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David Scaroni Drives Watson/Noe SCORE Lite to SCORE Season Championship at Baja 1000

Trophy Truck #27 Perseveres With Baja 1000 Finish

Heber, California (November 21, 2005) – Matt Scaroni raced the SMD Motorsports trophy truck off the line of the Baja 1000 with a vengeance as he charged into the wilds of the Baja Peninsula in search of his first Trophy Truck victory.

This year’s race was one of the most challenging Baja 1000’s, and one of the most challenging races SMD Motorsports has ever raced in. SMD youngest talent, David Scaroni drove the Watson/Noe SCORE Lite buggy to a 2nd place finish to claim victory in the 2005 SCORE season points championship for the 2nd consecutive year.

The #27 SMD Trophy Truck was certainly a challenge beginning weeks prior to the race through the checkered flag. After enduring 21 hours, 52 minutes and 02 seconds, fighting the toughest challenge in recent Baja 1000 history, the #27 Trophy Truck crossed the finish line claiming a 16th place finish in the SCORE Unlimited Production Truck class.

Steve commented, “The team needed this finish and the obstacles that presented themselves tested the team’s character. The two weeks prior to the race were fraught with a continual litany of problems that we had to overcome. We are thankful and blessed to have people of such strong character on our team. Mark Cowan, Mike Mounts, Dave Strader, and Chino demonstrated the highest qualities in character- never giving up. We thank them for their perseverance and overcoming obstacle, after obstacle, after obstacle.”

Prior to the race, the team changed out three transmissions, two alternators and fought fuel pump issues, but yet they continued to persevere. Trophy Truck #27 charged off the Ensenada start line, which resulted in a great first Baja 1000 race for the SMD Motorsports Trophy Truck. Matt drove the truck off the line in second position and diced it up with the Terrible Herbst truck and the other trophy truck front runners during most of the daylight hours.

That was until a flat & a broken wheel stud was discovered at the Borrego pit and the team lost time making repairs. After leaving the Borrego pit and heading into San Felipe the race team pitted in order to execute a driver change. At the same time, a minor fueling mishap with a new fueling tower cost the team valuable time.

However, once again the team overcame difficult conditions and sent Baja veteran racers John Swift and Andy Waters in the truck to battle the difficult San Felipe loop. At approximate race mile 252, they hit a booby-trap set by the locals watching the race.

Swift described the ensuing tumble nearly going over the front-to-back by a mere ¼ inch. Although Swift saved the truck from near disaster, the resulting damage was the loss of all the front lights. Nevertheless, Swift and Waters shouldered on, but not before losing the brakes. Crew Chief Mark Cowan and Willie Valdez met the truck at the BFG Chanate pit where quick repairs were made and the truck was off racing towards Mike’s Sky Ranch. John had a fast and clean run through the Mike’s/Coyote loop and out to Valle Trinidad, where they handed the truck off to Steve for the charge towards the finish line.

Steve & CoM driver Mike “Milkshake” Mounts suffered a flat tire within 5 miles of Valle Trinidad. A quick tire change with the help of Marty Coyne’s crew and Steve was back raging towards the Pacific Coast loop.

He had a great run and overcame some booby-trap obstacles and then coming off the beach heading to Santo Tomas, he smashed a rock, which pushed the skid plate up into the pan on the transmission, resulting in a broken transmission valve body.

Mark Cowan, Too Tall Ted Olmstead and Willie Valdez sr. met the wounded truck and changed out the transmission on the beach where they lost approximately two hours. As the truck was leaving the beach and headed towards Santo Tomas they received a radio call. Steve learned that while his son David was trying to make up time racing the SCORE Lite car for the season championship, he had lost reverse gear in the buggy’s transmission. Steve made the decision to wait for David at Santo Tomas and let him get in front of the Trophy Truck. Heading into Uruapan Steve came across 3 cylinder Darren Hardesty stuck on Pates hill and also helped the Gaddis 1 / 2 1600 winning car that was buried in a deep ditch. SMD’s #27 soon became the sweep crew for the entire SMD race team and many of their mutual racing friends. Driveline vibration forced a driveline change at Ojos Negros before Steve drove it in across the finish line.

“Enough cannot be said about this SMD team. Everyone on this SMD team executed flawlessly, everybody was where they were supposed to be, and I don’t even think we broke a window, or glass, or put a dent in a chase truck. We were blessed with safety and perfect execution. This team is ready for the NASCAR experience because of their precision and support in pitting,” said Team Owner – Steve Scaroni.

“We will continue to expand our team training based on our Baja 1000 experience and will dedicate the MDR New Year’s Day event as a “training race” for all our existing team members, as well as those that will join us for the 2006 season. We will conduct a multitude of simulated pit stops during the race in actual race conditions. These “race conditions” training tactics will help in taking the SMD Motorsports Trophy Truck team to another level, which will be required in our quest for the Best In The Desert Trick Truck Championship in 2006,” explained Matt.

SMD Motorsports congratulates the TWG / Caleb Gaddis team for their 1st place Baja 1000 win and winning the 2005 SCORE Tecate overall season point’s championship. “It’s been an honor to be able to work side-by-side with the TWG team this year. To watch them perform such a great job in their first year of professional off road racing is rewarding,” said Steve.

Steve continued, “The entire SMD Motorsports team expresses its deepest condolences to the Baldwin family for their loss of off road racing champion, Jason Baldwin, as well as the other crew members who died in the airplane crash while returning from the Baja 1000. These incidents bring to light what a fragile life we all lead. We are thankful that we have been blessed with safety for our family and our team.”

SMD Motorsports will next race at the Superstition Series Bud Light Dash on December 31, 2005 at Plaster City, California.

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