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High Stakes, Low Rider

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"It's hard cash or your pink slip in the pot. Con Safos, eh. Then you pull up and race. First past the post wins, con chota, sin chota."
— Cesar Vialpando.

High Stakes, Low Rider is a mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, given to protagonist Carl Johnson by Varrios Los Aztecas gang leader Cesar Vialpando from his home in the El Corona district of Los Santos, San Andreas.


Carl attains a lowrider car and drops by Cesar's house in El Corona. The two drive to the street race's starting point near the Commerce district and race against four other cars. Carl then traverses through the districts of the western part of Los Santos, before reaching the last checkpoint in Santa Maria Beach. He wins the race and then earns a monetary reward.

Mission objectives

In order to complete the mission the player must:

  • Follow Cesar to the race start.
  • Win the race.


The reward for this mission is $1,000 and the unlocking of Reuniting the Families with the completion of certain missions. In the Beta, this mission was supposed to unlock Impounded. The race may be later replayed as part of the Los Santos Race Tournaments, which can be accessed in Little Mexico after the completion of Learning to Fly later in the game. Although completion of these races is mandatory for 100% completion (and for the $1 million award), since Carl has already completed the race here, he does not need to do it again, except to improve his time (which has no bearing on completion of the tournament).

Tips and Tricks

  • It is recommended to use a Tahoma for the mission, because it is very fast and easily driven. The Slamvan is another good choice, as it is one of the fastest lowriders.
  • Outfitting your vehicle with nitro at any mod garage will give you an advantage in the race.
  • If the player does not have a lowrider, there are two in the street near Cesar's house. A Voodoo and a Blade can be found.
  • Since this mission is unlocked right after the mission Cesar Vialpando, it can be tempting to use the Savanna from that mission for the race. Unfortunately, the Savanna handles poorly and has a tendency to spin out. This is especially true since the player's driving rating is poor at this point. Even slightly high speed may cause the player to spin out in tight turns; thus, it is not recommended to use it for the race. On top of that, since the Savanna already is equipped with hydraulics and the R3 button activates it, during the race, the player may accidently activate this feature, causing the car to loose control quickly, especially at high speeds. Some players have had success with the Savanna, though.
  • Watch out for lamp posts or traffic lamps, as they can make the player's car spin out when bumped.
    • Also, watch out for traffic, as it can slow your vehicle down. If necessary, you can open fire while in the car to force the nearest traffic to drive faster. However, if you shoot near a cop or a Balla, they will shoot at you.
  • Slow and steady actually win the race. Forget about taking first place right off the bat as there are numerous vehicles to deal with. Just stay close until the big straight away that leads to the tunnel leading out of LS. Gun the nitrous if you have it. This will lead you straight to first place. The rest, until reaching the Verona Beach Pier and finish line is one turn after another. Since at this time, the player's driving skill is low and all low riders tends to fish tail violently at high speed turns, it's a good idea to keep the speed low in order to turn effectively. If all goes well, the nitrous should be active when reaching the pier. Gun it to the finish for the win.

Video walkthroughs

GTA San Andreas - Walkthrough - Mission 25 - High Stakes, Low-rider (HD)02:47

GTA San Andreas - Walkthrough - Mission 25 - High Stakes, Low-rider (HD)


  • During the opening cutscene, Kendl is in the car with Cesar, but during the drive to the race, she uses a different model, which is her beta version (you can see her picture in the Johnson House. This is because Kendl only appears in cutscenes, and thus does not have a normal NPC model.
  • If the player fails the mission, Kendl will call and mock you for losing the race.
  • The player is required to have a lowrider to enter the race. However, two Majestics participate in the race, even though they are not lowriders.
  • While following Cesar to the race, at the starting line the driver of each car participating in the race is member of Varrios Los Aztecas gang. However, when the race begins the driver of each car will be replaced with a random civilian.
  • Sometimes, Cesar's car in the cutscene shows a black color instead of the red one. (Tested on PS2)
  • It is possible to steal the cars of the other racers even though the doors are locked. When you hit a vehicle the driver will step out. If you manage to get one of the cars into your garage, you'll be left with a fine bulletproof lowrider of your own, as the car isn't locked anymore.
  • If you hit Cesar's car with melee attacks after you reach the finish, he will come out the car and attack you. Killing him does not affect the storyline. You can obtain his car because of that car being bulletproof.
  • The steering wheel on Cesar's car was being turned by Cesar in the cutscene. However, steering wheels in vehicles do not turn, so this animation was only used in the cutscene.

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