Matlock Racing Wins Pro ATV Title at Baja 1000
The 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 season championship.
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 team was hunting for a win at the Baja 1000.
Matlock Racing drew the second starting position and Wayne Matlock took the first shift. The 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 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 increase the lead. Midway through his section, motorcycle traffic began to become a factor and time was lost as the 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 team’s 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 as the 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 team’s 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!
Matlock Racing would like to thank all its supporting sponsors: Honda, KZ Trailers, Vey’s Powersports, Precision Concepts, Rich Morel Racing Motors, JCR, Maxxis, Houser Racing, Elka, 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
For more information on Matlock Racing, visit MatlockRacing-Honda.com.
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