BAJA 1000 2009 Race Pilot Quotes

ANDY McMILLIN Trophy Truck #31 (First in TT class and first overall four-wheel vehicle. Andy started and drove to race mile 206. His father, Scott, drove to RM 500 and Andy drove the final leg.)

Andy said: "I started the race and I think we started 17th on the road. The plan was just to kind of take it easy and kind of let the race come to us. Sal (Fish) laid out a really rough, tough course this year. We knew that it was going to take one trip that didn’t have any problems to get the win. That was our plan all day – stay smooth and not have any downtime, no flat tires. I gave my dad the truck at mile 206 and I think we were seventh on the road and pretty close on the overall lead. My dad drove the San Felipe loop and the Mike’s loop. By the time he got to San Felipe, he was the first truck on the road. My dad handed me a helluva lead, so it was pretty easy. It was kind of just stay on the racecourse and you won’t get in trouble, so that was our plan and we followed it and let the race come to us, really."

ROGER NORMAN, # 8 Trophy Truck (Second in  TT class and second overall four-wheel vehicle. Larry Roeseler drove the first 400 miles and Norman drove to the finish.)
Norman said: "Early on, going over the Summit, B.J. (Baldwin) and Larry got tangled up and they got their bumpers hooked together and they both were stuck. When we came out of that, we had about 17 minutes of downtime between the first-place Trophy-Truck and where we were. At one point, he was only about a minute and a half from the lead. Everyone was bunched up. We hadn’t gained any positions but everybody was so tight, it was unbelievable. After that, we just played catch-up all the way around the San Felipe loop. He brought the car to me in fifth or sixth place and we just kept whittling off cars until we got to the finish. Our suspension was horrible."

RICK D. JOHNSON, #71 Trophy Truck (Third in TT class and third overall four-wheel vehicle.)
"I am relieved to be here (at the finish). Sal (Fish) and his boys put together a tough course. This course was brutal. There are a lot of easier Baja 1000 courses to La Paz than this one. It seemed like every edge was square. It was very tough. I was fighting the wheel at times. The steering was hard to hold in many spots. We were out of the GPS for a long time so we had to put another antenna on the GPS unit. It was very hard at night. Robby (Gordon) was racing us hard for some time but we broke a light bar and we had to fix it. He got out of the pit in front of us and, with no GPS, he was able to pull away. Being on that whole beach without GPS is very tough. We had to slow way down then. In today's world, the GPS plays a big role in our racing and without it, it is very difficult to run with the leaders."

ROBBY GORDON, #77 (Fifth in TT class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle. Gordon clinched the Trophy-Truck season points championship.)

"About mile 490, I got by Rick (D. Johnson) and then we lost the brakes. We worked on it for a while. We lost the battle and won the war. It was a long day. It’s a very, very technical racecourse that Sal (Fish) built for us and it was very tough. I think I’d take a Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 win over a championship, to be honest with you. This race is tough. The car basically ran pretty good all day. We know where we got beat. We were running third on the road for a while and then I had a flat tire. When we changed it, we had to put one on the rack and when we were putting one on the rack, Andy (McMillin) went by. We knew we had to get back in front of Andy. He was only about two minutes in front of us and then I had another flat and then I got stuck behind (Nick) Vanderwey (#84)."