2019 Baja 500

Once again we teamed up with our friends at 3P Off Road to race the Score International Baja 500! This time we took on their number as they are racing for a championship and we are determined to help them get it.

Coming off a win at the San Felipe 250, we were super confident as we headed down to Ensenada, Mexico. Zach, from 3P, was fortunate enough to go a week early and he began pre running. We arrived in Ensenada on Wednesday evening and began to plan our strategy.

Thursday consisted of gathering all our parts, getting fuel and planning our pits. Friday was tech day and Zach and I would go pre run the start as we heard the silt in the first 3 miles was terrible, while the rest of the crew would ready the race car and head to tech. The rumors did not disappoint. The track was terrible! We headed back to town and out to Estero Beach to join the rest of the crew with the race car.

Tech and contingency was being held at the Esetero Beach Resort this year due to an important election being held at the Mission in Ensenada. We had a great time hanging out with race family and handing out steekers to all the kids! Tech went smoothly thanks to my friend and driver of the famous Bochito, Dennis. We were ready to race!

Race day came early and Zach and I were ready! This time we the made the start on time! Because the race was starting at Estero Beach, SCORE incorporated the short course track into the start of the race. We took off by ourselves since we won the last race. Even though we didn’t get to race anyone through it, it was super fun! We had heard the first 2 mile of the track were littered with Trophy Trucks and just as we hit the first corner of silt they re routed us to go around and start under the highway. We were soon in the wash headed out to the desert. We pre ran this so we knew there was little room to pass and a huge water/mud crossing was coming up. We had marked a go around, and just as we got to it, we saw a spectator had parked his truck and easy up right in it! Through the mud we went! At approximately race mile 5 we hit what appeared to be a man made ditch that sent us for a bit of a wild ride, but the car landed softly and we thought nothing of it. About 5 miles later we heard some grinding noises and thought we had a flat tire. About a mile later we lot the passenger rear wheel! We pull off the track to safety and checked out the car. The rear bearing carrier had broken and eventually the wheel came off. Zach went to get the wheel and we brainstormed on what we could do to get close to our crew. Of course, we had no phone or radio signal in the valley we were in and it was deep silt as far as the eye could see. We decided to try to use our TREDS as a skid and used our tow strap to secure it to the trailing arm. It worked! Hoping to get to a road crossing that we knew was only a few miles away, we limped a little farther down the trail. The silt was too deep and we kept loosing the the TREDS off the arm. We got far enough to reach Weatherman and he was able to contact our team! They headed back from Ojos with the chase RZR and parts. Meanwhile, a few local kids on dirt bikes and 1 on a 3 wheeler happened by. They and we knew they couldn’t help so they went on their way to play on the live race course! With theme song from the Lone Ranger going through my head, I saw the chase RZR equiped with BuggyWhips and giant Raceline Flags flying down the track towards us! Eric and Ryan to the rescue. As the car came apart, we all gasped in amazement the shape of the bearing carrier from the heat we subjected it to! As the car was going back together, Eric realized, with a look of complete devastation, that he brought the wrong side. They put it together anyway, using only 2 bolts and we were told to ease our way 3 miles to the road crossing where the car could be put together properly. We headed back out as easy as we could in the silt going up hill. The Polaris RZR plowed through easily and we chugged along. We came to a sharp right hand turn that went up a fairly steep grade. No problem it wasn’t a silt mess, but it was. Just as we came up to the corner, the boy on the 3 wheeler decided that was the perfect time to jump out onto the course in front of us! I didn’t want to hit him of course, So I swerved around, lost momentum and was stuck immediately in the silt. I said a few choice words as Zach helped him get off the track.

We sat there for a while digging the car out and contemplating what on earth we were going to do. I looked to my left and saw that other racers had gone through the deep scrub brush to get around presumably stuck vehicles earlier on. So, Zach and I eased the car backwards down the hill and were able to get the car into the brush. Zach walked ahead to ensure we didn’t fall into a ditch or hit any rocks and we chugged up the hill and out of the silt to top of the hill! With a sigh of relief, we continued on our way to meet the crew. We had been out there approximately 7 hours. As we were just about to the road crossing, the crew radioed in that the lead bike was on his way back to the finish line. (the start and finish were the same 30 miles of track) We immediately pulled over off the track as to not be in his way and waited for him to come by. He gave us a big thumbs up as he was almost to the finish line!

We met the crew and the car was put back together. We knew we now had a long night ahead of us if we were to finish this race! SCORE told us we were not allowed to continue on down the start/finish part of the track as the bikes were now coming in. They instructed us to head down the road to HWY 1 and rejoin the course a little farther down. We knew it was for the bikers safety so we complied. We were driving about 25 MPH through a small farm area and all of a sudden a Jeep Cherokee was right in front of us! We swerved and hit the brakes, but it was not enough. We hit the Jeep full of locals tire to tire. It took the front suspension off the car and broke my wheel. The locals in the Jeep were not injured but had a flat tire. It was tense for a while as the crew caught up to us and broken Spanish and English words were had over who might be at fault. Luckily Zach was friends with a local off road shop and just happened to be wearing one of their shirts. He gave them phone numbers and told them we would help them fix their car through this shop. Everyone seemed happy with this and they finally went on their way. The crew with the trailer showed up and the car was dragged on, strapped down and we headed to where they said we could rejoin the race. We had all the parts to repair the car, but SCORE would not allow us to rejoin the race as there was no way we would finish on time. Dejected, we headed back to Ensenada.

Tears of sorrow were spilled into many beers and tacos and lots of I wish we had done this or that were told. At the end of the day, no one was injured, the car was intact and we had a great time hanging out with our race family in the beautiful Baja desert.

We are still in the points lead as no one from the UTV Unlimited class was able to finish the race. So, Baja 400 we will take you on in September!

Thank you to all our sponsors for helping us show the world how great and tough your products are and all our friends, family and fans that support us!

Image may contain: 2 people, including Lacrecia Beurrier, people smiling, sky, car and outdoor
Image may contain: 2 people, including Lacrecia Beurrier, people smiling, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: Logan Creason and Travis Herzing, people smiling, car and outdoor
Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: outdoor

2018 50th Anniversary Baja 500

We had so much fun at the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 that we knew as soon as we got home in November of 2017, that we were going to gather up all our friends and race the 50th anniversary of the Baja 500! Even though we started planning in November, the end of May came up quick! We decided to take a family and friends vacation and stay the week before the race to pre run and enjoy beautiful Baja! We rented a house in San Felipe for the first half of the week and after a fun day on the beach, we started pre running my half of the race, which was mostly on the San Felipe side of the peninsula.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, outdoor and waterImage may contain: one or more people, sky, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

The San Felipe side of the track is well know for the miles and miles of whoops. Even though we didn’t race on the traditional tack there, it still held up to it’s reputation.  At the end of my section, we ended up at Mike’s Sky Ranch Road. Having never been there before, we decided to run up there. We didn’t have enough pre runner seats for everyone, so, we loaded up the cars on trailers and proceeded to head that way. Who knew you could rock crawl a 1 ton Dodge pulling a trailer with 2 Polaris RZR’s on it? It was and adventure, but we made it!

Image may contain: Trevor Beurrier, sitting and indoor

On Tuesday we sent Eric, Zach, Bob and Don across the peninsula to pre run Eric’s half of the race. We tracked them on RacingTrax all day anxiously awaiting their return, or sitting on the beach having pizza and beers! Wednesday came and we headed over to Ensenada to our rental house on the beach. We unloaded and headed to La Bufadora for dinner.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Kevin Coggin, Zach Johnson and Trevor Beurrier, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

Someone bough a  bottle of tequila and we spent the night on the beach with a fire and drinks, telling stories of Baja!  Thursday was tech day for us. After we rounded up all the crew we headed into Ensenada for a day of fun!

Image may contain: car, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people, car and outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

We hung out with Raceline Wheels, signed some posters and then went through tech and contingency. We passed through tech with ease and headed back to the house to finish up race prep. Friday was the only day you could pre run the start, so Travis and I hopped in the pre runner RZR and headed out to Ojos. We ran into the famous Dustin Battle Axe Jones on the trail and a host of other racers all checking out the start of the race. Back at the house final touches were made on the car, chase strategy  was made and we drifted off to sleep with visions of checkered flags dancing in our heads.

Saturday was race day! We woke up early, loaded up and headed to the start line. Anxiety was kicking in but we knew we had never been as ready as we were this time!

Image may contain: Lacrecia Beurrier, smiling

Image may contain: Lacrecia Beurrier, smiling, closeup

Travis and I took the green flag and headed out to an immediate 37MPH speed zone. It seemed to last forever! We finally hit the dirt and began our quest for the checkered flag! We passed several UTV’s and other cars. Just outside of Ojos Negros with hit the silt. This was the only part of the track that we didn’t get to pre run. There were stuck trucks and buggies everywhere. We carefully picked our way around them and made it out without getting stuck ourselves. As soon as we were out and on hard packed ground Kristen Matlock blazed by us! I have no idea how she made it up to the turbo class so fast, but she did and was on a mission! Congratulations to her and her team for winning the overall! We continued on and soon found ourselves in the whoops of San Felipe. Trying to keep up pace and protect the car was rough. Somewhere around race mile 220 the car suddenly became hot. Travis jumped out and found the radiator cap smashed and the water gone from the radiator. We dumped all our bottled water into the radiator and began to limp our way to the crew who were waiting for us at race mile 240ish. They replaced the cap, filled the car with water and then found that the front of the chassis was cracked and needed to be repaired. They took a couple of wrenches from the tool box that we hoped we wouldn’t need and welded them to the frame. The motor did not seem to be hurt, temps were normal so we headed back out aiming for race mile 270 where Eric would take the wheel and finish the race. We got about 5 miles when the car became hot and went into limp mode. Something had stopped the charging system from working and the radiator fans would not come on. The car got excessively hot and died. The crew was close by and towed us to the highway where we discovered that the head gasket was blown. The donor car was across the peninsula at Camalu. We called them and Bob and Don hopped in their RZR and headed out across a cut off road to meet us and lend us the head off their car. The crew worked tirelessly pulling the race car apart while we waited for the guys to arrive. Unfortunately time was not on our side. By the time the donor car arrived, it was too late to make the finish line. Especially hearing of all the bottle necks around race mile 315. It was decided to put #2924 on the trailer and call it a day. It was very disappointing for everyone. No one wants to take a DNF but it was in the best interest of everyone and it was so.

We had one of the best times ever with a great crew! Eric, Trevor, Zach, Kevin, Bob, Don, Joe, David, Susanne, Harry, Eric, Travis, Logan(aka Nathan), Josh (aka Parker) and myself make a pretty good team. Thank you all for sacrificing time with your families to be with and support us in our racing efforts. Everyone of you are appreciated so much more than I can find words for!

Thank you to our sponsors who make all of this possible: Polaris RZR, DragonFire Racing, AZ West, ITP Tire, Raceline Wheels, Lonestar Racing, BS Sand, Queen Racing, Rugged Radios, Baja Designs, AO Coolers, Mothers Polish, CP Pistons, Axis Rod Ends, Pro Eagle, Factory UTV, Tire Balls, Odyssey Batteries, sPod, Aim, Buggy Whips, S&B Filters, Shock Therapy, Gates G-force, HMF and last but not least 3P Off road.

Image may contain: sky, mountain, car, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, mountain, outdoor and nature