SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - December 2018

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 23 of 112

Race Day: Motorcycles Steal The Spotlight The 7x team finishes the SCORE Baja 1000 first overall By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo During the early days of the Baja 1000, motorcycles were the most popular way racers sped across the Baja desert. Over the history of the Baja 1000, motorcycles, on average, had the fastest times in completing the race overall, beginning in the mid-1970s through 2013, with several exceptions of course. While the last four years have seen SCORE Trophy Trucks dominate the overall race with the fastest times, it didn’t come as a complete surprise when the 7x team of Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels, and Justin Jones were able to win the race overall this year on their Honda CRF450X motorcycle. Their winning overall race time was a mere 36 seconds ahead of the number 12 SCORE Trophy Truck of Cameron Steele. This achievement adds perspective to the experience and riding talent these individuals have for reading the terrain, maintaining a fast pace, and their athletic ability to ride 260 to 280 miles of desert each, as hard and as fast as they can. “It was a great race,” said Jones. “I want to thank SOR Honda and Monster, our main sponsors, and everybody who helped out the team.” Morgan, Jones, and Samuels also have much more to celebrate with this win. Not only did they take the SCORE Baja 1000 Overall victory, in doing so they won the Pro Moto Unlimited class to finish off a perfect 2018 season and allowing them to make this a championship year for these riders as well. Pro Moto Classes Show Their Riding Talent The 7x team made it look easy, but in actuality, the competition was just as tough and talented. The 1x team of Shane Esposito, Colton Udall, Ian Young, and Nicholas Garvin are all winning riders and ultimately finished second during the race. Garvin was added to the team for the “1000” and was used to riding in the Pro Moto 30 class with the 300x team of Ryan Liebelt. He got called by Udall to be a part of the 1x team for this race. “The last two years I got to ride with Colton and be under his wing a little,” said Garvin. “When he called and asked if I wanted to race, I’m like Hell Yeah, I’ll do it!” All year long, the 1x team ran right beside the 7x riders going just as fast, and just as hard. They finished fourth in San Felipe, posted a DNF at the Lucerna Hotels & Resorts SCORE Desert Challenge after mechanical issues, and finished second behind the 7x team at the 50th SCORE Baja 500. “I will give it up to our old teammates Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, and Justin Jones,” said Ian Young at the finish line. “They really did a great job today. You have to give respect where respect is due.” Each Pro Moto Unlimited team is made up of a roster of names that have won numerous races in their career. The 66x Team Monkey Business, led by Santiago Creel was no different. They also provided lots of pressure and competition with their riding skills and efforts. With enough points to challenge the 1x team, they were hoping for a win at the SCORE Baja 1000 to earn a championship. Unfortunately, they were not as fast as the 7x team that day, but they didn’t leave disappointed from their efforts this year. The 66x team consisting of Creel, Brandon Prieto, Roberto Villalobos, and Massimo Mangini, finished in a respectable third place in class, and their 4x team consisting of Creel, team owner Mark Winkelman, Austin Meyers, Braxton Gallian, Ray Dal Solgio, Troy Vanscourt, Kadin Guard and Dylan Gillespie finished in fourth place. No Guarantees In the Pro Moto Limited Class, the 100x team, another Monkey Business team led by Santiago Creel, had been fighting all season long with the 106x team of Phillip Jaramillo. Fans expected one of these teams to win the SCORE Baja 1000 and walk away with a championship, but Carlos Miranda and the 110x team of Tucker Hopkins, Eric Kirby, Marco Higuera, and Zach Meyers snuck by the two teams to finish first in class. Jaramillo finished second in class during the race, while Creel’s team made up of Raul Hernandez, Alberto Heredia, Larry Serna, Ricardo de la Pena, and Hector Guerrero, finished third and earning enough points to take the championship away from the 106x team, but at a cost. “I’m pretty happy about winning the Championship, said Hernandez. “We had some small issues through the race. All our riders crashed. Larry broke his collarbone and had to ride 50 miles or so like that. We lost about three hours when I took a small crash in the silt. After 2-1/2 hours my friend Michael, helped me out, as I was starting to make a fire to spend the night.” More upsets were to happen in the Pro Moto 30 class as well. The 300x team had been leading the class winning every race this season, but at the SCORE Baja 1000, mechanical issues led them to post a DNF, allowing the 333x team of Chad Thornton, Dennis Belingheri, Carl Maasberg, Jason Trubey, Steve Tichnor and Paul Luce to take the class win. “We lost a fuel pump about race mile 540,” said Liebelt. “We got going again and then some other fuel issue came up about race mile 700. The bike did not run well the entire rest of the way and I had to push it the last couple of miles to the finish. So, it’s been a tough day.” Finishing second in class was the 303x team of Luiz Gomez, Joaquin Platero, Mario Valenzuela, Jose Manuel Ochoa, Edgar Espinoza, and Martin Couchet. They were followed by the 305x team of William St. Laurent, Jerry Curtis, Eric Gerard, Bryan Faby, Jason Ennis, and Scott Gawler, who finished in third place. Pro Moto 40 racers knew there was no beating Jano Montoya and the 400x team. They’ve dominated the class all year long, and with the help of Alberto Ruiz, Jeff Kawell, Sergio Vega, and Brian Pinard, the team finished first in class and had a perfect season. The 437x team of Mauricio Santana entered the SCORE Baja 1000 for their only race of the season and managed to win second place in class. The team consisted of Antonio Sanchez, Luis Farrell, Manuel Andreu, and Patrick Reyes. Finishing third in class was the 417x team of Salvador Sainz, Jose Gonzalez, Carlos Valdez, Oscar Garcia, Oscar Fazz Juan Moreno, Gerardo Huerta, Guillermo De la Herran. The 510X team of Giovanni Spinali dominated the Pro Moto 50 class, winning again at the SCORE Baja 1000. They finished off a perfect season with team riders earl Roberts, Troy Pearce, and John Griffin to take home a championship. “I feel awesome,” said Spinali after the race. “This is the first time we have actually won the SCORE Baja 1000. We had three goals -- to win our class, top 10, which I think we did, and not get caught by a Trophy Truck. We had a really good bike and a solid team.” In second place was the 550x team of Bill Sekeres, Mike Prunty, Kevin Ward, Harold Harris, Darren Elliot, and Scott Atchinson. The 524x team of Mike Frick and Brad Levar finished third. The 649x team of Guy Laycraft also finished a perfect season, taking the SCORE Baja 1000 win with riders Doug Smith, Craig Adams, Dave Potts, and Bob Johnson. While they celebrated their win, it didn’t come without some pain and suffering. “It was a tough night out there. There was a lot of raunchy silt beds and it was a hard go,” said Laycraft. “The day went pretty well, but last night was a grinder. Bob Johnson and Craig Adams have been racing here since the 70’s so we had a really good bunch of guys. I’d like to thank Doug Smith. He did a hell of a job with building the bike and picking the team. He took care of every detail there was, right down to the hotel rooms. Then a couple of days ago broke a couple of ribs and ruptured a spleen so he is back in the states, up all night like a grandmother, texting us and keeping everything going. But it was really good.” Ironman Class Riders Finish Strong One of the most difficult motorcycle classes had several competitors that ended their SCORE Season knowing they finished the longest race of the year. All of these competitors were chasing after Francisco Septien who maintained a strong lead to win the race on the 730x Honda CRF 450X, finishing in twenty-two hours and four minutes. Finishing second was Aaron Richardson on the 744x KTM500EXC-F, followed by the 744x KTM of Tony Luksa. Finishing fourth was Lawrence Janesky (714x) followed by Liz Karcz (722x) who finished in fifth place. No Beating Sanchez In Pro Quad Said Sanchez has held onto the 1a number in Pro Quad for the last two years and has dominated the class. So there was no doubt in the minds of his race fans, that he would once again win the class at the SCORE Baja 1000. Sanchez had help from teammates Felipe and Louis Velez, Javier Robles, Mike Sloan, and Francisco Vera. “It was a very challenging track,” says Said. “We made up time on the track and put together an awesome team to dominate the SCORE Baja 1000. Thank you to family and friends. Viva Baja.” Finishing in second place behind the 1a team was Don Higbee, Rick Cecco, Byron Buckhannon, Jose Torres, and Jeremy Gray of the 2a team. In Sportsman Quad, the 110a team of Danny Magdalena with Jorge Lopez, Eddie Bareno, Ismael Cazares and Chris Avalos won the class. They were followed by the 148a team of Alejandro Amador, Oscar Arce, Jorge Perez, Francisco Garcia, and Jesus Torres. Finishing third was the 115a team of Noberto Arce, Fidel Gonzalez, Francisco Flores, Dorian Martinez, and Roberto Rodriguez. There were lots of entries in the Sportsman M/C class, totaling 20-teams. In the end, it was the 220x team of Diego Lopez, Luis Pena, Marco Pena, Miguel Cordovez, Mauri Herrera, and Brian Wipperman who had the fastest time to win the class. Second place went to the 286x team of Roy Buelna, Gerardo Buelna, Miguel Palacio, Aldolfo Palacios, Damon Davila, and Eduardo Vargas. Finishing third in class was the 254x team of Tyler Harvey, Chuck Harvey, Eric Holt, Chuck McRae, and Joe DeLucie. SJ

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