It starts at night and it ends at night — with a hellish 1,100 miles of wide open racing sandwiched in between! Arguably the toughest race in North America, the 2014 Baja 1000 lived up to its reputation, taking a toll on riders and machinery like never before. It also took the 1x plate away from defending champs WFOx!
Team MSR/WFOx (Warriors For Ox) challenged the 2014 Baja 1000, determined to retain their title. A great behind-the-scenes look at the title defense follows team riders Mark Samuels, Colton Udall and Ian Young from the pre-dawn start in Ensenada all the way down to the finish line in La Paz the following night. Warriors For Ox was launched as a tribute to Udall’s teammate Jeff “Ox” Kargola who passed away after a crash in Baja. but now extends well beyond one rider’s legacy. “WFOx isn’t just for Ox,” explains Mark Samuels. “It is for all fallen racers down in Baja… anything with motorsports.”
Despite having the #1 plate and the higher calling of racing for Ox, repeating as Baja 1000 champs was just not in the cards. “I felt like we laid everything out on the table,” says lead rider Colton Udall. “Second place is what we got… and second place is what we take. But, man it is really making me hungry to go back and take back our 1x plate!”
A couple of mishaps, including one that resulted in a broken arm for Ian Young, and some mechanical failures, saw the team’s commanding lead evaporate. However, heroic rides by Young who soldiered on with his broken arm from the military check point until Colton could catch up, Udall and Samuels — combined with MacGyver-like fixes to the bike — saw the team rally to take a well-deserved second place finish.