American Honda's Matlock Racing Wins Baja 500
On June 6, 2009 the American Honda team of Wayne Matlock, Harold Goodman, Josh Caster and Wes Miller won the Overall ATV title at the 41st annual running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 aboard a Honda TRX700XX.
Matlock’s team of riders headed south of the border looking to continue its recent success in the SCORE series. The team spent over a week prerunning each of their sections of the course to prepare for the grueling race.
The quad with Matlock aboard would start third off the line behind the 2A and 3A quads. With just early morning light, heavy dust and having raced many times in Baja, Matlock stuck with his plan to ride a safe pace for his first ride. He held his position behind the two lead quads before handing the quad off to Caster at race mile 37 in Ojos Negros.
Caster took the quad and continued with the team’s plan of riding safe and holding their position early in the race. During his first ride he was able to overtake many motorcycles fighting through the thick dust of the lead bikes. Caster would hand the quad off to Harold Goodman at race mile 95 at Nuevo junction still holding the third place position.
Goodman’s section included the famous “Summit” and the rocky whoops of Borrego. Goodman made his way over the summit down to the dry lake bed of Laguna Salada and mid way through his section was able to overtake the 3A quad and move into the second place before handing the quad back off to Matlock in Borrego at race mile 200.
With Matlock back on the quad it was time to turn up the heat on the 2A quad leading the race. Matlock’s second section included the big sandy whoops near Borrego as well as the fast and twisty roads near Mike’s Sky Ranch. Matlock’s plan was working and he was able to gain over 3 minutes on the 2A quad before handing it off to Wes Miller at race mile 255 near Valley de Trinidad.
Miller knew the team now wanted to take the lead and be first quad on the road. He was off, crossing the “top of the world” towards the coast while making up time on the lead quad. Even before reaching the coast Miller was able to catch the 2A quad and soon after reaching the coast section of the course he was able to make the pass for the lead. Knowing anything can happen in Baja, Miller continued to space himself from the 2A quad before handing the quad off to Caster at race mile 350 in Santo Tomas.
From Santo Tomas, Caster was able to jump on the quad with a 3 minute lead thanks to Miller. Now the lead quad on the road, Caster kept up the faster pace set by his other teammates and continued to hold the lead before handing it off to Matlock at race mile 395 near Ojos Negros for his final ride.
Matlock was now confident with the teams lead and slowed the pace to the finish. During the last few miles he worked his way safely around the booby traps set up by locals before coming across the finish line in Ensenada.
The team’s time of 9:36:23 hours a 45.23 mph average gave them the Overall ATV title while winning by almost 18 ½ minutes. The team also finished an astounding 10th overall between the bikes and quads. This was the team’s fifth consecutive Pro ATV win in the SCORE series!
Matlock Racing would like to thank its sponsors: Honda, Alba, Precision Concepts, Maxxis, Houser Racing, Elka, KZ Trailers, HMF Exhaust, Fly Racing, Pro Honda Oil and Chemicals, Baja Designs, Tire Balls, DWT, OMF, Renthal, Motion Pro, Streamline, IMS-Roll, IMS, TCX Boots, Quadtech, Scott Goggles, UNI Filters, DID Chains, Division Four
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