The 2023 SCORE Baja 1000 is going to be very different this year. Not only is it the second longest course in the event’s history, but the trail will run South to North, which has never been done before. Yes, that is right, the course is going to be run backward for the first time and it will take a lot of teamwork for competitors to be successful.
That is why rivals are teaming up for the backward 2023 Baja 1000 and forming super teams to multiply and maximize efforts. At a distance of 1,310.94 miles, everyone racing, and their equipment will be stretched to the limit. In addition to the many miles, the punishing course, being run backward will make it even more challenging. All those familiar landmarks will look entirely different, especially at night. That’s why many teams bring in extra help to accomplish the task. Check out the race preview in the most recent SCORE Journal.
Fishgistics’ 2023 SCORE Baja 1000 Preview Show
Virtual Prerun Of The Entire 2023 Baja 1000 Race Course
Competitors have spent all year competing against each other. For the 2023 Baja 1000, they are putting their rivalries aside to accomplish a greater goal. Those who are contending for points championships have even more on the line. Luckily we have a ton of talent and dedication in the sport right now. The level of competition is intense and the talent pool runs deep. It results in some incredible alliances and a huge transfer of knowledge that makes the sport even stronger.
With the race scheduled to start on Thursday, November 16th, 322 teams have signed up to race the “Granddaddy of All Desert Races”. The world’s longest point-to-point race will be starting next week in La Paz, Baja California Sur, and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California.
2023 Baja 1000 Super Teams
Victory is the number one priority and common goal. Just like any machine, the parts need to match up to work properly. One thing that everyone shares is the thirst for victory. The shared sacrifices needed to thrive in this sport help to create a lot of mutual respect among competitors; especially those who have earned their place at the forefront. Those who have multiple wins and championships are highly sought after when names are bandied around before the Baja 1000 draft season starts.
Luke And Rob Go For Three In A Row
Some alliances go back many years, like Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren. These two drivers, independently, have at times been running 1st and 2nd place in the points yet have still managed to unite for the Baja 1000. Several wins have been the result. This year they are back together and going for one more. The pair are going for their third win in a row, and Luke’s fourth straight Baja 1000 overall. Luke would take the record for consecutive overall wins at four and Rob will match his record of three wins in a row for his second time. Luke’s long-time navigator Jason “Dirty” Duncan is scheduled to ride shotgun for the whole run north!
The only other four-wheeled competitor to win three in a row is Larry Ragland who will be racing with Ed Herbst and Mark Post in the TT Legends class.
Bryce Menzies Has Been Hard To Beat In 2023
One team that stands out from the other super teams is that of Bryce Menzies, Tavo Vildosola, and Andy McMillin. They will share the wheel of Bryce’s all-wheel drive Mason Motorsports truck. Andy McMillin has won the Baja 1000 five times. Tavo has a win in 2010 and Bryce is still chasing his first. With wins at the 400 and 500 this year, Bryce would be a solid bet to come out on top, but it’s anyone’s race to win. But first, they need to survive Baja. There probably isn’t anyone who is hungrier than Bryce and he has one of the best race programs and co-drivers around in Oren Anderson. Co-drivers don’t get a lot of fanfare, but any race win in off-road racing is the product of a great team. Great teams put their drivers in a position to win.
Mr. Baja And The Aussies Will Be Tough To Beat
One team that has great potential and is overdue for some good luck is the 43 of Larry Roeseler, Paul Weel, and Toby Price. Let’s face it; they don’t call Larry Roeseler “Mr. Baja” for nothing. He has more wins in Baja than anyone. He is always a threat and regularly lands on the podium in his two-wheel-drive truck.
You have to be honest when the debate comes up between two-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive; all-wheel drive has an advantage. All-wheel drive may not be faster, but they are quicker to get up to speed. While the two-wheel-drive is spinning its rear tires, the all-wheel drive is pulling away hard. The team will be running Weel’s all-wheel drive Mason truck. The pairing of the two blazing-fast Aussies, Weel, and Price, with the steady hand of Mr. Baja might be the match-up that comes away with the win.
The 2023 Baja 1000 Lure Attracts New And Old Talents
The race is going to be grueling, so whoever has the guts, will, and determination has a shot. How about the team of Mike Walser and Ray Griffith? They also have Christopher Polvoorde on the roster as well. Walser is not a household name but has some solid finishes like a 2nd place at the Baja 500 and has tons of racing experience. Griffith has excelled at all stages of his racing career and is complemented by all his teammates as a fast and solid driver.
They will be racing Walser’s new all-wheel-drive Mason Motorsports Trophy Truck.
Experience And Strategy Will Be The Keys To Success
Another impressive-looking team on the entry list is that of Roberto Romo Jr. with Roberto Romo, Oscar Balderrama, Alberto Medina, Juan Carlos Lopez and Reynaldo Zavala.
That’s a huge body of racing experience. Any one of those guys can drive, wrench and problem-solve anything that comes up. That’s what you are going to need during this epic event.
When In Baja, There Is Nothing Better Than Family And Friends
Another of the many examples of the incredible depth of knowledge and family ties is the team of Alan Ampudia, Aaron Ampudia, Rodrigo Ampudia, Jax Redline, Kyle Craft, and Steve Covey. This team will be extremely hard to beat. They start off the line third behind the Menzies team and Luke McMillin.
Speaking of McMillin, we also see Dan McMillin, Luke’s older brother, has enlisted the talents of Josh Daniels and Justin Lofton. Dan and Josh have teamed up on multiple occasions, and Justin Lofton is as solid a driver in the elite Trophy Truck division as they come.
As far as competitiveness goes, Michael Marsal, who sits 3rd in the Trophy Truck Spec division points standings, has some of the most competitive guys in the sport on his team. In addition to Hudson Hall, Austin Aube, and Matt Martinez he has Neal Grabowski, Jack Grabowski, Troy Grabowski, and Dustin Grabowski on his team. All those Grabowski’s occupying the same space have got to change the rotation of the Earth or something. They could pick up the number 236 Brenthel Spec Trophy Truck up and carry it across the finish line.
Will The Limited Teams Make It?
Looking at team profiles, it’s interesting to see the amount of family members who are making up the team’s driver rosters. Everyone knows this race will be something special and why not make it a memory of a lifetime with your family? There are so many incredible racing families involved. It’s the second longest Baja 1000; only the Baja 2000 was longer. The unlimited trucks and buggies will grab much of the limelight but the limited classes will be where character and commitment will shine through.
Will the Class 11 VW Beetles finish in time? What about the Ford Performance team running both a Bronco and F-150 developed with Huseman Engineering? If anyone can it will be the Bronco Raptor team of Brad Lovell, Byam Lovell, Jason Hutter, Paul Blangsted, Bailey Campbell, and Brian Bryan Crofts. In the F-150 Raptor R Crew, there is Loren Healy, Eric Davis, Jason Scherer, Jason Berger, John Williams, and Nate Williams. There is no quitting in that crowd.
As we look forward to the race, another variable has been added to an otherwise incredibly challenging course. The possibility of rain during the event is likely. There is a 50-hour time limit for each vehicle once they take off from the start line. Who knows what havoc that will create? This 56th Baja 1000 run backward will be one of the toughest ever and the lead vehicle should take over 20 to 21 hours to complete the race first. Whoever survives and conquers will forever be able to claim they are the best of the best in off-road racing.