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86 racers with 251 combined class wins among nearly 350 entries for this week’s Golden Jubilee of BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500

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

May 28, 2018

35 SCORE Trophy Trucks ready

86 racers with 251 combined class wins among nearly 350 entries

for this week’s Golden Jubilee of BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500

 

Race record 542.12-mile race to be held this week in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico;

Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada hosting several race activities

Internationally-televised Round 2 of 4-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship

Colorful contingency and Tech on two days-Thursday and Friday-in front of the Riviera CC

On Saturday–motorcycles/quads start at 3:30 a.m. (PDT), cars/trucks/utvs at 8 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 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 are former overall winners Larry Roeseler, Robby Gordon, Troy Herbst, Scott McMillin, Bryce Menzies, Andy McMillin, B.J. Baldwin, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Rob MacCachren, Harley Letner in 4-wheel and Roeseler, Nick Blais, Steve Hengeveld, Justin Morgan, Mike Childress, Shane Esposito and Mark Samuels in 2-wheel.

     That illustrious group is at the top of a field that includes 86 SCORE racers who have combined for 251 class wins in this legendary early summer desert race. The returning group of 16 returning former overall winners has combined to win 43 overall titles in the SCORE Baja 500.

     With Golden Anniversary festivities starting on Tuesday, Round 2 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship is being held this week in Mexico’s Baja California, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.

     Pre-running on the rugged, race-record 542.12-mile course continues through Friday.

THE FIELD & START

     Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of the golden anniversary of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world.

     In addition to 32 U.S. States, racers have come from 14 total countries so far. In addition to the USA, U.S. Territories Guam and Puerto Rico, racers from Host Mexico, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru and Spain are part of the field that is expected to grow to nearly 350 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 3:30 a.m. (PDT) and 8 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in approximately 11 hours, the race has a 22-hour time limit from the time each vehicle starts to become an official finisher.

BIG BONUSES

     Race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus to help commemorate this year’s race. King Shocks has posted an US$5,000 contingency bonus, Rancho Drivetrain Engineering is offering a $20,000 transmission as a contingency bonus and Tri-Ace Tires is also offering $25,000 contingency bonus.

BAJA FIESTA…

     Public festivities will begin on Thursday with two days of the all-day Manufacturer’s Midway, contingency and tech inspection of the participating vehicles in the start/finish line area on Boulevard Costero in Ensenada.

     SCORE sponsor partner Monster Energy will present the Monster Energy SCORE Kick-off Party on Thursday 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.

     On Friday from 6 p.m. to Midnight will be the annual Monster Energy Papas Y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz.

     On Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. after the start of the motorcycles and quads, a special public hoisting of the Monumental Mexican Flag will be held at the Ventana al Mar Plaza near the start/finish line. Following that will be the traditional opening ceremonies for the race at 7:15 a.m. featuring Mexican dignitaries, special entertainment, honor guard a salute to the flag ceremony and presentations of both the Mexican and the American National Anthems.

     During the race on Saturday to Sunday morning the start/finish line compound will include the massive double-sided SCOREvision LED screen broadcasting race festivities and start and finish line interviews. SCORE announcers for the live streaming will once again be Rat Sult and Donovan White.

     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.

GRAN HISTORIA

     Following last year’s epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship spotlights the special tribute to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.

     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 invited by the 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.

     This year is the 45th time the race it will start and 41st time it will finish in Ensenada, the off-road capital of the world.

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 and media registration will both be held in the Red Room on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

     Racer registration will be held on Wednesday from Noon to 8 p.m. PDT along with 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday. On Friday, no new entries will be accepted after 4 p.m.

     Media registration in the Red Room will be held on Wednesday  from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday.

     The SCORE Media Center will be in the Red Room during the race Saturday morning through Sunday morning 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 at 11:30 a.m. PDT as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday. The post-race awards celebration will held at noon PDT on Sunday and for the first time on the start/finish ramp in front of the Riviera on Blvd. Costero.

RECORD LONG COURSE/MASSIVE CROWDS

     The Golden Anniversary course, designed and finalized by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva is an astounding race-record 542.12 miles. The course will run in a 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 head up the spectator-friendly Ensenada Arroyo for two miles as it heads out of town.

     Upwards of 50,000 spectators are expected to watch the race in that area alone. And local tourism officials expect upwards of 200,000 fans spread along the entire length of the grueling race course.

     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 mesmerizing, stark beauty of Baja California.

     This year’s Golden Anniversary course has four physical checkpoints—Checkpoint No. 1-El Chinero, (Race Mile 174.20), Checkpoint No. 2-San Matias (RM 260.72), Checkpoint No. 3-Vicente Guerrero (RM 368.15) and Checkpoint No. 4-Santo Tomas (RM 466.83).

     Reflecting on the course, Grijalva commented, “This is going to be the roughest, toughest, longest and most spectacular SCORE Baja 500 race course in its 50 years of existence without exception.”

     Among the other towns, areas and landmarks the course goes through or near are Ensenada Arroyo, Ojos Negros, the Goat Trail, Valle de Trinidad, Diablo Dry Lake Bed, Las Cuevitas Wash, Mike’s Sky Rancho, Rancho El Coyote, Rancho Meling, Camalu, Colonet, Colonet Wash and Erendira .

STATES/ENTRIES

     With 305 official entries entering race week, U.S. racers among the field range from Alaska, Hawaii, California, Washington and Oregon in the Pacific West, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico in the Mountain West, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the Northeast, Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas in the Midwest and Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia in the South.

     The marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks has 35 official entries.

     Other classes with double-figure entries besides SCORE Trophy Truck entering late registration this week are Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) with 37 entries, Trophy Truck Spec with 25, Class 10 with 22, SCORE Lites with 20, Sportsman Moto with 19, the unlimited Class 1 with 13, Class 5-1600 with 11, Class 11 with 11 also and with 10 each are Class 1/2-1600 and Pro Moto 30.

OVERALL WINNERS

     Among the overall race winners returning are 16 racers who have combined to win 43 overall 4-wheel and 2-wheel titles including drivers from eight of the last 10 years of 4-wheel overalls. Leading the way with multiple overall wins in this race are Larry Roeseler with 11 overall victories (including nine on a motorcycle), Robby Gordon with four, Troy Herbst, Scott McMillin and Bryce Menzies with three, Andy McMillin with two, B.J. Baldwin, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Rob MacCachren and Harley Letner, with one each in 4-Wheel and in 2-wheel, Roeseler’s nine, Steve Hengeveld with seven, Justin Morgan with two and Nick Blais, Mike Childress, Shane Esposito and Mark Samuels with one each.

MULTIPLE CLASS WINS

     In the field are 86 racers who have 251 combined class wins in the SCORE Baja 500. Leading this prestigious group of returning multiple class winners are Jim O’Neal with 20 class wins and Larry Roeseler with 17. The other racers with the most multiple class wins in this race who are back to attempt to add to their winning totals are: Lou Franco and Steve Hengeveld (8 each), Troy Herbst, Jeff Kaplan, Arnoldo Ramirez and Eric Solorzano (7 each), Mike Cafro, Scott McMillin  and Scott Myers (6 each), Pancho Bio, Dan Chamlee, Shane Esposito, Robby Gordon, Eiazuburo Karasawa, Rob MacCachren, Wayne Matlock, J. David Ruvalcaba and Clyde Stacy (5 each), Cisco Bio, Vic Bruckmann, Elias Hanna, Adam Pfankuch, Greg Row, Francisco Septien and Fred Willert (4 each) and Marc Burnett, Gerardo Iribe, Chelsea Magness, Mike Majesky, Bryce Menzies, Justin Matney, Andy McMillin, Wes Miller, Jano Montoya, Josh Row and Jason Trubey (3 each).

CREEL=EXTREMIST

     With points allotted to the driver/rider of record who must start and/or finish the race, it’s not uncommon to see a racer on two entries, or occasionally on three entries, but Mexico’s Santiago Creel has taken it two an entirely new level. Creel, 31, an international motorcycle rally racer from Mexico City, is rider of record on four motorcycle entries in three classes and an additional driver for Mark Winkelman, 59, Cedar Hills, Texas, in a Trophy Truck Spec vehicle.

     Riding on various KTM motorcycles, Creel is rider of record on two vehicles in the Pro Moto Unlimited Class, one in the Pro Moto Limited and the fourth one in the Pro Moto 30 class for riders over 30 years old. At the season opener in San Felipe, his teams won both the Pro Moto Limited and Pro Moto 30 classes and finished second and third in Pro Moto Unlimited.

     Creel is expected to take a break from his four motorcycles to drive a section of the race for Winkelman in the No. 245 Chevy Silverado built by Jimco of Santee, Calif.

FEMALE RACERS

     While there are numerous female co-drivers/riders in this year’s race, there are also a race-record

11 females to date who have entered this historic race as drivers or riders of record. They are: Shelby

Reid, No. 168 Class 1; Kristen Matlock, No. 1954 Pro UTV; Chelsea Magness, No. 232 Trophy Truck

Spec; Sara Price, No. 204 Trophy Truck Spec; Christine Giampaoli Zonca, No. 2968 Pro UTV FI; Viry

Felix, No. 1104 Class 11; Liz Karcz, No. 722x Pro Moto Ironman;  Lacrecia Beurrier, No. 2924 Pro

UTV FI; Johanna Rodriguez, No. 748 Class 7SX; Jessalyn Farrington, No. 1818 SPT UTV Unlimited

and Mary Scheible, No. BC2 Baja Challenge.

GRANDEST CO-GRAND MARSHALS

     Legendary Hall of Fame former SCORE owner Sal Fish will join Hall of Fame retired racer Ivan Stewart as co-Grand Marshals for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.

     Fish, the ‘godfather’ of desert racing who ran SCORE from its Baja start in 1974 for 39 years through the end of the 2012 season joins the iconic ‘Ironman’ Stewart, who has 17 class wins (including an incomparable 10 4-wheel vehicle overalls) in the SCORE Baja 500, to share duties for the special golden anniversary race that they both have been such a major part of over the years.

     Fish, who turned 79 on May 2 and Stewart will turn 73 on June 4.

SCOREscope

     Below is the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule. For the third consecutive year all four races are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:

  • 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 4-April 8, San Felipe, Mexico
  • 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, May 29-June 3, Ensenada Mexico
  • Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 19-23, Tijuana, Mexico
  • 51st SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico

SCORE SPONSORS…

     Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.

     SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 4 Wheel Parts, 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.

     Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.

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

SCORE Baja 500

Ensenada, Baja California Mexico

All-Time Overall 4wheel & 2wheel champions (1969 through 2017)

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

2017—Andy McMillin, Ford

Francisco Arredondo/Shane Esposito/Justin Morgan/Roberto Villalobos, Honda

SCORE Baja 500 Overall Champions

Manufacturers

Overall 4wheel Vehicle Trucks/SUVs*

12

Ford

8

Chevy

7

Toyota

1

Jeep

*Includes 1993-97 (52 Total)

Cars

7

Funco

Chenowth

3

Jimco

Smithbuilt

2

Sandmaster

1

Baja Boot

Chaparral

Tatum

*Includes 1993-97 (52 Total)

Overall Engine Winners

Cars & Trucks

14

Ford

Volkswagen

12

Chevy

7

Toyota

5

Porsche

1

Jeep

Oldsmobile

*Includes 1993-97 (51 total)

Motorcycles

19

Honda

12

Husqvarna

11

Kawasaki

4

Yamaha

1

Beta

Ducati

Harley-Davidson

Tires

4wheel vehicles

(missing 4 years)

31

BFGoodrich Tires

5

Western Auto Tires

3

Toyo Tires

2

Firestone Tires

Goodyear Tires

Yokohama Tires

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