Rigid Industries LED Lighting Racers finished in first and second place in the Class 1 (unlimited single or two-seaters) race at the SCORE San Felipe 250 on March 1. Justin Matney won with a time 3:45.10 while Damen Jefferies finished as runner-up with a time of 3:48:31.
Justin, co-owner of RPM Racing, not only won the Class 1 race, but his buggy was the fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish on the day. “SCORE did an excellent job today on the course, especially with all of the weather issues we were having,” said Justin. “The course is really tough and gnarly, but overall, it was an awesome run.”
Besides finishing second in his class, Damen was the sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish the race. “We got stuck in the dust off the start, and Justin got by me,” said Damen. “We followed him the whole way, and we pushed as hard as we could. We had no mechanical problems, but just got beat.”
It was a wild weekend of racing at the 28th running of the off-road race in San Felipe, which is located 125 miles south of the U.S. border on the northern portion of the Baja California peninsula. After severe rainstorms pounded the area, race officials determined that a summit on the northern part of the course was impassable. The decision was made to still race but reroute the course, removing approximately 59 miles.
Confusion abounded for drivers and spectators alike for the now San Felipe 191 race. Rigid Torture Team Member BJ Baldwin started the Trophy Truck race second off the line but moved into first around 30 miles in. Unfortunately, BJ went approximately 10 miles in the wrong direction as he did not see any signs or course indicators, and he had no one to follow as he was the race leader.
“It was difficult for us to determine where we were supposed to go especially being first truck on the road,” said BJ. “Even though we lost time going the wrong way, we were still penalized and lost our second place finishing spot. I respect SCORE’s decision. I have been the first to admit it was entirely my fault, and I accept full responsibility for our misnavigation.”
RPM Racing, who proudly run Rigids, claimed three of the top 10 overall finishing positions. Besides Justin’s Class 1 win and fifth overall finish, Rigid Racers and RPM team member Juan C. Lopez finished fifth in Tropy Truck, seventh overall (3:50:43). RPM Racing co-owner Clyde Stacy finished less than a minute behind him (sixth in Trophy Truck, eighth overall, 3:51:31).
Rigid is the Official Light of SCORE International, which kicked of its 41st season of racing with the San Felipe 250. A one-hour special of the race will air in April on the CBS Sports Network. The five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series will conclude with the Baja 1000 in November.
Information and images provided by SCORE International, Race-Dezert.com and RPM Racing.