Championships are won over many
races, and individual events may not
mean much in the big picture. But in
almost any series or type of racing,
there’s always one exception, and in
desert off-road racing, that’s the
SCORE Baja 1000. Whether racing for
a championship or not, this is the prize
that every desert racer covets, and Rob
MacCachren’s no exception. “I really
want to win the Baja 1000 this year. It
gives you a feeling like no other race
does. It’s an accomplishment,” he says.
With short-course season at an end,
this race moves to front and center.
But preparation began long ago.
“It happens all year,” says 2014
and ’ 15 Baja 1000 winner MacCachren.
“When we won last year’s Baja 1000,
which was bittersweet because it was
by penalty, I’d say within 30 minutes of
being announced the winner, I started
telling people, ‘I want to win the 2016
Baja 1000.’ We started working on it
then, gathering every bit of information
we could on this year’s 1000.”
One wrench was thrown into
MacCachren’s plan; teammate Andy
McMillin switched tire manufacturers, so
he wouldn’t be able to join MacCachren
and his BFGoodrich-shod Trophy Truck
to try for three straight. So he turned to
Jason Voss, with whom MacCachren
and McMillin won in 2014.
With so much jumping back and forth
between desert and short course,
MacCachren doesn’t need to adjust his
driving mindset anymore.
“I’ve been doing it for so long, I just
get in the truck and drive it,” he says
“It’s like jumping between Pro 2 and
Pro 4. I used to struggle for a lap. Now
I just get in and drive them right away.”
When short-course season ends,
all eyes turn toward Baja.
(ABOVE) In the cut
and thrust of
LOORRS Pro 2
on the bigger picture,
the championship, is
a relative term. Races
are still hard-fought
and super close,
regardless of the
With the LOORRS season over and another
Pro 2 title in the bag, Rob MacCachren’s next
target was for three straight Baja 1000 wins.
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A CHANGE OF PACE
clinched the Pro 2 title with a race to
spare – a position he’s been in before.
“It takes the pressure off, it allows us to
have a little more ‘go for it’ [In the finale],”
he said after confirming the title was his.
“It also lets us try something out of the
box that, during the season, if you make
a mistake and go the wrong way, you put
your championship in jeopardy. We can be
At that final race, at Wild Horse Pass
slouches, but MacCachren believes that
Menzies and Deegan would have been
the biggest threats to his title repeat.
“If you look at what [Deegan] did in
the races he did race, he’d definitely be a
contender for the championship,” he
notes. “Bryce is someone else I miss racing
against. When I thought about who I was
going to have to beat in 2016, it was those
two guys. The three of us would have been
fighting for first, second and third in points.
So it’s a bummer not to have that happen.
Those are the highs and lows, the harder
and the easier. But there are new guys
that I enjoy fending off, making sure they
don’t come in and knock me off.”
Fast is usually not the issue with his
competitors, MacCachren adds. The
series has had the same rules in Pro 2
for so long, and the tracks don’t change
a whole lot, so everybody has their
trucks dialed in pretty well.
“That’s why the competition is so
close,” he says. “That’s why, in qualifying,
sometimes the top eight, nine guys are all
within a second. So it has to do with not
making mistakes, driving consistently –
and consistently fast, for 16 laps,”
He doesn’t sugarcoat it: Consistency
is how Rob MacCachren wins his
championships, and it doesn’t upset him
too much if that consistency sometimes
comes at the cost of victories. But it just
so happens that in 2016, consistently
winning was the key to MacCachren’s
domination of LOORRS Pro 2.
“It has to do with not
making mistakes, driving
consistently – consistently
fast, for 16 laps”
Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.,
MacCachren fell just short of win number
eight, finishing second to RJ Anderson, but
still enjoyed some pressure-free battling with
the likes of Deegan and Carl Renezeder.
Still, despite securing the championship
before the end of the season, there’s
bittersweet in the success. Two of
MacCachren’s fiercest competitors – three-time Pro 2 champion Deegan and Bryce
Menzies, winner of three races in 2016