Baja 500: Riviera Racing final summary

Riviera Racing Battles to 2nd at SCORE Baja 500 in Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations Trophy Truck 7-seconds separated Riviera Rockstars from victory in the closest overall 4-wheel vehicle finish in the 40-year history of the second oldest...

Riviera Racing Battles to 2nd at SCORE Baja 500 in Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations Trophy Truck

7-seconds separated Riviera Rockstars from victory in the closest overall 4-wheel vehicle finish in the 40-year history of the second oldest desert race in the world!

June 1, 2008 -- The 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 kicked off with traditional festivities beginning early Friday morning along the main artery of the bustling seaside town of Ensenada, Baja California. A contingent of international fans from the United States, Mexico, and far away nations, all gathered along the gorgeous Pacific Ocean to watch the parade of the world's top desert racing teams. This year's challenging race featured over 300 entries, competing in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. An elite field of Unlimited Production SCORE Trophy Trucks provided the excitement for the unrelenting Baja racing fans.

The reigning SCORE Trophy Truck Champions, Mark Post and Rob MacCachren led the Rockstar/Makita Riviera Racing army through the heavy crowds that came to watch and feel the excitement international desert racing.

Ensenada officials estimated the race day crowds swelled to over 100,000 spectators who lined the race course across much of the northern Baja Peninsula. This year's course spanned both coasts that line the treacherous Baja Peninsula, the Sea of Cortez side, as well as the Pacific Coast section.

As thousands of fans searched our their favorite race trucks, one of the most prominent was the #1 SCORE Trophy Truck sponsored by Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations. The reigning 2007 SCORE Overall Baja 1000 and Trophy Truck Class Champions, Mark Post and Rob MacCachren, prepared all week long for the storm of challengers come race day.

The week leading up to Saturday's race was all business, as Riviera Racing spent countless hour prerunning in search of the perfect line in hopes of a solid race performance on Saturday. However, what they got was more than a solid performance as a near flawless run created another incredible chapter to SCORE's Baja racing history.

At the finish line, Riviera Racing's Mark Post and Rob MacCachren fell a mere 7-seconds short from capturing the 40th Edition of the SCORE Tecate Baja 500, which resulted in the closest overall 4-wheel vehicle finish in the 40-year history of the second oldest desert race in the world!

A little more than nine hours prior, Mark Post surged off the starting line of Ensenada with a vengeance in what was a full-blown effort to raise hell throughout the 441-mile Northern Baja race course. Throughout his 20-year love affair with desert racing in Baja California, Post has yet to capture the elusive SCORE Baja 500 trophy.

Post, a Southern California native, was all business as he put the #1 Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations Trophy Truck through the paces in the first 210-miles. "We ran a fast pace that we felt would put us in a strategic position in the last 100-miles of the race and we would charge hard through the toughest that Baja has to offer. It was a great race," Post said smiling.

The #1 Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations Trophy Truck ran a fast past early in the race chasing the lead truck to race mile 150 where they were able to get around them only to suffer a flat-tire and surrender the lead to the competition. The #1 Riviera Racing truck swapped the lead with the #97 truck two times before they reach the finish line where Rob MacCachren finished first physically in the elapsed-time race, but the corrected-time results revealed their second place finish. Long time rival, B.J. Baldwin started 60 seconds behind Post/MacCachren, but came into the finish line just 53 seconds after MacCachren had crossed it.

The #1 Riviera Racing Trophy Truck ran the brutal 441.15 mile race course in nine hours, 10 minutes, 54 seconds, averaging 48.05 miles per hour only suffering flat tires under the incredible brutal punishment that Baja desert racing is well-known for.

Rob MacCachren, who drove the second half of the race said, "We charged very hard since the beach section. We tried to push the truck out in front and put some time on the followers but we just couldn't get out to the lead we were looking for. This one a tough technical race course and we did the best we could. This is ultimately 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."

Post exited the glossy black FORD F-150 at race mile 210 and was in great shape seemingly ready to push more miles. At the end of the race he commented, "I'd like to have made it here eight seconds faster," said Post whose Riviera Racing team now has two second-place finishes in the SCORE Baja races.

"I was 40 seconds behind B.J. when I gave the truck to Rob, so we got back on the pace. I had three flats otherwise we would have had a nice truck today. That was a heck of a run. It's the SCORE Baja 500, a technical race. It's just a great race."

The NBC Sports television production crew interviewed both Mark Post and Rob MacCachren at the Hotel Coral Marina dockside nearing sunset on Friday evening before the race discussing their inherent passion for Baja desert racing. The television crew then followed along with Riviera Racing throughout the race and filmed race action at each pit, as well as from helicopters capturing the intense racing battle between Riviera Racing and the competition.

The television show is slated for a one-hour special broadcast that will feature point-to-point coverage of this infamous off road race. Air dates will be provided in the near future.

-credit: rr

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Series Score
Drivers Rob MacCachren , B.J. Baldwin , Mark Post