TSCO 2014 Baja 500 Race Report – Trucks Finish 7th and 8th
The 2014 Baja 500 race would be quite eventful for both Gary, Mark and the TSCO Team.
#98 Gary would start 19th and #9 Mark, 22nd in the 37 truck field. They would have to be patient for the first 80 miles, given their starting positions, as the course had many places where roadblocks could appear. They would both make the first crossover without any issues. Things would open up on the coast and at race mile 110 in Erendira, Gary would in 10th corrected time position, just 2:36 back from the leader. Mark had to be even more tolerant, as his truck was handling poorly from the start. He would be 17th, 8:40 back at the 1/4 mark of the race.
Images below show the corrected time running order and intervals at RM 110, Erendira. Jesse Jones had the lead at this point.
The course would take them south along the seaside to their first fuel tire stop at RM 165 at the beach near Camalu.
They would both gain a few positions at this point, as other competitors slowed or dropped from the race.
They would head east toward Coyote, and Mike Sky Rancho. This was the toughest part of the race. Large silt hills, and single track tight twisty roads lay ahead.
Gary was on the move and figured to be in the top 5 as the made their way over to San Matias.
Gary would end up getting blocked by a disabled Cameron Steele in TT16 at RM232. Cameron broke his steering in a tight canyon. They attempted to send the #98 around the highside, but Gary and Stan would bounce off a large boulder and slide stuck into the side of the 16. Carlos Lopez in the #18 was also caught up in the mess. It would be 14 minutes of attempted escape before they would be back on track. They would trudge on slowly as the truck was now overheating and finally take on water at the San Matias pit at RM 270. Brother Mark & Ryan would get around them as the headed south to the Diablo lakebed loop of 50 miles.
As they cleared the lakebed loop and headed back into San Matias, Mark was continuing to improve. They would Pit at RM 320, the 2nd Fuel and Tire Pit in San Matias. The #9 was now up to 6th on corrected time, Gary in the #98 had slipped to 9th, nearly 20 minutes off the lead.
At RM 320: Bryce Menzies was the leader, Voss 2nd, Jones 3rd. Jergenson 4th.
The TSCO Trucks would push on, heading west up the goat trail, to Ojos, and finally back to the Finish in Ensenada.
#9, Mark and Ryan would suffer one flat in the last 30 miles before the finish, hindering their final position. They would finish 7th, 9hours,24minutes,17seconds.
#98, Gary and Stan would continue to race hard despite their unfortunate delay and finish 8th overall, in 9hours,30minutes,55seconds.
A semi successful race for the TSCO Team. It was great to have both trucks finish, but disappointing to end up out of the top 3.
It was a hard fought battle that a lot of teams couldn’t complete. The crews did a fantastic job once again and mega thanks goes out to all of them.
Congrats to the Winner: Bryce Menzies, 2nd Jason Voss, and 3rd Jesse Jones… and all the teams that beat baja that day!