Matlock Racing Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 Report
The Matlock Racing Pro ATV Team of Wayne Matlock, Wes Miller & Josh Caster crossed the finish line after multiple mechanical problems at the 2011 Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 on March 12th in San Felipe, Baja, Mexico.
The Matlock Racing team prides themselves on being well prepared when it comes to racing in Baja. The 2011 SCORE San Felipe 250 was no different as the team headed south of the border to begin its pre-running. This course is known for endless miles of sandy whoops and after a week of pre-running all the riders agreed this course was going to be the roughest San Felipe yet.
During pre-running on the Thursday before the race, Caster had a high speed crash due to a broken shock bolt while riding one of his sections. Luckily he walked away with only minor scratches and was able to finish his pre-run later that day. The rest of the team had no issues while pre-running even with the extremely rough course. As the week leading up to the race wore on the course continued to get rougher and the holes got bigger. On Friday before technical inspection the team spent a little extra time testing the race quad at race mile 7 near Zoo Road. This section of the course is known for its giant rock strewn whoops. A few last adjustments and the riders agreed this may be the fastest and best working quad they had ever ridden.
Caster would start on the quad in the early morning light, before passing the quad off to Matlock. The quad would start fifth off the line and Caster made quick progress passing two quads before handing the quad to Matlock at Race Mile 7.
Matlock took the quad and was in quick pursuit of the two lead quads, working to gain the lead early in the race. Roughly five miles into his ride, Matlock noticed the rear shocks were fading fast and before long they had lost all the oil completely. Matlock was forced to slow his pursuit of the leaders and was loosing time in the process until he could reach the next pit at Race Mile 25. In the pit the crew was able to change out both rear shocks before sending Miller out on his section.
Miller started out on his section knowing he needed to make up the time lost due to the mechanical problem early in the race. He pushed hard to gain time at the northern end of the course. Working his way through the large sandy whoops of Borrego, Miller started to notice the rear shocks fading once again. Miller was also forced to slow his pursuit of the leaders in an effort to keep the shocks from losing any oil. Even with the mechanical issues Miller was able to keep pace with the lead quads before handing the quad off to Caster once again at Race Mile 90.
As Miller handed the quad off to Caster he noted the rear shocks were fading fast with the extremely rough course. Caster was off on his second section and noticed immediately the quad was handling differently than earlier that morning off the start. Ten miles into his second ride the rear shock on the right side lost all its oil forcing Caster to complete the next 80 miles with a blown rear shock. After reaching Race Mile 177, Matlock and Caster changed the rear shocks once again before Matlock could continue his ride to the finish.
Matlock was off for his final ride with a third pair of shocks and was now able to start gaining time on the leaders now miles ahead. Matlock’s second ride of the day went by quickly as he worked hard to make up the lost time early in the race. Luckily he would cross the finish line with no other serious issues. Even with the multiple serious mechanical issues and down time the team would finish only 32 minutes behind the leaders.
The Matlock Racing team is now looking forward to the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in June when it will be looking for the Overall win once again.
Matlock Racing would like to thank all its sponsors: Rocky Mountain ATV, Maxxis, Kicker, PRM-ATV.com, Aerco, JCR, American Honda, Rich Morel Race Motors, Vey’s Powersports, Scott, Big Gun Exhaust, Precision Concepts, Houser, Elka, KZ Trailers, Fly Racing, Vortex, Renthal, IMS-Roll, IMS, DWT, OMF, Tire Balls, Quad Tech, Streamline, Precision Racing Products, Baja Designs, Motion Pro, UNI, DID, Hammer Nutrition, Premier Nutrition, Bomb Squad
For more information on Matlock Racing please visit – http://www.matlockracing-honda.com/.