Robby Gordon Tops Baja 500
ENSENADA, Mexico — Driving like someone who was raised in the desert, grizzled veteran Robby Gordon, who has won in NASCAR, Indy Car, Stadium Off-Road racing and Rally racing, added another jewel to his winding road of motorsports accomplishments Saturday when he grabbed the overall four-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory in the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Gordon, who was also the fastest qualifier in the field, battered the rugged terrain of the 502-mile course in the Baja California desert in the No. 77 Speed Energy Team Gordon Chevy CK1500 in a winning time 10 hours, five minutes, 44 seconds, averaging 49.73 miles per hour.
Leading physically from the 130-mile marker on, Gordon, 44, originally from Southern California but lives in Charlotte, N.C. where his NASCAR race shop is located, held off the field of would-be challengers who kept it close but couldn’t keep the outspoken team owner/driver from taking another checkered flag. Gordon defeated the field of 276 total starters for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs that included 37 starters in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck Division.
Gordon earned his fifth career class win in this race and first since 2005 when he also claimed the overall title as well. In his long and storied SCORE career, Gordon now has earned 10 race wins in SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks that was introduced by SCORE in 1994.
Following complete data tracking review of the vehicles on Monday morning, a pair of Las Vegas racers completed the podium behind Gordon. Second was B.J. Baldwin in a time of 10:14:52 (48.99mph) in the No. 1 Monster Energy Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado while third was Bryce Menzies with a finishing time of 10:22:21 (48.40mph) in the No. 70 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150.
Winning the overall motorcycle race and the fastest overall vehicle on the course was the Johnny Campbell Racing Honda team led by rider of record Tim Weigand, Valencia, Calif. while the overall ATV winner was the Honda team led by rider of record Javier Robles Jr., Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico.
The second-oldest desert race in the world, round two of the three-race 2013 SCORE Desert Series, featured competion in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.
Entries in the 502-mile race came from 25 U.S. States from Hawaii to New Jersey and the U.S. Territory of Guam along with the additional countries of Mexico, Australia, Austria, Belize, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Japan and Norway. One of the many sweeping changes the new SCORE is initiating, all sportsman motorcycle and sportsman ATV classes ran a reduced distance of 397.6 miles.
Pro and Sportsman Motorcycle ATV classes had a 16-hour, 45-minute time limit to become an official finisher. There was a 22-hour time limit in the grueling race for all of the car and truck classes. With different time limits being used by SCORE for the first time because of safety concerns for the racers, it was also for the first time the Sportsman motorcycle and the Sportsman ATV classes race over an abbreviated course, this one being 398.99 miles.