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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Baja Kick Butt

I got back the other day from popping my Baja cherry chasing for the San Felipe 250. What a kick ass experiance. Our car won class 4 by 14 minutes coming from being down 15 minutes to the other car in our class when we did a driver change at the half way point.

No I didn't get kidnaped by the Cartel, none of the polica asked for a bribe and they even gave us an escort through mexicali as we were lost at midnight trying to get to out of town, and montezuma's revenge didn't get me. The beer is cold, the shrimp is fresh and amazing, waking up at Pete's camp on the beech with the sun rising is awesome, and the people are nice and even speek some spanglish.

The car I was pitting for 401/ shaffers motorsports is a pretty fast 10 car racing in class 4 (unlimited buggy besides a stock gm 2.4 ecotec). Ever since this team has owned it just hasn't been perfect and the back end bucks in the big whoops (vw bug eating size). On Thursday we went to the infamous zoo road (youtube it) to do some shock tuning and had gained over 10mph but it still had more to go. Then we got the radio call no one wants to hear "guys we broke the car". After using the strap of shame we dragged it back to one of the houses we were using and deterimined the transaxle was bad.

This is a 10 grandish race transaxle that had less than 20 miles on it after a fresh prep (everything was magnafluxed and the 3rd gear set was replaced). We got the transaxle guy on the phone and he agreed to meet us at his shop in Santa Barbra when ever we got there. Another teammate and I left San Felipe at 5pm, flirted with the border guard, and got across quickly. We pulled up at Weddle industries at 2:45am. Ron weddle met us there and tore the trans apart on the spot. It turned out to be a blown 3rd gear. He was nice enough to let me crash in his motor home out back and gave me a wake up knock around 8am. Some coffee and fuel and we were back off to Mexico. We got the San Felipe around 4pm, yeah 23 hours from 2 hours south of the border to 2 hours north of LA and back. The crew busted their asses and 10:30pm we showed up Bill Savage's hotel room and got the car teched.

Race day went pretty smooth. It was a 250 mile race and my chase leg was from race mile 169 to the finish. A buddy and I got to the Baja Pit we were to meet the car at a bit early and helpd Carlos and the gang fuel and fix some cars while we were wating. The car radioed when they were 3 miles out. They had a flat and were going to have us change it. When the car got in the rim was molded around the caliper and a sledge made quick work of getting the tire changed. I got ahold of my mom on the satelite phone (offical race communications and dot watcher lady back in the states) that we had given them the spare we had and there was only the spare on the car was on this part of the course. After the tire change we hauled ass in the 4 runner to the next pit. The car blew by and had a 10 mile lead on our competition. We saw the car once more and they were in haul ass but keep it together mode. The car crossed the finish on a flat but won by almost 15 minutes on corrected time.

After the race we stayed at Pete's camp, I'm convinced this place is heaven. For $15 you get a Palapa on the beech (straw hut). They have a bar within stumbling distance and I woke up the next morning under my Palapa still fully dressed including glasses and a hat to observe the sun rise over the sea of Cortez. The team "owed me" a couple drinks for the transaxle mission, thanks for the hang over. A couple bloody marries and a nap on the beech solved that problem. Robby Gordon did blow by at 100mph while I was napping causing a brief interuption to my nap.

I'd go on about another night at Pete's camp and the great fish tacos, beers, bloody marries and funny business but I don't want to rub it in too much.

I might have 1 or 2 seats open in my chase truck for the 500 the weekend after memorial day...
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 05:39 AM
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Sounds like a great time, Andy! Thanks for the story!

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