Baja 500: Post race quotes

PRO CARS/TRUCKS SCORE/TROPHY-TRUCK B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 (first overall) --It was tight. The truck is hurt. It's been hurt since the beach. The brakes on this thing are shot. When I rev it out really hard, the power steering belt slips. It's...



B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 (first overall) --It was tight. The truck is hurt. It's been hurt since the beach. The brakes on this thing are shot. When I rev it out really hard, the power steering belt slips. It's been a lot of hard work to get it here. I've really sucked it up. I'm going to have to go back to the hotel for some beer and some Advil.

For 60 miles I was stuck behind Ron (Whitton). We had a little bit faster pace than him, but I couldn't get around him because of the dust. Every time we got close, I just didn't want to take the chance. I was getting the times from my chase crew. This win is massive. It's very important to me. I have a handful of trophies, but what I don't have is that Montezuma thing, the first overall, and I don't have a Baja 500 one. That's what I always wanted.

MARK POST, No. 1 (second) --I'd like to have made it here seven seconds faster. I was 40 seconds behind B.J. when I gave the car to Rob, so we got back on the pace. I had three flats, otherwise we would have had a nice car. That was a hell of a run. It's the Baja 500, a technical race, it's a great race.

Co-driver Rob MacCachren said: We've been running hard ever since the beach. He kind of had the advantage because he could just stick to me and follow me. The last 30 miles we tried to pick it up and put time on him. We did the best we could. We tried to get away from him. We just couldn't.

We had some flat tires, but it doesn't matter if you get them or not. Ultimately, it's like a chess game. You're cruising along trying to stay somewhere near the front of the pack and pick your battles at the end. (The course) was torn up a little bit.

BRIAN COLLINS, No. 3 (third) --I slid into a tree and messed the jack up. If we changed the tire and didn't stop, we would have been right in there, but we got stuck and it took us 15 minues to get it out. The truck was phenomenal, a couple driver errors, but that's racing. We got a podium finish. To get the three-peat was going to be tough. It was all going against us. We wanted to win it. We all did our homework, unfortunately, that's just part of racing. Co-rider Chuck Hovey said: We had some mistakes out there and we had some flats out there. The jack didn't work for Brian and that cost us a lot of time. The podium is good. We got in the truck about 14 minutes down. Brian just said cruise it in. The last 80 miles was very technical.

ROGER NORMAN, No. 8 (fourth) --When I got the car, we had some alternator problems. We blew a belt. Larry (Roeseler) had the truck in second place at one time, but then he had the alternator problems. We're happy. We'll change some things.

RON WHITTON, No. 39 (fifth) --Co-driver Todd LeDuc said: We just drove smart and smooth. Ron drove the first half and I took over. You always want to push yourself, but this track was almost impossible to pass on. We're stoked that we got fifth. That's what we wanted to do.

ROBBIE PIERCE, No. 35 (sixth) --Co-driver Will Staats said: Robbie was great. He did a great job. He was calm this morning. We had some computer problems.


LUIS RAMIREZ, JR., No. 109 (first) --We went with no brakes from San Vicente to the finish. I'm very happy. I just got in the pace. We passed everybody before Borrego. I just had to find a way to pass guys. It was a really nice course. Some parts were really fast, but it was really technical. With no brakes, it was really hard. We're just really happy to be here. A month ago we wanted to race, but we didn't have money. We got a bunch of sponsors and they're awesome.

DALE EBBERTS, No. 123 (second) --Co-driver Brad Etter said: We had a flat tire at 265. Up until then we were within a minute of first. Other than that, the car ran perfectly. We finished on a flat. Dale had a good run. He smoked the first 230 miles. This car worked awesome.

ARMIN SCHWARZ, No. 108 (third) --Co-driver Martin Christensen said: We had nothing but troubles. We had problems with the GPS. He was working on the GPS for about 20 minutes. We just weren't going the same speed. We were driving super slow. It was hard coming into the sun with all the dust. You feel like you're going backwards.

BRIAN PARKHOUSE, No. 120 (fourth) -- Co-driver Tom Ridings said: This was the third race in the new car. We had no issues, just rolled right along. This thing is great. We're excited and it's really fun stuff.JIt's been beautiful all week; I wanted to stop and have a picnic lunch. (on the sticker on his car -- "In memory of Frank and Rosie Orozco") Recently we had some long-time friends who lived down here, the mom (Rosie) passed away. The family came down here and were cleaning up stuff and then her son (Frank) suddenly passed away here (of a heart attack). Rosie ran checkpoint forever, they were long-time SCORE people. After all this happened Tito (Frank's brother) drove back and three blocks from home got in a car wreck; his wife is still in the hospital.

CLASS 1-2/1600

ADAM PFANKUCH, No. 1602 (first) -- Co-driver Steve Eugenio said:Adam did the one mile, then I did 440. It's going to be a fight to the finish. I had nine flat tires -- I can't believe that. I changed six myself. I really took it easy today too, I wasn't hitting anything hard. I went from the lead to fourth like 10 times. I was down 50 seconds to (Dave) Caspino, caught him, then a half mile later got a flat.

ARNOLDO RAMIREZ, No. 1609 (second) --Co-driver Misael Aramula said: My partner (Ramirez) had a rollover at Ojos Negros (about mile 77). He lost the roof and we lost 20 to 30 minutes. There were no problems for me, I had just one flat. Arnoldo started out then I got in at San Mateus (around mile 220).

RAY FILES, No. 1643 (third) --Co-driver Josh Tieman said: Ray Files started and I drove from mm200 to the finish. It was just a battle following the dust coming in here. We had one flat at the beginning and then it was a clean run after that.

GERARDO IRIBE, No. 1644 (fourth) --They handed me the car around 10th place around Barrego. We didn't have any problems at all besides people getting stuck and not getting out of the way.

RAMIRO ESCOBIDO, No. 1610 (fifth) --Co-driver Jose Robles said: We went the last 40 miles with no power steering. We had a broken CV boot around mile 230 and that cost us about 15 minutes. We're still happy with where we finished.


DONALD MOSS, No. 301 (first) -- The truck looks in great shape. We had a couple of flats and we stopped to try to pull out a protruck. It ran fine. The drive train didn't skip a beat.


KEVIN CARR, No. 501 (first) --What a day, ay, ay ay. We had two front flats. A tree branch pulled our ignition wires out and we had to re-wire those. We broke a trailing arm mount off the car. We went down a ravine in all the silt. We finished. We're here.

CLASS 5/1600

JOSE MONTOYA, No. 579 (first) --We worked hard as a team. We had no problems. We're so happy.


DAN CHAMLEE, No. 700 (first) --I'm out of gas. I drove everything. It's three Baja 500s in a row. I think we had the lead, start to finish. We ran out of gas and I sucked on the fuel hose until we got gas again. We had to add four or five quarts of oil per pit stop. We were burning oil. It was tough. There were some very fast parts of the course and very rough parts of the course, but overall, I think we ran a very fast race.


HEIDI STEELE, No. 741 (first) --It was a really good day. I had absolutely no problems. I drove it to Borrego. I led the first 100 miles and then John Holmes got by us. I don't think Rene (Burger, co-driver) had any problems. He got up the silt beds and left them behind. I've got a new co-driver. We got a new rear end. It's a real solid truck and it's the Baja 500. That's enough said right there.


NOAH OSTANIK, No. 801 (first) -- Co-driver Dave Dinsmore said: I got lost like five times on the way in here. We had a throttle cable break. We knew we were the only one (in the class). That's why we just cruised. I only went half-throttle all day.


JESUS GONZALEZ, No. 1008 (first) --We had some water out there that was a problem. We couldn't shift for about the last 35 miles. We didn't expect to win. We're really happy.


RICK ST. JOHN, No. 1212 (first) -- Co-driver Ramsey said: It's good to have another one. Rick has a win at Laughlin and now at Baja. It was a good race. What a course; its fast and its fun -- a cool course.JRick started and had a perfect race; he gave me the car with a lead.JIt's really tough in that one area (around mm360). They're going to have a tough time in there now that it's dark. Luckily we hit it in the daylight. The silt hills are wonderful. It played out exactly the way Rick laid it out; that's what has to happen if you want to win. It's nice to win another 500; it's been a while. The last I won was in 1996 (in Class 5/1600). Last year I drove the 1000 solo, and finished a half hour past the time limit. The truck was fun but this is real racing -- this buggy is fun.

LEE BANNING, No. 1215 (second) --Co-driver Lee Banning Jr. said: I split the driving with my dad. I just got stuck once in the siltbeds after Santo Tomas; it took about 15 minutes to get out. It was a long day. We had one flat all day, changed it at the BFG pit at mile 90.JThis is our second year racing SCORE. We raced it at the 1000 last year.


RAMON FERNANDEZ, No. 1100 (first) --We got stuck a lot of times, but the car handled OK. My brother (co-driver Thomas) gave it to me in front. We started late and he got up there.


CHAD HALL, No. 862 (first) -- This course was way better than last year's course. I had a lot of fun. We even got back in time to have a cocktail. We were just cruising around. It's not a bad day.


ROD HALL, No. 760 (first) --We were down about 15 minutes. We earned that one. We had a problem keeping up in the first 220 miles, but we can only go so hard. I had no problems. We had a few hiccups on the start. We had to go to four wheels to get around some of the cars. At the 210-mile marker, we were down and I handed it over to Mike Winkel and he brought it in. We split the driving. I don't have to be macho anymore.


JASON VOSS, No. 235 (first) --hVoss' truck was pushed across the finish line) The motor has been dead since the last road crossing, and it totally lost it at the pavement. We were barely moving, about five miles per hour. My dad (Rich) drove the first half. We had one flat, it was a perfect day until the end.



ROBBY BELL, No. 1x (first overall) --It was just experience, just knowing not to get too excited with them riding right with us. We didn't get too nervous. As soon as you start to worry about the team behind you, you start making mistakes. Around Valle de Trinidad (mile 260) was the closest they got. I had to do a quick repair on the bike and they came in one second behind me. From there, we kind of kept pulling away. No problems at all. We got in the lead (early) and had pretty much clear sailing the whole way. I really enjoyed the course. It's awesome to keep it going. Another win feels great. Kendall rode awesome all day. We'll definitely be looking for four next year. The fog made it really nice off the start. It kept the sun away for the first 35 miles or so.

RYAN PENHALL, No. 8x (second) --hPenhall was injured during the race and was transported from the finish line to a hospital via ambulance with apparent arm and leg injuries.) Co-rider Brent Harden said: Ryan actually hit a car about 40 miles from the finish. He was just limping it in. We just tried to stay close to (Bell), stay within a minute. Mike (Childress, another co-rider) ran a great race. It's a private team, so it's a really nice feeling to be competitive with a factory Honda team. Other teams have come down here and tried to run with them and haven't had much luck. We had a good ride today.

IVAN RAMIREZ, No. 17x (third) --We're happy with where we finished. We had a lot of fun for this being our first time here.

CORY EVENSON, No. 9x (fourth) --I think we could have done better, but we had a couple of flats and one of my teammates hit a dog. At one point, we were up to third in our class. I got through the start. There were a lot of (alleged) booby traps and a lot of people in the way. I just kept my eyes open and tried to ride through as best as I could.

CALEB GOSSELAAR, No. 13x (seventh) --I was behind Nick Blais and I planned on passing him. He hit some silt and it just went all white. As soon as I got in that, I hit something, I'm not sure what it was, and I just started flipping. I just got back on the bike and rode to mile 40. I was seeing stars a lot. I just figured I had to keep the bike going forward. (Gosselaar crashed at mile 7 and rode to mile 40 with a possibly broken collarbone. He was hospitailzed for almost five hours.)


CARLOS CASAS, No. 100x (first) --We ran out of gas once, but that was about it. We had no other problems. I was trying to get top five (overall), but running out of gas, we were lucky to get a win.


CHAD BLACK, No. 151x (first) --hBlack was rushed from the finish line into an ambulance after finishing the race with a possible broken elbow.) Team owner Joe Black said: We put together such a great group of guys. Our pits were flawless. We've been down here for a week and a half pre-running. It was a flawless week.


SCOTT MYERS, No. 303x (first) --It was good. We got third overall (in motorcycles). Not a single problem for us. Everything went great on the start. We had a good day. Everything went just smooth for everybody. We've done it before. We always hope for third overall. We're really happy with anything in the top three. It's good, especially for us older, 30s guys. Co-rider Steve Garnett said: There were no flaws. We just kept going down the road. There was a spot out there around (mile) 7 or 8 where they dug out a trench with shovels, but we got through it. Co-rider Shane Esposito said: I knew I wasn't going to make up enough time for the overall. I just rode as well as I could to see what time I could make up. There was only one mistake. There was a 'Y' and I went the wrong way. As soon as I did it, I knew I went the wrong way. It cost us about 15 seconds. Realistically, this is where we figured we'd finish. With the dust at the start, we knew we'd lose a lot of time.

JIM O'NEAL, No. 300x (second) --Co-rider Jason Trubey said: I went off the course at one point. The dust was so bad, I couldn't see the course and the road was so slick. Coming in was just crazy with so many people there. There were people out there everywhere telling you to go the wrong way. It was fun, though. We stayed close to those guys all day, within five or six minutes. In the first three or four miles I passed seven or eight guys.

MIKE JOHNSON, No. 310x (third) -- Co-rider Kyle Abney said: We had just no problems. The bike ran great. Everybody had awesome rides. I almost hit a few cars on my way into town. We've learned over the last five years that you need to come down here and prepare. I probably ran my section four or five times. I almost hit every corner, but I didn't know which corner the cars were going to be on.


BRETT HELM, No. 400x (first) --These guys did a great job. We didn't have too many problems. There was some stuck traffic in the course around mile 85 and an (alleged) booby trap after that and another one around 240. The 240 was known, but the other one wasn't known, so that was kind of a kicker. They weren't big bumps, but when you're going 100 (mph), they're big. Jeff (Kaplan) was huge over the summit. He passed a lot of guys and got us a lot of time. Co-rider Jeff Kaplan said: It went great. The bike just rode great. I just started picking (other riders) off. We had a really good day. That's 12 (wins) in a row for me now.


JIM O'NEAL, No. 500x (first) -- Co-rider Andy Kirker said: We were hoping for a top 10 finish (overall). It was pretty good for a bunch of 50-year-old guys. I had a blast out there. It was really fun. Jim (O'Neal) missed a turn and kind of slid off the edge. He was already hurt coming in. He probably fell on his bad side.


DON LEWIS, No. 600x (first) --Co rider-Sam Dempsey said: Everything ran good. We didn't miss any pits. It was just good.



WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 3a (first) --The 4a put up a good fight, the best fight I've had in a long time. I knew they were close. I kept looking back and seeing them. We just had to pin it to win it; that was our strategy.

We had an early lead and we had one of our riders go down. At one point we were about 6 1/2 minutes down to these guys. We just came back and kept trying.

I had yet to win a Baja 500, so now I've got it.

JAVIER ROBLES, No. 4a (second) --We knew the whole way how close we were. Co-rider Cesar Lopez said: We were leading through San Vicente. We had to do a pit and they went ahead of us. We just kept trying to catch them and we couldn't.

DANNY PRATHER, No. 1 (third) --We made it to the finish and we got the points, but we really wanted to win this race bad. We worked hard for it and it's a bummer not to win. It was really dusty off the start. We were trying to catch up, but the guys up front were hauling butt.


FRANCISCO SERVIN, No. 106 (first) --I'm very happy. It was a very hard course. Everything went OK for us.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Rob MacCachren