Baja natives, the Ampudia Brothers, ultimately prevailed as the 2019 champions, taking the overall victory with a time of 16 hours, 10 minutes and 36 seconds. That triumphant journey wouldn’t have been possible without some crucial assistance from Monster Energy’s Rodrigo Ampudia, a hugely successful racer in his own right. While he didn’t partake in driving duties this time around, Rodrigo provided navigation for his brothers, Alan and Aaron, and helped guide them to victory.
While four-wheeled trucks, buggies, UTVs and more dominate the entry list in the Baja 1000 each year, it’s on two wheels where Monster Energy has enjoyed his most significant dominance. For years Slam Life Racing (SLR) and it's Honda CRF450X has set the standard in the motorcycle division, where the Monster Energy crew, led by Justin Morgan, has clicked off win after win. It was more of the same this time around, as Morgan was joined by Shane Esposito, Max Eddy Jr., and David Kamo for this year’s 1000. SLR has enjoyed a string of dominance that has extended for over a year, and it continued with the squad’s eighth consecutive victories in the SCORE World Desert Championship. The team started first off the line in their 800-mile journey and never relinquished the lead, cruising to the finish line in a time of 17 hours, 34 minutes and 28 seconds. That time was good enough to land the motorcycle team in sixth in the overall classification, where they missed out on a top-five finish by just 10 minutes.
“It was really good conditions,” said Morgan after the race. “I was expecting more mud but it was really good in the desert. I would never have thought I would have eight wins. We lost a lot of races to learn how to win them, so it is finally paying off.”
Back on four wheels, the Hammer Truck Unlimited class saw none other than longtime Monster Army member Casey Currie and his four-driver lineup take the win driving his tricked-out Jeep Wrangler. Currie has really paved the way for the continued progression of what has become one
of SCORE’s most unique classes, and the Jeep loyalist is always fighting to bring some recognition to the iconic brand. There’s no better way to do that than to take a hard-earned class win in the Baja 1000, where Currie dominated with a time of 21 hours, 54 minutes and 33 seconds. Currie and his team crossed the line nearly four full hours ahead of his next closest competitor.
Rounding out the triumphant efforts for Monster Energy at this year’s Baja 1000 was the Monster Energy-backed Cognito Motorsports team led by Justin Lambert. The four-driver lineup piloted their Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo to an impressive time of 21 hours and 43 seconds in the Pro UTV Forced Induction class, which ultimately gave them a top-30 finish in the overall standings. They finished 19 minutes clear of their next competitor in the division, which capped off a truly memorable outing in a class that featured one of the highest numbers of entries in the entire event.