Greg Row's Baja 1000 Race Report

Greg Row's Baja 1000 Race Report

“Black Rhino Performance Sponsored Athlete Greg Row's Baja 1000 Race Report”

El Cajon, CA, November 22, 2016– The SCORE Baja 1000 took place November 16th-20th in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.


For Black Rhino sponsored athlete Greg Row, the 2016 Baja 1000 was bitter sweet. As a father he could not be more proud of his son, Josh Row for winning his 3rd consecutive Overall in the ATV class. Unfortunately, fuel issues in the #1901 POLARIS XP1K took Greg out of the race.


"I must say that coming into this race I had never felt so confident in our planning, team and car. I would start and drive to RM 300 where Josh would get in south of El Rosario and drive to the finish." Greg said.


Greg took the green flag starting 33 out of 36 cars with the strategy to drive at 50-60 percent and not break the car. The course was fast and the car was working incredible. Trinity Pipe had him running at 83 mph and the Walker Evans shocks felt like a baby buggy. The GPS tires and DWT wheels were on rails. With several racers already off the course getting worked on, the #1901 started catching cars and was in 22nd at the highway.


The speed zone on the highway was 37 mph for the next 20 miles. After you drop back in the dirt on the south side of the highway it gets rough and technical. The #1901 was handling and running so incredible, "I felt like a fat kid in a candy store, smiling ear to ear, blowing the dukes of hazard horn for all the spectators and ripping through Baja." Greg professed.  The #1901 was able to catch turbos through this section. Mark Burnett was off the course, Murray was taking it real easy and Corey Sappington was changing a tire and then it was a bottle neck of 3 class 12 cars in front of 10 UTVs!


"They were all in a line like they were at the post office." Greg watched as a 4x4 truck backed down the bank on the other side of the ravine to pull the 12 car out. "They hooked him up and pulled him to the top. The next 12 cars went for it and got stuck even lower down the hill climb. The next car was a 4-seat RZR that drove around the outside of the 12 car on the off camber bank drops into the trail and was gone. The next car in line was a 12 car who knew he couldn't take that line! Right then I saw the express line open, drove past all the RZRs and pulled up along side the 12 car who was parked in the trough to drop into the wash. I was looking at a 5 foot vertical drop and now the truck was backing down to hook up the 12 car. He had to back down further and I could see the roost marks from the previous razor that went right around him when he parked to hook up the 12 car. Right then I hit the gas, nosed into the wash and went around the outside up the bank and on the trail." Greg recalled.


Using the new Stella tracking system, it was clean sailing until Greg caught the only driver that didn't want to move. So rather then press the issue he backed down and let him go.  5 minutes later that driver blew a belt and was off the trail.


Greg and the #1901 came into Santo Thomas in 7th place with 2 in his class still ahead of him and 4 turbos. He passed Cognito pitting, driving the highway section and then pulled into their pit for a quick visual and tire check and then it was back on the gas. When the #1901 hit the dirt the car was on rails chasing dust. Greg then came into the Baja pits and took 10 gals of fuel. Cognito went past and he knew he had a race!


The next 30 miles into Erendia was flat tracking roads at high speeds. A few miles into this section the car started to get a little sputter at low rpm but you could accelerate through it. Greg passed Ryss Millen at RM 120 changing a tire. At this point the car is still doing 80 in the wide open roads but when it slows way down it's coughing, spitting and choking out; Greg is thinking it's the air filter.


At Baja pits RM 130 the #1901 wasn't supposed to pit but Greg decided while it was still light to see if he could fix the problem. He jumped out, pulled the spare tire out of the way and took the filter cover off. To his surprise the UNI filter was spotless from the S&B particle separator. He proceeded to check the electrical connections and fuel fittings. When he restarted the car, it seemed to clear up so he climbed back in just in time to see Millen go by. Greg said some prayers hoping that the issue was resolved!


At RM 150 he hit a silt bed that had a 4 foot wall to climb at the end. Greg had to get hard on the brakes and back on the gas to make it up and the car died just as it crested the top. Out of nowhere 10 of Baja's best mechanics showed up to help work on the car. One guy was a mechanic for a class 10 car in the local racing series. He had tools, knowledge and determination. They tore apart the fuel lines, fuel filter and fuel rail; the #1901 was running again but still sputtering at slow speed and ripping top speed.


At this time, Greg radioed the chase crews to meet him at RM 180. They got Josh Row and Brad Meyer suited up and Greg went to work on the car. He was hoping after adding some fuel injector cleaner and some fresh fuel that the system would clean itself out; wishful thinking. The #1901 died on Josh 2 more times coming into El Rosario.


They pitted again under the bridge at El Rosario and took the time to change and test each component of the electrical system. They removed and cleaned the fuel lines, filter, fuel injectors and fuel rail; nothing worked. It would do 80 mph on the pavement once it cleaned out but couldn't get out of its own shadow idling and low speed. "All I can say is Baja won this time but, I'll be back." Greg stated.

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