BFGoodrich Tires, the tire that has dominated desert racing for decades, took seven of the top 10 overall finishers in the Trophy Truck category as well as five overall class wins to lead all tire manufacturers at the 45th running of the Tecate SCORE 2013 Baja 500. The company owns 29 overall wins at the Baja 500.
Robby Gordon started first on Saturday, after qualifying first and overcame an early stumble and went on to claim the overall victory and the Trophy Truck division at the 501-mile race in a time of just over 10 hours. It was Gordon’s 10th career SCORE Trophy Truck win.
Team BFGoodrich members Bryce Menzies (3rd), Rob MacCachren (7th) and Dan McMillin (11th) led a contingent of more than 20 racers on the tires that have won more races in Baja than any other tire – BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR and BFGoodrich T/A KRT.
This year’s course challenged drivers with every piece of difficult terrain Baja has to offer, including some new and seldom-used areas along the loop from the start/finish line in Ensenada, Mexico.
Menzies Three-Peat Bid Falls Short
Having won the last two SCORE Baja 500 races, Team BFGoodrich member Bryce Menzies was poised to make history. Going off the line third, Menzies quickly set a pace that kept him within striking distance of the leaders. Menzies’s game plan was “to get to Borrego and make sure the truck is good there and then push to the finish.”
Although the truck was in good shape at that point, around mile marker 200, the team had slipped to fifth place and then later experienced mechanical issues. “We had something go wrong with the power steering and came back out eighth and had to pick our way through,” added Menzies. “The course was tough - silty and rocky but we had a good day.”
While the No. 70 Red Bull Trophy Truck recovered and gained positions, it seemed destined to give the Baja 500 crown to a new driver. His finishing time was 10 hours and 22 minutes, just seven minutes behind B.J. Baldwin who placed second.
Menzies summed up the day by saying, “You can’t pass someone unless they have a problem. We got to open air and made up some time. It just wasn’t our day. We won this race two years in a row and it would have been cool to get a three-peat. BFG tires were just amazing. Some of the things they get through are just amazing.”
Team BFGoodrich members Fare Well
The three members of the 2013 Team BFGoodrich crew competing in the 2013 SCORE Baja 500 accorded themselves well in the rough, silty 501-mile course in the Baja peninsula of Mexico. Bryce Menzies was looking to win his third straight Baja 500, an accomplishment not equaled since the legend Ivan Stewart did so from 1997-99. Starting third, Menzies ran into some trouble midway through the race but managed to stay in contention and finished third with an unofficial time of 10 hours and 22 minutes.
Rob MacCachren started mid pack and quickly moved to the top 10 where he stayed for most of the day. After losing a few spots due to an issue with the starter and stopping to help pull Troy Herbst and Ryan Arciero out of trouble, MacCachren, who won this race in 1996, placed seventh on overall time.
Finally, Daniel McMillin started 21st and managed to move past competitors that experienced more problems. Fighting the darkness and difficult dust conditions late in the race, McMillin and co-driver Chuck Hovey pulled in 11th.
Voss’ Early Lead Ends In Disappointment
Shortly after starting off the line second for the Baja 500, Jason Voss took a quick lead when Robby Gordon spun his Speed Energy Trophy Truck less than 10 miles from the start while still in the Ensenada city limits.
Voss then held the lead through the first 100-plus miles before a transmission issue parked the team for the duration of the race. Voss, who won the Parker 425 Best In the Desert race to start the desert racing season, had strong expectations after a solid qualifying run.
Herbst Stays Tight in World Championship Standings with fourth place finish
Tim Herbst and Larry Roeseler ran a steady race helping Herbst stay in the hunt for a World Championship. Coming in with the championship lead, the team finished well above those chasing him and Herbst remains in the points lead. “We are a little upset with a fourth,” said Herbst. “We ran about third after Larry got out of the car, then we had some issues and Bryce got around us.”
The No. 19 Terrible Herbst Truck gained seven spots from its starting spot of 11th and at one point in the race was tied for the lead with B.J. Baldwin at the second BFGoodrich Pit stop around Race Mile 230.
Official Results (Top 10 finishers)
Teams on BFGoodrich Tires in bold
|4||Tim Herbst/Larry Roeseler||10:31:49|
|6||Steven Eugenio/Adam Pfankuch||10:44:22|
|10||Troy Herbst/Ryan Arciero||11:09:21|
Overall Class Wins
Class 3 Donald Moss
Class 5 Cody Kellogg
Class 7sx Elias Hanna
Score Lites Rafael Navarro IV
Class 11 Rene Rodriquez