TOPIC: Baja 1000, 1121's Race in Review
Baja 1000, 1121's Race in Review 2 years 4 months ago #19929
Here's a bit of a recap of some of our highlights during the Baja 1000,,,yes, the explanation to the 1121 blip 10 miles from the finish that was not moving...
This last week has been very exciting to say the least. As we were coming home from
the race we became very aware of the following that had been taking place. Through
looking at different media sources we could say that people now know who Team
H12:One is. But, you might not know why, you might not know the out come of the race!
Let me give you a little recap on what happened.
1121 came to the starting line on Thursday at about 2:30 pm un-announced unlike some
of the other Class 11’s, and we quietly came to the line, and quietly left the line. As a car
owner and Team manager it was like a large weight being lifted as you now knew that
all the hard work and countless hours were now being put to the test. My plan would
work, or fail. We rushed home to get the chase van and trailer to head south, but we
first took some time to see how we were doing on Spot Track. It was a pretty tight
bunch, but within about 30 minutes 1121 had went from 2nd place to 1st place and we
were slowly pulling away from the pack, well that is except for Eric Solorzano in car
#1111. He was catching up to us. We would now make the trip to Mile Marker 158 for
our first full service pit stop at the BF Goodrich trailer. BFG got us all gassed up and
ready for the next leg. We pulled up, completed the pit stop and did a Driver/Co-Driver
change. The Car was running excellent, but car #1111 was only about 10 minutes
This battle would go on until about mile marker 270. At one point #1111 was 7 minutes
behind us! Then we started to see a change and 7 minutes became 10, then 10 became
15 and 1121 was tearing it up and nothing seemed to be able to stop us. We had the
jeeps intersecting the course and, every now and then we’d hear,,,”1121 Race to
Cherokee Chaser,,,we’re stuck!” 1121 would get stuck in sand, or silt and we’d peal off
and head to the bug’s location and then we’d hear,,,”Never mind, someone showed up
and towed us out, we’re on the move”. This happened through out the race and it was
amazing. We’d get stuck and people would just show up out of no where and pull us
out, and we’d be on the way. I referred to them as “Silt Angels”. The Lord was clearly
looking out for us and holding 1121 together.
At mile marker 740 Dave Forrest encountered every drivers nightmare,,,an injury while
on the course. 1121 had gotten stuck in the silt and Kailen Hill being the excellent codriver
that he is was fast on it with the recovery sleds and started to dig out 1121. Then
Dave heard it,,,Kailen crying out in pain. He went around the car and could see Kailen
rolling in the silt yelling that he thinks he might have dislocated his knee. There’s Dave,
stuck in the silt, pitch black, an injured CoDriver,,,and no help to be seen. Dave
managed to get the car unstuck, but then he had to now get kailen unstuck—sort of
speak. The recovery sleds made for good crutches and he managed to get Kailen back
to the car. About that time the Cherokee Chaser showed up and they swapped out
CoDrivers and Armando would take the wheel while Dave processed all that had
happened. As it turns out, Kailen suffered from a twisted Knee, and although he was in
lots of pain he did not require medical attention.
Now we move to Mile Marker 916. 1121 had just completed a very long stretch of 182
miles and despite the injury we were still maintaining an avg. speed of 30 mph,,,not bad
for a class 11 considering a Trophy Truck is moving at 55 mph. Canadian Rally Racer
Paul Hartl would now take the wheel for his second leg along with first time CoDriver
Michael Schomaker. This was a great team for out little bug. You see Paul is 6’6” and
Michael is 6’8”! They had some very rough terrain to go through and we were waiting at
MM 962 for a short pit stop with only a splash and go. However,,,they were late. About
30 minutes late, so I sent the Cherokee Chaser to intersect the course at mile marker
937, then we get this radio transmission. “Chase 1121 this is BFG Relay do you
copy?,,,Chase 1121 this is BFG Relay,,,you have a roll over at RM 950 with a possible
broken arm” Wow,,,a roll over,,this could be bad. We scrambled the other Jeep and
headed North on the course and Radio the other jeep to head south and eventually
we’d find them. Cherokee chase had a head start and they did find them, and poor
Bochito was on her side and a bit banged up on the CoDriver side. They got her back
on all four wheels, knocked out the busted windshield, checked the engine for fuel
leaks, then,,,started her back up! Armando Salazar again took over as driver and
Michael got back in as well. Paul’s broken arm was thankfully just a twisted finger. Paul
Hartl has a great write up on his encounter with the Baja on Facebook,,,excellent read
too! The Rubicon was still heading North and eventually we picked up the radio
transmission that all was good and 1121 was on the move and about that time 1121
came around the corner and sped off into the darkness of the morning.
Eventually the sun would come up and we’d be on our Third and hopefully last day of
racing. 1121 was showing signs of the ware and tear, but she insisted on forging ahead
and giving us all she had. We passed Mile Marker 1000 and we all honked out horns
and cheered as we had completed the Baja 1000, and now we just had to race the San
Felipe 250! 275 miles left! I had to make some decisions and think about what was best
for the team. I was scheduled to be in the car at mile marker 1030, but Nick was fresh
and ready to get back in the car,,,I was tired,,enough said. Nick Sandez and Kevin
Schiecht would now take over and man,,,1121 was a mess, but yet very beautiful. The
chase team made it’s way to a tire shop and we put good tires on good wheels and then
headed to our last pit stop,,,yes, our last pit stop. Nick was moving at a very good
pace,,,I mean very good pace. Again I made the decision to let the young blood drive,
but I also made sure we had the most experienced guy in the car with him,,,so in I got in
as a CoDriver. By this time we had lost our intercom system and we could only
communicate via hand signals,,,or yelling at each other. Nick was doing an excellent job
and we did get stuck once and it was CoDriver Dennis to the rescue to dig us out and to
give that push,,,and I’m too old for that stuff,,,I got back into the car panting and sucking
on my water bag, but we were off.
We got to the point were we could see La Paz! It was there! The End! The Finish
and,,we’re not only just going to finish, we’re gunna win this!! Now,,,sigh,,,now we had
the stairs to get through. Why,,,why now… The stairs is a section that takes you down
hill and you have these drop offs and the whole section looks like an escalator at the
mall, but with 2’ drop offs. We took this real easy one at a time,,,we could see the
bottom of the section and from there is would be smooth sailing all the way to La Paz.
Then it happened,,,10 minutes from the finish line,,,the front left wheel snapped off. Nick
yelled that something is wrong. At this time we watched the possibilities of a Win slide
away as we did not have one minute to spare. Feeling a bit sick I just yelled out “Drive,
go go go”. So we drove 1121 on only three wheels, and I was calling out on the Radio
hoping someone was on the line listening to us. We got to a hill and we just could not
get up it,,,so do we give up? No way. We were in the process of jamming a tree branch
under the suspension to force traction back on to the rear wheels and just then, Dave
Forrest and the Rubicon showed up and right behind was Mario Sandez with a spare
drum. We made the repairs and we were off.
We got to the finish line and not only did we have a small gathering of fans waiting for
us, we of course had our team, a good friend Marisa Webster that works with Score,
and even Roger Norman the president of Score was waiting for us! Roger Norman
being there was huge as he also delayed the start of the awards ceremony so he could
be there to greet us. They gave us finisher medallions, and let us know that sadly he
was not going to be able to give us the win, but that he had a great deal of respect for
what we had just accomplished. We did not think we had a place at the awards
ceremony so we continued on with our party and loaded up the car, but turns out Roger
was calling for us as they had decided to give us an Honorary 1st Place finish!
1121 was the only Class 11 to make it! The next closest Class 11 was some 600 miles
behind us. So we made it to La Paz in just over 50 hours. Later I found out that even as
they were marking the course the guys were saying “There is no way a Class 11 was
going to make it through here”,,, Our little stone, 1121. The Baja 1000, our Giant. What
are the chances, what are the odds of hitting this Giant square in the head and knocking
it down? What are the odds for the Mother’s and children at Mi Casa de Esperanza?
Soon they need to leave and take on the full responsibilities of their children. Who will
be there to help them, who will be there to pull them out when they get stuck? People
tell us “there’s no way”, “It’s impossible!” But give me the impossibility, let the Giant
stand before me because the Lord has given us a small Stone, and with that stone we’ll
hurl it at the Giant. Little 1121 was that stone, and even though we did not hit the Giant
square in the head,,,we got real close. I’m sure at times the Mom’s and staff at Casa
Esperanza feel as if their stone is not big enough, or that they miss the mark, but day
after day I see them live through the “impossible”,,,because each day they pick up a
stone and hurl it at the Giant,,,and the Lord is with them.
Team H12:One thanks you for your support and we’ll be back, there will be more races
to race—All the Glory to God!
Please mail your check to, and make it out to Real Life Ministries, Po Box 909, Bonita
CA 91908, and please att:H12One RaceAthon
Thank you so much and God Bless!
Dennis Hollenbeck and Team H12One
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Baja 1000, 1121's Race in Review 2 years 4 months ago #19930
Thanks so much for your detailed write-up and congratulations on the FINISH!
Class 11 - Where your prerunner is worth more than the race car.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: EnseNADAslim
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