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ONE FOR DAD Despite Nagging Troubles, Team Parkhouse Brings Home Class 1 Victory  By Mike Vieira  Photos by Get Some Photo  A flat tire early in the race led to lingering problems throughout the competition for Cody Parkhouse. Cody took over for his dad, Brian Parkhouse, shortly after the start of the race because of other commitments Brian had. But right after the start, he cut a sidewall on some brush and developed a leak in the left rear tire of the No. 100 Jimco Hammerhead. With only about a mile to their scheduled pit stop, he easily made it in for service. “Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have the smoothest tire change, and the tire wasn’t tightened up all the way. It took a while for it to loosen up and I started hearing some clicking noise about five miles before coming down the Goat Trail,” said Parkhouse. “I wasn’t sure what it was, but the car was feeling a little funny.” Even though things didn’t seem quite right with the car, Parkhouse had been able to overtake other vehicles and move up in the standings. When he stopped to see what the problem was, he saw that the wheel was coming loose. After making yet another tire change in the desert, the team made it to the next scheduled pit, where they double-checked the wheel. “Probably because of what the issues already were, it wasn’t quite tight enough again,” said Parkhouse. “From there the problem pretty much stayed in the back of my head, and we decided to double-check everything at each pit; even though it was supposed to be just visuals at that point. If we were short on time, we might have risked it a bit more, but we didn’t need to.” While other Class 1 competitors suffered long delays and bigger problems than they had, the extra vehicle checks at each pit revealed a loosening of some drive plate bolts, so the overall decision was a good one. “From there, we just pretty much ran at a fast pre-run speed, and stopped to check on that corner every time until we got to the finish.” Parkhouse was enthusiastic about the SCORE Baja 400 route, even though he had to drive it at a slower pace than he would have liked. “They laid out an awesome course,” he says, “I will say that. It kind of had a little bit of everything Baja’s got to offer. Overall, it was very technical. Even running a strong pace in the very beginning, it was a slow race because it was so technical, but there was a lot of fast stuff, too. There were a lot of new areas that I’d never raced on before.  Maybe it was used a long, long time ago, but not since I’ve been racing there. It was very cool.” With the SCORE Class 1 win, Parkhouse likes the idea of being able to start up front at the 55th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts, but he doesn’t feel it’s that much of an advantage in such a long race. “In most classes, if you’re in the top five, and unfortunately that might be all we get in Class 1, you have a good shot at winning. It helps to be up in front, but you still have to work your way through the slower SCORE Trophy Trucks and such. Even with our start gap, we start catching trucks by mile 8 or 10. We’re pretty much always in dust and catching other vehicles.” After a DNF in the SCORE San Felipe 250, and a second-place finish in the SCORE Baja 500, the Parkhouse team hopes this SCORE Baja 400 win is a preview of success for the next race. With Brian Parkhouse as the driver of record (DOR), there’s still a chance the team could win the Class 1 championship again, but it would require winning the SCORE Baja 1000 without any penalties, as well as competitors Kyle Quinn and Damen Jefferies not finishing on the podium. Since the competition in this class is extremely tough, the only certain thing is that it will be a great race for all.SJ Post Race Interview with Cody Parkhouse

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