2008 SCORE Baja 1000 Post Race Report

by chaosfab on December 7, 2008

Down for “THE CAUSE”
41st SCORE Baja 1000 with TEAM Locos Mocos


Do you know anyone who despite their economic situation, family function commitment, employment status or illness that will attend a function out of pure commitment to “THE CAUSE”. The vague detail of the question is intended, but with TEAM Locos Mocos “THE CAUSE” is very clear: To operate a fully functioning repair and full service fuel pit for any paid Baja Pits entrant, as well as every other SCORE off road racer participating at each scheduled Mexico event. You might also periodically see a north of the border pit effort on a much smaller scale, but TEAM LOCOS MOCOS  has joined with the well known Baja Pits for the past few years to lend a hand. Carlos Orozco and the world famous Baja Pits, supply moto and vehicle racers the added logistics most teams lack in order to finish a Baja event. It has grown to one of the most recognized support organizations for the pro & privateer alike. Baja Pits operates a chain of pits set at 40-50 mile intervals throughout a race. International entrants flock to their prepaid services due to limited or zero man power of their own. Pro teams utilize the emergency only service as an added insurance policy.

The 41st Baja 1000 has commenced and again I suffer from the reality that another birthday has passed etching my age in stone another notch past the quarter century mark! Over the past decade I have watched “THE CAUSE” grow in the number of participants to reach a record number at this years event. Our invited man power topped 55+ people. A camp fire cause created by Baja Jones, BCG 1, Baja Tym & Cortez in 1997 intended to assist racers in remote locations with repairs has grown to an organism of individuals who are industry employed, ex racers or just folks that have seen race related movies, videos or read even a forum that has inspired them to want to lend a hand in the efforts of this TEAM!

Carlos assigned LM to SCORE’s unique section of the race course where entrants passed the same section twice. Our location was set at mile marker 285 & 405. With lead bikes through at 11:51 AM it was clear this high profile operation equipped with more experience than McGuyver x 10 was prepared to tackle an all night endeavor. Service pit leads Patio Burrito, BCG 7, Val, Buffet & Tiny. New recruit RT from Texas was assigned moto specifics and performed tire repairs at race mechanic speeds with standard harbor freight equipment. 12 drums of fuel were on hand for scheduled bikes, trucks and buggies. Race teams knew driver changes were critical at this location and a thorough inspection in case damage was evident and repairs were necessary before the 200 mile trek to Ojos Negros. This years race was actually 631 miles, however don’t let the shorter distance fool you into downplaying the accomplishment of every racer who took the checkered flag. This is the Baja 1000 and is recognized internationally as one of the most grueling races on the planet.

By 8:00 PM the controlled chaos was off the chart. The LM personal fueled 2 & 3 bikes at a time, riders that were not changing were in and out in 30 seconds. At one particular moment the crew was fueling 2 bikes, changing a tire on a quad & wrenching on a buggy. There were 50 plus racers pit crew and chase teams in the hot pit yelling, running, fueling and fixing stuff in a sort of discombobulated ballet. A driver in a red fire suit approached Buffet and asked “who was in charge?” (his 1600 car was inbound and he wanted to insure he would be serviced). Buffet politely replied, “I don’t know”. Moments later the pit cleared, the 1600 car came in and was in and out in a flash. 

Memorable repairs throughout the night would include #601 who entered the pit not running on all calendars. LM assisted the race crew members in removing the front engine cage in order to fix and repair a melted factory FORD plastic intake manifold. They went on the finish 1st place in SCORE’s debut of class 6. #862 entered the pit first pass with a light rack that had been torn off the truck by a tree. BCG 7  fabricated new light bar mounts and welded the rack back together because it was in 2 pieces. During their driver change the front diff cover was noticed to be leaking so we topped it off and they went on their way. On the second pass through they swapped covers with a chase truck who stayed in the pit and went on to finish 2nd place in class Stock Full. 

I forgot to mention the most astounding aspect about the Locos Mocos crew, everyone of them goes in their own pocket and pays their way to meet annually for these events for 2 reasons: 1. the tight family/political desert bench racing party we have become, 2. we are all “down for the cause” to assist any and every racer succeed in the Baja 1000.  This year was no exception with economic issues, elections & hardships. It’s a chance to donate back and get good desert karma in return!

When Jones sent out the blanket e-mail it rang with replies from the crew with a record head count on who was in. It never ceases to amaze me how borderless our camp seems to flow. This year over 11 counties were represented with individuals there as spectators, racers, family members, cameramen and mechanics. Heck we even had a first this year for vehicle class assistance, we serviced a golf cart. Yes you read this correct I said a golf cart! Minus a caddy or clubs these coots were determined, motivated and giddy to leave our pit Sat at 9 AM on a mission to make it from mile marker 405 to the checkered flag.

I don’t know how many eggs, pounds of carne & shrimp or the number of tortillas that were prepared but I can say that Pauliana & Bethel ensured our meals were handled.  Tiny supplies the crew with a table full of tools that easily adds up to 10 members’ tool boxes combined.  Baja Tym ran the necessary and critical vehicle relay communications and location information to Weatherman Bob for over 14 hours. The amount of energy that radiated from the people present at this location at any given moment was enough to power the welder at the pit. I can honestly say there was a moment during the race when I ran back to the pit from my remote radio location where I had been calling inbound vehicles and just about had a heart attack…………..there were over 100 people at the pit who each had a cause. 

3 Ball supplied all the images for this article and kept his Nikon trigger finger ready to capture the moment. Cortez filmed till the wee hours. It was awesome to see Honda take another victory and Rosseler/Norman make history. It was even more awesome to have members from race team 1210 waiting for their race car to arrive for a driver change at the pits to lend a hand other entrants for repairs and then go on to capture a championship………Most individuals in the off road community are amazingly generous, passionate people who support the “cause”. 

A small group of TOTAL CHAOS crash test dummies & their compadres took full advantage of a BCG 1 navigated Gulf side of Baja adventure the week prior to the race. And as you can see from a few of the pics took full advantage of Baja’s off road trails & beauty. This year however we also had 2 empty chairs at the pit. Brother Jeff left us unexpectedly and Larry Bridgewater was not present as he approaches 80 he is slowing down a bit. God speed Jeff & we missed you and your smile Larry!!!!

To everybody present, and even those at the Baja Fools bar that we closed down on Thursday night with desert Karokee (this was a LM first),  we can all agree it seemed so short yet such a long wait to attend another Baja race. This team wears thick colors and is equipped with super thick skin. We can all agree that we are “100% down for the cause”.

Till the next Baja race………!!!!

Special thanks Locos Mocos TEAM sponsors: GoodYear & Baja Pits,

TEAM Locos Mocos 2008: Baja Jones, Baja Tym, 3 Ball, BCG 1, BCG7, Baja Bros, Cortez, Patio Burrito, Tiny, Sarge, Bulldog, RT & Texas crew, (other texas guys), Taco, Buffet, Bam Bam, Bobby Hill, Short Bus, Pauliana, Bethel Burgermister, Val, Lamont, Fiesta, BJ Jackass,  Rob Zombie, Kevin, Nurse Naughty, Bubbles, Pop Tart, Gadget & Scott (in spirit), Mamma’s Boy, Pat, Alex and anyone else I forgot………….See you in the dirt!

N-Chaos