Herbst and Roeseler Win HDRA El Dorado 500

Jul. 15, 2013 By Art Eugenio, Photos by GETSOMEphoto.com
Larry Roeseler and Tim Herbst earn the victory at the El Dorado 500.

To say the HDRA El Dorado 500 is rough is an understatement. The course consisted of an 82-mile loop of tight, twisty, technical mountainous silt and rock-infested piece of Nevada real estate. With no place to rest on this racecourse, held just outside of Reno, Nevada, the El Dorado 500 truly is a test to the man as much as the machine.

“Private land,” race director Robert Gross said of the racecourse. “This is our future of the sport. With private land it gives us the opportunity to have open prerunning and that is what everyone loves, right? This entire 82-mile loop is set on land owned by Roger.”

Is private land the future of off-road racing? Roger Norman believes so, as the HDRA El Dorado 500 was held on land in which he owns.

“There a lot of new things we are trying to do to further the sport of off-road racing,” said Roger Norman, owner of both HDRA and SCORE International. “The new tracking devices for instance: these new trackers are not only for official use but to enhance the experience for the fans back home. You can see where your favorite racer is, how fast he’s going, what place he’s currently in, even see what elevation he’s at. It really is pretty cool.”

Norman noted there may be a few bugs with the new system, but he’s hopeful it will further enhance off-road racing.

New Spot tracking unit

“This is the first run for the new trackers from Spot and I’m sure there will be a few snags but it’s a work in progress. We want our tracking to be accurate, fair and impartial; we also want it right away. In the end, our goal is to have results right away and that way we’ll be able to know who won in real time and not days later. It’s just one of the things we need to do to bring this all to the next level.”

Freestyle motorcross demos kept spectators entertained during the race.

After three days of festivities at the Dirt Live Off-Road Expo on Virginia Street in the heart of the ‘Biggest Little City in the World’, Saturday was race day for round three of the HDRA Desert Series.

Justin Davis had a great showing at the El Dorado 500.

BJ Baldwin won the pole position on Thursday’s qualifier and would start the race first, but he planned on handing over driving duties to longtime friend and sometimes competitor TJ Flores. Flores would go on to drive a and ending up fourth in class and overall. BJ was healing from a recent surgery from a firearms accident involving his index finger.

BJ Baldwin shows his injured finger prior to the start of the race.

“I almost lost this dude,” BJ said referring to his finger. “There was a real chance of catching it in the steering wheel and making it a permanent handicap. TJ is the man when it comes to hard courses like this; the man just doesn’t give up. He did a great job.”

Third overall went to Juan Carlos Lopez of Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Lopez was also recently injured and drove the entire race with a torn ACL. “We only had a few problems,” he said after the race. “We lost the rear brakes early on, drove it all day like that, and we had one flat tire. This course was very technical and required a lot of concentration and footwork. I’m in a lot of pain right now so I’m happy that it’s over.”

Second overall and second in class was 20-year-old Trophy Truck driver Justin Davis, who pushed hard in the last two laps to overtake the physical lead but missed the overall win on corrected time by 1 minute, 30 seconds. “We had a good run, we hit rock in the dust and took out a tire. That’s what got us,” Davis said at the finish. “It was a good course, just technical and mentally taxing with so many turns. In the end we gave the Herbst [team] a run for their money but came up a little short.”

Returning to the top spot on the podium for the first time in nearly 10 years was the team of Tim Herbst and Larry Roeseler. The pair is the winningest team in Trophy Truck history, but a short hiatus and the development of a new chassis has taken its time to make their way back to the top. “We were leading the race for most of the day. Larry [Roeseler] drove the first three laps and gave us a nice cushion,” said a very happy Tim Herbst at the finish. “I almost threw it all away when I got a flat on the last lap. We knew Justin was there and we were lucky to keep the lead. It feels great to be back on the top spot, and this being a double points race keeps us as a contender for the World Championship.”

The winning Trophy Truck team celebrates the win.

“You know it’s a great feeling to win, it never gets old,” Roeseler said. “Roger and his crew put on a great event and put together a super technical racecourse. It’s right about 430 or so miles but it feels like I just raced the Baja 1000. It’s a great race to win for sure. It was definitely tough. It feels great to be on the top spot again.”

With round five of seven in the HDRA / SCORE World Championship Series in the books, HDRA moves on to its newest race venue on the Moapa Indian reservation for the Moapa Big Horn 300 just outside of Las Vegas on September 27th-29th. The excitement of a new racecourse was on the minds of many of the racers as they move through the chase for the World Championship. Be sure to check it out here on ORC.

More Desert Racing Stories
Official Results for the 2013 SCORE Baja 500

TJ Flores Wins Canidae Tap-It Silver State 300

Justin Davis Wins HDRA Ridgecrest Race

Results of the HDRA El Dorado 500
Trophy Truck

1. Tim Herbst/Larry Roeseler
2. Justin Davis
3. Juan Carlos Lopez
4. BJ Baldwin
5. Sergio Salgado
6. Cameron Steele
7. Troy Herbst
8. Shawn Croll/Ray Croll
9. Todd Jergensen/Kyle Jergensen

Class 1
1. Richard Boyle
2. Cody Parkhouse
3. Chad Dohrman

Class 1/2-1600
1. Lucas Knecht

Class 3000
1. Ryan Frisby
2. Reid Rutherford

Class 5-1600
1. Donald Harper
2. Clyde Stacy

Class 7/7200
1. Josh Quintero
2. Jonathon Brenthal

Class 7SX
1. James Burman/Jayson Strachan
2. Elias Hanna

Class 10
1. Peter Hajas/Kevin Selchow
2. Matt Cullen
3. Mike Lawrence
4. Andrew Meyers
5. Mike Shaffer

Trophy Truck Spec
1. Clyde Stacy

Sportsman Baja Challenge
1. Johnny Buss
2. Jon Largent

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