The following is a release from SCORE –
The three vehicles that covered the 419-mile racecourse that started in downtown Ensenada – adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center – and finished inside the Deportivo Antonio Palacios baseball stadium in the heart of Ensenada the fastest Saturday were motorcycles at this year’s Baja 500. The privateer team of Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif./Mike “Mouse” McCoy, Santa Monica, Calif., beat three factory teams, riding a Honda XR650R to a time of 8:40:25, averaging 48.31mph. All four top finishing motorcycle teams were in Class 22.
Second among the motorcycles was the American Honda A team of Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif., with a 8:49:45 time on a Honda XR650R while third was the Honda B team of Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., completing the course in 9:08:16 on another Honda XR650R.
The fourth motorcycle finisher was the factory KTM team of Chris Blais, Apple Valley, Calif./Andy Grider, Los Olivos, Calif., running the route in 9:10:48 on a KTM 660 Rally motorcycle.
“It was amazing – I loved it”, said the 21-year-old Childress. “It’s my first time ever to win a SCORE race. I’ve been doing this since I was 14 and it was a dream to win a race and now I did it. We were in fourth early on. Mike’s Sky Loop was the hardest part. I passed Johnny [Campbell] at Santa Tomas and never looked back. Mouse McCoy ran the 1000 all by himself and I thought what better guy to get than him to ride with.”
The Childress/McCoy victory snapped the five-year winning streak in this race by Hengeveld, who won with Campbell three of those years.
Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., led a team to victory in Class 40 (motorcycle riders over 40 years old) for the fifth consecutive year, but many other racers had their streaks broken in the Baja desert. O’Neal has won his class in both SCORE races this year.