November 14, 2016 | by Wayne Smith

Denver Entrepreneur Leads Racing Team to Compete in 49th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 with Support of Like-Minded Vertex Innovations

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/ Founder of Littleton-based Vertex Innovations supports friend and fellow small business owner of nearby A&B Builders to compete in 49th SCORE Baja 1000

Mike Palmer, founder of Denver-based A&B Builders, is leading the Crossfire Offroad racing team to the SCORE International Baja 1000 with the support of fellow entrepreneur Wayne Smith, founder of Vertex Innovations. The 49th Annual race begins November 16 in Ensenada, Mexico, and it will not be for the faint of heart.

“Baja 1000 is definitely inherently dangerous,” said Palmer. “One thing I stress with my crew is to be safe. We all want to come home safe.”

The Crossfire Offroad vehicle is a Chevrolet Trophy Truck (TT 57) made for speed and durability with 800 horsepower, a Turbo 400 transmission with Casale V-drive, Howe steering, 4.5” bypass shocks, PAC Racing Springs and more. According to Palmer, the terrain is volatile and the pace grueling. All-in-all: high-risk.

“Problems arise,” Palmer explained. “It’s always important to think on your feet. The people I like to bring along need to be able to do that.”

Like many dreams that become reality, TT 57 started off as an idea on a napkin. Vertex Innovations, an award-winning telecom program management company founded by entrepreneur Wayne Smith, rallies around this dream race after race.

“If you think of entrepreneurship– what it takes, and the perseverance that’s involved– he inspires those traits,” Smith described Palmer.

He continued: “I feel that Mike’s commitment to his race team, his company, and to his friends and family, that he’s one of those people I want to be around. He inspires other people.”

Palmer and Smith met on-site at a telecom construction project over ten years ago. Both passionate visionaries, the two business owners share a very similar set of core values and believe that one’s work is his or her own form of art, whether it's construction management or desert racing.

“We think and we believe that the work we produce as individuals is a form of art,” said Smith. “When you leave here one day from this planet, whenever it is, you’ll have left your mark on the generations after you.”

Both Palmer and Smith have built successful businesses from the ground-up, using their core values as a guide by which to grow competitive, profitable and sustainable companies.

What is their advice for a hopeful, new entrepreneur?

“Act on your dreams,” said Palmer. “Don’t let them get by without at least trying.”

According to Smith, the climb up the mountain is just as important as reaching the top.

“The fun part is the journey that’s involved,” he explained. “Part of being an entrepreneur is learning along the way. Enjoy it.”

Palmer's journey from Denver to Baja 1000

The 49th Annual Baja 1000 is Palmer’s seventh SCORE International Baja race. He and the Crossfire team have placed 20th and 25th in the 250, 27th and 21st in the 500 and 21st and 15th in the 1000. In addition to the SCORE series, Crossfire Offroad has also finished in the mid-20s in both the Henderson 250 and the Parker 425.

Additional sponsors for the Crossfire Offroad TT 57 include Nemesis Industries, L&L Design, PAC Racing Springs, General Air, Blast Tech, JT Customs, RED, Jamar Brakes and Campbell Ent.

For more information about the SCORE Baja 1000, visit

About Crossfire Offroad

Crossfire Offroad was established by Mike Palmer, founder and president of A&B Builders, in November 2013. The official vehicle is a Chevrolet Trophy Truck (TT 57). TT 57 has successfully finished and placed in seven SCORE International Baja races. With only a hdnful of corporate sponsors, the success of TT 57 is driven by the passion and dedication of nearly 100 volunteers. To learn more about the Crossfire Offroad community, please visit their Facebook group page here.

About A&B Builders

A&B Builders was established in January 1989 in Denver, Colorado by experienced construction professional and entrepreneur Mike Palmer. With active projects across the Front Range, A&B provides their customers with a new sense of confidence in their projects’ quality, durability and cost-effectiveness. The company performs a wide range of commercial construction services, specializing in tenant improvements.

About Vertex Innovations, Inc.

Entrepreneur Wayne Smith established Vertex Innovations in 2003 in Littleton, Colorado to help push the companies of today’s wireless landscape stay competitive for tomorrow’s network. With services ranging from performance to training and software, the Inc. 5000 company equips network operators, equipment manufacturers, contractors, strategic suppliers, and others with the tools necessary to wholly improve telecommunication infrastructure, public safety, and profit gains.

At any given time, Vertex has approximately 2,000 live project sites throughout the U.S., including dark fiber, C-RAN, DAS and more. To learn more, please visit