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Page 47 of 101

THE 7X-PERIENCE Mark Samuels And The 7x Team Remain Undefeated By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, Cindy Clark, and Ariana Medrano Photos by Get Some Photo  It’s no coincidence that the SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited team of Mark Samuels, Justin Jones, and Kendal Norman picked the 7x number to ride together, winning another SCORE Baja 1000 class victory. If you’re counting, this 2022 win is Samuel’s seventh in this race. For the veteran Norman, this is his eighth win, and for Morgan, the sixth SCORE Baja 1000 win in his career. These three riders are at the top of the SCORE Baja 1000 race charts alongside the names of Steve Hengeveld and Johnny Campbell, but if you’re only counting those racers who are still actively racing in SCORE, Norman, Samuels, and Morgan are the three most dominant racers in the oldest and toughest off-road race in the world. The odd thing is that they make it look easy, but it’s their experience and athleticism that make them amazing racers to watch, even though they thought this race was much slower and harder than normal. “It was a tough course, slower than normal, and slower than we anticipated,” said Samuels. “I am tired, sore, and looking forward to getting back and taking a nap.” Norman, who possibly has the most experience in a SCORE Baja 1000 race, also thought this one was difficult. “It was very rough and technical as well,” he said. “I hadn’t been down all of the San Felipe, Mike’s loop, and newer summit sections, but from what I heard, it was really gnarly. It was the battle of Baja out there.”  Justin Morgan rode the last section of the course and crossed the finish line for the team. “We started at seventh and worked our way through without any issues,” he said. Although Morgan has of late taken time riding in the passenger seat with Larry Roeseler in the No. 43 SCORE Trophy Truck, he didn’t seem to have any trouble staying in championship form to help the SLR Honda team win and get another SCORE Baja 1000 under his belt.  While Samuels and Morgan together have twenty-one wins in their SCORE moto racing careers, winning never gets old. “It feels good to cross that finish line and it is a special feeling for sure,” said Samuels. The race course was not only one of the toughest, but the team also had to compete against the 10x team of Juan Carlos Salvatierra, who has won every race this season in the Pro Moto Unlimited Class. “We had our hands full at the beginning,” said Samuels. “The course was really gnarly from the hurricane that came through. It changed the course a lot and turned many of the rocks up. The 10x team was on a mission and 3x was riding really well, so we had to make our way through the pack from starting seventh. It was a really good race. By race mile 340 we were in the lead. From there we just had to bring it home. We had a great effort all the way.” SJ

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