For Juan and his team, the journey to this year's 50th Baja 1000 is in full swing. They're ready for the green flag to drop in about 2 weeks which is when the SCORE International's 50th Baja 1000 is set to begin. We got up with Juan to learn more about his thoughts, team, and their machine going into this brutal race.
The team and I are stoked for this 1134.40-mile journey through the Baja peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz. As the race gets closer, the jitters get bigger as Pirruñas Racing is ready to be on top at the 50th Anniversary Baja 1000.
The team is getting ready to pre-run the course on November 3-7 in order to get a close look at the terrain we will be battling for over a thousand miles! The riders for this year's Baja 1000 includes me (Juan Dominguez) from Yuma, AZ, Javier Robles from Mexicali, Rusty Repass from Virginia, Dan Webb from Maryland, and Jose Contreras from Tecate.
Our team will be piloting a 2005 Honda Trx450r built by local Honda dealership, Liberty Motorsports. The quad has been completely torn down to the bare frame and reinforced by our best local fabricator Greg Fiddes, who is an awesome dirt bike rider himself. Our suspension is being handled by Felipe Velez at Baja ATV Rider's Only, who is known as the best individual to adjust the suspension on ATVs involved in desert racing. Barker's Performance is setting us up with the most durable exhaust on the planet to help get the power we need to pull out in front of the competition. Tire Blocks will be protecting all four tires from going flat for the 1134.40-mile journey. Pirruñas Racing has relied on these companies for all our wins in Baja and is a huge asset to our success south of the border.
With that being said, Juan and his team are ready to take on the most challenging race of the SCORE International series. We wanted to pick his brain on his thoughts going into this race and learn more about his team on the journey to the 50th Baja 1000. Here's what we learned.
How many Baja 1000's have you raced in?
The 50th anniversary Baja 1000 will be our 8th straight running in the legendary off-road race. We have been blessed enough to win 3 Baja 1000s and just falling short of winning last year after leading all race long, and having carb issues in the last 10 miles. Every Baja 1000 has been a learning experience and life long adventure.
What have you learned from these races that will help you in the race to come?
We have gained tons of knowledge in previous running's of the Baja 1000 and the biggest is to prepare for the worst. You can never prepare enough for a Baja 1000. We have been wrenching away for the past couple of months and will continue until the day before the green flag drops. To win you must first finish!
What do you think will be the greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge for this Baja 1000 will be starting at night. We are scheduled to leave the starting line in Ensenada at 12 am Thursday morning. That leaves us racing through the night Thursday, all day Thursday, all night Friday, and reaching the finish line in La Paz Friday at sunrise "if all goes well." This will make it very tiring for our support crew and riders so we will need to adjust our sleeping schedule quite a bit. Three of our riders will be racing through the night and the other two riders will be racing through the day.
What are you most excited about?
I am excited about racing for over 24 hours. Since this Baja 1000 is point to point, chase crews need to drive double the distance from pit to pit, and riders need to ride double the distance in hopes of being the first quad across the finish line.
Tell us a little bit more about your team...
We are pretty excited for this years Baja 1000 team of riders. Every rider has tons of ATV racing knowledge and has the dedication to win races. Javier Robles Jr. at 28 years of age, has been racing Baja since he was 16. He grew up watching his dad race ATVs in the Baja as well and was very successful at it. Javier is known as the ATV champion in Baja after winning first quad overall for 3 years straight. He decided to join us this year to keep his reigning championship going. Jose Contreras at 33 years of age, has been racing Baja since his early 20s. He was part of our 2015 Baja 1000 winning team and plenty of experience racing in such a demanding race. Rusty Repass and Dan Webb are fellow racing buddies from the east coast. The dual have been racing GNCC for many years now and enjoy the mystic of Baja. The racing buddies were part of our 2016 Baja 1000 team and falling short of winning their first baja race. We are excited to have everyone a part of our 2017 Baja 1000 effort!
The class we will be competing in is the sportsman ATV class. Our team has been strong enough to win both the San Felipe 250 and the Baja 500 this year. We hope to make it three next month!
Juan Dominguez and Pirruñas Racing wants to give a special thanks to Lee and the rest of his service team at Liberty Motorsports, personal mechanic "Jose Nolasco" for helping us wrench on the quad and setting us up with Tire Blocks, Dave at Barkers Exhaust for allowing us to run the most durable exhaust in the racing industry, my girlfriend Juanita Cabrera for supporting my dream in winning another Baja 1000, and to my Tio Victor, Primo Jose, and my dad Vicente who will be chasing us all over the Baja peninsula for over 24 hours. Without such a determined team, winning Baja races would be impossible.
Thanks to all our sponsors, supporters, fans, friends, and family who made the 50th Anniversary Baja 1000 a reality! Look for Pirruñas Racing and Team 109A to be the first ATV across the finish line in La Paz!
We can't wait for the Baja 1000 to begin on November 19th! We'll be keeping up with Juan and his team, as well as our other sponsored rider, Tristan Dietrich and his team leading up to and throughout the race so be sure to follow along with us on our Facebook page.
Good luck to all our riders and their teams at the 50th Baja 1000!
Juan and his team run our Full Single Exhaust System for the Honda TRX450. Learn more about this exhaust below.