PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
GUS VILDOSOLA JR., No. 21 (First in class and first overall.) — We drew 25th (starting position) and I was extremely worried about that. It really changed my game plan during the race. We got around a bunch of guys and it was a good clean race. That’s what we needed. We were running in the dust, bushes and things sometimes bigger than bushes that got in the way. We started seeing nice compacted dirt near San Matias and it was really slippery around Mike’s loop. I had to do some creative things to get around other trucks. We are pretty aggressive with our truck. Going up to Borrego we could really push the truck and we made up some good time. A lot of the track played to our strengths.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — I can’t say enough about Larry (Roeseler.) He started in the back and did a wonderful job. We were unlucky on the draw, which is really a disadvantage. These races are so competitive and being able to work his way through the crowd is a big testament to Larry. CO-DRIVER LARRY ROESELER said: We had good wind this morning, the track was awesome, the truck was really good and it was an exciting race. It was a little sloppy and muddy up around Mike’s loop but we had a great race with (Steven) Eugenio. We were right in the hunt of it and still ended up really good.
STEVEN EUGENIO, No. 7 (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — I hoped to finish a little better but what more can you ask for? We couldn’t have asked for a better truck. I had a few issues out there but I’m here, I’m safe and I’m in Mexico. It can’t get any better than this. At one point we got short-fueled so we had to turn around on the highway at San Matias and go the opposite direction back to the pit. That cost us about two and a half minutes. We slid off the road at Mike’s and down into a tree. We lost another 45 seconds to a minute trying to get the truck out. It was just enough to let Larry (Roeseler,) who started a minute behind me, get right up to me. I was taking it easy and he was actually running a little hot and slid into the back of me. He apologized but I completely understand. There was so much water and rain out there. It was a miserable racing condition and was an absolute downpour at Mike’s loop. Roads were washing out and it was greasy and slick. We were thinking it would take 20 minutes to do the loop but we ended up doing it in 35 minutes.
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — B.J. Baldwin was who we were doing battle with from the beginning of the race. We got ahead of Juan C. Lopez when he rolled over and then we got past Troy Herbst at mile 34. We stayed on pace with him until we got to Mike’s loop and my truck started missing and running badly. It was pouring rain and we were soaking wet. The mud was just super greasy. The reason the truck doesn’t look muddy is because it was raining so hard on the highway it rinsed it all clean and then we got back into the desert and the water dried off. When we heard in the morning that the summit was closed from all the rain, we strategized and started moving pits around and moved our chase guys. It was a great event and we really ran strong. We ran as hard as we could at the finish. We had some electrical problem and we contemplated stopping to check it but I just said “let’s go.” It was quite a struggle, but we made it.
JUAN C. LOPEZ, No. 18 (Fifth in class seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We rolled the truck early in the race, but even after those few turns everything looked good. While the truck was rolling I just wanted it to land on its feet again so I could keep going. We are here and that’s what counts.
TROY HERBST, No. 91 (Eighth in class and overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Ryan Arciero started the race.) — We were running in virgin territory because we haven’t been out there in a few years. We got stuck for about 20 minutes so we got ourselves dug out and hauled the truck back up to the front. We are really proud of our finish. We appreciate it and love San Felipe.
JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 101 (First in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Matney drove the entire race.) — SCORE did an excellent job today on the course, especially with all of the weather issues we were having. The course is really tough and really gnarly but overall it was an awesome run. I can’t thank my co-driver Kellon Walch enough. He did an awesome job and when I pre-run he knows all the really good lines to keep me calm and keep me focused.
DAMEN JEFFERIES, No. 121 (Second in class sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We got stuck in the dust off the start and Justin (Matney) got by me and we followed him the whole way. We lost an intercom going up over Mike’s and never had any communication coming back. I think the rain may have knocked it out. We pushed as hard as we could. We had no mechanical problems but just got beat.
TODD ROMANO, No. 133 (Third in class. Romano drove the entire race.) — The course was great and the changes they made were probably the best decision for all of the racers. I liked the high speed and thought the rough technical racing was great. We really had no mechanical challenges and never got out of the car once. The markings were clear and even the newly marked course was awesome.
RICHARD BOYLE, No. 156 (Fourth in class. Boyle drove the entire race.) — We started last today and didn’t get a chance to pre-run because we didn’t get the car done until Thursday night, so we headed on down and just winged it. I almost wrecked it 10 or fifteen times because it was muddy as heck. I’ve never seen it like that. We just went where the car wanted to go and we weren’t controlling it. Not knowing the course and not having raced down here in a few years didn’t help. We never slept Thursday night so we had a rough time.
CODY ROBINSON, No. 1016 (First in class. Roberto Romo drove the first half of the race.) — Everything went good. Roberto Romo started, took the first half of the race and had no problems. We were running pace with the leader. I got in and had a pretty good run until I got in Jessica McMillin’s (82) dust and drove it into a rock. I got the tire changed out and made pretty good time to the finish.
RICARDO MALO, No. 1018 (Second in class.) — The day went pretty good. It was challenging right from the start as it was very dusty. We were a couple of seconds apart in a pack of five vehicles so it extremely dusty and we couldn’t see at all. When it cleared we were able to start pushing harder and we were able pass several cars. Later we lost the bolts on the front left caliper and the wheel froze. We had to stop and take the tire off and release the caliper which cost us position.
CODY REID, No. 1068 (Third in class. Reid drove the entire race.) — We had a pretty flawless day with no real issues until 10 miles from the finish when we pitched a belt. We drove to the finish with no power steering while hoping our alternators and battery held out. We didn’t stop because at that point we were committed. We had fun on the slip-and-slide at Mike’s. We almost went of the side of the road.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
LARRY CONNOR, No. 871 (First in class. Connor split the driving with Jose Grijalva) — We had no problems and the tires held up perfectly all day.
TAYLOR MILLS, No. 841 (Second in class. Mills drove the entire race.) — We had a clean race with no problems. We were a little cautious in the rain going up to Mike’s. It was slippery and wet and we didn’t want to splash too much water over the hood because it was dousing our visors. We ran smart. The sign on the dashboard says “think pre-run,” so that was my motto for the race
RICKY BRABEC, No. 4x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Brabec shared riding duties with Shane Esposito and Max Eddy Jr.) — The first 40 miles of the race was good with Colton Udall (1x) and I going back and forth. I’ve never started a Mexico race and I’ve never finished a Mexico race before so it was pretty awesome. These guys are all good partners. We delivered the bike all in one piece. CO-RIDER SHANE ESPOSITO said: He (Brabec) gave me the bike right on Colton and we got going. Colton had a problem at the dry lake bed when a tire came apart. I got around him and at Mike’s Loop when I got across the bar and then backed it down. We stayed together and I think he missed a VCP (visual checkpoint) and we had a close race. When we got to Trinidad there was a course change and that’s when Max (Eddy Jr.) got on. I didn’t have any issues other than coming across the bar. CO-RIDER MAX EDDY JR. said: I was pretty bummed (about the course change) because I had fun riding over the summit. I just knew if I held it together and stayed in the 1x’s dust that we could bring it home safe. It’s hard not to lose your focus while you’re sitting there. I just had to stay focused and stay after it. I knew that nobody had ridden the new course that was marked out, so nobody had the lines. I knew I needed to ride it like a regular desert race and get the bike to the finish.
COLTON UDALL, No. 1x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle to finish. Udall shared riding duties with his brother Ian Young) — We got a flat tire over the dry lake bed and we lost two minutes. My brother (Ian Young) had an awesome ride and he’s just a fill-in guy for Mark Samuels. He’s really proven himself. He caught the Kawasaki guys and passed them. On the new section of the course I was going too fast and went off of a cliff. I’m happy that I’m healthy and didn’t break anything but I did a lot of damage to my motorcycle. Just a month ago Mark Samuels and I put together this team and I really wanted to come out on top. CO-RIDER IAN YOUNG said: I just had to get the bike from point A to point B. Luckily it rained all night for the last few days and I had perfect traction which allowed me to close up on the Kawasaki because I could see where he was going. I could key off of his mistakes and I ended up catching him.
FERNANDO BELTRAN, No. 125x (First in class. Beltran shared riding duties with Emanuel Verdugo and Fernando Tavares.) – CO-RIDER FERNANDO TAVARES said: The course was difficult and when we stopped before starting the new course we just wanted to chill. It was windy, sunny, rainy and then sunny again. We are happy to be here and it felt good to finish.
FRANCISCO SEPTIEN, No. 300x (First in class and third overall motorcycle to finish. Septien shared riding duties with Gerardo Rojas, Vicente Guerro and Tyler Renshaw.) — I didn’t know what to expect (with the course change) but we already had a good lead so we just took it easy and we’re here.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 310x (Second in class.) — We had a great ride. Everything went good and I really enjoy Mexico. CO-RIDER KEVIN MURPHY said: We had our pit strategy down but it (the course change) throws a little loop in there. In racing you are always changing stuff at the last minute but we came together as a team and got organized again. The bike was flawless but there were a couple of things with plans on where we would pit for fuel. There were definitely some questions there with not having pre-run the section coming out of Borrego. All of us had probably run it before but there are things you would like to see before going into them.
GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 410x (First in class. Spinali shared riding duties with Paul Thomas, Mike Carter and John Griffin) — I didn’t do very well in my section and these guys (teammates Paul Thomas, Mike Carter and John Griffin) pulled through for me even with the issue of a detour. The bike just wasn’t set up for me and I went off the course several times. I don’t usually get up until noon and we started at six. That may have been a problem. When the race was stopped we were five minutes out of first, but we were able to come in about 10 minutes ahead.
RICHARD JACKSON, No. 603x (First in class. Jackson shared riding duties with Gregg Hawks, and Mark Force) — CO-RIDER GREGG HAWKS said: It was disappointing that we couldn’t do the whole race but it was starting to get hot out there (while waiting for the restart.) When the course changed we had to switch everything around at the last minute. In my section I ran through a lot of pounded whoops.
JAVIER ROBLES JR., No. 10a (First in class and first overall ATV to finish. Robles shared riding duties with Mike Cafro, Felipe Velez and Jorie Williams) — CO-RIDER FELIPE VELEZ said: It was fun but epic because the course changed. It changed our plan big time because we didn’t have enough gas in place for the course change.
ADOLFO ARELLANO, No. 1a (Second in class. Arellano shared riding duties with Francisco Vera, Nick Destout and Bradley Howe.) – CO-RIDER FRANCISCO VERA said: The ride was really fast and muddy with some really rough sections. From El Chinero to the finish line was really good competition. The 10a (Javier Robles Jr.) was pushing really hard. We were leading the race until the 10a passed us in El Chinero but we pushed hard and passed them for the lead.
JESUS LOPEZ, No. 19a (Third in class. Lopez shared riding duties with Juan Sanchez, Jesus Munguia and Daniel Salazar.) — It was a hard race with the course changes and we did the best we could. We finished third so we’re happy. It was a good start to the season.