With a brand new machine underneath them, Matlock Racing’s Wayne Matlock, Wes Miller and Josh Caster fought their way to a second-place finish (Open Pro Quad) in the 2012 SCORE Tecate San Felipe 250. Check out the video for some great footage of the race.
“The entire Matlock Racing team prides itself on being a well prepared Championship winning team. This has been proven with four consecutive SCORE Championships in class 25, SCORE’s Open Pro Quad class,” Matlock Racing says in a release. “As the 2012 season was starting there were some major changes in store for the Matlock team. The biggest change was the help of American Honda once again. This change would require the team leave the TRX700XX behind and move to Honda’s new TRX450ER for the 2012 season. This change in quads would also require changes with other Sponsors and new testing of products.”
Just weeks before the first race, Matlock Racing received the new TRX450ERs at JCR Honda. With little time to test, the team went to work on the quads trying to get them ready in time to get testing in before heading south to Baja. Just one week before the team headed to Baja, Matlock’s prerunner was complete and this allowed the team to test suspension and new products. Due to the last minute changes, most of the Sponsor-provided products did not appear in the Matlock shop until just one day before the team was scheduled to head to Baja.
With late nights to get the race quad and prerunners put together, the team was anxious to test the race quad and get to Baja. Last-minute testing proved everything was working as planned so the team finished loading all the remaining supplies and headed south to Baja to begin prerunning.
The last time any of the riders from Matlock Racing had ridden a straight axle quad was over four years ago, so everyone was excited to start getting some riding time in on the new TRX450ERs.
Matlock and Miller would remain in Baja the week before the race to prerun each of their sections and to continue testing the new quads. Caster would head back to the States for a couple of days mid week for work and to pick up parts that hadn’t shown up before the team headed across the border. Midweek Caster would return and continue prerunning his sections.
On race morning, Matlock would start the race and ride to race mile 7 at the infamous Zoo Road. In the early morning dust he would fight his way up the course trying to avoid the booby traps set by the locals just as the course entered the rough, whooped out section. Matlock was able to get through with no issues and pass the quad off to Caster.
Caster would take the quad at race mile 7 and continue on to race mile 24. Starting later in the pack, the team would have to deal with the extra dust of the lead quads and Caster was unable to see with the blinding dust. Deciding to keep a safe pace and trying not to wreak the quad, Caster wasn’t able to push as hard as possible and in turn lost some time in this section before handing the quad off to Miller at race mile 24.
With the quads beginning to space themselves out, Miller was able to push hard and start making some passes towards the front of the pack. Miller would run one of the new sections of the course through some tight, twisty and sandy washes before the course once again joined the long whooped out pole line road previous courses have run. The quad continued to work well and Miller was able to make some more passes in the deep pole line whoops before heading South across the lakebed towards Morelia Jct at race mile 94. Battling his way into the fourth place position, Miller would come into the pits hot on the other quads to pass the quad off to Caster once again. While Caster was jumping back on the quad, it stalled and with the extreme heat had a difficult time starting. During this time a quad Miller had just passed miles back, raced pastthem in the pits. Once the quad was started, Caster was off trying to reel these quads back in. By race mile 120, Caster had passed all but the lead quad and was in hot pursuit. Caster was able to make it through the remote Matomi Wash and was nearing race mile 160 when he was surprised by another quad making a pass on him. Caster continued to chase this quad into race mile 169 where he would pass the quad off to Matlock.
Matlock was back on the quad at race mile 169 and would ride from there to the finish. With another quad between him and the leader, Matlock was off like a madman trying to close the gap. He soon made the pass and rode hard to close the gap between him and the lead quad. Soon another quad joined the mix and Matlock would battle with him nearly to the finish before finally pulling some time on him. Fighting locals driving backwards on the course and more booby traps, Matlock made his way into town and across the finish line.
The Matlock Racing Team would cross the finish line just 10 minutes down of the leaders and had an average speed of 40.1 mph over the extremely rough course. With a new quad and little test time, the entire Matlock Team was excited with its performance and is looking forward to the Baja 500.
Matlock Racing would like to thank all the Sponsors who teamed with Matlock Racing for the 2012 season: American Honda, JCR, Maxxis, Elka, Vey’s Powersports, Scott Goggles, Rich Morel Race Motors, Precision Concepts, Roll Design, Honda Oil and Chemicals, KZ Trailers, Fly Racing, Renthal, UNI, DWT, FMF, OMF, Tire Balls, Quad Tech, DID, Hinson, Precision Racing Products, Baja Designs, Motion Pro, UPP, Pro Armor, Go Pro, Alpinestars, Galfer, Lonestar, Web Cam, Works Connection, IMS, Rocky Mountain ATV, Kicker, Hammer Nutrition, H‐Bomb Media