Colton Udall Wins SCORE Baja 500, Honors Jeff “Ox” Kargola
Colton Udall has had a very up and down last few months. Earlier this year, in March, Udall and teammate Jeff “Ox” Kargola earned their second-straight win at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. A little over a month ago, while riding with friends down in Baja, Kargola passed away after an accident during a fun ride. Udall had hoped to finish this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with a win to honor his fallen teammate.
And honor him he did.
Udall and new team rider David Kamo, riding the 0x bike in honor of Ox, earned the Baja 500 victory by 30 seconds over the 1x bike of JRC Honda teammates Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody. Udall and Kamo averaged 51.805 mph to finish the 454.69-mile course in 8:46:37, 30 seconds faster than Norman and Cody’s time of 8:47:07 despite the fact that both Norman and Udall crossed the finish line at the same time.
“This race is definitely for Ox,” Udall said. “I got all my friends here, his friends, and it’s frickin’ awesome.”
Udall, who spent the majority of the race on the bike as this was Kamo’s first Baja 500, sounded exhausted after the race.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m not showing it, but I’m really excited.”
It was Udall’s first Baja 500 win and this third Class 22 SCORE victory.
Norman started the race just one spot ahead of Udall (racers are sent off the line at 30-second intervals) and rode to about race mile 200, where Cody took the bike until roughly race mile 390. Norman then hopped back on the bike about 2 1/2 minutes behind Udall.
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“I was slowly reeling him in the whole way,” Norman said after catching his teammate on the final turn before the finish line. “I enjoyed the course. It was rough, really rough. The Summit was rough. Had they run the other section it would have been gnarly. Sal and SCORE did a great job with the course, and I’m just happy to be here.”
KTM-mounted team of Ivan Ramirez and Brandon Prieto finished third. Although the Class 21 team of Trevor Insley, Matt Eddy, Max Eddy Jr. and Bill Gilbert came across fourth on their Honda CRF450X, it was the 2x Kawasaki KX450F team of Shane Esposito, Bobby Garrison and Steve Hengeveld that earned fourth place on corrected time.
1. Colton Udall (0x)
2. Kendall Norman (1x)
3. Ivan Ramirez (10x)
4. Shane Esposito (2x)
5. Trevor Insley (104x)
6. Francisco Septien (300x)
7. Johnson (305x)