Menzies Wins 3rd Straight Baja 400, Even without FWD

bryce menzies wins baja 400
Bryce Menzies Wins Third Straight Baja 400SCORE

Bryce Menzies took his Mason-built Ford Raptor Trophy Truck to his third straight Baja 400 win yesterday in the 385-mile K&N SCORE Baja 400 presented by VP Racing Fuels. Menzies won despite losing the front-wheel drive on his 4WD Raptor 230 miles into the race, which started and finished in the seaside resort town of Ensenada and looped through the deserts of the upper Baja peninsula.

“My plan was to try to be first on the road by the beach, but when I got there, around race mile 230, I lost my front-wheel drive,” Menzies said at the finish line. “I knew it was going to be a long way from there with those guys charging hard from behind me. I just had to play it smart, keep my eyes on the ball, and have no flats because that was really going to make it hard for us. We kept those guys behind us and just kind of cruised all the way from there. I had to go back to my two-wheel-drive days, but it was unreal. What a day.”

Luke McMillin, who has won the last three Baja 1000s but never a Baja 400, finished just two minutes and 16 seconds behind Menzies on corrected time in his Mason-built Chevy 1500 Trophy Truck, followed by his brother Andy in his own Mason Ford Raptor less than two minutes after that.


Luke’s day was hampered by a flat tire after hitting a rock that he’d hit “100 times pre-running and it was never a problem.” It’s always that 101st time with those rocks.

“When we stopped at the pit to re-rack it (after the flat), we got back in fifth place and my heart was down on the floor because I knew it was going to be really hard to get back to first,” Luke McMillin said.

“We got back to third by Mike’s Sky Ranch (race mile 150) and were very close to (fourth-place finisher Alan) Ampudia. We took our time in the super rocky section and then Bryce closed in on us. We had to make a pit stop on the highway and he really got on us. We chased him all the way home and it is what is.”

All of the top 10 finishers were within 15 minutes of each other after almost 400 miles. The top four finishers all drove solo, with no relief drivers.

The top motorcycle finisher was once again Bolivian Juan Carlos Salvatierra, who shared riding duties on a KTM 450SX-F with American rider Shane Logan and Argentinian Justin Carnes. The trio finished almost an hour behind the winning Trophy Trucks in 8:52:58.

The top five UTV pilots all drove solo, and all drove Polaris RZR Pro Rs. All the top five finishers were from the US, led by Brock Heger of El Centro, California, who finished in 9:01:57.

Race winner Menzies now gets to start the season-ending granddaddy of all desert races the Baja 1000 in pole position when that race runs Nov. 13-18. Start training now!

What rig would you like to race in the Baja 400? Trophy truck, motorcycle, or UTV? Please share your aspirations below.