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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.
Rick L. Johnson of Agave Motorsports at the starting line of the 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.
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 Photography
“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 seconds.”
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 December.”
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world''s leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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