Pre-running Baja is a lot more fun than the intense race itself, as
you actually get to slow down and stop at some really scenic and
Contingency and Tech are always a big show in Ensenada, but the
50th annual Baja 1000 festivities were off the hook. Interviews on a
Jumbotron added to the party atmosphere, and Schueler had his race-face on for the big one.
Derek and Jason Murray limped the Team Murray/ITP/LSR/Fox Maverick X3 to fourth
after suffering a fire in a Baja Pit that sent a driver to the hospital. At a later Baja Pit, Marc
Burnett’s Monster Mav also ignited, but he quickly put it out with a Safecraft extinguisher.
and go for two days, and it was getting
dark. My wife fueled us again at the
Santa Rita road crossing, which was
about RM 1010 of 1130. It was only
about 6 p.m., so we kicked on the
Lazer Star lights and decided to go for
it. The last part of the course was a fun
mix of deep whoops, fast fire roads, a
couple small silts and some really cool
coastline. We arrived in La Paz about
9: 30 p.m., a little weathered, but happy
to be there and in perfect shape.
Over dinner, we bragged about how
great the tires had been, remarking that
we hadn’t even had to break out the
plug kit. The next morning, we woke up
to find the Dynamix sitting on the trailer
with a flat front tire. That should teach
me not to open my mouth. Upon further
investigation, we found a substantial
wooden splinter had worked its way
through the tough rubber. We dug it
out, plugged it right on the trailer and
filled it back up with air. Our tire was as
good as new and ready for many more
miles, as the tread appeared to still be
around 80 percent or so.
Our Bomb Squad Racing team was
pretty much out of the points, but we
were more than ready to win the Baja
1000. Some of the other big players all
had the same idea. Marc Burnett’s Can
Am team came into the 1000 with a
20-point lead over Schueler’s Jagged X
team. Desert Toy’s Corey Sappington
was only a point behind Jagged X.
The Murray Brothers and Mike Cafro
with Black Hills UTV were not too far
behind, tied for fourth. It was anybody’s
race, and if Burnett broke, quite a
few guys had a solid chance at the
This brings us back to racing the
Baja more than racing your competition.
As luck would have it, Baja would have
its way with just about everybody.
To start the day off, Marc Burnett’s
brand-new car broke a front differential
during a final shake down in Ensenada.
An hour and a half before the start of
the race, they were racing the clock
to swap diffs just to make the starting
line in time. Rhys Millen would grab the
early lead, running up front with the
dust advantage for the first half of the
race. Burnett suffered a few more minor
mechanicals, setting him back a little
further, but the Jagged X guys were
having a great race with Mitch Guthrie
moving them into a solid second-place
position behind Rhys Millen for his third
of the race.
Mike Cafro and Sheldon Creed
driving Max Gordon’s Arcitic Cat
were battling for the final podium
spot heading south from San Felipe.
Meanwhile, the Murrays were involved
early on in a huge fire ball/fueling
incident that sent a driver to the
hospital. Wes Miller and our Bomb
Squad RZR were sticking to the
plan, running a smart race and slowly
working through the pack before
tragedy struck at about RM 110 when
a tool bag broke, causing a small
electrical fire. Our team quickly went
to work rewiring everything that was
damaged, but the gremlins took this
opportunity to climb aboard.
Schueler and the Jagged X team
had to win this race for any hope at a