The desert racing community is mourning the passing of Ben Binckley, who suffered severe brain injuries in a crash last Wednesday while pre-running for the SCORE International Baja 1000. He was 44 years old.
Binckley had posted a video on social media of himself pre-running with friends hours prior to the accident. He was taken back to the United States and placed under care at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California. His life support was turned off a week later.
The son of Baja veteran Rich Binckley, he competed in SCORE races such as the Baja 500 and 1000. In 2012, Binckley won the Baja 1000’s Class 30 division alongside Mike Johnson, Rex Cameron, Jason Trubey, and Clint Braun. Six years later, he and Scott Myers‘ team finished fourth overall in the Baja 500.
“My heart is stomped into those Borrego rocks,” posted Binckley’s close friend and Pro Moto 60 winner Guy Laycraft. “There is no answers except we racers know the risks and like Rich Binckley texted me tonight ‘He died doing what he loved, with the people he loved, and in a place he loved.’ I thank God that he was able to stay at my home in San Felipe for a few days and got to know my señorita and my step children and we could support each other at our own Baja quests. I thank God that the Winkleman’s and Oscar Hale were at the awards and I know I leaned hard on them.
“My class win at this 1000 seems irrelevant now but I also I know how happy Ben would be for me, our team and for the diversity we overcome. I pray God for the family and the numerous people who loved Ben and are devastated by this tragedy to have the support and love to help and carry them through this trying time. This tragedies are nothing new for racers in Baja and I love to think there is a heaven and all the departed racers are shredding golf courses on KX 500’s. Gods Speed Ben Binckley I will never forget you my Baja Buddy.”
A GoFundMe has been established to support his wife Megan.
On Wednesday, YouTube channel The Adventure Coop posted a video of race pre-running that features Binckley and Laycraft.