Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be televised as a two-hour special on El Rey Network
LA PAZ, Mexico – Veteran off-road racing trio of Andy McMillin, Gustavo Vildosola Jr. and young gun Brandon Arthur have driven their Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck to the four-wheel vehicle overall lead at the halfway point Thursday evening in the 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
With 414 total entries in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, racers have come from 44 U.S. States, the District of Columbia, two U.S. Territories and 27 countries so far, the elapsed-time race over a rugged 1,134.40-mile course will had the motorcycles and quads start Wednesday at midnight PT followed by the start of the car/truck/UTV classes at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday morning.
Included in the 405 official starters in the elapsed-time race are 300 cars/trucks/utvs and 105 motorcycles/quads. The total number of entries is the third-most in the 50-year history of the SCORE Baja 1000 and the second-most in the 21 years it has finished in La Paz.
McMillin, the 30-year-old third-generation off-road racer from National City, Calif., is the driver of record in the 50th Granddaddy of all Desert Races in the Ford F-150 as the he seeks his sixth SCORE Baja 1000 victory. McMillin, who has won the SCORE Baja 1000 overall as has his father, Scott, and his late grandfather, Corky, is teaming with a former SCORE Baja 1000 overall winner in Tavo Vildosola Jr. of Mexicali, Mexico and 21-year-old Brandon Arthur of San Diego in their quest to halt the three-year SCORE Baja 1000 overall victory streak of off-road legend Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas.
MacCachren, driving with Justin Voss of Cupertino, Calif. for a second time in three years in the SCORE Baja 1000, is attempting to become the first driver in the famed Baja event to win overall in four straight races with his Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck.
At the halfway mark Thursday, the trio of MacCachren, Voss and Justin Smith trailed McMillin’s truck by seven miles in his pursuit of the coveted lead position. Trailing McMillin and MacCachren on the 1,134.40-mile course were McMillin’s cousin, Luke, 24 years old from San Diego, also in a Ford-150 SCORE Trophy Truck followed by two-time defending SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez of Tecate, Mexico in a Chevy Rally truck and Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies in a Ford Raptor.
Leading the Class 1 unlimited open-wheel cars was Brian Wilson of Lakewood, Calif., who is teaming with his father, Randy Wilson also of Lakewood, and Kyle Quinn of Irvine, Calif., in a Jimco-Chevy open-wheel desert race car. Second at the halfway point was Brandon Bailey of Riverside, Calif., in an Alumi Craft-Chevy as Bailey is co-driving with Jason Coleman of Huntington Beach, Calif., Johnny Nelson of Hemet, Calif., and Arthur, who driving two different vehicles in this year’s SCORE Baja 1000.
The motorcycles left the Ensenada starting line 10 hours before the four-wheel vehicles Thursday and Guatemala’s Francisco Arrendondo paced a five-rider team in a Honda CRF450X throughout the majority of the SCORE Baja 1000 and are expected at the La Paz finish line within an hour. Chasing Arrendondo throughout the tedious trek has been another Honda squad led by Mark Samuels of Yucca Valley, Calif., also on a Honda CRF450X.
The first motorcycle was expected to finish at approximately 9 p.m. PT Thursday at the La Paz finish adjacent the Grand Plaza Resort, while the first four-wheel vehicle is estimated to finish at approximately 7 a.m. PT Friday morning.