Simi Valley, CA – The world famous Baja 1000 took place this past weekend starting in Ensenada, Mexico along a course layout rougher than any in recent memory.
The class 30 (300X team) consisting of Jim O'Neal, Chuck Dempsey, Kevin Murphy, Mark Winkleman Jason Trueby and Aaron Tuck entered the event seeking to win the 30 SCORE Pro Championship!
Unfortunately, at 10:00 PM a horrific crash took place at about the 720 mile mark just past Nuevo Junction. Jim O'Neal ran into what appeared to be a bobby trap consisting of 20' of barbwire that was across the race course. Suffering a high speed crash the barb wire locked up the rear wheel and tangled into the bike. Jim suffered severe injury and was stuck under the bike for some fifteen minutes.
As Jim was trying to get free from the bike and booby trap damage, the task of prying away the barbwire from the sprocket and rear wheel proved nearly impossible due to injury and the amount of wire tangled into the bike. Fortunately with the kindness and help of the 81X team (Joseph Jepsen Team) and especially the 111X team (Chad Thornton team) Jim was able to untangle the bike and get going.
Jim continued forward at a speed of 7 mph due to injuries consisting of large puncture of his left leg, both knees having severe trauma, broken vertebrae and a right arm and right hand injury making throttle control nearly impossible. During the short distance while trying to get the bike to the next rider, Jim found himself crashing an additional 3 times.
Finally around mile 743 Jim was able to hand the bike to team member Chuck Dempsey. Chuck and crew were able to repair damaged parts, switched out the bikes lights and forge forward to the last section handing the bike over to team rider Jason Trubey.
The team finished a miraculous first in class 30 and won the 30 SCORE Pro Championship!
Jim was transported to SCRIPPS over the border in San Diego where he was then transferred to UCSD trauma center.
Jim O'Neal after competing in more than 105 Baja races was proud of the team and of course, the pro championship title. "All in all I feel pretty lucky and it looks like our helmet did its job. I suffered no head trauma and am glad just to be up and moving around a bit."
"I want to thank Mark Winkleman, Monkey Business and the additional team sponsors as well as the entire team for pulling it all together and gaining the victory! Further, I want to thank 81X team and the 111X team. The 111X team rider took a long time in helping me free the bike and get going and I am truly grateful for the kindness!"
Jim is now recovering and expects to fully recover from all injuries in due time.
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