6:30 a.m., November 21, 2008 - The #2x motorcycle of Grant Steele roars off into the fog and the wilds of the Baja peninsula marking the beginning of the 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
This year's Baja 1000 attracted a total of 369 entries from 39 states and 24 different countries including the United States, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, and many more. The 41st Annual Baja 1000 covered a course made up of 631.35 miles of some of the most extreme and beautiful terrain the northern half of Baja California has to offer. The race started and finished on the Boulevard Costero in the heart of downtown Ensenada, Mexico, and this was the 34th time the race had started in Ensenada and the 19th time it has finished there too. Competitors were given a 31-hour time limit to complete the race and have an official finish. Of the 369 vehicles entered 347 of them took the green flag and of those only 227 (65.4 percent) survived the brutal Baja desert to see the checkered flag wave.
The 2008 Baja 1000 capped off another great SCORE season. A new champion was crowned, B.J. Baldwin, Rod Hall kept his record alive by competing all 41 Baja 1000's, Johnny Campbell captured his 11th overall win on a bike, and Volkswagen raced and finished with the first ever turbo diesel in the Trophy Truck class. 2008 truly was a year for the record books and we look forward to what the 2009 SCORE season and 2009 Baja 1000 have to bring!
2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Score Trophy Truck (Unlimited Production Trucks)The Trophy Truck class is considered by most to be the premier desert racing class. In this year's Baja 1000 there were 26 drivers who started the race in Trophy Truck and only 15 who finished. The winning team in Trophy Truck and Overall was the team of Trophy Truck rookie Roger Norman and veteran racer Larry Roeseler. Second across the line and clinching the 2008 Trophy Truck Championship was B.J. Baldwin. Other notable drivers such as Pete Sohren and Robby Gordon DNFed due to engine failure.
"This is the toughest and greatest race in the world and we were racing against the greatest desert racers in the world. I knew we had to have a flawless day to win and we did .... We're here and we have a team that won't quit and we made it to the finish line with all the body parts." - Roger Norman
"It was a tough day for me, driving the whole thing. It's not like a peninsula run. It's very rough. It's very technical .... We had an early flat tire and I had to play catch up the rest of the way. I was hoping to be out first by nightfall. At night, the air is thick and cold, and the dust just hangs there. And we had absolutely no wind all day. So the dust hung there. I had a hard time passing four-wheelers and motorcycle because of that element. Roger (Norman) and Larry (Roeseler) can have the 1000 win. We were racing for the championship." - B.J. Baldwin
"I think Volkswagen is freakin' awesome! We went the whole day with no punctures -- BFG was phenomenal. We just had a great day. It was the first race and we expected to have some adversity and we lost the clutch early, but we overcame it. It was such a team effort and I'm so happy. To come in with all this support that VW has, it's first-rate. We have big plans for the future and this is the first step for us. We finished the Baja 1000 and that was our goal and now we can work on performance and try to win one of these things."Mark Miller
1. Roger Norman - Ford F-150 12 hours, 40 minutes, 33 seconds (49.81 mph average)
2. B.J. Baldwin - Chevy Silverado - 12:45:26
3. Chad Ragland - Toyota Tundra - 13:26:19
4. Mark Post - Ford F-150 - 13:31:11
5. Dan Friedkin - Toyota Tundra - 14:34:55
6. Justin Lofton - Chevy Silverado - 14:51:08
7. Robbie Pierce - Chevy Silverado - 15:30:45
8. Ron Whitton - Ford F-150 - 15:48:30
9. Bobby Baldwin - Chevy Silverado - 16:32:15
10. Damen Jefferies - Chevy Silverado - 16:42:47
11. Jason McNeil - Ford F-150 - 17:08:34
12. Cameron Steele - Cadillac Escalade - 17:19:15
13. Mark Miller - Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI - 18:58:12
14. Greg Nunley - Chevy Silverado - 20:01:38
15. Scott Steinberger - Ford F-150 - 23:53:56
Class 1 (Unlimited Single Or Two-Seaters)
The Class 1 Buggy is the Trophy Trucks only natural predator. Creating nearly the same amount of horse power and being equipped with nearly the same amount of wheel travel these monster buggies are a sight to be seen. The first to the line in Class 1 in the 2008 Baja 1000 was driver Chuck Dempsey who finished first in Class 1 and 7th overall. But the real winner in this race was none other than B.J. Richardson who by finishing 9th in the Baja 1000 clinched the 2008 Score Class 1 Championship and the 2008 SCORE Overall Championship. Congrats B.J.!
"It was a good day. The race was awesome. John kept it out front all day and our whole crew did a great job at every pit... It was a matter of keeping everything together. We saw a lot of stuff broken down out there all the way in." - Chuck Dempsey
"Third is better than fourth. I'm just happy to be here at the finish line." - Ron Brant
"We broke down right at the start - the car caught on fire and burned up the alternator so we had to change that just a few miles into the race. After that, it was pretty much trouble-free other than a few flats. The whole car caught on fire so we had flames coming out of the back that matched (the flames painted on) the front. It (fourth place) could have been worse, that's for sure." - Rob Bruce
1. Chuck Dempsey - Jefferies Chevy - 14:59:57 (42.09 mph average)
2. Harley Letner - Alpha Performance Chevy - 15:16:53
3. Ron Brant - Jimco Chevy - 15:28:15
4. Rob Bruce - Jefferies Chevy - 16:02:12
5. Brian Robinson - Jimco Chevy - 18:04:49
6. Luis Ramirez Jr. - Jefferies Chevy - 19:08:44
7. Josh Rigsby - Penhall Chevy - 19:25:31
8. Brian Parkhouse - Jimco Chevy - 20:05:09
9. B.J. Richardson - Bunderson Chevy - 20:31:25
10. Armin Schwarz - Jimco BMW - 22:38:26
(29 Starters, 10 Finishers)