Second Place Finish for Cancer Survivor in Baja 1000
“It’s tough to narrowly miss the big prize, but just crossing the finish line in the biggest off-road race—and doing it after battling cancer—is a victory, both professionally and personally,” said Bacal. “Even after driving straight through the night, I felt good at the finish. I was dialed in and so was my Lexus—this was fun!”
Bacal and navigator Gerald “Smitty” King started their marathon drive in Ensenada at 11:59 Friday morning in the LX 570. “King Shocks’ new suspension setup made the LX fast and easy to control,” Bacal said in a release. “There were a number of times that I came up to pass slower cars and had to wait a long time because the dust was so heavy and going off course (to pass) was very risky.”
Driving through the dark desert night without the dust presents its own set of visibility problems but Bacal credits the banks of KC HiLiTES on his Lexus for helping him through. “The big KCs really light up the desert,” he noted.
Aside from scheduled stops for fuel, there were few other problems that Bacal had to face, including a mechanical issue and one to free the rig after getting stuck briefly.
“I think we surprised a lot of people with our racing program this year,” noted Bacal. “My team, sponsors and family also made huge contributions. Another special mention goes to Long Beach Racers for their excellent race support.” NBC Sports will provide delayed coverage of this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, currently scheduled to air on December 19.