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Page 46 of 117

CLASH OF TITANS Buggy Class Teams Fight Hard For A Win By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Guilherme Torres, and Jose Vazquez Photos by Get Some Photo When you have a class filled with previous SCORE Baja 1000 winners and Class Champions, you know the competition is tough. Add in some champion racers from other classes trying out their hand in the top-level buggy classes, and you get an idea of how perfect the race needs to be for you to win. Within Class 1, Shelby Reid, Cody Parkhouse, and Broc Dickerson each got a win this season, while racers such as Brendan Gaughan, Mason Cullen, and Mario Fuentes all finished in the top three. So, when it came down to the 54th SCORE Baja 1000, there were a half-dozen teams capable of winning the race. In addition, the 179 team of Mario Fuentes had experienced racers like former SCORE Trophy Truck racer ‘Lalo’ Laguna as co-driver, as well as Ramon Bio, who has driven just about every kind of buggy in his young career. Also returning was the Glickenhouse Baja Boot in Class 1 buggy form with its share of experienced racers such as Darren Skilton, Viry Felix, and Roman Dumas behind the wheel. When the race began, Parkhouse started first with Gaughan in second place, followed by Shelby Reid. By the time Brad Wilson started the race, he was faced with three of the fastest teams ahead of him but managed to drive a clean race with Justin Munyon to eventually take the win after finishing second on the course. Parkhouse finished first physically, but the team received a nearly 21-minute penalty for missing a virtual checkpoint (VCP) and for excessive speed in a speed zone. This put Parkhouse in second place behind Brad Wilson, despite having a great run. “Even if it’s a fast SCORE Baja 1000, it’s still a long day,” said Parkhouse. “Our car is prepped amazingly well, and we can drive it as hard as we want and make it to the finish.” Crossing the finish line in third place was Mason Cullen in the No. 105 car with co-drivers Cade Garcia and Broc Dickerson. “It has been crazy from start to finish, especially with the competition so tight,” said co-driver Garcia. “The top three Class 1’s all ran at a fast pace. Mason started fourth and worked his way to physical second. He handed the car off to me. I kept it for a physical second and handed it off to Broc (Dickerson). They had one issue and the Wilsons got around us. But here we are, and it looks like we got third place. The competition was tough, but Baja was tougher. This is my first SCORE Baja 1000– my first Peninsula run. I am super honored for the opportunity to run a Class 1 car. Thank you to all the family and crew members that came out to make it happen.” Reid in the No. 168 car co-drove with her son Cody and Adam Plankuch to finish in fourth place. “It was a long day,” said Shelby Reid. “Adam did real good, then Cody was driving his butt off. We had a lot of brake problems but the car ran well. I want to thank everybody that has been helping us, especially BFGoodrich Tires, Raceline Wheels, Lucas Oil, Wicks Racing engines, everyone that helped us. For driving at night, the Baja Designs lights were awesome.” CLASS 10 TOP 4 BATTLE IT OUT During the 2021 season, the top four finishers in Class 10, Freddie Willert, Hiram Duran, Ethan Hagle, and Matt Winslow have been fighting for class supremacy. From the start, all the “10-cars” dealt with rough terrain, making it more difficult after the SCORE Trophy Truck and Class 1 vehicles changed the dynamics of the course for them. As the race started, it was back to fighting with these four racers who did everything they could to win. In the end, Ethan Hagle in the No. 1046 car had the most luck and brought the family another SCORE Baja 1000 victory. “We went to hell and back on this race, and now that we’re at the finish, I guess it’s heaven,” said Hagle. “My dad has won the Peninsula run I believe in 1986 in Class 10 and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine to do it as well. It almost brings a tear to my eye to be here, I can’t believe it. This race is incredibly challenging in everything that it takes going into it, the preparation, the team, yelling at each other on the radio. But then when we get it down here to Baja and see the great people here, it’s all worth it. This race is once in a million and I hope I get to do it again someday.” Eliseo Garcia in the No. 1075 car with Javier Montoya Jr. as co-driver had only raced the SCORE Baja 500 this season and ended up with a DNF. But the team spent a lot of time pre-running the course and it paid off with a second-place finish. “It was Javier Montoya Jr.’s first race in the car,” said Garcia. “He did great and defended second place. It was tough. It was a great course. It had everything and was an adventure. We spent three weeks pre-running– each team ran their section four times. Javier and his son live here in La Paz so they know everything down here. I think they are really proud of what they did.” Finishing in third was Matt Winslow in the No. 1081 car with Todd Winslow and Zach Summers as co-drivers. “We had some issues in the first part of the race, but we persevered and got it to Zach (Summers) on lap 370,” said Todd Winslow. “They basically went through the night and did extremely well. I was taking a nap and was surprised when they called and told me they were only 50 miles away. Then I got in with Kyle (Krikorian) and we drove to the finish– 520 miles. I turn 57 years old in two weeks, so this was a nice accomplishment to finish this. They threw everything at us in that 500 miles and 100 miles of sand whoops. We just drove as hard as we could chasing the 1075. They are really good drivers and they know the area, it seems. We had a great battle with them for about six hours. We finished a minute behind them, but they started behind us so they got a well-deserved second place. We are happy to finish third.” See more stats on Score's Fan Pages SJ

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