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Gus Vildosola Sr. Crowned 2022 SCORE TT Legends Champ Vildolsola And Ricky Johnson Finish A Perfect Season Story by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo Portrait Photo by Jack Wright NMedia3 Some might say Gus Vildosola Sr. made it look easy to drive to a perfect winning season on his way to the 2022 SCORE Trophy Truck Legends Championship. Vildosola would tell you, however, that there were a few bumps in the road that he and the No, 21L team solved along the way, leading up to winning his class in all four races and ultimately scoring the class championship. At the beginning of the 2022 SCORE season, the team decided to make some changes. Vildosola told us, “Usually I would start the race, but this year we decided to change that. For the SCORE San Felipe 250 race, the traditional season opener, co-driver Ricky Johnson took the truck off the start line and was doing a great job.” Then the truck got stuck in fourth gear. Johnson managed to keep up a good pace, but even with work in the team’s main pit, they couldn’t fix the problem. Vildosola Sr. took the wheel from there. It was still stuck in fourth gear when he entered Matomi Wash, and had no neutral and no reverse– just fourth gear. “I just prayed we could make it through,” said Vildosola. “A big SCORE Trophy Truck in fourth gear is not ideal in the rocks. We managed the hot torque converter pretty well, and at the end of the day we made it to the finish line still in fourth gear and won our class.” BaJa Oil Bugs Next was the SCORE Baja 500. Johnson started again, but soon had a leak in the front differential and it was spraying the cab with oil. They didn’t have a breathing system on the front differential at the time, so they had to stop about every thirty miles or so and it would take three to four minutes to get oil back in the front diff. “That was the only problem we had, and we ended up coming in first in our class again,” said Vildosola. It proved just how good our pit and chase teams are because they were always where we needed them with the oil for the diff. I was really proud of my entire team.” During the SCORE Baja 400, the front differential sensor again began signaling a low oil pressure condition in the front. “We thought we had more trouble with the front differential, but this time we couldn’t see a leak,” said Vildosola. “We finally realized that the sensor was lying to us and from that point on, we charged ahead and again got lucky enough to be first in class at the Baja 400.” The Big One By the time the team prepared for the SCORE Baja 1000, their season was perfect with three wins so far. Yet the team was careful to make sure they could finish the race to win the championship. “I really think the SCORE Baja 1000 was by far our cleanest race of the season,” said Vildosola. “Instead of just Ricky and me, we had a third driver to help with this race. Ricky started and did a very good job. We ended up third on the road at the first driver change. My friend Mike Coleman drove the center section and had an uneventful race, which is a good thing. Then I took over for the last section all the way back into Ensenada.” The team had no troubles at all and ended up first in their class and seventh overall when corrected for the race. “I am very happy that the team is working so well and that we have been so successful this season,” said Vildosola. “We are reaping the rewards of hard work and smart planning. That got us the SCORE Legends Trophy Truck class championship for 2022.” VIDEO: Post Race Interview With Gus Vildosola Sr. Looking Forward “We are all very excited about 2023,” Vildosola continued. “Plans for 2023 are to run the same truck and with the same team. We think we can do it all over again with a little luck.” Vildosola thanked his crew first saying, “We didn’t have perfectly clean runs every race, but it was those guys who got us to the finish line every time. The truck was really good overall, and I have to say it made a huge difference. We’ve done a lot of testing, suspension tuning, and pre-running to work out the kinks as we go.” His match with Ricky Johnson had a lot to do with the championship too. He told us, “I used to like to start the truck, but now that we’re winning so consistently, I am perfectly fine (laughing) with that setup. I also want to especially thank all our sponsors and all the people that support us and cheer us on along the racecourse. We have a very strong fan base in Baja, and I want to thank them and tell them to be careful when they’re out watching the races. We want them to enjoy watching the race, but to also be safe and make it back home.” SJ

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