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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Off-Roaders Gather for Baja's 1,000 Mile Race

This past weekend Baja California residents and visitors watched as racers made their way from Ensenada to La Paz for the 39th running of the Baja 1000. The race is often called "the toughest 24 hours in motor sports." Reporter James Spring was at mile marker 177 near San Felipe, Mexico. Hundreds of race fans camped out near pit row to watch more than 400 racers battle the desert and the dust for the SCORE-International Baja 1000. It's the world's longest point-to-point race. The 1,000 mile race is open to motorcycles and a wide range of four-wheeled vehicles, including the crowd favorite – the Trophy Trucks. They're massive 700-horse-powered dune buggies that resemble pumped up pick-up trucks. They're known as trophy trucks because their drivers tend to take home the race's top prizes. One was driven again this year by NASCAR star Robby Gordon. The event attracts plenty of star power. Actor Patrick Dempsey of television's Grey's Anatomy, and Micron CEO Steve Appleton also signed on to compete in this year's contest alongside pro and amateur racers. Tim Lawrence of Baja Pits is putting his own time and sweat into this year's race. He's helping fuel and repair all sorts of vehicles. Tim Lawrence: It seems like… all walks of life seem to be interested in the Baja 1000. It's got that magic attraction, or that aura, and everyone's drawn to it. Everyone seems to want to conquer it.

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