Rob MacCachren was beginning to believe he was getting too old for the grueling sport of desert racing.
The 42-year-old had won nearly every major title in more than 20 years of off-road racing, but the ultimate one eluded him.
Until Wednesday afternoon.
The Las Vegas native's enthusiasm was reborn after he teamed with Mark Post and Carl Renezeder to win his first overall title of the 40th annual SCORE Baja 1000. The race from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas on Mexico's Baja California peninsula started Tuesday morning, and the course will remain open to competitors until 6 p.m. today.
"It was much awaited," MacCachren said of the victory. "It's taken a lot of years."
He combined with Post, who also owns their Riviera Racing team, to win three of this year's six Trophy-Truck races in the SCORE Desert Series.
Renezeder, of Laguna Beach, Calif., was added as a third driver for the 1,296-mile race. The team averaged 51.13 mph over 25 hours, 21 minutes and 25 seconds to finish six minutes ahead of Mexico's Gus Vildosola and son Gus Vildosola Jr.
The victory by MacCachren's team in a Ford F-150 is the first time a Trophy-Truck has won the overall Baja 1000 title in the 13-year history of the class.
MacCachren entered the race with five class titles in the event between 1992 and 2004.
Winning the season finale also gave MacCachren's team, based in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the SCORE overall and Trophy-Truck season championships.
MacCachren battled rain and mud for the first 368 miles before Renezeder took over for the next 295. MacCachren returned to drive 357 miles before Post replaced him for the last 276.
"It's pretty damn cool, especially for all the guys at Riviera Racing who worked so hard to give us such a great truck," MacCachren said in a telephone interview from Mexico.
Las Vegan B.J. Baldwin, 28, started the race trailing Post/MacCachren by one point for the Trophy-Truck championship, but mechanical problems ended his pursuit early.
Troy Herbst of Las Vegas and Larry Roeseler of Hesperia, Calif., won the unlimited Class 1 title for an unprecedented fourth consecutive time. The victory gave them the season title.
Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 383-0247.