Robby Gordon followed up his first-place qualifying effort on Thursday with a victory yesterday, as he pulled away from the Trophy Truck field to earn his second win in the Trophy Truck class at the 2013 SCORE Baja 500.
“It was a good day. The guys did a great job prepping the car – it ran all day long,” Gordon said. “The pit stops were awesome, awesome pit stops.”
Gordon’s efforts were nearly derailed just after the start of the race, however, as an area in the wash flooded by a broken water main the night before almost took the #77 Speed Energy Chevy out.
“We started out front and I spun out about three miles down from the wash at the start line, and Voss got in front me,” he said. “You know, the wash was gnarly. I didn’t anticipate the water being like that and they didn’t give us heads up that it was going to be two foot deep of water and I’m lucky that I didn’t kill anybody. It was big.”
Although a handful of racers made efforts to get past Gordon – a few even did, such as Bryce Menzies – only a few were able to stay with his pace for the duration. BJ Baldwin was one such driver that gave Gordon a run for his money until late in the race, but a brake problem cost him a shot at the win and he had to settle for second place.
“There’s a bolt that holds the brake pedal into the brake lines which controls obviously how the car stops, and it broke in half. So we had to hammer it back in. I had to drive 20 miles just with the [brake] handle,” BJ explained, noting that it occurred late in the race just before Santo Thomas. “I limped in. I had to hold my foot on the brake for 60 miles just to make sure – if I put pressure on [the pedal] it wouldn’t come out. I wasn’t super confident on diving into corners like I normally do. I was unable to make up the time because everything had to be perfect to do my thing and become a beast in this thing.
“Obviously it was at the end of the day and I’m tired. We have a break issue that may or may not fail at any moment, so going through Uruapan and going through the finish if we would have had that thing break we would have gotten seriously hurt. I got kids now I can’t take that chance.”
Baldwin felt the issue cost him the race, which was a tough pill to swallow considering he was on the home stretch.
“We had Robby covered by a minute and 15 seconds all day. We were the only ones that showed up to the party. Everybody else was 5, 6, 7 minutes back, and then there was another group that was 15 minutes back.”
Bryce Menzies (above) was in the hunt for the win but just off the pace toward the end of the race in his Menzies Motorsports Red Bull Ford F-150, as the previous back-to-back winner had to settle for third. A mechanical issue also cost him a shot at a three-peat win.
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“We started third and our plan was to get to Borrego clean and be the first truck out of Borrego clean,” Menzies said. “It was looking really good. We got to mile 170 and I got around Robby so we became first truck on the road. We knew from there it was dusty and silty and we could take it home if we didn’t have any problems. About 10 miles after we got first truck on the road we had a power steering line break and we lost powering steering, so me and Pete jumped out and changed it on the course. It took a while and we were ninth after that and we sat in dust the rest of the day and made it here to the finish in third. We’ll be back next year to try and get another win out of it.”
The fourth truck to cross the finish line in Ensenada was the #19 Monster Energy Ford of Tim Herbst and Larry Roeseler. The fifth truck across the finish line was the #98 TSCO Ford of Gary Weyhrich, who
We’re still awaiting final results for all classes from SCORE officials. Check back for more updates shortly on the 2013 SCORE Baja 500.