LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA—Former NASCAR Cup team owner/driving and SCORE Baja racing legend Robby Gordon earned the first starting position in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division in Las Vegas Tuesday night for the upcoming 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 to be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula.
The special BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying, presented by BFGoodrich Tires, was held Tuesday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Off-Road Track. The qualifying event was held in conjunction with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience being held through Friday at the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The legendary race itself, starting in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur, this year’s BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will be held Nov. 13-18. The season-finale of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship will feature a typically rugged 1,134.40-mile race course.
In front of an appreciative capacity crowd at the LVMS Off-Road Track, Gordon, who has three overall wins in the most iconic desert race in the world, blistered the dirt, recording a top qualifying time of in two minutes, 52.26 seconds with an average speed of 37.46 miles per hour in Gordon’s No. 77 Team Gordon Chevy Silverado. The 5,000-pound race trucks are designed for the pounding of open desert racing resulting in average speeds in qualifying 15-20 miles per hour less than they will average during the actual races.
The qualifying course was three laps over the .6 mile LVMS Off-Road Track for 2.1 total miles. Gordon was quickest among the 29 trucks out of the 42 entered in the race that elected to participate in the optional qualifying event to earn the Ultimate Dana Top Qualifier Award.
Gordon, who also owns and races in the Supertruck stadium series, finished just .47 seconds faster than the runner-up qualifier as 12 of the SCORE Trophy Truck qualifiers finished the course in less than three minutes.
Gordon, originally from Orange, Calif. but who resides in Mooresville, N.C. won the top qualifying spot for the second time in the four years this specially qualifying event has been held in Las Vegas.
Second was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, who covered the three-lap course in 2:52.73 in the No. 11 Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150. MacCachren, the off-road Hall of Famer who has five overall victories in the SCORE Baja 1000 has won the last three consecutive SCORE Baja 1000 races.
For this year’s race MacCachren will use a three-member team with Las Vegas’ Justin Smith and Jason Voss, Cupertino, Calif., as his two other drivers. Voss was an additional driver for MacCachren in both 2014 and last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race wins.
Completing the podium as third quickest was SCORE rookie Brandon Arthur, of San Diego, who subbed for driver of record Andy McMillin, National City, Calif., with a time of 2:54.38 in the No. 31 TSCO Racing Ford F-150.
Rounding out the top five SCORE Trophy Truck qualifiers were Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif. (DOR—Larry Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio), who was fourth in 2:54.60 in the No. 6 Team C Racing Chevy Silverado and fifth was Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies in a time of 2:55.89 in the No. 7 Menzies Motorsports Red Bull Ford Raptor.
A total of 27 of the 40 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered in the race and both SCORE TT Legend race trucks participated in the optional qualifying for starting positions within their respective classes. It will be televised on a delayed basis on a date to-be-announced as a one-hour special on the El Rey Network with later syndication internationally.
SCORE Trophy Truck, created by SCORE in 1994, is the sport’s marquee racing division for high-tech, 900 horsepower unlimited production trucks and SCORE TT Legend, which debuted this season, is for SCORE Trophy Trucks with drivers at least 50 years old.
ULTIMATE DANA FAST QUALIFIER AWARD
For the second straight year, Dana presented the Ultimate Dana Fast Qualifier award. For the first time, Dana also presented live streaming from the entire qualifying session on the SCORE website. Winning last year’s top spot was Las Vegas’ Mark Post.
GOLDEN BAJA MIL
Nearly 400 entries, from over 40 U.S. States and 30 countries are expected to compete in this year’s 50th anniversary celebration of the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. There are multiple Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Advance on-line racer-registration continues until 5 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday (Nov. 8) at www.score-international.com for this year’s golden anniversary competition. The event and race-week festivities will be held Nov. 12-18 in Baja California, Mexico. Late, on-site registration will start on Monday, Nov. 12.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will be held over a 1,134.40-mile race course down Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada, Baja California Norte and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, held exclusively for the past two years in Baja California.
With a total time limit of 48 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 12 midnight (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with start on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 10 a.m. (PT).
With a second-driver often running the trucks for qualifying, the previous fastest SCORE Trophy Truck qualifiers in the three previous years of this special Las Vegas qualifying event have been Robby Gordon, Mooresville, N.C. in 2014, Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif. (Driver of Record-Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn.) in 2015 and Kyle LeDuc, Temecula, Calif. (DOR-Mark Post, Las Vegas) in 2016.
SCORE rules require that whoever drives for qualifying must also start the race.
SEMA SCORE BAJA 1000 EXPERIENCE
For the fourth straight year, the SEMA Show SCORE Baja 1000 Experience, presented by BFGoodrich Tires includes a 70,000-square foot desert racing exhibit in the Silver Lot 3 outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall alongside Paradise Road.
On display are 28 SCORE Trophy Truck and two SCORE TT Legend race trucks, exhibits from leading off-road and desert racing companies, the SCORE transporter, a presentation stage, a massive SCOREvision LED screen showing SCORE race videos, press conference, autograph session and an interactive BFGoodrich Tires display which will include a public pit-crew challenge.
At 7 p.m. (PT) tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 1) there will also be a VIP screening of the ‘Dust 2 Glory’ one hour, 50 minute motorsports action documentary movie on the SCORE World Desert Championship. The screening will be open to all individuals with a SEMA Show badge.
START DRAW TODAY
For all the classes including SCORE Trophy Trucks that didn’t qualify, the drawing for starting positions within each class will be held at 11 a.m. on today (Wednesday, Nov. 1) at the SCORE transporter at the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Late entries received after the drawing will be placed by class in the next available starting position following those that entered in time for the random draw.
For racers who competed in September’s Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge, based on their results, those racers will be placed in order of how they placed in Tijuana and a drawing will be held for all of the additional entries in each class to determine the final start order for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
To date, there are 373 total entries from 42 U.S. States, two U.S. Territories and 25 countries officially signed up to compete. In addition to the United States, the U.S. Territories of Guam and Puerto Rico and host country Mexico, the other countries with racers entered to date are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and Spain.
Including SCORE Trophy Truck (42), 10 total classes already have double figures in terms of entries so far. While several other classes have nearly reached at least 10 entries, the other classes with double figure entries to date are: Class 10 (29), Trophy Truck Spec (26), Pro UTV FI (24), unlimited Class 1 (20), Pro Moto Ironman (17), Pro UTV (16), Class 1/2-1600 (16), Baja Challenge (12), and leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C with 25 entries so far.
WHO ELSE BUT SAL!
Sal Fish, 78, the iconic desert racing promoter who owned SCORE International for 38 years, will be the Grand Marshal for November’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Fish, who lives in Malibu, Calif., has earned more awards in his life than most racers have won races and was the face of SCORE from 1974 until he sold the company to Roger and Elise Norman on Dec. 20, 2012.
A graduate from the University of San Francisco, Fish had risen to the top as the Publisher of Hot Rod Magazine when Mickey Thompson, who founded SCORE in 1973, recruited Fish to be the President of SCORE.
DUST 2 GLORY
From award-winning documentary filmmaker Dana Brown, ‘Dust 2 Glory,’ scheduled to premiere nationwide on Dec. 6, chronicled each of the four races in the 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship. Brown’s original Dusty to Glory, released in 2005, became an iconic classic showcasing the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. D2G, which began shooting at the 2015 SCORE Baja 1000, continued up close and personal coverage capturing the robust racers in their amazing adventures in Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula through all four spectacular 2016 races. Executive Producer is BCII’s Bud Brutsman.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience and the SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas are all airing on El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows are each one-hour telecasts.
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.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire & Official Race Title Sponsor, 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, 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 Secretary of Tourism, Tijuana 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.
50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying
Presented by BFGoodrich Tires
Oct. 31, 2017—Las Vegas Motor Speedway Off-Road Track
Race Dates: Nov. 13-18, Season Finale of the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship
Race Distance/Location: 1,134.40-mile point to point race down Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula
Race Start: Ensenada, Baja California
Race Finish: La Paz, Baja California Sur
Race Participants: Nearly 400 total entries are expected from over 40 U.S. States, two U.S. Territories and 30 countries with competition in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads
(NOTE: Entries that elected not to qualify will have a separate random drawing today, Nov. 2, to determine their starting order and they will start after the vehicles that qualified in their respective classes).
QUALIFYING RESULTS: (1.8 total miles, 3 laps of .6 mile dirt race course)
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (29) (Unlimited Production Trucks) (42 Total Entries)
(Position, Vehicle number, qualifying driver/driver of record if different, hometown, vehicle, elapsed time, miles per hour)
ULTIMATE DANA FAST QUALIFIER—77 Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy Silverado, two minutes, 52.26 seconds (37.3 miles per hour)
11 Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 2:52.73
31 Brandon Arthur, San Diego (Driver of Record–Andy McMillin, National City, Calif.) Ford F-150, 2:54.38