January 11, 2020
BFGoodrich Tires, Hall, A. McMillin, Matlock, Morgan, Novelo
all major winners at 2019 SCORE Awards Night in San Diego
Dougans wins Engine Builder points,
Geiser takes Original Truck Chassis points, KTM Motorcycle point champion,
Polaris Industries UTV point champ,
Rod Hall presented SCORE Legacy Award posthumously;
47 SCORE Milestone Award winners also honored
SAN DIEGO, Calif., USA—BFGoodrich Tires, Andy McMillin, Wayne Matlock, Fred Willert, Justin Morgan and Gerardo Novelo were among the major winners Saturday night as SCORE International officially concluded the 2019 SCORE World Desert Champioship with the annual SCORE Awards Night gala held for the third straight year at the popular San Diego Air & Space Museum at historic Balboa Park.
SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards were presented in 14 categories along with the 47 winners of the Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Awards, presented by VP Racing Fuels, as well as the overall and class point champions of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 500 racers, crews, families, sponsors, VIPs and news media, the evening was also a celebration of 46 years of SCORE championship desert racing.
“We want to sincerely acknowledge the support, assistance and sacrifices made by family members, friends and sponsors–because without their support, the accomplishments of our racers in the series would not have been possible,” commented Jim Ryan, SCORE Marketing and Sales Director. “Becoming a SCORE overall or class point champion, winning a coveted SCORE Off-Roadsman Award or a Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Award, presented by VP Racing Fuels, is an achievement of the highest degree in our beloved sport.”
The evening included a colorful video tribute to the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship produced by SCORE’s award-winning television producer BCII TV as well as inspiring still photography from SCORE Official photographer GetSome Photo.
2nd SCORE LEGACY AWARD
Also part of the evening will be the presentation of the SCORE Legacy Award posthumously to legendary Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame racer Rod Hall.
Hall passed away on June 14, 2019 after a long battle with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy—a rare brain disorder with similar symptoms as Parkinson’s disease) for his final few years.
Hall was at home with his wife Donna and their family in Reno, Nev. on when he died. Rod was 81 years old and his family reported that he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Originally from Hemet, Calif., Hall was a long-time resident of Reno, Nev. and as not only one of the original desert racers but one of the greatest champions the sport has ever seen.
Hall is the only person who raced in every one of the first 50 SCORE Baja 1000 races ending his career with an unmatchable SCORE-record 25 class wins, earning his final one at the 50th anniversary of the world’s greatest desert race in 2017.
In his long and storied SCORE racing career Hall won 14 SCORE season point championships including the 1974 overall season point championship as well.
Besides his 25 class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000 (including the overall victory in 1969 with Larry Minor), the venerable Hall also had 18 class wins in the SCORE Baja 500, four in the SCORE San Felipe 250, and two each in the SCORE Desert Challenge and in the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Primm 300. He also had 10 class wins in the Mint 400, 10 more in the old SCORE Parker 400 and 12 in the old SCORE Fireworks 250.
Hall was a 2005 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. He also served in many capacities for ORMHOF to help keep the organization moving forward.
SCORE PERSON OF THE YEAR
A SCORE champion racer, Ensenada Tourism entrepreneurial advocate and Mexican Federal Senator for the State of Baja California, Gerardo Novelo was honored as the 2019 SCORE Person of the Year.
Winner in Class 7SX at the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 and the 2018 Class 7SX season point champion, Novelo, 54, from Ensenada, is an active part of the Novelo family that owns the popular Estero Beach Resort on the South end of Ensenada.
A distinguished member of the Mexican Senate he has been a staunch supporter of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship. Novelo was also the catalyst behind November’s implementation of the unprecedented Strategic Tourism Alliance between the Mexican Federal Government and SCORE International.
The unique alliance was announced in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, the day before the start of the BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
BFGOODRICH TIRES ROLLS
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 44 years, received two awards. BFGoodrich Tires was honored as the SCORE Contingency Company of the year for the 29th time as well as being voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year for the 31st time.
BFGoodrich Tires has been the choice of 32 of the 51 overall winners of the popular SCORE Baja 500 and 30 of the overall winners of the iconic SCORE Baja 1000. BFGoodrich Tires also was the title sponsor of the 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 in November.
SCORE OFF-ROADSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
The SCORE Off-Roadsman awards were determined by online vote of SCORE members as well as the general public. Among the other honorees were the class point champions and top class point leaders from the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series.
Second generation desert racer Austin ‘A.J.’ Jones, 23 of Litchfield Park, Ariz. used two race wins and two fourth-place finishes in the ultra-competitive Trophy Truck Spec to draw enough attention to be voted as the 2019 SCORE Rookie of the Year.
Son of 2010 SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion Jesse Jones, A.J. Jones won the season-opening SCORE San Felipe 250 over a field of 29 starters and then capped his season by winning his class in the season-ending SCORE Baja 1000 over 22 starters.
In between he finished fourth in both the SCORE Baja 500 (29 Starters) and the SCORE Baja 400 (25 Starters) to finish second in the Trophy Truck Spec season points, just two points behind class winner Sara Price.
In 2019 Jones drove the No. 279 Geiser Brothers-built Chevy truck to also finish third in the SCORE overall points for the season.
A.J. Jones now joins previous winners of the SCORE top rookie award like Bekki Freeman-Wik, Frank Vessels, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Johnson, Robby Gordon, John Herder, Andy McMillin, Brian Wilson, Luke McMillin, Bryce Menzies, Tony Gera, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Broc Dickerson, Liz Karcz and Chad Broughton.
After building up a huge lead following his tenacious victories in the 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250 and the 51st SCORE Baja 500 along with his second place finish in a brand new race truck at the Inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, San Diego’s ‘youthful’ veteran third-generation desert racer Andy McMillin held on in the season-finale to earn the SCORE Overall and the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship in the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship.
McMillin, 32, who has 11 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins, drove the No. 31 McMillin Motorsports Mason-built all-wheel drive Chevy Silverado and finished with a strong 455 season points after his twin wins, one second place and one 13th place to earn the championship by a comfortable margin of 22 points. Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies shared driving duties with McMillin in the season-ending SCORE Baja 1000.
McMillin Racing was also voted the winners of two SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Awards as Johnny Nelson was selected the SCORE Mechanic of the Year and Greg Williams was picked as the SCORE Team Manager of the Year. It was the first selection for both Nelson and Williams.
Repeating his 2018 SCORE Overall Motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited class point championship by amazingly winning his class and the overall titles in all four races last year as a new team and again this year giving him 11 straight SCORE Baja race wins, Justin Morgan, 29, El Cajon, Calif. won the SCORE Overall Motorcycle point championship and the Pro Moto Unlimited class on his No. 1x SLR Honda CRF450X.
With his regular teammates Mark Samuels, 29, Yucca Valley, Calif. and Justin Jones, 27, Murrieta, Calif., both sidelined with injuries, Morgan topped his third straight championship season by enlisting three different co-riders to win the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 last November. Splitting the riding with Morgan in that race were David Kamo, Caldwell, Idaho, Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif. and Shane Esposito, Temecula, Calif.
Morgan now has three consecutive SCORE class season point titles in his expanding career.
MATLOCK WINS OVERALL UTV
The 2019 overall Pro UTV point champion and winner of his Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class for the second consecutive year was veteran SCORE desert racer Wayne Matlock.
Matlock, 41, Alpine, Calif. had finishes of first, fourth, fifth and second in his No. 2971 Monster Energy Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo to earn his seventh career SCORE season class point crown.
The year of 2019 was another landmark year in the history of SCORE International. A total of nearly 7,000 different drivers/co-drivers, riders/co-riders and from 41 U.S. States and 22 countries participated in the four spectacular races in SCORE World Desert Championship highlighted by the absolutely amazing celebration of the 52 years of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000.
SCORE OVERALL POINT CHAMPS
Leading the parade of 2019 SCORE Desert Series point champions were the four overall titlists—Andy McMillin, San Diego (SCORE Overall, SCORE Overall Truck and SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 31 McMillin Racing Chevy Silverado), Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (SCORE Overall UTV and Pro UTV FI in the No. 2971 Matlock Racing Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo), Hiram Duran, Tecate, Mexico (SCORE Overall Open-Wheel and Class 10 in the No. 1016 Duran Racing Jimco-Chevy) and Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. (SCORE Overall motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited in the No. 1x Monster Energy SLR Honda CRF450X).
It was the first SCORE Overall point championship and first class title for A. McMillin, the seventh season class point championship for Matlock, the third overall Motorcycles title and third class title for Morgan and first time for Duran to capture an overall category title and a second season class title.
SCORE MANUFACTURER POINTS
Manufacturer point titles won were led by Robbie Pierce’s Jimco Racing, winners of the 2019 SCORE Original Open-Wheel Chassis Manufacturer point championship. Based in Santee, Calif., Jimco Racing vehicles were among the top finishers in several SCORE classes in 2019 including the top spots in Class 1, Class 10 and SCORE Lites. It was a record 23rd manufacturer’s point title for the company that was opened in 1975 by the Julson family and was purchased by Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Pierce in 2018.
Founded in 1995, Geiser Brothers Design and Development of Phoenix won the SCORE Original Truck Chassis Manufacturer season point title for the fifth straight year.
After another banner year in the SCORE World Desert Championship in 2019, Ray Field’s Dougans Racing Engines of Riverside, Calif. captured the 2019 SCORE Engine Builder point championship for the fourth time (all in the last five years).
KTM won the SCORE Motorcyle Manufacturer of the Year point title for the fourth time.
In the fifth year decided by points, Polaris Industries won the 2018 SCORE UTV Manufacturer of the Year points for the fifth straight year.
SCORE MILESTONE AWARDS
Another element of the diverse awards program was the presentation of the 2019 Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Awards, presented by VP Racing Fuels. As it has for 34 years, the coveted SCORE Milestone Awards were presented to those drivers who finished all required miles of the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship. A record total of 47 racers completed all 2,025.43 required miles in the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Since 2014 motorcycle and quad classes were eligible for the award along with the pro car, truck and UTV classes.
SCORE STAFF PERSON OF THE YEAR
SCORE General Manager Juan Tintos Funcke presented SCORE President/Race Director Jose Abelardo Grijalva with the 2019 SCORE Staff Person of the Year.
A former racer himself, Grijalva, of Ensenada, oversees the SCORE Ensenada Office in addition to all of his duties in identifying, gaining proper approvals, marking and remarking the official race courses for all of the SCORE races. He also oversees the conduct of each race and reviews and makes decisions regarding protests raised by racers.
“Jose G. is a dedicated, hardworking and extremely confident in handling the myriad responsibilities that is required of his position,” commented Tintos Funcke. “One of his strongest assets is his amiable ability to work so professionally with the racers and the SCORE staff.”
SCORE MEDIA AWARDS
Dan Sanchez, Editor of the popular SCORE Journal digital magazine during its five-year existence and SCORE race programs for the last five years, was voted for the third time as the SCORE Journalist of the Year, while GetSomePhoto (Art Eugenio) earned the SCORE Photographer of the Year honors for the fifth time in the last six years.
Winning the SCORE Videographer of the Year award for the first time was 239 Films (Bobby Gutierrez).
Emcees for the evening and hosts of the live streaming of the celebration were SCORE Live announcer Rat Sult and SCORE Trophy Truck champion racer and TV action sports announcer Cameron Steele.
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 premier sanctioning body in the sport of desert racing. 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 is the four-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
- 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, March 25-29, San Felipe, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 3-7, Ensenada, Mexico
- 2nd SCORE Baja 400, Sept. 16-20, Ensenada, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-21, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur
ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship aired on the ABC family of networks. The four-races air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays on ESPN2.
It marked the return of Baja racing to ABC for the first time since the 1967 and 1968 Baja 1000 races on the old ABC Wide World of Sports show.
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.
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, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel, 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.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of 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 www.SCOREInternational.com.
2019 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Award Winners
2019 SCORE Mechanic of the Year—Johnny Nelson, Andy McMillin Racing
2019 SCORE Contingency Company of the Year—BFGoodrich Tires
2019 SCORE Journalist of the Year—Dan Sanchez, SCORE Journal
2019 SCORE Photographer of the Year—Art Eugenio, GetSomePhoto
2019 SCORE Videographer of the Year—Bobby Gutierrez, 239 Films
*2019 SCORE Original Open-Wheel Chassis Manufacturer of the Year—Jimco Racing (Robbie Pierce)
*2019 SCORE Engine Builder of the Year—Dougans Racing Engines (Ray Field)
*2019 SCORE Original Truck Chassis Manufacturer of the Year—Geiser Bros (Jeff and Rick Geiser)
*2019 SCORE Motorcycle Manufacturer of the Year—KTM Motorcycles
*2019 SCORE UTV Manufacturer of the Year—Polaris Industries
2019SCORE Team Manager of the Year—Greg Williams, Andy McMillin Racing
2019 SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year—BFGoodrich Tires
2019 SCORE Rookie of the Year—Austin ‘A.J.’ Jones, Trophy Truck Spec
2019 SCORE Person of the Year—Gerardo Novelo, Senator for the State of Baja California
SCORE Legacy Award—Rod Hall (posthumously)
*Determined by points; others-online voting
2019 SCORE Class Point Champions
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
*SCORE TROPHY TRUCK—Andy McMillin, San Diego
SCORE TT LEGEND—Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va.
CLASS 1—Mason Cullen, Long Beach, Calif.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC—Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif.
HAMMER TRUCK UNLIMITED—Mike Hales, Rogers, Ark.
CLASS 10—Hiram Duran, Tecate, Mexico
CLASS 7—Dan Chamlee, Montecito, Calif.
CLASS 5—Gerardo Ibarra,Calexico, Calif.
PRO UTV FI—Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif., Calif.
SCORE LITES—Freddie Willert, El Cajon, Calif.
PRO UTV NA—Kaden Wells, St. George, Utah
CLASS 1/2-1600—J. David Ruvalcaba, Ensenada, Mexico
PRO UTV UNLIMITED—Jesus Mendez Jr, Mexicali, Mexico
CLASS 5-1600—Luis Herrera, Granada Hills, Calif.
CLASS 7F—Dave Cole, Corona, Calif.
CLASS 7SX—Mike Lesle, Wildomar, Calif.
CLASS 11—Kent Thygerson, San Diego
PRO MOTO UNLIMITED—Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif.
PRO MOTO LIMITED—Santiago Creel, Mexico City
PRO MOTO 30—Santiago Creel, Mexico City
PRO MOTO 40—Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev.
PRO MOTO 50—Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif.
PRO MOTO IRONMAN—Michael Skurkis, Henderson, Nev.
PRO QUAD—Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico
SPT QUAD—Jovanni Marquez, Los Cabos, Mexico
SPT MOTO—Carlos Silva, Mexicali, Mexico
*Overall Season Point Champion
2019 Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Awards
presented by VP Racing Fuels
(47 car, truck, UTV, M/C and quad racers who completed all 2,025.43 required miles of the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship)
SCORE Trophy Truck (7)
Andy McMillin, San Diego
Luke McMillin, San Diego
Alan Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico
Bobby Pecoy, Yorba Linda, Calif.
Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C.
Mike Lawrence, Banning, Calif.
Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas
SCORE TT Legend (2)
Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va.
Rolf Helland, Morris, Ill.
Class 1 (3)
Mason Cullen, Long Beach, Calif.
Brandon Bailey, Riverside, Calif.
Brendan Gaughan, Las Vegas
Trophy Truck Spec (8)
Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif.
Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas
A.J. Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Chad Dohrman, Murrieta, Calif.
Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico
Pat Sims, Eunice, N. M.
John Langley, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Bobby Patton, Fort Worth, Texas
Class 10 (3)
Hiram Duran, Tecate, Mexico
Chase Warren, Phoenix, Ariz.
Rafael Aguirre, Monterrey, Mexico
CLASS 7 (1)
Dan Chamlee, Montecito, Calif.
Pro UTV FI (3)
Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif.
Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif.
Brandon Schueler, Phoenix
SCORE Lites (1)
Freddie Willert, El Cajon, Calif.
Pro UTV NA (1)
Kaden Wells, St. George, Utah
Class 1/2-1600 (1)
J. David Ruvalcaba, Ensenada, Mexico
Pro Moto Unlimited (3)
Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif.
Ray Dal Soglio, Scottsdale, Ariz.
(66x) Santiago Creel, Mexico City
Pro Moto Limited (2)
Marco Pena, Nuevo CG, Mexico
(100x) Santiago Creel, Mexico City
Pro Moto 30 (4)
Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif.
(360x) Santiago Creel, Mexico City, Mexico
Jano Montoya, Winter Garden, Fla.
Nick Lanning, Beaumont, Texas
Pro Moto 40 (1)
Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev.
Pro Moto 50 (1)
Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif.
Pro Quad (3)
Said Sanchez, Tijuana, Mexico
Adolfo Arellano, Chula Vista, Calif.
Javier Ibarra, San Diego
SPT Quad (1)
Jovanni Marquez, Los Cabos, Mexico
SPT M/C (2)
Schane Schorno, Discovery Baja, Calif.
Carlos Silva, Mexicali, Mexico
All-time SCORE Off-Roadsman Award Winners
Current Awards (1974 thru 2010-voted by SCORE membership; since 2011-online voting)
SCORE CONTINGENCY COMPANY OF THE YEAR
1977—NGK Spark Plugs
& Yokohama Tires
2008—Volkswagen of America
SCORE MECHANIC OF THE YEAR
1990—Call Wells III
2018—Andreas ‘Lechero’ Rodriguez
SCORE TEAM MANAGER OF THE YEAR
SCORE PIT SUPPORT TEAM OF THE YEAR
1985—TIE-Checkers & F.A.I.R.
SCORE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
1984—John Clark Gable
& Tom Dittfield
2015—Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez
2019—Austin ‘A.J.’ Jones
SCORE PERSON OF THE YEAR
1988—Walt Lott (posthumously)
& Corky McMillin
2005—Corky McMillin (posthumously)
2013—Kurt Caselli (posthumously)
2015—Oscar Ramos J. (posthumously)
SCORE LEGACY AWARD
2018—Jerry Herbst (posthumously)
2019—Rod Hall (posthumously)
SCORE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
SCORE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
1977—Ariz. Comp. Photos
2008—Durka Durka Photo
2011—My Baja Photo
2012—My Baja Photo
2018—My Baja Photo
SCORE Videographer OF THE YEAR
SCORE ORIGINAL OPEN-WHEEL CHASSIS MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
1983—TIE-Chenowth & Raceco
(By Points since 2003)
SCORE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE YEAR
(By Points since 2003)
2010—Kroyer Racing Engines
2011—Kroyer Racing Engines
2012—Kroyer Racing Engines
2013—Kroyer Racing Engines
2014—Kroyer Racing Engines
2015—Dougans Racing Engines
2016—Dougans Racing Engines
2017—Dougans Racing Engines
2018—Kroyer Racing Engines
2019—Dougans Racing Engines
SCORE ORIGINAL TRUCK CHASSIS MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
(By Points since 2015)
SCORE UTV MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
(By Points since 2015)
SCORE MOTORCYCLE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
(By Points since 2014)