SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - JAN 2019

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

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Page 79 of 92

From Bottle Necks To A Championship Todd and Matt Winslow Earn The 2018 Open Wheel Overall Championship By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Class 10 racers Todd Winslow and his son Matt, drove their number 1081 Alumicraft buggy to a class championship with skill, perseverance, and determination. Much of that came from working their way out of the silt and subsequent bottlenecks that plagued the team and the class, all season long. Their start in Baja racing began when Todd grew up riding dirt bikes and his son Matt, of course, followed suit. It wasn’t until 2005 that Todd purchased a V8 powered pre-runner that lead to the family racing a 1600 car. “We ultimately moved up to a Class 10 car in 2014 and have loved it ever since,” said Matt Winslow. Fast forward do the SCORE 2018 season when the Winslow’s won the SCORE Class 10 Championship, as well as the Overall Open Wheel Championship by never quitting, being consistent in their driving, and finishing each race. “2018 was the year we thought we could make something happen,” said Matt Winslow. “The previous season was less than stellar, crashing in San Felipe, and sitting out the Tijuana Desert Challenge and the SCORE Baja 1000. We watched Broc Dickerson walk away with the season but we knew we had the speed and could run with him.” The Winslow’s went all out in 2018 and started the season with a fifth-place finish at the SCORE San Felipe 250. “We started with the front pack and got into a bottleneck,” said Matt Winslow. “Then we broke our 02 sensor and that caused us to miscalculate our fuel and we ran out of gas 10-miles to the finish line. Luckily, we got it refueled and finished.” At the 50th SCORE Baja 500, the Winslow’s rejoiced at the birth of Matt’s daughter, but it forced Todd to take on the race without his son. “We got stuck in several bottlenecks,” said Matt Winslow. “Ever since the class started after the Trophy Truck Spec class, the silt gets deeper and harder to get through and everyone ends up burying themselves.” The team persevered through the silt and despite a low finishing rate from the rest of the class that race, the Winslow’s managed an 11th place finish. With class competitors not finishing or not participating during the entire season, the challenge for first place in the class ended up between the Winslow’s and Dickerson. The race of the season for the team ended up at the Lucerna Hotels & Resorts SCORE Desert Challenge in Tijuana, Mexico. Matt raced both days and finished second behind Dickerson. “The short sprint races reminded me of my motorcycle days,” said Winslow. “We started second to last on day one and close to the front on the second day. The competition was insane, only seconds between each driver.” This left Matt feeling confident they could compete against Dickerson for the class championship heading into the 51st SCORE Baja 1000. With only a 19-point difference between the two, the championship would depend on how the two teams would ultimately finish the race. “My dad started the race 30-seconds after Dickerson and ran right close to him for the first 45-miles,” said Winslow. “Dickerson later got stuck in the silt and we got around him, but got stuck a little later.” The race seemed to be the same scenario over and over again, with the only advantage going to the team who got out of the silt first. “The last time we were stuck again, we got out quicker and knew Dickerson was behind us. We tried to put a lot of time on him and we ended up breaking our shift linkage and were stuck in fourth gear,” said Winslow. “Fortunately our mechanic/fabricator fixed it and we were still ahead.” Without Dickerson in sight, the Winslow’s persevered through the tough course and broke a limiting strap along the way. It didn’t stop them from taking care of the vehicle and making sure they crossed the finish line in fifth place. Once they realized Dickerson had broken and was out of the race the Winslow’s realized they had won the Class 10 Championship. “Winning the championship was always our number one goal,” said Winslow. “The season would have been better with some race wins, but we knew we had the speed and the right equipment. Winning the championship was surreal. It’s not an easy task to get the cars ready, pre-run, take time off of work and get volunteers, but we all love it.” For the 2019 SCORE Season, the Winslow’s plan on coming out again stronger than ever. With some additional modifications to the car and with sponsors such as Alumicraft, Baja Designs, BFGoodrich Tires, Fox, Hostile, Weddle, and Rugged Radios, the team has a good chance to win more races. “We’re not totally satisfied with how our races went in 2018,” said Winslow. “We want to win more races, especially the SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000. We’re 100 percent ready!” SJ

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