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It's been a while so here's a quick recap:

B1K aka Baja 1000 – The greatest race never seen. It is called this because it goes through very remote areas down the Baja California Peninsula. This was our “mission”. Solar Racing teamed once again with ACE Motorsports to take on Baja, this time in the Solar Racing F-150.

The race started out very well. We started 9th and were in first place on course and corrected time by the 70-mile mark. The Solar Racing F-150 ran flawlessly throughout the day and into the night. All of the drivers, Mark Handley, Mike McComas, Marc Stein and Travis Walser, knew the truck had to be preserved to make the 1000 plus mile journey.

However, disappointment struck when the motor let loose, as if a grenade had gone off inside the engine. Golf ball size holes were evident on the engine block and oil pan. The truck had made it to race mile 655+/- when the fatal breakdown occurred approximately 2:30am!

If you were to look at a map of Baja and follow the highway down the peninsula, and look for the furthest separation between the highway on east coast and the race course on the west coast, that is where the truck was. It figures! To make matters worse, it was over 2 hours before our next closest competitor passed our disabled truck. The chase crew heard those painful words from the “Weatherman” (the man in control of all race activity and radio communications once the race gets under way), to “bring the trailer, your truck is out with a blown engine. It will not run. The engine is blown. Bring your trailer.” The rules do not allow for engine replacement. We were done.

The pain of this message meant we were not going to accomplish our mission, which was to finish the Baja. Consequently, by not finishing, we lost the year-end points lead and consequently the championship!

The Baja 1000 concluded the race schedule for 2004.

Year-End Results– 2nd Place Overall points in SCORE’s Stock Full Class, and 6th place in the Best in the Desert Series (had a DNF and two DNS).


New Year – Laughlin Desert Challenge. This was a two-day event on the river in Laughlin, NV. The race is only 80 minutes each day. Considered a sprint race, many racers put it on “kill” and just go for it. Unfortunately, the course is so rough, the attrition rate is tremendous. For example, the Trophy Truck class started with 22 and only 5 were considered finishers.

The Solar Racing F-150 was running well, despite the untested backup motor. Day 1 was a 2nd place finish, however Day 3 did not turn out so well. The motor ended up dropping a cylinder and did not have the power to keep plowing through the sandy washes. With no time for repairs, we ended up with a dnf on Day 2 and a Third Place overall. The Hummers of Henn and Griffin took 1st & 2nd respectively.

Parker 425 – Solar Racing was not able to enter in Stock Full class due to the above mentioned motor woes (the downside of running two race series without factory backing).

Since we weren’t racing, we were going to support the team that has given us so much help. ACE Motorsports was looking to defend its championship in the Stock SUV class. Their mighty Expedition was good to go against their main competitor, the H2 of Rod Hall Racing, driven by Josh Hall.

With Mike McComas driving, they were in the hunt until a high-speed incident temporarily sidelined the XBOX. Parker is known for it’s high-speed brutal course. Hitting speeds almost to 90mph, the XBOX launched and stuffed the front end so hard, it forced Mike to get out of the truck with back problems. His co-driver was able to get the truck back to the pits for a driver change. Mike went to the hospital and Marc Stein took over from there. Fortunately, the rest of the race was uneventful and they ended up with 2nd place. Although winning each race is important, winning the championship is the ultimate goal. (Mike was OK by the way)


San Felipe in just 1 week! This will be our 3rd attempt to conquer this race course. As with all off-road races, the course itself is the primary competitor. The other drivers just make it a little more exciting. We must first finish, before we can finish first!

San Felipe is one of the most popular races in the series. The little fishing village on the Sea of Cortez welcomes racers and fans with it’s warm weather and festive atmosphere.

San Felipe is also special to Solar Racing because it marks the two year anniversary for the debut of Solar Racing! Two years ago, two nights before the race, was when the truck was first picked up from ACE Motorsports.

We will also have some new contenders in our class this season. In addition to the H-1 Hummer of John Griffin, last 3 year class champion, there is also another H-1 driven by the Henns, one of our competitors in the Best in the Desert series. We’re not sure about the welcome, they are very competitive.

In addition to the Hummers, there will also be a new Nissan Titan and a new F-150, both 4wheel drives. The class is called Stock Full Size, so the trucks that are being sold on TV are being tested in these off-road races. The class is for STOCK trucks with only safety enhancements and minor suspension upgrades. A little bit more motor too!

Nevada 1000 – Solar Racing is a confirmed entry in one of the longest, most demanding races in the United States. The 4-day race event will be based out of the Western Nevada town of Tonapah.


Off Road Racing is an inherently resource intensive sport, both financial and human. If you would like to contribute, please let us know. We are always looking for help.

Other races (see attached calendar for specific dates):

Early April – Wild Wash 250 – Barstow, CA

Late April – Terrible Town 250 – Pahrump Nevada

Early June – BAJA 500 – Ensenada, Mexico – Defending Class Winner

Early July – NEVADA 1000 – Nevada (mainly Tonopah)

Late July – Las Vegas Cup – Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track


See the link above for other races including “VEGAS TO RENO” and BAJA 1000!

Other cool stuff:

Special thanks to our Sponsors: TheBestMortgageLoans.com, Tristar Capital Equipment Leasing, National Springs, Goodyear Tires, Bilstein Shocks, F&L Race Fuels, Kartek, K&N Filters, RLH Communications, MSD Ignitions, Mastercraft Seats, Sign Pros Lettering, DesertRacing.com.



mark@thebestmortgageloans.com or solarracing@aol.com


For Sponsorship Information, contact:
  Mark Handley (760) 750-1905

Next Race:
June 5-7 2009: Baja 500

2009 News:
10/25: Score: We're back & Racing the Baja 500

News Archives:
10/25: BitD: HT400 Deciding Race of Season
10/24: SCORE: 18 True Grit Drivers Remain
10/20: SCORE: 300 Baja 1000 Entries Expected
10/17: Solar: Help-U-Sell Sponsorship
10/10: SCORE: Legendary Baja 1000
10/06: SCORE: Baja 1000 Draw
09/30: Solar: Bay Club Sponsorship
09/23: SCORE: 2006 Schedule Announced
09/22: SCORE: Baja 500 Prime Time Special
09/19: SCORE: NBC & OLN TV Schedule
09/16: Solar: Primm 300 Race Recap
09/16: Solar: Nevada Desert Takes Its Toll
09/15: SCORE: Point Leaders after Primm
09/13: Solar: Prime Synthetics Sponsorship
09/12: SCORE: Collins Captures Overall
09/12: SCORE: Primm 300 Notes & Quotes
09/07: BitD: Vegas To Reno Letter & Updates
08/24: Solar: Lincoln Electric Sponsorship
05/27: SCORE: Final Races to Appear on TV
03/25: SOLAR: Another Magazine Appearance

News Archives



For Finance Information, contact:

Mark Handley (760) 613-3122

For Sponsorship Information, contact:
Mark Handley (760) 613-3122

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