Friday, May 25, 2012
Round 4 of Five-Race 2012 SCORE Desert Series to be Held June 1-3 in Ensenada, Mexico
by Dominic Clark
LOS ANGELES -- Leading over 275 race vehicles into the Mexican desert during next weekend’s 44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race will be a near-record 40 majestic SCORE Trophy Trucks, the marquee SCORE racing division--the unique class for high-tech, 850 horsepower unlimited production trucks. Included in that austere group are the last nine race winners and 11 of the 18 former race winners in the magical class that is like no other in all of motorsports.
Created in 1994 by SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish, SCORE Trophy Truck features the world’s best desert racers and the field this year includes the SCORE Trophy Truck division winners from the last nine years—Ryan Arciero, Foothill, Ranch, Calif. (2003), Alan Pflueger, Honolulu (2004), Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C. (2005), Brian Collins, Las Vegas (2006 and 2007), B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas (2008), Rick D. Johnson (2009), Barstow, Calif., Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin (2010), National City, Calif. and Bryce Menzies (2011), Las Vegas. The two other former SCORE Trophy Truck winners in this race entered are Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif. (1995) and Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (1996).
As pre-running on the rugged 450-mile course continues in earnest this weekend for the second-oldest desert race in the world, Round 4 of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature over 275 entries, competing in 36 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. The event will be held May 31-June 3 in Ensenada, Mexico.
SCORE is in its 39th year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization. This race is traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, and most of the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s 44th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
With late entries accepted up to race morning in the 450-mile race, entries so far have come from 34 U.S. States from Hawaii to New York and the U.S. Territory of Guam along with the additional countries of Mexico, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Spain.
The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 2) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 10 a.m. The elapsed-time race, with one vehicle starting every 30 seconds and a 22-hour time limit for all competitors, will start and finish in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in the heart of Ensenada, leaving and returning into the city through the Arroyo Wash.
“I would like to think I have always been a visionary, but when I created the SCORE Trophy Truck racing division back in 1994, I honestly never dreamed it would develop to the heights that it has, both in terms of design and technology,” reflected Sal Fish, SCORE’s CEO/President since soon after it was founded in 1973. “For the first decade we never had more than 20 SCORE Trophy Trucks in a race, but it these last eight years the premier racing division in the entire sport has seen over the top growth. To have 40 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered for next week’s 44th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 truly is a dream come true. And with the world’s best desert racers in the driver’s seats, any one the these amazing trucks could win the race.”
While the nine returning race winners provide a formidable field by themselves in SCORE Trophy Truck, the field includes 15 drivers who have combined for 65 wins out of the 104 races the class has run in its 18-plus-year history.
Leading the group of SCORE Trophy Truck race winners is all-time leader Tim Herbst of Las Vegas, who has 11 career race wins in the division and who will split driving in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Roeseler has 16 class wins in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 including a race-record 11 overall wins and he also has three career SCORE Trophy Truck race victories.
In addition to Tim Herbst and Roeseler, the other drivers who have at least one SCORE Trophy Truck race win entered in next week’s race are: Gordon and MacCachren (each with nine career race wins), Collins (six), Andy McMillin (five), LeDuc and Baldwin (four each), Ryan Arciero and Scott McMillin (three each), Jesse Jones, Menzies, Pflueger and Gus Vildosola Sr. (two each) and single SCORE Trophy Truck race winners Johnson and Gus Vildosola Jr.
Among the SCORE Trophy Truck entries are 13 of the 18 all-time season point champions in the division. Herbst (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003) again leads the way with four career SCORE Trophy Truck season point titles followed by two-time champions Baldwin (2006 and 2008), Gordon (1996 and 2009) and MacCachren (1994 and 2007). The other former season SCORE Trophy Truck champs entered in next week’s race are LeDuc (1997), Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz. (2010) and Menzies (2011). Collins will be the second driver for NASCAR Cup and Nationwide series driver Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas, while LeDuc will be the second driver for Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix.
The talented field of veteran desert racers heading to Baja includes 22 defending class winners out of the 30 Pro and Sportsman classes that had finishers in last year’s race. Several, however, will be racing in different classes this year.
Last year’s overall race champions are also entered in this year’s race. The overall 4-wheel winner in 2011 was Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies, who drives the No. 1 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck. Recording the fastest overall time while leading all motorcycles in last year’s race was Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif. and Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif., on a Honda CRF450X while the fastest ATV was the Honda TRX450R team led by Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore. Norman will be riding solo this year on another Honda CRF450X while Cody will be the second rider for Mike Brown on a KTM 450SX-F.
The rugged 450-mile course, which runs in a clockwise direction, resembles a deflating balloon, winding east to Ojos Negros, down to near San Felipe, back West to the Pacific Ocean below San Vicente and back north east through Santo Tomas on the way back to Ojos Negros and then Ensenada.
The only pre-running that will be allowed on the first 41.04 miles of the course will be outbound only and only on Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1. No inbound pre-running on the last 41.04 miles of the course will be allowed. Pre-running of the rest of the course will start and finish in the Ojos Negros area.
The four official race checkpoints, where all vehicles are required to make a quick stop, will be located at race mile 88.56 (Santa Catarina), rm219.72 (South San Matias Wash), rm314.13 (Northwest of Colonet near the Pacific Ocean) and rm402.90 (West of Ojos Negros). The course will also have 52 virtual checkpoints. All vehicles are also required to run International Rally Consultants tracking devices and live vehicle tracking will be available during the race at www.racetheworld.net.
The course will also have five short controlled-speed pavement sections that total 13.67 miles where the speed limit for the race vehicles is 60 miles per hour, subject to time penalties for exceeding that speed in those very limited pavement sections.
The featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks has a race-high 39 entries in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Besides the three overall winners, among the other defending Pro class champions in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 entered this year to date are: Steven Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif. (Class 1), Luke McMillin, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 1/2-1600), Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3); Arturo Alvarez, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 7), Rudolfo Iribe, Tijuana, Mexico/Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn. (Class 8 and Class 11); Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 10) Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif./Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif. (SCORE Lites), Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va./Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 4); Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas (Class 30); Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Class 40), Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 25) and Carl Vella, Ardsley, N.Y. (Class 26).
From the group above, the Eugenio/Pfankuch team is racing in SCORE Trophy Truck this year (this will be their first race in their new No. 11 Ford F-150), Luke McMillin is racing in Class 1 as is Matney (with Stacy) and Laguna is driving in Class 6. Stacy is also driver of record for a team in Class 5-1600.
The Sportsman class winners returning from last year as of today are: Peter Lang, Santa Rosa, Calif. (SPT Buggy), Randy Swift, El Cajon, Calif. (SPT Truck), Arnulfo Verdugo, Tijuana, Mexico (SPT M/C<450cc) and Ulises Fierro, Tijuana, Mexico (SPT M/C>450cc). Lang has moved up to Class 6 this year and both Verdugo and Fierro to Class 21.
Prominent Mexican racer Juan C. Lopez (SCORE Trophy Truck) along with Cody Parkhouse (Class 1), Mike Brown (Motorcycles) and Josh Frederick (ATVs) have all drawn pole positions in their respective divisions for the race.
Mexico’s Lopez, who finished second in both Laughlin races and sixth in San Felipe in the No. 18 RPM OffRoad Chevy Silverado is second in SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck points. RPM OffRoad, based in Bristol, Tenn. leads the point standings in six classes after the first three races of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series. RPM has eight vehicles entered in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and as a team they have earned a total of 13 class wins the first three races of the season.
While late entries will be accepted up to race morning, as of today, the Pro 4-Wheel vehicles classes with the most entries are: SCORE Trophy Truck (40), the unlimited Class 1 (21), Class 1/2-1600 (16) and Class 10 (14).
Leading the pro motorcycle classes is the open Class 22 with nine entries to date.
Class 25 and Class 24 lead the ATV classes so far with seven entries each and leading the Sportsman classes is the SPT M/C>450cc motorcycle class with 19 to date.
Following his third victory in the last five races and second in three races this season, Las Vegas’ All-America racer MacCachren has launched himself into the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck point lead after three of five races in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
With back to back overall wins in 2012 (Laughlin-Round 2 and San Felipe) after opening the season with a ninth-place finish in the first round in Laughlin, Nev., MacCachren, 47, has earned 177 championship points in the No. 20 Rockstar Energy/MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
He is not only the SCORE Overall point leader, he is also at the top of the leaderboard in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division.The recent San Felipe victory was also MacCachren’s fourth in the last six SCORE races.
In San Felipe, MacCachren also earned the 75 all-time SCORE Baja overall race win for noted tired manufacturer BFGoodrich. BFG Tires have now been the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in 22 MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 races, 28 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and 25 in the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
SCORE points are based on starting, finishing, placement and number of official starters within each class.
For the fifth straight year and just the fifth time in the 44-year history of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, the colorful pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and Contingency, the start and finish line will all be located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It will be the fifth time in race history that both the pre-race activities and the finish will be held on this historic boulevard.
The SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 1 on Blvd Costero. Racer registration will again be held in the Grand Ballroom of the San Nicolas Hotel. Registration hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday June 1.
The awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday, June 3 at 11 a.m.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 27th consecutive year, a total of 31 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series after the first two rounds in the five-race series.
Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award. All categories, except Engine Builder and Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer, will be determined by public on-line voting while Engine and Buggy awards are determined by season points.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of the three SCORE Baja races.
MasterCraft Safety is co-title sponsor of the 26th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Desert Series are:
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Baja 1000 are:
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
Additional SCORE Sponsors are - Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500
(By Class Starting Order-as of 5/24/12)
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)
18 Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Silverado
30 Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif., Ford F-150
97 B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado
20 Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
94 Steven Strobel, Clarks, Neb./Dale Ebberts, Wilton, Calif., Ford F-150
49 Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif./Troy Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
16 Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Josh Daniel, Vista, Calif./Pat Dean, Las Vegas, GMC Sierra
23 Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif./Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif, Ford F-150
17 Mike Julson, Descanso, Calif./Matt Loiodice, Santee, Calif., Ford Raptor
19 Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Ford F-150
31 Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150
34 Ken Losch, Chandler, Ariz., Chevy Silverado
48 Jimmy Knuckles, Brawley, Calif., Ford F-150
55 Mark Workentine, Fresno, Calif., Chevy C1500
12 Brendan Gaughan/Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram1500
93 Chris Kemp, San Clemente, Calif./Dave Tounget, Murrieta, Calif., Ford Raptor
57 Mike Palmer, Denver, Chevy Silverado
12 Brendan Gaughan/Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram1500
45 Gary Magness/Davin Housh, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150
1 Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
15 Armin Schwarz, Germany/Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif. (Denmark), BMW XJ-6
95 Scott Whipple, Norco, Calif., Chevy Silverado
21 Gus Vildosola Jr/Gus Vildosola, Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Raptor
2 Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., Ford F-150
24 Adam Householder/Terry Householder, Anaheim, Calif., Chevy Sivlerado
10 Greg Nunley, Tulare, Calif./John Lennon, Paradise Valley, Calif., Ford F-150
84 Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado
98 Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150
77 Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500
83 Martin Aguirre/Miguel Padilla, Ensenada, Mexico, Chevy C1500
14 Josh Daniel, Vista, Calif./Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., GMC Sierra
9 Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150
28 Alan Pflueger, Honolulu, Hawaii, Chevy Silverado
22 Roberto Encinas III/Roberto Encinas IV, Chula Vista, Calif., Chevy Silverado
76 Jesse Jones, Phoenix, Ford F250
39 Ron Whitton/Chas Dana, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150
71 Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., Ford F-150
50 John Langley/Zak Langley, Santa Monica, Calif., Ford F-150
11 Steven Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif./Rick St. John, Encinitas, Calif., Ford F-150
36 Glen Greer, Green Valley, Ariz./Thom Greer, Tucson, Ariz./JR Greer, Oro Valley, Calif., Dodge Ram1500
Tecate SCORE Baja 500
SCORE Trophy Truck Class Winners
2001—David Ashley/Dan Smith
2002—Mark Miller/Larry Ragland
2003—Mark Miller/Ryan Arciero
2006—Brian Collins/Larry Ragland
2007—Larry Ragland/Brian Collins
2009—Rick D. Johnson
2010—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
SCORE Trophy Truck®
(debuted in 1994, for 850 horsepower unlimited production trucks-100 total Desert races,
3 Stadium-short course)
All-Time SCORE Trophy Truck Race Winners
(1994 through 2012 MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250)
Ed/Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 1997, 1998, 1999(3), 2000(2), 2001, 2002, 2003(2)
Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 1994, 1996(2), 2003 (w/ G. Vildosola), 2007(3) (w/M. Post), 2011 (2), 2012 (2)
Larry Ragland, Phoenix, Chevy, 1995(2), 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 (w/ Mark Miller), 2005-2006-2007 (w/B.Collins)
Robby Gordon, Mooresville, N.C., Ford F-150, 1996(4), Chevy CK1500, 2005, 2006* (2) (one w/A. McMillin), 2009 (2)
Dan Smith/David Ashley, Riverside, Calif., Ford F-150, 1998(2), 2000, 2001(3), 2002(3)
Ivan Stewart, Alpine, Calif., Toyota SR5, 1994(3), 1995(2), 1997, 1998(2), 1999
Mark Post, Laguna Beach,CA, Ford F-150, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 (all w/J. Whelchel), 2007(3) (w/R. MacCachren)
Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 2001, 2005-2006-2007 (w/L. Ragland), 2008, 2009
Andy McMillin, San Diego, Chevy Silverado, 2006 (w/R. Gordon), 2009 (w/S. McMillin), 2010 (2) (one w/S. McMillin), 2011 (w/S. McMillin
B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012
Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., Jeep Grand Cherokee, 1995, 1997(3)
Mark Miller, Cave Creek, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 2002 (w/ Larry Ragland), 2003(2), 2004 (w/ R. Arciero)
Paul/Dave Simon, Fallbrook, Calif., Ford F-150, 1994(2), 1995(2)
Jerry Whelchel, Portola Hills, Calif., Ford F-150, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 (all w/M. Post)
Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 2003(2), 2004 (w/ M. Miller)
Scott McMillin, San Diego, Chevy Silverado, 2009 (w/A. McMillin), 2010 (w/A. McMillin), 2011 (w/A. McMillin)
Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Chevy K1500, 1999, 2008 (2) (w/R. Norman)
Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 2006, 2007
Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Ford F-150, 2010 (2)
Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 2011
Roger Norman, Reno, Nev., Ford F-150, 2008 (2) (W/L. Roeseler)
Alan Pflueger, Honolulu, Chevy Silverado, 2004(2)
Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Chevy CK1500, 2005, 2006
Gus Vildosola Sr., Mexicali, Mexico, 2003 (w/ Rob MacCachren), 2010 (w/ Gus Vildosola Jr.)
Jason Baldwin, Laguna Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 2005
Brian Coats, Huntington Beach, Calif., Chevy C1500, 1997
Marty Coyne, El Centro, Calif., Ford F-150, 2005*
Gary Dircks, Anthem, Ariz., Ford F-150, 2004
Dale Dondel, Hemet, Calif, Chevy Silverado, 2005
Juan C. Ibarra, Ensenada, Mexico, Chevy C1500, 1998
Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif., Ford F-150, 2009
Rich Ronco, Peoria, Ariz., Chevy Silverado, 2008
Jim Smith, Orange, Calif., Ford F-150, 1994
Gus Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico, 2010 (w/ Gus Vildosola Sr.)
*non-points stadium-short course race
18 Years of SCORE Trophy Truck Season Champions
1994--Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
1995--Ivan Stewart, Alpine, Calif., Toyota SR5
1996--Robby Gordon, Orange, Calif., Ford F-150
1997--Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., Jeep Grand Cherokee
1998--David Ashley/Dan Smith, Riverside, Calif., Ford F-150
1999--Ed & Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
2000--Ed & Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
2001--David Ashley/Dan Smith, Riverside, Calif., Ford F-150
2002--Ed & Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
2003--Tim & Ed Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
2004--Jason Baldwin, Laguna Beach, Calif., Ford F-150
2005--Bob Shepard, Phoenix, Chevy CK1500
2006--B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado
2007--Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
2008--B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado
2009--Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500
2010--Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado
2011--Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford F-150