Agave Motorsports K&N Baja Protruck Victory at 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
It is infamous in off-road race history, and as testament to the difficulty of
this year’s 1,047.81-mile course, only 234 of the 431 starting field officially
finished the 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
The Agave Motorsports team of Rick L. Johnson, Oak Hills, CA, Dane Cardone,
Huntington Beach, CA and Jimmy Nuckles, Brawley, CA and 38 of their crew took on
the desert race down the Baja California, Mexico peninsula. In the ultimate test
of man and machine against the elements, the team piloted their K&N Baja
Protruck to win the Protruck class in 23 hours, 13 minutes, 10 seconds.
Rick L. Johnson of Agave Motorsports at the starting line of the
Agave Motorsports was part of the largest field of entries in the history of the
desert classic. A record breaking 431 starters from 38 U.S. states and 12
countries began their journey in Ensenada, Mexico. There were 27 Pro and 6
Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs pitted against the
deserts most grueling terrain. In the race’s history, this was the 32nd time the
race started in Ensenada and the 17th time it finished in La Paz.
K&N Baja Protruck, Agave Motorsports at Baja 1000, photo by HighRev
“We began with a level playing field in our class,” said Rick L. Johnson
of Agave Motorsports. “Each truck is a production based vehicle and we all had
spec sponsors. My Dunlap Race prepared Toyota Tundra Baja Protruck was one of 19
in the second largest field of Protrucks.”
Team strategy and preparation were key elements for winning Baja. “I drove the
first 350 miles, Dane Cardone went second and Jimmy Nuckles was our final
driver,” he said. “Each of us had a navigator to read gauges and the GPS System.
We also had a chase truck that was loaded with equipment and set up for us at
pit stops. We’d change tires and get fuel at the pits, which took 60 to 90
K&N Filters is a mandatory spec sponsor for the Baja Protruck Series. “It takes
about 100 things to become a winner in the Baja 1000 and one of those things is
to run the best products,” said Johnson. “K&N makes the world's best air filter.
Out there we faced some of the harshest land in the world. The silt beds are
like flour and can choke your engine to put you out of the race in seconds. At
times the dust was like fog, so thick you couldn’t see your hands in front of
your face. At our pit stops, there was no need to change our K&N Filter or Wrap.
K&N kept my Tundra motor clean and running at maximum horsepower despite the
elements, silt and dust.”
Johnson has raced the Baja 1000 since 1995. This is his second win in the
granddaddy of all desert races. The first time he won Baja was in 2004.
“We’re going to encase our K&N Filter from the Baja 1000 and present it as a
trophy to K&N Engineering in Riverside, California,” he said. “We will also put
a new K&N Filter in the truck for the Baja Protruck Cup at Glen Helen Raceway in
Follow Agave Motorsports progress throughout the racing season at the
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