BJ-TJ-Baldwin-Off-Road-7-18-13Reno, NV – BJ Baldwin and relief driver TJ Flores fought hard to overcome several setbacks they encountered to finish fourth at the HDRA Eldorado Reno 500. BJ had enlisted the help of TJ Flores to handle some of the driving chores in the grueling 500 mile race. Normally BJ doesn’t use a relief driver but he is still healing after a hand injury that required a rod and a splint on his finger. With that finger sticking straight out, there is a chance it could get caught on the steering wheel doing even worse damage to the finger.

BJ had to do what he could for the team; he drove his truck during qualifying. He must have released every bit of his pent up energy. He went out and torched the field; taking the number one qualifying spot. He would take off in the lead on race day and drive the initial 18 miles before handing the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires / Rigid Industries Trophy Truck over to TJ.

Thumb-Robby-Win-SCORE-Baja-500-6-2-13Robby 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.

Wienen-Off-Road-5-28-13Walnut, Ill. – Rain or shine the 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross, sanctioned by AMA, put on quite a show for the fans at Round 5 of the 10-race series, which took place Sunset Ridge MX in Walnut, Ill. Chad Wienen took his third consecutive overall win in front of his hometown crowd, but the 2012 champion had to work for the win as the racing was tight all afternoon.

Wienen grabbed the Fastest Qualifier of the morning aboard his Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer machine, lining himself up for the first gate pick of the day.

“I always look forward to the Sunset Ridge MX race, I have a ton of family and friends that come down to support me and it makes the weekend that much better! I knew getting a good gate pick for Moto 1 was important because we couldn’t tell what the weather was going to do, but I’m pumped on another overall and extending my points lead!” said Wienen.

Baldwin Motorsports PEP Upperman Racing rider Josh Upperman snagged the SSi Decals Moto 1 Holeshot Award. Upperman lead the field out of the first turn but it wasn’t long before the 2011 Champion John Natalie made the pass into the leading position. Natalie’s Motoworks DWT machine came out of the first turn in second and was on a mission to grab the front spot.

BJ-Baldwin-HDRA-4-4-13Las Vegas, NV – The HDRA series heads to Ridgecrest, California April 5-7 for the King Shocks 250. This will be the first time some of the HDRA regulars, like BJ Baldwin, will have a chance to take on the sandy washes and boulder strewn landscape that Ridgecrest is known for.

“Pre-race testing of our Monster Energy Toyo Tires Rigid Industries Trophy Truck went very well,” said BJ, “I’m anxious to see what this course has to offer. Anytime we go to a new course, it puts everyone on equal footing. There are no secret lines, no home court advantage. Each team will have to learn the fastest way around.”

Menzies-Mint-400-Win-3-23-13After a grueling battle with the top off-road racers in the world, Bryce Menzies has won the 2013 Mint 400. Menzie’s day did not start well as he was beaten off the line by 2011 Mint 400 Overall Champion BJ Baldwin. Menzies barreled out into the Nevada desert and it took less than 100 miles to take over first place position.

Halfway through the race, Jesse Jones chose not to pit and was able to pass Menzies. By the third lap, Menzies was hot on Jones tail and was able to regain the top spot. From there, Menzies never looked back and he is now the 2013 General Tire Mint 400 Presented by Polaris Champion.

SCORE has completely reviewed all available evidence relevant to the Trophy Truck class protest submitted by #97 BJ Baldwin against #21 Gustavo Vildosola, Jr.

The protest alleges that the #21 race vehicle performed a pit service on the highway in violation of SCORE rules within Speed Zone 4 on Highway 5 south of Puertecitos.

A video indicates that a black pickup truck with two male occupants moved directly in front of the #21 race vehicle on the highway and one of the occupants crawled out the sliding rear window and into the open bed. This person reached out and made physical contact with the #21 race vehicle in order to manipulate the front lightbar by using both hands with the intention of adjusting it upward into the correct position. This person then attempted to adjust the lightbar upward with a metal leverage tool.

After roughly eight hours of racing, the lead Trophy Trucks are at about race mile 500. BJ Baldwin is currently in the lead, with Bryce Menzies, Gustavo Vildosola, Rob MacCachren and Dan McMillin trailing him, respectively.

The AGM Trophy Truck team is about 40 miles off the pace as physically the 11th Trophy Truck – a pretty good start considering we were told they had two flats at the start of the race and came off the line 31st.  We’re waiting at San Ignacio at race mile 615, as Martin Christensen will take over for Armin Schwarz in the #15 TT and race the final 500-or-so miles to the finish.

BJ Baldwin set out to dominate at the Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico. He spent days prerunning the course to learn every bump and turn as well as humanly possible to give him an edge on race day. The effort paid off when he was forced to make his wounded truck live for almost the entire race. At just mile 90 of a 450 mile race his transmission began slipping in third gear. BJ was faced with a choice; stop to change the transmission at the next pit which would have took 50 minutes and get passed by the entire field of Trophy Truck drivers, or back it down and roll the dice. See if he could at least finish in the top twelve so he would be included in the drawing for starting positions at the Baja 1000. He found that the first two gears were working fine; it was only top gear that was giving him trouble. With the crew willing and able to make the swap the tough choice was made to continue the race at a slower less competitive pace.

That’s where the hours spent prerunning came in handy. BJ had to carry his momentum, he could not rely on quick acceleration to pull him through the corners and reaching the trucks top speed of 140mph was impossible. He had run most of the high speed sections three times before raceday. The information he amassed and the familiarity with the course that he gained allowed him to confidently go through every corner at the highest speed possible. He quickly fell into a rhythm as he swept through each corner and before he knew it, found himself out front with a twelve minute lead. The gamble paid off better than anyone had thought but with miles to go several drivers were running strong and would use the more technical sections heading into the finish to close the gap.

If you are going to have a favorite race it doesn’t hurt to love the SCORE Baja 500. At the top of the list of great things about the race are the fans. You would be hard pressed to find greater fans anywhere else on earth. The Mexican people love off-road racing and for BJ Baldwin, that passion goes both ways. “I just love being in Mexico,” Says BJ Baldwin, “We are so grateful that they welcome us down to race in their country. I really look forward to contingency because it gives me a chance to hand out stickers, take photos and sign autographs for the fans. I always have a great time; the crowds are amazing.”

The fans are great and so is the course. The 500 has it all; long high speed sections with big jumps mixed with tight twisty mountain roads that leave no room for error. It’s hard not to sneak a peek at the beautiful landscape but drivers beware, a brief lapse in concentration can end your race in a heartbeat. No wonder BJ loves this race he’s spent a lot of time running out front. He captured the win driving in 2008 after a heated battle with Rob MacCachren and has stood on the podium on a regular basis. The entire team expects to continue that tradition. “The truck has never been better,” says BJ, “My new Toyo’s have really improved the overall handling of the truck. The Toyo’s go through the rocks like nothing else. Now that I have the best tires, I can drive the truck to its full potential.”

CRYSTAL SPRINGS, NEVADA – Team Toyo Off-Road’s “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin won overall in the Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 held this past weekend near Crystal Springs, Nevada with a time of 5:25:56.  Winning Class 1500 (buggy) and finishing in third overall with a time of 5:26:22 was Team Toyo’s Robby Gordon.  Both drivers relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T-R tires for their overall podium finishes.

The Silver State 300 had 131 entrants and is the third stop of the six race Best In The Desert race series in 2012.  Situated more than 80-miles north of Las Vegas, the race course had a challenging mix of high speed desert, and mountain terrain.  After leaving the starting line area near Crystal Springs and the entrance to Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway, the course crossed the Delamar Valley and then traversed the mountains near the Delamar Ghost Town.  The north end of the course passed the historic mining towns of Panaca and Pioche while reaching more than 7,000 feet in elevation at its highest points.  The finish for the race was located at the remote Caliente Air Strip off of Highway 93.