BJ Baldwin Adds Another Podium Finish to his Impressive Record at the Baja 500

| June 8, 2013

13score_baja500_01 bj1Ensenada, Baja California, MX
BJ Baldwin came close once again to winning the infamous Tecate SCORE Baja 500 but was denied by a single bolt. BJ, Johnny Nelson and the entire Baldwin Motorsports crew did everything right but as it happens often in racing lady luck was a bitch this time out. After leading the Baja 500 for the last 5 hours a single bolt in the brake pedal linkage broke during the closing miles of the race forcing a stop that cost them the win.

In the weeks before the race, Johnny and the crew meticulously went over the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires /  Rigid Industries Trophy Truck making sure everything was perfect. BJ had spent weeks prerunning the course until he knew every mile. On race morning he started fifth; the perfect spot to chase his rivals. He quickly made it to the front where he took the overall lead and maintained a 1 minute 15 second lead for over 200 miles.

13score_baja500_02 bj2“Everything was going just like I planned,” said BJ, “I’ve been down here for three weeks. I’ve been real strong mentally. I was keeping the truck tight in the corners, blazing through the rough terrain, and conserving the tires. We were never in kill mode; just a comfortable race pace. We had the physical leader easily covered by over a minute when the brake pedal just fell to the floor. I had to downshift and slide the truck left and right to get it slowed down.”

13score_baja500_03 bj3BJ’s crew smashed the bolt back in but it wasn’t a fix. BJ had to keep pressure on it for the last 60 miles to keep the bolt from coming back out.  The time lost making repairs and driving in with a crippled truck gave the victory to Robby Gordon. “It was a lot of fun beating Robby all day but in the end it came down to just a little bit of bad luck” said BJ, “If I’m going to lose to anyone it might as well be Robby. I’ve been a Robby Gordon fan since 5th grade. I have learned a lot from Robby and a lot of my skill set comes from studying him when I was younger and competing on Team Dakar USA with him. We’re best frienemies and beating him is beating the best. We had him covered but he did a great job being consistent. My hat is off to him and his team and I am happy with 2nd considering it gives us more points towards winning another Championship.”

Off road racing is a constant roller coaster ride from highs to lows. The good thing is, no matter how you do, the next challenge is always looming on the horizon. BJ’s focus is now on the HDRA, Reno 500 July 12-14 in Reno, Nevada. Back to back 500 mile races will leave no time to wonder what might have been, only time to get busy chasing another great result.

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Category: Event Recap, Event/Series Announcements, Race Recap

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