Baja Fireworks–SCORE World Desert Championship, Part 2 –

Baja Fireworks–SCORE World Desert Championship, Part 2


February 10, 2021


Ivan Stewart drove solo in a Toyota truck to overall,
Hamel & Davis rode Kawasaki to victory in 1994 race
2021 SCORE World Desert Championship to open April 14-18 in San Felipe
CHECK: for latest race information

ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – (While the world continues its ferocious fight against the vicious virus called COVID-19, SCORE continues its preparation to launch its four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship. Included in the advance is a special series of features on the first race which is called SCORE Baja Fireworks—SCORE San Felipe 250, Part Two).
While SCORE International is launching its 48th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, its shortest race is also its ‘newest’ race as SCORE prepares to start the season with the 34th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford.
The youngest of the SCORE Triple Crown of Baja behind its older siblings the SCORE Baja 1000 (started in 1967) and the SCORE Baja 500 (started in 1969), ‘Baby Baja’ is held along the shores of the Sea of Cortez on the east side of the Baja Peninsula, the SCORE San Felipe 250 was held for the first time in 1982.
The season-opening event of the four-race internationally-televised 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held April 14-18 in San Felipe, the serene village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. All four 2021 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the sixth consecutive year.
Ever the creative innovator, then SCORE owner Sal Fish launched in 1994 what would become the world’s premiere desert-racing class—SCORE Trophy Truck—for high-tech, 950-horsepower unlimited custom trucks. The Monsters of the Desert ran in their own series (Tecate Trophy Truck Series) in conjunction with what was then called the SCORE Desert Series for four years (1994-1997) The SCORE Trophy Trucks would race on one day and then all of the classes would race the following day.
Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart won his third straight SCORE Baja race, the SCORE San Felipe 250 SCORE Trophy Truck feature on Friday, Feb. 25, 1994 driving solo in his factory Toyota SR5.
Declaring “I can’t seem to do anything wrong in Mexico,” Stewart stood on his race truck and raised his arms in victory after completing the 248.5-mile race that bounced him over rocks and slid him through sandy silt in four hours, 14 minutes, two seconds for an average speed of 58.69 miles per hour for the overall race victory.
Coupled with the 1993 SCORE Baja 500 and the 1993 SCORE Baja 1000, Stewart completed his ‘hat trick’ in San Felipe.
Finishing second in SCORE Trophy Truck and second overall was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren who drove his Ford F-150 to a finishing time of 4:16:14 for an average speed of 58.19mph, just over two minutes behind Stewart’s winning time.
In third place in SCORE Trophy Truck was Steve Kelley, Irvine, Calif., who limped across the finish line on three tires in 4:42:25 in a Jeep Grand Cherokee with an average speed of 53.17mph.
With the fastest overall time in the motorcycle race and the unlimited Class 22 on Saturday, Feb. 26, 1994 was the tandem of Danny Hamel of Boulder City, Nev. and Ty Davis of Hesperia, Calif. on their factory Kawasaki KX500.
For Hamel, who tragically died in the 1995 SCORE Baja 500, it was his second of three consecutive wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250.
Hamel and Davis teamed for a winning time of 4:20:48, clocking a very respectable average speed of 57.52mph.
Las Vegas’ Pat Dean was the fastest overall vehicle in the race on Saturday, Feb. 26, for all classes except the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck.
Dean flagged in with an elapsed time of 4:16:21 with an average speed of 58.51 mph over the alternately rocky, dusty and silt-laden course.
Dean accomplished the win driving solo in his Porsche-powered 3.5 litre Chenowth open-wheel desert race car over and through all of the treachery the merciless terrain could mount against him and the other competitors.
Ivan Stewart’s eldest son Brian, driving a Dodge Ram gave the family another victory in 1994 by winning Class 8, the full-size truck class with a time of 4:46:52.
In the 1994 SCORE San Felipe 250, there were a total of 180 starters and 120 finishers including the new SCORE Trophy Truck series within a series.
This is a tale of a race told in two parts. It was first run in 1982 for three years through 1984.
It wasn’t held during the first five years in the seven-year run of the combined HDRA/SCORE Desert Racing Series as it resumed in 1990. It almost disappeared after the 1993 race when the combined series split and the SCORE San Felipe 250 had just 82 total starters.
It bounced back though, as all good things in Baja do, climbing to 250 or more starters seven times, including twice with over 300 starters.
The largest starting field was 394 in 2007 when then SCORE owner Sal Fish had to move the race to Ensenada less than two weeks before the race because of disputes between land owners and government officials in San Felipe. That race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas, south of Ensenada.
The largest starting field for the race when it was run in San Felipe was 2006 when 341 vehicles left the start line.
The most finishers in this shortest of the three traditional SCORE Baja races were in 2007 when 288 completed it and 2006 when 220 crossed the finish line within the time limit.
Like all of the SCORE Baja race courses, the SCORE San Felipe 250 has always featured some of the most start, dramatic and awe-inspiring terrain and scenery in the world.  Infamous for its punishment to racer and vehicle, part of the courses has included a whoop section of over 25 miles virtually like driving over a washboard.
Over the years, this race has seen parts of its courses go through several of the legendary Baja washes like Matomi, Huatomote, Chanate, Azufre, Cuevitas and Amarillas.
For many years, the start and finish line area was beneath the fabled San Felipe Arches landmark on the outskirts of town.
From 2016 through 2019, the start/finish line was on the Malecon along the Sea of Cortez in the heart of San Felipe and this year the start/finish line area will be on the grounds of the El Dorado Rancho just north of town. The race was cancelled last year because of the world-wide health pandemic.
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 45 years, received two awards for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. BFGoodrich Tires was honored as the SCORE Contingency Company of the year for the 30th time as well as being voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year for the 32nd time.
BFGoodrich Tires has been the choice of 32 of the 52 overall winners of the popular SCORE Baja 500 and 31 of the 53 overall winners of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. BFGoodrich Tires is also the title sponsor of both of the iconic races again in 2021.
BFGoodrich Tires also has been the choice of 28 of the 33 overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 2000, all three SCORE Desert Challenge races, the SCORE Challenge of Champions in San Felipe, the one SCORE Baja Sur 500 and the inaugural SCORE Baja 400.
BFGoodrich Tires is also the title sponsor for this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250.
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 is Ford, the official vehicle and SUV of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship.
The original SCORE International was founded in 1973 by the late Mickey Thompson and headed by Sal Fish from 1974 until Fish sold SCORE International on Dec. 20, 2012. SCORE continues as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization. SCORE races feature classes for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads competing in the internationally-televised four-race SCORE World Desert Championship.

Here are the dates for the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship which will all be held in Baja California, Mexico for the sixth consecutive year:

  • BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford—

April 14-18, San Felipe, Mexico

  • BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—

June 9-13, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

  • 2nd SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels—

September 14-19, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

  • BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—

November 15-20, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
For the third straight year, the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship races are airing on the ESPN family of networks. The four-races will air as specials on the World of X Games program on ESPN2.
ABC first covered the 1967 and 1968 Baja 1000 races on the old ABC Wide World of Sports show with Jim McKay and again in the late 1980s with veteran motorsports journalist Sam Posey.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows also continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International. The shows are co-produced by SCORE International and SoCal’s award-winning BCII TV.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Lucerna Hotel.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at

SCORE San Felipe 250 All-Time Starters/Finishers by Year

Total Starters: 232 Total Finishers: 133
Total Starters: 194   Total Finishers: 107
Total Starters: 200  Total Finishers: 113
Total Starters: 264    Total Finishers: 164
Total Starters: 214    Total Finishers: 136
Total Starters: 192    Total Finishers: 117
Total Starters: 82    Total Finishers: 56
Total Starters: 180   Total Finishers: 120
Total Starters: 231    Total Finishers: 130
Total Starters: 200   Total Finishers: 122
Total Starters: 194    Total Finishers: 106
Total Starters: 227   Total Finishers: 143
Total Starters: 234    Total Finishers: 149
Total Starters: 227   Total Finishers: 148
Total Starters: 208    Total Finishers: 135
Total Starters: 235   Total Finishers: 147
Total Starters: 249   Total Finishers: 164
Total Starters: 249   Total Finishers: 149
Total Starters: 269   Total Finishers: 159
Total Starters: 341   Total Finishers: 220
Ensenada to Santo Tomas
Total Starters: 394   Total Finishers: 288
Total Starters: 263   Total Finishers: 181
Total Starters: 226   Total Finishers: 161
Total Starters: 257   Total Finishers: 158
Total Starters: 220   Total Finishers: 145
Total Starters: 207   Total Finishers: 150
Total Starters: 250   Total Finishers: 178
Total Starters: 183   Total Finishers: 142
Total Starters: 149   Total Finishers: 103
Total Starters: 164   Total Finishers: 118
Total Starters: 204   Total Finishers: 143
Total Starters: 246   Total Finishers: 162
Total Starters: 239   Total Finishers: 164

Top Total Starters

Year, Number (Finishers)
1. 2007—394 Starters (288 Finishers)
2. 2006—341 Starters (220 Finishers)
3. 2005—269 Starters (159 Finishers)
4. 1990—264 Starters (164 Finishers)
5. 2008—263 Starters (181 Finishers)
6. 2010—257 Starters (158 Finishers)
7. 2013—250 Starters (178 Finishers)
8. 2003—249 Starters (164 Finishers)
8. 2004—249 Starters (149 Finishers)
10. 2018—246 Starters (162 Finishers)
11. 2019—239 Starters (164 Finishers)
12. 2002—235 Starters (147 Finishers)
13. 1999—234 Starters (149 Finishers)

Top Total Finishers

Year, Number (Starters)
1. 2007—288 Finishers (394 Starters)
2. 2006—220 Finishers (341 Starters)
3. 2008—181 Finishers (263 Starters)
4. 2013—178 Finishers (250 Starters)
5. 1990—164 Finishers (264 Starters)
5. 2003—164 Finishers (249 Starters)
5. 2019—164 Finishers (239 Starters)
8. 2018—162 Finishers (246 Starters)
9. 2009—161 Finishers (226 Starters)
10. 2005—159 Finishers (269 Starters)
11. 2010—158 Finishers (257 Starters)
12. 2012—150 Finishers (207 Starters)
13. 1999—149 Finishers (234 Starters)
13. 2004—149 Finishers (249 Starters)