished second in Trophy Truck more than forty-five minutes behind the dominating duo of Smith and Ashley.

In 2000, the Enduro Team won the Baja 2000 over Larry Ragland's factory sponsored Chevy. Ragland's Chevy caught the Enduro F150 with just 45 miles to go. While trying to overtake Dave Ashley Ragland rolled the Chevy. Ashley and Smith won the 2001 Baja 1000 in another closely contested race.

The 2002 event started in the early morning hours on November 21st in the Pacific Coast seaport of Ensenada, Mexico. Enduro was the fourth Trophy Truck off the line at 9:16.30 am. The race wound it's way over 1000 miles to the south before the teams reached the finish line in La Paz, Mexico on the shores of the Gulf of California.

Two hours later, the duo had covered over 114 miles and were sixth overall and third in class. Ragland's Chevy was first in class. Sixteen miles later, Robby Gordon (who was doing the event as a solo driver) grabbed the lead in Trophy Truck.

Ragland retook the lead at the 350-mile marker when Gordon developed a wheel bearing problem in his Ford truck. The Enduro team was six minutes behind.

Ed Herbst was on the move as he put his Ford in first in Trophy Truck class with Ragland second and Damion Jefferies had moved his Ford into third with Enduro in fifth. The total spread between the top eight Trophy Truck contenders was only two minutes separation. Gordon had slipped to eleventh.

The half-way point showed the Honda motorcycle team in first overall with a lead over the four-wheel trucks of one hour and twenty minutes.

Enduro took the class lead (and second overall) with an eleven minute margin over Herbst. Gordon was quickly making up time and had closed within 23 minutes of the two class leaders.

Enduro Team was the first Trophy Truck to cross the line after sixteen hours of competition over the rugged and treacherous desert in Baja.

Second was Herbst with Gordon squeaking out third.

-tg/ford-

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Larry Ragland