BAJA 1000: More than a race… it’s an epic adventure –

BAJA 1000: More than a race… it’s an epic adventure


October 12, 2020

Race week Nov. 17-22

BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000,
presented by 4 Wheel Parts
More than a race… it’s an epic adventure


Pre-running opens Oct. 24 on challenging 934.47-mile course in Baja California;
for iconic season-finale of two-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship;
Internationally televised event to air domestically on ABC’s World of X Games
NOTE: A detailed list of all-time celebrity/cross-over racers below text

    ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—As the World Series is to baseball, the Super Bowl to football, the NBA Finals to basketball and the World Cup to soccer, the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 stands as tall at the pinnacle of the motorsports world today as it did when it began 53 years ago.
The SCORE Baja 1000 is at the pinnacle of motorsports as the most iconic, oldest, prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
It’s the oldest and most well-known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver and/or rider. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious, majestic Baja California peninsula every year except 1974 when an international fuel crisis forced a cancellation.
Last year’s epic 52nd anniversary race started and finished in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico covering much of the northern part of the majestic Baja California peninsula for 800.5 grueling miles. It was the 52nd anniversary of the race shrouded in mystery that continues to lure the world’s best racers and adventurers from around the globe who all continue to share the dream to conquer the Baja.
A total of 264 starters, competing in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads were part of last year’s annual odyssey. Racers came from 39 U.S. States and 22 countries. There were 145 official finishers in 2019.
Moving ahead, in 2020 the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, will be another long loop race starting and finishing under strict BioSecurity health and safety protocols in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, ‘the off-road capital of the world’. This year’s Granddaddy of All Desert Races will be held Nov. 17-22. The rugged race route covers 934.47 miles, the longest in the history of this even when it is a loop race.
Racer entry applications are now available at under Race Info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page. Questions should be directed to SCORE Registration and Membership Director Audreonna Garcia at 775. 852.8907 or Online racer entry applications will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 6.
The SCORE Baja 1000 has captured the imagination of the entire world as entries have come not only from every state in the United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories Guam and Puerto Rico, but also has attracted racers from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, Yugoslavia as well as the host country of Mexico.
Over the years, SCORE races have been televised in more than 100 nations worldwide.
The first known record run occurred in 1962. Dave Ekins and Bill Robertson Jr. timed their trip from Tijuana to La Paz on a pair of Honda 250 motorcycles. Ekins made it in 39 hours, 54 minutes, Robertson in less than an hour slower. There were no official timers, of course, and to establish that they had made the trip, the two motorcycle racers time-stamped a sheet of paper in the Tijuana telegraph office and time-stamped it again at the telegraph office when they arrived in La Paz. They began their journey at midnight in Tijuana.
Capitalizing on the pioneer effort of Ekins and Robertson, Chevrolet commissioned car builder Bill Stroppe to prepare a small fleet of trucks for the run to La Paz. Late that year they left Long Beach, Calif., and all of them reached La Paz. Advertising and publicity campaigns heralded the feat as “the roughest run under the sun.”
Enthusiast Ed Pearlman founded the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) and established the Mexican 1000. It started officially in Tijuana on October 31, 1967 with 68 entries. They actually motored at leisure speeds to Ensenada and restarted the next day, finishing in La Paz.
NORRA continued to organize the Mexican 1000, which came to be known as the Baja 1000. In 1968, Pearlman moved the start of the race to Ensenada, where it stayed with one exception until 1993. In 1972 NORRA started at Mexicali and ran the first half of the race down the east coast of the peninsula through the treacherous Three Sisters section. Pre-running for this race, Parnelli Jones and Walker Evans were among a group of competitors who nearly got swept out to sea during a tropical storm.
NORRA’s last race was in 1972. At that point, Mexican officials revoked NORRA’s permits to stage races in Baja. In 1973, a domestic group called the Baja Sports Committee produced the race.
After the fuel crisis of 1974 forced local officials to cancel the event, SCORE International, founded by the late Mickey Thompson and headed soon after by Sal Fish (until 2012), was invited by the northern state of Baja California to hold the race in 1975. The SCORE Baja 1000 became a loop event starting and finishing in Ensenada.
In 1979, the government of Baja California Sur granted permission to resume the Ensenada-to-La Paz format and SCORE has used this route intermittently ever since.
The 1979 race was notable for Walker Evans’ overall win in a Dodge truck, the first truck to win the overall title of the race.
In its first 52 years, the SCORE Baja 1000 has started 45 times in Ensenada, three times in Mexicali (1972, 1993, 1994), twice in Tijuana (1967, 1995) once in Santo Tomas (1998) and once in Ojos Negros (1999). The legendary race has finished in Ensenada 26 times, in La Paz 21 times, in Mexicali two times (1993, 1994), twice in Cabo San Lucas (2000, 2007) and once in Ojos Negros (1999).
The famous and not-so-famous have tried their hand at conquering the Baja and they have come from all walks of life. Mark Thatcher, son of Great Britain’s then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, raced in the 1982 SCORE Baja 1000. Celebrities James Garner, Ted Nugent and the late Steve McQueen all battled the Baja in the early 1970s and many racers from other forms of motorsports crossed over to try their skills.
Among the drivers from other arenas who have tested the Baja were Indy Car racers Rick and Roger Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Ongias, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Buddy Rice, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Oriol Servia, Roberto Guerrero, Michel Jourdain Jr., Johnny Unser and Mike and Robbie Groff, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears, Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, Formula-1 champion Jenson Button, motocross, stadium, short-course Formula-E desert Racer Sara Price, SCCA legend Elliot Forbes-Robinson, World Rally Championships’ Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera, Dakar Rally Champions Cyril Despres, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Ricky Brabec and Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen, Formula Drift and Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen, Pikes Peak motorcycle champ Carlin Dunne, world motorcycle champions Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler and Destry Abbott, Motocross legends Ricky Johnson and Jeremy McGrath, XGames star Travis Pastrana, iconic motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli, drag racers Don Prudhomme and Larry Minor and legendary SCORE founder and motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
The late Academy Award winning actor, racer and race team owner Paul Newman raced in the 2004 event. Jesse James, of ‘Monster Garage’ fame, and Hollywood film and TV star Patrick Dempsey both have raced in this classic several times. Noted TV Producer John Langley is a regular in the SCORE World Desert Championship.
This year’s race will commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson, and Larry Roeseler. Hall, who passed away in 2019 at 81, retired with an unbelievable record of 25 class wins (including one overall win in 1969), and was the only racer who competed in the first 50 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Bishop, now also deceased was the only racer who competed in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races all on a motorcycle.
Johnson, now retired, had 15 class wins, amazingly in eight different classes.
Roeseler, has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007), driving with the youngest of three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’. Roeseler is the only racer in the history of the event to win the overall 4-wheel in a truck and also in a car as well as the overall 2-wheel title.
In 2008, Roeseler split the driving with driver of record/team owner Roger Norman when they were the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck champions and the pair was second in 2009. In 2010, Roger Norman drove solo the length of the peninsula and finished third overall. This year Roeseler will be the second driver for Luke McMillin in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Special history was also made in 2010 when the father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola Sr and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr drove to the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory to become the first Mexican nationals’ team to win the legendary race and it was a peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.
That landmark was reached again during the 50th anniversary when Mexico’s Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez and his father Juan C. Lopez split the driving to win the mammoth 2017 peninsula run from Ensenada to la Paz.
In 2019, Mexico’s brothers Allan and Aaron Ampudia became the third team of Mexican nationals to earn the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck win in the Ensenada loop race.
Lured by the same siren that enraptured the Ekins brothers in the 1950s, the SCORE Baja 1000 remains as the No. 1 target of adventurers the world over, not to mention the cadre of pro and semi-pro desert racers who consider it the fitting climax to their racing season each year.

All-Time SCORE Baja 1000 Celebrity Watch


Famous Personalities who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 include:

ANDREAS AIGNER—Austrian 2008 World Rally Championship Production Car champion
NASSER AL-ATTIYAH—Dakar Rally overall champion from Qatar
STEVE APPLETON—Late CEO and President of Micron Technology, stunt-plane pilot
FRANK ARCIERO JR.–off-road racer, developer, Winery owner, former CART team owner
FRANCISCO ARREDONDO—International motorcycle rally racer from Guatemala
JACK ARUTE–Sports TV personality
SCOTT ATCHISON—former IndyCar driver
HUBERT AURIOL–multiple winner of the Grenada-to-Dakar Rally
BOBBY BALDWIN—President/CEO of the Mirage Resorts, former World Series of Poker Champion
GAYLE BANKS—Land Speed Record Holder
JAMIE BESTWICK—Legendary British BMX racer who won nine straight X Games BMX Vert gold medals
RON BISHOP—Only person who raced in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races a motorcycle
KEN BLOCK—Co-founder of DC Shoes, Pro Rally racer, X Games star
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS—2004 and 2005 Champ Car World Series season champ from France
RICKY BRABEC—2019 Dakar Rally motorcycle champion and SCORE Baja 1000 race winner
BUD BRUTSMAN—show creator and TV producer of ‘Rides’ and ‘Overhaulin’
CHRIS BUNCOMBE, former LeMans 24 Hour class winner and global rally racer from England
JENSON BUTTON—2009 Formula 1 champion
JEAN CALVIN–former world class professional figure skater
SHANNON CAMPBELL—Hall of Fame rock Crawling champion
ERIK CARLSSON–world champion rallye driver
PAT MOSS CARLSSON–Erik’s wife/co-driver, sister of race driver Stirling Moss
LANCE CLIFFORD—Rock Crawling champion
ANDREW COMRIE-PICARD—North American Rally racer, 2010 X-games medalist
LARRY CONNOR—prominent Ohio businessman, two-time national sports car racing champion
JESSI COMBS—TV sports personality, moto/car/truck racer
DAN COOK—Professional Fly Fisherman
SANTIAGO CREEL—International motorcycle rally racer from Mexico
TARA DAKIDES—snowboarding legend
WALLY DALLENBACH SR—former open-wheel racer and CART Chief Steward
WALLY DALLENBACH JR—veteran open-wheel, Pike’s Peak Hill Climb, NASCAR racer, TV personality
PATRICK DEMPSEY—Film and TV star (Grey’s Anatomy)
CYRIL DESPRES—2007 Dakar Rally Overall motorcycle champion
BROC DICKERSON—Short course racer turned desert racer
DOMINIC DOBSON—German-born former CART, NASCAR Truck Series and IMSA sports car star
CARLIN DUNNE—three-time Pike’s Peak Hill Climb motorcycle champion
KERRY EARNHARDT—NASCAR Racer, Son of the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt
TERRY EARWOOD—An instructor with the Skip Barber Racing School who has also won championships in NHRA drag racing and IMSA road racing
BOBBY FERRO—Noted Hollywood Stunt driver
BRIAN FINCH—Autocross racer, road racer and TV personality
TANNER FOUST—Pro Rally racer, X Games Gold medalist, Formula Drifting Champion, Hollywood Stunt driver
CHIP FOOSE—Star of TV’s Overhaulin’
GREG FOSTER—veteran Formula 1 powerboat racer
LOU FRANCO—noted Hollywood Stunt driver/rider
GARY GABELICH–Land Speed Record holder
JAMES GARNER–movie/TV star
JOSELE GARZA–Mexico’s only Indianapolis 500 “rookie of the year”
JOHN CLARK GABLE–movie actor and son of famed actor Clark Gable
JAMIE GALLES, former Trans Am and Toyota Atlantic racer whose family was a long-time IndyCar team owner
MICHAEL GAUGHAN—Prominent Las Vegas Hotel/Casino owner
BRENDAN GAUGHAN–NASCAR Cup Series/Xfinity Series/NASCAR Truck racer whose roots are in desert racing
CHAD GILSINGER–2010 champion of the SCCA National Runoffs Championship
ROBBY GORDON–former CART and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver/team owner
MIKE GROFF—former IRL driver
ROBBIE GROFF—former IRL driver
ROBERTO GUERRERO—former IndyCar and Formula 1 veteran
ROD HALL–25 class victories (one overall)–Only person who has raced in EVERY SCORE Baja 1000
PETE HALSMER–former Indianapolis 500 driver, IMSA GT and Super Vee champion
LAIRD HAMILTON—Surfing legend
IKUO HANAWA—Pike’s Peak Hill Climb record-setting champion in electric race car
VIC HICKEY–land speed racing and off-road racing pioneer
DERRICK HILL—veteran of several open-wheel pavement series, son of the late Formula1 Champion Phil Hill
SAMUEL HUBINETTE—two-time Formula Drift champion from Switzerland, professional stunt driver
RYAN HUNTER-REAY—veteran open-wheel racer and IndyCar champion
BRIAN ICKLER—NASCAR Truck Series driver who returns to his desert racing roots
JESSE JAMES—Reality TV star (Monster Garage, Jesse James is a Dead Man, etc.)
BRUCE JENNER—Reality TV star, 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner
RICKY JOHNSON–third all-time winningest Supercross motorcycle racer, founder of TORC short-course series
JIMMIE JOHNSON–former motocross star, seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion
JOHNNY JOHNSON–15 class victories in eight different classes
STEFAN JOHANSSON—IndyCar racer and team owner
PARNELLI JONES–1963 Indianapolis 500 winner
P.J. JONES—Parnelli’s son who has raced open-wheel, sprint cars and NASCAR
TRACY JORDAN—Rock Crawling pioneer with championships in three different series
BERNARDO JOURDAIN–Mexican IndyCar driver
MICHEL JOURDAIN Jr.–Mexican IndyCar and NASCAR driver
HISASHI KITAMURA—International Enduro motorcycle racer from Japan
ARMIN KREMER—German Rally champion and veteran World Rally Championship driver
JOHN LANGLEY—award-winning Television producer (COPS), has star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
JOE LOMBARDO—noted Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada
DARREN LAW—GT Prototype racer
KYLE LeDUC—second generation desert racer, five-time Pro-4 short-course off-road champion
ROD LEWIS—Prominent Texas energy (oil) businessman, prominent international air-racing pilot
KEN LOSCH–Former SCCA Formula Mazda racer and Indy Pro Series owner/driver
BRAD LOVELL—multi-time Rock Crawling champion, short course off-road racer
ROGER LOVELL—Rock Crawling champion, short course off-road racer along with brother Brad
MORGAN LUCAS—NHRA Top Fuel drag racer
JUSTIN LOFTON—2009 ARCA champion, NASCAR Truck Series racer
KYLE LOZA–Freestyle MX, XGames Gold medalist
GARY MAGNESS—Hollywood film producer and international businessman
JEREMY McGRATH—former legendary supercross MX star
HERSHEL McGRIFF–first Carrera Panamericana winner and stock car champion
ROB MacCACHREN—8-time SCORE class champ, Stadium and Short Course racing champion, six-time AARWBA All-America,  over 300 career race wins in desert, short-course and stadium won three straight SCORE Baja 1000 races (2014, 2015, 2016)
MIKE ‘MOUSE’ MCCOY—SCORE race champion, noted Hollywood stunt driver, star of Dust to Glory, 2005
CHRIS MacCLUGAGE—legendary IJSBA personal watercraft racing world champion
ANDY McMILLIN—Third generation McMillin Family racer-Corky’s grandson, five-time overall winner of the SCORE Baja 1000
CORKY McMILLIN—Founder-Corky McMillin Cos, patriarch of first SCORE 3-generation team, multiple Baja wins
MARK McMILLIN—Corky’s son, San Diego developer; 8 class wins, including 5 overall in SCORE Baja 1000
TYLER McQUARRIE—Formula Drift racing star, veteran of numerous racing disciplines, driving instructor
CHAD McQUEEN—actor and son of Steve McQueen
STEVE McQUEEN–movie and TV star
CASEY MEARS—NASCAR Cup racer, former desert racer, son of off-road star Roger Mears
RICK MEARS–4-time Indy 500 winner; younger brother of former off-road star Roger Mears
ROGER MEARS—1991 AARWBA All-America racer, desert racing legend, 2020 ORMHoF Inductee, Indy Car Racer
SHEKHAR MEHTA–4-time winner of East African Safari
BRUCE MEYERS–originator of the Meyers Manx, world’s first desert race car (dune buggy)
MIKE METZGER—godfather of Freestyle MX
AK MILLER–American hot rodding and off-road racing patriarch
ROD MILLEN—Pikes Peak Hill Climb Record Holder, rally racer, Stadium racing champion
RHYS MILLEN—Rod’s son, Formula D Drifting racing National Champion, precision Hollywood Stunt driver
RYAN MILLEN—Rod’s son, accomplished Formula Drift racer
RICH MINGA—1987 SCORE Overall Point Champion, noted Hollywood stunt driver
LARRY MINOR—former drag racer and team owner
DANNY MODER—noted film cinematographer with over 20 on his filmography
PAULA MURPHY–one-time ‘world’s fastest woman’ racer
MICHAEL NESMITH–TV actor/musician “Monkees”; pioneer producer of CD music
PAUL NEWMAN—Actor, race car driver, philanthropist
GUNNAR NILSSON–Formula 1 driver
SERGIO NOLASCO–owner of Mexico’s finest Formula 3 road racing team
AARON NORRIS–motion picture and TV producer; brother of actor Chuck Norris
ERIC NORRIS—former NASCAR touring series driver, TV stunt coordinator, son of actor Chuck Norris
MARCO NOVELO—Mayor of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
TED NUGENT–rock ‘n’ roll singing star
DANNY ONGAIS–motorcycle, drag racing, road racing and Indy 500 racer
PAUL PAGE—Motorsports TV commentator
TED PAPPAS–Indy 500 racer
TRAVIS PASTRANA—Freestyle MX, Supercross star, X Games Superstar
BOBBY PATTON—Part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers
CHRIS PAULSEN—Former Indy Car crew chief, owner of C&R Racing, columnist for National Speed Sport News
ROBBIE PIERCE—Former owner of MasterCraft and Impact, now Jimco owner, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee
SAM POSEY–international race driver and motorsports TV commentator
GLEN PLAKE—Two-Time World Champion Hot Dog Skier
SARA PRICE—Motocross, stadium, short-course and Formula E desert racers
TOBY PRICE—champion factory motorcycle rally racer, Dakar champion
DON PRUDHOMME–legendary drag racer
GASTON RAHIER–former Paris-to-Dakar rally champion
DARON RAHLVES—legendary three-time U.S. Olympic downhill skier
DYLAN RATIGAN—host of CNBC’s ‘Bullseye’ show
BUDDY RICE—2004 Indianapolis 500 winner
ELLIOTT FORBES-ROBINSON—legendary SCCA sports car racer
LARRY ROESELER–legendary motorcycle rider with an amazing 13 overall wins in SCORE Baja 1000
ALEXANDER ROSSI—2016 Indy 500 champ as a rookie, IndyCar racer, former Formula 1 driver
BORIS SAID—NASCAR driver and Trans Am racing star
ARMIN SCHWARZ—Seven-time World Rally Championship race winner
ORIOL SERVIA—IndyCar star from Spain
BON SINCLAIR–president of Volvo Automobile of America
GAY SMITH–Pike’s Peak Hill Climb champion
MALCOLM SMITH–off-road motorcycle champion and star of movie, “On Any Sunday”
CAMERON STEELE—Motorsports & Action Sports TV commentator, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer
NELSON STEWART—Former Sprint Car racer, father of NASCAR star Tony Stewart
DAYMON STOKIE—Australian motocross champion
DANNY SULLIVAN—1987 Indianapolis 500 champion
ROBERT SUTTON—President/CEO of Centrix Financial
TARA DAKIDES—prominent professional snowboarder
MARK THATCHER–son of England’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher
MAX THIERIOT—second generation desert racer, Hollywood movie and TV actor with 15 films to his credit, currently starring role in CBS TV’s SEAL TEAM
DANNY THOMPSON—Son of SCORE founder Mickey Thompson, former stadium off-road racer
MICKEY THOMPSON–hot rodding and off-road racing pioneer, SCORE founder
ROLF TIBBLIN–world’s only motocross champion in three classes–500, 250 and 125cc
J.R. TODD—NHRA Top Fuel drag racer
JUGATSU TOI–Japanese novelist
KYLE TUCKER– Autocross champion
JOHNNY UNSER—Indy car racer, first from his racing family to drive in the race
JIMMY VASSER–CART champion driver
STEPHAN VERDIER—Former Pro Skier, Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner, Formula Drift racer, RallyCross Racer
GUS VILDOSOLA JR—Prominent Mexican businessman who with his father Gus Sr became the first Mexican nationals to win the overall title in the race in 2010
BILL WEBBER—legendary long-time motorsports TV announcer
CAL WELLS III–NASCAR team owner who has also owned off-road and Indy Car teams
BILL WHITTINGTON—former Indy Car racer
DON WHITTINGTON—former Indy Car racer
BEKKI FREEMAN-WIK—Top female racer in SCORE History, 3-time SCORE Baja 1000 champ
JOHN ZINK–creator of Indy’s famed ‘laydown cars’