Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baja Racing News San Felipe Racers Stories

Brian Collins wins and comments on the Baja 250 in San Felipe Baja Mexico.
Brian said,
We never got out of the truck. We just had a great day. We ran at not a really hard pace, but a consistent pace the first 25 miles. We caught Bobby Baldwin right away. We caught Chad Ragland right away and Gus Vildosola. Then it was dust free. Garron Cadiente was pulled over and B.J. Baldwin was going slow for a while. It just opened up for us. (after opening up an eight-minute lead) I was very nervous about Rob MacCachren. I knew I had eight minutes and that's a lot of time, but there's never enough time with Rob. He's a phenomenal driver, a great friend. Hopefully someday we can drive together. When he's in a truck, you can't make mistakes. All the racers are glad to be back here in San Felipe. This course is absolutely phenomenal. I love it. The rougher the course is, the better it is for me.


MacCachren said: It was a really fast pace. Brian did really, really good today. He was running really strong. We were about 5 1/2 or 6 minutes behind him when we got in and got to within 5, then back to 6 and just kind of hung around there. We tried to play it safe, but the farther we went, the more we realized, he was going fast, so we just kept thinking he wouldn't make it. Obviously, he did. Mark got a flat early and drove on it for a while. He got it back to the pit and got it changed. He went back to about the seventh car on the road and started moving up. He was second on the road when we got in, and we just held it there.
Post said: We lost a couple positions because we sat in dust for a while and it cost us a couple minutes. Today (Collins) was flawless. We had a very strong day. Normally we would have won this race. They just had a better one.

CHAD RAGLAND, No. 25 (third) (Ragland went off-line at mile 25 and ran into a cactus) —I had trouble keeping the wheels on the ground. I couldn't get a good rhythm. I hesitated and when you hesitate to make the line and go outside, she won't want to turn back in. I got in an unfamiliar lane. I thought our race was over. It felt like five minutes, but it may only have been two. We could have done better. The truck was awesome. Any mistakes out there were my fault. The team set up an incredible truck today. This is only our second race as a team. We may be able to make this truck go a little faster. SCORE did an incredible job of putting together a really challenging race.

GUS VILDOLSA JR./GUS VILDOLSA SR., No. 4 (fourth) — Gus Sr. said: We just had a clean morning, no flats, no problems. We were there, in the hunt. Gustavo had a good chance, but there are some rough parts out there and he had bad luck with three flat tires. Collins had a wonderful day. They couldn't have done any better.
Gus Jr. said: My dad had the first half and gave me a really good truck. He took it steady. I just got it from there and passed a couple of trucks. Unfortunately in the wash, we had a couple of flats at the same time and the jack didn't work really well. It prolonged the tire change by a lot. After that, we just kind of cruised it in. As long as we're finishing and hopefully staying in the top five, we'll get points. We come to every race to win it. We don't come to finish second or third. I'm disappointed in that, but happy that we finished.

Our Trophy Truck was running great but grenaded a driveshaft on race mile 11.

ROGER NORMAN, No. 8 (fifth) —It was brutal. It was rough and I loved every second of it. We're missing a few parts and I think something jumped out in the road in front of me. I think it was a moose.

GARRON CADIENTE, No 38- We knew the transmission was possibly bad before the race. We decided to keep it in and it didn't pan out for us. We were running between 80 to 95 in different parts of the first 25 miles. We went faster when were trying to pass #16 and #3 which is what we always do when we have a chance to pass. Our temperature just driving to the starting line from the hotel was warm. Our game plan was to try to get as close to BJ as early as possible and just stay with him for most of the race and make our move towards the later part. When we passed Riviera we were right where we wanted to be and the tranny was already too hot because of a bad torque converter. The second tranny was due to the dip stick falling out and we lost all of the oil. The dip stick had blown off from the first tranny breaking and the rubber bushing that holds it in was torn so we had to rig it and hope it would stay together for the rest of the race. Anyway, we had fun for a bit. The Toyo tires were absolutely beautiful for the race.

ARMIN SCHWARZ, No. 104 (first) — Co-driver Martin Christensen, who finished the race, said: It's an unbelievable day for the German team. It's a very, very extreme course. We're very excited about coming in first. Armin did a good job giving me the car. The car was much faster than we anticipated. (upon learning his team had won by 12 seconds) It's fantastic. When you drive almost 250 miles and it comes down to 12 seconds, that's just crazy. We had issues with the car and we knew we would be right on the edge, but we wanted to finish.

B.J. RICHARDSON, No. 107 (second) —It was a good time. Everything went good. We took it easy for the first 26 miles and I got passed by probably eight guys. I blew my shocks out four times in the first 26 miles. We ran hard after that. We really started running. We were hoping we could beat them, but those guys are good. They beat us. It's a good job by them.

ENRIQUE BUJANDA, No. 115 (fourth) — We had no problems with the car, no flats, but we did hit a tree and that slowed us down.

PAUL KELLER, No. 112 (fifth) — We had one flat tire when we hit a parked race car. It was stalled in the track and I tried to go around it and clipped it. It cost us a lot of time. If we wouldn't have given away a half-hour, it would have been a lot better. The CV boots cost us about 20 minutes and the tire change took another 10 minutes. We're not very fast at changing tires. We're at the finish line and that's a good step. It's a fun course for a while, but it's just rough.

CLASS 1-2/1600
, No. 1645 (first) — I rolled over at about mile marker 30 and lost about three or four minutes. I had to wait for some spectators to come over and roll me over. They kind of took a while. (with 40 miles left, the floorboard on the race car came loose on one end) We ran for the last 35-40 miles with it dragging. I was getting worried about that. I also got stuck behind a truck for about 30 miles before I could get by him. Everything else went really well for us, though, no flats, no nothing. I'm really happy with our performance.

ALEX NAVARRETE, No. 1616 (second) — We had a little problem with the carburetor early, but no other problems. We were running clear. We had a lot of open space.

, No. 301 (first) — Co-driver Ken Moss said: We missed last year, but we won five before that. It's a good feeling. Everything on the truck worked fine, except we had to keep adding oil. Other than that, it felt good. It's a little rougher course. We've run it a bunch and it's been worse here, but it's never smooth.

, No. 713 (first) —It was our first win here, so that feels good.

, No. 758 (first) — We had a rough day. (Co-driver) Mark Landersman had some troubles early on and then I lost a fan belt within five miles of taking over. We got to race mile 200 and got stuck for a bit. We had to fix the front end and got a flat tire when we got here, but we got through it.

., No. 801 (first) —Rodrigo Sr. said: We were leading and just trying to keep the car in good condition for the last section because it's so rough of a course. We got a really comfortable lead. At the start, we were just slow-paced. A few cars passed us. I just slowed down to get through the early parts and then we got going.
Rodrigo Jr. said: We were in the lead when I took over. I just brought it home and in the rough parts, I tried to take it really slow. Everything went well for us today.

, No. 1001 (first) —Co-driver C.J. Hutchins said: I got in at mile 168. Dad started it and when it got to me the clutch was gone. The clutch started to go around mile 80 and the GPS was gone at 30. The clutch was the biggest thing. Anytime we got into the soft sand, there was just nothing there. We've been doing well. This is six straight race wins for us.

, No. 1206 (first) — This motor is fast. We pre-ran a lot, an awful lot. Arturo Honold (the co-driver) got a flat early and I got a flat and the wheel bent. We lost about 8-10 minutes there. Arturo gave it to me with a 3 1/2 minute lead. After we fixed the flat, we just took off. This engine is just unbelievable. It runs so fast.

, No. 861 (first) — It's daylight when we're finishing. This just may be a fast truck, a legal fast truck. We didn't even have a flat. We only stopped so I could have this bush pulled out of my back. We started out first in the class and decided we were going to push as hard as we could without hurting the truck to see what it would do. We had nothing to lose and here we are.
KENT KROEKER, No 878- We showed up in San Felipe on Tuesday nite, preran Wed, preran and tuned the racetruck on Thursday, parade and prep on Friday. Camped next to El Cortez, slept right on the beach. Absolutely beautiful weather the whole time.The big challenge for us in this race was to compete but not thrash the truck. I figured after prerunning that if we could avg about 32-33 mph we'd be safe, preserve the truck, and still be in the running.The start went pretty well, Kent and I went from 4th to second after about 12 miles or so. After a couple of bad line choices Griffen and Chad Hall passed us back again around mile 40 or so. Back on the good line we got back in front of Hall (video of us coming up behind him is below) and were two minutes behind Griffen at Morelia Junction. After a quick driver swap and a splash of gas Baja Rudy and Keg Parker took off, still about four minutes in front of Chad Hall. They passed Griffen in a pitstop soon thereafter and struggled to chase down the lead Hummer driven by Josh. Wasn't going to happen.Our truck developed some carb problems that caused it to bog down in the soft stuff and we started chewing through the gas. Griffen and Chad H. went by in a sandy wash. Rudy and Keg stopped briefly at check 4 so we could tighten a loose control arm and took off in pursuit of the podium. They were gaining like crazy on Griffen (who I hear got a flat) and Hall, but then unbelievably they ran out of gas just a couple miles short of the finish! A quick splash from some spectators and they rolled across the line in fourth, two minutes behind Hall and nine minutes behind Griffen. What a great race, being that close the whole time was really exciting, although obviously we'd rather have been just a little quicker. Since we averaged 32.85 mph, I guess my estimate of what it would take to podium was a little low!

, No. 760 (first) — (Hall drove through mile 150 before handing the vehicle over to co-driver Mike Winkel) I didn't finish it because I'm not trying to impress the chicks anymore. Thank goodness there are some things you outgrow in life. This course is something that's not very enjoyable in a stock vehicle, but it's part of San Felipe and you know that when you leave the line, so you just have to soldier it out and drive through it. It's not really racing for us, it's just getting through it. You do a lot of hunting for the smoothest roads. I had lots of patience today, just wasn't in a big hurry. I'm happy with the result. I haven't been very good about handing over a good vehicle lately.

, No. 1X (first) — BELL SAID: It was a clean ride. I got a little confused coming into the finish and probably lost a little time. I couldn't feel my arms by the time I got off it at mile 30. I knew behind me they'd be running really fast. I gave the bike to Johnny at 30 and he just rode awesome. He took it to mile 167 and I picked up from there and brought it to here. I pulled at least a minute and a half (ahead) at the start. It was just chaotic. I passed probably eight or 10 local trucks going out onto the course, so it was hazy and scary and pretty dusty. Once I got past that, it was clean, no problems with spectators or anything. It feels awesome. It's probably one of the toughest runs you could ever do. Even though it's not so long, it's just so physically demanding. To win this one, just shows the bike was set up really well. It was flawless. In a race this short, you can't have any problems. It just comes down to seconds. It's not good being first off because you just don't know. When you get to the finish, you just have to turn around and hope nobody comes in too soon.
CAMPBELL SAID: It was our day. We started strong. I personally didn't feel too stellar today on the bike. I just rode consistent. My job was to get the bike back to Robby. We did a wheel change to give fresh wheels to Robby. We have the absolutely best riders, the best bike and the best support team, bar none. It doesn't surprise me to pull away from the competition. The competition isn't as put together as we are. We have a long history of being prepared.

STEVE HENGEVELD, No. 5X (second) — We made it here. We got second. I was just going to keep charging until I gave out. You never give up. You never know what might happen. We lost the exhaust about mile 100. I thought the bike was seizing up, so I started cruising a little. It finally broke off and we started running. I was cruising for a couple minutes because I didn't want to be stuck out there. If I had just kept going, maybe I wouldn't have lost so much time. Of course it's disappointing. No one shows up to a race and doesn't go for a win. In hindsight, we're happy we got second. It's not so bad. We can't complain. (Co-driver Mike Childress was thrown from the motorcycle at mile 10 and appeared to break his wrist) Childress said: I was minding my p's and q's, wasn't really pushing it. I hit a really deep groove in a shadow. I didn't gauge how deep it was and it sent me for a little loop over the bars. As soon as I landed, I knew I broke my wrist. I knew I had to get the bike to Steve, so I sucked it up for 20 miles and rode through the pain. I knew he would soldier on. He did an excellent job.

CALEB GOSSELAAR, No. 8X (third) — I went so far off the course, I lost like 20 minutes. I was going and it was so dusty. I was right behind somebody and I hit a rock. My chin hit the steering stabilizer and I was just dazed for a little bit. I ended up going to the wrong road. I didn't know where I was at. I didn't get on the highway, but I went along the highway. I was trying to find the course again. I was bummed because I had to get it to Timmy Wiegand at mile 30 and I thought we had a chance of winning today, but after that, we were just hoping to get top five.

, No. 100X (first) — We've been practicing a lot and working hard; it pays off. (Casas and second-place finisher Robert Gustine jockeyed for position much of the last 30 miles of the race) I knew Robert was close, but I also knew he started a minute ahead of us. When we stopped for gas, he blew by. I caught him and then I passed him. The whole way we were just going back and forth. The last five miles, we were no more than 10 feet apart. I'm used to it, but it was close. It's definitely more dangerous.

, No. 179 (first) — (Cody's team was comprised of all female riders) We got it. It's sweet victory, a long time coming. We didn't expect to win starting the race, but at mile 125, I pretty much expected it from then on. I got a flat tire at mile 96. The tube came flying out. I had to strap it on with zip ties and get it into a Honda pit, about 20 miles from there. Other than that, it went flawless. Right off the start, my game plan was to get through the start safely. When we got the tire fixed, I knew we were in second place and there was no real plan other than just go wide open. I wanted to get it to Sarah with a little bit of a gap to get us in here.
Co-driver Sarah Kritch, who finished the race said: It's awesome. This is what we came here to do.

, No. 300X (first) —We did really well in the 30 class.
Co-driver Jason Trubey said: It was just smooth. I just put the throttle down. Not one crash, no bobbles, nothing. We did good off the start. Luke did great off the start. By the time we gave it to Jimmy O'Neal at 31, we had five minutes on the next bike. Everybody just did their job and got it to me. I thought we made way too many changes, but it worked for us. This bike is a weapon. It's hard to hang on to at first. We started next to last in our class and kept moving up. When you're loose and you don't feel like you're trying very hard, it just feels so smooth. It just came together for us.

, No. 500X (first) — We stopped the O'Neal run. We trained our butts off. It was a clean ride the whole way through. I don't think the bike ever touched the ground. I rode for Jim last year and this was our first shot. I have a lot of respect for Jim. Jim O'Neal is one of the best riders around. I'm glad we beat him, but I have a lot of respect for him. It's a special feeling.

, No. 6A (first) — Everything went well today. I don't know. We won. Nothing else matters. When I passed my competition back there about 40 miles ago, I knew things were going really well. I just had to go all out, wide open, as fast as I could go and still be safe.
Co-driver Marc Spaeth said: I lost some ground. I did a little header. The bike just went up and I got off. It took me about 30 seconds to get it going again. After that, I was clean. I lost some ground and this ironman here (Matlock) made it up for me.

, No. 103 A (first) — It took a lot of work. It's a very tough course. We expected to have a good chance to win. That's why we came here.

TForce Files another set of Award Winning Reports.

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