Lopez captures third straight SCORE-International points championship
In the 50th running of the SCORE-International Baja 1000, Apdaly Lopez was first to the finish line and took home the overall win. After spending weeks pre-running in preparation for the longest, most grueling race in off-road racing, Lopez earned his first career overall Baja 1000 victory and finished with a time of 19:53:36.312, nearly an hour faster than second place finisher.
“Winning the Baja 1000 is one of the best feelings of my life. My team and sponsors are the best in the sport and we spent a ton of time pre-running so we knew what to expect on race day. We executed our plan and were first to La Paz. To have done that with my dad Juan Carlos was extra special,” said Apdaly.
Lopez shared driving duties in the #1 RPM Off-Road trophy truck with his father Juan Carlos Lopez, who was handed the truck at race mile 555. Apdaly got back in at race mile 992 to finish the race. The duo only had one flat the entire race and said the most important part of the race was the roughest – San Felipe.
“We were able to make up six minutes on the leaders from San Felipe to Puertecitos, no doubt due to our perfectly tuned suspension,” said Lopez. “That is the roughest part of the race course and here we were able to really pay attention to times and push the pace. Our King Shocks owned San Felipe and gave us the confidence to chase down the leaders in this infamously brutal section.”
King Shocks won Class 1 with #189 Jon Walker’s first place finish. Walker won the Baja 1000 in 2015 and finished this year with a time of 23:55:51.574, just twenty minutes ahead of King Shocks teammate Brad Wilson. For Walker, it was the last 150 miles where the race was won as the two battled it out.
Walker started the race 12th in class, handed the buggy off to Joe Black at race mile 340 and finished the race from race mile 800. Without rear brakes from that point on, Walker was able to hold off Wilson to take the win in Class 1.
“It was a true team effort. Including drivers and co-drivers, our team only consists of six people. Big props to co-rider Joey Black for sitting in the navigator seat for the entire race and Derek Kreger at Kreger Fabrication for building and prepping a winning race car,” said Walker.
With their win at the Baja 1000, the team adds to their most recent wins at the NORRA Mexican 1000 in Class 1400 and Best in the Desert’s Vegas to Reno, now claiming victories in the longest races in North America.
Photos by Art Eugenio and Ernesto Araiza.
About King Shocks
King Shocks makes world-class desert racing shocks for trucks, buggies and UTV’s. King manufactures and hand assembles all of their shocks in Southern California. King Shocks has been the industry leader for over a decade and continues to leave the competition in the dust by providing the level of quality, performance and customer service that champions demand.
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