- Published: Saturday, 29 June 2013 10:37
- Written by TSCO Racing
Drivers Gary Wehyrich and Luke McMillin knew they were in for a long day... they didn't know they would be racing each other for most of it.
The #98 with Gary and Justin "Blu" Fantz would qualify 13th and the #9 of Luke and Chris Oliman starting 15th. In between would be Rob Mac, but not for long as issues would slow him before Mile 90. The two TSCO Trucks would hook up then and be within 45 seconds of each other when they approched the first Main Pit for fuel and tires at mile 163 on the desert lake bed. The crew would handle it well and get both truck off with out a hitch. Both Gary and Luke were doing well, and tracker showed them near the top on corrected time as they left the Borrego area at mile 200. Luke would suffer a flat, but was back on Gary's butt within 60 miles.
The #9 would push Gary all the way up the Mike's summit. This is where the course gets tight and techincal. The #98 would endure 2 flat tires and a stuck situation that would require help from the #95 of Justin Davis. This would slow his progress to the coast side. Luke would win the battle to the coast side as the 6th truck on the road at race mile 300. Gary, in 7th, wouldn't be far behind as he pushed his way back to Lukes rear. They would once again, head into the 2nd Main pit only 45 seconds apart. At mile 311, the crew did it's magic, got light bars on and spare tires racked, as well as the usual fuel and rear tire change. They would both be 5th and 6th on the road at race mile 334 with Luke in 5th about 13 minutes down to the leader. Gary would be 16 minutes down, getting past Juan Carlos Lopez as he changed a flat at RM 334.
The coast side was fast!! Both drivers would push hard on the way north to Ensenada, Luke pushed his #9 into a ditch at race mile 406 and ended up doing a "slow roll" on the outside of a slippery corner. Gary and Blu didn't even see them as they passed by. Crews saw the #98 first at RM412 and asked about the #9... Blu informed the crew he last saw the dust trail around RM 410 but never knew the #9 was off the course. They would press on toward the finish as crews scramble to find out what had happened to Luke. McMillin crews would reach him as the TSCO crews were on the way. They got him turned over and he was back in the race... unfortunetly the 45min spent on the lid turned into over an hour & a half of down time. Luke & Chris would finish, the truck hardly damaged, in 13th position with a time of 11:57:52. Gary and Blu would hold on for a respectable 5th place, in 10:36:38.
The winner, Robby Gordon, would tackle the 500 miles in 10:05:33. Second was BJ Baldwin, 3rd- Bryce Menzies, 4th - Tim Herbst.
The TSCO team once again did an incredible job during, before and after the race. John Vance set up a great race plan and had the TSCO team in the hunt all day. We enjoyed our time in Baja, but did indeed miss Mark Weyhrich and his lead prep and Co rider Ryan Williams. Mark was in Tahoe for Max Theriot's Wedding, Ryan was at home expecting a baby any day now. He monitored the race and kept us up to date with texts all race long! THANKS RYAN! THANKS to Gary and Mark! and the entire TSCO volunteer crew!!!