2017 SCORE World Desert Championship Awards Night set for Saturday, January 13 in San Diego
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Saving his finest performance for the season finale, Mexico’s youthful ‘veteran’ Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez not only won the season-ending 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 he captured the SCORE Overall season point title, the Overall Truck title and his third consecutive SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship during the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Oh yes, Lopez, from Tecate, Mexico, is just 22 years old, making his performance even more impressive. Driving the No. 1 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck built by Geiser Brothers to finishes of third, fifth, second and first in the four-race series all held in Baja California, Mexico, Lopez etched his name dramatically in the SCORE record books with his second SCORE Overall point championship in the last three years.
Lopez joins the short list of six racers who have won the SCORE Overall season point title more than once in the 44-year history of the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization.
2017 SCORE AWARDS NIGHT
A night of champions will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. The evening will salute the champions of the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship as well as honoring the 2017 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year award winners and recognizing the 31 winners of the 2017 SCORE Milestone awards given to racers who completed all 2,057.97 dusty, crusty, challenging, grueling and unforgiving SCORE Baja desert racing miles of the four-race season.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. PT for free museum tours, with a cocktail reception starting at 6 p.m. PT, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. PT and the awards at 7:30 p.m. PT. The awards will be streamed live around the world on the Internet through the SCORE Live platform on the SCORE website. Additional information is available at www.score-international.com.
TOP THREE FINAL OVERALL LEADERS
With a season-high 382 points in the SCORE overall point standings, Lopez came from behind to pace the top three season point leaders that were separated by just nine points at the end. Second in overall points and winning the Class 10 season championship was Broc Dickerson, the 16-year old rookie SCORE racer from Brawley, Calif., with 375 points and three consecutive class victories to open the season in the No. 1023 Alumi Craft-Chevy.
Third overall and second in 2017 SCORE Trophy Truck season points with 373 points and one 2017 race win in the No. 4 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck was Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., co-owner of RPM Racing.
SCORE point regulations for 2017 has all four-races counting for final points, with three minimum, and one of the four races in the SCORE World Desert Championship that is mandatory to qualify for a class season point championship is for the driver/rider of record to start or finish the SCORE Baja 1000.
SCORE points are calculated on a set amount of start points and finish points for a particular race along with a variable amount for placement points for finishers based on the number of starters within the racer’s class.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK FINAL LEADERS
Lining up behind Lopez and Matney in the final point standings in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 900-horsepower unlimited production trucks were many of the world’s top desert racers. Third was veteran Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., with 359 points in the No. 16 Monster Energy Desert Assassins Chevy Silverado and fourth was Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas with 323 points in the No. 15 Bevly/Wilson Racing Chevy Silverado.
Giving RPM Racing three of the top five point positions in fifth was Germany’s World Rally Championship racer Armin Schwarz with 298 season points in the No. 9 RPM Racing Chevy Silverado.
The second five in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck in the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship final point standing was led by San Diego’s third-generation desert racer Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif., who had 295 points in his No. 23 McMillin Racing Ford F-150. Seventh with 280 points was Denver’s Gary Magness in the No. 45 Mango Racing Ford F-150 and eighth with 256 points was Dan McMillin’s younger brother Luke McMillin in the No. 83 McMillin Racing Ford F-150.
Ninth was Las Vegas’ Troy Herbst with 230 points in the No. 91 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 and 10th with 224 points was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren in the No. 11 Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150.
Besides Lopez winning the SCORE Baja 1000, the other SCORE Trophy Truck race winners in 2017 were MacCachren (SCORE San Felipe 250), Andy McMillin, San Diego, No. 31 TSCO Racing Ford F-150 (SCORE Baja 500) and Matney (Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge).
EIGHT CLASS CHAMPS IN TOP 21 OVERALL
Including Lopez in SCORE Trophy Truck and Dickerson in Class 10, a total of eight classes had at least one racer in the top final 21 SCORE Overall 4-wheel point standings 2017 SCORE World Desert Championships.
The classes in the top 21 final point standings are Pro UTV FI (five racers), SCORE Trophy Truck (four), Trophy Truck Spec (four), Class 10 (three), unlimited Class 1 (two), Class 1/2-1600 (two), along with the class point champions in Class 5-1600 and Class 8.
Besides SCORE Trophy Truck and Class 10, other 2017 class point champions also in the top 21 in the final 2017 SCORE Overall points include Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, fourth overall and Trophy Truck Spec champ with three race wins in the No. 274 Chevy Silverado with 371 points, Roberto Romo, Mexicali, Mexico, who finished seventh overall and won Class 1/2-1600 with two race wins in the No. 1601 Romo-VW with 349 points and Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif., who finished eighth in overall points and captured Pro UTV FI in the No. 2905 Monster Energy Can-Am Maverick X3 with 348 points.
Other 2017 class point champions in the final top 21 SCORE overall points are Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., 11th overall and point champion in the unlimited Class 1 with one race win in the No. 138 Wilson Motorsports Jimco-Chevy with 337 points, Noah Ostanik, Carlsbad, Calif. who 12th overall and Class 8 champion with two race wins and 332 points in the No. 844 Ford F-150 and Tomas Fernandez, Laredo, Texas who finished 16th overall and won Class 5-1600 with two race wins and 322 points in the No. 555 VW Baja Bug.
OVERALL PRO MOTORCYCLE CHAMPION
The 2017 SCORE Overall Motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited point champion was the team led by Francisco Arredondo of Guatemala, who had three class wins season. The team, that includes Shane Esposito, Temecula, Calif. and Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif., had 346 points on the No. 45x BREMEN-Arredondo-Haines Racing Honda CRF450X.
OVERALL PRO UTV CHAMPION
With one race win, one second place, one 12th place and one 10th place finish in his class this year, Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif., is the Pro UTV overall point champion as well as the Pro UTV FI class for forced induction engines. Burnett had 348 points in the Pro UTV FI class in his No. 2905 Monster Energy Can-Am Maverick X3.
Burnett won the Pro UTV overall and Pro UTV FI class by tiebreaker over Brandon Schueler, Phoenix, who had 348 points as well in the No. 2919 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. Schueler had one race win, two third place finishes and one 18th place finish.
Undefeated with four class wins in 2017, Said Sanchez, Tijuana, Mexico led his team of riders to the championship in the Pro Quad class with 340 points on the No. 13a Honda TRX450R.
Besides Hanna (Trophy Truck Spec), Dickerson (Class 10) and Arredondo (Pro Moto Unlimited) the other racers who won their respective classes in three races this year on their way to their season point championships were Jose Carrasco, Rosarito Beach, Mexico (Pro Moto Ironman, Yamaha YZ450F) and Jano Montoya, Winter Garden, Fla. (Pro Moto 40, KTM 450XCW).
MORE PRO CLASS POINT CHAMPIONS
Among the other 2017 SCORE class point champions in the SCORE World Desert Championship in Pro car/truck/UTV classes were Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va., who won the SCORE TT Legend class in the No. 5L RPM Racing Rally Diesel-Dodge with one race win, Dan Chamlee, Summerland, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Don Whittington, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Pro UTV, Polaris RZR XP1000), Rafael Aguirre, Monterrey, Mexico (SCORE Lites, Foddrill-VW with one race win), Marco Gonzalez, Glendale, Calif. (Baja Challenge, BTC-Subaru with one race win) and Dennis Hollenbeck, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan with one race win).
Other class champions in Pro motorcycle classes included Santiago Creel, Mexico City, Mexico (Pro Moto Limited, KTM 350EXC with two race wins), Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif. (Pro Moto 30, Yamaha WR450 with two race wins), Robert Gates, Victorville, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, Honda CRF450X with one race win and three second place finishes) and Donald Lewis, Manchester, Conn. (Pro Moto 60, Honda CRF450X).
MULTI CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS
While everyone else was capturing their first, 11 of the 2017 SCORE class season point champions have now won at least two season titles in their respective careers.
Jeff Kaplan (co-rider for Robert Gates) earned his 15th career class championship, second most in SCORE history. Dan Chamlee captured his 13th career Class 7 title, Lou Franco (co-rider for Robert Gates) now has 12 crowns, Clyde Stacy won his class for the ninth time, while Elias Hanna and Francisco Septien (co-rider for Jano Montoya) each picked up their sixth titles and Donald Lewis won his fifth.
Each earning their third career SCORE class crowns in 2017 were Marc Burnett and Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez and grabbing their second career class crowns were Jano Montoya and Noah Ostanik.
The 2017 Sportsman motorcycle point champion was Miguel Pena, Tijuana, Mexico with one win and 261 points on the No. 253x Honda CRF450R. Winning the Sportsman Quad division with two race wins and 287 points was the team led by Juan Dominguez, Yuma, Ariz., on the No. 109a Honda TRX450R.
KING SHOCK ZONE
King Shocks, SCORE’s Official Shock Absorber, offered a special contingency cash prize for three of races again this year. The winner with the fastest time through a specific section of each race on corrected elapsed time earns the choice of either a $4,000 cash prize or $5,000 in credit for King Shocks parts or service.
Winning the first King Shock Zone award for this year at the SCORE San Felipe 250 was San Diego’s Luke McMillin, San Diego, in the No. 83 McMillin Racing Ford F-150.
Winning the 2017 King Shock Zone award for the SCORE Baja 500 was Germany’s Armin Schwarz in the No. 9 RPM Racing Chevy Silverado.
Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, who was the overall winner of this year’s historic 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, also won the King Shock Zone award for the season-finale of the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Qualified vehicles were equipped exclusively with King Race Shocks and contingency decals were placed on the vehicles as required.
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 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. The Las Vegas event will air at 2 p.m. PT on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 and the race show will air at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018.
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 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.
2017 SCORE World Desert Championship Final Point Leaders
(After 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Nov. 12-18)
2017 SCORE World Desert Championship Final Class Point Leaders
(following all 4 races. DOR/ROR must have started or finished minimum of three races; one must have been SCORE Baja 1000)
(Qualified racers by Class, Driver/Rider of record, Hometown, Vehicle make/model, Points; Class wins in parenthesis)
(*Indicates racer who did not qualify for season point championship; Classes listed had at least one qualifying racer)
Pro Cars, Trucks, UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK—1. Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck (1), 382; 2. Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn./Josh Daniel, Vista, Calif., Chevy Rally Truck (1), 373; 3. Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 359; 4. Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 323; 5. Armin Schwarz, Austria (Germany)/Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico, Chevy Silverado, 298; 6. Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif., Ford F-150, 295; 7. Gary Magness, Denver, Ford F-150, 280; 8. Luke McMillin, San Diego, Ford F-150, 256; *9. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Brett Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Ford F-150, 230; 10. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (1), 224; 11. Eric Hustead, St. George, Utah, Ford F-150; 12. (TIE) Robbie Pierce, Lakeside, Calif., Ford F-150 AND *Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., 211; 14. Larry Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio/Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 194; 15. (TIE) Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/P.J. Jones, Scottsdale, Ariz., Ford F-150 AND Chris Miller, LaJolla, Calif., Toyota Tundra, 188; *17. Mark Post, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 168, *18. Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor, *19. Justin Lofton, Brawley, Calif., Ford Raptor, 159; *20. Andy McMillin, San Diego, Ford F-150 (1), 153; *21. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Toyota Tundra, 136.
CLASS 1— 1. Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif./Kyle Quinn, Irvine, Calif., Jimco-Chevy (1), 337; 2. Al Torres, El Centro, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 323; 3. Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy (1), 258; 4. Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif./Danny Ebberts, Menifee, Calif., Jefferies-Chevy (1), 205; 5. Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va./Christyan Samano, Ensenada, Mexico, Tatum-Chevy, 194. ALSO: 8. Morgan Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Kory Halopoff, Anaheim, Calif., Mason-Chevy, 160;10. Jon Walker, Tamuning, Guam, Kreger-Chevy (1), 139.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC—1. Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, Chevy Silverado (3), 371; 2. Chad Broughton, Scotts Valley, Calif., BajaLite-Chevy, 338; 3. John Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Luke Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Mason-Chevy (1), 322; 4. Lee Banning, Laveen, Ariz., Geiser-Chevy, 308; 5. Chelsea Magness, Denver/Steve Knudson, Denver, Mango-Ford, 258; 6. Brian Goldstein, Beverly Hills, Calif., Mason-Chevy, 249; 7. Jonathan Brenthel, Newport Beach, Calif., Brenthel-Chevy, 225; *8. Gerardo Iribe, Rosarito, Mexico, Chevy Silverado, 148; *9. Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas, Ford Raptor, 145; 10. (TIE) Craig Christy, Burbank, Calif., Brenthel-Chevy AND *Bryce Swaim, El Cajon, Calif., Ford Raptor, 140.
CLASS 10—1. Broc Dickerson, Brawley, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy (3), 375; 2. Cody Reid, Apple Valley, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif., Jefferies-Chevy (1), 364; 3. Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., Custom-Chevy, 263; 4. Clay Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif., LMS-Chevy, 247; 5. Reinaldo Varela, Sao Paolo, Brazil, ESM-Honda, 242; 6. Kevin Price, Fremont, Calif., Tatum-Chevy, 223; 7. Dimas Diaz, Monterrey, Mexico, Curry-Chevy, 218; 8. Steve Baron, Selma, Ore., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 210; 9. Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 208; 10. Chip Prescott, Fallbrook, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 206; 11. Justin Buckley, Long Beach, Calif., Racer-Chevy, 177; ALSO: 22. J.J. Schnarr, Reno, Nev., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 112.
CLASS 8—1. Noah Ostanik, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford F-150 (2), 332; 2. Spencer Morgan, Chatanooga, Tenn., Ford F-150, 119: ALSO: *3. David Westhem, Tahoe City, Calif., Chevy C1500 (1), 128; *6. Rick Sanchez, San Vicente, Mexico, Ford F-150 (1), 85.
CLASS 1/2-1600—1. Roberto Romo, Mexicali, Mexico/Cody Robinson, El Centro, Calif., Romo-VW (2), 349; 2. Oscar Alvarez, McAllen, Texas, Romo-VW, 312; 3. Rick Boyer, Bakersfield, Calif., Lothringer-VW, 289. ALSO: *19. Cesar Fiscal, Tijuana, Mexico, Romo-VW; 9. Jorge Sampietro, Ensenada, Mexico/Esteban Sampietro, Ensenada/Misael Arambula, Tijuana, Mexico, Romo-V W (1), 85.
SCORE LITES—1. Rafael Aguirre, Monterrey, Mexico, Foddrill-VW (1), 287; 2. Miguel Bonilla, Hermosilla, Mexico, Jimco-VW, 245; 3. Javier Buelna, Mexicali, Mexico/Luvian Voelker, Mexicali, Mexico, Chenowth-VW, 233; 4. Matias Arjona IV, Ensenada, Mexico/Matias Arjona III, Ensenada, Mexico, Mirage-VW, 214; 5. Juan Gallo C., Scappoose, Ore., Montes-VW, 170; 6. Martin Lizarraga, Tijuana, Mexico, Venegas-VW, 150; *7. Freddie Willert, El Cajon, Calif., Jimco-VW (1), 133. ALSO: *12. Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif./Ramon Bio, Spring Valley, Calif., Prill-VW (1), 71.
CLASS 5—1. Luis Lopez, Mexicali, Mexico/Victor Cesena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, VW Baja Bug (1), 216. ALSO: *2. Kevin Carr, San Diego, VW Baja Bug (1), 127; 4. Mark McNeil, Tijuana, Mexico, VW Baja Bug (1), 65.
CLASS 7—1. Dan Chamlee, Santa Barbara, Calif., Ford Ranger, 285; 2. Mark Johnson, Riverside, Calif./Norris Brown, Jackson, Wyo., Honda Rdgeline (1), 278; *3. Jeff Proctor, Glendora, Calif., Honda Ridgeline, 203; 4. Al Hogan, Columbus, Mont., Ford Ranger (1), 131; 7. Brandon, Walsh, Encinitas, Calif., Toyota Tundra, 115. ALSO: *8. Daniel Reyes, Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Ranger (1), 98; *9. Dallas Luttrell, Salt Lake City, Utah, Chevy Truck (1), 88.
PRO UTV—1. Don Whittington, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Bill Whittington, Scottsdale, Ariz., Polaris XP1000, 298; 2. Kristen Matlock, Alpine, Calif./Josh Row, El Cajon, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4 1000 (1), 273. 3. J.T. Holmes, Reno, Nev., Polaris XP1000 (1), 178; 4. Paul Champion, Phoenix/Justin Smith, Phoenix, Polaris RZR XP1000 (1), 155. ALSO: *6. Dan Fresh, Santa Ana, Calif., Polaris RZR XP1000 (1), 137.
CLASS 5-1600—1. Tomas Fernandez, Laredo, Texas (Mexico), VW Baja Bug (2), 322; 2. Rodolfo Martinez, Ensenada, Mexico, VW Baja Bug, 244; 3. Hector Hurtado, Tijuana, Mexico, VW Baja Bug, 233; 4. Jorge Gutierrez, El Cajon, Calif./Miguel De La Mora, Westminister, Calif., VW Baja Bug (1), 157. ALSO: *5. Gustavo Avina, Ensenada, Mexico, VW Baja Bug (1), 132.
CLASS 3—1. Ken Leavitt, Jerome, Idaho, Ford Bronco (1), 135. ALSO: 2. Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif., Ford Bronco (1), 125.
BAJA CHALLENGE—1. Marco Gonzales, Glendale, Calif./Michael Gonzales, Glendora, Calif., BTC-Subaru (1), 256. ALSO: *2. Bud Pecoy, W. Des Moines, Iowa/Rolf Helland, Morris, Ill., BTC-Subaru (1), 178; *3. Brian Finch, Hermitage, Tenn., BTC-Subaru (1), 132.
CLASS 7SX—1. Gerardo Novelo O., Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Ranger, 186; ALSO *Alonso Gonzalez, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Ranger (1), 202.
CLASS 11—1. Dennis Hollenbeck, Ensenada, Mexico, VW Sedan (1), 275; 2. Pancho Bio, Spring Valley, Calif./Hector Sarabia, Ensenada, Mexico (2), 241; 3. Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico, VW Sedan (1), 164; 4. Art Penner, Canada, VW Sedan, 151.