Official UTVUnderground 2014 SCORE Baja 500 Photos / Results / Story

tatum

Hans Solo - 2009 UTV Baja 500 & 1000 Winner - UTVU
Feb 10, 2009
1,450
198
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arizona
:p
Being the "has been" racer I am, I feel the need to say this for all those who raced the Baja 500 and for those who wish to race the Baja 500.

We drivers sometimes let our ego's get in the way of reality. Our names are on the cars, entry list and typically the post race stories. But I will say this and I truly believe this. The actual driver & co-rider's jobs are only 25% of the actual race, yet they are typically the ones you look up to and praise. IMO they have the easy part! The racer is only as fast as his first tank of fuel. If you dont have a great crew your race is over after you run out of fuel. Even Robby Gordon is only as good as the people who support him.

Johnny told his race recap and explained how his crew got stuck in traffic and got behind. Johnny actually had to get off the course and find a local Pemex gas station to get fuel. I have heard these stories before. While they are the stories and adventures you will remember, rarely do they end with a successful finish or a win. Johnny got lucky he was able to get fuel and continue. Many just run out and have to wait hours for their crews to find them and fill them back up or bring parts to them.

The Baja 500 actually started weeks if not months before the green flag drops. The first person or people that make it happen are the ones paying the bills. Without the money you are not leaving the garage.

Then you have the people who prep the car as they are the first ones with hands on to get you to that checkered flag. Next is the the guys that go with to help prerun. Yes even prerunning can take a team to accomplish. Prerunning in most cases is the best / most fun part of the entire event. Then you got the chase crew which like the guys helping prep & prerun are typically all volunteers and in most cases are the same guys chasing. In some cases guys might get their hotel room expenses covered, a T-Shirt and maybe a dinner covered. Sometimes the most a team can offer or afford is a thank you and maybe some beers after the race.

I have owned and ran my own team, helped and worked on some of the top teams in the sport, who have paid me to be there. And sometimes helping a team has cost me hundreds of dollars to do so, as they had barely enough money to get there. In each case I have done it for the love of being there and the experience.

I know the guys like Marc, Johnny, Brandon & Matt have said or made comments letting you know how important having their crew there to keep them going was. Without those crews not one team would have finished.

And what most dont know or realize is during this Baja 500 there was actually two races going on. One is on the race track and the other is on the narrow, sometimes very dangerous Mexico highways and dirt roads. More crew guys are killed or injured every year chasing in Baja, then you will ever see on the race track. Racing in Baja is like no other. BITD is a walk in the park compared to racing in Baja. Casey Folks lays everything out for you. The Logistics to racing in Baja is like no other, except for Dakar which makes Baja look like your local Saturday night roundy round race track.

Racing in Baja separates the men from the boys and then you throw in a point to point Baja 1000 and even those men can crumble.

I just wanted to give props to those behind the scene who might only get a quick mention on the podium, or in a race report.

Congrats guys & gals!
Great post.
 

Brian B

Red Rotax - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 15, 2009
999
40
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40
Agreed. Crew, equipment, and logistics is everything in Baja!

That situation where our truck did not make it to V. Guerrero was a blessing in disguise. That was our main chase truck with the big tools and parts we needed to repair the front end of the car at rm260. He made it there with about 10 minutes to spare before Johnny brought the car in. That truck would have never made it to our driver change in time had it been all the way to V. Guerrero....
 

Rusty5150

UTVUG PHOTOG
Jan 9, 2009
3,526
332
83
I have always wanted to write a story about the race in front of the race. The chase race is a serious deal. A solid chase crew can make or break you.


I'm so country... I'm my own damn cousin.
 

NIKAL

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2012
970
310
63
I have always wanted to write a story about the race in front of the race. The chase race is a serious deal. A solid chase crew can make or break you.
Rusty we were going to do this back in 2003. Back then we did not have the trackers we have today with online coverage. No twitter, no Youtube. Social media like we have today just did not exist. So I came up with this idea to have the guy who did our website stay up and do round the clock Baja 500 updates for our sponsors, fans and anyone who cared. We did this via phone calls back to the states to let him know what was going on and where the car was.

It worked out pretty well and my next idea was to make a docu film about the race behind the Baja 1000. Basically film what the chase crews go through and show just what that takes. Yes there would be some race car footage, but most was going to be shot in the chase truck and a the pits. Victor with Dezercams was working at PCI at the time. He was going to install a camera in the race car. Then I met a young kid in film school who was going to shoot film in one chase truck while our web guy videos in another truck. Then all the footage would go back to the kid in film school and he would edit it and not only give us a finished copy, but was going to use it for his school project.

Coincidentally this was the same year & race that Dust to Glory was being filmed at. We were racing for the Championship and went into the Baja 1000 leading the points, We were one of only a few teams left contending for the True Grit Award too.

Well a few weeks prior to the race the kid in film school said he could not make the race and was going to do another project. Our web guy was on the fence as he worked for Desertracing. com and they had just got the Herbst as a client, and if he was to go down it would have been with them, as going with us was not a paid gig.

In the end it never happened and it was probably a good thing as we had enough distractions with the Championship and trying to finish every mile that year. BTW we blew the engine with less then 150 miles to go. We lost the Championship & True Grit Award. What hurt the most was the True Grit Award as to me that meant more then the Championship. But we made it into Dust to Glory the hard way!

A few years later when I was dealing with No Fear as a sponsor, I brought up the concept again, and while it was interesting it never materialized. Dust to Glory did a great job showing both the race & chase side of the event. Much better then our little homemade movie would have ever done.
 

Beach Leo

Way-Good
Mar 6, 2011
327
11
18
Mt Shasta & Mt Diablo
Rusty we were going to do this back in 2003. Back then we did not have the trackers we have today with online coverage. No twitter, no Youtube. Social media like we have today just did not exist. So I came up with this idea to have the guy who did our website stay up and do round the clock Baja 500 updates for our sponsors, fans and anyone who cared. We did this via phone calls back to the states to let him know what was going on and where the car was.

It worked out pretty well and my next idea was to make a docu film about the race behind the Baja 1000. Basically film what the chase crews go through and show just what that takes. Yes there would be some race car footage, but most was going to be shot in the chase truck and a the pits. Victor with Dezercams was working at PCI at the time. He was going to install a camera in the race car. Then I met a young kid in film school who was going to shoot film in one chase truck while our web guy videos in another truck. Then all the footage would go back to the kid in film school and he would edit it and not only give us a finished copy, but was going to use it for his school project.

Coincidentally this was the same year & race that Dust to Glory was being filmed at. We were racing for the Championship and went into the Baja 1000 leading the points, We were one of only a few teams left contending for the True Grit Award too.

Well a few weeks prior to the race the kid in film school said he could not make the race and was going to do another project. Our web guy was on the fence as he worked for Desertracing. com and they had just got the Herbst as a client, and if he was to go down it would have been with them, as going with us was not a paid gig.

In the end it never happened and it was probably a good thing as we had enough distractions with the Championship and trying to finish every mile that year. BTW we blew the engine with less then 150 miles to go. We lost the Championship & True Grit Award. What hurt the most was the True Grit Award as to me that meant more then the Championship. But we made it into Dust to Glory the hard way!

A few years later when I was dealing with No Fear as a sponsor, I brought up the concept again, and while it was interesting it never materialized. Dust to Glory did a great job showing both the race & chase side of the event. Much better then our little homemade movie would have ever done.
Another Great Post

We sure learn a-lot from you Todd and its much appreciated:)

Thank-You
 

Hapa

Ricky Racer - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 15, 2009
340
11
18
Oc
www.glamisdunesstorage.com
Great write ups and stories. I had to come in a see what you guys had to say. I have nothing but admiration for you guys that go play in that crap. It was a great run by the UTv's this year. I hope all you guys want it bad enough to go back especially if you git beat by a C hair. feeling kinda old watching you guys go kick up silt down there.
 

badassmav

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2013
1,379
182
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Jamul
We got our asses kicked in the bottleneck. All I can say is congrats Marc! You were effin cooking! Put in the time prerunning and it pays off.

I would also like to say a huge congrats to Reid. Without Reid Marc would have never made the starting line. Good job getting what needed to be done at the last minute!

Nate
Alba Racing
Thanks a lot Nate. I can't remember a time in my career that I logged so many hours in so little time, with the exception of possibly finishing/prepping Scotts class 8 for the '91 Baja 1,000. Every time that beddie-bye time drew close, more problems arose. A week prior to the race, I started ramping up from 16 hrs./day to 20+ hrs./day. in hopes of avoiding a last minute all-nighter. So many problems arose that 4 of the last 7 days the sun just came up and bit me! When I finally got the car to Ensenada at 4:15 on Friday, I had no idea what was or wasn't race ready. Then, 8 hours in contingency! Man, was I done. Doough! Not yet...

Once I returned to the "compound" that we rent, I noticed the alternator wasn't charging, as well as some important details that I failed to address. Another all-nighter. By the time Marc finished, I was too tired to enjoy the finish line festivities (I'm not big on public celebrations anyway. The rewards are better for me to boast about it here!). But I did get to see Branden ripping around the final corners as I was heading back to the compound. Got 2 hours sleep, then had to drive w/a crew member to pick up our pre runner that I left in San Vicente on race day with a broken transfer case and a pissed off crew member that had to stay behind and sleep with the truck all night!

Finally got home early Sunday evening. Took 1 1/2 days off and slept and gave my dogs some well needed attention. Now, in disassembling the car.........ah $hit. Just follow the Monster Mav cChronicles in the "off topic" section if you're interested in the damage sustained, and what it will take to prepare for the V2R in 6 or 7 weeks!

I need to talk to you in the next couple of days about a computer management system/controller like the PC5, or something similar. Is your dyno up and running? It wouildn't be until the week before V2R , if at all, that I will need access.
 

the stripping shop

RACER - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 29, 2009
1,101
137
63
peoria,Az
www.strippingshop.com
Thanks a lot Nate. I can't remember a time in my career that I logged so many hours in so little time, with the exception of possibly finishing/prepping Scotts class 8 for the '91 Baja 1,000. Every time that beddie-bye time drew close, more problems arose. A week prior to the race, I started ramping up from 16 hrs./day to 20+ hrs./day. in hopes of avoiding a last minute all-nighter. So many problems arose that 4 of the last 7 days the sun just came up and bit me! When I finally got the car to Ensenada at 4:15 on Friday, I had no idea what was or wasn't race ready. Then, 8 hours in contingency! Man, was I done. Doough! Not yet...

Once I returned to the "compound" that we rent, I noticed the alternator wasn't charging, as well as some important details that I failed to address. Another all-nighter. By the time Marc finished, I was too tired to enjoy the finish line festivities (I'm not big on public celebrations anyway. The rewards are better for me to boast about it here!). But I did get to see Branden ripping around the final corners as I was heading back to the compound. Got 2 hours sleep, then had to drive w/a crew member to pick up our pre runner that I left in San Vicente on race day with a broken transfer case and a pissed off crew member that had to stay behind and sleep with the truck all night!

Finally got home early Sunday evening. Took 1 1/2 days off and slept and gave my dogs some well needed attention. Now, in disassembling the car.........ah $hit. Just follow the Monster Mav cChronicles in the "off topic" section if you're interested in the damage sustained, and what it will take to prepare for the V2R in 6 or 7 weeks!

I need to talk to you in the next couple of days about a computer management system/controller like the PC5, or something similar. Is your dyno up and running? It wouildn't be until the week before V2R , if at all, that I will need access.
don't do the pc5 nothing but bad luck and more things to fail. reflash is the way to go and I believe nate does it in house on can am. in az there is company that does can am too but not Polaris. need to get a hold of nate to do the Polaris.
 

badassmav

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2013
1,379
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Jamul
don't do the pc5 nothing but bad luck and more things to fail. reflash is the way to go and I believe nate does it in house on can am. in az there is company that does can am too but not Polaris. need to get a hold of nate to do the Polaris.
Please elaborate.
 

ALBANATE

Active Member
Feb 13, 2012
202
43
28
don't do the pc5 nothing but bad luck and more things to fail. reflash is the way to go and I believe nate does it in house on can am. in az there is company that does can am too but not Polaris. need to get a hold of nate to do the Polaris.
Ya, I never had much luck with PCV on Can-Am either. Also agree you are just creating another weak link. A PCV taps into multiple OEM sensors that can cause issues and a failure mid race. Re-flash is the way to go.

Nate
Alba Racing
 

badassmav

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2013
1,379
182
63
56
Jamul
Ya, I never had much luck with PCV on Can-Am either. Also agree you are just creating another weak link. A PCV taps into multiple OEM sensors that can cause issues and a failure mid race. Re-flash is the way to go.

Nate
Alba Racing
So, how about only the fuel mixture management? I don't know how efficient the factory computers are at adjusting for that in the harsh silt beds that we go through. I do know however, that nearly 500 mll of silt just dropped out of our air filter with only a few light taps of the element on the ground!

Can-am engineers already re-flashed our ECU at the Mint. What do you recommend, if anything, that we can do for more power to the ground without opening up the engine?
 

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ALBANATE

Active Member
Feb 13, 2012
202
43
28
So, how about only the fuel mixture management? I don't know how efficient the factory computers are at adjusting for that in the harsh silt beds that we go through. I do know however, that nearly 500 mll of silt just dropped out of our air filter with only a few light taps of the element on the ground!

Can-am engineers already re-flashed our ECU at the Mint. What do you recommend, if anything, that we can do for more power to the ground without opening up the engine?
Did they re-flash your ECU while tuning on a dyno? If not how do they address the specific needs of your intake and exhaust system. As many of us know no 2 cars are the same especially custom 1 off built race cars....

Nate
Alba Racing
 

badassmav

Well-Known Member
Jun 11, 2013
1,379
182
63
56
Jamul
Did they re-flash your ECU while tuning on a dyno? If not how do they address the specific needs of your intake and exhaust system. As many of us know no 2 cars are the same especially custom 1 off built race cars....

Nate
Alba Racing
Is that a dyno in your suitcase, or are you just happy to see me!?:D Ha! Obviously they did not. We still are only seeing 8,150 rpm's of the 8,500 they claimed. Wish I had more time to work with the clutch set up, but it always seems like I'm in prep and repair mode! I've got a solid month minimum to undo what Baja did to our car, so here we go again!

Let me clarify, I'm not sure if they re-flashed our car, or whatever it is that they do. I know that they gave me a new ECU that I installed, and they hooked up their laptop and did their thing. I do know that now we can't use the onboard diagnostic "BUDS" system with the new ECU installed. We are 10 mph slower on the top end than the other guys, and are struggling to find it. What do you suggest. We run the 6" x 12" canister type air filter, and I believe you saw the exhaust that I built. Still, stock header pipes, but I did add supertrapp discs (12 at first, now 8 per muffler)after the Flowmaster mufflers to quiet it down a bit.

Also, is the dyno an effective tool to help dial in and adjust a clutch to?
 

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ALBANATE

Active Member
Feb 13, 2012
202
43
28
Is that a dyno in your suitcase, or are you just happy to see me!?:D Ha! Obviously they did not. We still are only seeing 8,150 rpm's of the 8,500 they claimed. Wish I had more time to work with the clutch set up, but it always seems like I'm in prep and repair mode! I've got a solid month minimum to undo what Baja did to our car, so here we go again!

Let me clarify, I'm not sure if they re-flashed our car, or whatever it is that they do. I know that they gave me a new ECU that I installed, and they hooked up their laptop and did their thing. I do know that now we can't use the onboard diagnostic "BUDS" system with the new ECU installed. We are 10 mph slower on the top end than the other guys, and are struggling to find it. What do you suggest. We run the 6" x 12" canister type air filter, and I believe you saw the exhaust that I built. Still, stock header pipes, but I did add supertrapp discs (12 at first, now 8 per muffler)after the Flowmaster mufflers to quiet it down a bit.

Also, is the dyno an effective tool to help dial in and adjust a clutch to?
I can get baseline clutch settings set on heavier cars on the dyno, but just like the Glazzkraft car I always end up doing field tuning to get it just right. When it comes to the fuel part you just gotta get Marc in here to the shop and we can work something out... You know I have been down to help you guys from day one... and now that I can do a custom fuel tune on your specific car through ecu re-flash it may be a big help.

Nate
Alba Racing
 

the stripping shop

RACER - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 29, 2009
1,101
137
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peoria,Az
www.strippingshop.com
both can am I have re flash with all torque crap out and air fuel changed. Motor picked up 500 rpm. clutch worked at 7500rpm now around 7950 up hill but with stock clutch no back shift loses about 200-300 rpm no clutch mod on that one. with clutch mod and reflash now motor works at 8000rpm but back shifts up hill and holds 7950rpm on second can am. No motor work only air cleaners, one has muzzy and other sctock exhaust with cat delete or poor man exhaust lol. I fought the pc5 so much had to go to dealer because stupid check engine light kept coming on. one with clutch ran 67-70mph now runs 75-78 and still haven't hit rev limiter.
 

the stripping shop

RACER - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 29, 2009
1,101
137
63
peoria,Az
www.strippingshop.com
Let me clarify, I'm not sure if they re-flashed our car, or whatever it is that they do. I know that they gave me a new ECU that I installed, and they hooked up their laptop and did their thing. I do know that now we can't use the onboard diagnostic "BUDS" system with the new ECU installed. We are 10 mph slower on the top end than the other guys, and are struggling to find it. What do you suggest.
Its all the torque crap and speed crap that wont let you go. have to eliminate it. Take your pre runner or what ever can maverick to nate and have him reflash with all crap out of it and adjust fuel mixture and see if works. If he cant do the torque crap and speed stuff send ecu to my guy but iam pretty sure nate can do it. I need to send him my Polaris stuff
 

Bajaxp

SXS Racer Extraordinaire - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 21, 2010
1,597
253
83
OC
So, how about only the fuel mixture management? I don't know how efficient the factory computers are at adjusting for that in the harsh silt beds that we go through. I do know however, that nearly 500 mll of silt just dropped out of our air filter with only a few light taps of the element on the ground!

Can-am engineers already re-flashed our ECU at the Mint. What do you recommend, if anything, that we can do for more power to the ground without opening up the engine?
Whoa! You had the Can Am factory engineers sprinkle some secret sauce on your ECU? :p Dang, we run stock! :(
 

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