Jimco’s Class-1s Take 4 of the Top-5 at the 2016 Baja 500
It is a trending sight; blue race suits of the Wilson Motorsports team, standing atop a Jimco car, holding a checkered flag, smiles and the vanquishing rain of a celebratory toast. Making more than an animated photo, the Wilson racing family continues to make memories together in their Jimco race cars… this time at the Baja 500.
Starting in the 15th position, the #138 darted off the start in Ensenada with Brian Wilson behind the wheel and Craig Darrow in the right seat. They had no issues; let that sink in, they had no issues… a testament to the teams preparation lead by Mike Stapleton. Considering the hardships and stories revolving around this year’s Baja 500, to have no issues is nothing short of amazing. When Brian and Craig passed the reigns to Ronny Wilson and Justin Monyun, the #138 was in 3rd physical, and first on time. Ronny kept the pace solid and then passed the torch to Randy Wilson, who held that lead all the way through the checkered flag. The team celebrated an undisputed win by over 14-minutes in class, and a 9th place overall finish. Second place finisher, Justin Davis, is quoted at the finish line expressing how he “tried to run down the Wilson’s, just couldn’t!”
The #153 Jimco of Brad Wilson enjoyed a spot on the podium with a 3rd place effort. Driven at the start by Kyle Quinn and co-rider Ricky Hardy, the #153 had a starter issue around rm60 that would be remedied, but created the need to push the car, and make-up some down time. Brad Wilson vaulted into the car at Borrego, knowing they were within podium reach. Brad kept making headway and found himself fitting nicely into that third position.
It was a race day hotter than most can ever remember of the Baja 500 but of the 18 starters in class-1, two other Jimco fabricated race cars brought their teams safely into the Top-5. The #128 of Brent Parkhouse completed a 4th place run. “I’m really proud to be here,” Parkhouse exclaimed through his exhaustion at the finish, “We had a flat and I missed a turn but other than that, the car ran great!” The #114 of Al Torres finished his 500-mile race in 5th and commented on the increasingly difficult visibility, added to the extreme heat but assured, “We gave it all we [had] and here we are.”
The Matlocks see their Jimco UTVs to the Podium
From sea level to 4,000 above, from beds of thick silt to hills of dense rocks, the diverse Baja 500 race has the challenges that appeal to all racers. 14 Pro UTV FI competitors lined up in the blazing heat on Saturday June 4th, to take on not just each other, but the unpredictable land of the Baja peninsula. More predictable however was the top finisher in his class, Wayne Matlock in his #2971 Jimco Pro UTV FI. He has now gone back-to-back as the Overall UTV winner in 2015 & 2016. Wayne found himself stuck in “the bottle neck,” and dropped from first to eighth in a few short minutes; but the veteran racer would not let on that he was frustrated with the situation by commenting non-nonchalantly, “it happens.” The Matlock name could be seen all over live tracking sites, to all who opened their browsers from the comfort of their air-conditioned home, as Kristen Matlock was also racing. She regulated her pink Jimco Pro UTV to the podium, claiming 3rd in the non turbo UTV class. Kristen raced Jimco’s first UTV for Terrabit Racing, which brought Wayne a win at last year’s Baja 500.
Billy Wilson Finishes with Points Towards the Championship
Coming off a stunning San Felipe 250 overall victory in his first Score Trophy Truck race, Billy Wilson of Bevly-Wilson Racing, out of Texas, was anxious to get back behind the wheel of his number 15 4-Wheel Specialties Jimco. Complications and time constraints would not allow the rookie Trophy Truck driver to be able to test for the Baja 500 and he would have to use qualifying as his pre-race test. After a navigational error in qualifying, 25th is were Billy Wilson would start out of Ensenada. Billy and Navigator Byron Seed had a humble goal to “just move forward.” Completing the course in 9-hours, 2-minutes and 14-seconds, he was awarded the 8th place finishing position. The top 10 finish is good enough to keep the team in the points lead headed into round 3 in Rosarito in September. Gary Magness in the #45 Jimco concluded the Top-10 in Trophy Truck class.
Jimco Present Among Class-10 Finishers
4th = #1088 Sergio Salgado
12th = #1056 Johnny Buss
13th = #1060 Armando Boehme
16h = #1018 Miguel Tornel Jr.