“When you are racing in Baja anything can happen,” Troy Herbst explained. “That is part of the appeal, but it sure makes it tough to plan ahead.” Troy’s No. 49 Terrible Herbst Motor Sports Ford was at the starting line for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 when word came across the radio that a semi truck was blocking the course and the marquee Trophy Truck field would restart at Race Mile 5. The surprises started early and never stopped for the next sixteen hours of non-stop racing from Ensenada to San Felipe and back again.
Desert racing legend Larry Roesler started 8th in the No. 19 Monster Energy / BFGoodrich Tires Terrible Herbst Motor Sports truck with high expectations. Roesler and Tim Herbst teamed for three consecutive Baja 1000 titles in 2004-06 and were the third truck physically on course when a head gasket let go after 190 miles. The Herbst considerable experience in desert racing allowed them to adapt to the situation and Tim joined forces with his brother Troy and Ryan Arciero in the No. 49 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford to run the 700 mile course. “We had actually discussed a three driver team months ago,” Tim revealed after the race. “It was not hard for our team to implement.”
Troy drove the first leg of the race from Ensenada over the summit and through Ojos Negros, where a rare mistake caused the veteran driver to put the truck on its side. “That was one of the roughest Baja 1000 courses I have ever seen; I think that it would be easier to run all the way to La Paz and back!” Troy stated. “My plan was to run a conservative pace but we had to make up some time after we got back on our wheels.” The revised plan put Tim behind the wheel for the notorious San Felipe loop; the same course where Tim had a top ten finish at the San Felipe 250 earlier in the season. Tim ran a blistering pace, but an intermittent charging issue would plague the team all day and cost valuable time in the pits. “If only we could find wiring that is reliable as our BFGoodrich tires!” Tim joked after the rac e- a reference to the fact that the team did not experience a single flat tire while crossing nearly 700 miles of the most brutal terrain on the planet.
Veteran racer Ryan Arciero got in the No. 49 Terrible Herbst Motor Sports truck at Borrego at Race Mile 490 to take the truck home to Ensenada. “Dust was not an issue with the recent rains,” Ryan explained. “The fog was so thick though that I ran much of my leg with my visor up since I could not keep it clean. The voltage issue required us to run without the light bar much of the time as well. That is Baja though; you just roll with the punches and keep marching towards the finish.” Just after 5 AM Ryan rolled across the finish line to finish ninth in class and 11th overall nearly 17 non-stop hours after the team took the green flag.
The Terrible Herbst Motor Sports team will be back representing Monster Energy and BFGoodrich tires in select desert races next season, including Best In The Desert’s Parker 425 and Vegas to Reno events and SCORE International’s San Felipe 250, Baja 500, and Baja 1000. “SCORE is running all the way from Ensenada down the peninsula to La Paz next year and we want to be there first; we wait all year for the thousand,” Troy Herbst confessed.