ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Topped by Larry Ragland, Bryce Menzies and Robby Gordon, 11 racers who have combined for 16 SCORE Trophy Truck class wins in this race are entered in next week’s 49th annual SCORE Baja 500.
Menzies, 29, and Gordon, 48, will be driving in SCORE’s marquee racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks while Ragland, 73, will race in the Pro UTV FI class.
Entries from around the world continue to arrive for Round 2 of the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship, to be held next Wednesday through Sunday in Mexico’s Baja California Norte, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
To date, entries have come from 28 U.S. States and 14 countries for the internationally-televised SCORE Baja 500.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s 49th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK RACE WINNERS
Hall of famer Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., has four SCORE Trophy Truck wins in this race (2000, 2002, 2006, 2007) while Las Vegas’ Menzies has won the featured SCORE racing division three times (2011, 2012, 2014) and Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., has two wins (2005, 2013).
The other class winners with one win each in this race and the year that they won SCORE Trophy Truck are Curt LeDuc (1995), Rob MacCachren (1996), Ryan Arciero (2003), B.J. Baldwin (2008), Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin (2010), Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (2015) and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr (2016).
All except Ragland (Pro UTV FI) are entered in SCORE Trophy Truck for this year’s SCORE Baja 500.
ALL-TIME SCORE TROPHY TRUCK WINNERS
There are a total of 16 racers in this year’s race who have combined to win 91 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins in the 23-year history of the spectacular SCORE showcase racing division.
MacCachren is the all-time leader with 15 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins followed by Ed Herbst and his brother Tim Herbst with 11 each along with Ragland and Gordon with 11 each as well.
McMillin has eight wins, Mark Post has seven, both Baldwin and Vildsola Jr have six each, Menzies has five, LeDuc has four, Arciero, S. McMillin and Larry Roeseler each have three, Jesse Jones has two and with one career SCORE Trophy Truck race win each are Lopez and Billy Wilson.
THE FIELD & START
In addition to 28 U.S. States, racers from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain are already part of the field that is expected to grow to over 275 vehicles at the start line.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag will drop first next Saturday (June 3) for the motorcycles and quads at 5:30 a.m. (PDT) and approximately 10 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. The race has a 20-hour time limit from the time each vehicle starts to become an official finisher.
GOLDEN SCORE 2017
The 2017 season also marks the golden 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be held November 14-18. The SCORE Baja 1000 is the oldest, longest and most prestigious continuously held desert race in the world.
As racer registration continues, a total of 219 vehicles have officially entered as of now for the 49th SCORE Baja 500, 168 in car/truck/utv classes and 51 in motorcycle/quad classes.
While SCORE Trophy Truck with 36 (including three in the new SCORE TT Legend division for drivers over 50 years old) has the most entries of any class in the race, other car/truck/UTV classes with double figure entries so far are Pro UTV FI with 26, Class 10 with 17, Trophy Truck Spec with 16, Class 1 with 13, Pro UTV with 12 and SCORE Lites with 10 entries.
Leading the Pro motorcycle classes with eight entries each to date are Pro Moto Unlimited and Pro Moto 50 (riders over 50 years old). Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C with eight entries so far.
ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration, by class, for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, is ongoing through the SCORE website. For more info, visit
Online entries will be accepted until 10 p.m. (PDT) today (May 25). On-site late entries will be assessed a $100 late fee to enter the race.
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 515.77-mile race course for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 began this past Saturday. Pre-running is starting at race-mile 38 outbound only and will end at rm476. The first 38 miles can be practiced on only outbound on Wednesday (May 31), Thursday (June 1) and Friday (June 2) of race week.
On Thursday, June 1 qualifying for starting positions will be held for the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division, SCORE TT Legend, the unlimited Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec. Qualifying will be held over a special course near Ensenada and is not open to the public. The start drawing for these classes will determine their respective qualifying order.
While the majority of the entries in these top classes are expected to qualify, those who elect not to will be given the remaining start positions in the elapsed-time race based on the original drawing or entry into the race within their respective classes.
Qualifying is closed to the public because of safety concerns, but taped highlights of qualifying will be shown starting Thursday evening (June 1) on the SCORE website.
Drawing the first for the qualifying runs in their respective classes were Casey Currie in SCORE Trophy Truck, Matt Cullen in Class 1 and Lee Banning in Trophy Truck Spec.
SCORE TT Legend for drivers over 50 years old will qualify and race with SCORE Trophy Truck but will be timed in their own class.
SCORE has worked diligently with assistance from local officials to design, develop and implement a strategic safety plan for the racers, their support personnel and the SCORE course workers.
SCORE supports the race participants from special communication devices on each vehicle, full coverage of ambulances and medical emergency personnel from the Red Cross (Cruz Roja) at various locations around the course, the SCORE Medical Helicopter as well as a plane and medical crew from Aeromedivac on standby on-site if needed.
SCORE is also providing racers with two hydration stations at locations on the second-half of the race course where intense heat can become a factor during the race and racers can stop for water replenishment.
SCORE has also made mandatory SFI and FIA standard head and neck restraints for all drivers and all co-drivers in four-wheel vehicles starting with this race.
SCORE has also worked with a special group representing governmental and public safety officials to assist them in developing a comprehensive plan to help effectively manage the thousands of spectators that are expected to enjoy the festivities.
The local spectator safety group has been coordinated by Ensenada Mayor Marco Novelo, President of Ensenada Proturismo Nico Saad, Director of Proturismo Amador Arteaga Sahagun, Ensenada Director of Public Security Emilio Camarena and State Coordinator of Federal Police Juan Carlos Moran.
The group also includes representatives from the Mexican Red Cross (Cruz Roja), Army and Navy as well as local Civil Protection and the Fire Department.
Mexican authoroties have developed a spectator safety guide that is being promoted all over Baja California that will be reinforced during race week with special message boards around Ensenada and selected areas of the race course. Coordination of all of these various entities will continue to help provide the support needed to maintain the enjoyable spectator experience that fans have cherished for almost 50 years.
The race will feature a course, finalized by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman along with Race Director Jose A. Grijalva, of 515.77 miles. It will run in a counter 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.
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 stark beauty of Baja California.
This year’s course will have five physical checkpoints—North of Johnson’s Ranch, Morellia Junction, North of San Felipe on Highway 5, Nuevo Junction and El Mezcal before Ojos Negros. It also has approximately 95 virtual checkpoints.
This course is different than last year’s course. Last year it had much more desert, it went up the Summit and this year it goes to the coast. There are also sections that haven’t been raced on for a number of years and a few sections that SCORE has never race on before.
Other towns and landmarks the course goes through or near are Ensenada Arroyo, Piedras Gordas, Ojos Negros, Uruapan, Santo Tomás, Erendira, Johnson’s Ranch, Colonet, Jaramillo, Hacienda Sinaloa on San Telmo Rd., Rancho El Coyote, Mike’s Sky Rancho, San Matias, the Diablo Dry Lake bed, San Felipe, Valle de Trinidad, The Goat Trail, Nuevo Junction and Santa Catarina.
Colorful race week festivities will start Thursday (June 1) with qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec. SCORE sponsor partner Monster Energy will present the Monster Energy SCORE Kick-off Party 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.
Friday, June 2 will see the day-long, pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and contingency festival in the start finish line area in Ensenada.
During the race on Saturday, June 3 the start/finish line compound will include the massive double-sided SCOREvision LED screen broadcasting race festivities and start and finish line interviews.
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.
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 will be held in the Red Room on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (May 31, June 1-2). Media registration will be also held in the Red Room at the Riviera on Thursday and Friday (June 1-2) and the SCORE Media Center will be in the Red Room during the race (June 3-4) 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 as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting on Friday (June 2). The post-race awards celebration will also be in the Cathedral Room at noon on Sunday (June 4).
The start/finish line for the race will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Blvd. Costero.
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 asked by 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.
Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 44th time and finish for the 40th time in Ensenada.
In addition to starting 43 times in Ensenada, this popular early summer race has also started three times in Ojos Negros (1991, 1992, 1993), once in San Felipe (1989) and in 1984 it was moved for one year to Barstow, Calif. in the United States.
In addition to finishing 39 times previously in Ensenada, the SCORE Baja 500 has also finished five times in Santo Tomas, twice in Ojos Negros (1991, 1992), once in Barstow, Calif. and once in San Felipe.
Two legends in their respective sports, SCORE’s Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart and Mexican-American champion Pro Wrestler/Television star Rey Mysterio Jr are the Grand Marshals for the race.
Iconic in the sport of off-road racing, both in SCORE and the old Mickey Thompson Stadium Series, Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart earned his moniker the hard way through over 40 years driving race vehicles, mostly trucks. Stewart earned 10 driver championships and had 84 career victories including an amazing 17 class wins (including 10 overall wins) in the SCORE Baja 500 and three overall victories in the SCORE Baja 1000.
One of the only a very few desert racers to ever have a video game named after him, Stewart continues today as an ambassador for Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for whom he drove nearly 30 years as a factory driver from much of his storied career.
Turning 72 during the race on Sunday (June 4) Stewart drove solo for most of his career to earn his ultimate ‘Ironman’ title as a tribute to his racing prowess. He was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.
International wrestling superstar Rey Mysterio, Jr is a 25-year ring veteran and decorated champion in multiple North American wrestling organizations, Mysterio’s lightning-fast offense brought lucha libre to mainstream American audiences for one of the first times ever.
Around the world, fans and luchadors alike consider Mysterio their idol.
Considered one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, the Mexican-American professional wrestler has joined Lucha Underground on the El Rey Network for this upcoming second season.
A three-time world champion, having held the World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WWE Championship once, Mysterio made his professional debut at the age of 14.
He is also a AAA Hall of Famer and most recently captured the Lucha Libre World Cup in May 2015, leading his trios tag team to victory in a tournament against other three-man tag teams, representing wrestling talent and organizations from around the world.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the second time all four are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
31st SCORE San Felipe 250, March 29-April 2, San Felipe, Mexico
50th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico
EL REY NETWORK
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience/SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas will all air on El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows will each be one-hour telecasts.
El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network targeting “Strivers,” viewers who hold strong core beliefs about the importance of family, independence, hard work, craftsmanship, and legacy.
Founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and curated by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, the network features action-packed programming, relatable heroes and aspirational stories that embrace today’s America. El Rey’s slate is anchored by signature series including the original drama “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” the one-on-one interview program “El Rey Network Presents: The Director’s Chair,” and “Lucha Underground,” a lucha libre wrestling series produced by Mark Burnett.
El Rey Network’s lineup also showcases a wide range of iconic feature films and television series including genre, action, and sci-fi/ horror. El Rey Network LLC is jointly owned by Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures, with a minority stake held by Univision Networks & Studios, Inc.
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.
EL REY AIR DATES
The El Rey Network has announced two one-hour specials to launch its coverage of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship. The first show, to air on May 31, will introduce audiences to the sizzling speeds and daring drama that bond the multi-generational families who race in the world’s foremost desert racing organization and the second show on June 18 will spotlight race coverage of the season-opening 31st SCORE San Felipe 250.
The Wednesday, May 31st show will air at 9 p.m. (ET) while the Sunday, June 18th show will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
Hosts of the ERN shows from the SCORE World Desert Championship are SCORE champion racer Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, professional BMX rider Mike Escamilla and car artist Cherry Martini.
Working with ERN to produce these shows for SCORE is award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, 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, Coca Cola, 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.
Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: Ayuntamiento de Playas de Rosarito, Cotuco de Playas de Rosarito, Comite de Mercadatecnia Playas de Rosarito.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship atwww.SCOREInternational.com.
49th SCORE Baja 500
Round 2 of four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship
May 31-June 4, 2017—515.77 miles—Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Total Entries: 215 (as of 5/24/17)
(from 28 U.S. States, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador,
Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain)
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)–
(Numerical, Before Qualifying)
1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, 22, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck
3 Mark Post, 59, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, 55, Las Vegas/Kyle LeDuc, 34, Temecula, Calif., Ford F-150