Brenthel 7200 Takes Podium Finish at Baja 500
June 6, 2013
Ensenada, Baja California, MX
Would you head into the wilds of Baja Mexico on a 500 mile race without communication? For the Brenthel Racing team, they decided it was a risk not worth taking. The radio and intercom stopped working while they were lining up for the start of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Driver Jamie Galles made the tough decision to sort it out. Instead of taking the green flag, they worked feverishly to find the problem. By the time it was working, they had lost 30 minutes.
“Jamie is a very level headed guy,” says teammate Jonathan Brenthel, “I was second guessing the choice we made as I ripped the dash apart but it was the right decision.” Maybe Jamie was unconcerned because he knew he could make the time back. After getting the radio fixed, he headed off passing slower cars left and right. “Besides the communication problems the truck was perfect,” said Jamie, “I thought we were way down on time so I drove a steady, comfortable pace. The unfortunate thing was that the radio began acting up again and we were totally unaware where we were compared to the rest of the field.” By the time Jamie made it to the driver change at mile 230 he had not only made up time, he was in the lead. As they pitted for fresh tires and fuel, two trucks went past.
Jonathan Brenthel was now behind the wheel with Brother Jordan navigating; they were in third place. “It was really challenging heading out through Mike’s,” said Jonathan, “There were 1000 foot drops; if you had a problem out there, nobody could get out there for you. You had to take it down a notch.” As they made their way around the course it didn’t get any easier. “Running along the beach we hit thick fog,” said Jonathan, “We shut off all the lights except the ambers on our Rigid Industries 50 inch light bars. With the ambers on we could see two truck lengths in the fog. It was eerie not knowing what was on either side of the course. It could have been a hillside or a 50 foot drop into the water.”
They were without the radio again and saw no other trucks except for Trophy Trucks broken or stuck on the course. They had no idea what place they were running in but they were moving forward. As they tackled the tight technical sections near Uruapan a beer bottle was thrown at the truck hitting Jonathan on the side of his helmet. The window net took some of the force but it was still a real jolt to his senses. As if the course was not tough enough they had to make their way around a Trophy Truck and a class one car stuck in the silt. After a long hard race they caught Josh Quintero as he pitted picking up the second place spot which they held to the finish.
“We had no way to tell how hard to push it,” said Jonathan, “We had a perfect race, no flats on our General tires, quick pit stops and the crew was excellent. It’s kind of disappointing knowing we were so close to the victory but our second place puts us into the SCORE points lead.” The team’s podium finish is just the latest in a string of impressive victories for Brenthel Industries, 7200 race trucks.
Photography By: Brian Binkert
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