SPOOLED UP!

FOR THE 50TH BAJA 1000

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents - Don’t cheap out on safety! We pur­chased these SA2015 SFI Ap­proved rac­ing hel­mets di­rectly from Py­ro­tect then painted them our­selves with spray cans of paint from Au­to­mo­tive Touch Up and Du­pli-color. The bright blue is a match for the GM color that I plan

UDBG Edi­tors at the Baja 1000

We were work­ing on this is­sue of Ul­ti­mate Diesel Builder’s Guide dur­ing late Novem­ber and early De­cem­ber 2017, which is typ­i­cally a slow time of year for diesel mo­tor­sports and we are not typ­i­cally rushed. This year was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent as my son Kyle and I were in­vited to help nav­i­gate sec­tions of the 50th SCORE Baja 1000 in Baja Cal­i­for­nia, Mex­ico. Even though it would be in sup­port of An­drew Hulse’s Ford F-150, which is pow­ered by an LS1 gas en­gine, we jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the leg­endary race as a fa­ther and son adventure. I had pre­vi­ously nav­i­gated for RPM Of­froad and their Class 2 truck in 2012 when we won our class, and Kyle and I have done work with Robby Gor­don and his Dakar Rally race team, but this would be Kyle’s first time in Baja.

We bought and painted new Py­ro­tect race hel­mets (never wear a motorcycle hel­met for au­to­mo­tive rac­ing) and rented the rest of our safety equip­ment from race­suit­rentals.com so we were ready for the adventure of a life­time. But Baja Cal­i­for­nia is a long way from Ten­nessee! We loaded up our 2015 Chevy Cruze Diesel and struck out on the road Sun­day, Novem­ber 12, know­ing that we had to meet the team in Es­con­dido, Calif., early morn­ing on Tues­day the 14th. With my wife also join­ing in on the joys of driv­ing straight through across the coun­try, we made it into Es­con­dido late Mon­day night and caught a few hours of sleep be­fore head­ing into Mex­ico the next morn­ing. When the trip was over and we got back home to south­east Ten­nessee, we had put over 4,700 miles on the Cruze in less than two weeks. The lit­tle diesel han­dled the ex­tended road trip with­out a hic­cup, av­er­ag­ing about 44 mpg on the cross-coun­try trip and back.

Un­for­tu­nately, Hulse’s Ford suf­fered a front wheel bear­ing fail­ure at around race mile 606 in San Ig­na­cio and the team was un­able to com­plete the race. Kyle didn’t get a chance to get in the race truck for his sec­tion this time around, but we still had a great time in Baja. We hope to fin­ish my 2001 Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado 2500 HD project truck and tackle the Mex­i­can desert with a Du­ra­max diesel-pow­ered ma­chine one day so we get the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the race from be­hind the wheel as well as in the nav­i­ga­tor’s seat.

Mean­while, here in this is­sue, the team and I have worked hard to bring you a wide va­ri­ety of diesel fea­tures and tech in­clud­ing a new mini-fea­ture Reader’s Ride. If you think your diesel ride is up to par, send us a few high-res­o­lu­tion pics along with a de­scrip­tion of your up­grades and why you feel your truck should be the next UDBG Reader’s Ride—and who knows? You might see it right here in the mag­a­zine.

In ad­di­tion to all the great fea­ture and tech ar­ti­cles here in this is­sue, we also have 10 pages cov­er­ing the hot new diesel per­for­mance prod­ucts that were on dis­play at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Ve­gas, as well as an­other fea­ture high­light­ing the coolest diesel rigs we saw at the show. The cover truck fea­ture be­gin­ning on page 12 is a great-look­ing 1st Gen Cum­mins that was pur­chased and built by a teenager, show­ing that the next gen­er­a­tion of diesel en­thu­si­asts is well on its way.

I hope you en­joy the rest of the is­sue as well; we’ve included trucks, tech (more than 30 pages’ worth), and events that should make just about any diesel en­thu­si­ast happy. If you have any ques­tions or com­ments feel free to send me an email to let me know what you like or dis­like about the mag­a­zine, what you would like to see in the fu­ture, or what we can fo­cus on to make the mag­a­zine bet­ter for you. We look for­ward to hear­ing your thoughts. Un­til next is­sue—keep the shiny side up and have fun in all of your diesel ad­ven­tures! UDBG

—Chris cto­bin@en­gaged­me­di­ainc.com

The desert in the Baja Penin­sula has an awein­spir­ing beauty whether you ex­pe­ri­ence it from the race course or from the high­way, as seen here as we travel south to chase/pit the race truck down the course. Get­ting strapped in and ready to head out into the Mex­i­can desert for one of the hard­est sec­tions in the 50th SCORE Baja 1000.

Kyle Tobin and Wayne Guidinger set up Pit 3 near a road cross­ing at around race mile 360 and were able to view this amaz­ing sun­rise be­fore the truck came in for re­fu­el­ing, ser­vice and a nav­i­ga­tor change.

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