The 2018 SCORE season welcomed a new era for Stronghold Motorsports as their new partnership with Vildosola Racing kicked off this past weekend at the 2018 SCORE International San Felipe 250.
At the end of the 2017 season, Scott Bailey of Stronghold Motorsports teamed up with fellow competitors Gustavo Vildosola, Rodrigo Ampudia and Mike Coleman, forming a Legends super team for the Baja 1000.
Competing in the Vildosola Racing #21L Trophy Truck, they would go on to take the first place finish in the Trophy Truck Legends Class.
Following the successful performance at the 2017 Baja 1000, Scott Bailey and Gustavo Vildosola agreed that bringing their two race programs together would give them a solid opportunity to take an unstoppable run at the 2018 SCORE Legends Class Championship.
The new teammates put their experience to the test this past weekend in San Felipe for the first race of the season. An almost flawless race in the #12L Trophy Truck, the team would only encounter a small overheating issue on the day but continued on their run with a solid pace.
With no other issues, the team charged hard to the finish line in what was sure to be a victory in the Legends Class. It wasn’t until later the team received word that they missed the first place mark by only 3 seconds. A tough loss to swallow at such a minuscule difference, but the team put together an excellent performance, not only in the truck but the all crew members working in prep and in the pits. San Felipe solidified that the newly formed partnership between Bailey and Vildosola was on the right track and the two teams are more positive than ever in their capability to win. The two new teammates now look ahead to the Baja 500 and prepare for redemption with a plan to set the winning mark by more than just a few seconds.
While the Gentlemen in the #12L seemed to have a pretty much flawless day, the Race Gods had other plans for the Stronghold Motorsports #129 Class 1. Pushing the pace and determined to put the Class 1 on the podium, Brandon Bailey charged hard through the San Felipe desert, making an early pass before mile nine.
Bailey and Co-Driver Nelson continued their solid run but after hitting a sand whoop too hard, the #129 was bucked up into the air and flipped into the soft sand. Luckily, the car landed right side up with only cosmetic damage, but now the team was stuck in the soft sand. Eventually a fellow racer would stop and lend a helping hand to pull them out. Back into the race they continued on pushing to make up time but the unfortunate problems would not end as they would suffer a punctured tire at mile 160. With no crew support near and no air for the tire jack, Co-Driver Johnny Nelson, jumped into action and began stacking rocks under the car to try and dig the tire out. After over an hour of digging, a Stronghold/Vildosola chase support team arrived and got the #129 back on all four wheels. Already plagued with a crash and a blown tire, only a few miles later a failure in the power steering would force the team to limp into the next pit. As the team entered the pit at mile 192, the crews worked quickly to do a fuel and tire change and swap out the power steering pump. Larry Job would hop in the truck next and with a goal to finish the race the #129 would reach the finish line with no further issues. Not the way the team wanted to begin the season, but a 9th place finish in the Class 1 only sets the determination to put together a better performance as the team looks ahead to the Baja 500.