2008 SCORE Baja 500 Post Race Report

by chaosfab on June 25, 2008

CHAOS, CARNAGE and FREE pit repairs!
A few of us from the shop made the annual pilgrimage south of the border for the SCORE Tecate Baja 500. We were donating tools, labor and motivation to over 280 racers in the motorcycle, car & truck classes. For a few years Locos Mocos has been assisting the Baja Pits racer support program through a joint effort created by one of the Team Locos Mocos pioneers Stu, aka “Baja Jones”. TC enjoys giving back to the race community and we offer our services at these pits as long as the calendar permits. You cant beat the trails in Baja, the food or the camp fire stories.

We were scheduled to hook up with part of the team off Highway 3 at noon on Friday and then hit the race course at MM104 to prerun the notorious “summit”. Our scheduled pit and fuel location was MM 134, pit #3 in the Baja Pits support chain. The TC crew took the opportunity to run some added miles in the dirt, crossed at the Tecate border and headed south via Old Compadre trail to the meeting location. Alternator woes had us at a parts store before we ever hit the dirt. To play it safe we purchased a Mexico modified spare alternator for Jeremy’s truck. Extra precautions were taken since we were headed to such a remote location. We had blue bird skies and a few packs of directional traffic in trucks and on dirt bikes along the trail. We met 4 other vehicles to prerun the summit section via the race course at noon. The prerun to the pit went flawless for our crew, but as you can see from our action in the pit, and after the race, some of the racers and crew members were not as fortunate.

“Baja Jones” handles all the logistics and trailer transport. He gathered nearly 30 tires, 5.5 drums of fuel, 5 dry brake & 5 regular moto cans, the welder, generator, and a few other crates filled with equipment. “Baja Jones” and our 2008 Baja 500 LM officially elected President “Bethel”, made the trek via the highway then on the race course to our remote pit. The custom fabricated team trailer is the backbone of the pit program considering it also transports the food for the 30 people who would participate with pit support.  Casually late, he arrived to a camp causing chaos. BCG 7 was lighting off rockets like it was the 4th of July. The crew remaining crew was starved and had been living on barley pops and travel snacks since the taco shop we ate at that afternoon in Valle de Trinadad.

Race day proved to be punishing. At 5am a Weatherman radio transmission reported a booby trap at MM40 where locals built a rock kicker. With the bikes getting ready at the starting line, the hair on the back of your neck was standing! We took friendly monetary wagers on first bike pit times and trucks.  Within hours another SCORE event would begin, it would claim race victims, destroy baja dreams, create new winners, and etch its mark on the skin of every dusty Baja 500 attendee.
The summit was brutal on race day. We had 8 full hours of action packed pit services. 30 second fuel stops for bikes with dry brake fuel fillers and a 30 minute rear trailing arm welder repair. We had an air filter change on a quad and several honks and thumbs ups from racers. Tourist racers as well classify them, pulled in and utilized the LM water tank to cool off from the heat and contemplated pulling out in front of the class 1 cars and trophy trucks.

At times we were 3 deep with pit action keeping everyone on they’re toes. We also had class 7 racer “TB Walsh” need radiator assistance at dusk. The last 2 cars through the pit were class 11’s, plucking away at each mile of the SCORE Tecate Baja 500 destined to finish within the time limit! With the sun now setting a motorcycle recovery team decided to camp with the crew instead of proceed down the race course. We convinced the driver it would be safer. Chase vehicle flats, no spares, racer and passenger fatigue, and the Locos Mocos camp serving fresh cooked food convinced them to expire till early the next morning.

Leaving the pit Sunday on the race course, TC’s project Toyota Tundra busted the spider gears in the rear diff. Running desperately low on water from the excessive heat the day prior, the team pulled off  and unloaded a few items to lend assistance to TC with repairs. Within an hour we were capable to proceed. Since the Tundra is 4wd we were able to remove the broken gears and drive back to the states using 4wd and only the front diff. It was a handful on the road but its another reason I prefer retaining 4wd in my prerunner trucks.

It’s been a few weeks since the race, and I must admit I miss Baja already. This team is comprised of industry personnal, ex racers, current racers and pure enthusiasts. It’s a group of friends who love to donate experience. Our mission every race is to assist any racer who needs our pit services or just some more mental motivation to make it another mile, or ever better the checkered flag.  Thanks to the crew for another awesome Baja adventure!   And for all the Baja 1000 hopefuls, “see ya in the dirt!”

N-Chaos