Thumb-Robby-Win-SCORE-Baja-500-6-2-13With the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 now in the books, we wanted to take a look back at some of the class winners of the 502-mile off road race that was held last weekend in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

There were 276 vehicles that left the starting line of the 2013 Baja 500, with 162 of those reaching the finish time in the allotted time (a finishing percentage of 58.71 for the field). Racers from 25 different U.S. States and 15 different counties participated in this year’s race.

As is often the case, there are hundreds of unique stories that come out of every off-road race – especially those held in Baja. Here’s a brief look at some of the class winners from the race along with some comments from them after crossing the finish line.

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.

BJ Baldwin will be the fourth Trophy Truck off the line at the HDRA, Southpoint, Vegas 250. The South Point 250, January 11-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the first race of the 2013 season that will count towards the World Championship of Desert Racing. The World Championship of Desert Racing consists of three rounds of racing in the U.S. at HDRA events and three rounds in Mexico racing the SCORE Desert series. The racers with the highest points totals in six races will be crowned the World Champion.

“We had a great time with the fans at the Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim but now it’s time to race, we are ready to go,” said BJ, “I’m looking forward to racing for the World Championship of Desert Racing title. We will be racing my truck “Fedor” for this race. It favors high speed whoops and rutted turns. We will have the truck on the dyno to make some minor tuning adjustments and then do a last shakedown in the dirt. My King Shocks are dialed in so we will just be checking engine temperature and making sure everything is happy. It would have been nice to have qualifying for this race but starting fourth is ok. Our plan is to get out front early and set the pace.”

BJ just captured his fifth championship, his third in the SCORE series. He will be racing the full HDRA and SCORE series to compete for the World Championship of Desert Racing. He will also race the Mint 400 and hit the rocks at the King of the Hammers February 3-8 in Johnson Valley, California. “Winning Championships takes consistency,” says BJ, “Getting solid results early in the season is important. We aren’t racing the Southpoint 250 just to get our feet wet, we want to make the rest of the field chase us, let them try to play catch-up in the points race.”

Las Vegas, NV – A typical Christmas for the average American family includes exchanging several gifts. Lucky children get heaps of toys but in some places in Baja, kids don’t get anything at all.

After 10 years of racing in Baja, BJ Baldwin has developed a unique love for Mexico, its culture, and its people. In an effort to help the children, he has donated money and supplies to some orphanages in Baja for many years now. This Christmas Baldwin went all out by sending a truck full of toys, some clothes, and many supplies down with Banning Motorsports to help the less fortunate children in Baja.
BJ Baldwin Trophy Diesel, Toys for Baja

Baldwin said, “We had a really good race season. After winning several races and our 5th off road racing Championship, 2012 has been a great year for us. We have decided to use some of our performance bonus towards making a better Christmas this year for some orphaned children in Baja. Baja has done so much for us. We have more vehicular freedom down in Baja than we could ever dream of having here in the states. I am in love with Baja, we appreciate the people of Mexico and we will continue to give back every chance we get.”

With the Baja 1000 quickly approaching, BJ Baldwin decided to do a full prep job on his truck “Fedor” and break out his trusted SPD truck “Rampage” for the Best In The Desert, BlueWater Desert Challenge. The BlueWater Desert Challenge is a two day event that tests racers against a shortened version of the famous Parker 400 race in Parker, Arizona.

There would be five heat races on Saturday and then again on Sunday. Each heat consisted of three, 26 mile laps. The course was shorter but definitely not sweeter. In fact, the increased traffic made the sand looser, the silt deeper and the course much rougher. The racers would have to charge through the dust on a course that changed drastically each lap. The key to going fast is to pick the right lines and get into a rhythm. Neither is possible when you can’t see the rocks through the dust and it’s completely different every lap.

BJ Baldwin and crew have been busy in the weeks leading up to the longest off-road race in the U.S., Best in the Desert’s, Vegas to Reno. Sure, there have been some road trips, some partying, and some photo shoots done during the break, but there were also many hours spent prepping the championship winning, Monster Energy Trick Truck, “Fedor.”

As usual, Johnny Nelson has done an excellent job on the truck and after a long day of shock tuning with King Shocks, Fedor is ready for war. Trick Truck #1 is loaded with a fresh powertrain, a new King shock package specifically tuned for speeds well over 140mph and a bank of Rigid Industries, LED lights to blaze a path through the darkness. When you bolt on the Method Race Wheels wrapped in 39 inch Toyo Tires, it all adds up to one serious weapon.

All the hard work has been warranted, the race traverses 535 miles of treacherous open desert in Northern Nevada; just the kind of course that BJ loves. It’s filled with High speed corners and rewards hammer down, wide open running with just enough pitfalls thrown in to punish anyone who dares to indulge in a momentary lapse of concentration.

The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge wrapped up its two-race event on Sunday. Instead of being a two-day event that combined both day’s results into one race, this year SCORE created two separate races each day, making the weekend important to the top classes in terms of the overall points championship.

BJ Baldwin led from wire to wire on Saturday in the Trophy Truck class after qualifying first, while Rob MacCachren recovered from a ninth-place finish on Saturday to finish first on Sunday. Juan Carlos Lopez took home two second-place finishes both days of racing.

In Class 1, Adam Pfankuch earned the win on Saturday while Cody Parkhouse followed up his second-place finish on Saturday with the win on Sunday.

Check out this highlight video of action from the weekend. Below are SCORE’s official results from Sunday’s race.

CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. announces “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin is the newest member of Team Toyo® Off-Road.  Considered one of the fiercest competitors in the sport of off-road racing, Baldwin will ride on championship-proven Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires through 2014.  His 800-horsepower Chevy Silverado trophy truck known as “Fedor” will carry the Toyo Tires® name during major SCORE International and Best In The Desert off-road races.

BJ Baldwin is a 15-year veteran of off-road racing and is a former 2006 and 2008 SCORE-International Trophy Truck Champion.  He also won the Best In The Desert Trophy Truck Championship back-to-back in 2010 and 2011.  In addition to representing Toyo Tires® during races, Baldwin will also promote the Toyo Tires brand through appearances and additional marketing efforts.

“We needed a tire company that can meet our needs as a race team and withstand my abuse as a driver. After weeks of testing the Trophy Truck with several different off road tires I came to the conclusion that the Toyo Open Country M/T-R had the competitive advantage,” said BJ Baldwin.  “The Open Country M/T-R simply performed better in all areas. I am very excited about my new relationship with Toyo Tires and look forward to celebrating many victories together. ”

“Toyo Tires is excited to welcome BJ Baldwin to Team Toyo.  BJ is an accomplished off-road racer and we are confident our tires will bring him even more success” said Amy Coleman, senior director of marketing, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “For 2012, Toyo Tires is now represented by two of the most prolific drivers in off-road racing, Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin.  Our expectations are higher than ever for Team Toyo to score big wins in desert racing.”

Team Toyo’s 2012 super-team of off-road champions, Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin, marks Toyo Tires most powerful assault ever on the sport of desert racing.  Past victories with Robby Gordon include winning the 2006 Baja 1000 followed by the 2009 SCORE International Overall Point Championship and 2009 SCORE Trophy-Truck Championship.

To learn more about the newest Team Toyo athlete “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin, and the Open Country® line of light truck tires, log onto www.toyotires.com.  Toyo Tires manufactures and distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks.  Connect with the community at www.facebook.com/toyotires and www.twitter.com/toyotires.

Fort Mill, SC - General Tire and Baldwin Motorsports will amicably part ways at the end of this year. Following extensive internal discussions, officials at General Tire determined that they need to focus on fulfilling the needs of the high consumer demand for General Tire products and are unable to accommodate the product request required by Baldwin Motorsports by the beginning of the 2012 season.

“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. “At the end of the day, we made the decision to use our development resources & manufacturing facilities to meet the high consumer demand for our product right now. While we’re sorry to see BJ leave, we are thankful for what he has done for our brand and wish him all the best.”

General Tire will continue their support of current Team GT drivers, desert off-road racing and the entire off-road community.

If you can’t be there to see all the action first-hand, you can get up-to-the-minute information on all the races at www.twitter.com/teamgt.

Fort Mill, S.C. - As a kickoff to the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race, General Tire (GT), Method Race Wheels and Monster Energy invite fans to join all the race teams for an evening of fun Thursday, November 17 at Papas & Beer (located at Blvd. Lopez Mateos and Calle Ruiz 110 in Ensenada, Mexico) for the first annual Off-Road Street Fiesta. The event gets underway at 3:00 p.m. PST and will include driver autograph sessions from 5:30-6:30 p.m., a large display of race trucks, performance by Takon Machine, flame throwing exhibitions and other activities for the whole family to enjoy. The event will wrap up at 10:00 p.m. PST.

Fans will have the chance to meet Team GT members “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin, Bobby Baldwin, Mikey Childress, Rick D. Johnson, Ken Kroeker, Jim Riley and Colton Udall along with other participants in the 44th running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 100.

The general public is invited to celebrate the start of the most grueling race of the year with drivers from 32 states and 15 countries before they attempt to cover the rugged 692.82-mile course that will start and end in Ensenada. It’s a test for both man and machine and one that requires a large dose of good luck. So come out and wish your favorite driver(s) good luck as they embark on their journey through the desert.

Be sure to check back with Off-Road.com for more on the 2011 SCORE Tecate Baja 1000.