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Alloy USA / Precision Gear / FatCity 1702 stuff

1744 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Lance
This is from Ron's perspective - sorry for the length!


Here are semi-random thoughts, observations and well-deserved thank you’s from the 2006 Baja 1000. It’s been non-stop running for two weeks – but what an awesome time!

I’ll try to be as brief as possible – but please understand this is the most intense 48 hours between the race, communications, chase, and sleep deprivation and without help from many couldn’t be done. And apologies – I don’t remember or didn’t get everyone’s names or last names.

Stats: We made it to approx. mile 800 with about 10 hours left to go 250 miles; when Eric Filar (Fat City) and Scott (Dusty Booger) came across Kenny Bartram and Tracy Jordan, who had crashed about 300ft. down a cliff. It was about 10pm, they radioed the situation in and made the call to stay with them until help arrived. No one thought that would take over 4-hours – it was the right call at the moment, and turned out to be the right call of the race. We couldn’t have caught the Pirate4x4 Team, but we had a slim chance of making the finish. Not one of our team ever second guessed the decision – there will be another Baja 1000.

Thoughts: 2WD sucked!!!! We had mounted a 6,000lb winch, aluminum ramps, hooks and multiple straps – we used all of them and still got stuck for hours in silt, mud, silt, mud…
The highway sucks south of Ensenada.The people of Baja are friendly and honest (just stay away from TJ).The food is great! The highway sucks south of Ensenada. The views are great! The highway sucks south of Ensenada. The beer is cold! The highway sucks south of Ensenada. The music is loud! The highway sucks south of Ensenada. I’ll be back!

Thank you’s:

My wife Tracy and son Austin – pre-running with my 13 year-old was a dads dream. My wife stayed up all night with our calls on the sat phone – “where’s 1701? Are they moving?”

All of the wives and significant others – this IS dangerous and expensive. Thanks for letting us play!

Eric and Ryan Filar – we gave you no time for prep but you got it done; and for letting so many people race/trash your race car. You both drove great!

Fernando / Federico – Ryan’s co-driver – how’s that Mexican French Toast???

Shannon Boothe – it was 11 years since my last Baja, so I called a friend that has been racing the last few years and asked him to co-dawg for me, and be our team leader - Thanks “old man”!

Brad Lovell – UROC Champ and first time ever in Baja, and you did a great job; even welding on the car to keep it going

Ian from Phoenix – he was waiting to get in the car and relieve Brad, and while helping another car pit he destroyed his ankle. He toughed it out about 50 miles in the car, and another 3 days of chasing. Get well!

Chris and Scott – two firemen from Nor-Cal that contacted Eric about wanting to help. You guys kicked ass – we couldn’t have done it without you.

The chase guys from Phoenix – you guys took care of Ian and Brad, getting him back to the States on time – and you didn’t even know us. All on a phone call from Shannon – Awesome!!

My business partner and 18 great employees – we are still in the midst of the transition from buying Precision Gear, and the timing wasn’t the greatest, but you guys and gal rocked!

The entire Pirate4x4 Team – you guys were pro’s; you took this seriously enough to finish and be safe, but had a great time along the way. I’ll never forget your 2006 Baja story – cheers!

Randy Ellis - stayed at Coco's to help us even though he was on the 1701 Team - thanks!!

Lance and Camo – thanks for making the “Baja Beer Bet” competitive, fun and friendly!

Mike Shaffer – What can I say – he talks trash with the best of them, but he’s a pro, a friend, and a champion. He helped Eric get unstuck, lent us his spare shock that kept us in the race (we would have been out at mile 299 without it).

Dave Rittenhouse and Dave Simpson – came through with Pro Comp HID’s at the last minute – they worked great!

BFGoodrich Tires – No flats and the most unbelievable Pit Support!!

Todd Steen and Jeff Cummings from BFGoodrich Tires for bringing buckets of beer and the un-official BFG sportsman of the race award to the 1702 team – and a crash pad for me in LaPaz!

Kenny Bartram and Tracy Jordan – the cliff diving team came by in LaPaz and shared some sincere thank you’s to our team. It was great to see them smiling! Get better Tracy!

Bob Bower – thanks for the honest talks with all of our team, your constant support, and the Iritracker that let people follow our progress.

That’s already too long – sorry! I’ll throw some short stories out later…

Ron Stobaugh
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There needs to be more people in our business like you.....

Thanks for helping everyone out and even the offers to buy into a truck a couple of years ago:D Maybe next time I'll be able to:cool2:

Racing Ron said:

Not one of our team ever second guessed the decision – there will be another Baja 1000.

Ron Stobaugh
Heck of a way of seeing life, hats off to you guys! You dont find guys like that verry often out there.
RON: I really want to thank you and Alloy for making the whole Baja experience possible. I had a great time and learned alot. My primary goal for this trip was to learn about the logistics of Baja, which I feel I met and then some.

ERIC & RYAN: I want to thank you for giving myself and Chris (Just a couple of dumb firemen) the opportunity to join the race effort this year. Your fab skills still amaze me. You did a great job with your Jeepspeed and I will be stealing many ideas. :D Although short, I still feel blessed for the time I got to spend co-driving. I have a new appreciation for their responsibilities. Thank you again.

SHANNON: Your experience, organization, & insight really made it all come together. I appreciate it and I tried to absorb every bit of information you brought to the table during the Baja experience. Good luck next year!

FYI: I just picked up a 93 2D 4.0 w/Auto 4x4 Cherokee an hour ago.:smokin:
Blog from Ryan's co-dod, Fernando (a.k.a. Frederico):D


Well I am back from the extreme challenge of racing the Baja 1000. Let me start off by saying I am glad to be home safe and sound. Some people didnt make the trip back for one reason or another and I feel very lucky to have very little issues while in Baja. For me the hardest thing in Baja was being away from my family. I missed my wife and kids tremendously and it was by far the hardest part of the trip. It was great to see my kids faces and my wife after almost a week.

Alright...........let me start by saying this.........the movie "Dust to Glory" give the real life justice of the Baja 1000 NO JUSTICE......ZERO! I repeat.........NO JUSTICE! Baja is the most insane terrian you hav ever seen. There are no words to even describe the terrian. I saw terrians that I never knew existed. There was everything from sand, rocks, water (not littles streams.......rivers and lakes people, that needed to be crossed), washes, hill climbs, rock climbs, town crossing, SILT (Undescribable), down hills that were incredibly steep, rock beds, beach driving........I could go on for days! I have been to a variety of offroad location and Baja is like no other I have seen..........its like your on another planet. One of my favorite areas to go recreational offroading is Ocotillo Wells............well Baja makes Ocotillo Wells look like a Kindergarden playground! There is only one way to describe it and it is to live through it!

Let me now touch on the perspective the culture has on offroad racers. The locals love these little things called, "Steekers". They will cut thier arm off for just one Sticker. Stickers are like gold down there...........from kids to adults the all want "Steekers"! To these kids the Baja racers are Gods.........its truely amazing........unbeleiveable........kids coming up to me asking for my autograph! This is insane.........I am a normal guy from California with a family that loves to offroad and you want my autograph? I mean come on.......I have never even been in the Baja 1000 and just because I have this wrist band from registration at SCORE and am going to co-drive a portion of the course they want my autograph! UNFREAKIN BELIEVABLE!

Now let me give you the team update to let you know how we did.........I am going to keep this short because it could go on for days. We had some complications along the way..........nothing we couldnt fix and continue through. We were pretty solid around mile 776 when my driver Ryan and I handed the car over to Eric. At about mile 800 or so Eric noticed a Baja Challenge driver that was 300 feet down a hillside. Long story short they lost control and tumbled down a 300 foot cliff. At that point in time the team leader Eric made a very honorable decesion to help these two drivers that crashed and call it a race. The team waited with the two crashed drivers until medical help came.........it was about 4 hours. At that point there were lives that were far more important than finishing the race. I believe we could of finished the race........but those guys lives were far more important. We can always finish next year! For a team rookie team trying to finish the Baja 1000 and making it to mile 800 to help some beat up drivers that crashed.........I think that is something to be proud of..........I know I am.

Lastly I want to say thank you to the FatCity/Alloy/Precision Gear team for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime. Eric and Ryan are two of the most funny down to earth guys that I have ever been around........thanks for the seat! I hope to get many more in the future. I also want to thank Ron from ALLOY/PRECISION GEAR.........you gave a rookie team an opportunity of a lifetime and I enjoyed every minute of it. Your a stand up guy that gives his word and is as good as Gold! .........CONGARTS to the Pirate Team on the beer bet! I learned a whole of alot and know I guess you could say.............."The Baja 1000..........been there and done that!" See you next year!

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Nice words Fernando.

It sure was good to see you guys late Sunday night when we were looking over the carnage of the trailer axle. Being that far away from home and seeing the Fat City crew lifted my spirits.

Thanks for seeing us to Guerrero *****.

So what about that party I keep hearing about????

It sound like win, lose or finish, you had a phenominal time down the peninsula. Enjoy.
Great times guys, Ron,Fat City and the rest of the Baja travelers, we need to get an after party together so we cna share all the great stories and start planning for next year. Elsinore work for everyone?
I lifted this from Dirt Newz,
Great story Brad.
Sorry if its on here all ready I just thought it should be added to this thread.

In The Racer's Own Words - Brad Lovell

2006 SCORE Baja 1000 Racer

As we crossed the start line, throngs of Mexicans created an isle little more than a car width wide. We raced through several blocks of town before dropping into the wash and starting the long journey south. This is where the Baja 1000 starts and we felt the first of 100,000 bumps between Ensenada and La Paz. It did not take long for the confusion of the race to set in. Around mile 7 some locals that switched signs sending cars crashing into the bushes. We recovered and the locals desperately tried to convince us that the right way was the wrong way.

We crossed the highway at mile 15 and were dismayed to see that the GPS was not giving us any course information. Baja racing is as much about the dust as anything. If you can see, you are off course. If the windshield is full of nothing but a dust cloud, you are probably on track. The GPS is your vision through the dust, without it, our world extended only a few yards past the hood. The best teams had been pre-running for months and recorded everything into the GPS. They knew every bend in the road, exactly where the whoops started, where to hit 140 mph, and where to hit the brakes. At this point, all we had was an occasional course marker and luck.

Right around mile 55 I began to realize the danger behind Baja racing. The horrors of silt (extremely fine powder) are not easily explained. We hit the first silt bed and a wave of darkness engulfed the entire Jeep. After that all I saw was the bushes scrape the truck as we made our blind charge. You must not stop and you can't even see the dashboard. Eventually, we became stuck and waited for the crash we knew would happen. It came as JeepSpeed #1749 glanced off our right rear corner and rolled only a few feet away, barely visible. The craziest man I have ever seen appeared on foot, checked on #1749, and volunteered to pull us out. I can't imagine a place more dangerous or miserable to be spectating than a silt bed. As the strap tightened, #1701 hit us from behind and we were set free.

A "JeepSpeed" is a basically a stock Jeep Cherokee with safety and suspension upgrades. Ours, #1702, had over 200,000 miles on it as the race commenced and chose race mile 75 as a place fit for service. We continually lost power until we had no choice but to stop. We got out and could not find room to diagnose the problem as a swarm of locals were performing every maintenance task needed and cleaning the windshield to boot. With additional help from the #1701 chase crew, we unclogged the fuel filter and were quickly on our way.

Darkness fell and fear did not cross me but I now had a sense that this was deadly serious business; it was not a game. You could lie hurt in the desert for hours and not receive proper medical attention for days. Our course notes were now illegible, camera filled with dust, and sunglasses sandblasted. Every bit of concentration in the truck was focused on the road. The night hid things. It hid a terrible unlimited class wreck (and subsequent stripping of the vehicle by locals) as we sailed by sight unseen. It hid some manner of parked vehicle that we sideswiped, instantly appearing and then gone in the murk. It hid a turn and sent us charging into a campfire with locals running for their lives. I have little doubt that hundreds of death defying stories were created that night as 450 vehicles charged the dark in a race with no rules.

Course markers now became sparse and we began to question exactly where we were. My stop was at race mile 236 and I was ready to be out of the truck as the welcoming lights of BFGoodrich Pit #2 came into sight. The crew gassed the Jeep and we surveyed the damage. One blown front shock, a broken suspension bolt, questionable fuel filter, and broken axle truss. We welded, grinded, and turned wrenches for an hour before the truck raced into the night, leaving me behind. I would camp in the desert before catching a 2-day ride back to San Diego airport. This is where my story ends and that of others begins. I would not hear the following until I was safe at home in Colorado.

It seems that the shock repair could not be made for at least a couple hundred more miles. During that stretch the relief team of Ron Stobaugh and Shannon Booth spent a good bit of time stuck in the mud unable to find anyone to pull them out. Later in the race they could be found getting a 40 mph tow from a local due to a faulty fuel pump in the Jeep. Even with the problems, the race continued. The best plan for this race is to plan for all your plans to fall apart. The team kept the Jeep racing and headed south straining to meet the 43-hour time limit.

The end of the race came at mile 783. Racing only slightly ahead of our truck was the BFGoodrich / Baja Challenge #3 car. This car was in part co-driven by fellow rockcrawler Tracy Jordan. They had come in wide on a switchback and fell about 300 feet off the mountain into a dry wash. The pair was able to climb hand and foot back to the road but had sustained threatening injury. Our driver at that point, Eric Filar, made the call that the team would not leave the injured until medical help arrived. It proved to be a wise call as no assistance came for over 4 hours, sealing the DNF (did not finish) fate for our team.

In the end it was the Alloy USA team that footed the bill for beer in La Paz as the Pirate 4x4 team made the finish under their own power and in good time. It was likely not important who was picking up the tab. Everyone was safe and in one piece. To drive down the Baja non-stop is a high adventure. To race 1000 miles on the Baja carries the danger of Wild West. To win is an admirable feat. The coordination and investment to race the Baja 1000 is immense and while I owe a thank you to dozens, I would like to extend it foremost to Ron Stobaugh and Eric Filar for helping me fulfill a lifelong goal.
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That last post reminds of a question I had...Did you guys or the pirate team download PCI's version or for that matter any version of the racemap to your GPS?
jwag said:
That last post reminds of a question I had...Did you guys or the pirate team download PCI's version or for that matter any version of the racemap to your GPS?

Yes. FatCity/Alloy USA had the PCI download but had a problem with the GPS for the first 300 miles.
jwag said:
That last post reminds of a question I had...Did you guys or the pirate team download PCI's version or for that matter any version of the racemap to your GPS?
1701 Ran a PCI map.
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