For any off-road driver, winning the Baja 1000 is a dream come true. The same can be said for Trophy Truck driver Cameron Steele and his Desert Assassins race team. After a runner-up finish in the 2017 Baja 1000, this team came back with a vengeance in the largest category of the biggest off-road race of the year.
After qualifying 13th for the most grueling of off-road events, Steele and his team took on the 806 grueling miles of Baja’s finest terrain against some of the best competitors on the trail. This includes No. 1 qualifier Ricky Johnson, who started putting down a fast pace that few thought they would be to catch. That was, until the halfway point of this race where the vehicles of Larry Conner, Bryce Menzies, Andy McMillin and NASCAR star Robby Gordon tried to stop Steele and his team from earning this win as this team continued to run sixth at the time. After a broken spindle suffered by Connor, Menzie and McMillin, the doors of fate began to creak open for Steele.
Although Steele finished behind four-time Baja winner Rob MacCachren and his team, MacCachren was hit with both speeding and unsafe/illegal pass penalties, which cost him and his team their latest Baja victory.
This loss gave Steele, who recently lost his legendary off-road racing father this summer, his hardest fought win in the 51st running of the Baja 1000.
“It was a long and emotional road out there to say the least,” said Steele. “My father’s ashes rode with us in the truck. He started the Steele family on this journey in 1971 and we are still here 47 years after my dad took his first green flag in the place that we all love so much. Baja decides how your day will go, and at the end of this race, Baja has graced us with another magical experience and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Steel was also inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in July and is sure to be a name that many will remember for years to come.
Along with Steele, IndyCar Series driver Alexander Rossi also secured a podium finish in the Class 7 category following his first Baja 1000. That was after almost running over a racing spectator just 33 miles into the race.
— Alexander Rossi (@AlexanderRossi) November 17, 2018
This 807-mile race was also entered by 296 vehicles driven by teams from 41 U.S. states and 18 countries. For full race results, visit Score-International.com. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for full dirt racing coverage.