Raffo Racing - 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Race Report Arlington Hts., IL (June 7, 2007) - A record number of entries were lined up in Ensenada, Baja Mexico to tackle the 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Chris Raffo and his California Tomato Fig...
Raffo Racing - 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Race Report
Arlington Hts., IL (June 7, 2007) - A record number of entries were lined up in Ensenada, Baja Mexico to tackle the 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Chris Raffo and his California Tomato Fig Partner Hot Creek Capital BFGoodrich Tires Chevrolet Blazer, after coming off a class win at the Mojave 250, were ready and confident of a strong finish. The 412-mile trek was much more technical and previous Baja 500's, which led SCORE officials to extend the race time limit to 20 hours.
Chris, and the guys at Complete Fabrication, worked diligently preparing the "Raffonator" for the trek through Baja, as a new fuel delivery system and a new "trick" driveshaft from High Angle Driveshaft was installed.
The start saw Chris Raffo at the wheel with David Harvey riding shotgun. After 100 miles, David was feeling the effects of the rough course, got out of the navigator's spot and was replaced by Charlie Herrera. David went to work as part of the support crew for the rest of the event.
At mile 245, Dennis Chencherick took over the driving duties for the remainder of the race, with Charlie guiding the Bilstein shod truck from the co-driver's seat.
Once out of the truck, Chris Raffo commented, "The traffic was incredible, we probably lost 20 minutes as buggies and trucks were scattered stuck all over the place. Our Blazer may not be the fastest, but our four wheel drive with the BFG tires, gets us through almost everything Baja throws at us."
About three quarters of the way through the run, Dennis had the Raffo Racing Blazer within 15 minutes of the second place Toyota. Dennis plodded his way through several more bottlenecks, as made their way to the last fuel stop about fifty miles from the finish. With no real issues with the race truck, the chase crew headed for the finish line in Ensenada.
With 25 miles to go, Dennis stopped to help a fellow racer that was stuck in a deep silt bed. Then tragedy struck. When Dennis went to get moving again, the transfer case chain broke, leaving the Blazer unable to get through the silt and up the hill. This stranded the team, as Dennis and Charlie waited for the chase team to bring the spare chain. Unfortunately, time was running out, by the time the crew reached the Blazer and replaced the chain, time has expired on the event. The result was a "Did Not Finish" for the California Tomato Fig Partner Hot Creek Capital BFGoodrich Tires Chevrolet Blazer.
Afterwards, Chris and Dennis figured the team lost at least 90 minutes while waiting for other competitors to get unstuck and give the team a clear path to continue racing.
"We were not running the same pace as Moss, but we sure thought second place was well within our reach," commented Dennis Chencherick. "We didn't have any mechanical issues all day, until we stopped to help out a friend. We were so close to the finish, but you can never be sure of anything in Baja."