Baja Racing News was the First to call the Collins-Ragland Trophy Truck as WINNERS in the 2006 Baja 500! We were also the First to provide the Official Winners List! Our LIVE-Non-Stop coverage was first done at the San Felipe 250 in 2005, the First LIVE WEBCAST of a Baja Offroad Racing event!
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Baja 500 Awards Ceremony
From L-R, The TECATE Girls, Nico Saad of the San Nicholas Hotel, Baja 500 Champion Larry Ragland, Gary Newsome of Baja Racing News, SCORE Sal Fish, TECATE Girls and Oscar Ramos of SCORE.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
LIVE at the Awards Ceremony!
Good Afternoon, Baja Racing News is LIVE in Ensenada, Mexico at the Awards Ceremony. Pics & Stories loading...
In an interview moments ago with Sal Fish, SCORE INTERNATIONAL, Sal Exclusively told the Baja Racing News, "We are very proud of the 2006 Baja 500. We had a record number of entries, a record number of finishers, a very challenging and demanding course and still, alot of people won in Baja!".
Sal Fish and Larry Ragland with the Baja Racing News on Thursday night.
Ouside the San Nicholas Hotel, where the Awards ceremony is, the mad scramble to get your last souvenirs before the trip north, home to gringolandia.
Ah yes! The plunder from the Race!
BAJA 500 OFFICIAL RESULTS
222 Official Finishers out of race-record
438 starters in 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500
June 4, 2006
38th Tecate SCORE BAJA 500
Round 3 of six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series
June 3-4 -- Ensenada, Mexico, 424.29 miles
Total Entries: 465 Total Starters: 438 Total Finishers: 222
THE OFFICIAL FINISHERS
TOP OVERALL FINISHERS
Cars & Trucks
1. Brian Collins, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 9:36:49 (44.13mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
2. Alan Pflueger, Honolulu, Chevy Silverado, 9:44:05 (43.59mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
3. Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:03:40 (42.17mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
4. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Canyon Country, Calif., Smithbuilt-Ford, 10:09:20 (41.78mph) (CLASS 1)
5. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:10:02 (41.73mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
6. Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 10:10:54 (41.67mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
7. Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Chevy CK1500, 10:18:32 (41.16mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
8. Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 10:23:31 (40.83mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
9. Dale Ebberts, Canyon Lake, Calif./Ernie Castro Jr., Newport Beach, Calif., Jimco-Toyota, 10:23:42 (40.82mph) (CLASS 1)
10. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 10:25:21 (40.71mph) (CLASS 1)
11. Darren Hardesty, Ramona, Calif./Mark Randazzo, Poway, Calif., AlumiCraft-VW, 10:34:32 (40.12mph) (CLASS 10)
12. David Scaroni/Matt Scaroni, Heber, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:38:35 (39.87mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
13. Kory Scheeler/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:41:53 (39.66mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
14. Bobby Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:56:24 (38.78mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
15. Andy McMillin, Poway, Calif./Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 10:57:24 (38.72mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
16. Lobsam Yee/Angel Barajas, Tijuana, Mexico, Jimco-Honda, 11:14:53 (37.72mph) (CLASS 10)
17. Buddy Feldkamp, Seal Beach, Calif./Bud Feldkamp, Redlands, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 11:15:12 (37.70mph) (CLASS 1)
18. Will Higman, Newport Beach, Calif., Kreger-Honda, 11:25:26 (37.14mph) (CLASS 10)
19. Billy Gasper, Chino Hills, Calif./Eric Stewart, Loma Linda, Calif., Porter-Honda, 11:31:35 (36.81mph) (CLASS 10)
20. Ron Whitton, Maricopa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 11:35:41 (36.59mph) (SCORE-TROPHY TRUCK)
1. Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:59:04 (47.22mph) (CLASS 22)
2. Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., Honda XR650R, 9:19:20 (45.51mph) (CLASS 22)
3. (TIE) Brian Pinard, Murrieta, Calif./Taber Murphy, Wenatchee, Wash., Honda XR650R and Ron Wilson, Encinitas, Calif./Scott Myers, Sun City, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 9:45:10 (43.50 mph) (CLASS 30)
5. Logan Holladay, Lompoc, Calif./Quinn Cody, Los Olivos, Calif., Honda XR650R, 10:13:11 (41.52mph) (CLASS 22)
6. Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif./Craig Adams, Oceanside, Calif./Tom Willis, Las Vegas/Eric Brown, Phoenix, Honda XR650R, 10:24:19 (40.78 mph) (CLASS 40)
7. Jason Trubey, Bullhead City, Ariz./Luke Dodson, Castaic, Calif., Suzuki RMZ450, 10:37:28 (39.94 mph) (CLASS 21)
8. Jimmy Lewis, Costa Mesa, Calif./Dave Donatoni, Thousand Oaks, Calif., BMW HP2, 10:38:07 (39.89mph) (CLASS 22)
9. J. David Ruvalcaba/Rogelio Pando, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda XR650R, 10:38:23 (39.88mph) (CLASS 30)
10. David McKay, Woodburn, Ore./David Morton, Canby, Ore./Paul Ostbo, Cle Elum, Wash., Honda CRF450X, 10:38:42 (39.86mph) (CLASS 40)
1. Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 10 hours, 23 minutes, 45 seconds (40.81mph) (CLASS 25)
2. Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif./Chad Prull, Laveen, Ariz., Honda TRX450R, 10:25:25 (40.70mph) (CLASS 25)
3. Francisco Ruano/Marcos Moreno/Sergio Fuentes, Tijuana, Mexico, Honda TRX 450R, 10:49:33 (39.19mph) (CLASS 25)
4. Jeff Hancock, Salome, Ariz./Joshua Edwards/Kirk Schreier, Phoenix, Honda TRX450R, 11:03:13 (38.38mph) (CLASS 25)
5. Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev./Anthony Baker, El Cajon, Calif., Bombardier Outlander, 11:14:45 (37.73mph) (CLASS 25)
Pro Cars & Trucks
SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)--
1. Brian Collins, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 9 hours, 36 minutes, 49 seconds (44.13 miles per hour); 2. Alan Pflueger, Honolulu, Chevy Silverado, 9:44:05; 3. Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:03:40; 4. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:10:02; 5. Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 10:10:54; 6. Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Chevy CK1500, 10:18:32; 7. Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 10:23:31; 8. David Scaroni/Matt Scaroni, Heber, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:38:35; 9. Kory Scheeler/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:41:53; 10. Bobby Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 10:56:24; 11. Andy McMillin, Poway, Calif./Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 10:57:24; 12. Ron Whitton, Maricopa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 11:35:41; 13. Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif./Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., Ford F-150, 11:58:19; 14. Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Ed Stout, Irvine, Calif., Ford F-150, 12:04:48; 15. Marty Coyne/Travis Coyne/Brandon Coyne, El Centro, Calif., Ford F-150, 12:07:21; 16. Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif./Mark Miller, Carefree, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 12:38:43; 17. Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., Ford F-150, 13:27:17; 18. Luis Wallace, Juarez, Mexico, Ford F-150, 13:32:06; 19. Chad Ragland, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado, 16:22:01; 20. Scott Steinberger, Signal Hill, Calif., Ford F-150, 17:52:12
(37 Starters, 20 Finishers)
CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)--
1. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Canyon Lake, Calif., Smithbuilt-Ford, 10:09:20 (41.78mph); 2. Dale Ebberts, Canyon Lake, Calif./Ernie Castro Jr., Newport Beach, Calif., Jimco-Toyota, 10:23:42; 3. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 10:25:21; 4. Buddy Feldkamp, Seal Beach, Calif./Bud Feldkamp, Redlands, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 11:15:12; 5. Brian Parkhouse, Bell Gardens, Calif./Tom Ridings, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 11:57:22; 6. Richard Boyle, Ridgecrest, Calif./Ron Brant, Oak Hills, Calif., HMS-Chevy, 12:33:09; 7. Harley Letner/Kory Halopoff, Orange, Calif., Tatum-Chevy, 12:45:51; 8. Kash Vessels, Bonsall, Calif., Alpha-Chevy, 13:30:17; 9. Jamie Campbell, San Juan Capistrano, Calif./George Rosenbaum, Mission Viejo, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 13:59:22; 10. Lee Patten, Bellflower, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 15:22:22; 11. Cam Thieriot, Santa Rosa, Calif./Malcolm Smith, Riverside, Calif./Glenn Harris, Camarillo, Calif., RPS-Chevy, 15:28:29; 12. Eric Hamann, Coto de Caza, Calif./Russ Hansen, Paramount, Calif., Baja Shop-Chevy, 15:30:24; 13. Vincent DeJong, Temecula, Calif./Tex Mitchell, 35, Aguanga, Calif., 15:54:35; 14. Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif./Dave Mason, Valley Center, Calif., Jimco-BMW, 16:20:10; 15. Joe Myers, Apple Valley, Calif./Kenny McCoid, Chino Hills, Calif., HMS-Chevy, 16:27:38; 16. Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif./Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 16:47:38; 17. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Jimco-Chevy, 17:37:11
(36 Starters, 17 Finishers)
CLASS 1-2/1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)--
1. Gerardo Iribe, Ensenada, Mexico, Curry-ISRT, 12:41:20 (33.44mph); 2. Caleb Gaddis, El Centro, Calif., Curry, 12:55:10; 3. Max Hanberg/Bernie Carr, Solvang, Calif., Lothringer, 12:55:38; 4. Sammy Ehrenberg, Las Vegas/L.J. Kennedy, Orange, Calif., Jimco, 13:36:40; 5. Brian Burgess, Riverside, Calif./Daniel Folts, Chino, Calif., Bunderson/Fat VW, 13:57:00; 6. Daniel Lopez/Misael Arabula, Ensenada, Mexico, Curry, 13:59:51; 7. Arturo Velazco/Abel Velazco, Beaumont, Calif., Porter, 14:04:48; 8. Dave Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif., Lothringer, 14:07:24; 9. Carlos Escobedo/Ramiro Escobedo, Ensenada, Mexico, Fraley, 14:12:59; 10. Arnoldo Ramirez/Rogerio Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico, Curry, 14:19:15; 11. Max Thieriot, Santa Rosa, Calif./Alexander Smith, Riverside, Calif., Porter, MSR MX, 14:19:20; 12. Daniel McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Crecencio Corez, Chula Vista, Calif., Jimco, 15:11:15; 13. Craig Forrest, San Clemente, Calif./Todd Johnson, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Mirage, 15:16:43; 14. William Lawrence, El Cajon, Calif./Alfonso Varo, San Vicente, Mexico, Varo, 15:17:00; 15. Ed Bonanni, Huntington Beach, Calif./Jim Conte, South Gate, Calif./Allan Hansak, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Lothringer, 15:51:50; 16. Carlos Bernaldez, Ensenada, Mexico, Jimco, 16:05:50; 17. Brent Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif./Scott Burch, Laguna Beach, Calif., Mirage, 16:36:47; 18. Rick Battey/Jeff Battey, Grants Pass, Ore., Jimco, 17:19:10
(29 Starters, 18 Finishers)
CLASS 3 (Short Wheelbase 4X4)--
1. Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif./Kenneth Moss, Marysville, Calif., Ford Bronco, 14:36:57 (29.03mph)
(3 Starters, 1 Finisher)
CLASS 5 (Unlimited VW Baja Bugs)--
1. David Bonner, Norco, Calif./Rob Roy, Alta Loma, Calif., 13:22:22 (31.73mph); 2. George Seeley, Glendale, Calif., Dwight Fourell, 15:21:52
(5 Starters, 2 Finishers)
CLASS 5/1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)--
1. Marcos Nunez/Norberto Rivera, Ensenada, Mexico, 13:32:38 (31.33mph); 2. Ernesto Arambula/Octavio Zamora, Ensenada, Mexico, 15:24:12; 3. James Tedford, Arcadia, Calif./Steve Landis, Los Alamitos, Calif., 17:16:46; 4. Danny Ledezma, El Centro, Calif./Mario Ledezma Jr., Menifee, Calif., 17:31:06
(16 Starters, 4 Finishers)
CLASS 7 (Open mini trucks)--
1. Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee, Summerland, Calif., Ford Ranger, 14:30:19 (29.25mph); 2. David Binns/Jared Teague, Las Cruces, N.M., Ford Ranger, 17:03:05
(9 Starters, 2 Finishers)
CLASS 7S (Stock mini trucks)--
(4 Starters, 0 Finishers)
CLASS 7SX (Modified, open mini trucks)--
1. John Holmes, Olivenhain, Calif./Mark Landersman, Temecula, Calif., Ford Ranger, 14:52:22 (28.53mph); 2. Dan Street Jr/Danny Street, Chula Vista, Calif., Ford Ranger, 15:50:25; 3. Noe Sierra, San Bernardino, Calif./Tony Sierra, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Ranger, 17:13:05; 4. Jeff Lloyd/Toby O’Mara, W. Hollywood, Calif., Ford Ranger, 17:49:06
(9 Starters, 4 Finishers)
CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive trucks)--
1. Nick Vanderwey/Michael Vanderwey, Phoenix/Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz., GMC Sierra, 11:45:53 (36.06mph); 2. Juan Carlos Lopez/Fernando de los Cobos, Chula Vista, Calif., Ford-460, 11:51:36; 3. Dave Raimonde/Bob Clark, Phoenix, Chevy C1500, 14:44:42
(8 Starters, 3 Finishers)
CLASS 9 (VW-powered, Short wheelbase, single or two-seaters)--
1. Eric Fisher, Ensenada, Mexico, Garibay, 17:33:40 (24.16mph)
(8 Starters, 1 Finisher)
CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc)--
1. Darren Hardesty, Ramona, Calif./Mark Randazzo, Poway, Calif., AlumiCraft-VW, 10:34:32 (40.12mph); 2. Lobsam Yee/Angel Barajas, Tijuana, Mexico, Jimco-Honda, 11:14:53; 3. Will Higman, Newport Beach, Calif., Kreger-Honda, 11:25:26; 4. Billy Gasper, Chino Hills, Calif./Eric Stewart, Loma Linda, Calif., Porter-Honda, 11:31:35; 5. John Cooley, Santee, Calif./Dave Richardson, La Mesa, Calif., AlumiCraft-VW, 11:54:10; 6. Javier Robles, Mexicali, Mexico, 14:44:36; 7. Alex Crostwaithe, San Diego/Jose Gonzales, Jimco-Honda, 15:28:15
(30 Starters, 7 Finishers)
SCORE LITE (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)--
1. Tim Noe/Tom Watson/Travis Clarke, El Centro, Calif., Jimco, 12:23:36 (34.24mph); 2. Rick St. John, Carlsbad, Calif./Dean Bayerle, Poway, Calif., KIT, 12:41:52; 3. Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif./RodneySmith, Alpine, Calif., Prill, 12:49:48; 4. Craig Brabant, Hesperia, Calif./Reggie Dunlap, Oak Hills, Calif., Dunrite, 13:02:54; 5. Stan Potter, San Marcos, Calif./Dan Worley, Encinitas, Calif., Jimco, 13:06:55; 6. Matt Drever, Dana Point, Calif./Dave Wert, San Clemente, Calif., Penhall, 13:07:27; 7. Mike Halliday, Riverside, Calif./Jason Holes, Victorville, Calif., Porter, 13:16:23; 8. Rich Roberts/Rob Martensen, Phoenix, Chenowth, 13:52:50; 9. Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Aaron Hawley, Las Vegas, Desert Assassin, 14:15:36; 10. Greg Gustin, Castiac, Calif./Brent Gustin, Seal Beach, Calif., Penhall, 14:28:35; 11. Ken Stroud, Alpine, Calif./Darryl Denlinger, Descanso, Calif., Jimco, 14:53:34; 12. Ruben Gutierrez, Hemet, Calif./Mark Agee, Vista, Calif., Porter, 17:38:19; 13. David Callaway, Menifee, Calif./Scott Mapes, Riverside, Calif., Dunrite, 17:43:30
(32 Starters, 13 Finishers)
CLASS 11 (Stock VW Sedans)--
(7 Starters, 0 Finishers)
1100 Eric Solorzano/Eric Solorzano Jr, Tijuana, Mexico
1102 Jake Muellen/Christine Thomas, San Diego
1103 Raul Ortiz, Encinitas, Calif./Cesar Garcia, Ensenada, Mexico
1145 David Hendrickson, Murrieta, Calif./Brian Calliari, W. Babylon, N.Y./Robby Hendrickson, Murrieta, Calif., VW Sedan
1146 Rene Rodriguez, Ensenada, Mexico/Eliseo Garcia, San Ysidro, Calif.
1148 Shelby Stahler, Carson City, Nev./Stee Spellerberg, San Diego
1149 Jason Gutzmer/Jeremy Altman, Poway, Calif.
STOCK FULL (Stock, Full-sized trucks)--
1. Terry Henn/Eric Henn, Walnut, Calif., Hummer H2, 16:53:22 (25.12mph)
(6 Starters, 1 Finisher)
STOCK MINI (Stock, mini trucks)--
1. Rod Hall, Reno, Nev./Larry Webster, Hummer H3, 17:46:24 (23.87mph)
(3 Starters, 1 Finisher)
PROTRUCK (Limited Production Trucks)--
1. Rob Reintertson, Woodside, Calif./Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif., Ford F-150, 12:46:56 (33.19mph); 2. Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif./Joey Westhoff, Anaheim, Caif., Chevy Silverado, 13:12:45; 3. Joe Bednar, Agoura Hills, Calif./George Peters, Newbury Park, Calif., Chevy1500, 14:20:52; 4. Jason Voss/Rich Voss, Cupertino, Calif., Ford F-150, 14:21:37; 5. Gus Vildosola Jr, Mexicali, Mexico/Bryan Freeman, Henderson, Nev., Toyota Tundra, 15:07:43; 6. Jim Wasson, Maple Valley, Wash./Dave Creagan, Woodland, Wash., Chevy Silverado, 15:10:45; 7. Chris Lucas, Dublin, Ohio/Eric Place, Columbus, Ohio/Robert Guerrero, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Ford F-150, 15:55:03; 8. J.R. Stanley, San Clemente, Calif./Mike Grover, Orange, Calif., 16:18:18; 9. Gary Magness/Steve Knudson, Denver, Ford F-150, 16:56:51; 10. Rick L. Johnson, Oak Hills, Calif./Dane Cardone, Huntington Beach, Calif., Toyota Tundra, 17:48:49
(15 Starters, 10 Finishers)
CLASS 17 (Class 3 modified Jeeps)--
(2 Starters, 0 Finishers)
CLASS 22 (250cc or more)--
1. Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:59:04 (47.22mph); 2. Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., Honda XR650R, 9:19:20; 3. Logan Holladay, Lompoc, Calif./Quinn Cody, Los Olivos, Calif., Honda XR650R, 10:13:11; 4. Jon Ortner, Santa Barbara, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:50:29; 5. Jesse Sharpe, Escondido, Calif./Denis Boulter, El Cajon, Calif., Honda XR650R, 10:52:40; 6. Robert Barnum, Phelan, Calif./Jack McCormick, Tempe, Ariz., Honda XR650R, 10:56:43; 7. Jimmy Lewis, Costa Mesa, Calif./Dave Donatoni, Thousand Oaks, Calif., BMW HP2, 10:58:07; 8. Gary Cluff, Mesa, Ariz./Marc Francke, Marina del Rey, Calif., Honda XR650R, 11:02:28; 9. Chris Gunnett/Rob Gibson, Dan Walsh, Ramona, Calif., Honda XR650R, 11:20:14; 10. Cameron Steele/Grant Steele/Trigger Gumm, San Clemente, Calif., Suzuki RMZ450, 11:32:22; 11. Scott Thompson/Nick Thomspon/Steven Thompson, Long Beach, Calif., Honda XR650R, 11:42:22; 12. Rex Steerman, Sylmar, Calif./Matt Shook, Long Beach, Calif., Honda XR650R, 11:54:49; 13. Johnny Jensen, San Diego/Taylor Knorr, Lakeside, Calif./Eric Malcolm, San Diego, Honda CRF450X, 11:56:39; 14. Rick Williams/Ron Ayers/Rueben Silva, Las Vegas, Honda XR650R, 12:37:05; 15. Nate Scott, Liberty, Mo./BudCarmen, Harrisonville, Mo./Wad Wasinger, Lenexa, Kan., KTM 525 EXC, 12:57:47
(16 Starters, 15 Finishers)
CLASS 20 (125cc)--
1. Chad Erl/George Erl, Huntington Beach, Calif., Husqvarna TC250, 11:11:07 (37.93mph)
(2 Starters, 1 Finisher)
CLASS 21 (126cc to 250cc)--
1. Jason Trubey, Bullhead City, Ariz./Luke Dodson, Castaic, Calif., Suzuki RMZ450, 10:37:28 (39.94mph); 2. Kevin Johnson, Corona, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:46:39; 3. Shaun Hanson, Murrieta, Calif./Jim McKay, Hemet, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:59:32; 4. Ryan Buillargeon, San Diego/Ross Baillargeon, La Mesa, Calif., Yamaha WR450, 11:13:26; 5. Alfredo Contreras, Tijuana, Mexico/Juan Saffon, Colombia, Husqvarna TE, 11:15:17; 6. Marco Bernaldez/Emanuel Verdugo, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 11:22:16; 7. Ernesto Inowe/Victor Gomez, Ensenada, Mexico, Yamaha WR250, 11:23:49; 8. Octavio Ascolani/Alfredo Ascolani, Calexico, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 12:46:09; 9. Chris Parker, Newport Beach, Calif./Tim Bina, Irvine, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 12:59:34; 10. Brett Helms, Valley Center, Calif./Jim Rawlins, Escondido, Calif., Honda CRF450x, 14:09:29
(13 Starters, 10 Finishers)
CLASS 30 (Riders over 30 years old)--
1. (TIE) Brian Pinard, Murrieta, Calif./Taber Murphy, Wenatchee, Wash., Honda XR650R and Ron Wilson, Encinitas, Calif./Scott Myers, Sun City, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 9:45:10 (43.50mph); 3. J. David Ruvalcaba/Rogelio Pando, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda XR650R, 10:38:23; 4. Gerardo Rojas, Vicente Guerrero/Jorge Hernandez/Fancisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda XR650R, 10:45:17; 5. Robert Gustine, Valley Center, Calif./Ryan Gustine, San Diego, Yamaha YZ450F, 10:48:17; 6. Kevin Smith/ChrisStewart, LaVerne, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:51:53; 7. Sergio Vega, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda XR650R, 10:54:41; 8. Baron Pickett, El Cajon, Calif./Steve Grieb, San Diego, Honda XR650R, 11:20:08; 9. Robert Laughlin, Solvang, Calif., Honda XR650R, 11:50:42; 10. Corey Keysar, Colorado Springs, Colo./Jim Jaquette, Mesa, Ariz., Honda XR650R, 12:03:45; 11. Darin Hecker, Grants Pass, Ore./Jorge Hernandez, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda XR650R, 12:10:58; 12. Gary Sparks, Anthem, Ariz., Honda XR650R, 13:02:10; 13. George Hecker, Moorpark, Calif./Craig Couture, Thousand Oaks, Calif., Honda XR650R, 13:05:39; 14. Scott Johnson, Indianpolis/Matthew Davidson, Trafalgar, Ind., Honda XR650R, 13:43:07; 15. Alan Casner/Steve Casner, Vacaville, Calif., Honda XR650R, 14:25:35
(16 Starters, 15 Finishers)
CLASS 40 (Riders over 40 years old)--
1. Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif./Craig Adams, Oceanside, Calif./Tom Willis, Las Vegas/Eric Brown, Phoenix, Honda XR650R, 10:24:19 (40.78mph); 2. David McKay, Woodburn, Ore./David Morton, Canby, Ore./Paul Ostbo, Cle Elum, Wash., Honda CRF450X, 10:38:42; 3. Brett Helm, Poway, Calif./Chris Steward, San Diego, Honda XR650R, 11:04:18; 4. Daryl Hambleton, Acton, Calif./Steve Trines, Honolulu, Jimmy Roberts, Honda XR650R, 11:14:17; 5. Larry Gross, Capistrano Beach, Calif./Dave Simpson, Redlands, Calif., Yamaha WR450YZ, 12:02:51; 6. David Rentfro, Livermore, Calif., Honda XR650R, 12:49:33; 7. Michael Laenger, Sherman Oaks, Calif./Kent Perkins, Bakersfield, Calif./Kevin Ward, Chatsworth, Calif., KTM 540XC, 13:28:26
(13 Starters, 7 Finishers)
CLASS 50 (Riders over 50 years old)--
1. Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif./Doug Heil, Monrovia, Calif./Mike Sixberry, Bullhead City, Ariz/Rick Gill, Carpenteria, Calif./Andy Kircker, Orange, Calif./Robert Hanson, Reno, Nev., Honda XR650R, 10:59:53 (38.58mph); 2. Doug Smith, Upland, Calif./Charlie Marshell/Gene Dempsey, Honda XR650R, 11:09:24; 3. Eizaburo Karasawa/Hisazumi Fukumura, Japan, Honda XR650R, 11:55:34; 4. Jim Savin, Cockensville, Md./Mark Daniels, Oxnard, Calif., Honda XR650R, 13:26:38
(4 Starters, 4 Finishers)
CLASS 25 (over 251cc)--
1. Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 10:23:45 (40.81mph); 2. Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif./Chad Prull, Laveen, Ariz., Honda TRX450R, 10:25:25; 3. Francisco Ruano/Marcos Moreno/Sergio Fuentes, Tijuana, Mexico, Honda TRX 450R, 10:49:33; 4. Jeff Hancock, Salome, Ariz./Joshua Edwards/Kirk Schreier, Phoenix, Honda TRX450R, 11:03:13; 5. Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev./Anthony Baker, El Cajon, Calif., Bombardier Outlander, 11:14:45; 6. Alex Camanini, El Cajon, Calif./Cesar Chanate, San Felipe, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 11:23:17; 7. Robert Ulloa, Chula Vista, Calif./Roberto Miramontes, Suzuki LTC450, 12:58:12; 8. Randy Dyer/Mark Dyer, Santa Clarita, Calif, Honda TRX450R, 13:17:35; 9. Dean Sundahl/James Woodford, Encinitas, Calif./D.L. Litten, San Diego, Yamaha 350, 15:38:05; 10. Josh Fink/Kevin Thompson, Phoenix, Honda TRX450R, 17:33:29
(17 Starters, 10 Finishers)
OVERALL SPT CAR--
(6 Starters, 0 Finishers)
OVERALL SPT TRUCK--
Steven Looney/Mike Ballard, Campo, Calif., Ford Ranger, 13:50:31 (30.65mph)
(10 Starters, 3 Finishers)
SPT UTV (660cc, 4-wheel utility vehicle)--
(4 Starters, 0 Finishers)
OVERALL SPT M/C>250cc—
Carlos Gonzalez, Navojoa, Mexico/Javier Hernandez, Obregon, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 11:20:44 (37.70mph)
(53 Starters, 34 Finishers)
OVERALL SPT M/C<250CC--
Tony Gurule, Las Crucas, N.M./Akris Papworth, Draper, Utah, 12:08:37 (34.94mph)
(6 Starters, 5 Finishers)
OVERALL SPT ATV--
Jason Stratton, Escondido, Calif./Travis Dillon, Spring Valley, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 11:55:23 (35.59mph)
(30 Starters, 14 Finishers)
Brian Collins/Larry Ragland [vehicle No. 12] powered their Chevy Silverado to a seven-minute, 16-second win over Monster rival Alan Pflueger. Ragland notched his fourth overall SCORE Baja 500 championship, tying him for the third most all time. In addition to claiming the overall titles in 1982 (Class 1), 1984 (Class 1), 2000 and this year, he also won class championships in 1991 (Class 8) and 2002, giving him six wins here in three different classes. Since SCORE Trophy-Truck debuted in 1994, Ragland has logged nine race titles, trailing only Ed/Tim Herbst’s 11 wins. Eight of those nine wins have come in Mexico, with the lone exception being last year’s SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300 with Collins. He has the distinction of winning at least SCORE Trophy-Truck race in eight of the 13 years, the most of any driver, although he has never been a season champion in the featured class. Collins claimed his third SCORE Trophy-Truck victory, while he was also victorious in Class 8 in the 1997 and 1998 SCORE Baja 500s.
“We are very happy Larry Ragland took the truck home,” Collins said. “He had wonderful day. I had a great day, not a flat tire all day long; the truck ran perfect. It’s nice to have a day where you have no problems - it makes it look easy but we put a lot of work into it, our sponsors put a lot of work into it. We are very fortunate to get to win. I drove the first 155 miles; it was really scary because I was going very slow. Larry Ragland drove the rest of the race.”
Alan Pflueger  finished second, just as he did in last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Pflueger was the last SCORE Trophy-Truck driver to record wins in consecutive races, triumphant in the 2004 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 as well as the SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300.
“I wish this was just half way!” Pflueger proclaimed. “The course was good. The biggest challenge that we had all day was just slow drivers holding us up. We bumped some guys that didn’t get out of the way and to me, that’s unfortunate because there is a little bit of honor in this sport and I lost respect for some people out there. But that is ok; we will just hit them harder next time and send them off the trail. Our strategy is to attack every opportunity we have, that’s what we did all day. We never hold back, we soloed this thing. I do not know how many guys solo this race, I got a little sweaty but I still have some more left in me.”
Josh Baldwin  finished third ahead of B.J. Baldwin, (97) (No relation) for the first time this season after placing higher each race last year.
“It was an awesome race,” Josh declared. “We had to change a drive shaft, had one flat on these BFG tires, but it was a driver error. Other than that we had a stellar day; we were leading for a while. Just an awesome day, couldn’t ask for more. Actually for a while there Billy, my brother’s co-driver, my brother was here today in our hearts (Jason); he was here in this truck with us.”
B.J. Baldwin, (97)
“It was really dusty and bumpy,” B.J. observed. “We had a handful of problems. There were some with the spectators, and I lost the alternator and then going into the finish I started losing transmission. Overall it was a good experience, it was great.”
Garron Cadiente , the winner of the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March, placed fifth. He was 52 seconds behind B.J. Baldwin and just over 34 minutes behind Collins and Ragland.
“The race was good but it was tough,” explained Cadiente. “We had a few problems; we had four flats today so that slowed us down quite a bit. We had a flat at mile 40, we lost a lot of positions. Later we had another flat and we were missing our jack so we had to drive on a flat for awhile. The course was rough but it was very good. There were a lot of people on the beach, it was a lot of fun. It was a good experience and I loved it. “
Cameron Steele/Ed Stout , placed 14th in SCORE Trophy-Truck, but that was on top of his Class 22 motorcycle [48x], which finished ninth in the class, and the SCORE Lite vehicle , which also placed ninth.
“I’m feeling good,” said the talkative Steele. “We made the finish line in four of six vehicles that we entered in the race today for the Desert Assassins. Under my own name, I think we made three top tens. As I’ve seen the course change throughout the day, it’s a mess now. The ruts are deep. It’s very tricky, very silty. It’s the most amazing course I’ve seen in offroad racing. I think that is what offroad is all about. It challenged me today. I got my ass kicked by some of the competition and by the course. But so be it. I’m ready to come back to the 1000 and kick it’s ass one more time. I drove over the finish line twice and over the start twice. I started the bike. I crashed that twice, passed five guys, got passed by Mikey Childress, and that was all in 15 miles. It was pretty chaotic. Then I started the Trophy Truck, passed a few cars, and I ran into a rock and tried to push a broken wheel, a flat tireup a hill and got stuck. And just my day went from there. We had some carburetor problems and the 12 car, Aaron Holly, did a great job. He led the 12 car field all day long. And then Cody Stewart continued to do that until Urupan, where we lost a fan belt and then they got in a bottleneck and everybody bunched up. They lost enough fan belts to where they didn’t have alternator belts on and they ran battery power all the way in. They stalled it a couple of times and it wouldn’t start. So they had to rely on Stan Potter and Dan Whorley to start them up, which was really cool of those guys to do. They bump started them and then Cody moved over to let them go because it the right thing to do. And we are here. I was in 3 classes today. My experience here has been awesome. I’d like to give Sal a big kiss right on the lips because I think he is doing a great job. This race course is kickass and everybody at SCORE deserves a thumbs up because it is only getting better. And if you want to race offroad, you can’t be scared. You got to come out and do it for real. We did it for real today.”
Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler  won for the second straight SCORE race, and placed fourth overall among all four-wheeled vehicles. In last year’s SCORE Baja 500 they were four hours behind the class winner, but this year they both moved up the on the race’s all-time ledgers. Roeseler increased his SCORE Baja 500 class championship total to 16, just one behind leader Ivan Stewart. Roesler, whose first win in this race came in 1972, has never gone more than five years with a class win in this race. He has won SCORE Baja 500 titles in Class 1, Class 7 and Class 22, and is tied with Stewart with 11 SCORE Baja 500 overall titles. Herbst tallied his seventh SCORE Baja 500 class win in the last 11 years, all in Class 1. Herbst was kept out of the winner’s circle last year after enjoying three victories in 2004, and now has won consecutive SCORE races for the first time since 2000, when he also won in San Felipe followed by a SCORE Baja 500 victory.
“It was a long race, I had a good time,” Herbst declared. “Larry Roeseler drove the first half; he did a great job, great race car. My brother was just behind us. I´m very happy to be here. It was a great race course.”
Dale Ebberts/Ernie Castro Jr.  were second in Class 1 but just the ninth overall four-wheeled vehicle to finish.
“It was good,” Ebberts stated. “We did have a few problems but stayed pretty much up front all day. We had to change the computer igniter and we had one flat. The course was good, tight, technical and very challenging, I started to get car sick.”
Mark McMillin  placed third for the second straight race, and it marked the fourth time in the last five SCORE races that he has been in the top three but unable to win.
“Mark drove the first half and then I drove,” said co-driver Brian Ewalsh. “We had some trouble with the ignition was because it kept cutting out but other than that everything was fine, we had fun.”
Gerardo Iribe  chalked up his first SCORE win in his hometown.
“I am very excited, this is a dream come true,” Iribe said. “Thanks to my dad, my wife, my children, in general the whole family. I think we deserved to win a 500. We worked hard to build this car so it can race properly. It was a tough race, very tough, but we had a lot of fun, we had some problems but at the end we won.”
Martin Casillas co-driver
“Gerardo drived the whole race we only had two changes of copilots,” co-driver Martin Casillas added. “It was a tough race, my eyes were hurting, we couldn’t see a thing, but we were fine, no flats, no problems. This is very rewarding because it is the first time we win and even though we have tried it has never happened. We are still working on this car and next race we are putting everything we got to win again.”
Caleb Gaddis  placed second, 28 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher, after completing the race solo.
“My drive today was dusty and long,” Gaddis wearily said. “I think I was in the car 12 or 13 hours today. This is my eighth SCORE race. I soloed this race today to see if I could do it. And I came in alright. I flipped the car once today at El Reyo and I had to keep adding oil to it. Other than that it was good. I just got stuck in a couple of bottlenecks, that was about it. But everybody else did also, I’m sure. I am so excited for the next race. We are leading points right now, so I can’t wait.”
Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee  tallied a two-and-a-half hour win in Class 7 after placing fourth in the season-opening race at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
“It was a great race,” the elder Chamlee, Dan said. “I’m a little tired. I drove the whole thing. It was fun. It was so neat. People flooded the road to make mud pits. There were a lot of neat obstacles out there. It was fun to overcome them. It was great. BF Goodrich tires always pull through for us.”
Darren Hardesty/Mark Randazzo  were the 11th and final four-wheeled vehicle to average at least 40 mph (40.12), which was good enough to earn them a Class 10 championship. Hardesty also won the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge to begin the year.
“It was a fantastic race, we didn’t have any flats,” Hardesty recalled. “We had a spark plug that came out right at the start so we had that fixed right away; we had a really clean run after that. The last 100 miles we started losing oil so we had to stop and fill but the car just ran flawlessly, it was beautiful. This is my first Baja win so it feels good. My partner Mark Randazzo drove the first 170 miles. He went to the pine forest, which is a very tough section, but we came in second place. The course was awesome. I love this rough course.”
Will Higman  placed third in Class 10.
“It was a really challenging race,” Higman stated. “We only averaged about 37 miles per hour so it was really slow. My arms are a little tired. It was a very challenging course, very slow, a lot of turns, a lot of breaking, rocks, water, there was everything. I saw more things today in this race than I have seen in years of racing; it was just crazy. I saw a car with it’s suspension ripped off, a dead cow in the middle of the road, people stuck in the water and stuck in the mud, everything, all kinds of things. The accomplishment is fun.”
Rob Reinertson/Rick D. Johnson  won the class championship, giving Johnson his second SCORE Baja 500 Protruck win in three years. On top of that, Johnson also won the 1995 Class 7s title prior to winning consecutive Protruck titles in the 1998 and 1999 SCORE Baja 500s.
“The course was very tough, very challenging,” Reinertson recalled. “We had a lot of dust, running behind some of the other classes. We had one flat tire. Got off the course once and got stuck, but some of the locals pulled us out right away. It was a good run. I drove the first half to mile 211, El Coyote, and Rick got in and took it from there. My experience here has been awesome. It’s always challenging. There’s so many things that they get you, there’s so many placed that if you’re not on the ball, you’ll get taken out real quick. I’m tired.”
“I don’t even know where to start, it’s just Baja,” Johnson said. “Especially the 500 the last couple years has been brutal, absolutely brutal. We had to deal with fog out on the beach. It was just unbelievable. You just can’t see. Then you get a little dust mixed in there from a couple of slow motorcycles and it’s just brutal. Then there were several places where there were bottlenecks, where other cars were stuck and were just stacked up, five or six waiting for someone to get out. We did that. That probably happened to us three times. I can’t believe we are the first ones to cross the finish line, but we just kept moving forward. Sometimes that is what it takes. No flats. No problems with our vehicle.”
Tim Noe/Tom Watson/Travis Clark  won after beginning the year with a pair of thirds.
“It was wild,” Watson commented. “It was a tough, tough race. Toughest Baja I’ve ever done. We had the fog, the dust coming back in. Everything about it was tough. The car ran great. No problems. Once it got good and dark we did good. We had a good trail. My co-pilot was like ‘right-three, right-two, left-two.’ Tim Noe started. He went to 248 and I took it to the finish.”
Nick Vanderway/Michael Vanderway/Larry Vanderway  teamed up to reclaim the SCORE Baja 500 Class 8 championship that the family won four straight years between 2001 and 2004. Last year they were just over 12 minutes shy of winning the title, but this year their fortunes were reversed and they staked out a five-plus minute win. The Vanderways also started out the year with a win in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
“It was a great course,” Nick stated. “Larry did the first half and I did the second half. So I did the same ‘ol same ‘ol. My brother did all the new and hard stuff. He was right on time. Only a couple of log jams. Kinda put us behind, that is why we are finishing late. This truck runs great. This truck belongs in the SCORE Baja 500. Five wins in class 8, (that achievement has) never been done before in class 8.”
David Bonner/Rob Roy  won the class championship, ending the two-year stranglehold by George Seeley , who had won five of the previous seven SCORE Baja 500s coming into this year.
“The fog was really bad along the coast and coming in here,” co-driver Drew Pelk said. “We got lost a couple of times but thanks to the GPS we made it. We just lost one headlight and that was the only problem we had, everything else was perfect. The road was kind of rough your typical Baja 500 race. David did all the heavy lifting, he had the tough part. All I had to do is bring it home, he drove the first 211 miles then we switched, he had a 30 minute lead so all I had to do was finish.”
Marcos Nunez/Norberto Rivera  won the class after finishing second in both last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 as well as the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March. Nunez claimed his eighth SCORE Baja 500 title, tying him for fifth all time.
There were no finishers for the third time in four years.
There were no finishers for the second straight year.
Eric Fisher  won for the fourth straight year and fifth time overall, having also won in 1995.
For the second straight year there were no official finishers, equaling the total times that happened from 1974-2004.
Terry Henn/Eric Henn  won the class championship after placing third in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge to kick the year off.
Rod Hall/Larry Webster  won the class championship, becoming just the second winner in the SCORE Baja 500 in this class since 1998. Only one year in that span (2001) has there been a winner, with all the rest of the years having no official finishers. Hall was the last class champion to cross the finish line, with a time of 17:46:24, taking the flag less than 15 minutes before the course closed.
In the fourth year of this class, there were no official finishers for the second straight time.
Steven Looney/Mike Ballard  won the Sportsman Truck class for the second time this year, also victorious in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
“It was a very interesting race,” Ballard explained. “Just everything that Mexico throws at you, and it’s a lot. It’s unbelievable; you would never know it unless you did it. It was fun. I drove to 140. Steve drove to 280, then I drove it home.”
MOTORCYCLES AND ATVS
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman [6x] were the only riders to finish the course in under half the allotted time, taking the checkered flag at 8:59:04 with an average speed of 47.224 mph. Their average speed was just under 1.1 mph slower than last year’s top motorcycle finisher (48.3 mph). Kendall Norman has been part of several winning teams, including the 2004 SCORE Baja 1000. This duo also won the first motorcycle race of the year at the Tecate SCORE SAN Felipe 250 in March.
“It was a lot of fun out there. The start was really cool. It was tighter so it wasn´t as dusty. Mike´s Loop is fun. It´s getting rough, but I enjoyed it. I know we had a big lead, but a win won´t sink in until they cross the line more than six minutes behind us. I teamed with Kendall Norman. He rode the pine forest section and the coast. He was on fire. He rode really well. He put a lot of time on Steve (Hengeveld). So I was able to take it easy coming into the finish. All I did was watch out for booby traps and livestock. I passed a few cows, but they were on the opposite way, which was a good thing. The bike ran flawless. Honda and Precision Concepts built an amazing bike. It ran strong from start to finish. I´m stoked. This win will hit a little harder when it sinks in. Right now it is just awesome to be able to win it. Winning is pretty cool and a good shot to get the number 1x. You have all this rivalry between the Honda teams. To be 1x would be awesome. It´s been Johnny´s (Campbell’s) number for so long and he just retired and stepped up to be the Honda team manager. To one day have his number would be awesome because for the last couple of years he has kind of taken me under his wing and taught me everything he knows. Kendall walked up to me after this race and the second we saw each other, it was like ´holy crap, we did it.´ It is still not going to hit me until a little later, but seeing Steve (Hengeveld) cross the line behind us is just pretty awesome. Mike´s loop was the toughest part of the course on my body because it is so rough out there. But coming into the finish, I was trying to negotiate the course, since I wasn´t able to pre-run it earlier in the week, so I blew a couple of corners, almost hit a couple of Mexicans, but it wouldn’t be good unless you had some kind of story.”
Steve Hengeveld/Mike Childress [1x] placed second in the class, marking the first time this century that the winning team in the SCORE Baja 500 Class 22 did not include either of these two riders.
“I haven’t seen Mike (Childress) since I got the bike from him at Trinidad,” Hengeveld said. “Mike started and rode to mile 50 and then I got on and rode to mile 150. He got on and rode to the loop around Mike’s and back to Trinidad. That’s when I last picked it up from him. It appears Mike broke his collarbone on his ride up to Mike’s loop. My ride was fine. I was trying to make up time and the bike isn’t handling all too well. It was probably all bent up because of when Mikey went down. I was just trying to get here healthy. The course was a really good, technical, Baja course. That’s what it’s all about. “
Logan Holladay/Quinn Cody [13x] were third in the class and fifth overall among motorcycles. Holladay is a 17-year old.
“It was tough; I crashed about eight miles from the start this morning,” Cody said. “We tried to do some work on the bike and then work my way back and pass some people to make it here. Logan Holladay drove from El Rio to the bottom of Mike’s Sky Ranch and then from Valle Trinidad to Ojos Negros. I wish I didn´t crash but what can you do?”
Jimmy Lewis/Dave Donatoni [15x] finished fourth in the class and eighth among motorcycles. They posted the best ever finish for a BMW bike, on their BMW BP2.
Jason Trubey/Luke Dodson [107x] won the class, becoming the sixth different winner in Class 21 in this race in the last six years.
“It was a good ride, but we had a lot of issues in the first 140 miles,” Trubey reflected. “Our pit crew didn´t make it to the pit at mile 50. I had to bum gas which took about ten minutes because no one wanted to give me gas. Then about ten miles after that I hit a booby trap and went over the bars. It destroyed the bike, the muffler. So I had to ride to about mile 100 where I replaced the muffler and checked and straightened everything out. After that everything went smooth. My partners Luke and Zack Dalton and I split up the ride evenly, each doing roughly 140 miles. Zack started the race and rode to mile 30. I rode from 30 to 140. Luke rode from mile 140 to 290. Zack got on again and rode from 290 to 395. Then I rode from there to the finish for 30 miles. It was wild out there, just like Baja is supposed to be. It was a good time. We had a lot of fun.”
Shaun Hanson/Jim McKay [106x] finished third in the class, improving on their fourth-place showing at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 race in March.
“Shaun Hanson started the race and went for 25 miles,” McKay said. “I got on and went through the pine forest down to Trinidad. After I got off there, Terry got on and did Mike´s Loop. Jason Lindstrom came around then and took it to the coast. He got the bike back to me and I brought it to the finish. Everything was really good except right off the start Shawn crashed going up to Ojos and basically took himself out of the race. We had to piece it together by riding a couple of sections we weren´t planning on riding. But we got it together and salvaged a race out of it.”
“The course was fast and flawless,” said co-driver Jason Lindstrom. “There had been lots of pre-running and that made it perfect (by opening up the course). No problems with the bike while I was on it. This is the best race I´ve ever had. Channel and focus is what I use to come up with a speed to get a place standing in a prestigious race like this.”
Brian Pinard/Taber Murphy [301x] and Ron Wilson/Scott Myers [313x] both crossed the finish line in exactly 9:45:10, creating a two-way tie for first place in the class. Pinard and Murphy were 11th in Class 22 in last year’s race here, but have now won their second consecutive race after winning Class 30 in the Tecate SCORE SAN Felipe 250. Wilson and Myers were on the Class 30 winning team in the 2005 SCORE Baja 1000, riding that race along with Brian Pinard.
“I started today,” Murphy said. “I rode the first 150 miles and passed it off to Jonah Street, who rode back down to Trinidad. Then Brian Pinard got on and rode it back to the coast and handed the bike back to me at Ojos and I brought it back in. It was a clean ride except there’s no water in the bike. We poked a hole in the radiator at the Valle de Trinidad but it’s a (Honda XR650), it doesn’t need water to run. This morning the ride was super, super hard with the sun coming up, the fog, really, really dusty and I just had to work my way through traffic and ride smart and not pitch the bike away and just let Brian go to work. I feel really good to be back at the finish line. I’m looking for a nice, cold Tecate though. It’s really good to be back in Ensenada. It’s a lot cooler here.”
“Taber (Murphy) took it from the start and handed it off to Jonah Street, who is a veteran down here,” Pinhard said. “He gave the bike to me with about two minutes on Ron Wilson and then Ron caught me because he is an excellent rider and former teammate. Then he had a problem and I got around him and then I had a problem with Baja. I crashed when I hit a rock and couldn’t get the bike started for a second. I made it to Ojos and gave the bike back to Taber, who came into the finish very close to the Wilson team. I think this is the first time there is a tie (for first place) so I can’t complain. This is a challenging and fun course.”
“Ron (Wilson) got off the bike,” Myers recapped. “I don’t know if he crashed and got hurt. He just handed me the bike at Ojos which was unplanned and I put my gear on and he came in and I think he was hurting. I’m not too sure. And I took the bike and have done the best I could. I rode the first 140 miles to Pandencia and Steve Parnett got on and did Mike’s loop and then Ron got on and did the Coast and handed it back to me at Ojos. The bike was unbelievable, we rode a 450x. It was so perfect. I tore open my right arm sleeve on a tree. I caught a little branch which happens a lot. I didn’t hit any animals, people, trucks, nothing. It was a good year. It was a good course. I loved it especially from mile 50 to the 140 mark. That part made it the best course ever. It was really dusty but really fun.”
J. David Ruvalcaba/Rogelio Pando [317x] are both from Ensenada and owned the distinction of being the first Mexicans to come across the finish line, completing the course in 10:38:23.
“This was a very good experience,” Ruvalcaba exclaimed. “I am very happy to be here and to be the first Mexican to get to the finish line. The road was difficult, a lot of fog in the morning and also there was a lot of dust, but fortunately we are here.”
Baron Pickett/Steve Grieb [311x]
“I raced the first part to Ojos Negros and changed drivers several times,” Pickett recanted. “Sal (Fish) put a great course together. Off road it was a great course. I can’t say enough about it - we had a blast.”
Jim O’Neal/Craig Adams/Tom Willis/Eric Brown [400x] won Class 40, extending Jim O’Neal’s claim as having the longest current winning streak in SCORE Baja 500 races as he has garnered a win each year since 2001. O’Neal won his eighth title in this race as he also won in Class 50. That total puts him in fifth all-time in that category, and he is the only person to win two classes in two different years (2002 and 2006). O’Neal’s trophy case now includes six trophies from SCORE San Felipe 250 races and from the last two SCORE Baja 1000 races in addition to his eight here. Adams has a long history of being part of winning teams, while Willis and Brown were last-minute add-ons to O’Neal’s team.
“It was a very good experience,” Adams said. “Dusty, very dusty. I fell a couple of times in the dust. There was still race traffic going out in the finish. Overall it was a good ride, very dusty, the bike ran good, it held together. I rode the first 150 miles.”
Jim O’Neal/Doug Heil/Mike Sixberry/Rick Dill/Andy Kircker/Robert Hanson [500x] came in first in Class 50.
Danny Prather/Mike Cafro [10a] not only won their class and were the first ATV finishers, only five motorcycles beat their elapsed time of 10:23:45. They averaged 40.81 mph after placing 10th in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. Cafro was the driver of record for three previous SCORE Baja 500 races, in 1994, 1995 and 2002.
“I am a mess,” observed Prather. “It was a long day; we have been shifting from second to first the whole day. We rode our hearts out - we needed to win and we got it! Wayne Matlock was an excellent competitor; he is a good friend of mine. Mike Cafro started and did the first 30 miles. The course was marked very well. I had a blast in the trees; they were excellent, what can I say? I had fun.”
Chad Erl/George Erl [151x] won Class 20 in what was a revival of the class which has not been used since 1993 in a SCORE Baja 500 race and 1996 in any SCORE race. George is no stranger to the winner’s circle at SCORE Baja 500s, having won a total of seven times here. His first win in this competition came in 1978, and he has won two times in each of the last three decades (1981, 1982, 1994, 1997, 2002, 2006).
“It was a good race, the team did good and the bike ran great” said the younger Erl, Chad. “This is my first race in Mexico, the experience is good, it was not too tough. I’m glad the bike stayed together.”
Carlos Gonzalez/Javier Hernandez [254x] eeked out a win by 52 seconds over his nearest competitor. The difference in average speed was .048 mph.
“It was good!” proclaimed Gonzales after crossing the line. “I drove until mile 50, then Luis Castellanos to mile 140, Noel Gonzalez then Javier Hernandez then Noel again. After that is was Eduardo Rosas and then I finished. We were fighting the first place with 253x (Mike Crawford/Jason Keys) during the whole race up until Ojos Negros. He was in first place and we just passed him before getting here. The road was dusty and difficult and it was also very warm.”
• The 438 starters marks an all-time record for SCORE races in Mexico, eclipsing the previous standard of 384, set in the 1976 SCORE Baja 500 and tied in the 1977 SCORE Baja 500. There were 464 total entries this year, marking what was most likely the second most in SCORE history, behind the 1988 SCORE Parker 400 total.
• This marked the fifth time in SCORE history that at least 400 starters have left the line. The other six times all occurred in the SCORE Parker 400 races in the 1980’s. Here is a look at all the SCORE races which have had at least 400 starters:
o 452 starters in 1988 (249 finishers)
o 438 starters in 2006 (222 finishers)
o 421 starters in 1980 (225 finishers)
o 419 starters in 1987 (199 finishers)
o 415 starters in 1986 (207 finishers)
o 403 starters in 1989 (221 finishers)
o 400 starters in 1981 (197 finishers)
• Just over half of the starters completed the race, as 222 of the 438 who left the line managed to finish the race within the 18-hour time limit. The 222 finishers not only set a record for the most finishers in any SCORE race in Mexico, it also was more than the number of starters in 14 SCORE Baja 500s over the 38-year span this race has been held.
• Of the first nine four-wheeled vehicles to finish, eight were SCORE Trophy-Trucks, while a Class 1 vehicle occupied the fourth spot on that list. Last year a Class 1 car was less than five minutes behind the overall fastest finisher, a SCORE Trophy-Truck, but this year saw the first Class 1 car over 32 minutes slower than the overall leader.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
RAGLAND-COLLINS WINS! BAJA 500!
RACE LIST FORWARDED - Baja 500 2006
Pro Cars & Trucks
SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (41)
62 Mike Voyles
39 Ron Whitton
27 David Scaroni
7 Scott Steinberger
76 Jesse Jones
86 Josh Baldwin
88 Ryan Arciero
83 Andy McMillin
2 Pete Sohren
38 Garron Cadiente
53 Jeff Stowers
3 Mark Post
26 Chris Robinson
17 Carl Renezeder
20 Mike Julson
30 Roger Norman
97 B.J. Baldwin
1 Bob Shepard
32 Juan C. Ibarra
80 Chad Ragland
4 Gus Vildosola
52 John Herder
25 Enrique Legaspy
58 Frank Thing
28 Alan Pflueger
12 Brian Collins
89 Robby Gordon
11 Dale Dondel
16 Cameron Steele
5 Marty Coyne
40 Chet Huffman
55 Luis Wallace
96 Bobby Baldwin
51 Kory Scheeler
15 Jim Beaver
19 Ed Herbst
31 Scott McMillin
50 Jerry Larimore
10 Michael Jacobson
69 Francisco Cervantes
75 Jerry Zaiden
CLASS 1 (41)
101 Damen Jefferies
102 Luis Ramirez Jr.
103 Josh Rigsby
104 Dale Ebberts
105 Jim Birmingham
106 Rick Wilson
107 Pat Dean
108 Richard Boyle
109 Danny Anderson
110 Lee Patten
111 Dan Myers
112 Troy Herbst
100 Mark McMillin
114 Kash Vessels
115 Brian Kirby
116 John Herder
117 Vincent DeJong
119 Buddy Feldkamp
121 Gary Weyhrich
122 Erick Murillo
123 Steve Sullivan
124 Dino Marquez
125 Joe Myers
126 Brian Parkhouse
127 Martin Christensen
129 Raymond Potter
131 Billy Robertson
132 Harley Letner
133 Cam Thieriot
134 Danny Ebberts
135 Randy Wilson
136 Chuck Hovey
137 Jamie Campbell
138 Rick Thomas
139 John Harrah
140 Scott Sellers
141 Eric Hamann
146 Gonzalo Pirron
147 Jarrett Lemley
148 Todd Romano
149 Daniel Moore
CLASS 1-2/1600 (32)
1601 Mario Gastelum
1603 Brian Burgess
1604 Max Hanberg
1605 Sammy Ehrenberg
1606 Carlos Bernaldez
1607 Adam Pfankuch
1608 Max Thieriot
1609 Craig Forrest
1610 Mike Sandoval
1611 Joe Barboa
1612 Ed Bonanni
1614 Rodrigo Ampudia Jr.
1615 Ray Files
1616 Daniel McMillin
1617 Brent Parkhouse
1618 Arturo Velazco
1619 David Caspino
1600 Caleb Gaddis
1622 Carlos Escobedo
1623 David Hendrickson
1624 John Manring
1625 Arnoldo Ramirez
1626 Daniel Garcia
1627 Brett Frederickson
1628 Alberto Medina
1643 William Lawrence
1644 John Krempp Jr.
1645 Gerardo Iribe
1646 Edgar Alvarez
1647 Daniel Lopez
1648 Eric Duran
1649 Rick Battey
CLASS 3 (3)
300 Donald Moss
301 Alejandro Cancino
302 Ken Leavitt
CLASS 5 (5)
501 David Bonner
502 George Seeley
504 Scott Hewitt
518 Luivan Voelker
519 Kevin Carr
CLASS 5/1600 (16)
551 Chad Mayernick
552 Danny Ledezma
553 James Tedford
554 Brent Shermak
555 Richard Garavito
556 Ruben Garcia
557 Rogelio Valenzuela
558 Gregorio Villarino
559 John Hsu
560 Alonso Angullo
573 Jesse Lopez
574 Hector Sarabia
575 Chris Andrus
576 Pedro Athie
577 Ernesto Arambula
550 Marcos Nunez
CLASS 7 (9)
701 Dan Chamlee
703 Victor Herrera Jr.
704 Scott Brady
705 Geoff Milke
706 Joshua Lynn
716 Alex Almaraz
717 A.J. Rodriguez
718 David Binns
719 Dennis Standrod
CLASS 7S (4)
721 Javier Avila
722 Mike Horner
724 Tyler Fox
739 Nick Moncure
CLASS 7SX (10)
741 Dan Street Jr.
742 Heidi Steele
743 Jesse Rodriguez
745 Doug Siewert
746 Ricardo Castanon
747 Eli Yee
757 John Holmes
758 Noe Sierra
759 Jeff Lloyd
CLASS 8 (9)
801 Nick Vanderwey
802 Glen Greer
803 Dave Raimonde
800 Todd Wyllie
805 Jamie Galles
806 Juan Carlos Lopez
807 Lowell Arnold
838 Noah Ostanik
839 Kurtis Kupiec
CLASS 9 (8)
901 David Boss
902 Sigal Greenberg
903 Forest Creasy
945 Tony Modica
946 Joe Castrey
900 Eric Fisher
948 Ramon Castro
949 John Scharf
CLASS 10 (20)
1001 Brian Etter
1002 Mark Weger
1003 Mark Hutchins
1004 Ron Dalke
1005 Todd Elam
1006 Carlos Cortez
1007 Will Higman
1008 Darren Hardesty
1009 Trevor Scherrer
1010 Lobsam Yee
1000 John Cooley
1012 Andy Grider
1013 Edgar Avalos
1014 Rick Ellison
1015 Jose Lopez
1016 Eduardo Gonzales
1017 Javier Robles
1018 Alex Crostwaithe
1019 Alejandro Mendez
1049 Billy Gasper
SCORE LITE (35)
1201 Jason Batulis
1202 Mike Belk
1203 Matt Drever
1204 Red Burgin
1205 Rich Roberts
1206 Craig Brabant
1207 Vic Bruckmann
1208 David Callaway
1209 Hector Garcia
1210 Ken Stroud
1211 John Kawell
1212 Rick St. John
1213 Mitch Mitchell
1214 Jim Greenway
1215 Greg Gustin
1216 David Willey
1217 Dwayne Reinert
1218 Bob Bingham
1219 Stan Potter
1220 Greg Foster
1221 Chuck Sacks
1222 Richard Cassey
1223 Mike Halliday
1224 Tito Tapia
1225 Matt Cullen
1200 Tim Noe
1227 Cameron Steele
1228 Randy Ross
1229 Ricardo Malo
1230 Victor Cesena
1231 Bob Hummel
1232 Luis Barragan
1247 Ruben Gutierrez
1248 Michael Deardoff
1249 James Marquez
CLASS 11 (7)
1101 Raul Ojeda
1102 Jake Muellen
1103 Raul Ortiz
1146 Rene Rodriguez
1100 Eric Solorzano
1148 Shelby Stahler
1149 Jason Gutzmer
STOCK FULL (6)
861 Josh Hall
860 John Griffin
863 Bob Graham
864 Chris Kasper
865 Terry Henn
879 Mark Handley
STOCK MINI (3)
761 Steve Kovach
778 Gavin Skilton
779 Rod Hall
245 Chris Lucas
203 James Wasson
222 J.R. Stanley
230 Robbie Pierce
234 Rob Reinertson
215 Cody Swanty
235 Jason Voss
226 Al Hogan
240 Rob Kittleson
204 Gus Vildosola Jr.
299 Joe Bednar
229 Tom Koch
221 Charley McDowell
236 Rick L. Johnson
250 Gary Magness
CLASS 17 (2)
1701 Bob Land
1702 Bill Zolg
CLASS 22 (16)
2x Johnny Jensen
3x Chris Gunnett
4x Robert Barnum
5x Rick Williams
6x Robby Bell
8x Gary Cluff
9x Scott Thompson
10x Jesse Sharpe
11x Jon Ortner
12x Nate Scott
13x Logan Holladay
15x Jimmy Lewis
16x Nathan Verdugo
17x Rex Steerman
48x Cameron Steele
1x Steve Hengeveld
CLASS 20 (3)
151x Chad Erl
152x Karen Gagstetter
153x Alejandro Alcantara
CLASS 21 (13)
101x Brett Helms
102x Kevin Johnson
103x Octavio Ascolani
104x Marco Bernaldez
105x Chris Parker
106x Shaun Hanson
100x Jason Trubey
108x Ernesto Inowe
109x Ryan Baillargeon
110x Martin Bejarano
111x Kenneth Lopez
112x Alfredo Contreras
149x Ruben Hale
CLASS 30 (19)
301x Brian Pinard
302x Robert Barnum
303x Scott Johnson
304x Kevin Smith
305x George Hecker
307x Matt Engstler
309x Dale Mcue
310x Corey Keysar
311x Baron Pickett
312x Robert Gustine
313x Ron Wilson
315x Darin Hecker
316x Alan Casner
317x J. David Ruvalcaba
318x Gary Sparks
319x Sergio Vega
320x Robert Laughlin
348x Adam Dia
300x Gerardo Rojas
CLASS 40 (12)
401x Jim Buckingham
402x Brian Schmuckle
403x Michael Laenger
404x Larry Gross
405x David Rentfro
406x Gwin Vaughn
407x Kevin Gould
408x David McKay
400x Jim O’Neal
410x Brett Helm
411x Daryl Hambleton
412x Steve Luly
CLASS 50 (4)
501x Doug Smith
500x Jim O’Neal
503x Tim Savin
504x Eizaburo Karasawa
CLASS 25 (18)
2a John Padgett
3a Alex Camanini
1a Josh Frederick
5a Wayne Matlock
6a Francisco Ruano
7a Robert Ulloa
8a Dean Sundahl
9a Jeff Hancock
10a Danny Prather
11a Nick Nelson
12a Josh Fink
14a Adolfo Arellano
15a Arnie Pruneda Jr.
16a Miguel Batisdas
17a Ike Bruckmnn
18a Carlos Juarez
48a Randy Dyer
49a Kyle Needham
SPT CAR (6)
1401 Heather Bonanni
1402 Peter Lang
1403 Rob Caveney
1404 Adolfo Aguilar
1405 Jesus Jimenez
1449 William Akrawi
SPT TRUCK (10)
1500 Mark Growe
1501 Ray Schooley
1502 Marshall Madruga
1503 Luke Gibson
1504 Steven Looney
1545 Nick Tonelli
1546 Brandon Walsh
1547 Scott Tannahill
1548 Karl Wong
1549 Matt Torian
SPT UTV (4)
1801 Lonnie Banks
1802 Francisco Quiroz
1803 Jeffrey Sonn
1804 Cory Sappington
SPT M/C< (7)
201x Cody Ard
202x Kurt Steffien
203x Kitahiro Omuro
204x Kenji Oikawa
205x Eloy Meza
206x Alberto Gonzales
207x Tony Gurule
SPT M/C> (55)
251x Morgan Harris
252x Mike Kunz
253x Mike Crawford
254x Carlos Gonzalez
255x Eugene Lane
256x Ed Bowen
257x Kris McDonald
258x Thomas Cushman
259x Jeff Leonard
260x Scott Mills
261x Tom LaJoie
262x Greg Stevenson
263x Jeffrey Crochiere
264x Adam McCamish
265x Robert Corder
266x Charlie Wilson
267x Kevin Krasner
268x James Kabisch
269x Alastair Hilson
270x Thierry Mas
272x Robert Gumser
273x Luis Manzano
275x Lance Kane
276x Yoshiori Sato
277x Michael Mannsberger
278x John Jamison
279x Dan Roush
281x Dave Donaldson
282x Aaron Dodson
283x Steve Soto
285x Bill Gilbert
286x Todd Winslow
287x Michael Nielsen
288x Colie Potter
290x Michael Stain
291x Terry Curtis
601x Luis Napoles
602x Sunny Irvine
603x John Vizmeg
604x Edy Cuesta
605x Paul Traegde
606x Brady Eaves
607x Carlos Quel
608x Mike Schelin
609x Jose Saldana
610x Steve Garver
691x Ivan Rivera
292x Marc Ebdrup
293x Simon Edwards
294x Mark Hellwig
295x Glen McGuire
296x Matt Watson
297x Brady Van Matre
298x David Edwards
299x Brian Matthews
SPT ATV (30)
51a Stefano Caputo
52a Stephen Babiarz
53a Jason Stratton
54a Brian Meurs
55a Oswaldo Walle
56a Craig Christy
57a John Nores
58a Jose Escudero
59a Joseph Field
60a Rene de la Rocha
61a David McCarroll
62a Heriberto Martinez
63a Luis Salgado
64a Jessica McCreary
65a Carlos Sanchez
66a Carlos Chong
67a Esequlel Lopez
68a Brianna Mancillas
69a J.A. Covas
70a Jorge Suarez
71a Salvador Carrillo
72a Daniel Salazar
73a Jorge Cosio
92a Soren Melin
93a Javier Beltran
94a Gustavo Figueroa
95a Miguel Arellano
96a Juan Leyva
98a Scott Ferguson
99a Jason Wade
Collins-Ragland TT 12 Through OJOS!
1004 OUT 147 HELP
1004 Needs tow out of the bottom of Simpsons, off of the course.
Also 147 at Check 5 needs help
Check 4 Reports:
112-Herbst at 17:09/5:09 PM through 4.
104-Ebberts at 17:19/5:19 PM through 4.
1008 at 17:34/5:34 through 4.
Truck rolls over 56a!
56a, broken throttle cable wants to continue, rider down, but not out.
Calls for meet at RM 148 to keep rollin'!.
Collins-Ragland in Lead!
Collins Ragland – Trophy Truck #12 is first through checkpoint 4
Alan Pflueger – Trophy Truck #29 is second through check point 4
""THE MOST DIFFUCULT MEDICAL EXTRACTION IN THE HISTORY OF SCORE"" SCORE Chopper 3.
Another CODE RED : OVER
1225 Hits Rock, co-driver broke back at RM 121 needs airlift!
SCORE OPS says choppers getting airborne now.
Chopper says he is 15 miles out, but, a report says there is no good landing zone(LZ) near the race vehicle, 1225. co-Driver on a backboard and the racing effort, "we've pulled the plug!".
Robby Bell Moto WINS!
Robby Gordon leads TT through check 3
La Chica Loca Jessica McCreary 64a just came through RM145 shaking her left hand
Class 8 leader Nick Vanderwey through RM145 with 806 chasing him down.
First ProTuck through RM145 was Vildosola at 2:35PM with missing body panels and damaged hood.
Following Vildosola is #235 Jason Voss thru RM145 at 2:37PM
Third is 221 Charley McDowell at 2:41PM
Robbie Pierce in the Mastercraft ProTruck through RM145 at 2:44PM
Problems RM 55
Weatherman raking SCORE to see if there is any backup at RM 55. Many teams had questions about RM 44 and the area just before the pine forest.
A group of 4 wheeled racers backed up on the course at RM 55 and was cleared over an hour later!
27, 86, 83 leading at RM 148 , Gordon Truck blasting through the pit area.
SMD under the knife at the pits, in for long stay over ten minutes, left rear side problems. Mex-Logistics TT goes into pit for fuel.
Flueger rolls in for tire changes hauls out fast, Collins-Ragland clean stop, now in Shepard. Todd Clement TT in, Arciero truck in, BJ Baldwin in, Pistol Pete in, Mark Post in, Chad Ragland in,
Lots of tires being swapped out.
UPDATE!First Class 1's arriving to El Rayo at RM 99...
Leaders are Ebberts in the Inland Truss Class 1 followed by Danny Anderson/John Marking in the Viejas Casino car and in third position is Damen Jeffries.
1. Dale Ebberts / Ernie Castro
2. Danny Anderson / John Marking
3. Damen Jeffries
Bob Gordon driving the Hummer H3 through El Rayo preparing to give the H3 to his son, NASCAR driver / SCORE Champion - Robby Gordon at El Coyote.
Check 2 reports:
605x, 105x, 297x, 48a, 206a, 7a, 58a, 266x, 144x, 15a, 407x, 691x, 309x, 53a, 61a, 96a, 279x, 290x, 609x, 57a, 95a, 283x, 66a, 278x, 98a through 2.
HWY 3 KM 63 Civ. ROLLOVER!
Major Rollover on the Highway 3 at KM 63 reported!
SCORE OPS and Federal Highway Cops being notified!
Pontiac Bonneville Barrelrolls and flips over, one out, one still in vehicle.
The driver reportedly is severly injured, bleeding. Needs transport, head laceration, possible concusion...stable. Red Cross Ambulance arrives at 12:50 PM local time
MEDICAL EMERGENCY Weatherman calling up SCORE chopper 3
At RM 90, 298x, reportedly suffered a broken leg. Relayed through, 12a and BFG relay 6. Weatherman ON IT!
SCORE RESCUE 3 reportedly at RM 143, forcing BFG 6 to call on SCORE 3, chopper. Baldwin Air reaches to Weatherman...MEDIVAC air out...Baldwin Air reports APU (start battery) on the Baldwin boat in Ensenada harbor.
SCORE Chopper 3 on the way, in Ojos now heading to RM 90.
More details as they come in...
A TECATE Baja 500 Moment...
Check 2 reports
5x, 106x, 151x, 108x, 410x, 501x, 104x, 12x, 402x, 504x, 112x, 412x, 318x, 254x, 109x, 253x, 110x, 270, 5a, 411x, through!
RM 185 reports kook driving on course against traffic!
A blue cherokee is reportedly driving on the course against traffic! Its not Baja Racing without the idiots on the course!
Mark Miller rolls the new truck!
Yup, rolled it minutes after starting! [INSIDE WORD: A farmer flooded a field and Mark hydroplaned the truck and it rolled.]
He later would barrel roll it, [INSIDE WORD: Mark was rolling for over 150 miles with no brakes! The Big Crash occurred at RM 248, at the next pit, the truck required over an hour and a half of repairs] spit shine and all and give it to Ryan with a kiss, to get it ultimately to the finish line.
"Gearhead", Mickey Thompson movie
Mickey Thompson was a renowned race-car driver and promoter. Mike Goodwin was the brash, egocentric creator of motocross. They became business partners. Then all hell broke loose.
(Photo by Rena Kosnett | Set direction by Mark Peterson)
First there were the threats. “I’m going to kill that son of a bitch. I’m going to kill that motherfucker. I’m going to take out Mickey. I’m too smart to get caught. I’ll have him wasted. He’ll never see a nickel. I’ll kill him first. Mickey doesn’t know who he is fucking with. He is fucking dead.”
“Mickey” was Mickey Thompson, a dynamic, charismatic and much-admired former off-road racer and promoter. Fearless on his own behalf, he was “scared to death,” he told his sister, that someone was going to hurt his “baby” — his beloved wife, Trudy. He hired a guard to watch his house, asked the sheriff for extra patrols, wore a bulletproof vest, loaded his shotgun with buckshot, avoided standing in front of lighted windows, varied his work routine, but none of it made any difference in the end.
At 6 a.m. on March 16, 1988, as Trudy backed the van out of the garage of their home in Bradbury, a small gated community in the San Gabriel foothills just east of Monrovia, two black males in their 20s, wearing dark, hooded jogging suits, suddenly materialized out of the shrubbery. One fired a 9 mm bullet that shattered the side window and penetrated the windshield. The van rolled back and hit a wall. Trudy jumped out, lost her balance and tried to crawl away, breaking her acrylic fingernails on the concrete drive. At the same time, Mickey apparently ran out around the side of the garage screaming, “Don’t shoot my wife.” One shooter crippled Mickey with a volley to the legs and abdomen. Even as Mickey begged the gunmen to at least spare Trudy, the second shooter killed her with a shot to the back of the head. Then, to complete the job, the first gunman administered the coup de grâce to Mickey as well.
As the screams and gunshots brought early-rising neighbors rushing to their windows and decks, the killers jumped on two 10-speed recurve-handlebar bikes and fled downhill at top speed. Narrowly avoiding being hit by a woman driving her dog to canine-assertiveness training, the men pushed their bikes across North Royal Oaks Avenue, went through a break in a grape-stake fence, down an embankment, and disappeared along a jogging path, which had once been an old railroad right of way.
News of the killings flashed like summer lightning through the Thompsons’ family and friends. One of the neighbors called the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group offices at Anaheim Stadium to say that he didn’t know what had happened, but shots were fired and “someone is lying in the driveway.” By the time Thompson’s vice president for operations, Bill Marcel, got there, the Thompson compound was cordoned off with yellow tape, behind which he could see the bodies of Mickey and Trudy lying in the drive “50 feet apart.”
Marcel spent the rest of the morning waiting to be interviewed by Sheriff’s investigators. When they finally got around to him, they asked, “Do you know anyone who would want to do this?”
Yes, said Marcel. As a matter of fact, he did.
Next week, after 18 years of investigation, 40,000 pages of discovery, 1,000 interviews, four different lead investigators and a 61-volume murder book that took the defense attorney seven months to read, another dynamic and charismatic — though far less admired — race promoter, Michael Goodwin, will go on trial in Pasadena Superior Court for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson.
It is a case that has engendered deep and bitter hatreds on both sides. For the prosecution and Thompson’s family members, it is the chance (finally) to make Goodwin pay for his vicious crimes. But for Goodwin and his supporters, it’s just the latest chapter in a wrong-headed vendetta.
As his longtime friend John Bradley tells it, Goodwin is not only innocent but a deeply wronged man, hounded by corrupt prosecutors and criminally out-of-control investigators who essentially made up evidence without which Goodwin never would have been arrested, let alone indicted for murder. And the person Goodwin most blames for all of this is the woman he sees as the power behind the throne, Orange County victims’ activist and politician Collene Campbell, who is also Mickey Thompson’s sister.
Goodwin’s defense attorney, Los Angeles public defender Elena Saris, readily admits that the fact that her client is innocent doesn’t mean he’s an admirable guy in every way. (Even Goodwin’s friends call him an “asshole.”) But just because someone is a complete jerk doesn’t mean he’s a murderer too. And she’s not saying that just because Goodwin is her client and it’s her job to defend him. “He has never wavered on his innocence,” she says. “He’s never asked for a deal or a plea bargain.”
For one thing, says Saris, he doesn’t have to. The prosecution essentially has no case. It can’t put Goodwin at the scene of the crime. It has no murder weapon, DNA evidence, tape recordings, letters, documents, phone records or photographs to prove that he hired the men who shot the Thompsons (or did anything else to help, assist or further their deaths). Sheriff’s deputies have never caught the hit men nor do they even know who they are (though they suspect they live in the Caribbean). Other than a “couple of people” who claim to have heard Goodwin threaten Thompson 18 years ago, says Saris, “they have no evidence whatsoever tying Goodwin to the crime.”
If the prosecution has no evidence, then why wasn’t Goodwin acquitted long ago? That’s a good question, says Saris. Deputy district attorneys stop her in the halls of the Criminal Courts Building to ask her the same thing all the time.
At the other end of the spectrum are people like Campbell and the lead investigator, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Mark Lillienfeld, who feel in their bones that Mike Goodwin plotted, directed and paid for the Thompson hits, but worry that because all the evidence against him is circumstantial, it is entirely possible that a jury might not convict him. “I’ve had stronger cases, that’s for sure,” says Lillienfeld.
That said, Lillienfeld adds, all the circumstantial evidence that he does have points to no one else but Mike Goodwin. “Ray Charles or Helen Keller could figure this one out. This is not a difficult case.”
Mickey Thompson at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1959, where he would
set the land-speed record of 406.6 mph. (Courtesy Collene Campbell)
I first began investigating Mike Goodwin in May 1988, when I wrote a story about the Thompson murders for the Los Angeles Times. But I never got a chance to meet him, because he and his wife had recently left the country to sail the Caribbean on their $400,000, 57-foot, single-mast yacht, the Believe. In 1992, after two years spearfishing and doing underwater photography, and another two years skiing in Aspen, Goodwin finally returned to Southern California, where, on his way out of court after filing a lawsuit, he was arrested on secret bank-fraud charges. When his trial started, I drove down to Orange County to watch the action in court.
Goodwin, I discovered, was a big, commanding presence in a nicely tailored sports coat. But he seemed, I thought, to know nothing of how a jury might perceive him. Everything he did was oversize and over-dramatic. He acted as if he were less a defendant on trial than an actor onstage. When his attorney handed him a document, he would hold it at arm’s length, furrow his brow and study it in the most transparent manner. If someone made even a feeble attempt at humor, Goodwin would chuckle longer and louder than anyone, in his confident, masculine way.
There was nothing in Goodwin’s early childhood to suggest that he might one day find himself accused of double murder. By his own (and sometimes shifting) accounts, he was a Navy brat from Pensacola, Florida, and a chronic overachiever who claimed to make Eagle Scout in record time. After high school, he says, he ruptured a lung scuba-diving off Catalina, floated to the surface unconscious and was choppered to USC University Hospital, where an orderly put a dead-on-arrival tag on his toe before he regained consciousness. After taking off a year to recover, he enrolled at San Diego State, where he started out in mechanical engineering and ended up in marketing. He also began holding TGIF parties, charging girls 50 cents, he says, and boys $1.50. According to Goodwin, he dropped out of college six credits shy of graduation to take a job in sales for Procter & Gamble. He soon left to join a small promotion firm in San Diego. Bradley, who was the junior member of the company at the time, initially didn’t like him. “He was too loud and too brash,” says Bradley. And he had an explosive temper.
On the other hand, there was no denying Goodwin’s quick intelligence and relentless enthusiasm. No matter what they asked him to do, says Bradley, he always answered, “Super!” He actually seemed to like dealing with avaricious agents and their drug-addled stars. He was good with money. Unlike their clients, he apparently didn’t do drugs, and, because he was such a big guy — 6 feet 3 inches, 200 pounds — with self-confidence to spare, he could serve as his own bouncer. After it became clear that he was a better promoter than his bosses, he struck out on his own, eventually promoting concerts, Bradley says, with stars like Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Stones, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Sonny & Cher and Petula Clark.
The glamour notwithstanding, concert promotion was such a stressful, financially precarious business that, after what Goodwin once called the “traumatic experience” of Janis Joplin’s final tour, he decided he’d had enough. He bought a beat-up VW van and decided to spend a couple of years traveling around North and South America with his then-wife, Diane Seidel.
One day, Goodwin found himself in a men’s room in a Belize hotel reading a motorcycle-magazine story about a Madison Square Garden race that, despite poor sightlines and little in the way of professional production, still managed to attract 17,000 fans. This, says Bradley, gave Goodwin the idea of putting on a motorcycle show in a stadium with comfortable seats, clean toilets, hot dogs that were actually hot, and cold beer. When Goodwin got back to the States in 1972, he persuaded the manager of the Los Angeles Coliseum to rent the stadium to him for an event Goodwin called “the Superbowl of Motocross.”
Goodwin trucked in hundreds of tons of dirt, built all kinds of jumps and turns, and advertised it heavily. Celebrities like Steve McQueen came to watch. There were scantily dressed women, and prizes for the fans. But the big attraction was the famous peristyle jump. The riders rode a dirt ramp up through the stands and disappeared into one of the smaller side peristyle arches. Then, a moment later, they’d come flying back into the stadium through the big central arch, sailing 100 feet through the air before hitting the downhill ramp. It was “fantastically suspenseful,” an Internet motor-sports historian would later write. “The fans went wild.”
Goodwin’s shows made money virtually from Day One. He was soon running what are now known as Supercross events not only in the Coliseum but at the Rose Bowl, San Diego, Anaheim and other places around the country. But Anaheim was the big cash cow, and every year, the show got bigger. Goodwin put more people in the seats than the NFL; the only person to outdo him was Billy Graham. Goodwin once claimed to have made $600,000 in a single day.
In short order, Goodwin was driving a Clenet (an expensive hand-built reproduction of a ’30s touring car), wearing full-length fur coats, dining on pâté de foie gras and sipping champagne. He bought a 17th-century tapestry, an antique billiard table, a Frederic Remington sculpture and a Rolls-Royce supposedly once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco.
He traveled around the world on big-game expeditions, spearing a 185-pound wild boar in Tennessee and killing a Kodiak bear in the Aleutians with a .44 Magnum handgun (albeit, according to a fellow hunter, after first breaking the bear’s spine with a rifle shot). He fell off a motorcycle at 132 mph and, wrote Shav Glick of the L.A. Times, ground off “one cheek of his butt.” He won a contest to spend a “wild wicked weekend” with “lusty Gloria Leonard, the queen of porn.” The opening line of his winning entry: “I enjoy successful attractive ladies who share my zeal for exotic sex.”
Besides sex, he loved dogs and hummingbirds. He cried bitterly when his black Lab Jocko died. He spoke to his mother a minimum of twice a day, and when she suddenly died of a heart attack, says the friend who broke the news, “he began screaming, ‘My mommy! My mommy!’ He was sobbing uncontrollably.”
To display his animal trophies and artwork in high style, he built a three-story cedar-wood-and-white-stucco hillside home with an ocean view in Laguna Beach. The house featured a spiral staircase, an indoor waterfall, a bear rug, an elk’s head on the wall, and a roll-top desk that he says once belonged to the infamously sharp-dealing Gilded Age financier Jay Gould. According to Sports Illustrated, Goodwin kept two tape recorders with him at all times, one for incandescently creative thoughts and one for merely important ones. He had a main office in downtown Laguna Beach and, for his inner circle, a smaller office in his home, albeit one with 12 phone lines. He was driven, dominating, and terrifying to new employees. Most of his secretaries left in tears after two or three days. Goodwin didn’t care. “I’m not a people person,” he told Thompson’s lawyers in a deposition. “All I care about is results. If someone has a contract with me and they don’t perform, I’ll take their legs off.”
Unlike Goodwin, who blazed a trail through school, Mickey Thompson was lucky to graduate at all. Recognizing that he was not learning anything in class, his high school English teacher would let him work on her car instead. Mickey never learned to spell. Today he’d be labeled ADD, “but,” says Sheriff’s Detective Lillienfeld, “he was a genius with his hands.”
Thompson built his first car at age 7 using the engine from a washing machine. He went on to race cars, trucks, buggies, boats and planes. At the time of his death, he was the owner of or a partner in some 27 companies and held upward of 100 major patents. His companies manufactured high-performance precision parts for race cars, and heavy-duty tires used by both the Israeli army and the shah of Iran. He invented an early hydraulic version of the Jaws of Life (to cut him out of his own vehicle in case he wrecked it during an assault on the land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah). He manufactured a water-filled plastic vehicle barrier, which police used around St. Vibiana’s Cathedral when the pope visited Los Angeles. He designed the wide-oval, low-profile tires that later became standard at Indianapolis.
But his first and last love was racing.
“He crashed cars and sunk boats in two continents,” the L.A. Times said about Thompson in 1973. He entered more than 10,000 races in his lifetime and won 500 of them. Feature writer Jan Golab once described his racing strategy as “stand on the gas,” which is to say, driving as fast as he could until he wrecked his car or won the race. In the process, he was hospitalized 27 times, four times with a broken back, once for six months.
While such competitiveness (if not recklessness) made Thompson a dominant force in off-road racing, it also “pissed off, alienated and offended many people,” said Sal Fish, president of Score International, a sanctioning body for off-road races, shortly after Thompson’s death. “In his negotiations, Mickey got the job done, but in getting it done, he left a lot of carnage around. Mickey was the kind of guy who would pound on you and pound on you till he won.” You could spend all day negotiating with him, and then, by 10 p.m., when everyone would be exhausted, “Mickey would say, ‘We’re going to settle it right now. Let’s do it. Let’s do it right now.’ And 99 percent of the time,” said Fish, “the people would fold. I’d put him up against any graduate of Harvard, Yale or MIT, and Mickey would consume him. He was a street fighter.”
Thompson was so incredibly competitive that when he couldn’t find an even match, he’d challenge people to competitions he knew he couldn’t win: tennis, badminton, bowling. He’d challenge kids to races in swimming pools. “If you were flicking peanuts,” his son Danny Thompson once said, “he wanted to win that too.”
With Thompson, the term “Fightin’ Irish” wasn’t just a football metaphor. Once when he was still a teen, five kids in a car shouted obscenities at him. He jumped in his car, ran them off the road, knocked out two and scared off the others. On another occasion, a former concessionaire said, Thompson punched out a security guard who ventured one word too many about his wife. “I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with him,” said former Coliseum general manager Jim Hardy. “You wouldn’t beat him on points.”
On the other hand, says Fish, “Once you had a deal, Mickey kept his word. If he said you were going to get [paid a certain amount], you would get it and you would get it on time — no hanky-panky, no ‘Can you wait 20 days?,’ no ‘Can you take it on installment?’ But when you negotiated, you better get what you wanted, because what you got was what you agreed on.”
“I really liked him,” said another former Coliseum general manager, Joel Ralph. “He was a very imaginative guy. He was enthusiastic, exciting. He wasn’t afraid to take a chance.” And it wasn’t just Thompson himself. Both he and his second wife, Trudy, were warm, outgoing people who would attend any social event, even a retirement affair for an accountant. “They didn’t just pop in and shake your hand either,” Ralph said. “They would stay and talk. He would talk to the maintenance guy. Even the guy who handles the gate came to his funeral.”
Thompson didn’t just adore Trudy. He depended on her. She protected him from himself. He was a wild man. She was a systems person who made everyone feel a part of the plan. She wrote the checks. Mickey never made a decision without running it by her first. “She was his bullshit detector, his eyes and ears,” says Thompson’s attorney, Phil Bartenetti. “She kept him grounded.”
In 1984, Trudy had orthoscopic surgery for a problem with her knee. Her doctors said there was a good chance she might end up in a wheelchair or lose her leg altogether. For Mickey, that was the last straw. “That’s it,” he said. “I’m going to spend more time with Trudy.”
The problem was what to do with his business. Ever since Thompson quit racing himself (Trudy told him she’d divorce him if he entered another off-road Baja race), he’d been putting on races in stadiums with pickup trucks and Baja buggies, much as Goodwin had been doing with motorcycles. “He took a hunk of Baja and put it in [a stadium],” Danny Thompson said at the time. “He would lay down 1,100 sheets of plywood to protect the field and cover that with 25 million pounds of dirt.” Then, to keep the spectators from being bored, he ran off something like 18 off-road truck and buggy races in three hours.
But even though the shows ran like clockwork, they still didn’t make any money. Sometimes, Thompson lost hundreds of thousands in a single night. It wasn’t until 1984 (and the cumulative loss of $3 million) that Thompson’s races began to break even. That was also the time when he learned that Trudy might never walk again. “All I could think of was, the heck with everything,” Thompson would later say in a deposition. “I just got to take care of her. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then the idea came up to merge the companies. I would get paid a good salary and I wouldn’t have to work.”
Although Thompson considered himself a pretty shrewd negotiator, Goodwin was in another league entirely. In their merger talks, Goodwin held himself out to be a “promotional genius” who understood accounting better than a CPA and who had created a “proven product with Supercross that [threw] off gross and net profit” like a golden retriever shaking itself dry. Goodwin told Thompson he had the experience to take Thompson’s company bigtime, put people in the stands and increase profits in everything from the gate to the T-shirt concession.
But the thing that really sold Thompson, Mickey said, was Goodwin’s contention that he could protect Thompson from Pace International, a big Houston-based motor-sports entertainment company, which, Goodwin suggested, had imminent plans to move into Southern California, start running truck and Baja buggy events, and drive Thompson out of business.
On April 1, 1984, Thompson and Goodwin signed the merger agreement, which called for what Goodwin would later describe as an 18-month “engagement” period, followed by a full merger after that.
Unfortunately, their first combined production, a race in Indianapolis in the summer of 1984, lost money, and their second event, at the Pontiac, Michigan, Silverdome, went broke before it started. When Thompson made a conference call to Goodwin and his company’s president, Jeannie Bear Sleeper, to find out what was going on, Thompson said in the deposition, Sleeper was crying so hard she was incoherent. “She said she didn’t know what she was going to do,” Thompson said. “We had to write checks. There was no money. And they were going to yank the advertising. We needed over $100,000 to put on the event.”
Thompson couldn’t understand why the event needed money. As he understood his contract with Goodwin, he was supposed to put in 30 percent, Goodwin would put in 70 percent, and they’d share the profits and losses accordingly. “Then,” according to Thompson, “Jeannie Sleeper said, ‘Mike, you know, we don’t have any money back here. You have got to put money in this thing.’ ” Thompson was stunned. “I said [to Mike], ‘What do you mean you’ve not put any money in?’ Mike said, ‘I have never put any money in, and I am not going to put any money in now.’ ” (In Goodwin's version of this conversation, Sleeper was upset all right, but because Thompson wouldn't put up any cash.) When Thompson subsequently called Goodwin’s office to ask for a financial statement, he was told, he said, that Goodwin had issued orders not to give him one.
Realizing now that he’d made a terrible mistake, Thompson demanded his company back. But Goodwin, says Bartenetti, simply told him, “No, I’m going to keep it.” At this point, Thompson sued Goodwin to return both his company and all the money he’d lost during the 1984 racing season. Goodwin responded with a $2 million countersuit, charging that Thompson had never made good on his promise to develop an artificial racetrack. Soon enough, 14 lawsuits were flying back and forth like misguided missiles.
Goodwin had never been a stranger to lawsuits. The difference this time around was that he was losing them. In October 1984, a judge ordered the return of Thompson’s company. And in May 1986, Thompson won his original lawsuit, with Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Lester Olsen ruling that Goodwin’s failure to provide Thompson with financial statements was “an intentional or recklessly careless act designed to mislead Thompson into continuing to advance cash.” Olsen awarded Thompson half a million dollars. When interest and attorney’s fees were added, the total came to $768,000.
Although Goodwin’s friends urged him to settle — “You lost the judgment, pay it off” — Goodwin adamantly refused, saying that Thompson won only because he “lied” in court.
When Thompson realized Goodwin had no intention of paying him, an L.A. County marshal, John Williams, was dispatched to seize Goodwin’s Mercedes 380 SEC luxury sedan. But Goodwin and his wife, Diane, cursed out Williams, he would later testify, in such vehement and profane language that he had to threaten first to have the pair arrested, and then to seize the car anyway. At this point, Goodwin transferred his rage from Williams to his business partner: “Mickey Thompson is fucking dead. He doesn’t know who he is fucking with.”
The first time Mickey Thompson was threatened by Mike Goodwin, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had been an off-road racer, a businessman, a promoter, a world land-speed record holder, a man who had been invited to the White House by John F. Kennedy. In all that time, not once had anyone threatened his life over a business deal. “Can you believe this?” Thompson told a friend. “This guy threatened to kill me if he lost the civil suit.”
It wasn’t only Thompson who was getting threats. Phil Bartenetti says that Goodwin hired a “defrocked Sheriff’s deputy” to follow him. Jeff Coyne, a court-appointed trustee whose job it was to collect money from Goodwin’s bankruptcy estate, said that on one occasion, when Goodwin was popping pills from a little pillbox, he warned Coyne, “If you don’t lighten up, bad things will happen.” Mike DeStefano, a former top motorcycle racer who worked for Goodwin before teaming up with Thompson, says that Goodwin called late one night yelling and swearing. “He must have been on drugs,” DeStefano says. “He went into a tirade. I hung up on him. He called right back. ‘You’re a dead man. You’re gone.’ I hung up on him again and made a Sheriff’s report.”
Goodwin was apparently so furious at what he considered Thompson’s outrageous insistence on collecting the judgment that once, when Bill Wilson, the manager of what was then Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, asked him how things were going, Goodwin said, “Terrible. Fucking Thompson is killing me. He’s destroying me. He’s taking everything I’ve got. I’m going to take him out.”
“He was agitated,” Wilson would later testify. “His voice was loud. He was irritated. I said, ‘Mike, that doesn’t make any sense. Mickey’s dead. You’re in prison. There’s no winner to that scenario.’
“He said, ‘Oh no. They’ll never catch me. I’m too smart.’”
In January, Trudy called her sister-in-law Collene to say she had “good news and bad news.” The good news was that the California Supreme Court had declined to hear Goodwin’s appeal of the Appeals Court ruling that upheld the trial court’s judgment for Thompson. The bad news was “I’m afraid we’re going to get killed.”
Although Thompson was so distraught at the thought of Trudy being harmed that he sometimes broke into tears, he had no intention of letting Goodwin off the hook. Even when Goodwin declared bankruptcy to prevent the seizure of his house furnishings, Thompson not only didn’t quit pushing, he went after him even harder. One by one, he took away the stadium contracts where Goodwin had once held the franchise. Then, in July 1987, Thompson drove a stake through the heart of what remained of Goodwin’s former racing empire. Anaheim Stadium, the crown jewel (and cash cow) of the motor-sports racing circuit, awarded Thompson the exclusive right to run motor-sports shows in the stadium for the following year.
Goodwin couldn’t believe it. He was the one who invented motorcycle stadium racing, was a tenant at Anaheim for 13 years, sold out 10 events in a row and held the attendance record for a stadium sporting event. Anaheim was where he made the money to put on a complete race schedule for the rest of the year. Now, thanks to Thompson’s bullheaded determination, he was locked out of the stadium.
Goodwin filed a lawsuit to prevent Thompson from staging events in Anaheim, but in January 1988, a judge ruled for Thompson. In the same month, the California Supreme Court refused to hear Goodwin’s appeal of the original judgment. And on March 2, just two weeks before the murders, Thompson won yet another lawsuit, this time stopping Goodwin from running ads untruthfully implying that Thompson’s shows had been canceled.
Goodwin wanted badly to get out of this mess. Every time he hired a new lawyer, he’d send Thompson a new proposal offering him various supposedly valuable rights if he would only forget about the judgment.
But Thompson’s lawyer, Phil Bartenetti, didn’t trust Goodwin. “Mike had this condescending manner,” says Bartenetti. “He always thought he was the smartest guy in the room. He was determined to prove it too, [saying,] ‘You want me to explain that to you?’ In negotiations he never gave an inch. He could rationalize any position. [He] had an ability to interpret words in a way totally contrary to their apparent meaning. He would try to convince you that black was white. Furthermore, he thought he could.”
He considered himself a character out of a Tom Wolfe novel, a “Master of the Universe,” albeit one so overflowing with paranoia, says Bartenetti, he didn’t even trust Bartenetti’s people to provide soft drinks when he came to their office for negotiations. And then there was the drug issue. Goodwin would bring a little ice cooler with diet soda inside. Although Bartenetti would later say he never saw Goodwin use any, he did note that after long hours of negotiations, when everyone was dragging badly, Goodwin would excuse himself to use the bathroom, and when he came back, he’d be “refreshed, confident and ready to go.”
In November 1987, Goodwin sent a series of memos to his latest attorney, Bill Lobel, laying out talking points for a settlement.
If Thompson would cancel the judgment, Goodwin wrote, he and his wife would give Thompson “all our Supercross events, not contest Anaheim and waive all our claims against him.” And finally, they’d send out a new “approved-by-Thompson” news release “retracting/apologizing for past releases.”
“We were very close to settling it,” says Bartenetti. Then Goodwin insisted on the right to draw down an additional $300,000 from some Palm Desert property belonging to his wife. Thompson, who had been through this sort of last-minute drill with Goodwin before, answered, “No way.” Forty-eight hours later, Thompson was dead. And in his place was Collene Campbell, a woman as determined in the courts as her brother was on the racetrack.
Collene Campbell lives in an exclusive gated community in San Juan Capistrano. Her house is a sprawling and secluded multilevel hillside affair surrounded by towering trees, redwood decks, a sweeping set of stairs, a flagstone patio with a swimming pool, and a small, circulating stream splashing over the rocks and ferns. Her Irish father might have been a modestly paid police captain from Alhambra, but at 74, Campbell has the classy look of old money. She’s a conservatively dressed, well-coifed matron who gives off an air of competence, dignity and gravitas, along with good manners, a hot temper and surprising warmth. Even at a first meeting, she makes you feel as if she has looked into your soul, likes what she sees and now regards you as her new best friend. When I step out of my car, she greets me with a hug, and when we meet in court a week later, she introduces me like a member of the family. Although I am an hour late getting to her house for our interview, she holds off lunch (egg-salad sandwiches and a gelatin mold) so I can join her and her husband, Gary. When I leave four hours later, she gives me a glass of iced tea for the long drive home.
Campbell is a busy person. Her phone rings all day long, and her Christmas-card list runs to 900 names. As a former mayor of San Juan Capistrano (and confidant of everyone), she regularly serves on state and federal commissions or testifies before Congress. She’s been honored for her advocacy on behalf of victims by former president George Bush, former governor Pete Wilson, federal and state attorneys general, and the California Legislature. She was part of the successful campaign to defeat former California Supreme Court justice Rose Bird, an advocate for former attorney general John Ashcroft at his Senate confirmation hearing and a driving force behind Proposition 115, the 1990 court-reform initiative that dramatically reduced the time between arrest and trial in the state. The walls of her utilitarian paper-strewn downstairs office are decorated with dozens of photos, plaques and awards from police, sheriffs and district-attorney associations. She knows so many prominent people, says Elena Saris, that “there are times we can’t meet with the judge to argue a motion, because she is meeting with George W. Bush.”
Campbell has been fighting for victims’ rights ever since the ’80s, when two men killed her 27-year-old son, Scott, for a pound of cocaine. Scott was apparently trying to sell the cocaine to a buyer in North Dakota. Since he couldn’t risk carrying drugs on a commercial airliner, he accepted an offer from a childhood friend, Larry Cowell, to fly him to the Midwest in a single-engine plane. Instead, Cowell flew him out over the Pacific west of Catalina Island, where an accomplice in the back seat, Donald DiMascio, broke Scott’s neck and threw him into the ocean from a height of 2,000 feet.
Collene Campbell normally talked to her son several times a day, so when she didn’t hear from him she knew immediately that he was dead. But when she and her husband, Gary, went to the police, they dismissed her fears, suggesting instead that Scott was just “shacked up somewhere with somebody’s wife.”
At this point, the Campbells launched their own investigation, renting off-road motorcycles to search remote mountain canyons, wading through fetid swamps, crawling into caves to look for his body. When Scott’s girlfriend told them he had talked about taking an airplane trip, they searched the parking lots of one airfield after another until, after two weeks, they found his car at the Fullerton airport. From airport logs they determined that Larry Cowell had rented a plane there, and when they looked inside, they found Scott’s blood on a curtain.
The Anaheim police then arranged to have investigators pretend to be bigtime drug dealers to whom Scott supposedly owed big money. Thinking that they were dealing with the Mob, Cowell and DiMascio separately confessed to killing Scott. DiMascio was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, and Cowell got 25 years to life.
Despite their convictions, Campbell was far from pleased. Cowell had to be tried a second time because his confession had been obtained under duress. Murder to final sentencing took seven and a half stressful years, a time during which Collene came down with ulcers and Gary developed high blood pressure. Collene felt so badly treated by the justice system, she decided to spend the rest of her life fighting to reform it. “Because we were only the mom and dad, we had no rights,” Campbell later said. “We were forced to sit outside the courtroom on a bench in the hall, like dogs with fleas . . . while the defendants’ families were allowed to be inside and follow the trial and give support to the killers.”
She and Gary subsequently lobbied hard — but unsuccessfully — for a constitutional amendment to give crime victims (and their families) some of the same rights given to defendants. President Bush later signed a new federal law, named in part after Scott Campbell, that gives victims or their surviving family members the right to testify at the sentencing phase of federal trials. (The law does not apply in Goodwin’s state trial.)
When I first interviewed Campbell for the L.A. Times a few months after Mickey and Trudy’s deaths, she was angry about any suggestion the killers might somehow get away with their crimes. “I’ll tell you,” she said at the time, “they got one more Thompson to take out if they think they’re going to walk.”
Now, 18 years later, I realize, she is just as determined as she ever was to put Goodwin away. And it’s not just because she still feels that Goodwin had her brother and sister-in-law killed. It’s what Campbell regards as the cruel and baseless assault Goodwin has made on her and her brother’s honesty and integrity, not only in court but also on JusticeOnTrial.org, a Web site maintained by Goodwin’s friend John Bradley.
“The Bradley site just upsets me,” she says when I begin to ask her about it. “I called the attorney general’s office and asked how I could make them be more responsible. He said, ‘You can’t. There’s nothing you can do.’ So there is no sense to me reading them because they only make me mad.’”
Which perhaps is understandable, given that among Goodwin’s many allegations is the charge that Campbell has pursued him with unwarranted but relentless, single-minded determination for more than 18 years, pulling every string, pressuring every friend and colleague, and calling in every IOU to put him behind bars for a crime there is no proof he ever committed. Furthermore, he also claims, she used her position as executrix of her brother’s estate to raid Goodwin’s pension fund.
“They’re doing everything they possibly can [to sully our family’s name],” Campbell later tells me. “Our brother is dirty. Our son is dirty. Everybody is dirty except Goodwin.
“Well, there’s nothing there,” says Campbell. “I’ve kept all my checks going back 25 years. And if they want to call me to the stand and claim I robbed Goodwin, there’s nothing I’d like better. They can say that Mickey was involved with the Mafia drug lords and Trudy was a prostitute and Mickey was seeing other women,” but if that’s all they’ve got, she says, Goodwin is going down.
Given that so many people had named Mike Goodwin as someone who had reason to kill Mickey Thompson, Sheriff’s investigators had the keenest interest in talking to him. It wasn’t just the threats or his acrimonious dispute with Thompson. Although Goodwin was supposedly bankrupt, he and his wife still had enough cash on hand to buy $275,000 worth of gold coins two months before Thompson’s death and, says Lillienfeld, put them aboard his boat. In the meantime, his wife had wired $400,000 to banks on the Caribbean islands of Grand Turk and Caicos. Two or three months after the murders, they left the United States to cruise the Caribbean in the Believe for the next two years.
Following the murders, Sheriff’s investigators made heroic efforts to solve the crime. But despite interviewing more than 700 people in the first nine months, detectives essentially found nothing tying Goodwin to the murders. Most of the threats were hearsay (Mickey telling someone that Mike has threatened him) and thus inadmissible in court. It was undeniable that Goodwin had a strong motive — Thompson had, after all, forced Goodwin into bankruptcy and taken away his business. But motive still wasn’t proof. What was needed was a confession, the arrest of the gunmen, an eyewitness of some sort, or a wife or girlfriend willing to repeat any incriminating pillow talk. But detectives could never put together a case. And as years passed and lead investigators retired or moved on, the investigation slowly ground to a halt.
Then, in May 1997, Mark Lillienfeld, a highly rated and experienced homicide detective, was designated lead investigator on the case. It was quickly apparent to Lillienfeld that Goodwin was “brilliant,” “cunning” and “the smartest guy I ever met as a cop.” But, he says, he also soon discovered that Goodwin was a “bipolar,” “narcissistic sociopath” who liked “to intimidate people.” In 14 years as a homicide detective, Lillienfeld, a mild-mannered and self-deprecating Midwesterner, had never gotten a single threat. But once he started investigating Goodwin, he said, he began getting anonymous messages on his answering machine (“You motherfucking piece of shit”) and the number “187” on his pager (the state Penal Code section for murder).
If such tactics were intended to intimidate Lillienfeld, they didn’t work. In short order, the detective made what he regarded as a major breakthrough. From studying the bullet fragments found in Mickey’s and Trudy’s bodies, Lillienfeld concluded that the bullets that killed them could have come from a 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 469, just like the one that gun-registration records showed Goodwin had purchased in 1984, four years before the murders. Lillienfeld also learned that a few days after the murders, in March 1988, Goodwin bought another Smith & Wesson “identical” to the first.
To Lillienfeld the inference was clear. Goodwin had given his first gun to the killers, and then, after the murders, bought a new gun to replace it. This wasn’t exactly proof of anything, but to Lillienfeld it was at the very least suggestive of criminal intent.
Then fate stepped in to lend a helping hand.
In 1998, at the end of one of many TV shows about the killings, viewers were invited to contact authorities if they had any leads. A tip led Lillienfeld to one of Mickey Thompson’s neighbors, Ronald Stevens, who had seen suspicious strangers in the area not long before the Thompsons were killed.
Stevens told Lillienfeld that around noon a week before the murders, he and his wife had seen two men in an old, badly oxidized light-green 1970s Malibu station wagon parked in front of his house on the wrong side of the street. One of the men was wearing a dark watch cap and peering through binoculars. As there was an elementary school just down the street, Stevens approached the car to ask what was going on, but when the driver noticed him, he looked startled and sped away. Lillienfeld later showed Stevens a photo lineup of six men, and, despite some hesitation, Stevens eventually picked out Goodwin.
With this tentative identification, Lillienfeld arrested Goodwin, who at the time was living in a house trailer with his elderly father in Dana Point, and put him in a police lineup, where both Stevens and his wife agreed that Goodwin was the man they’d seen in front of their house 13 years previously.
By December 2001, Lillienfeld believed he had enough evidence to arrest Goodwin on two counts of murder in the first degree, a development Collene Campbell’s family and friends celebrated with Mumm champagne and a toast.
In preparation for the preliminary hearing, the prosecution handed over some 40,000 pages of discovery in 114 boxes to Goodwin’s attorneys. Thanks to Goodwin’s being confined at the time to a 3-by-7-foot cell 23 and a half hours a day, he had plenty of time to pore over the documents uninterrupted. And what Goodwin discovered was that the evidence allegedly tying his gun to the murders was seriously mistaken.
Investigators had long ago established that the gun used to kill the Thompsons had six lands and grooves (the rifling machined into the barrels to make the bullets spin). But, as the FBI ballistics handbook clearly showed, 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 469s like Goodwin’s had five lands and grooves. In short, pointed out Goodwin, by the Sheriff Department’s own analysis there was no way his gun could be the murder weapon.
When confronted with the evidence, the prosecution wrote a letter to the court noting, “Forensic evidence appears to exclude an inference that either of the murder weapons was the 9 mm Smith and Wesson purchased by the defendant in the charged case.”
At the time, Lillienfeld said he’d erred about the gun misidentification, and he was taking full responsibility, but it was also, he insisted, an “honest mistake.”
John Bradley, who began calling Lillienfeld “Mr. Ballistics” after that, ridiculed the notion that such an experienced detective could have made such an obvious mistake. And that false testimony regarding Goodwin’s gun, along with a highly dubious 13-year-old eyewitness identification that no one had ever even thought to mention to the cops before, irreparably harmed Goodwin’s life. Without the mistaken gun evidence, no judge, said Bradley, would have issued an arrest warrant to put Goodwin in a lineup in the first place. Without the lineup, Stevens would never have had the opportunity to (mis)identify Goodwin as the man he’d seen in front of his house 13 years previous. Without Stevens’ eyewitness identification, no judge would have ordered him held without bail for nearly five years, and he wouldn’t be awaiting trial for murder in Los Angeles County today.
The supposed identification of Goodwin in the badly oxidized Malibu station wagon, defense attorney Elena Saris later argued in a 2004 preliminary hearing, simply made no sense. The car was parked on the wrong side of the street, facing away from the Thompsons’ house, which wasn’t visible from that location anyway — it was three-quarters of a mile away, with a hill in between. “You couldn’t see them both simultaneously from a helicopter,” Saris later said. As for the two men in the car, given that they were looking though binoculars in the direction of a grammar school, they were far more likely pedophiles than someone casing Goodwin’s house.
Saris also tried at the preliminary hearing to dispose of the motive issue by asserting that Goodwin had no reason to want Thompson dead. Despite appearances, it was Goodwin who came out ahead of Thompson in their dispute, not the other way around. Goodwin, claimed Saris, wasn’t the slightest bit mad. He had done such a “decent job of hiding and protecting his assets” that all Thompson ever collected out of his $768,000 judgment was perhaps $1,800 worth of old engine parts and a few hundred from forgotten bank accounts.
To Alan Jackson, one of the deputy D.A.s prosecuting Goodwin, the notion that Goodwin wasn’t mad at Thompson was absurd on its face. “Mike Goodwin’s multimillion-dollar lifestyle had the knees knocked out from under it,” he replied. “His business was taken away. His livelihood was taken away. He had to declare personal bankruptcy. His very home, car, his personal bank accounts, they were all becoming subject to the whims, if you will... of Mickey Thompson. If Mike Goodwin was winning, he certainly didn’t say so. [Instead, he said:] ‘I’m going to kill that son of a bitch. I’m going to kill that motherfucker.’ ”
Not surprisingly, at the end of the preliminary hearing, Judge Teri Schwartz ordered Goodwin held for trial, saying, “Of all the evidence presented in this case, there is simply no one else the court can say committed this crime.”
“Of course, she doesn’t know anyone else,” defense attorney Elena Saris would later say. “The defense didn’t get the opportunity to present our side of the case.”
After 18 years, the case has taken an enormous toll on everyone concerned. Goodwin has been in jail without bail for five years, awaiting trial. He’s got high blood pressure, impaired vision in one eye, toe problems that make it difficult to walk and such severe back pain that he can’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Still, he keeps working. Writing with a 3½-inch stubby yellow pencil, he turns out complicated, cited, footnoted legal documents, memoranda and media briefing books with titles like “Government Fraud in the Thompson Murder Investigation,” “Elaborate Malevolent Conspiracy” and “There Is Evidence Thompson May Have Been Killed by Loan Sharks or Money Launderers.”
Because in jury trials it’s just not enough to declare one’s innocence, you have to suggest other credible suspects who might have committed the crime instead of you. Goodwin, therefore, along with John Bradley, has at times offered up six other possible suspects: (1) Saudis to whom Thompson’s tire company supposedly sold defective tires; (2) members of the Vagos motorcycle gang, against which Thompson once testified in Scott Campbell’s murder trial; (3) drug lords for whom Thompson supposedly transported product during all those off-road races in Mexico; (4) supposedly disgruntled business partners of Thompson; (5) Las Vegas mobsters and/or “freelance bankers” from whom Thompson had supposedly borrowed money that he couldn’t repay; and (6) Joey Hunter, a smalltime street hustler with alcohol and drug abuse problems who supposedly confessed to killing the Thompsons to his sister-in-law and failed two lie-detector tests.
Despite appearances, says Lillienfeld, Joey Hunter was never a serious suspect. “His alibi rang true.” His alleged confession was merely a joke. It was true he failed a lie-detector test. But that’s why, says Lillienfeld, lie detectors “are inadmissible in a court of law.”
As for the notion that Mickey Thompson hauled product for drug lords, Detective Lillienfeld didn't buy it. This was a man who didn’t smoke, rarely drank and didn’t even use coffee. In any case, says Lillienfeld, he checked Thompson when he took over the case. “He came out clean. There’s nothing there. Mickey grew up in the ’40s and ’50s. He didn’t know drugs from dog shit.”
As for the notion that Thompson owed money to Las Vegas mobsters, his former colleague, Mike DeStefano, said it never happened. “I was with Mickey all the time, seven days a week, day and night,” he says. “I went with him to Las Vegas. I never saw anybody who was shady. I’m Italian. I would know. In any case, Trudy never would have stood for it.”
Goodwin has always blamed Collene Campbell for his problems, and his attorney, Elena Saris, it seems, has fully adopted his point of view. Over lunch with Saris, I found her smart, engaging and candid but also surprisingly hostile to Campbell. “Show me a family that lives in a well-off gated community with two deaths in the family,” she said, “and I’ll show you someone involved in drugs.”
Saris further alleged, at the 2004 preliminary hearing, that Campbell paid witnesses for information, taped witnesses without their knowledge, hired private detectives, pressured Sheriff’s investigators who she thought weren’t taking her leads seriously enough, interviewed witnesses who subsequently changed their stories, and otherwise pushed investigators to find evidence against Goodwin while largely ignoring everyone else.
Well, what of it? responded lead prosecutor Pat Dixon at the 2004 preliminary hearing. It is the most natural thing in the world for someone in her position to want to act as an “investigator” in her brother’s murder. It wasn’t as if investigators were setting the world on fire. Goodwin wasn’t arrested for 13 years after the murders. Under the circumstances, he said, why wouldn’t she try to find out “who killed her brother”?
In any case, the prosecution suggested, there was nothing either illegal or unethical about her conducting her own investigation. Shortly after the murders, the Campbells had offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people who killed the Thompsons. Over the years they kept increasing it till it finally reached a million dollars. Whenever this reward was mentioned on TV, hundreds of tips would pour in, including one from a man who claimed to have accidentally recorded the two killers quietly admitting the Thompson murders while he was recording music at a bar. In another equally bizarre attempt to pump Campbell for money, convicted private-investigator-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano reportedly offered her information on the gunmen in exchange for $350,000 and the movie rights. (She turned him down.)
Recently, a jailhouse snitch, apparently trying to help his own case, told authorities that he heard Goodwin confess to having hired “Jack Ruby’s boys” to kill Mickey and Trudy. In the ensuing hubbub, most of Goodwin’s files were taken away from his cell, and, to keep him and the snitch separated, Goodwin was moved to solitary confinement, a development that caused him to break into tears. (He has since been moved elsewhere.) Although one old girlfriend of Goodwin’s claims that at this point he’s a “broken man,” he still seems to have enough fire in his belly to file lawsuits. His old friend John Bradley says that if Goodwin ever gets out of jail, the first thing he’s going to do is sue Collene Campbell for trying to put him in jail all these years, Orange County for jailing him even though it never had any evidence that any crimes were ever committed in that county, and L.A. County for having the chutzpah to employ what he regards as an evidence-fabricating detective like Mark Lillienfeld.
If anything, Campbell’s nerves are even more shot than Goodwin’s. She’s attended all 70 court appearances Goodwin has made over the five years of waiting for his trial to start, rising to leave her house in San Juan Capistrano by 5:30 a.m. to get to court in Pasadena by 8:30. “Friends sometimes ask,” she says, “how can there be a God who would do this to you? We think that God gave us a task to do. When we get to heaven, Mickey and Trudy will be waiting. I want to be proud of how I spent my life. I want to be able to say we did everything we could.”
Trials based primarily on circumstantial evidence are notoriously hard to figure. Lillienfeld says he naturally hopes for a conviction, but he can live with an acquittal. The one thing he won’t be able to stand, though, is, after nine years on this case, seeing it end with a hung jury. Saris, on the other hand, tells me she’s quite confident that Goodwin’s acquittal is everything but a foregone conclusion.
And if he were convicted anyway?
“I would be mortified.”
When I repeat this conversation later to one court observer, who prefers to remain anonymous, he tells me he feels Saris is completely sincere in believing that Goodwin is a deeply wronged and innocent man, but you have to consider, he says, just how completely she’s succumbed, like so many others before her, to Goodwin’s alpha aura and history of telling lies; he’s manipulating her in the same way he’s manipulated everyone else in his life.
“Have you ever seen them in court together?” he asks. “Goodwin whispers in her ear, and she jumps up and asks whatever he wants her to without even laying a proper foundation.”
So what, I ask, are you saying?
“Saris is a smart woman,” he says. “But she’s not as smart as Mike Goodwin.”
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