ROCKSTAR'S Riviera Racing Trophy Truck DERAILED in QUEST for SCORE Baja 500 Victory June 12, 2008 - The 41st edition of the SCORE Baja 500 kicked off under beautiful sunny skies along the downtown waterfront of Ensenada, Baja California.
ROCKSTAR'S Riviera Racing Trophy Truck DERAILED in QUEST for SCORE Baja 500 Victory
June 12, 2008 - The 41st edition of the SCORE Baja 500 kicked off under beautiful sunny skies along the downtown waterfront of Ensenada, Baja California. Greeting housands of fans was ROCKSTAR Energy Drink athlete, Rob MacCachren, as he stood dressed for battle among the desert warriors.
The sense of the calm before the storm was present as the world's top off road racers gathered along Mexico's Pacific Coast for the 2009 SCORE Baja 500, a race that many consider only second in toughness to the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.
MacCachren and Mark Post arrived to the start line with the #3 ROCKSTAR Energy gloss black trophy truck with one goal in mind...to finish first in a race that has long eluded the two veteran racers. In the 2008 version of this race, the dynamic racing duo combined their driving skills for a near flawless run that saw them fall short of victory by a mere 7 seconds.
Both Post and MacCachren congratulated 2008 victor, B.J. Baldwin, but not before the two vowed to rage war against the competition in 2009.
Hundreds of hours of preparation by an army of Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR volunteers set in motion a race that won't likely be forgotten for many years.
The #3 Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR was slated to leave the starting line in second position, following a rookie in the first slot. MacCachren was tapped for increased duty after team owner/driver, Mark Post, fell sick to flu-like symptoms mere days before the race.
Post explained at the start line, "I'm on the road to feeling better, but being sick for the past three days and holed up inside Hotel Coral, under the care of a doctor has forced me to watch this one from the sideline. I don't feel physically strong enough to compete at the level that we need to compete at to win this race. Rob can get this done and we hope the stars align so we can put this Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR trophy truck in the winner's circle."
In the meantime, MacCachren was being mobbed by hundreds of fans surrounding the famous championship race truck. After signing autographs and posing for picture-after-picture with throngs of Riviera Racing / ROCKSTAR Energy fans, MacCachren made his way to the truck door and climbed into his "speeding office chair."
MacCachren and Post are no strangers to the rigors of battling in the desert of the Baja Peninsula. In 2007, the racing duo scored the most prestigious off road racing victory in the history of SCORE. Racing the length of the Baja Peninsula, they were crowned the overall winners of the 1296-mile point-to-point SCORE Baja 1000, the longest Baja 1000 in the 40-year history of the race.
Decades of experience and rooms full of trophies could not predict the unfortunate outcome of this year's SCORE Baja 500. It was early in the race when MacCachren skated around the rookie who left the line first. With MacCachren in perfectly clean air and the #3 trophy truck on a mission, it was an alternator that burped the first signs of a troubled day.
Rob MacCachren was putting the Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR trophy through the paces at speed when co-driver, Kelly Courie, noticed the gauges showing low voltage. The two racers talked their way through the issue and backed down the speed, cruising at a comfortable pace, advising the crew of the initial problems. When they reached race mile 205, they swapped out the alternator putting them behind in time, but only a mere 6 minutes behind the leaders as they passed the crew working on swapping out the ineffective part.
With the alternator replaced and back in the hunt, MacCachren rallied north up the San Matias Wash and turned West speeding down the race course towards Mike Sky Ranch when the engine temperatures spiked. MacCachren felt the lifeless motor go south as they were relegated to limping the race truck into the next pit. Crew Chief, Jim Blackmore, made the call to end the race for Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR race team as they suffered mechanical issues with the engine that could not be resolved during the race.
MacCachren later discussed, "Any time we don't finish a race, it's unfortunate. It's been a long run since we experienced a race-ending mechanical failure. Riviera Racing's crew does a phenomenal job preparing this Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR race truck. Our problems started with a bad alternator and then escalated from there. You can never count out the Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR trophy truck. Our plan is to be in the hunt for the season championship at the season ending race, the Baja 1000. We've got a great group of talented team members, as well as dedicated marketing partners that make this program one of the best. This Riviera Racing/ROCKSTAR trophy truck will return even stronger than before."
The SCORE Baja 500 race was won by General Tires sponsored, Rick Johnson, with a winning time of 9:08:21. Official results were released 5 days after the race and numerous teams were assessed time penalties for a variety of racing infractions. Of the 21 SCORE Trophy Truck teams entered in this year's extravaganza, only five teams, including Riviera Racing, were not penalized for racing infractions.
Riviera Racing will race the #3 ROCKSTAR Energy sponsored race truck at the SCORE Primm 300 on September 12, 2009 in Primm, Nevada. The SCORE Primm 300 is the 4th of 5 races that make up the 2009 SCORE Desert racing series.