37th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Round 3, 2005 SCORE Desert Series
RACE NOTES AND QUOTES
Saturday, June 4-5, 2005
Robby Gordon, 83: “We earned this one. The race was tough; it was a pretty
slow average and a lot of rocks. It’s nice to win one – we’ve
come so close so many times. It was a good run for us, I just drove at an easy
pace. I am sick so my ears kept popping. We were tight with Jason (Baldwin,
1) but then he had a problem – I think he got a flat. They ran a great
race, very smart and conservative. I paced what I thought would get me to the
line. We race tomorrow in Dover, Delaware, so I have a long day ahead of me.
The only bad news today was the private plane we were going to use is broken.
I’ve got some good friends here, so I have to see what I can do.”
Till, 83 (co-rider): “We had zero problems all day. We never got
out of the truck, we just had two pit stops. Robby drove a stellar race. I
predicted eight hours and four minutes, and it was 9:08, so it was a little
Baldwin, 1: “We had a good run except some flats.
I got a front flat, and I never get my flats in the front so we must have hit
We were close with Robby (Gordon, 83). I kept thinking as long as we stay together.
That’s what it is all about. The first flat took five minutes to change.
Then we lost time when we got to the pit and had two more flats. That made
us ten minutes down of Robby.”
3: “I was following those
guys (Robby Gordon, 83 and Jason Baldwin, 1) all day. We were on Andy’s
(McMillin, 102) tail for the last 150 miles. It was a very tough, technical
race; lots of rain ruts and rocks,
and many ways
to end your day. Curt (LeDuc, co-driver) did a fabulous job in the middle of
the race. It was a good, clean day. I got caught in the dust in the beginning.
Those guys got a lead and we just couldn’t make it up.”
Coyne, 5: “We started 26th, so we had to get by 22 other Trophy
Trucks. Definitely, given where we started it was a great race. We bought it
on time. I tangled with (Tim) Herbst at Santa Tomas and bumped a few guys.
I am very proud of my sons. We lost the radio, other than that we had no flats
or problems. Starting 26th and finishing where did, that’s a miracle.
We didn’t have clean air all day.”
was longer than the Baja 1000. We had two flats and both were driver errors.
I hit an embankment when I was chasing (Marty)
Coyne. These (SCORE Trophy Trucks) are big girls to get around the track. This
a technical motorcycle course. I went through faster on my dirt bike when I
was pre-running the course. It’s only my second year full time on the
tour and I am still learning. I’ve got to pick it up a little earlier
Cervantes, 69: “We had no flats and were never stuck. I got
the signature from all the other guys to race. All the guys passed me going
fast. I kept going slow, some parts just 20 miles an hour. The only part I
went really fast was from before Trinidad to the finish. I had one problem
belt, took about 45 minutes to get one.”
Andy McMillin, 102: “We didn’t have too many breaks. We did have
some trouble with first gear. It was a rocky course. I just let the race come
to me. This is a dream season for me. My dad started the race and drove to
mile 174, where I picked it up to the finish.”
Rob MacCachren, 1618: “I only drove this vehicle for the last twenty
miles. Brian Freeman drove the rest of the time. I got in and had a 10 minute
that’s all I know. Bryan Freeman did almost the whole ride. The traffic
was so bad coming into town, it’s bumper to bumper the last 12 miles
into town. I drove the trophy truck from mile 142 to the finish. This course
tight and twisty.”
Freeman, 1618: “The other cars were just
falling off. I wasn’t
driving hard, the race just came to us. I got to Simpson, around mile 205,
and waited one hour. There were probably 15 cars ahead of me. I was leading
right after mile 115, and they all caught up to me. I took it easy the whole
day, just made sure not to do anything stupid. There are so many things that
can get you out there.”
Doug Siewert, 709: “With that traffic jam, there were just cars littered
on the road. It was a great race. The last 50 miles I took it easy, and the
last 12 miles it was flooded. At the pile-up, (Craig) Turner was four cars
me. I had had a 10 minute lead on him. I had no flats on my BFG’s, these
are the ones I started the race with. Actually, these are the same tires I
started San Felipe with.”
DiMaio, 709 (co-driver): “We went
from ninth to last to a 10-minute lead. We had rolled it, but we gained ground
on everyone. We figured we rolled
the truck, we had to at least give it to Doug in first place.”
Lobsam Yee, 1015: “For the last twenty miles of the race we were stuck
in first gear. We built a new car, a two-seater, for this race and brought
it down to test yesterday. We were up all night finishing it. We didn’t
like it during testing in San Felipe, so we drove back home and brought back
to race in. It was a nice course. We lost the alternator at one point and had
to change it.”
Jimmy Knuckles, 288: “You know what, give him (Al Hogan) the win. This
is embarrassing (winning by a 22-second margin). I feel bad for him. I don’t
even want to talk about it. We had four flats, other than that it went well.
I started in the back. We pushed a little hard on the front side and had to
back off a little bit. We stressed him (Hogan) out following him. I led until
marker 175, then I got a flat. We got hung up a couple times. I really thought
we were going to lose it coming out of Mike’s.”
was a fun great course. The last five miles we got stuck in the trench with
a flat tire. This put us 15 minutes behind. It was
run until then. We had a bunch of Mexicans helping us and finally got out of
this rut. We were there a long time. We had the lead for a good part of the
day and lost it in the last five miles. You can’t steer with a flat,
and it steered me into the rut. The course had a lot of loose rocks. We tore
tires, about five or six. I drove solo for the race.”
Arturo Honold, 1218: “It was a tough race. I drove without protective
eyeware. The wind was so bad at Ojos Negros. Look at my eyes. They are covered
Ricardo Malo started the race and drove to mile 171 where I got in the car.
2001 was a hard year and so is this one. Our drive shaft broke and we were
1 ½ hours going up a steep hill at race mile 202.”
1201: “We had a great run. I couldn’t get through
the dust – I couldn’t see anything. We both missed a turn and hit
a guide wire or something, I have no idea. 1211 (Stan Potter) got out first.
I started going the wrong way, but luckily a local said ‘follow me’ and
took me back to the course – I was so lost I had no idea where I was.”
Todd Wylie, 800: I drove solo this race. I was eatin’ dust until we were
out of the oceanside. At highway three our engine quit for a half an hour.
Our distributer went and we had to change it. Then we got a flat. Nick Vanderway
passed us then, but at the goat trail we passed him. Then we got a second flat
and our brakes started fading. It was a hit and miss whether I had brakes.
something starting coming lose on the suspension, but we managed to roll it
in. This was a real good experience. I loved it.”
George Seeley, 500: “We didn’t have any problems with the vehicle.
No flats. When you drive carefully, you don’t get flats with BFG tires.
We got stopped because rollovers and breaks in front of us and we had to shut
the car off three times. The last climb to Mike’s was rough. You gotta
just pick your way and let the dust clear.”
Anderson, 500 (co-driver): “I
started the race and handed it over to George to finish at mile 280. We had
a good run with the vehicle, but had
to stop three times because of backups from broken vehicles and narrow passages
so no one could pass. The first one was at Erindira, where we were stopped
for 25 minutes. The second was at the top of Simpson’s. We were there
for an hour. There were rollovers and broke vehicles and no way to pass. The
protrucks were having a hard time up the steep grades. People were trying to
clear them into the bush. The third was after El Coyote, where we were held
up for twenty five minutes. A few times we got out during those stops to help
others when we could, but we were so strapped in that we just sat around and
told stories, drank red bull and waited for it to clear up. People are just
camping-out out there. Overall, it was either real fast and stressful or slow,
steep and rocky. I’ve been racing eight years with George and it has
Mike Childress, 14x: “It was amazing – I loved it. It’s my
first time ever to win a SCORE race. I’ve been doing this since I was
14 and it was a dream to win a race and now I did it. We were in fourth early
on. Mike’s Sky Loop was the hardest part. I passed Johnny (Campbell,
1x) at Santa Tomas and never looked back. Mouse McCoy ran the 1000 all
by himself and I thought what better guy to get than him to ride with.”
McCoy, 14x: “Mike was the last bike off the line and he passed
everyone before he gave me the bike. Mike rode to 10 mile marker 171, then
I took it to 273 and Mike finished it. Our strategy was there was a really
tough stretch so if I was fresh through it, it would help. It was really a
tough course – it was a true Baja course. We had a flawless ride. Johnny
(Campbell, 1x) congratulated us on the race. Johnny is such a class act, he
is a real competitor. We talked about strategy. They usually get out in the
lead and control the race. This time we got the lead and we had a helicopter
leading the way for us, it was beautiful. The helicopter kept us informed so
we controlled the race.”
Hengeveld, 1x: “I started and finished
the race. Eight miles out I crashed. We lost time fixing the radiator. At Uruapan
I stopped because I
ran out of water. That’s where Johnny got on the bike. At the bottom
of Mike’s road, I got back on the bike to the finish. Today didn’t
go like we wanted it to, but at least we got the points.”
Campbell, 1x: “It was a tough day – I made some mistakes.
In Baja you have a lot of different obstacles. The key to success is overcoming
these obstacles. This is two times losing in a row. Nobody is the king forever.
It was important for us (Honda) to beat KTM. We went from our first objective
of winning the race to our second one – keeping the points lead.”
Grider, 3x: “It was a horrible day. I went down two times. Once
in between Tres Hermanos and Uruapan and the other by Laguna Hanson. I had
to ride the last 30 miles for Chris. He was sick from something he ate last
night and couldn’t ride. This course was the toughest ever. Sal did a
good job. He caught us off guard. This was tougher than any Baja 1000 I have
Alfredo Contreras, 101x: “It was pretty good, the bike was perfect. I
had one small crash. Compared to last year this was a safer course. Tim (Morton)
started the race, and there were five people riding, so it was a sprint for
everyone. We led from the beginning, nobody passed us.”
Gerardo Rojas, 300x: “No problems, it was very good.” Other
riders were Francisco Real and Arturo Salas.
Craig Adams, 400x: “We had a few problems but nothing too bad, it just
cost us a little time. Around kilometer 77 it was really rough – it was
a lot of fun. I fell a couple of times. I missed a turn and went through a
barbed wire fence. I couldn’t get the bike started at first, but then
got it going again. Three guys passed me up and I got stuck in their dust.”
Binckley, 408x: “Everything went very good. We had two tire changes.
The bike rode awesome.”
Elizaburo Karasawa, 503x started and finished. Susumu Ishii rode in between.
Josh Frederick, 10a: “We had no problems. The course
was marked good. I started the race and finished. Levi (Marana) and Kyle
(Chislock) rode in
Wes Miller, 5a: “I started and rode to Valle do Trinidad. Dana picked
up at K78. We lost 15-20 minutes at Mike’s Sky Ranch (because of hub
problems). Later I had engine problems and had to ride half throttle to the
Robert Laughlin, 273x: “I rode the whole way myself. I fell into a creek
and hit my head after the start, but I got out. I missed Honda pit 4 and ran
out of fuel, but some locals helped me out and gave me some.”
Ned Suesse, 260x: “I have been riding bikes for five years and this is
my first SCORE race. I decided to ride solo for the whole race and I did it.
It was a challenging course especially at Mike’s loop. When I saw the
finish line, I wanted a few more miles. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted
it to keep going. What a feeling.”
• There were a SCORE record three women who were drivers of record, and
all finished. In addition, Bekki Wik, 121, drove half the race in Class 1 with
They finished sixth in their class and 26th overall. Michelle Bruckmann, 507,
placed second in Class 5, while Sigal Greenberg, 901, was second in Class 9.
Heidi Steele was the overall Sportsman Car champion.
• This year 180 of the 345 starters finished the race, which equates to
52%. Last year 181 on the 300 starters completed the course (60%). This year
classes had no official finishers; Class 3, Class 1, Stock Full, Stock Mini,
and Sportsman Truck.
• In addition to stuck vehicles causing serious traffic jams, which occurred
at various spots on the race course, several drivers had a difficult time with
the last 40 yards of the 419-mile race, failing to successfully navigate the
dirt ramp built leading into the stadium. At 10:30 pm on Saturday, a truck
full of dirt backed through the finish line and dumped a big load of dirt.
Adam Pfankuch, 1612, had to contend with the big mound of dirt before a front
hoe could come and pack down the freshly dumped dirt.
For information contact:
SCORE International at its Los Angeles headquarters
(818) 225-8402 or visit
the official 2005 SCORE Desert Series website at:
Sponsorship Information, contact: