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SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, dominiccnv@aol.com

 

May 29, 2017

 

37 SCORE Trophy Trucks ready

62 racers with 208 combined class wins among nearly

275 entries for this week’s 49th annual SCORE Baja 500

 

513.67-mile race to be held this week in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico;

Riviera del Pacific Cultural Center in Ensenada hosting several race activities

televised in the USA by El Rey Network; syndicated internationally;

 

qualifying Thursday for Round 2 of four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship;

motorcycles/quads start at 5:30 a.m. (PDT), cars/trucks/utvs at 10 a.m. (PDT)

streaming start, finish, LIVE vehicle tracking at www.score-international.com;

 

ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Earning the pre-race spotlight for this week’s internationally-televised 49th annual SCORE Baja 500 are former overall winners Larry Roeseler, Larry Ragland, Robby Gordon, Troy Herbst, Scott McMillin, Bryce Menzies, B.J. Baldwin, Kory Halopoff, Curt LeDuc, Harley Letner, Curt LeDuc, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Rob MacCachren, Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, Justin Morgan and Mark Samuels.

That illustrious group is at the top of a field that includes 62 racers who have combined for 208 class wins in this legendary early summer desert race. Nearly 275 total entries are expected.

With festivities starting on Wednesday, Round 2 of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship is being held this week in Mexico’s Baja California Norte, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.

THE FIELD & START

In addition to 28 U.S. States, racers have come from 14 total countries so far. In addition to the USA, racers from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain are part of the field that is expected to grow to over 275 vehicles at the start line.

It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag will drop first on Saturday  for the motorcycles and quads at 5:30 a.m. (PDT) and approximately 10 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in approximately nine hours, the race has a 20-hour time limit from the time each vehicle starts to become an official finisher.

GRAN HISTORIA

Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s 49th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.

The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were asked by Mexican government to take over the event in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE to Roger and Elise Norman in December of 2012.

Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 44th time and finish for the 40th time in Ensenada.

GRAND MARSHALS

Two legends in their respective sports, SCORE’s Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart and Mexican-American champion Pro Wrestler/El Rey Network TV star Rey Mysterio Jr are the Grand Marshals for the race.

BAJA FIESTA…

Colorful race week festivities will start Wednesday with racer registration from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Red Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. On Thursday is qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec. SCORE sponsor partner Monster Energy will present the Monster Energy SCORE Kick-off Party from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the VIP area at the start/finish line in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.

Friday will see the day-long, pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and contingency festival in the start finish line area in Ensenada.

During the race on Saturday the start/finish line compound will include the massive double-sided SCOREvision LED screen broadcasting race festivities and start and finish line interviews.

All of the week’s festivities will be aired both live and same-day including the race, airing via the internet on the SCORE website.

AT THE RIVIERA…

The Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, in the heart of Ensenada, will again be the site of many of the activities surrounding the SCORE Baja 500. Racer registration will be held in the Red Room on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Media registration will be also held in the Red Room at the Riviera on Thursday and Friday  and the SCORE Media Center will be in the Red Room during the race on Saturday and Sunday with internet access and live race updates, vehicle tracking displays including unofficial elapsed times.

In the Cathedral Room at the Riviera will be pre-race media conference as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting on Friday. The post-race awards celebration will also be in the Cathedral Room at noon on Sunday.

The start/finish line for the race will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Blvd. Costero.

ENTRY LEADERS

As late, on-site racer registration will be held starting Wednesday evening, a total of 225 vehicles have officially entered as of now for the 49th SCORE Baja 500, 172 in car/truck/utv classes and 53 in motorcycle/quad classes. As many as 50 late entries on-site are expected.

While SCORE Trophy Truck with 37 (including three in the new SCORE TT Legend division for drivers over 50 years old) has the most entries of any class in the race, other car/truck/UTV classes with double figure entries so far are Pro UTV FI with 26, Trophy Truck Spec and Class 10 with 17 each, Class 1 with 13, Pro UTV with 12 and SCORE Lites with 10 entries.

Leading the Pro motorcycle classes with eight entries each to date are Pro Moto Unlimited and Pro Moto 50 (riders over 50 years old). Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C with nine entries so far.

OVERALL WINNERS

There are drivers who won 12 straight 4-wheel overalls in this race as well as riders from the last two motorcycle overall winners.

Leading the way with multiple overall wins in this race are Larry Roeseler with 11 overall victories (including nine on a motorcycle), Larry Ragland with five, Robby Gordon with four, Troy Herbst, Scott McMillin and Bryce Menzies with three, B.J. Baldwin, Kory Halopoff, Curt LeDuc, Harley Letner, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Rob MacCachren, Andy McMillin and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr with one each in 4-Wheel and in 2-wheel, Roeseler’s nine, and Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels–one each.

MULTIPLE CLASS WINNERS RETURN:

Leading this prestigious group of returning multiple class winners in the SCORE Baja 500 are Jim O’Neal with 19 class wins (all on motorcycles) and Larry Roeseler with 16. The other racers with the most multiple class wins in this race who are back to attempt to add to their winning legacies are: Troy Herbst, Larry Ragland and Eric Solorzano (7each) and Mike Cafro, Scott McMillin, Scott Myers and Nick Vanderwey (6 each).

Also back for more are Pancho Bio, Dan Chamlee, Robby Gordon, Eiazuburo Karasawa, Rob MacCachren, Wayne Matlock and Clyde Stacy (5 class race wins each), Cisco Bio, Vic Bruckmann, Shane Esposito, Adam Pfankuch, Gerardo Rojas and Greg Row (4 each) and Marc Burnett, Elias Hanna, Chelsea Magness, Bryce Menzies, Justin Matney, Wes Miller, Josh Row, Hector Sarabia and Franciso Septien (3 each).

A total of 16 Pro class winners from last year are also in this year’s talented field, including 14 of the top 15 overall 4-wheel vehicle finishers.

QUALIFYING

On Thursday, qualifying for starting positions will be held for the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck/SCORE TT Legend, the unlimited Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec. Qualifying will be held over a special course near Ensenada and is not open to the public. The start drawing for these classes will determine their respective qualifying order.

While the majority of the entries in these top classes are expected to qualify, those who elect not to will be given the remaining start positions in the elapsed-time race based on the original drawing or entry into the race within their respective classes.

Qualifying is closed to the public because of safety concerns, but taped highlights of qualifying will be shown starting Thursday evening (June 1) on the SCORE website.

Drawing the first for the qualifying runs in their respective classes were Casey Currie in SCORE Trophy Truck, Matt Cullen in Class 1 and Lee Banning in Trophy Truck Spec.

SCORE TT Legend for drivers over 50 years old will qualify and race with SCORE Trophy Truck but will be timed in their own class.

MAIN COURSE

The race will feature a course, finalized by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman along with Race Director Jose A. Grijalva, of 513.67 miles. It will run in a counter clockwise direction. The first and last 19.5 miles will be shared course outbound and inbound.

Starting and finishing once again in the heart of Ensenada in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, it will quickly leave the pavement and heads up the spectator-friendly Ensenada Arroyo for two miles as it heads out of town.

The historic race course is another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the seashore with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.

This year’s course will have five physical checkpoints—North of Johnson’s Ranch, Morellia Junction, North of San Felipe on Highway 5, Nuevo Junction and El Mezcal before Ojos Negros. It also has approximately 95 virtual checkpoints. There are also 14 speed zones (37 miles per hour or 60 miles per hour) for a total of 55.53 total miles of the 513.67-mile race course.

This course is different than last year’s course. Last year it had much more desert, it went up the Summit and this year it goes to the coast. There are also sections that haven’t been raced on for a number of years and a few sections that SCORE has never race on before.

Other towns and landmarks the course goes through or near are Ensenada Arroyo, Piedras Gordas, Ojos Negros, Uruapan, Santo Tomás, Erendira, Johnson’s Ranch, Colonet, Jaramillo, Hacienda Sinaloa on San Telmo Rd., Rancho El Coyote, Mike’s Sky Rancho, San Matias, the Diablo Dry Lake bed, San Felipe, Valle de Trinidad, The Goat Trail, Nuevo Junction and Santa Catarina.

SCORE TV

The race will be televised as a one-hour special on the El Rey Network domestically and syndicated internationally. The show is produced by the El Rey Network in association with SCORE by award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles. Announcers will be Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, Mike Escamilla and Cherry Martini.

GOLDEN SCORE 2017

The 2017 season also marks the golden 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be held November 14-18. The SCORE Baja 1000 is the oldest, longest and most prestigious continuously held desert race in the world.

SCOREscope

The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the second time all four are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:

  • 31st SCORE San Felipe 250, March 29-April 2, San Felipe, Mexico
  • 49th SCORE Baja 500, June 1-4, Ensenada Mexico
  • Rosarito Beach 21st SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 14-17, Rosarito Beach, Mexico
  • 50th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico

EL REY NETWORK

The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience/SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas will all air on El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows will each be one-hour telecasts.

El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network targeting “Strivers,” viewers who hold strong core beliefs about the importance of family, independence, hard work, craftsmanship, and legacy.

Founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and curated by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, the network features action-packed programming, relatable heroes and aspirational stories that embrace today’s America. El Rey’s slate is anchored by signature series including the original drama “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” the one-on-one interview program “El Rey Network Presents: The Director’s Chair,” and “Lucha Underground,” a lucha libre wrestling series produced by Mark Burnett.

El Rey Network’s lineup also showcases a wide range of iconic feature films and television series including genre, action, and sci-fi/ horror. El Rey Network LLC is jointly owned by Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures, with a minority stake held by Univision Networks & Studios, Inc.

El Rey Network is available in 45 million homes across the country through cable and OTT providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 341 and Dish Network Channel 253. For more information on how to watch El Rey visit http://elreynetwork.com.

EL REY AIR DATES

The El Rey Network has announced two one-hour specials to launch its coverage of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship. The first show, to air on May 31, will introduce audiences to the sizzling speeds and daring drama that bond the multi-generational families who race in the world’s foremost desert racing organization and the second show on June 18 will spotlight race coverage of the season-opening 31st SCORE San Felipe 250.

The Wednesday, May 31st show will air at 9 p.m. (ET) while the Sunday, June 18th show will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Hosts of the ERN shows from the SCORE World Desert Championship are SCORE champion racer Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, professional BMX rider Mike Escamilla and car artist Cherry Martini.

Working with ERN to produce these shows for SCORE is award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles.

SCORE SPONSORS…

Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, El Rey Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.

SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 4 Wheel Parts, Coca Cola, The Satellite Phone Store, Satellite Del Norte, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, CETTO Vineyards.

Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Sur State Government, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.

Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: Ayuntamiento de Playas de Rosarito, Cotuco de Playas de Rosarito, Comite de Mercadatecnia Playas de Rosarito.

For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship atwww.SCOREInternational.com.

 

SCORE Baja 500

Ensenada, Baja California Mexico

All-Time Overall 4wheel & 2wheel champions (1969 through 2016)

Year—DRIVERS/RIDERS, VEHICLE

1969—Bud Ekins/Guy Jones, Baja Boot-Olds

Doug Douglas/Jim McClurg, Ducati

1970—Parnelli Jones, Ford

Bill Silverthorn/Gene Fetty, Husqvarna

1971—Bobby Ferro, Funco-VW

Malcolm Smith/J.N. Roberts, Husqvarna

1972—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW

Gene Fetty/Bill Silverthorn, Honda

1973—Parnelli Jones, Ford

Howard Utsey/Mickey Quade, Husqvarna

1974—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW

Mitch Mayes/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna

1975—Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW

Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Harley-Davidson

1976—Bobby Ferro/Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW

Larry Roeseler/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna

1977—Ivan Stewart, Chenowth-VW

Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson, Husqvarna

1978—Bud Feldkamp/Malcolm Smith, Funco-VW

Brent Wallingsford/Scot Harden, Husqvarna

1979—Malcolm Smith/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW

Jack Johnson, Husqvarna

1980—Bob Gordon, Chenowth-Chevy

Bruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller, Yamaha

1981—Malcolm Smith/Bill Newbury, Chenowth-Chevy

Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Yamaha

1982—Larry Ragland, Funco-VW

Larry Roeseler/Chuck Miller, Yamaha

1983—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-VW

Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna

1984—Larry Ragland, Chaparral-VW

Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna

1985—Ron Gardner/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW

Kurt Pfeiffer/Scot Harden, Husqvarna

1986—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche

Garth Sweetland/Scot Harden, Husqvarna

1987—Bob Gordon/Tim Crabtree, Chenowth-Porsche

Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki

1988—Mark McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche

Dan Ashcraft/Kurt Pfeiffer, Yamaha

1989—Robby Gordon, Ford

(no motorcycles)

1990—Robby Gordon, Ford

Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte, Kawasaki

1991—Ivan Stewart, Toyota

Garth Sweetland/Paul Krause, Kawasaki

1992—Ivan Stewart, Toyota

Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr/Paul Krause, Kawasaki

1993—Ivan Stewart, Toyota

Danny Hamel/Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki

1994—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)

Dave Ashley/Dan Smith, Ford

Paul Krause/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki

1995—Curt LeDuc, Jeep (SCORE Trophy Truck)

Mike Julson/Bob Lofton, Jimco-VW

Paul Krause/Craig Smith, Kawasaki

1996—Rob MacCachren, Ford (SCORE Trophy Truck)

Troy Herbst, Smithbuilt, Smithbuilt-Porsche

Paul Krause/Ty Davis, Kawasaki

1997—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)

Mark McMillin, Jimco-Porsche

Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda

1998—Ivan Stewart, Toyota

Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda

1999—Ivan Stewart, Toyota

Jonah Street/Torsten Borstrom, Honda

2000—Larry Ragland, Chevy

Jonah Street/Steve Hengeveld, Honda

2001—Mark McMillin, Jimco-Chevy

Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda

2002—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford

Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda

2003—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford

Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda

2004—Alan Pflueger, Chevy

Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda

2005—Robby Gordon, Chevy

Mike Childress/Mouse McCoy, Honda

2006—Brian Collins/Larry Ragland, Chevy

Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda

2007—Larry Ragland/Brian Collins, Chevy

Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Steve Hengeveld, Honda

2008—B.J. Baldwin, Chevy

Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda

2009—Harley Letner/Kory Halopoff, Tatum-Chevy

Bill Boyer/Donnie De Arman/Nicholas Blais/Rudy Iribe, Honda

2010—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Ford

Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda

2011—Bryce Menzies, Ford

Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda

2012—Bryce Menzies, Ford

Robby Bell/David Pearson/Steve Hengeveld, Kawasaki

2013—Robby Gordon, Chevy

Timmy Weigand/Colton Udall/David Kamo, Honda

2014—Bryce Menzies, Ford

Ricky Brabec/David Pearson/Max Eddy Jr, Kawasaki

2015—Carlos Lopez, Chevy

Ricky Brabec/Max Eddy Jr/Justin Morgan/Ian Young, Kawasaki

2016—Gus Vildosola Jr, Ford

Colton Udall, Mark Samuels, Honda

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