The #1A American Honda Team Wins SCORE Baja 1000

12/20/2009 20:14

The #1A American Honda / Matlock Racing Pro ATV Team of Wayne Matlock,
Harold Goodman, Wes Miller & Josh Caster won the 2009 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
on Nov 20th with a time of 16:54:52 (39.78 mph) and secured the 2009 Season

The Matlock Racing team started out the SCORE season with an Overall win aboard the
Honda TRX700XX at the SCORE San Felipe 250. The team was once again the fastest
over the course at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 but after the shake up with new penalties
and the move to 2nd place, the #1A American Honda/Matlock Racing team was going to
be really hunting the win at the final race of the season, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Matlock Racing once again entered aboard the Honda TRX700XX and drew the second
starting position. With Wayne Matlock starting, the #1A quad quickly moved into the
lead even before leaving Ensenada on a course that many racers said was the roughest
course they had ever seen. During Matlock’s first section he didn’t have to deal with the
Ensenada morning fog that is normally present during the start of the race but he had to
dodge his way around the slower motorcycles that started ahead of the quads while
fighting to see in the thick dust and silt before handing the quad off to Josh Caster at race
mile 39.

Caster was able to take the quad from Matlock now in the lead position and work his way
past more motorcycles in the early morning dust. Once on the fast roads near Ojos
Negros Caster was able to gain some time to the lead that Matlock had made at the start
of the race. Midway through his section, motorcycle traffic began to become a factor and
time was lost as the #5A team of Felipe Velez gained time and moved into the lead on
adjusted time. Caster finished off his ride at race mile 101 in Nuevo Jct where he handed
the quad off to Harold Goodman about 30 seconds off pace of the 5A team now holding
the lead on adjusted time.

Goodman’s first section started off with the famous rocky and dangerous summit, the dry
lake bed of Laguna Salada where silt beds show up out of nowhere and then into the deep
rocky whoops of Borrego. Goodman was able to hold off the 5A team until reaching the
silt beds at the bottom of the summit where the 5A team was able to make the pass in the
thick clouds of silt. Goodman continued to pace the lead quad all the way into Borrego
where he would hand off the quad to Matlock once again at race mile 202.

Matlock’s second section would continue from Borrego all the way to Morelia Jct at race
mile 237. Matlock took the quad and was off charging hard to regain the lead before he
was to hand the quad off again. The 5A team was also charging hard to keep the lead but
suffered a mechanical issue after passing Borrego. Matlock was unaware of the 5A teams
issue and kept up the hard charge until he passed the quad off to Caster at Morelia Jct.
Caster’s second section included San Felipe’s famous desolate Matomi Wash and the
extra rough and rocky whoops of Old Puertocitos Road. Matlock unknowingly passed the
5A team during his section and still believed he was running in the second place position.
When the quad was passed off to Caster at Morelia Road, Matlock was in a hurry to get
Caster on the road so he could help regain the lead. Caster believed the competition was
close behind so he charged hard to regain more time. The next quad did not come through
Morelia Jct for another 23 minutes and by this time Caster was well out of radio range to
be notified and was still charging hard to gain time on the competition that he believed
was right behind him.

Caster reached race mile 307 at the end of Matomi Wash without any issues and believed
he had pushed hard enough to gain time on the competition. After a quick stop at a
Honda/JCR pit he was off towards the infamous Old Puertocitos Road whoops. As Caster
was working his way back towards San Felipe in the whoops, he got word over the radio
that no other quads had come through race mile 307 for over 30 minutes. He slowed the
pace after getting this news to avoid damaging the quad in this rough section of the
course and continued his way towards San Felipe before handing the quad off to Matlock
at Zoo Road located at race mile 355.

During Caster’s section he hit a buried rock causing one of the rear wheels to vibrate at
high speeds so this was changed at Zoo Road during the rider change. Matlock was now
on his third ride of the day which would continue from the big sandy whoops of Zoo
Road to race mile 378. He worked his way through the whoops without any issues before
handing the quad off to Goodman for his final ride.

Goodman took the quad from Matlock at race mile 378 and worked his way north
towards Borrego once again and then on to San Matias Pass. Goodman continued to gain
time on the lead and raced his way up the sandy San Felipe washes towards the
mountains before he would hand the quad off to Matlock again. He reached the
Honda/JCR pit in San Matias Pass located at race mile 417 as planned, just before dark.
The rear tires and air filter were changed to keep them fresh and the Baja Designs HID
headlights were attached to the quad for Matlock’s fourth ride of the day.

Matlock was off into the night heading up into the mountains around the rocky, silty and
dusty Mike’s Sky Ranch loop. The Baja locals had piled rocks and sandbags up at the
three stream crossings and the water would be almost seat deep as Matlock worked his
way through them trying not to get stuck in the middle and still stay dry in the process.
He made his way around the winding and twisty roads taking a small slow speed spill in
the silt before reaching Valle De Trinidad at race mile 495 and passing the quad off to
Wes Miller for his section.

Miller would start his ride at Valle De Trinidad located at race mile 495 and work his
way to the Pacific coast. Luckily after reaching the coast the normal heavy fog along the
ocean was not present and he was able to keep a very fast pace in the dark up most of the
coast. Miller raced his way through the new silty section of the course near the town of
Erendira and the many VCPs (virtual check points) that SCORE located in this section.
After a quick run up the coast along the Pacific Ocean, he followed the course back
inland towards the town of Santo Tomas and then back into the hills and the rider change
located near Ojos Negros. The inland section of the course was very rough and Miller
worked his was through without any issues before he would hand the quad off to Matlock
in Ojos Negros at race mile 636.

Matlock’s fifth and final ride of the day began at race mile 636 in Ojos Negros. The quad
was still running great after Miller’s ride up the western coast section of the course and
the team knew they now had over an hour lead on the competition thanks to all the riders
continuing the fast pace and not making any mistakes. With this in mind, Matlock made
his way back towards Ensenada and kept his eyes open for any of the famous booby-traps
the Baja locals like to set up near the finish of the race course. Following the now extra
silty course with missing course markers taken down by the locals, he made his way back
down the same course he had come up earlier in the day at the beginning of the race.
Racing his way up the last couple of corners on the slick asphalt streets he made his way
across the finish line over an hour ahead of the next quad.

When the final Official results were posted by SCORE, the team had done exactly
what they had been determined to do- They finished first Overall quad and were the
only team in their class not to receive any penalties!

The Honda/JCR Pits performed flawlessly and this continued to add time to the teams
lead throughout the race. Final race prep by the Matlock Racing crew proved to be the
best as the only stops made were for fuel and rider changes. The motor prepped by Rich
Morel sounded as good at the finish of the race as it did earlier that morning when it was
started for the first time.

The Honda TRX700XX has proven to be a very dependable quad and has finished in the
#1 spot at every SCORE Baja race it has ever been entered. Combined with a high
horsepower reliable motor and Honda’s new independent rear suspension this quad is
proving to be the ultimate racer!

With the final results posted the team claimed the Overall win at the 2009 Tecate SCORE
Baja 1000 and the 2009 SCORE Class 25 Season Points Championship. This is the
second consecutive year that Matlock Racing has won the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000!