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Strategy Key to Shaffer Motorsports Baja 500

13score_baja500_shaffer_pre01Ensenada, Baja California

The Shaffer Motorsports team heads south to the Baja Peninsula for the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 May 31-June 2. The team will rely on strategy as opposed to pure speed as the draw for starting order has placed them 19th off the line out of 22 cars. Starting in the back takes a few options off the table but for the Shaffer Motorsports team, it plays into their championship plans. The team is currently in the number two spot for the World Championship of Desert Racing in their Transfer Case Express class 10. Their emphasis all season has been to get to the finish and build consistent points towards the championship. If they find themselves racing for the win they will take it but their plan is to go as hard as they can without using up the car. When it comes to championships, consistency is vital.

13score_baja500_shaffer_pre02“I will start the car and then John Cantrell will get in at Borrego,” says Mike Shaffer, “John will turn the car over to John Bowers who is making his driving debut with the team. Usually Daniel Alberli would drive the last leg but business demands have him tied up during the 500. John has been co-riding and knows the car. We are planning to run a smart pace so John should do fine his first time behind the wheel but of course, it’s Mexico, anything can happen once the green flag drops.”

If it weren’t for a bent skid plate that packed dirt into the air filter and choked off the air supply to the engine, they would have placed on the podium in Ridgecrest. They are hungry for a top finish. A solid race at the 500 will put them where they want to be in the championship hunt.13shaffer_sf250_02

Mike Shaffer Driver & Crew Chief
Mike Shaffer has been racing for 28 years, starting with BMX and then age 16 in drag racing and his first desert race was fifteen years ago. Shaffer was driver of record for the 2011 SCORE Tecate BAJA 1000, finishing 2nd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 4. Shaffer was also driver of record for 2011 BITD Championship, finishing 3rd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 10. Shaffer was also driver of record for 3 Baja 1000 wins, 3 SCORE Championships and one BITD Championship in Class 1700, along with rock crawling National Championship and ARCA Championship. Mike Shaffer is the owner of Shaffer’s Offroad that helps customers build the vehicle of their choice, from bolt on accessories to custom one off vehicles.

Shawn Twitchell / Driver & Team Manager
Shawn Twitchell started desert racing motorcycles in 1972, went to drag racing in the 1980′s, circle track in the 1990′s and is now back in the desert driving with Shaffer-Motorsports. Twitchell was a driver in the 2011 SCORE Tecate BAJA 1000, finishing 2nd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 4. Twirchell was also driver for 2011 BITD Championship, finishing 3rd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 10. He has been a member of Shaffer-motorsports team since 2008 helping win three SCORE 1700 Championships. Twitchell is the Business Unit Manager for FMC Technologies’ Technisys Group. Desert racing is in their family encompassing four generations including his son Ian, who will co-drive for Shawn. Two of seven grand-kids are already earning their stripes in the pits and at the shop.

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