Posts Tagged ‘pro rider’

Dry Run for the 2010 Baja 1000

According to Long time resident Dave “Big Daddy” Wert, owner of Dave Wert Automotive, San Clemente belongs to either Surfers or off-roaders.  Wert contends that there are more off roaders that surf than surfers that off road.   Next week Wert with fellow teammates, Jim Vick, Terry Profit and Ken Tew, of the Highlander Racing team, will race for the fifth time in the 43rd Annual Tecate Score Baja 1000 Peninsula Run (Ensenada to La Paz) on Wednesday to Sunday, November 17th -21st, in the “Score Lites” class, with their custom two seater race buggy.  Wert’s Highlander Race team is sponsored locally by South Coast Distributers and Rainbow Sandals in San Clemente and Shooters Saloon in Mission Viejo.

“It’s a lot of work to get ready every year but I look forward to it, we always have a good time.” Wert said.

The first official “Baja 1000” began in 1967 originating from, legend has it, an informal bet between friends to race between the post office in Tijuana to the post office in La Paz and has grown to this years running with 300 entries from 37 states and 19 countries, from as far away as Denmark, South Africa and Hong Kong.  Much like the official name of the race has changed along with organizers, race divisions have been finalized this year into 34 pro and 7 sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs (all terrain vehicles).

More dry run for the 2010 Baja 1000.

Off roading isn’t just a sport where the only thing is to get from point A to B as fast as you can but something for everyone, even if it means just hanging out around the campfire.  Driving down any street in South Orange County will reveal as many motorcycles and off road gear in open garages as surfboards, wetsuits, mountain bikes, soccer balls, snowboards, fishing poles and tricycles.   San Clemente’s JCR Honda team (Johnny Campbell Racing) will depend on 125 official volunteers to operate pits at 60 mile intervals all along this year’s 1061 mile race course.  The actual number naturally swells, with moms, kids, dogs, girlfriends and grandparents that go along, with a stay that generally lasts at long as a week and a half.

SC Rider Supply owners, Rick Caderette and Roxane Lucido a family oriented motorcycle supply, service and repair shop, in San Clemente, started their business 5 years ago and have seen it grow from nothing to 1000 regulars with an 8000 customers in the data base.  Among all the signs, posters, advertisements, stickers and photos in their shop, Lucido’s well known trademark, “Do You Ride?”, asks the question equally to scooter owners and Harley riders, illustrating SC Riders Supply’s “everyone is welcome” attitude.

“Off roading gets people out of their everyday environment…it’s a family event with the load up, campfire and bar-b-ques and most of it isn’t even the riding…” Lucido said, “its not uncommon to have camps of 60 people all together having a good time…”

This year in addition to Wert and the Highlander Race team, 4 San Clemente motorcycle riders and their families will be looking for a lot of fun and hopefully a win at this year’s Baja 1000.  The Score International Desert Race Series is comprised of a mix of 5 events; 3 in Mexico and two in the state of Nevada where individual races are won as well as an eventual series winner.  Through a points tally, after this years Baja 1000 and last in the series, a Desert Series champion will be declared in all classes.  San Clemente’s JCR Honda team rider, Colton Udall, leads in points going into Wednesdays Race in the premier Class 22 open pro, along with teammates, Jeff Kargola, Timmy Weigand and Justin ImHof.

Colton Udall rides for JCR Honda.

The Pro Factory Team Rider:

Udall, 24, is born and raised in San Clemente and first started riding at 10 with his first race at 14.  He worked as a mechanic first for Nicoll racing before going pro at 20 and getting a spot on JCR as mechanic and pro rider.  Udall first raced Baja in 2007 and now leads in points where a first or second in this Years Baja 100, riding against 10 other teams, will earn him the series championship.  Udall was originally attracted to JCR because of team owner “King of Baja” Johnny Campbell, describing him as a great mentor and personal example to follow.

“I can talk to him about anything…” Udall says of Campbell.

Udall races several times a year, taking a factory new Honda, adding or swapping out 30% of its original parts, to make up a bike that will be used for only one race.  After 80 hours, including testing and the actual race, he tears it apart and starts over with a new bike for the next event.  Udall’s Baja Bike started out as a Factory Honda CRF 450 retailing for about $8000 dollars and will finish at $15,000 after the improvements according to Campbell.  In addition to JCR, Udall has sponsorships from Dragon Goggles, Osiris shoes, Acerbis riding gear and A’ME grips.

“I’d like to race till I’m 40…desert racers can stay competitive longer than guys on the track” Udall says

Apart from his daily and weekly work schedule as race mechanic at JCR, Udall works out at the gym, rides his mountain bike or runs for about 2 hours a day.  Weekends he rides or races completing 20 to 25 hours a week in preparation.  Campbell will be watching closely from the JCR Honda team helicopter; Udall is confident about this year’s Baja 1000 outcome.

“We’re here to win…I’m doing it to be the fastest…” Udall said.

Just lettn' the sun go down.

The Pro Privateer:

Bryce Stavron, 21, of San Clemente, originally was looking for a career in skateboarding , when at 16, after watching his brother compete on motorcycles began a career in motocross track racing instead.  Switching over to desert racing 2 years ago, turning pro and signing on with the leading privateer (without factory support) DP racing of San Diego, he has gained a reputation as a good technical rider with daring come from behind tenacity.

“You can never expect something to happen the way you want it too.” Stavron said.

His first Score Series desert race, the Baja 250, he was expecting to complete his assigned 150 leg in 2 to 3 hours when it turned into 6 hours of almost the entire race after a teammate fell breaking his collar bone completing only the first 23 miles.  Stavron took his team from 107th place with 109 competitors to finish 13th overall and 7th in class 22 open pro.

“I had Johnny’s (Campbell) voice in my head, ‘Don’t Give up’ and, I heard Colton Udal telling me, ‘Slower is smoother… smoother is faster’…”Stavron said.

Stavron describes the final straight away with banners and crowds lining the street but mostly remembers his whole team waiting for him and his dad greeting him at the finish line.

“He was crying, which doesn’t happen often, and gave me a big hug…” Stavron said.

Stavron works at Echo Designs in San Clemente, a product and catalog photo studio,  owned by a desert racer, working out time to train and practice his riding.  He puts in 20 hours a week in the gym, on rides, skateboarding, racing and even shoveling out jumps on humble dirt tracks across Southern California, for conditioning.

“You can’t win a championship in the first race but you can loose one” Stavron said.

Stavron has worked hard to ride for DP Racing, in addition to gaining sponsorships from Toyota of Escondido, KLeN Laundry, One Industries, Nicoll Racing, VonZipper, Pro Circuit, Kicker Stereo, ODI, Cycra and Seal Savers.  Stavron credits Johnny Campbell as a big influence on his life and with a career in racing where he says “there is no turning back.”

“He (Campbell) has a faith in God and I’ve learned from him that whatever happens, it’s for a reason.” Stavron said.

The New Pro:

Donald Stanley, 18, is a recent San Clemente High School graduate and will race this year’s Baja 1000 for the last time as an amateur in the Sportsman 450 class before turning pro next year.  Racing this last year for Baja Mex Racing, Stanley has signed with DP racing for next year.  His teammates in the relay are Fred Sobke, Carlos Lopez, Jake Staggs and David Starlett.

“I know I won’t let down DP Racing next year and Baja Mex Racing was an amazing experience to get my feet wet.”

Stanley didn’t start riding seriously until he turned 16 and states that if he could change anything it would be to have started riding when he was 7 or 8.  Stanley hired a trainer, Richard at Dana Point Cross Fit, to help him get in shape and puts in about 2 hours a day between the gym and practice rides.  He rides 8 to 16 hours on the weekends, racing every other week somewhere in Southern California, generally placing in the top 5.

Stanley follows his father, JR Stanley, of Stanley’s Muffler in San Clemente, a lifetime Baja rider and hopes to be the top racer in Baja. Stanley relates he is glad to have sponsors with Baja races costing a team between $7000 to $8000, and is sponsored by CJR Baja Preparations, SCRS, Nicoll Racing, JCR Support, Dana Point Cross Fit, Toyko Mods, Coast Powder Coatings, Stanley’s Mufflers and Baja Mex Insurance.

Stanley says he likes to sing into his helmet while riding and remembers his best riding was a fun-run on the beach near San Quintin, in Baja.

“ All the kids came out of their houses, running across the beach to give us high 5’s as we went by at 100 miles per hour…I like the feeling of going fast.” Stanley says.

The Future Pro:

Ian Young, 16, of San Clemente, and Colton Udall’s brother will be race the Baja 1000 this year representing the injured with the Wounded Warriors Project.  He began riding motorcycles at 3 years old, right after taking the training wheels off his two wheeler.  Young, whose step dad is 2 time US National Speedway Champion “Rad” Brad Oxley, grew up racing all over the western United States with his brother Udall and calls him his all time hero and inspiration; he has not been racing recently.  His goals are to stay in the motorcycle industry and go pro to race along side his brother.  His sponsors are Metal Mulisha, Osiris Shoes and Dragon Goggles.

“Yeah, I’m just trying to stay low key for now, have fun and get back into racing slowly,  my main thing is riding the 1000 with the Wounded Warriors…I am really excited about it and happy to do my part…” Young said.

Read Full Post »