Automotive Hall of Fame – Mark Stahl – Baja & Mexican 1000 Champion
Mark Stahl is four times winner of the Baja 1000. Overall winner in 1978 and 1980. Four times Baja 1000 Ironman winner. Four times class winner NORRA Mexican 1000.
Mark has EBC Yellowstuff brake pads fitted on his 1977 Chenowth 1000, 1978 Ford F100.
Mark Stahl began his career in 1968 at 16, racing stock cars at El Cajon Speedway, where he won 10 main events between 1968 and 1974. During the same period, Mark competed in the desert on a motorcycle where he quickly racked up six wins in District 38 and a 4th place finish in the 1976 Baja 1000. In 1977, Mark was leading the Parker 400 on his motorcycle when the transmission seized, threw him over the handlebars and he broke his collarbone. Soon after, Mark and his first off-road sponsor decided to build his now famous, single-seat Chenowth 1000 and a Championship Class One career was born.
Mark went on to win three Baja 1000 ironman awards, including two overall victories in 1978, 1980 and a Class One win in 1981, all solo. At the pinnacle of his off-road career in 1981, Mark built his first NASCAR stock car and began a 20 year career in NASCAR and ARCA as a team owner, driver and race engine builder. He began in the Winston West Series garnering three top 10 finishes and 12th in points in 1982. He went on to race a limited schedule in the Winston Cup, where his best finish was 16th at Darlington and he won the 2nd Round fast qualifier award at 204.096 mph in the last unrestricted race at Talladega in 1987.
Mark finished his career in Arca with numerous top five finishes at Daytona, Talledega, Charlotte, Atlanta and Pocono. In 2001, Mark retired from stock car racing and moved back home to San Diego to be close to the deserts of the Southwest and of course, Baja 1000 where he won 1st place in the Baja Challenge Class and 36th overall. In 2011, he had the opportunity to race his now restored 1977 Chenowth 1000 in the NORRA Mexican 1000 and the team won their class. Mark had so much fun racing NORRA he began searching fro a vintage vehicle of his own to restore. Within months he found the 1978 BF Goodrich/Fillmore Ford and has been competing in the NORRA Mexican 1000 with family and friends ever since.
Mark Stahl Racing
To race and have fun doing it
Highest Place Finish:
1st 1978, 1980, 1981, 2007 Baja 1000.
1st 2011, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Mexican 1000
1977 Chenowth 1000, 1978 Ford F100
What`s your day job?
Playing with race cars.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Winning the Baja 1000 overall twice.
What would be your dream car/ motorcycle?
Did you always want to be a racer or something else?
Always a race car driver.
Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or two wheels?
Rear wheel drive.
What motorsport event would you most like to compete in?
What is the most insane/scary/memorable drive/ride you’ve ever had?
Going over 200mph at Talladega.
How involved are you in testing and mechanical tweaking before events?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Still competing in the Norra Mexican 1000.
What is your go to playlist or song before an event to get in the zone?
Don’t need one.
If you could try any other motorsport which one would you choose?
I have done most of them, I like off road-racing.
What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone in a car or bike on track and when?
215 mph Talladega 1987.
What is your daily drive or ride?
Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration is the desire to compete.
What is the one thing you could not live without?
Friends & family.
What is your favourite takeaway?
The Green Flag.
Do you have a favourite movie?
Any bad habits?
Tell us something about you that most people would not know?
I don’t like mushrooms.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?
I’d like to see a horse and a duck fight.