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Matlock Racing

Matlock Racing's RECORD Ensenada to San Felipe 250 Race Report - 1st Overall ATV
Matlock Racing's Wayne Matlock and Dofo Arellano Take 1st Overall Quad at the RECORD Ensenada to San Felipe 250
June 22-24, 2012

This was my first time racing a RECORD race in Baja. I had some doubts as to how well the course was going to be marked and how well the race would be organized, but I have to tell you that I was very pleased. The course was marked much better than a lot of the other races that I have raced throughout my career. With over 240 teams entered this year, they must know what they are doing.

Our weekend started at about noon on Friday when my wife Kristen and I dropped our boys off at her mom and dad's house. We then headed down to Baja so I could pre run one of my sections. We got down to K77 where I was going to get on the quad for my first ride at about 3:30 pm. I took off and rode down to Valley de Trinidad without any problems except I was having trouble focusing on the course due to the fact that I had taken some ibuprofen for my wrist that was still bothering me from hitting the truck at the Baja 500 earlier this month. About 10 miles in, I realized I had taken too much and had to just cruise so I didn't crash. Once I got to Valley T, I loaded the quad back up and Kristen and I headed back to Ensenada to meet up with Dofo to wash the quad, go to tech, sign up for the race, have dinner, and get to bed. Unfortunately, all of these tasks were not completed until about 11:30pm.

The next day came early when we had to wake up at 4:00am as we had to be in Ojos Negros for a 6:30am start time. Dofo started the race in the third starting position with Christian Vera in first and Lipe Velez in second each starting in 30 second intervals. I headed down to K77 and waited for Dofo to come through. The first quad was the #2A then we were about 1 minute 40 seconds behind him. Dofo came in, we switched riders, and gassed the quad. About halfway through putting gas in the quad, we got passed by the #1A quad (that just sounds weird to me). I took off after him and was able to make a pass when he stopped for gas and a rider change at the end of the pavement section. Once I got going for 15 or 20 miles I could see the dust of the lead quad. The entire time I kept catching bikes and having to pass them, it was tough in the dust. About one mile from Valley T there was a booby trap stretched across the road. As I came up on it, it looked like somebody hit it going way too fast. Soon after that thought had crossed my mind, I found myself right behind the lead quad of #2A Christian Vera. He had hit the trap and waded up pretty badly, breaking his collar bone. In the middle of my section between Valle T and San Matias, there was a transfer section where we would have to trailer our race vehicles to the next section. They gave us exactly one hour to make the transfer. At the transfer section I was 5 seconds behind the lead quad and only 1 second in front of the #1A team of Lipe Velez.

At the restart, I was the first quad to take off the line because the #2A quad missed his start time. I was followed 1 second later by #1A Lipe Velez. The race was on, I took every line that I knew and some that I didn’t, he followed me like a shadow. At the San Matias road crossing I had a 3 to 4 second lead on him before they did their rider change. The course went next to the highway through big sand woops, I knew that I could gain some ground in this section because our quad's Roll Design/Elka suspension combo was working so well. I clicked it into 5th gear and held on tight. I had a blast and by the time I handed the quad over to Dofo we had over 45 seconds on second place. Dofo rode through the Borrego desert and down to K150. Somewhere in between, the #1A quad had a good line and was able to pass Dofo. Dofo told me he was moving at a good pace then all of the sudden the #1A quad went by him. He said that just fired him up and he grabbed another gear and pinned it. They went back and forth two more times before Dofo made the pass stick.

At K150, I jumped on the quad. As I took off, Kristen radioed me and told me the #1A quad was 20 seconds behind us. I road my section as fast as I could. It was a little sketchy because I had never ridden the course going that direction before. I came into K159 to switch with Dofo and knew there was something wrong at the pit because Dofo was the one holding the dump can and it only had a gallon and a half in it. Come to find out, our pit crew had been held up at the military check point and therefore we didn't have any gas. When I came into the pit Dofo filled the quad and when he jumped on the quad, it stalled. He kicked it once and he was off. Unfortunately, this allowed the #1A quad to catch up and Dofo and he were in a drag race leaving the pits.

Dofo had passed him and was so focused on putting as much time on the #1A quad as possible, he had gotten off on a bad line. After a little bit he looked back and saw the #1A quad off in the distance and noticed that he was going by an easy-up that looked like it could be a check point. Not wanting to get disqualified, he decided to turn around and backtrack. While on his way back to the check point, the #1A quad passed him going the other way. Once he got back to the check point he put his head down, pinned it, and gave it all he had. As he came into the last rider change at Zoo road, he was side by side with the #1A quad. Dofo came in, I had the dump can in my hands with about a gallon in it that we borrowed from another team since our other chase truck had still not caught up with us. It was so close that I panicked a little and got on the quad without putting gas in it. Dofo pushed the can back to me and made me realize that I did not put the gas in it yet. In all of the confusion I had hit the shifter with my foot and stalled the quad. I pulled the kick starter out and kicked, nothing...kicked more, still nothing. The whole time I was kicking I could see the dust from #1A disappearing in the distance. Finally, after what seemed like minutes but was only seconds our quad fired up. I kicked it into gear and was off. I rode that thing like a rented mule. It probably thought I was punishing it for not starting and it was right. I was doing everything I could to make time up. I was working the side of the course and all of the little lines over there. About half way through, I finally realized that the course was not as bad as it normally is because we were going the opposite direction and the woops were not all peaked out this way. I got over to the center of the course and pinned it. I could see the #1A quad and I started to count the seconds from where I would see him go by a land mark. On my last count I was 25 seconds behind him. I kept it pinned the entire way to the checkered flag. I finished 27 seconds behind him, that gave us the win by 3 seconds!

We had a great race. I know those guys raced their hearts out and are thinking back about where they lost three seconds over and over again in their heads. Races like this are the best races when it is a battle all the way to the end.

I would like to thank my partner Dofo for giving it his all and not giving up, my wife Kristen, Dofo’s wife Ale, and his buddies Rigo and Frayre for doing such a great job pitting us and compensating for situations as they arose throughout the race, and as always, I would like to thank all of my sponsors for making all of this possible: American Honda, JCR, Maxxis, Elka, Vey's Powersports, Scott Goggles, Rich Morel Race Motors, Precision Concepts, Roll Design, KZ Trailers, Fly Racing, Renthal, UNI, DWT, FMF, OMF, Tire Balls, Quad Tech, DID, Hinson, Precision Racing Products, Baja Designs, Motion Pro, UPP, Pro Armor, Go Pro, Kal-gard, Alpinestars, Galfer, Lonestar, Works Connection, IMS, and Hammer Nutrition.

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