San Felipe, Baja California Mexico
A top five finish in the SCORE, San Felipe 250 is something to be proud of. San Felipe is a sprint race that takes place in absolutely punishing terrain. Miles and miles of nasty whoops stretch on forever. When you are running at a winning pace, the sound of the suspension slamming the bump stops is as rhythmic as a ticking stop watch. When the bump stops aren’t clicking, the stop watch is still running. The winning driver usually credits having a perfect day. For the FiberwerX racing team, it wasn’t one of those days. Despite a wheel issue that plagued them all day, they managed to finish just off the podium in fourth place.
“We had a problem getting our Method race wheels ready for the race,” said team owner and driver Jason McNeil, “We have secured the best tire and wheel package in the desert, Method Race Wheels and Toyo Tires. Unfortunately, our Methods were not ready in time, so we went with some other wheels that we had laying around. We had an issue with the wheels clamping the tire bead; several tires lost pressure during the race. Our Toyo’s were perfect, they just didn’t have any air in them. At one point, we had to drive ten miles on a flat. It was amazing that the Toyo stayed together, it didn’t shred.”
At mile one of the race, a full can of beer was tossed in front of the truck, hitting the windshield cross bars and spraying Jason and his co-driver with beer. A few inches one way or the other could have been very serious. The two joked that it was too soon to start celebrating. They were ready to open it up and let their FOX shocks do their thing as they turned onto Zoo road but that’s when the first tire lost pressure.
“We pulled over and a bunch of fans jumped on the truck like a nascar pit crew,” said McNeil, “They helped us get the tire changed in a hurry. Once we got going, we were right on the bumper of Wilson, (race winner Billy Wilson) for 50 miles. We hit a huge g-out and lost our GPS. San Felipe has a million tracks in the sand that go everywhere. Without our GPS, we missed some virtual checkpoints and got a time penalty of 40 minutes.”
They made it through Matomi wash with no problems but then got another flat. “That one was on me,” said McNeil with a laugh, “I was pushing too hard to make up time and slammed into a clump of trees. We went to grab the spare but it was gone; the strap broke. A friend of ours and fellow racer, Jerry Larimore, heard about it on the radio and came over to help us. He gave us the spare off his prerunner so we could finish the race.”
Considering all they went through during the race, the level of competition in the Trophy Truck class, and the challenge of the San Felipe course, the FiberwerX team is proud of their fourth place results and are anxious to run the Baja 500 in June. By then they will have their Method Race Wheels and with help from Toyo Tires, FOX, Aeromotive, FK Rod Ends, Baja Designs, Gibson Exhaust, Bink Designs and Powder1, the FiberwerX Ford will be ready to go!
Photography By: Bink Designs