Sal Fish, CEO/President of SCORE International – I think of the dedication each and every one of the racers bring to the sport is really what makes it happen. I believe we have racers from 24 countries here and I think that is going to increase because of the unbelievable power that Volkswagen, BF Goodrich, Aura 260 and Red Bull have brought to this event this year. They’ve all partnered together to do something very different that has never happened in off-road racing and that is having a real first-class media center that will accommodate members of the press so they can do their jobs. It has been very difficult to do that in the past here but because of the money, the talent and the resources that those four partners have brought to this event, we are really on the level as far as the media goes now, to events such as NASCAR and Indianapolis and Paris to Dakar. I’m really, really thankful for Volkswagen, BF Goodrich, Aura 260 and Red Bull for raising the bar so high. And we could not do this event for all these years if it wasn’t for the fine people of Baja California and especially the dignitaries and officials.
Oscar J. Escobedo, Secretary of Tourism, Baja California – On behalf of the Governor and the people of Baja California, we want to welcome you to Baja California and we want to congratulate you for participating in the best off-road race in the world. This Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will be the best race ever. We’re committed to making it happen and we’ll do whatever it takes so your experience in Baja California will be extraordinary.
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Johnny Campbell, No. 1x, Class 22 – I would like to thank SCORE and the state of Baja California for putting on this event and letting us ride down here. It’s really special and I’m super proud to be involved and to be here to support it.
Robby: This is going to be my fourth Baja 100 and I’ve never seen such a wide variety of terrain. I’m really anxious to see how the race plays out. The course is going to be demanding and I think it’s going to be a really good race.
Kendall: SCORE laid out a shorter course but it’s one of the best courses I’ve ridden. I have the pleasure of riding with these two great riders and tomorrow would be three wins for me, two for Robby and a ton for Johnny.
Heidi Steele, No. 742, Class 7SX – I’m so excited to be here. This is going to be my fourth Baja 1000 and we’re trying very hard for a championship. There hasn’t been one day since the Primm race that I haven’t thought about tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to it. There are going to be three drivers and I’m going to start and go probably about 200 miles and then hand it over and we’ll go from there. Our goal is to finish the race – that’s first and foremost what we’re looking for.
Cameron Steele, No. 16, SCORE Trophy-Truck/No. 742, Class 7SX – I just want to apologize to all the other Trophy-Truck guys, especially the nine that start in front of me whose bumpers I’m either going to hit or go by on a better line. Don’t be mad at me when it happens; just congratulate me at the finish line. I love you guys like brothers but I’m here to kick your (tail).
B.J. Richardson, No. 102, Class 1 – Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll get a victory. (Richardson is leading Class 1 without a win this season). We’ve had a good year this year and hopefully we can cap it off tomorrow.
Roger Norman/ Larry Roeseler, No. 8, SCORE Trophy-Truck –
Roger: We’d like to thank SCORE and all the Mexican officials who help make this race happen. This is one of the most incredible sporting events in the world and we’re extremely excited to be here.
Larry: For me, it has been an incredible career and my relationship with Roger Norman now is fantastic with the equipment and the team we have put together. We just won the Primm 300 overall, we’ve got momentum and we’re here for one thing and that’s to win this race. Next year, we’ll go for the championship but tomorrow we have a little job at hand and that’s to win the Baja 1000. It’s a great course and everybody’s talking about it. It’s a little bit shorter but it’s one of the tougher ones. This is a great, technical course and it’s going to play out to be a fantastic race. No down time, no problems, no flat tires – that is what it’s going to take to win this race.
Armin Schwarz/Martin Christensen, No. 107, Class 1 –
Armin: For me, this is always an outstanding event to come here. I enjoy it very much after a long, long time rally driving and I say many, many times that I’m very happy to race against all of you here because it’s a real challenge and everybody is saying there is a good chance for everybody to win.
Martin: Thanks to SCORE, thanks to Mexico. It is hard times financially now but it seems like it hasn’t affected this, which is great news. We’re doing everything that we can to bring other countries and drivers to the sport through the All-German Motorsports team.
Armin Kremer/Adam Pfankuch, No. 119, Class 1 –
Adam: (also driving No. 1601 in Class 1-2/1600) I can’t wait to go out there and show everybody what this team has. Very few times have I had a chance in these races to race a Class 1 car and go for a win and possibly an overall win and then hop in another car, a 16 car, and go out and just try to finish the race for the championship. I get to do both at once and it’s very exciting to do.
Brian Collins/Chuck Hovey, No. 12, Trophy-Truck –
Brian: It’s an honor to be here. We prep the Mopar Dodge all season for this race, the guys have done their homework and Chuck has been pre-running up ere for two weeks. Sal has put on a great course. I heard a lot of bad things before I came down here but I think the course is absolutely fabulous.
Chuck: We’ve had a great week and a half of pre-running and we’ve had a great time. The course is really tough and you’ve got to be really smart. I’ve got the nighttime session so I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me.
Mark Miller/Ryan Arciero, No. 81, SCORE Trophy-Truck –
Mark: Ryan and I started, more or less two years ago, trying to have Volkswagen involved at every level and we wanted to start at the grass-roots level. Last night, we had a few of the 1600 teams come up and personally thank us. It’s a really great feeling to feel like we’re having an impact on all the guys that really made this sport what it is. We’re so happy that Volkswagen had made a commitment to be involved with SCORE on a long-term basis.
Ryan: I don’t think we can say ‘thank you’ enough to Sal because he has given us an opportunity to live our dreams and live our goals and our ambitions. Thank you, Sal, and obviously to Volkswagen, as well, for coming to the table. We need this sport to flourish and we want to do everything we can to make sure that this sport does flourish.
Chad Ragland/Larry Ragland, No. 33, SCORE Trophy-Truck –
Chad: I really want to thank all of the people in Mexico. This is a dream for me but a huge event for the community and all the people. This is a dream come true for me, to be able to race with my dad at this race. To be out here and to compete at this level – and to do it with my dad – I feel like I’m the luckiest guy alive. It’s an excellent course and I think it’s going to be a true test of vehicle, of patience and of preparation.
Scott Steinberger, Mike Childress, Jimmy Nuckles, No. 7, SCORE Trophy-Truck 1 –
Mike: I’ve been fortunate enough to win the 1000 twice overall on a motorcycle and now I’m switching my career over to four wheels. I believe Sal truly hates us when he’s out marking this course. I just shake my head and can’t believe where he sends us. But I’m looking forward to it.
Rick D. Johnson/Ricky Johnson, No. 71, SCORE Trophy-Truck –
Ricky: I really believe this is the deepest field that the 1000 has ever seen. It’s going to be a six- to eight-truck race to Santa Tomas and from there it’s going to be a battle all the way in. It’s going to be an awesome race.
Kent Kroeker, No. 862, Stock Full – The course is unbelievable – what a great course. It’s a little of everything, it’s challenging and it’s just everything that Baja should be. This is the greatest motor sports event in the world and, for me, it’s the greatest day in the world.
Pete Sohren, No. 2, SCORE Trophy-Truck – This is a very good course. I’ve never been on a course with this much terrain change. I think the first 126 miles is going to be a test of wills more than anything else. I think the race starts at mile 126, in my opinion, and then it’s going to be game on.
Brendan Gaughan, No. 123, Class 1 – I’ve done a lot of the course in the past, probably since I was five years old. It hasn’t changed much; it’s just gotten rougher. This is the first time in about eight years that I’ve pre-run. Every time I’ve raced, I’ve come from another race, I show up, I have no GPS and we jump; in and race it like old times. We’re excited this year.