BAJA 1000: More than a race… it’s an epic adventure |
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    BAJA 1000: More than a race… it’s an epic adventure

    SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark,

    October 12, 2020

    Race week Nov. 17-22

    BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000,
    presented by 4 Wheel Parts
    More than a race… it’s an epic adventure


    Pre-running opens Oct. 24 on challenging 934.47-mile course in Baja California;
    for iconic season-finale of two-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship;
    Internationally televised event to air domestically on ABC’s World of X Games
    NOTE: A detailed list of all-time celebrity/cross-over racers below text

        ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—As the World Series is to baseball, the Super Bowl to football, the NBA Finals to basketball and the World Cup to soccer, the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 stands as tall at the pinnacle of the motorsports world today as it did when it began 53 years ago.
    The SCORE Baja 1000 is at the pinnacle of motorsports as the most iconic, oldest, prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
    It’s the oldest and most well-known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver and/or rider. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious, majestic Baja California peninsula every year except 1974 when an international fuel crisis forced a cancellation.
    2019 FLASHBACK
    Last year’s epic 52nd anniversary race started and finished in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico covering much of the northern part of the majestic Baja California peninsula for 800.5 grueling miles. It was the 52nd anniversary of the race shrouded in mystery that continues to lure the world’s best racers and adventurers from around the globe who all continue to share the dream to conquer the Baja.
    A total of 264 starters, competing in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads were part of last year’s annual odyssey. Racers came from 39 U.S. States and 22 countries. There were 145 official finishers in 2019.
    Moving ahead, in 2020 the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, will be another long loop race starting and finishing under strict BioSecurity health and safety protocols in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, ‘the off-road capital of the world’. This year’s Granddaddy of All Desert Races will be held Nov. 17-22. The rugged race route covers 934.47 miles, the longest in the history of this even when it is a loop race.
    Racer entry applications are now available at under Race Info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page. Questions should be directed to SCORE Registration and Membership Director Audreonna Garcia at 775. 852.8907 or Online racer entry applications will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 6.
    The SCORE Baja 1000 has captured the imagination of the entire world as entries have come not only from every state in the United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories Guam and Puerto Rico, but also has attracted racers from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, Yugoslavia as well as the host country of Mexico.
    Over the years, SCORE races have been televised in more than 100 nations worldwide.
    The first known record run occurred in 1962. Dave Ekins and Bill Robertson Jr. timed their trip from Tijuana to La Paz on a pair of Honda 250 motorcycles. Ekins made it in 39 hours, 54 minutes, Robertson in less than an hour slower. There were no official timers, of course, and to establish that they had made the trip, the two motorcycle racers time-stamped a sheet of paper in the Tijuana telegraph office and time-stamped it again at the telegraph office when they arrived in La Paz. They began their journey at midnight in Tijuana.
    Capitalizing on the pioneer effort of Ekins and Robertson, Chevrolet commissioned car builder Bill Stroppe to prepare a small fleet of trucks for the run to La Paz. Late that year they left Long Beach, Calif., and all of them reached La Paz. Advertising and publicity campaigns heralded the feat as “the roughest run under the sun.”
    Enthusiast Ed Pearlman founded the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) and established the Mexican 1000. It started officially in Tijuana on October 31, 1967 with 68 entries. They actually motored at leisure speeds to Ensenada and restarted the next day, finishing in La Paz.
    NORRA continued to organize the Mexican 1000, which came to be known as the Baja 1000. In 1968, Pearlman moved the start of the race to Ensenada, where it stayed with one exception until 1993. In 1972 NORRA started at Mexicali and ran the first half of the race down the east coast of the peninsula through the treacherous Three Sisters section. Pre-running for this race, Parnelli Jones and Walker Evans were among a group of competitors who nearly got swept out to sea during a tropical storm.
    NORRA’s last race was in 1972. At that point, Mexican officials revoked NORRA’s permits to stage races in Baja. In 1973, a domestic group called the Baja Sports Committee produced the race.
    After the fuel crisis of 1974 forced local officials to cancel the event, SCORE International, founded by the late Mickey Thompson and headed soon after by Sal Fish (until 2012), was invited by the northern state of Baja California to hold the race in 1975. The SCORE Baja 1000 became a loop event starting and finishing in Ensenada.
    In 1979, the government of Baja California Sur granted permission to resume the Ensenada-to-La Paz format and SCORE has used this route intermittently ever since.
    The 1979 race was notable for Walker Evans’ overall win in a Dodge truck, the first truck to win the overall title of the race.
    In its first 52 years, the SCORE Baja 1000 has started 45 times in Ensenada, three times in Mexicali (1972, 1993, 1994), twice in Tijuana (1967, 1995) once in Santo Tomas (1998) and once in Ojos Negros (1999). The legendary race has finished in Ensenada 26 times, in La Paz 21 times, in Mexicali two times (1993, 1994), twice in Cabo San Lucas (2000, 2007) and once in Ojos Negros (1999).
    The famous and not-so-famous have tried their hand at conquering the Baja and they have come from all walks of life. Mark Thatcher, son of Great Britain’s then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, raced in the 1982 SCORE Baja 1000. Celebrities James Garner, Ted Nugent and the late Steve McQueen all battled the Baja in the early 1970s and many racers from other forms of motorsports crossed over to try their skills.
    Among the drivers from other arenas who have tested the Baja were Indy Car racers Rick and Roger Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Ongias, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Buddy Rice, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Oriol Servia, Roberto Guerrero, Michel Jourdain Jr., Johnny Unser and Mike and Robbie Groff, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Casey Mears, Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, Formula-1 champion Jenson Button, motocross, stadium, short-course Formula-E desert Racer Sara Price, SCCA legend Elliot Forbes-Robinson, World Rally Championships’ Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera, Dakar Rally Champions Cyril Despres, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Ricky Brabec and Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen, Formula Drift and Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen, Pikes Peak motorcycle champ Carlin Dunne, world motorcycle champions Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler and Destry Abbott, Motocross legends Ricky Johnson and Jeremy McGrath, XGames star Travis Pastrana, iconic motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli, drag racers Don Prudhomme and Larry Minor and legendary SCORE founder and motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
    The late Academy Award winning actor, racer and race team owner Paul Newman raced in the 2004 event. Jesse James, of ‘Monster Garage’ fame, and Hollywood film and TV star Patrick Dempsey both have raced in this classic several times. Noted TV Producer John Langley is a regular in the SCORE World Desert Championship.
    This year’s race will commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson, and Larry Roeseler. Hall, who passed away in 2019 at 81, retired with an unbelievable record of 25 class wins (including one overall win in 1969), and was the only racer who competed in the first 50 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Bishop, now also deceased was the only racer who competed in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races all on a motorcycle.
    Johnson, now retired, had 15 class wins, amazingly in eight different classes.
    Roeseler, has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007), driving with the youngest of three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’. Roeseler is the only racer in the history of the event to win the overall 4-wheel in a truck and also in a car as well as the overall 2-wheel title.
    In 2008, Roeseler split the driving with driver of record/team owner Roger Norman when they were the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck champions and the pair was second in 2009. In 2010, Roger Norman drove solo the length of the peninsula and finished third overall. This year Roeseler will be the second driver for Luke McMillin in SCORE Trophy Truck.
    Special history was also made in 2010 when the father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola Sr and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr drove to the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory to become the first Mexican nationals’ team to win the legendary race and it was a peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.
    That landmark was reached again during the 50th anniversary when Mexico’s Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez and his father Juan C. Lopez split the driving to win the mammoth 2017 peninsula run from Ensenada to la Paz.
    In 2019, Mexico’s brothers Allan and Aaron Ampudia became the third team of Mexican nationals to earn the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck win in the Ensenada loop race.
    Lured by the same siren that enraptured the Ekins brothers in the 1950s, the SCORE Baja 1000 remains as the No. 1 target of adventurers the world over, not to mention the cadre of pro and semi-pro desert racers who consider it the fitting climax to their racing season each year.

    All-Time SCORE Baja 1000 Celebrity Watch


    Famous Personalities who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 include:

    ANDREAS AIGNER—Austrian 2008 World Rally Championship Production Car champion
    NASSER AL-ATTIYAH—Dakar Rally overall champion from Qatar
    STEVE APPLETON—Late CEO and President of Micron Technology, stunt-plane pilot
    FRANK ARCIERO JR.–off-road racer, developer, Winery owner, former CART team owner
    FRANCISCO ARREDONDO—International motorcycle rally racer from Guatemala
    JACK ARUTE–Sports TV personality
    SCOTT ATCHISON—former IndyCar driver
    HUBERT AURIOL–multiple winner of the Grenada-to-Dakar Rally
    BOBBY BALDWIN—President/CEO of the Mirage Resorts, former World Series of Poker Champion
    GAYLE BANKS—Land Speed Record Holder
    JAMIE BESTWICK—Legendary British BMX racer who won nine straight X Games BMX Vert gold medals
    RON BISHOP—Only person who raced in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races a motorcycle
    KEN BLOCK—Co-founder of DC Shoes, Pro Rally racer, X Games star
    SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS—2004 and 2005 Champ Car World Series season champ from France
    RICKY BRABEC—2019 Dakar Rally motorcycle champion and SCORE Baja 1000 race winner
    BUD BRUTSMAN—show creator and TV producer of ‘Rides’ and ‘Overhaulin’
    CHRIS BUNCOMBE, former LeMans 24 Hour class winner and global rally racer from England
    JENSON BUTTON—2009 Formula 1 champion
    JEAN CALVIN–former world class professional figure skater
    SHANNON CAMPBELL—Hall of Fame rock Crawling champion
    ERIK CARLSSON–world champion rallye driver
    PAT MOSS CARLSSON–Erik’s wife/co-driver, sister of race driver Stirling Moss
    LANCE CLIFFORD—Rock Crawling champion
    ANDREW COMRIE-PICARD—North American Rally racer, 2010 X-games medalist
    LARRY CONNOR—prominent Ohio businessman, two-time national sports car racing champion
    JESSI COMBS—TV sports personality, moto/car/truck racer
    DAN COOK—Professional Fly Fisherman
    SANTIAGO CREEL—International motorcycle rally racer from Mexico
    TARA DAKIDES—snowboarding legend
    WALLY DALLENBACH SR—former open-wheel racer and CART Chief Steward
    WALLY DALLENBACH JR—veteran open-wheel, Pike’s Peak Hill Climb, NASCAR racer, TV personality
    PATRICK DEMPSEY—Film and TV star (Grey’s Anatomy)
    CYRIL DESPRES—2007 Dakar Rally Overall motorcycle champion
    BROC DICKERSON—Short course racer turned desert racer
    DOMINIC DOBSON—German-born former CART, NASCAR Truck Series and IMSA sports car star
    CARLIN DUNNE—three-time Pike’s Peak Hill Climb motorcycle champion
    KERRY EARNHARDT—NASCAR Racer, Son of the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt
    TERRY EARWOOD—An instructor with the Skip Barber Racing School who has also won championships in NHRA drag racing and IMSA road racing
    BOBBY FERRO—Noted Hollywood Stunt driver
    BRIAN FINCH—Autocross racer, road racer and TV personality
    TANNER FOUST—Pro Rally racer, X Games Gold medalist, Formula Drifting Champion, Hollywood Stunt driver
    CHIP FOOSE—Star of TV’s Overhaulin’
    GREG FOSTER—veteran Formula 1 powerboat racer
    LOU FRANCO—noted Hollywood Stunt driver/rider
    GARY GABELICH–Land Speed Record holder
    JAMES GARNER–movie/TV star
    JOSELE GARZA–Mexico’s only Indianapolis 500 “rookie of the year”
    JOHN CLARK GABLE–movie actor and son of famed actor Clark Gable
    JAMIE GALLES, former Trans Am and Toyota Atlantic racer whose family was a long-time IndyCar team owner
    MICHAEL GAUGHAN—Prominent Las Vegas Hotel/Casino owner
    BRENDAN GAUGHAN–NASCAR Cup Series/Xfinity Series/NASCAR Truck racer whose roots are in desert racing
    CHAD GILSINGER–2010 champion of the SCCA National Runoffs Championship
    ROBBY GORDON–former CART and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver/team owner
    MIKE GROFF—former IRL driver
    ROBBIE GROFF—former IRL driver
    ROBERTO GUERRERO—former IndyCar and Formula 1 veteran
    ROD HALL–25 class victories (one overall)–Only person who has raced in EVERY SCORE Baja 1000
    PETE HALSMER–former Indianapolis 500 driver, IMSA GT and Super Vee champion
    LAIRD HAMILTON—Surfing legend
    IKUO HANAWA—Pike’s Peak Hill Climb record-setting champion in electric race car
    VIC HICKEY–land speed racing and off-road racing pioneer
    DERRICK HILL—veteran of several open-wheel pavement series, son of the late Formula1 Champion Phil Hill
    SAMUEL HUBINETTE—two-time Formula Drift champion from Switzerland, professional stunt driver
    RYAN HUNTER-REAY—veteran open-wheel racer and IndyCar champion
    BRIAN ICKLER—NASCAR Truck Series driver who returns to his desert racing roots
    JESSE JAMES—Reality TV star (Monster Garage, Jesse James is a Dead Man, etc.)
    BRUCE JENNER—Reality TV star, 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner
    RICKY JOHNSON–third all-time winningest Supercross motorcycle racer, founder of TORC short-course series
    JIMMIE JOHNSON–former motocross star, seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion
    JOHNNY JOHNSON–15 class victories in eight different classes
    STEFAN JOHANSSON—IndyCar racer and team owner
    PARNELLI JONES–1963 Indianapolis 500 winner
    P.J. JONES—Parnelli’s son who has raced open-wheel, sprint cars and NASCAR
    TRACY JORDAN—Rock Crawling pioneer with championships in three different series
    BERNARDO JOURDAIN–Mexican IndyCar driver
    MICHEL JOURDAIN Jr.–Mexican IndyCar and NASCAR driver
    HISASHI KITAMURA—International Enduro motorcycle racer from Japan
    ARMIN KREMER—German Rally champion and veteran World Rally Championship driver
    JOHN LANGLEY—award-winning Television producer (COPS), has star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
    JOE LOMBARDO—noted Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada
    DARREN LAW—GT Prototype racer
    KYLE LeDUC—second generation desert racer, five-time Pro-4 short-course off-road champion
    ROD LEWIS—Prominent Texas energy (oil) businessman, prominent international air-racing pilot
    KEN LOSCH–Former SCCA Formula Mazda racer and Indy Pro Series owner/driver
    BRAD LOVELL—multi-time Rock Crawling champion, short course off-road racer
    ROGER LOVELL—Rock Crawling champion, short course off-road racer along with brother Brad
    MORGAN LUCAS—NHRA Top Fuel drag racer
    JUSTIN LOFTON—2009 ARCA champion, NASCAR Truck Series racer
    KYLE LOZA–Freestyle MX, XGames Gold medalist
    GARY MAGNESS—Hollywood film producer and international businessman
    JEREMY McGRATH—former legendary supercross MX star
    HERSHEL McGRIFF–first Carrera Panamericana winner and stock car champion
    ROB MacCACHREN—8-time SCORE class champ, Stadium and Short Course racing champion, six-time AARWBA All-America,  over 300 career race wins in desert, short-course and stadium won three straight SCORE Baja 1000 races (2014, 2015, 2016)
    MIKE ‘MOUSE’ MCCOY—SCORE race champion, noted Hollywood stunt driver, star of Dust to Glory, 2005
    CHRIS MacCLUGAGE—legendary IJSBA personal watercraft racing world champion
    ANDY McMILLIN—Third generation McMillin Family racer-Corky’s grandson, five-time overall winner of the SCORE Baja 1000
    CORKY McMILLIN—Founder-Corky McMillin Cos, patriarch of first SCORE 3-generation team, multiple Baja wins
    MARK McMILLIN—Corky’s son, San Diego developer; 8 class wins, including 5 overall in SCORE Baja 1000
    TYLER McQUARRIE—Formula Drift racing star, veteran of numerous racing disciplines, driving instructor
    CHAD McQUEEN—actor and son of Steve McQueen
    STEVE McQUEEN–movie and TV star
    CASEY MEARS—NASCAR Cup racer, former desert racer, son of off-road star Roger Mears
    RICK MEARS–4-time Indy 500 winner; younger brother of former off-road star Roger Mears
    ROGER MEARS—1991 AARWBA All-America racer, desert racing legend, 2020 ORMHoF Inductee, Indy Car Racer
    SHEKHAR MEHTA–4-time winner of East African Safari
    BRUCE MEYERS–originator of the Meyers Manx, world’s first desert race car (dune buggy)
    MIKE METZGER—godfather of Freestyle MX
    AK MILLER–American hot rodding and off-road racing patriarch
    ROD MILLEN—Pikes Peak Hill Climb Record Holder, rally racer, Stadium racing champion
    RHYS MILLEN—Rod’s son, Formula D Drifting racing National Champion, precision Hollywood Stunt driver
    RYAN MILLEN—Rod’s son, accomplished Formula Drift racer
    RICH MINGA—1987 SCORE Overall Point Champion, noted Hollywood stunt driver
    LARRY MINOR—former drag racer and team owner
    DANNY MODER—noted film cinematographer with over 20 on his filmography
    PAULA MURPHY–one-time ‘world’s fastest woman’ racer
    MICHAEL NESMITH–TV actor/musician “Monkees”; pioneer producer of CD music
    PAUL NEWMAN—Actor, race car driver, philanthropist
    GUNNAR NILSSON–Formula 1 driver
    SERGIO NOLASCO–owner of Mexico’s finest Formula 3 road racing team
    AARON NORRIS–motion picture and TV producer; brother of actor Chuck Norris
    ERIC NORRIS—former NASCAR touring series driver, TV stunt coordinator, son of actor Chuck Norris
    MARCO NOVELO—Mayor of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
    TED NUGENT–rock ‘n’ roll singing star
    DANNY ONGAIS–motorcycle, drag racing, road racing and Indy 500 racer
    PAUL PAGE—Motorsports TV commentator
    TED PAPPAS–Indy 500 racer
    TRAVIS PASTRANA—Freestyle MX, Supercross star, X Games Superstar
    BOBBY PATTON—Part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers
    CHRIS PAULSEN—Former Indy Car crew chief, owner of C&R Racing, columnist for National Speed Sport News
    ROBBIE PIERCE—Former owner of MasterCraft and Impact, now Jimco owner, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee
    SAM POSEY–international race driver and motorsports TV commentator
    GLEN PLAKE—Two-Time World Champion Hot Dog Skier
    SARA PRICE—Motocross, stadium, short-course and Formula E desert racers
    TOBY PRICE—champion factory motorcycle rally racer, Dakar champion
    DON PRUDHOMME–legendary drag racer
    GASTON RAHIER–former Paris-to-Dakar rally champion
    DARON RAHLVES—legendary three-time U.S. Olympic downhill skier
    DYLAN RATIGAN—host of CNBC’s ‘Bullseye’ show
    BUDDY RICE—2004 Indianapolis 500 winner
    ELLIOTT FORBES-ROBINSON—legendary SCCA sports car racer
    LARRY ROESELER–legendary motorcycle rider with an amazing 13 overall wins in SCORE Baja 1000
    ALEXANDER ROSSI—2016 Indy 500 champ as a rookie, IndyCar racer, former Formula 1 driver
    BORIS SAID—NASCAR driver and Trans Am racing star
    ARMIN SCHWARZ—Seven-time World Rally Championship race winner
    ORIOL SERVIA—IndyCar star from Spain
    BON SINCLAIR–president of Volvo Automobile of America
    GAY SMITH–Pike’s Peak Hill Climb champion
    MALCOLM SMITH–off-road motorcycle champion and star of movie, “On Any Sunday”
    CAMERON STEELE—Motorsports & Action Sports TV commentator, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer
    NELSON STEWART—Former Sprint Car racer, father of NASCAR star Tony Stewart
    DAYMON STOKIE—Australian motocross champion
    DANNY SULLIVAN—1987 Indianapolis 500 champion
    ROBERT SUTTON—President/CEO of Centrix Financial
    TARA DAKIDES—prominent professional snowboarder
    MARK THATCHER–son of England’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher
    MAX THIERIOT—second generation desert racer, Hollywood movie and TV actor with 15 films to his credit, currently starring role in CBS TV’s SEAL TEAM
    DANNY THOMPSON—Son of SCORE founder Mickey Thompson, former stadium off-road racer
    MICKEY THOMPSON–hot rodding and off-road racing pioneer, SCORE founder
    ROLF TIBBLIN–world’s only motocross champion in three classes–500, 250 and 125cc
    J.R. TODD—NHRA Top Fuel drag racer
    JUGATSU TOI–Japanese novelist
    KYLE TUCKER– Autocross champion
    JOHNNY UNSER—Indy car racer, first from his racing family to drive in the race
    JIMMY VASSER–CART champion driver
    STEPHAN VERDIER—Former Pro Skier, Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner, Formula Drift racer, RallyCross Racer
    GUS VILDOSOLA JR—Prominent Mexican businessman who with his father Gus Sr became the first Mexican nationals to win the overall title in the race in 2010
    BILL WEBBER—legendary long-time motorsports TV announcer
    CAL WELLS III–NASCAR team owner who has also owned off-road and Indy Car teams
    BILL WHITTINGTON—former Indy Car racer
    DON WHITTINGTON—former Indy Car racer
    BEKKI FREEMAN-WIK—Top female racer in SCORE History, 3-time SCORE Baja 1000 champ
    JOHN ZINK–creator of Indy’s famed ‘laydown cars’