The Ox Motorsports Honda team of Colton Udall and Mark Samuels will be providing pit support to select teams for the Baja 500.
The reigning SCORE Motorcycle Champion Ox Motorsports Honda team of Colton Udall is adding another dimension to its Baja program by adding professional pit support service for select Honda-mounted Baja race teams, starting with the upcoming Bud Light SCORE Baja 500. Samuels told DirtBikes.com of the team’s plans while we visited the Ox Motorsports team headquarters in Yucca Valley, California, yesterday.
Samuels said that supported teams will have full access to the Ox Motorsport pits, including maintenance and repair service as well as parts support.
“This is something that we have thought about for a while, since we started the whole program, but we talked to certain people that were part of Johnny’s [Campbell] pit program, and they suggested not to do it, at least not right way, because it is quite a bit of work,” Ox Motorsports co-owner Mark Samuels said. “But it has just been something that has been in our minds to do, and I think it has just been something that’s missing in Baja. There aren’t too many professional pit programs [for motorcycles]. Obviously, for trucks BFGoodrich is an awesome pit program if you can’t provide your own.”
Samuels said that Ox Motorsports is talking to with BFGoodrich about partnering with the tire giant to provide a much larger pit service support network in conjunction with Ox Motorsports and Michelin for the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000, but for the upcoming Bud Light SCORE Baja 500 Samuels said that Ox Motorsports will provide pit support for about four to five Honda teams to get the ball rolling. The team is being selective about whom it will provide pit support during the formative stages of the program, although he hopes to be able to build it into a much larger program if successful.
“For the most part, right now, it’s all Pro teams, and we are doing it to try and help our pit crews make a little money,” Samuels said. “For the last few years our pit crews have come down and done this all off their own dime—we’ve paid for some hotel rooms and whatnot, but it has mostly been all volunteer. We appreciate our pit crews, and we want to try to step it up for them. There are a lot of aspects to our racing business that need to grow, and this is to help offset the cost of our crews who come down and help us. They can come down and help someone else and hopefully cover their expenses by having a professional pit program that others can use.”
Samuels said that there are still a few open spots left for Honda teams seeking pit support, and that interested parties should contact him through the Ox Motorsports Facebook page or through Colton Udall’s or Samuels’ Instagram accounts for more details.
“Steve Vince and Scott Hamby are helping us with the program, but I am still in the middle of it too,” Samuels said. “I talk with Steve, and he talks with Scott, and we go back and forth. They are still sorting out all of our pit guys, and it something they have done for a long time. They are good people to have.”
As for the upcoming Baja 500, which takes place in June, Samuels said, “We’re ready to. It was actually kind of nice to not have the Baja Sur this year. It’s a beautiful race, and it is cool. We won it, and we were looking forward to going back, but we have been racing quite a bit lately with Big 6 and WORCS, so it was nice to be able to take a break and get ready for the 500.”
Samuels added that the team’s own support has grown since it won the 2015 Baja 1000.
“We now have direct support from Michelin, which has been awesome” Samuels said. “Their engineers came down to the San Felipe 250 this year and looked at our tires and talked with us, so we have been working with them more. The tires are amazing, from their old tires to now. Being able to work with them is great. We also brought on Monster Energy Drink just before San Felipe, and that’s pretty cool to have them be a part of us because they are definitely the premier energy drink. Our team has grown a lot.”
For more information on the Ox Motorsports team, visit www.OxMotorsports.com.