Race to air on CBS Sports Network THR Kawasaki’s Brabec/Pearson/Eddy Jr top motorcycles, Arellano first overall ATV, other class winners include Johnson, Ruvalcaba, Sohren, Arredondo, Gera, Brenthel, Moss, Magness 232 starters in Rd 3 of 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship in Ensenada, Mexico
ENSENADA, Mexico—Focused and determined from the hopeful drop of the green flag to the grateful wave of the checkered, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies roared past a field that included the world’s best desert racers to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory Saturday at the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race. Round three of the five-race SCORE World Desert Championship started and finished in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
After qualifying second, Menzies took over the physical lead early in the elapsed-time race and then powered his way to the finish line with a time of eight hours, 51 minutes and 49 seconds, averaging 50.26 miles per hour in his No. 70 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 over the rugged 446.9-mile course around the northern part of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
Menzies, 26, earned his fourth career race win in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks including victories in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in three of the last four years. He defeated a talented field of 232 starters from 20 U.S. States, the U.S. territory of Guam, and 15 countries competing in 26 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, Motorcycles and ATVs.
The victory also marked another milestone as BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for over three decades. BFGoodrich Tires celebrated its amazing 30th overall 4-wheel victory in 35 years of competing in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
SCORE is celebrating its 41st year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization in 2014 and this race is one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule. Most the world’s best desert racers were in action at this year’s 46th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
Following complete data tracking review of the vehicles, BFGoodrich Tires officially swept the podium with Jason Voss, Cupertino, Calif., second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in 8:55:16 in the No. 35 Ford F-150 while third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Jesse Jones, 48 of Phoenix, with a time of 8:57:20 in the No. 76 Ford F-150.
When the race course officially closed on Sunday morning at 5:58 a.m., 126 of 232 starters (54.31 percent) completed the course within the time limit to become official finishers. Both the start and finish line were located in the heart of Ensenada on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It was the seventh straight year that both the pre-race activities and the finish line were all held on this historic boulevard. For the first time in a decade, the course ran in a counter-clockwise direction around Baja California Norte.
ON CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR
The race will be televised on a delayed basis in the USA, Canada and U.S. Territories as a one-hour special on the CBS Sports Network. The show, being produced by SoCal’s acclaimed BCII TV, will air for one week on the CBS Sports Spectacular show with the initial airing at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Following a week of airing the CBS Sports Network telecasts, the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 show will air worldwide in over 100 countries through international distribution.
SCORE’s next national and international broadcast will be the show from April’s Inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250 which will air first at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 15 on the CBS Sports Network. Here is the link for the show promo– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SddF8D7_fqY
After finishing third behind Robby Gordon and B.J. Baldwin in this race last year when he missed out on a possible three-peat, Menzies commented, “We started second and we were just kind of cruising and not taking it that fast and somehow we came up with a flat in Uruapan. (Jason) Voss got by and then we had another problem on the beach and Luke McMillin got by us. We kept charging and didn’t give up and we passed Voss (when he had) a flat. We passed Robby (Gordon) coming down Mike’s Sky Ranch.”
“Once we were there we knew we were in clean air and we needed to play it smooth. Something was going wrong with my truck near the finish. The brakes were out so I had to really cruise the last seven miles. I love being down here and this is my favorite race of the year. On the beach section the weather was cool and everything was running really cool. We knew it was going to get hot when we got to the San Felipe side of the course and it got really hot. It was probably over 100 degrees down there but the weather was perfect and the wind was moving just enough that we could run up on guys and pass them.”
“I think the reason I like the SCORE Baja 500 so much is because it is an endurance race but it is also a sprint race. You have the longevity but you’ve got to go fast as well. You get every type of terrain. You get roads, mountains, silt, rocks and that’s what draws me to the 500. You go from the coast all the way over the mountains and back again.”
BRABEC FIRST TO FINISH
Ricky Brabec, Oak Hills, Calif., riding on the factory-supported No. 4x THR Motorsports Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F was the rider of record for the overall motorcycle and Pro Open motorcycle class winning team after being the first vehicle off the starting line Saturday morning. Sharing riding duties with teammates David Pearson, Panaca, Nev. and Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif., the Brabec team finished the race in 8:58:27, averaging 49.81 mph to win for the second time in three SCORE races this year.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS SCORE
The top nine overall finishers in the race were all SCORE Trophy Trucks. Finishing fourth behind Menzies, Voss and Jones was Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin (No. 1 Chevy Silverado), fifth was was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren (No. 11 Ford F-150), sixth was Luke McMillin, El Cajon, Calif. (No. 83 Ford F-150), seventh was Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 9 Ford F-150), eighth was Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 98 Ford F-150) and ninth was Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez (No. 18 Ford F-150).
The fastest overall ATV was the team led by Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico on the No. 1a Honda TRX450R in a time of 10:02:35. His co-riders were Christian Vera, Spring Valley, Calif., Cody Mitchell, Las Vegas and Travis Dillon, Lakeside, Calif.
CLASS 1 SUPERLATIVE
Defending season class champion Cody Parkhouse and his father Brian Parkhouse, both of Long Beach, Calif., teamed up in their to defeat a talented group of 16 starters to win the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars in their Chevy-powered Jimco, finishing 10th overall in the grueling race.
Several racers with multiple class wins added to their winning career totals in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Leading the way was Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco) who recorded his sixth class win in this race, Jim Dizney, Alpine, Calif. (Class 60, Honda CRF450X) with five, teammate Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. who now has 17 class wins and J. David Ruvalcaba, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 1/2-1600, VBR-VW) who earned his fourth class win and overall champ Menzies who captured his third class win as well in this race.
In addition to Dizney, the three other racers, also competing in motorcycle classes, who remain undefeated after their third win in the 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship are Tony Gera, Santa Cruz, Calif. (SCORE Ironman, Honda XR650R), Giovanni Spinali, Julian, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) and Raul Hernandez, Tijuana, Mexico (Sportsman M/C, KTM 450EXC).
Besides Open M/C champ Brabec, also earning their second class wins of the year at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 were Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif. (Class 19, Can-Am Maverick) who won over 17 starters in his class, Pete Sohren, Phoenix (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Rick de la Pena, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Limited M/C, Honda CRF250X)
Several racers won for the first time in 2014. Pacing the group was Mike Johnson, Santa Monica, Calif. (Class 10 Alumi Craft-Chevy) where he won his class for the second straight year, defeating a huge field of 28 starters in his class. Two other first time 2014 winners who also won back-to-back titles in this race were Francisco Arredondo, Guatemala (Class 30, Honda CRF450X) and Chelsea Magness, Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (Protruck, Ford F-150). Besides Magness, the second female driver of record to win her class in this year’s race was Wendy Belk, Northridge, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), who was competing as the driver of record for the first time in a SCORE race.
Among the other class winners picking up their first win of the season were Saturday were Jonathan Brenthel, Newport Beach, Calif. (Trophy Truck Spec, Chevy Silverado), Ricardo Vindiola, San Quintin, Mexico (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Rick Sanchez, San Vicente, Mexico (Class 8, Ford F-150), Gustavo Avina, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug) and Luis Martinez, Mexicali, Mexico (SCORE Lites, Foddrill-VW).
DAKAR CHALLENGE 2014
This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 was again identified as a qualifying race for special entry packages into the 2015 Dakar Rally in South America. Winners in car and truck classes will come from SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Class 10 along with another winning entry from Pro motorcycles (all with time adjustments). Complete information on Dakar Challenge 2014 is available at http://score-international.com/2014-dakar-challenge/. Following complete data tracking review of those competitors who entered the Dakar Challenge 2014, the two winners will be officially announced early this week.
The Tecate 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 Tecate SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE to Roger Norman in December of 2012.
Ensenada has been the heart and soul of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race this year marked the 41st time it started and 37th time it finished in Ensenada.
ON THE SCOREscope
In its 41st year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization in 2014, the five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series, with three special events held in Baja California, Mexico, and two in the United States, started with the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 on March 1. Starting and finishing in Ensenada, the 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 is this week and the third SCORE Baja race, starting in Ensenada and finishing in La Paz, the 47th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will be held Nov. 12-16.
The two U.S. races on 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship calendar started with the inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250 in Plaster City, Calif. (April 25-27) and the two-day, single-race Inaugural SCORE Desert Challenge, location TBA (Sept. 25-28).
CBS SPORTS NETWORK
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. CBS Sports Network will run a one-hour special on all five 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship races as well as a sixth show on the special qualifying for select classes for the 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 that will be held Nov. 1-4 in Las Vegas during the annual SEMA automotive industry trade show. All shows are scheduled to air in the next month following the event.
WEEKLY SCORE DIRT LIVEHD
SCORE Dirt LiveHD, SCORE’s weekly Tuesday night internet studio show from El Cajon, Calif., also goes on-site live with expanded event coverage during SCORE events. Live event coverage in 2014 will include week-long live coverage of the entire five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship which includes two races in the United States and three in Baja California, Mexico. The second Mexico event of the inaugural SCORE World Desert Championship was the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
DIRT LIVEHD CREW
Desert racing public address announcer and former racer George Antill is the executive producer and host of the popular show along with special guest host Dianna Dalhgren, Miss Monster Energy Supercross as her schedule permits. A special segment most weeks is SCORE Tech Tips with SCORE Tech co-directors Jake Velasco or Art Savedra or SCORE Trophy Truck racer and prep-shop owner T.J. Flores.
Shaun Sauer, SCORE Media Production Manager, is the coordinating producer of the show. The program is hosted on ustream.com, the world’s largest streaming internet site.
Official Sponsors: Tecate Beer-Official Beer/Official Race Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Rigid Industries LED Lighting-Official Lights, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris-Official UTV, Volaris Airlines-Official Airline, CBS Sports Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions- Official Arrive and Drive Company, Coca-Cola-Official Soft Drink, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino, Hotel Coral and Marina-Official Hotel.
Associate Sponsors: Graham Watchmakers, SatellitePhoneStore.com, Symons Ambulance Company.
Additional SCORE Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Visit Baja California Sur, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Sur State Government, Mexicali Ayuntamineto, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, GoPro, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship series at www.score-international.com.
SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, email@example.com