Dennis Hollenbeck

Dennis Hollenbeck

2020-2021, Advocate

For many of us, 2020-2021 was anything but normal. For 2020 our organization took a hard hit and our budget allowed for just one race, the Baja 1000. It was a race that challenged us the whole way and even at one point in the middle of now where we were left standing, looking at our motor and broken transmission laying on the ground. So it was a tough year.

For 2021 I was honored to race with Warrior Built Foundation in trying to race Machete over the mountain range. It was tough, but a bad clutch and leaking main seal would end our hopes. We are now deep into Race Prep for the Baja 1000, and with great care we make our way closer and closer, knowing that our next move could mean Victory, or even defeat.

But our greatest success came down to a single event in which Off-Road racers from different Classes came together to help make a difference. This event was organized by a couple of buddies, Eric Johnson and Jon Kilbourne. Together we took the first steps in this first-time event to raise funds for Mi Casa de Esperanza, and give them rides in their race rigs, and eat some incredible burgers and hotdogs. It was a dream come true to see so many people show up, and to have the support of so many, and especially SCORE International. Each child went home with an authentic Finisher's medal from a SCORE race, and our message was to never give up on the race that the Lord Jesus has set for them. We raised close to $15,000.00, God is so good! So for me, success came in a beautiful way, and that was to see so many coming together to spread God's love and generosity. Next up is the Baja 1000, and we plan on seeing you in La Paz!

I came to Off-Road racing as your typical spectator that stood by the riverbed in Ensenada watching the cars head out on their race. Like so many, I could only imagine what it would be like to roar through, and into the unknown. Then one day it happened, I was that guy racing through the river bed--not breathing, and feeling as if I was about to throw up, but I was racing through the riverbed. But, I also wanted to make a difference for the Moms and Children at Mi Casa de Esperanza, and to inspire others to do the same.

Desert Racing in Mexico, is to me is the ultimate challenge, and it is a way in which I get to hopefully share the best of who I am as I confront these challenges, and yes, sometimes people end up dealing with the worst of who I can be as well. Yes, there are times I ask myself this question, "what in the heck am I doing out here?" But my answer comes as I see the handprints and names of the Casa Kids and Moms plastered on Bochtio.

For me, a Score Baja race is like a family holiday, and it brings my Off-Road family together, and although we don't eat a huge turkey dinner, we do sit down to cold Pizza and warm soda to discuss logistics and Joke about who drove Bochito in the ditch in the last race, or in my case, rolled him over on his lid. It is a time when even my daughters get to greet their tired, and dirty dad, help him out of Bochito and give him a ham sandwich. It's a time when I'm joined by my best friend who helps me figure all of this out, organizes everything, and she even makes me a cup of coffee at 3:00 am as I finish my section, I get to share this great adventure with my wife Debbie, who to me, is my Desert Queen.

I know eventually the day will come when I will know it's time to hang up my helmet, but I know God will not be ending my racing career, but giving me the challenge of being there for every driver that takes on this great adventure as I continue on with my calling with Racer's for Christ, and to the RFC Ministry, and Chappy, thank you for that opportunity. A calling, not a hobby. Not a hobby but a passion.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1-2

 

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