Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody Win the SCORE Baja 500 Off-Road Race
At yesterday's press conference for the 42nd SCORE Tecate Baja 500, Kendall Norman said it would take a near-perfect run to win this race, and that's what he and teammate Quinn Cody had to do to win the second-longest running off-road race in the world. They won by a mere 26 seconds over JCR Honda teammates Colton Udall and Jeff Kargola.
'I've been puking in my helmet the whole way,' Norman said at the finish line. "I'm definitely going to the hospital after this to get an IV."
Norman looked pretty pale when his helmet came off, but that's no surprise since he ran the majority of the race. Norman fired off the line this morning and rode to about race mile 95, where Cody jumped on the bike and rode until about race mile 200. Norman rode the bike for the next 239-or-so miles.
Although Norman has been doing well in competition by winning a number of AMA Hare and Hound races lately, Cody is returning from a thumb injury that's kept him out of racing for a while. He was addmittidly slow at the start of the race.
'Eventually I found my groove after 50 miles or so,' he said. '[Norman] rode it like a man today. He definitely proved his worth.'
The win is Norman's fourth at the 500, and it would've been his fifth in a row had the team not been penalized at last year's race and lost what was the unofficial win. For those who don't remember, SCORE handed out a number of infractions for speeding in speed limited areas and course deviations in sweeping enforcement of the rules. Almost every class was impacted, and according to SCORE officials 21 racers were actually fully disqualified from the race.
Although the time is still unofficial, Udall and Kargola's close second-place finish 26 second behind Norman for the overall motorcycle win makes it the second-closest motorcycle finish at a SCORE race. Finishing in third place was the team of Robert Underwood, David Pearson and Mike Childress. Underwood's team helped pull out the podium finish after he crashed into a fence going onto a beach section. He was hobbling at the finish line with his knee wrapped.