By all accounts, the MasterCraft Racing / Rockstar Energy Drink team was going to be a force to be reckoned with at the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 500. With three SCORE Trophy Trucks starting in the top ten and incredibly strong finishes at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, expectations were justifiably high. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. “That is why we race,” explained a sage Robbie Pierce, CEO of MasterCraft Safety. “If we already knew who was going to take home the victory, it wouldn’t be very exciting. The unforgiving and challenging Baja peninsula always has a way of keeping things interesting, and that is one of the biggest appeals of desert racing.”
MasterCraft Safety / Rockstar Energy Drink No. 30 – Robbie Pierce
Pierce started the race in the third position and was running second in his Jimco SCORE Trophy Truck until he lost a power steering belt at Race Mile 22. “This is the second race in a row where this same issue has surfaced,” Pierce noted. “We need to go back to the drawing board and ensure this does not happen again.” With a new belt on the truck, Pierce fought his way forward and back into the eighth position with the help of “Turbo Tom” Geviss. Unfortunately an encounter with a cholla cactus forced Geviss to exit the truck at Race Mile 187, requiring Pierce to finish the second half of the race sans co-driver. Even after losing Geviss in the right seat, Robbie successfully worked his way up through the field and into the fifth position when the No. 30 pitted at race mile 290, taking on nearly 70 gallons of fuel during the stop. “Unfortunately a throttle position sensor failure caused the race truck to run excessively rich and our fuel economy went straight to Hell,” commented Robbie. “We had more than enough fuel to complete the last 150 miles of the race but I ran out just 8 miles from the finish while I was running in the fifth position,” added Pierce. Robbie eventually finished 16th, impressive considering the challenges he had to overcome during the race. While it was not funny at the time, Geviss was able to joke about the cholla incident after the race. “I am going to have to get MasterCraft Safety to make me another racesuit… one that is cactus proof!”
Rockstar Energy Drink / MasterCraft Safety No. 20 – Rob MacCachren
Starting the race in the second position it was not long before multiple series champion and off-road powerhouse, Rob MacCachren, was leading the crowded field in his Rockstar Energy Drink / MasterCraft Racing Jimco SCORE Trophy Truck. Sitting fourth in season points and a contender for the prestigious Milestone Award, Rob MacCachren and MasterCraft Racing was well positioned for a excellent race and season. Unfortunately, disaster struck at Race Mile 185 requiring a transmission change in MacCachren’s No. 20 truck. “I was sitting in the middle of the tremendously hot desert, waiting for the chase truck to bring us a transmission when Robbie’s co-driver, Tom Geviss, just popped up out of nowhere! He was pouring sweat, looked like Hell, and was in excessive pain when he got to us. I didn’t know Robbie had kicked him out of the truck two miles after passing us. Tom was in too much pain from the cholla to continue on in the truck so he walked back two miles to help us with the transmission,” remarked MacCachren. By the time the transmission was replaced all hopes of victory had been dashed, but MacCachren was able to finish the race, under his own power, just after midnight with an elapsed time of 14 hours, 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
MasterCraft Safety / Rockstar Energy Drink No. 42 – Will J. Staats
Will J. Staats started the race in the ninth position in the No. 42 MasterCraft Safety SCORE Trophy Truck and battled a tough field to earn a hard-fought sixth place position by the time he had reached the pit at race mile 290. Staats was running a phenomenal and nearly flawless race in his Jimco-built SCORE Trophy Truck until race mile 378 where he lost the brakes in a fairly technical section of the race course. The loss of stopping power caused Staats to hit a boulder on the course, destroying the driver side lower A arm in the process. “It was incredibly disappointing to be taken out of the race, that close to the finish and running in the sixth position but sometimes your luck just runs out,” remarked Will J. Staats. My co-driver, Greg Shapiro, was able to get the A-arm rigged back together with a ratchet strap and a chisel and we were able to limp the truck 12 miles out to the road crossing at Uruapan where our crew was waiting for us to put the truck on a trailer,” added Staats.
Look for the MasterCraft Racing Team to return to their winning ways at the 15th annual SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 on September 10-12, 2010.