There were 4 guys on my team Cory Sappington driver all 500 miles, Donovan Cain navigator start to mile 203, Tyler Dixon navigator 203 to finish, Benny Pena chase guy start to finish. Tyler and Ben had never been to Mexico and Donovan had only been to Mexico once. This was Tyler’s 2nd time navigating. The start went great. We were in cruise mode being extra careful through town. We still managed to pass 3 of the 5 UTVs that started ahead of us. Through Ojos I think we were 3rd.


2013-score-baja-500-contingency-utvunderground.com042At mile 50ish we got a rear flat. While changing it many UTVs passed us. At mile 75 the engine quit without warning. We determined that the fuel was too hot from the exhaust being too close to the tank. We changed the fuel pump location and the Maverick restarted. We got to mile 82 and it shut off again. Our chase team came to us and we made an ice chest out of a Tupperware tub that we put the fuel pump in. We packed it full of ice and a towel, this worked great. We part way up the summit and came to a bottle neck. There were about 15 cars waiting at the bottom of a hill climb. Cameron Steele was right in front of us in his tt truck. Many drivers were out of their cars. Cameron jumped out and ran up course to look for a way around the line. Meanwhile the car on the hill cleared and then next car went. Cameron came back to his tt truck and went left around the line over a hill down a ledge and made it to 3rd in line. Seeing this I knew my Maverick could do the same. I went left up over the hill and tried to get behind Cameron, but everyone had bumpered up so there was no gap for me. As the line started moving I waited for the oppurtunity to jump the ledge and get in line the 5 vehicle in line was a nonracer in a Jeep Rubicon. He hesitated to pull forward so a gunned it a jumped in front of him. I waited my turn to charge the hill and never looked back. The Maverick had no trouble climbing that hill or any other of the knarley hill climbs in the race. We made it to mile 160 to stop for fuel at Baja pits, just then our engine sputtered and died. Our fuel pump ice chest was out of ice. We got fuel and Baja pits only had a little ice for us. We pressed on at mile 180 the engine died again. We waited a while to let the fuel cool down. The sun was setting and I knew that it would be much cooler at night and our fuel problem would go away. We started up again and made another few miles before the engine died. This time I decided to change the fuel pump. With the new fuel pump installed we pressed on to mile 203. We had a scheduled navigator change and fuel. I made a heat shield and put it between the exhaust and fuel cell. We packed the fuel pump ice chest with ice. I had a pbj sandwich 2 rockstars and headed off into the night. The Maverick loved the cool night air and was running like a champ. At mile 358 we stopped for the Murrays to see if we could help. They told us we were in second and I was amazed. At that point I knew that all I had to do was finish and we would maintain 2nd. It was like a dream! I backed the pace down about 25% and just enjoyed what Baja had to offer. We did get 1 more rear flat at mile 400, where our chase team was waiting, after crossing over on the VALLEY T road. They quickly change it and went pressed on to the finished. At the finish I was numb from driving 500 mile in 20 hours. With no prerunning, no power steering, all stock Can-Am components and a rookie chase team we had beaten Baja. I am very impressed with the power and handling of the stock Maverick. I have race in many other bigger engine class vehicles and the Maverick is just as fun. The twin cylinder feels like it has the power of a 4 cylinder. We had no problems with any of the stock parts.