This year marked the 40th running of the second-oldest desert race in the world: the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. This year's racecourse covered a very technical and grueling 441.15 miles of Baja California, Mexico, terrain, with over 100 miles of course that had not been raced on in the previous decade, and over 30 miles that had never been raced before. The race started on Saturday, May 31, in downtown Ensenada on Costero Boulevard and finished, for the first time ever, on that same street 20 hours later on Sunday, June 1.
The third round of the 2008 SCORE desert-racing series drew 289 starters hailing from 10 different countries, including the U.S., Mexico, Hungary, Japan, and Uruguay. By the time the final checkered flag dropped and the 20-hour time limit ended, 195 of the competitors had crossed the finish line. This 67.5 percent success rate was the third highest in the Baja 500's 40 years of existence. Of those 195 finishers, the first motorcycle to cross the line (and first vehicle overall) was the 1x driven by Robby Bell and Kendall Norman. This win marked the third consecutive overall win for this team. The first four-wheeled vehicle across the finish line was the No. 1 Trophy Truck driven by Mark Post and Rob MacCachren, followed 53 seconds later by the No. 97 of B.J. Baldwin.
Although it's true that Post finished before Baldwin, Baldwin started 60 seconds behind Post. Once the corrected times were posted, Baldwin was shown as winning the 500 by the closest margin in history: a mere seven seconds.
After the race, Baldwin said, "It was tight. The truck is hurt. It's been hurt since the beach. The brakes on this thing are shot. When I rev it out really hard, the power-steering belt slips. It's been a lot of hard work to get it here. I've really sucked it up. I'm going to have to go back to the hotel for some beer and some Advil."
Post had this to say about his race, "I'd like to have made it here seven seconds faster. That was a hell of a run. It's the Baja 500 ... it's a great race."
|SCORE Trophy Truck ||Elapsed Time |
|1. B.J. Baldwin - #97 ||9:10:47 |
|2. Mark Post - #1 ||9:10:54 |
|3. Brian Collins - #12 ||9:25:47 |
|Class 1 - Unlimited |
|1. Luis Ramirez, Jr. - #109 ||9:36:55 |
|2. Dale Ebberts - #123 ||10:00:34 |
|3. Armin Schwarz - #108 ||10:08:00 |
|Class 1/2-1600 |
|1. Adam Pfankuch - #1602 ||10:59:53 |
|2. Arnoldo Ramirez - #1609 ||11:03:00 |
|3. Ray Files - #1643 ||11:23:34 |
|Class 11 - VW |
|1. Ramon Fernandez - #1100 ||16:13:30 |
|2. Cisco Bio - #1146 ||18:40:19 |
|3. Carlos Villa - #1148 ||19:35:20 |
|Stock Mini |
|1. Rod Hall - #760 ||14:42:54 |
|2. Gavin Skilton - #779 ||16:32:55 |
|3. Kevin Necessary - #762 ||18:24:53 |
|Class 22 - Pro Motorcycle |
|1. Robby Bell - #1x ||8:43:38 |
|2. Ryan Penhall - #8x ||9:12:00 |
|3. Ivan Ramirez - #17x ||9:52:33 |
|Class 25 - Pro ATV |
|1. Wayne Matlock - #3A ||10:10:40 |
|2. Javier Robles - #4A ||10:11:01 |
|3. Danny Prather - #1A ||10:19:05 |