Ensenada, Baja California Mexico
The 48th Baja 1000 got off to a good start for McMillin Racing. The McMillin family name is synonymous with the won his first of many Baja 1000 races in 1981. Mark, and Brother Scott, followed in the racing footsteps of their Father Corky. Mark’s sons Dan and Luke are carrying on the tradition. Scott’s son Andy and Daughter Jessica compete too.
Kicking off the festivities was the Baja Legacy Celebration, held at the famous Horsepower Ranch. The event included a book signing for the beautiful new hardcover titled, Big Blue M; The History of McMillin Racing. The book chronicles the racing history of the McMillin family. Attendees to the book signing were treated to a very special autograph session with all six McMillin family racers in attendance.
On race day, the good news continued with a top ten finish for Dan who crossed the line in eighth place after 18 hours of racing. That’s where the ugly comes in. The competition is always tough but the 840 mile course was downright ugly. After the start in downtown Ensenada, the course followed a scenic route south along the Pacific coast.
“We started 16th off the line,” said Dan, “At around race mile 20, we encountered a major fuel rail issue. Our chase crew, Humby Martos, Stuart Farley, Bobby Olimon, and Bill Wilson fixed the problem in just under twenty minutes but it let all of the trophy trucks behind us and even a couple of class one cars get past. From that point on, we had to play catch up. We overtook many of the trophy trucks and all the class one cars before handing the truck off to Chuck Hovey and Cameron Parrish at race mile 287.”
“Chuck’s pre running paid off huge when he was able to get around 5 to 7 trucks that were stuck in the silt. They handed the truck back to us at race mile 483. From that point on, we were charging hard to make up for lost time; we had no other issues. We were seventh across the line but had some speeding penalties while assessing the fuel issue; they put us in eighth place overall.
It was great to get a solid finish at the Baja 1000. With help from DLM Real Estate, BFGoodrich Tires, Ultra Race Wheels, King Racing Shocks, Maxima Racing Oils, Baja Designs, K&N Air Filters, Howe Performance and Kroyer Racing Engines, we will be ready for the 2016 race season with a new #23 Racer Engineering Trophy Truck.”
Unfortunately, Luke’s race was just bad. “We were two trucks back from taking the green flag when we lost an engine belt,” said Luke, “Fortunately, Chris Olimon and Cameron Parrish changed it in less than two minutes. Five miles off the line, we lost another belt. At mile 70, the steering rack broke causing a 50 minute delay to change it. We were down but not out but as luck would have it, we lost two more belts.”
After a quick pit stop at mile 170, they were handed the final blow. The rear end let go; sending bits and pieces everywhere in the housing. Simply replacing the broken parts would not do. The debris inside would eventually work its way throughout; eating up the new parts.
They reluctantly called it a day. Work has already begun on next season’s racing campaign. Dan’s new Racer Engineering Truck and Luke’s repaired #83 will be back in the dirt at the Best In The Desert series Parker 425 race in Parker, Arizona on February 4-7, 2016.
Photography By: Bink Designs