Dennis Rogers earned the endearing nickname, Viejo Loco Chingon, when he decided to do what no other man his age has done – race the Baja 1000, solo. Roughly translated to English, Viejo Loco Chingon means: “Crazy old badass.” Having completed the 40th anniversary race while he was in his 50’s, Dennis is 62 and is gearing up to Ironman the 2017 Baja 1000, which is set to start in Ensenada, Mexico on Thursday, November 16, 2017, and end three days later in La Paz.
Dennis’ extensive racing experience includes both on and off-road trips – driving motorcycles, buggies and trophy trucks. What has made his journeys unique is that he does it all with just one kidney. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting an estimated 31 million people. Ten percent of the adult population have chronic kidney disease, although many are unaware they have the disease.
For his part, Dennis endured pain for nearly 50 years before finally discovering that the source of intense pain that left him doubled over had resulted from a diseased kidney. CT scans revealed that one of his ureter tubes, which connect the kidney and bladder, had never properly formed while he was in utero. As a result, the ureter tube periodically clogged, causing the kidney to fill, which prevented it from draining. After so much repeated blockage, his right kidney had slowly decayed until all that remained was a shell. So, eventually, the kidney had to go.
Dennis’ experience battling kidney disease and working with the folks at USC Medical Center, who skillfully helped him through surgery and recovery, impacted him so significantly that he desperately wants to share what he has learned and use his racing acumen to raise awareness about kidney health. A competitive athlete since 1968, he decided the best avenue for increasing awareness would be through a landmark race.
About the Baja 1000
Sponsored by SCORE International Off-Road Racing, the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 will feature hundreds of off-road racing legends. This year’s event will be held from November 14-18, 2017 in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The first official race started in Tijuana, Baja California, on October 31, 1967, and was named the NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. The race allows various types of riders to compete in different vehicle classes, from small and large bore motorcycles, stock Volkswagens, production vehicles, buggies, trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles. The course has remained relatively the same over the years, alternating featuring a point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, or a loop starting and finishing in Ensenada.
How you can help!
Support Kidney Health Awareness
Dennis’ goal is to raise $40,000 to cover race-related expenses and support the National Kidney Foundation. Click here to donate.