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Numerous Run-Overs, Traffic Disasters and Eleven Emergencies
CLICK HERE FOR THE BULLETIN THAT ROGER NORMAN BAILS ON SCORE AND THE 2010 Baja 1000
As with most incidents, it was probably a combination of a lot of factors. Is there any one solution to making desert racing "safe" for all? Probably not. After all, racing, be it desert, rally, track, road or dirt, is inherently dangerous. however, there are probably a few "tweaks" that can be implemented that could significantly enhance safety and reduce the probability of such incidents while maintaining the essence of unique events like Baja. 3 trucks running together (passing, bumping, etc?) at 120+? A rider with no Baja experience and essentially no pre-run experience? A very dusty and rough course in high heat conditions? I don't suggest racing be "sanitized", and maybe this is one of those strange combinations that once in a blue moon occurs and tragedy strikes. but right now I'm at a loss of thoughts and words. It certainly has, and will cause serious reflection and re-evaluation of many future racing ventures.
He was a 30 year old new to riding in a Baja race.
""A competitor killed in a roll-over accident during a Baja California road race was not wearing a seat belt, race authorities said Tuesday.
Chris Lokken, 31, of Carlsbad, was a rider in a buggy that had a transmission breakdown around the 196th mile of the Tecate SCORE 500 off-road rally early Sunday shortly after midnight. He had no radio communication but flagged down a passing truck that was competing in another race class while the buggy driver remained behind, SCORE officials said.
"They agreed to drive him to the next checkpoint ... and they could get assistance," race spokesman Dominic Clark said.
Lokken sat behind the seats inside the stretched cab -- and area without a seat or seatbelt. He wore his helmet but it was unbuckled, SCORE Chief Executive Officer Sal Fish said.
The truck was about a mile away from the checkpoint when the course went up a steep hill.
The truck couldn't make it up. It backed up to make another try but in doing so went over the side, rolling over and over down a 100-yard ravine, Fish said.
Lokken was thrown from the truck and his helmet came off. He died at the scene of head and internal injuries, Clark said.
The other two people in the truck were wearing helmets and seatbelts and were not hurt.
"It's a very bizarre incident. Nothing like this has ever happened," Clark said.
It was the 39th running of the desert race.""
June 3, 2004
Almost everyone who races motorcycles across the desert knows someone who has been seriously injured or killed in a crash.
"It's a dangerous sport," Joe Desrosiers acknowledged earlier this week.
"My wife (Kathy) would like to see me get out. She worries. We have two daughters. She would rather see me race a buggy. But . . . "
Here, the 34-year-old Desrosiers offers a litany of reasons why he should ride on.
"You could get hit crossing the street," he said. "I broke my leg skiing and twice broke my back sledding, but on motorcycles, I've had only one fractured ankle. Yes, I guess you could kill yourself. But I guess that's what makes us what we are."
Last year, Desrosiers experienced the extremes of desert racing.
He led a team that won both the 250cc class title in the Baja 1000 and the SCORE season championships. But as Desrosiers prepared for the Baja 1000, a member of his team, Andy Specht, was killed in a riding accident.
Two weeks later, the team decided to ride on.
"The show must go on," reasoned Desrosiers.
But it was in the middle of his 280-mile stage that he finally realized why.
"I was out in the middle of nowhere – out near Punta Canoas – in a very remote section. And there's these two guys holding this banner with Andy's name on it," he said. "Just a couple of enthusiasts. It was something that sticks with you."
Later that November night, when Desrosiers and his team had finished to win the race and the season championship, the events of the past several weeks finally struck them.
"It was pretty tough that night," he recalled. "Almost surreal. Almost like it was supposed to happen that we won. So much has to come together to win a desert race. There was always this dark cloud with Andy's loss. It seemed to spread across the Baja peninsula. Then it was like we were all sharing what we had done."
Saturday, the Desrosiers team will ride again in the 36th SCORE Tecate Baja 500. Desrosiers is again atop the season standings. But the team has again been reshuffled. Mark Daniels was injured two weeks ago when he hit a cow in Mexico while on a practice run.
This time, the quartet will be Desrosiers, San Diego's Jesse Sharpe and Larry Gross and Goleta's Julian Guerra.
"It's almost like you lose someone from the mix every race," said Desrosiers. "It's a tough business. There are so many variables. The terrain ahead of you, the trucks and buggies coming up behind you."
Desrosiers, who owns Joe Hauler Motorcycle Carriers in San Marcos, began riding motorcycles in Connecticut at the age of 10.
"Not a great place to ride," he says. "You couldn't ride for 10 minutes without hitting a fence or having someone threatening you."
So he relocated to Southern California to be near the wide-open range of Baja California.
"I tell my friends all the time and they just don't understand," said Desrosiers. "The Baja 1000 . . . a thousand miles is like them riding to the tip of Florida. And they have no concept of the nothingness."
Desrosiers does. He rides 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year in Baja California, much of the time without a map in this day of GPS. It's part of the challenge.
Desrosiers is one of five San Diegans leading their SCORE class in points going into the Baja 500.
Carlsbad's Adam Pfankuch and Acton's Brian Jeffrey lead the overall four-wheel points standings as well as the 1600cc buggy class. El Cajon's John Marking tops the open-buggy rankings, and is fourth overall. The son-father team of Andy and Scott McMillin of Poway are fifth overall in the four-wheel division and second in open buggies.
The patriarch of the McMillin racing organization, 74-year-old Corky, will miss the Baja 500 for medical reasons.""
""Paul Fish, vice president of SCORE International, said Thursday his organization will not make any snap decisions about the racing future of off-road driver Jason Baldwin.
Baldwin of Laguna Beach was the driver of a Trophy Truck that rolled into a crowd of people at the Tecate Baja 500 on Saturday, killing one and injuring eight.
Any decision about Baldwin's future in racing--he could receive sanctions that include a race disqualification, suspension from the series, both or neither--will be made after an investigation.
The final decision rests with Fish and his uncle, SCORE President Sal Fish.
"SCORE certainly is not in a position right now to say anything one way or the other about Jason Baldwin's conduct at the wheel of that Trophy Truck," Paul Fish said. "We're collecting all the evidence we can get our hands on. We don't want to compromise an objective review of this thing by putting any kind of deadline on it.
"To put us on a timeline is not fair to Jason and it's not fair to the process."
Fish said he talked to Baldwin's co-driver, Mike Laughlin of Irvine, and spoke with Baldwin's father, Jim, on Thursday. Jim Baldwin was racing in the truck that preceded Jason Baldwin through the crash site, a left-right turn combination across the Tecate Highway, 2.1 miles into the 447.6-mile race.
Fish has not talked to Jason Baldwin, who is recovering from neck and back injuries.
"Everyone's going through enough grief, we don't want the Baldwins or anyone who was injured to suffer anymore without knowing all the facts of the situation," Sal Fish said. "We're not trying to point the finger at anyone at this point."""
News Service has learned that Baldwin has been released from the hospital and is reported to be doing well, however Craig Stewart, son of race winner Ivan Stewart, and owner of Stewart Raceworks has undergone surgery to relieve a blood clot on the brain. Zack Greinve is listed as having undergone surgery for internal injuries and is in stable condition.
At News Service, our prayers go out to the families and people involved, and we can only hope for their full and complete recovery. We will have more on the situation as it develops.
One point of specail note, the Mexican, American, and SCORE Medical / race / police / military officals and race team air support helicopters all pulled together to do an incredible job of attending to the injured, and keeping a very bad situation from becoming even worse. They all deserve our thanks.
Race highlights included Wins by Ivan, Johna,Vic Bruckmann, Doug Fortin Jr, John Kearney, George Seeley Jr., Dave Gasper, Jeff Lewis, Malcolm Vinje, Cisco Blo, Rick Ellison, Steve Greinke, Marc Stein, Rick Johnson, Jose Ruvalcaba, Mike Allsup, Elzadoro Karasawa, Dave Olen, Angel Garcia, Gilberto Santana, Joseph West, & Walter Prince.
News Service will have complete event coverage of the 1999 SCORE Baja 500 in our upcoming July issue, including photos, updates, and for the first time, streaming video of the race. SCORE MEDIA RELEASE
June 5, 1999 30th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Desert Race
ENSENADA, B.C., Mexico--Just two miles into Saturday's 3Oth Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, the Trophy-Truck full size pickup of Jason Baldwin, Laguna Hills, Calif., rolled several times injuring several spectators, along with himself and his co-driver Mike Laughlin, Irvine, Calif.Race Truck Rolls into Spectators, Several Individuals Airlifted to San Diego Hospitals
Baldwin, 29, and Laughlin, 32, were at the point where the race course crosses the Tecate Highway (Highway 3), 2.1 miles north of the start/finish line of the 447.6-mile race in El Sauzal, a tiny village located four miles north of Ensenada.
"Our first priority was to attend to the injured, and our SCORE Medical Team aided the local Mexican medical personnel did an incredible job in responding to a very unusual incident at a SCORE race," said Sal Fish, CEO of the Los Angeles-based SCORE International, producers of the event. "'The Mexican authorities are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and SCORE is able to commente at this time regarding only U.S. Citizens who were involved. By the very nature of motorsports, race participants are often part of incidents requiring medical assistance, but it is rare for spectators to be involved."
Baldwin and Laughlin were airlifted by the SCORE Medcal Team to San Diego area hospitals along with Craig Stewart, 30, of Santee, Calif., and Bob Ham, 56, El Centro, Calif. A fifth U.S. Citizen, Zack Greinve, 21, residence not determined, will be kept overnight in San Jose Hospital in Ensenada for observation and x-rays and will be airlifted to San Diego on Sunday.
All five were listed in stable condition by attending physicians.
Stewart, son of race winner Ivan Stewart of Alpine, Calif., and Ham were co-riders in another race vehicle but not racing at the time while Greinve was a spectator.
The incident occurred at 7:35 a.m., three and one-half minutes after Baldwin started his race. While the investigation continues, SCORE officials said Mexican nationals were also among the spectators involved.
Baldwin was entered in the featured Trophy-Thick division of the race, which had 221 starters competing in 23 classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. With a 17-hour time limit, slower classes will be in the Baja desert until the early morning hours on Sunday.""
San Diego Family Continues Desert Off-Road Dynasty
I had a great time racing the Motive Gear, Los Valientes Tequila BajaLite, or Bajalite, or BAJALITE...
The truck is really fun to drive, reminds me of the glory days of 125cc 2-stroke MX Works bikes! Great handling with enough power to get on top of the whoops. I've raced TT, Class 8, 4 and Jeepspeed. That first 40-5- miles was as much fun as I've ever had - not the power and travel of the TT, but none of the pressure or stress either! We were on a great pace for about 40-50 miles, passed a lot of cars, when electric gremlins bit us. Maybe the water crossings - not sure yet. We fought computer/wiring issues for the rest of the race. We had an epic battle of determination with 721 Reid Rutheford.
Before I get too far, I have to thank the 'Butt Pirates' guys and gal, Lance, Camo, and Charlene for the last minute effort to come down and help. Pete and I put this deal together very late, so they had less than 24 hours notice we were racing.
Also a HUGE shout out to the team from Corpus Christi Texas - Big Wes, his son Wes IV, Nick, Bryan, and Mark. These guys are regular customers of Pete's, and had the second half of the race. They are a great group of guys I'd be proud to race with anytime! Great job Wes!!
And of course Pistol Pete, Fast Eddie, Chad Bunch, Brian Riebbe and Craig Turman (if I butchered the last name it's just payback). That is a small but capable team to run a two truck attack on Baja! It was a difficult race to finish with the power issues we were having, in fact this was probably the hardest for me in 20 years. I think that's what is making it so hard to unwind from this race.
Last but not least: BFGoodrich for always having my back. We ran off the shelf (literally thanks to Greg Adler at 4 Wheel Parts) KM2 Mud terrain T/A's with no flats - they almost look new! Motive Gear for the best ring and pinions, and my wife Tracy and son Austin for still encouraging me to chase the dream!
Baja 500 Winner. I like the sound of that. Bruce, great to meet you and thanks again for the lifesaving food, lights and genny.""
For more information on the BAJALITE Racing Program stay tuned to Baja Racing News.com
CANIDAE Racing Trophy Truck Team Turns in Excellent Performance in Baja 500 Despite Rollover""The CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods Trophy Truck team took on all comers this past weekend at the 42nd annual SCORE Baja 500 outside of Ensenada, Mexico with good results.
Scott Whipple started the day in the #95 CANIDAE Trophy Truck, leaving the start line in the 22nd position out of 41 entries. Whipple battled the rough Baja terrain and thick dust, steadily moving the truck up towards the front of the pack. Whipple and Co-Pilot Patrick Gailey had a perfect truck. From the awesome performance of the BFG’s, the incredible gear reduction by Tubeworks worked in unison with Cullhane turbo 400 running flawlessly. The Fox Shox were set up perfect enabling the T/T to fly over the gnarly Baja terrain. Lucas Oil fluids were ran in the entire truck from the rear end all the way to the 800hp LSX, all working without a glitch and never overheated. We never once touched the K&N filters that kept the beast clean and free of dirt and contaminants. The only unscheduled stops were when a front wheel blew apart when the truck hit a huge rain rut created by the intense Baja rains. By out-driving and through attrition, Whipple put the Chevy up as high as 7th place before turning driving duties over to Scott Gailey and Co-Pilot Johnny Stroschein at the halfway point of the race. Gailey kept up the swift pace and pointed the truck towards the west, up near the Pacific Ocean and back towards Ensenada for the finish. With trouble-free running, the team got as high as 5th before they ran into trouble with less than 30 miles to go.
As Gailey pushed hard for a top 5 finish, the #95 CANIDAE truck suffered a rollover in a section that racers were not allowed to see before the race started that was littered with ruts, rocks and washouts. With both the driver and co-driver unhurt and the damage to the vehicle assessed as “minimal,” and with the awesome help and support of the locals, the CANIDAE truck was put back on its wheels, replenished with Lucas Oils and back underway and almost home. Although several positions were lost during the incident, the team salvaged a solid 15th place finish in the 41 truck field and 21st overall out of 289 entrants. All in all, it was a great day for this young team, as the crew members were awesome and gelled together to make this great accomplishment possible.
View the CANIDAE Baja 500 Photo Album for some great pictures of the race and come back soon for updates on the team’s preparations for the next event, the BITD Vegas to Reno Race this August 19-21.""
G&R RACING SURVIVES MAYHEM AT SCORE BAJA 500
Joe Bacal Captures another Top Finish at the Baja 500
“The course was extremely rough—worse than the (Baja) 1000,” said Bacal after driving more than 20 hours without relief. “A lot of racers got stuck on the course in front of us and it really slowed us down for a while.” The stranded vehicles created a bottleneck on parts of the course with only one way through, creating an unusual situation for Bacal and co-driver Bob Ditner. “We freed at least five rigs on the course with our tow strap,” recalled Bacal. “We really had no choice. It was faster to pull them out than wait for them to dig themselves out, but we still lost a lot of time in the process.”
The combination of a rough course and the continually-increasing pace of Bacal and his LX 570 also created something neither had experienced in any race since starting in 2009: flat tires.
“I have been pushing my truck harder every race to see where my limits are,” noted Bacal. “The BF Goodrich Baja TA tires had been perfect all this time, but we finally met our match. These are not purpose-built race tires like other racers use, yet they’ve been amazing considering the beating they’ve taken.”
Once again, the Long Beach Racers provided quick and effective race support. Early in the event, Bacal realized that the unexpectedly rough conditions demanded a different shock absorber set up and the support crew made adjustments at a couple of pit locations along the route. “The King Racing shocks were awesome and never faded—just a little tied down,” said Bacal. “Relaxing the settings a bit made for a quicker and much more drivable truck. Then we could really fly.”
In addition to extending his finishing record, the second place result expands Bacal’s lead in the SCORE Stock Full-class championship to 100 points, a lead firmly established by winning the first two races of 2010 at Laughlin, Nevada and San Felipe, Mexico. Bacal also continues do drive every mile of every race, giving him an advantage toward the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards
Bacal and his JTGrey team see their next racing action at the SCORE Terrible’s Las Vegas Primm 300 on September 10-12.
For more information and updates on Joe Bacal, visit www.controlamidchaos.com
Bacal and the JTGrey Racing team acknowledge the following companies for their outstanding products,
services and support:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (primary sponsor)
Lexus (LX 570, original parts)
F-Sport (wheels, performance parts)
BF Goodrich (tires)
King Shocks (suspension components)
KC HiLiTES (lighting)
Head First Design (graphics and marketing support)
ARB and Old Man Emu (off road accessories)
Sparco (seats, safety equipment)
Mechanix Wear (mechanic gloves)
Geiser Brothers Racing (vehicle build and prep)
Tomo Therapy (Joe’s radiation treatment)
More Press Releases LOADING NOW>>>
June 3-6 -- Ensenada, Mexico (438.81 miles)
TOP OVERALL FINISHERS
Pro Cars & Trucks
1. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:15:13 (47.42miles per hour) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
2. Gus Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico, Ford F-150, 9:22:14 (46.83mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
3. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 9:34:21 (45.84mph) SCORE Trophy-Truck)
4. Roger Norman, Reno, Nev./Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:34:54 (45.80mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
5. Steve Appleton, Boise, Idaho/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 9:40:29 (45.36mph) (Class 1)
6. Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Chevy Silverado, 9:45:46 (44.95mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
7. Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./John Herder, Tucson, Ariz., Jimco-Chevy, 9:48:29 (45.09mph) (Class 1)
8. Rick D. Johnson/Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Ford F-150, 9:49:49 (44.64mph) SCORE Trophy-Truck)
9. Bryce Menzies/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 10:23:29 (42.23mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
10. Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., Alpha-Chevy, 10:25:35 (42.09mph) (Class 1)
11. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150, 10:25:41 (42.08mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
12. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Ford F-150, 10:26:43 (42.01mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
13. Steve Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., Prill, 10:28:11 (41.91mph) (SCORE Lite)
14. Joe Arzate/Duvalier Alvarez/Adan Leggs, Irvine, Calif., BTC-Subaru, 10:29:18 (41.84mph) (Class 1)
15. Chet Huffman, Northridge, Calif./Jerry Whelchel, Portola Hills, Calif., Chevy C1500, 10:36:08 (41.39mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
16. Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 10:40:47 (41.09mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
16. Adam Householder/Terry Householder, Orange, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 10:40:47 (41.09mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
18. Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 10:54:19 (40.24mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
19. Dennis Boyle, Ventura, Calif./Ross Devlin, Paso Robles, Calif., HMS-Chevy, 10:58:08 (40.01mph) (Class 1)
20. Jason Voss/Rich Voss, Cupertino, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 11:02:51 (39.72mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
1. Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:47:00 (49.96mph) (Class 22)
2. Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, San Clemente, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:47:26 (49.92mph) (Class 22)
3. Robert Underwood, Reno, Nev./David Pearson, Panaca, Nev./Ivan Ramirez, Ensenada, Mexico, KTM 450XCW, 9:01:24 (48.63mph) (Class 22)
4. Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico/Shane Esposito, Lake Elsinore, Calif./Brian Pinard, Sun City, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 9:38:20 (45.53mph) (Class 30)
5. Louie Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif./Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Brett Helm, Poway, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Scott Myers, Menifee, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:10:25 (43.13mph) (Class 40)
6. Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas/Rex Cameron, Albuquerque, N.M., Honda CRF450X, 10:27:45 (41.94mph) (Class 30)
7. Sol Saltzman, Vail, Colo./Matthew Karlsen, Denver/Pete Schmidtmann, San Felipe, Mexico/Bill Boyer, Lomita, Calif./Ryan Kudla, Victorville, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:29:11 (41.85mph) (Class 21)
8. Mark Fillebrown, Allentown, Pa./Brandon Prieto, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 10:37:35 (41.29mph) (Class 21)
9. Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif./Doug Heil, Monrovia, Calif./Andy Kirker, Santa Ana, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Steve Willis, Tehachapi, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:40:11 (41.13mph) (Class 50)
10. A.J. Stewart, Jamul, Calif./Bryce Stavron, Palmdale, Calif./Jesse Casillas, Jamul, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:40:17 (41.12mph) (Class 22)
1. Wayne Matlock/Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif./Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif., Honda 700XX, 10:24:35 (42.15mph) (Class 25)
2. Javier Robles, Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico/Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico/Felipe Velez, San Felipe, Mexico/Gilberto Ramirez, Tecate, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 11:14:30 (39.03mph) (Class 25)
3. Craig Christy, Burbank, Calif./Dave Scott, Belen, N.M./Andy Lagzdins, Burbank, Calif./Cody Mitchell, Las Vegas, Honda TRX700XX, 11:33:40 (37.96mph) (Class 25)
4. Josh Edwards, Peoria, Ariz./ Travis Dillon, El Cajon, Calif./Robbie Cockrell, Barstow, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 11:40:46 (37.57mph) (Class 25)
5. Roberto Villalobos, Dulzura, Calif./Jorge Acosta, San Diego/Christian Vera, Lemon Grove, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 11:40:50 (37..57mph) (Class 24)
SPEED MEX Racing Baja Pits Mileages
Pit 1. RM 34 miles
Pit 2. RM 75 miles
Pit 3. Cohabuso Jt. RM 125 miles
Pit 4. Saldana RM 156 miles
Pit 5. Bitter lake RM 196 miles / sheep crossing
Pit 6. San Matias RM 222 miles restaurant
Pit 7. RM 260 miles Valle Trinidad abandoned block house
Pit 8. RM 310 miles
Pit 9. RM 365 miles Alcambaro restaurant
402 Pit 10 miles