Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Roger Norman Motorsports Will Not be racing in the Baja 1000 in November, Unless someone else can blame "the rules" for Roger running over the cyclist

Roger Norman EXPOSED as SCORE Leader in charge of Kurt Caselli DEATH!



 June 24, 2014 UPDATE!

Roger Norman requests content removed, we comply, but save the content in question

October 5, 2010 UPDATE

We predicted on August 27, Roger Norman would race. Now, here's the confirmation.



""Roger Norman has confirmed on his personal Facebook page that he will INDEED be racing this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. It was only a few months ago that Norman vowed not to return to race the SCORE Desert Series until SCORE Officials made significant changes to eliminate the possibility of SCORE Trophy Trucks and motorcycles mixing during race events.

SCORE recently published that there will be a mandated four-hour differential between the final motorcycle/ATV and the start of the SCORE Trophy Truck class in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Norman Motorsports from Seth Naugle on Vimeo.

In June 2010, at the SCORE Baja 500, Roger Norman, driver of the #8 Trophy Truck and first time SCORE Baja motorcycle racer, Tim Nugent, Cartersville, Georgia, were involved in an accident that occurred in heavy dust on the Mike’s Sky Ranch road. Nugent was grazed by the right front tire of the #8 Trophy Truck and crashed from his motorcycle where he suffered moderate injuries. Norman stopped after the crash and assisted the rider along with locals who were at the scene including a doctor. However, Norman waited until his crew arrived on scene. One of the Norman Motorsports crew members’ is a paramedic and assisted in providing emergency assistance.

Norman was convinced to continue racing and eventually he crossed the checkered flag earning a 4th place finish. In the days after the race, Norman announced he would not again race in the SCORE Desert Series until changes had been made.

Afterwards he wrote in a widely distributed email, “The accident with the Sportsman motorcycle rider in the dust has shook me to the core. I have been devastated and demoralized about off-road racing since Saturday’s race,” commented Roger Norman in an email to his fellow Trophy Truck competitors. “We have all had our close calls and I can tell you that until you run someone over in the dust of another trophy truck at over 100 mph you will not understand the devastating feeling that is created even if they come out with non life threatening injuries.

He further explained in his email, “It is a miracle that Tim Nugent survived this accident. The next guy will not be so lucky and I want to avoid any one of you from having this pain and fear I have felt. The incident could have happened to any one of us and unless we do something to force the issue nothing will be done.”

In the weeks after the race Roger Norman was resolute that the 2010 SCORE Baja 500 was to be his last SCORE Race if the safety concerns involving the trucks and motorcycles were not addressed by SCORE Officials.

The outcome is that instead of 3 hours between the motorcycles and SCORE Trophy Trucks they have added one additional hour to the previously 3 hour buffer zone.

Apparently, the additional hour added is enough for Roger Norman to feel that the safety concerns are no longer an issue and he’s entered in this year’s biggest race of the season.

For 43 years, motorcycles and race trucks/cars have raced alongside each other during the most difficult point-to-point race in the world. Danger is part of off road racing and segregating the two important racing classes would be near impossible in a 1000-mile point-to-point race.

After the SCORE Baja 500 race, Norman Motorsports championship racing icon – Larry Roeseler, unexpectedly left the race team returning to Terrible Herbst Motorsports.

On Wednesday, September 29, Roger Norman announced he was going to SOLO this year’s SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 in the #8 Norman Motorsports Trophy Truck.

Ironmanning a race of over 1000-miles is a herculean effort that has been accomplished by a handful of the world’s top adventurers. Roger Norman definitely fits into that category. Norman is an avid action-athlete and continuously trains his body for these types of feats, but the facts are that since Larry Ragland won the 1999 SCORE Baja 1000, no one has won this epic race by racing alone in the elite SCORE Trophy Truck class.

Norman will venture south of the U.S / Mexico border hoping to become the first trophy truck driver since 1999 to capture the victory by driving alone.

The 43rd edition of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will kick off on Thursday, November 18, 2010. SCORE Officials recently announced they anticipate the starting time for the SCORE Trophy Trucks to be approximately 11:45 a.m.

Motorcycles will leave the line as the sunrises over the Pacific Ocean seaside town of Ensenada, Baja California. 4 hours after the last motorcycle/ATV leaves the line the first SCORE Trophy Truck will take the green flag and charge over 1000-miles to the capital city of La Paz, Mexico.

The computerized drawing for starting positions will be held on October 9, 2010 at the SCORE Headquarters in Los Angeles.

This year’s race is expected to be a very difficult race as the starting time near noon means the first four-wheel vehicles will reach San Felipe about the time its getting dark expected to be approximately 4:30 p.m.

Darkness will reign havoc over the Baja Peninsula for the next 14 hours essentially marking this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 as a night race.

Teams can expect to have 4 hours of daylight on each side of the 14 hours of darkness and that will no doubt create a difficult challenge for the world’s top teams, let alone Roger Norman who will attempt to solo this year’s race.""

Klausy-Alert system.

Here's the pant-load from Clausy of the crackheads:

"Off-Road Racing is a sport that evolves with the

The crackheads suckoff another one! You heard it here first, who represents the racers? The crackheads??? PLEASE!

Baja Racing News.com sez here and now, this device should NOT 'be mandatory by all the sanctioning bodies'.


advancement of new technologies as the need for increased safety standards emerges.
Bikes and Quads now use mandatory amber lights, helmets use more modern materials making them stronger and lighter and neck restraints are already mandatory in short course racing.
The latest step into the future is IRC’s proximity sensor the “Pass Alert”.
The amber light solves part of the visibility issue. It lets the approaching race car see that someone is a few feet or inches ahead. If the amber light bounces or suddenly stops its a good indication the lead vehicle slowed down, went over an obstacle, or stopped. However the lead car never realizes that someone is right behind them and they are about to get passed.
Off-Road racers have developed the system of knocking on the rear bumper to let slower drivers know that they’re behind and wanting to pass. This practice called “nerfing” a competitor however often leaves one party unhappy. There are also obvious dangers associated with this practice; Safety and potential vehicle damage.
Now that we all understand the challenge, lets look at a new solution.
The IRC Pass Alert is a small device, the size and shape of a garage opener. It’s battery powered by a common 9V battery, has 2 switches, and a multi-color LED light array.
It signals the vehicle ahead via radio frequency that you are behind them, are faster, and about to pass. The vehicle in front will have its LED’s flash yellow and may take action to let you pass. The signal range is limited to approximately 100 yards, so it wont interfere with the racer 2-miles ahead; it also travels only in the forward or backwards direction intended. If you signal to a vehicle in front of you, then a racer behind you will not falsely receive your “intent to pass” signal.
In addition to the yellow “passing” signal the unit can also be turned into a “man down” status. In this mode any approaching unit will be alerted with a red LED signal.
Race promoters may also send out a “green” signal to alert of special zones. This could be used to signal upcoming restricted speed zones, pit areas, or checkpoints.
The IRC device works similar to the French Sintenel used at the A.S.O. Dakar Rally, but is a totally new design tailored to the needs of North American desert racing.
IRC field tested the device at the last Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno race between the top Trick Trucks and some selected Bikes and Quads. The device is still in a field testing phase and pending feedback from racers will soon undergo production.
Steve Meyers told us that the expected price point should be less then $200 per unit, but that depends on what the final device design will be like.
This technology is not the silver bullet to make racing 100% safe but its one of many options that will get us closer.
We hope to see this device become mandatory with every race organization." Quote from Clausy, Crackhead.
Clausy, you ignorant slut! If this system is so critical, YOU PAY for everybody's use!

This system is for racers who can't or don't know how to drive into the dust and there are many more "systems" that are far superior in the conditions we are addressing here.

Stay Tuned, testing in progress>>>
We'll Report>>>

August 27 UPDATE:

We predict Norman Motorsports will compete in the Baja 1000, now that people think he wasn't to blame for running over that sportsman motorcyclist.

The blame has been shifted to SCORE and all of their BAD rules.


August 12, 2010 UPDATE:

Whats really happening here? Roger needs to blame something else, for his almost killing somebody. Period.

Now, if this were you or I, we would be in jail. But, Richy Rich here, can buy and blame his way OUT of real responsibility. We hope he takes care of the victim, for the rest of his life.

-->"Roger Norman on the rocks"!

Armin from All German Motorsports confirms the rumors as true:

""I was simply swamped with work and trying to keep up with all the meetings and things I had to do. But today I've got some great news: Together with Roger Norman I will tackle the Vegas to Reno Race next week in one of his Trophy Trucks! On Tuesday I'll fly to Las Vegas. On Wednesday there will be the Qualifying race on a five mile course for the best starting times. And on Friday the big race is on! The distance is 530 miles, I'll take over from Roger at Race Mile 308. There's a very interesting challenge in this race: We have no recce or pre-run. The only way we know where we're going at race speed is by the organizer's road book and GPS data. The race is a round of the "Best in the Desert" (BITD) championship.
Roger Norman on the rocks: we met during my winter training in icy Ivola/Finland
I'm really confident, because as usual I'll have my navigator and our crew chief Bryan Lyttle at my side in the cockpit at our Trophy Truck premiere. And All German Motorsports is going to work together with Roger's team for the pit support. That's additional motivation.
Roger Norman is one of the true greats of our sport. Already in 1999 he won the BITD Championship. In 2001 and 2008 Roger and the Norman Motorsports Team clinched wins at the Baja 1000 -- to name just a few of his countless successes.
Roger and I met during the winter training that I organise up in Finland's Ivalo in February. We started talking about our sport ... and sometimes things just turn out fabulously! I'm immensely looking forward to racing with Roger, and I'd like to thank him and his team for their trust.
On 11 September I'll be back in the AGM buggy for the Baja 1000 Nevada warm-up ...
After the Vegas to Reno Race my family and I'll spend a few days in the USA. On the 28th and 29th August I'll be testing with my friends and colleagues of All German Motorsports for the upcoming Baja 1000 Nevada warmup on 11 September. Armin Kremer and Andy Aigner will join us in the second AGM Buggy for the race, so our team will turn up at the Primm 300 in full strength.
... I am already looking forward to the pre-run - and some night shifts in the desert.""

UPDATE 8-11-2010:

*Baja Racing news.com INSIDE SOURCE: We know there's a couple people who are meeting with him today (8-10-2010 3 PM), and one of them is a TT member (name withheld). Not Roger Norman, however, he was just back from Africa on Safari, now Norman is in Fiji with family. The meeting minutes, an internal discussion and it's findings won't be posted publicly... not yet anyway.

Baja Racing News.com OUTLOOK:

1) "Pass Alert" hardware mandatory in the faster half of the truck/ buggy classes (they can afford to own it since it costs less than one tire)

2) "Pass Alert" hardware optional add on to a hardware package for any bike or quad class entry who wants it.

3) Score mandates it, pays nothing and everyone moves along. Tough guys on two wheels don't have to fuss with the nuisance/cost and slow pokes can be told they were told so if they get nerfed/punted without the the beacon.

Situation stays 'status quo' except ALL the responsibility for safety, then rests with the drivers and NOT the sanctioning body. In Theory, of course.

***As a reminder: Pass Alert Hardware pings inside the cockpit of 4-wheel vehicle with sound and light.***


*3 PM Meeting scheduled for 8-10, appeared to start moving the issue into a new direction.

Now that SCORE has its promotional money from Baja Sur for the Baja 1000, probably around $100,000++ Sal and SCORE might be in mood to talk. Yeah, just talk! We'll keep you updated>>>

Larry Roeseler Re-Joins Terrible Herbst Team!

Norman Motorsports Appears To Grenade!

RALLY & BAJA RACER Schwarz reportedly joins Norman

INSIDERS REPORT: "From what is being said, the Schwarz deal is possibly just one race. All German Motors isn't racing V2R, so Schwarz has no conflict racing this event with another team. Martin Christensen has expressed interested in jumping into the TT field, and this would be a good opportunity for Shwarz to get some seat time. Schwarz' inclusion on the #8 entry was finalized before Roeseler left Norman Motorsports.
As for why Norman has decided to take the rally path, it seems to have stemmed from an ice rally school he attended in Finland earlier this year. But short, groomed sections of rally course are vastly different than a five hundred mile off-road course. It should be interesting.
The Norman Motorsports group that the fan world and the kiss-ups see is a bit different than the one off-road professionals work for. So many of the very wealthy are a bit tetched. A good indication is to take a look at the numbers of off-road talent that have passed in and then quickly out of the shop in the short time Norman Motorsports has been in business. Roeseler's departure is clearly the most noticeable, but not the the first and definitely not the last. It would not be surprising to see more defections soon as a result.
The shop profile in the latest issue of Dusty Times puts a wonderfully glossy but inaccurate spin on the place. The elevation of a part-time construction contractor with little off-road experience -- and none of that with a large team -- to team manager was unfathomable. His comment about "no drama" in the place had former and current employees howling with laughter."

Roger Norman responds to the implosion:

"Yes, Larry was worried about his future at Norman Motorsports. We are sorry to see him go. As for Norman Motorsports we are preparing for the V2R. The news SCORE Safety Committee was recently created by Sal and Paul and I will be attending the first meeting next week. I'm certain changes will be made to increase the safety of our sport."


UPDATE July 27, 2010

Some Sportman Bike Riders React to Baja Racing News.com:

""Changes in SCORE's policies, it can be done and it has happened before: 1. Remember Danny Hamel? Now we have speed limits on the highways, maybe not totally attributable to Danny's tragic death, but a change that needed to happen. 2. Dave Lapraik died prerunning Ensenada / Ojos. That is now a strictly enforced one way prerun with limited availability.""




""One more electronic hunk-o-junk to mount to the bike. Maybe I am missing something here, maybe I am just dumb (you can agree). But it's a machine with a light that goes off when a car is 100 yards nearby (basically a couple seconds) - I think I get that. So, how does it work? Need to be out of the way of a passing car before that light goes flashing. Nothing changes except paying for the thing.

The problematic type of riders are
maybe going to rely on this, never look back and maybe get out of the way after it flashes for a few miles. Then when they finally let the car by they'll still spaz out and jump back on the course without looking (at 100 yards, that's only a couple seconds on a fast road, there may be no flashing light at all but a car 200 yards away) Seems like it's kinda useless unless it is at least 400-800 yards. I've read the Dakar guys saying it works but I guess I need a little more explaining why it is so great.""
""Thanks Baja Racing News! So it's an audible alarm with a flashing light. I don't see the flashing light being effective on a desert bike unless it's nighttime and none of this technology would have prevented Norman from running over Nugent since the audible alarm needs to be activated by the approaching vehicle (Norman had no idea a bike was in front of him due to dust). What about warning signs that are put up as soon as the faster four wheeled vehicles start approaching the laggard bikes? We know the course mileage and we know avg speeds so it would be easy to predict where the fastest trucks and cars might overtake the slower bikes along the course. Post large, bright orange warnings signs or something obvious to remind the slower bikes that vehicles are approaching. "Hey slow poke, just an FYI - there are fast cars and trucks coming up on your ass so be careful." Maybe this could be protocol for the checkpoints too...""

""I do think it's a mistake to compare Dakar to Baja. For one, Dakar competitors are a slightly different breed than the "problematic" sportsman competitors we're discussing here. There's so much more preparation, planning, money and training that goes into racing Dakar. As opposed to SCORE, where you can just sign up the day before the race, bring a semi-capable bike down and have at it. Very different race and atmosphere all together. Let's just be honest here... the trophy trucks are pissed that hack sportsmen are in their way and potentially ruining their bid at a win. I'm sure Norman felt genuinely bad about running the guy over, but the impetus behind all this talk of safety isn't to protect the sportsman, it's to ensure their big money race isn't compromised by a rookie sportsman racer. Hence the suggestion to move the Sportsman class to the day prior or to move them to the back of the pack. Get them out of the way, don't protect them. All this talk of "training" and "education" is smoke and mirrors and won't do anything. What's that stupid saying, "you can't have your cake and eat it to?" I think that might apply here... not sure. Like I said way early in this discussion - SCORE caters to a wide spectrum of racers... from million dollar trophy truck race teams to low budget, weekend warriors.

Most of these riders are trying to cross off "the Baja" from their bucket list. It would be like Nascar letting those rice burner Hondas with loud exhausts and cardboard spoilers compete in their races (wouldn't that be entertaining!). Its up to Sal to decide if SCORE should continue catering to that wide spectrum.
Frankly, I'm of the opinion that the big money teams will ultimately lead to the demise of racing in Baja all together. The ranchers don't like it and the small towns we race through are getting sick of it too. Yes, there are still thousands of fans that idolize the trophy trucks, but they don't control the course. The ranchers and small towns have the upper hand. The writing is already on the wall, considering what Sal had to say at the 500 racers meeting (was anyone paying attention?). If this were a sinking ship, I don't stand aligned with the trophy trucks. The motorcycles leave a much smaller footprint (not in an eco-sense), they're not the ones creating massive amounts of dust through small towns, they're not the ones endangering people on the roads, they're not the ones leaving gates open (or running them over). It's the cars and trucks... I guess that's why I just don't see a problem. So one guy gets injured in 7 years... statistically, that's pretty insignificant and pretty amazing if you ask me. So what's all the fuss? The fuss is big ego race teams having their race compromised by amateur, leisure sportsmen. I'm a fan of the sportsman class. I love what it represents. Trophy trucks are amazing vehicles, but there's little sympathy from me.""


Reports Edited By: Gary Newsome


"Because Best in the Desert always has SAFETY in mind for their competitors, they are looking at a new safety device called the PASS ALERT for a trial at this year’s TSCO “Vegas to Reno” event in August. This device is designed to assist in alerting drivers or riders that a quicker competitor is approaching them from the rear and wishes to initiate a
pass on the slower competitor. The device also has a broadcast option that can be triggered by the rider or driver in the instance of breakdown or accident in the course and will alert all
oncoming vehicles of a hazard situation ahead and to proceed with caution.

This device has the potential to help reduce the number of impacts between competitors during passing maneuvers, breakdowns and accidents. These units have single handedly been responsible for a significant increase in the safety of countless racers around the world,
and have since become a mandatory safety element on All vehicles in FIA, ASO, Dakar, and all European Baja style races. The competitors tell us over and over again that they can't imagine
racing without them…..

Casey Folks of Best in the Desert is directing this test with the 25 top qualifying cars and trucks and the amateur motorcycles and Quads to leave the line. This initial trial of the PASS ALERT system will be conducted at no cost to the participating competitors. If successful, the equipment
will be available for purchase for the next Best in the Desert event.""

A similar device (Sentinel) is used in Dakar and many other events. Both the Sentinel and Pass Alert do the same thing, though the specs say the Sentinel has a range of 160 yards, and this Pass Alert is only 100 yards.
""The good: - Cars/trucks can honk their horn, and the beeper on every vehicle within range will sound. - The beeper on the Sentinel is SUPER loud (110dB). Hopefully the Pass Alert is similarly loud, so there’s no chance of not hearing it. - With a bit of education, hopefully riders will better understand the importance of moving out of the way, and have a better appreciation for the dangers of not doing so. There’s nothing like an ear-piercing loud beep to wake you up out on the course! Room for further improvement: - At 100mph, a TT or car will travel the full 100 yard transmit range in only 2 seconds. That doesn’t really give much warning time. Riders should still keep a close eye behind them for signs of approaching vehicles. The system works best when the approaching vehicle isn’t that much faster than the vehicle being passed. Unfortunately, the closing speeds these days are often VERY high. - It’s a manually operated system. The car has to see the vehicle ahead and honk his horn (or push the button) to trigger the beeper. It would not have helped in the recent Baja 500 incident because the TT driver didn’t see the rider until it was already too late. - The press release says if the system is successful, then competitors can “purchase” a unit for future events. It would seem more logical to rent them per event rather than sell them, or just include it in the entry fee. - I’m not sure if cars can beep other cars with this system. I’m particularly curious if a car can beep another car in the same class. If so, I can see that beeper being used a lot for “harassment” rather than safety"".

Update from July 5, 2010

Bob and some of his friends went public with the current controversial topics last night and yes, Baja Racing News.com was there to report.

Tim Nugent, Jesse Jones, Robby Gordon and even Roger Norman went public to talk about the "Handlebars & Steering Wheels Issue". And Drugs & Alcohol got in the way.

Robby Gordon stated, LET'S GET RID OF THE GPS Systems!"
"Norman and Nugent went over the details of what happened on Mikes Road...Bob, Jones, and Gordon called in and gave their two cents. Lots of talk about 'separation' and somewhat of a consensus for 'parading' all sportsman bikes and quads to Ojos for a Friday start out there...Gordon wants to pull GPS out of the cars and admitted to arcade style racing through the dust with the GPS/helicopter support. Very little or no talk at all about advanced warning systems."

Bob, said SCORE was on-board to hash out the issue IN COMMITTEE!
(Thanks for that Bob, you are useless as tits on a bull!)
Bob was merely trying to cover for SCORE, who, it was admitted by Roger, hadn't even responded to his calls for changes. "Sue from the office is the only rep from SCORE I've had a chance to speak with", Roger said. Then, incredibly, suddenly, SCORE jumps on the bandwagon for a COMMITTEE?! only via Bob, of course.

Whats really happening here is that Sal is sick and tired of the discussions, issues, whatever. He just wants his bank account at a certain level. Thats it.

Baja Racing News.com Question of the day for Robby Gordon...Robby, How Much are you willing to pay Sal to take this burden off his hands?

Bob's trying to save some kind of face for the organization, even though all he represents is a backwater radio shop called PCI.

Jesse Jones backed up Robby's call for a ban of all GPS devices.

"Alan Fluegal" chimed in with a question about Rogers medications, used during the race, he answered, "My Mom gave me aspirin", noting the video tape of a big bottle of pills and Roger dropping some of the contents in front of the camera.

So, out of the public display of Trophy Truck displeasure with the situation last night, its obvious developing race policies in public doesn't work. But, in the abscence of a committed race sanctioning body, these guys were forced to use a public setting to tell everyone, there's no resolution and they all have ideas on how to solve, what SCORE thinks is a non-issue.


Update July 2, 2010

Bob Steinburger of PCI Race Radios calls out SCORE on the subject!:

"The Sentinel or any other tech device is NOT going to be tested, ready and in place by the Primm or 1000. Get over it for now and keep your thinking dedicated to the 1000.

Paul Fish - the official results are a done deal, Please call me and share your own ideas with me, now that you have nothing else to do."

June 26, 2010

Bob Steinburger chimes into the debate. Why? He finally realizes positive change could mean more money in HIS pockets!

"Well there are a lot of meaningfull suggestions and possible solutions to the problem of the handlebars being mixed up with the steering wheels, however what specifically is being done? Should a committee be formed to address the challange? Who specifically should be on the committee besides Sal, Paul, Bill Wick, Dr. Grange and Oscar Ramos? When and where will the committee start convining? At what time should we expect positive results to start filtering on to RDC? Change isn't only necessary, it absolutely has to happen! Score could possibly double their sportsmen entry and Roger Norman would feel good about the race if only there were adequate safety measures put in place. The time for rhetoric is over.

Its time to get a committee in place. Who besides myself (Bob Steinburger) and Cameron Steele (got to have a dress wearing kook on the committee) are up for this? Roger? Some sportsman handlebars? Keep the solutions coming until we have a committee in place and a meeting date."

Funny, how Bob Steinburger mentions his reason for pushing change, more entries=$$$.

Here's another reason for change, not universal safety, not $$$, but the safety of SCORE President Sal Fish:

"SCORE WILL NOT EVER STAND BEHIND ANY RACER WHO HURTS ANY PERSON FOR ANY REASON. (its in the agreement) They will quickly step to the side and let the aggrieved parties go after the responsible party (the driver).

One scenario that was pointed out privately by someone who has not missed a score race in over 2 decades (they asked for anonymity):

"One day a racer is going to hit and kill the wrong person, like the son of a wealthy and powerful mexican family and Sal Fish will go to jail. The family will exert virtually limitless influence toward the mexican govt until something is done and they find a fall guy in Sal Fish"

At first glance i scoffed at that notion, but I trust that my friend has enough knowledge in the area to make the claim.

Also to my surprise, a great engine builder went BK in the US after his car hit and disabled a quad racer at a checkpoint.

The point of my statement is that SCORE will continue to try to immunize itself from liability, but someday, when the wrong person is the victim, all hell could break and end Sals days promoting races in BAJA."

June 20, 2010

Pete Sohren chimes into the subject, "80% of the handlebar guys are ding-dongs! They don't have any business being out there" (on the race course).

June 17, 2010 Norman Motorsports confirms Baja Racing News.com Breaking News

Roger Norman to Quit Baja racing if conditions don't improve!

Roger Norman Motorcycle Incident Shadows 4th Place Finish in 2010 Baja 500

RENO, NV JUNE 16, 2010 - Roger Norman and the Crystal Bay Casino team of Larry Roeseler and Eric Branstrom put all their effort into winning the 2010 Baja 500 and overcame 31 positions to finish 4th overall by only :33 seconds with a time of 9:34:54. The team was challenged with the usual brutal Baja terrain plus miles of dust and an incident with a motorcycle. “The accident with the Sportsman motorcycle rider in the dust has shook me to the core. I have been devastated and demoralized about off-road racing since Saturday's race,” commented Roger Norman in an email to his fellow Trophy Truck competitors. “We have all had our close calls and I can tell you that until you run someone over in the dust of another trophy truck at over 100 mph you will not understand the devastating feeling that is created even if they come out with non life threatening injuries.”

Roeseler and Branstrom started in the Crystal Bay Casino #8 truck and drove to race mile 198, overcoming about half of the field. Starting so far behind, they had two logjams to contend with including a truck stuck in a water crossing and a truck that had run into a ditch. “The first half of the race had a great pace even with the couple of delays and a flat tire. Larry handed me a solid truck around mid-pack,” said Norman.

Norman took over the driver seat with Branstrom continuing to co-drive and headed across Baja to the coast. “Our driver change was quick, and other than loosing the rear brakes which made the truck hard to control in the turns, we continued to click off positions towards the win,” said Norman.

The #8 trophy truck team had two incidents that cost them time. The first was a one-minute penalty, which on adjusted time took them out of third place. The second was a much more serious incident with a motorcycle rider at around race mile 225 on Mike’s Sky Ranch Road.

First time Baja competitor, Sportsman motorcycle rider Tim Nugent from Georgia, continued to race on course instead of pulling off and waiting for dust to clear after being passed by #35 Robbie Pierce’s trophy truck and didn’t realize that the #8 Roger Norman trophy truck was in the hunt to pass Pierce. The motorcycle was grazed by the right front tire of Normans truck in the blinding dust. As soon as the incident occurred, Norman stopped the truck, called for immediate assistance and got out to assist the down rider. “There were 5 locals there, including a doctor, that repeatedly urged me to continue the race, but I couldn’t until I saw our chase truck coming with our staff paramedic on board and knew other resources were on the way,” said Norman. After what may have been 10 - 15 minutes, Norman got back into the truck to continue the race. “I wasn’t in racing mode anymore. I couldn’t pass, I couldn’t get into the dust for fear that another motorcycle may be making the same mistake, it really shook up Eric and I. I lost complete focus and desire to win for over 40 minutes before we finally got radio transmission that verified Tim was going to be ok, which was a huge relief to us and helped us regroup to finish the race.” Norman didn’t catch Pierce again until Ojos Negros, about 150 miles later.

The doctors say he will make a full recovery and he is in good spirits. “I feel like I got run over by a truck!” laughed Nugent in a phone interview this week. “It has never crossed my mind that this accident was mean spirited and I have conveyed to Roger that this was a racing accident.” Nugent is in the Airforce Reserves and has been racing motorcycles for years. “I have always wanted to ride the Baja 500 without really knowing what I was saying. I have had the desire, but never the means to accomplish it. Now at 45, I have both the means and the desire and wanted to check it off the ‘Bucket List’” commented Nugent. He and his group of friends and family researched and prepared for this event the best that they could. “We had everything from SPOTs, to GPS’s, to blinking lights…I know we did everything possible to make sure everyone racing and chasing would be safe, but did not really know the true hazards of being passed. If a truck is coming up on you at 120mph, the blinking light isn’t going to do you much good, especially in the dust!”

Norman is petitioning to set up a structure to help protect the least knowledgeable and capable riders in the sport. It is important that riders have a safety training course, and are not the class closest to the fastest vehicles, but start behind all the 4 wheel vehicles or the day before. “It is a miracle that Tim Nugent survived this accident. The next guy will not be so lucky and I want to avoid any one of you from having this pain and fear I have felt. The incident could have happened to any one of us and unless we do something to force the issue nothing will be done,” Norman adds in his email to fellow competitors.

Roger Norman is so adamant on this topic that he is publicly stating that the Baja 500 will be the last SCORE race for Norman Motorsports and they will be closing the doors permanently if the safety of the sports least knowledgeable and capable participants is not protected.

“This was a very important race for us as a team,” states Norman, “We were planning to add another overall to Larry Roeselers incredible record. With the challenges set in front of us, we still finished 4th and I think that is a remarkable accomplishment coming from the rear of the pack.” Since the accident Norman has been visiting Tim Nugent everyday in the hospital and is adamant on helping change the direction of desert racing to account for the safety of all involved.

Baja Racing News.com Breaks The BIGGEST NEWS! HERE FIRST: Wednesday night, June 16, it was announced in San Diego, that Roger Norman Motorsports will not be raicng in the fall classic, the Baja 1000 in November.

The announcement said Roger Norman had been so impacted by the injuries caused by his Number 8 Trophy Truck, while Norman was driving, hitting from behind, the SCORE motorcycle racer, now in the hospital with major injuries, that Norman has decided he WILL NOT be racing.

The victim in this situation, Tim Nugent is still hospitalized. At the time of the incident, Nugent had life threatening injuries, out on the Baja 500 course, miles from any medical help.

From the Baja 500 story, ""In an interview with today, Tim Nugent, he sounded groggy and slow (not surprising under the circumstances), yet as positive as one could be (again, under the circumstances). He said he was off to the right side when hit. There were 3 trucks, apparently at over 120 mph.

He has 2 broken legs, 5 broken ribs, a broken scapula, 3 broken vertabrae, and a hole in the back of his knee which is being investigated cleaned, etc. I'm no doctor, but it sounds as if he is lucky to be alive.

As with most incidents, it was probably a combination of a lot of factors. Three 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? This incident alone, has and will cause serious reflection and re-evaluation of many future racing ventures.

All of the sportsmen class guys that Baja Racing News.com has talked with including Tim Nugent 253x would prefer to start behind the four wheel vehicles. Some of them will not race again unless this rule is implemented. They all say the same thing, the only thing they are really concerned about is dealing with the unlimited class vehicles. I believe SCORE would have many more entries in the sportsman class if this rule change takes place.""

Baja Racing News.com