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 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship with this FINAL episode in a special series of features called SCORE Fantastic Flashbacks—SCORE Baja 500, Part Ten—2019). 2019—ANDY McMILLIN AGAIN
For the second straight 2019 race, third-generation desert racing champion Andy McMillin roared to Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race victory June 1, 2019 by winning the 51st SCORE Baja 500 in dynamic fashion by starting first, never losing the physical lead and finishing first in the elapsed-time race.
Round 2 of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship was held in Mexico’s Baja California, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
The celebratory internationally-televised race on a characteristically challenging, seriously silt-laden 485.02-mile course started and finished for the first time at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada. The race was televised as a one-hour special for the first time in race history on ABC’s World of X Games programming. In association with SCORE, the show is co-produced by BCII TV’s Bud Brutsman. 2020—NEW DECADE
With the 2020 season reduced to three races while the battle rages against Coronavirus (COVID-19), desert racers around the world are hoping to start the 2020 SCORE season at the legendary 52nd annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4Wheel Parts, in Baja California.
Launching its 47th season as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, the season-opening event of the three-race internationally-televised 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship has been moved to Aug. 4-9 in Ensenada. Ensenada is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. All three 2020 SCORE races will be run on the northern part of Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Ensenada, the off-road racing capital of the world is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start there for the 47th time and finish there for the 43rd time. 2019—McMILLIN MAGIC
Andy McMillin, 32, of San Diego recorded a penalty-free winning time 9 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds while averaging 49.39 miles per hour in his No. 31 Red Bull McMillin Racing Chevy Silverado built by Mason Motorsports.
After starting the season with the overall at the 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250 in April, McMillin’s 11th career SCORE Trophy Truck race win moved him into a tie for second with Ed/Tim Herbst, Larry Ragland and Robby Gordon. That group trails Rob MacCachren, the all-time winningest SCORE Trophy Truck racer with 17 career victories.
It was also Andy McMillin’s third overall victory in the SCORE Baja 500, winning in 2010 with his father Scott McMillin along with his solo driving efforts in 2017 and 2019. A. McMillin joins his father and uncle Mark McMillin with three overall wins each in this race giving his family a combined 11 overall wins in this race.
Andy McMillin’s grandfather and family patriarch Corky McMillin, who died in 2005, had two career overall victories in the SCORE Baja 500. 2019—FINAL FLAG
When the final checkered flag fell, a total of 245 vehicles left the start line early Saturday morning with racers from 26 U.S. States and 12 countries. When the course closed at 6:05 a.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2019, there were 144 official finishers for a very high 58.78 finishing percentage, especially considering the difficulty of the race course. The results were made official following complete data tracking review of the devices on each vehicle in the event late Sunday morning, June 2, 2019. 2019—ESTERO BEACH S/F
Start/finish line area for the 2019 SCORE Baja 500 was the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium on the grounds of the Estero Beach Hotel & Resort, south of downtown Ensenada. It marked the first time the race started or finished at the popular luxury resort. 2019—THE PODIUM
Joining Andy McMillin, who won the season-opening SCORE San Felipe 250 in April, 2019, placing on the podium were Andy’s cousin Luke McMillin, also of San Diego and Mexico’s Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez.
Luke McMillin, 26, finished second with a penalty-free time of 9:51:06 (49.23mph) in his No. 83 Mark Racing Ford F-150 (Racer built) and Lopez, 24, of Tecate, Mexico, with a penalty-free finishing time of 10:12:43 (47.49mph) in his No. 9 RPM Racing Chevy Silverado (Geiser). 2019—MORGAN WINS MOTO OVERALL AGAIN
Riding the No. 1x Honda CRF450X, Justin Morgan, 26, El Cajon, Calif. and his three-rider team raced to the overall motorcycle victory for his sixth consecutive overall motorcycle win in the SCORE World Desert Championship and his fourth overall win in the last five years in this race. The trio crossed the finish line in 10:50:11 at an average speed of 44.76mph.
Morgan split the riding with Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif. who won his third overall moto title in this race in three years and Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif. who won his second consecutive SCORE overall motorcycle title in this race.
Morgan rode from the start to race mile 180, Samuels rode from there to race mile 450, and Jones took it home from that point. 2019—OVERALL UTV
Defeating 24 starters in his class and 37 total UTVs to win the overall UTV win title in this year’s race was former Polaris key executive Craig Scanlon, Yorba Linda, Calif., with a winning time of 13:26.41 in his No. 2931 Polaris RZR Turbo. It was his first SCORE race win as a driver of record. 2019—11 OF TOP 12 OVERALL SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS
Besides podium finishers A. McMillin, L. McMillin and Apdaly Lopez, 11 of the top 12 overall finishers were SCORE Trophy Trucks. SCORE Trophy Truck had a race-high 38 vehicles start the race.
All among the top 12 overall four-wheel vehicle finishers, third in SCORE Trophy Truck was Mexico’s ‘Apdaly Lopez (No. Chevy Rally Truck-Geiser Built), fourth was brothers Alan, Aaron and Rodrigo Ampudia of Ensenada, Mexico (No. 10 Ford Raptor-ID), fifth was Las Vegas brothers Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst (No. 19 Ford F-150-Herbst/Smith), sixth after penalties were accessed was Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas (No. 7 Ford Raptor (Huseman) and seventh in class was Mike Lawrence, Banning, Calif. (No. 85 Ford F-150-Herbst/Smith).
Finishing eighth in SCORE Trophy Truck and overall was Andy McMillin’s cousin and Luke McMillin’s brother Dan McMillin, San Diego (Ford F-150-Racer), ninth was Las Vegas’ Rob McCachren (No. 11 Ford F-150), 10th was Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas (No. 15 Ford Raptor-Jimco), and 11th was Gary Magness, Denver (No. 45 Ford F-150-Herbst/Smith) and 12th in SCORE Trophy Truck was Chris Miller, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (No. 40 Toyota Tundra-ID). 2019—CLASS 1 SUPERLATIVE
Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., captured the unlimited Class 1 while finishing eighth overall among four-wheel vehicles in the No. 185 Green Army Motorsports Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. His winning effort was completed in 10:59:48 (44.10mph). He defeated 13 starters in his class. Starting first he never looked back and finished with a victory margin of 38 minutes, five seconds. 2019—REPEAT CLASS WINNERS
Led by Justin Davis and Morgan/Samuels/Jones, several returning 2018 class winners in the SCORE Baja 500 won again in 2019. Among them were Jeff Proctor, Glendora, Calif. (Class 7, Honda Ridgeline), David Heredia, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug), Brad Lovell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Pro UTV Stock FI, Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo), Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico, Calif./Shane Esposito, Temecula, Calif. (Pro Moto 30, Honda CRF450X), Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, Honda CRF450X) and Said Sanchez, Tijuana Mexico (Pro Quad, Honda TRX450R). 2019—UNBEATEN
Besides 2019 SCORE San Felipe 250 overall winner Andy McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck), other San Felipe class winners who won their class in the 2019 SCORE Baja 500 to give them two straight wins to start the season were SCORE Baja 500 motorcycle winners was Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto Unlimited—No. 1x Honda CRF450R).
The other 2019 San Felipe 2-wheel class winner who won this 2019 race was Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50—No. 500x Yamaha YZ450FX). Spinali’s teammates for this race were Earl Roberts, Mexicali, Mexico/Troy Pearce, Ramona, Calif./John Griffin, Lake Forest, Calif./Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. The veteran O’Neal earned his race-record 21st career class win in the 2019 SCORE Baja 500.
Pro Quad San Felipe winner Said Sanchez, Tijuana (No. 1a Honda TRX450R) won again for his second class win in this race to remain unbeaten in the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship. 2019—SCORE TT LEGEND
In one of the closest class finishes in this year’s race a battle of veterans saw the team of Clyde Stacy/Nick Vanderwey defeat Mark Post/Larry Roeseler by just 41 seconds in the SCORE TT Legends class for SCORE Trophy Truck drivers over 50 years old. Stacy, 74, Bristol, Va. and Vanderwey, 52, Phoenix, drove the No. 5L Chevy Rally Truck V-16 (Geiser) to top Post, 61, Las Vegas and Roeseler, 62, Imperial, Calif., in their 30-year old No. 3L Ford F-150 (Riviera Racing). 2019—FIRST TIMERS
Among the racers winning their respective classes for the first time in 2019 were Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas (Trophy Truck Spec, No. 299 Geiser-Chevy), Cody Reid, Apple Valley, Calif. (Class 10, No. 1068 Alumi Craft-Chevy), Dustin Grabowski, Upland, Calif. (Class 5, No. 527 Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer), Matias Arjona IV, Ensenada, Mexico (SCORE Lites, No. 1202 Mirage-VW), Kaden Wells, St. George, Utah (Pro UTV NA, No. 1995 Polaris RZR XP1000), Angel Barajas, Ensenada, Calif. (Class 1/2-1600, No. 1616 Barajas-VW), Spencer Morgan, Laredo, Texas (Class 8, No. 852 Ford F-150), Edward Muncey, San Diego (Baja Challenge, No. BC4 Subaru BTC), Gerardo Novelo, Ensenada (Class 7SX, No. 740 Nissan Frontier), Santiago Creel, Mexico City, Mexico (Pro Moto Limited, No. 100x KTM 350EXCF), Paul Thomas, Julian, Calif. (Pro Moto 40, 420x Honda CRF450X), Tanner Janesky, Middlebury, Conn. and (Pro Moto Ironman, No. 775x Honda CRF450X). 2019—CHALLENGING COURSE
The 51st anniversary SCORE Baja 500 race course, designed and finalized by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva was a rugged, challenging 485.02 miles. The course ran in a clockwise direction starting and finishing for approximately one mile in each direction on the off-road track at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium. The first and last 27.74 miles up to Uruapan and back were shared course outbound and inbound.
The historic race course was 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 Pacific Ocean seashore with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the mesmerizing, stark beauty of Baja California.
This year’s 51st anniversary course had four physical checkpoints, 146 virtual checkpoints and 11 speed zones (total of 41.72 race miles).
The four checkpoints will be located as follows: Checkpoint No. 1-Nuevo Junction (Race Mile 144.50), Checkpoint No. 2-San Matias (RM 256.32), Checkpoint No. 3-Vicente Guerrero (RM 343.47) and Checkpoint No. 4-Santo Tomas (RM 446.08).
Among the other towns, areas and landmarks the course went through or near are San Carlos wash, Uruapan, Santa Catarina, the Summit, Borrego, Mike’s Sky Rancho, Rancho El Coyote, San Telmo, Rancho Montes, Santo Domingo wash, Camalu, Colonet, San Vicente and the wash at Erendira. 2019 COUNT
The total of 245 starters from 26 U.S. States and 12 total countries–host country Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru and Venezuela.
States among the field ranged from California, Washington and Oregon in the Pacific West, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico in the Mountain West, New York and Connecticut in the Northeast, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas in the Midwest and Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia in the South. SCOREscope ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will air on the ABC family of networks. The three-races will air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays 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. SCORE SPONSORS… 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 www.SCOREInternational.com.
51st annual SCORE Baja 500 Round 2 of four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship June 1-2, 2019—485.02 miles—Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico TOTAL STARTERS: 245 TOTAL FINISHERS: 144 (58.78 percent) (from 26 U.S. States, host Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Spain, Venezuela) TOP 15 OVERALL CARS & TRUCKS (following complete data tracking review)
1. 31 Andy McMillin, 32, San Diego, Chevy Silverado (Mason) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 9:49:12 (49.39 mph) 2. 83 Luke McMillin, 26, San Diego, Ford F-150 (Racer) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 09:51:06 (49.23 mph) 3.9 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, 24, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck (Geiser) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 10:12:44 (47.49 mph) 4.10 Alan Ampudia, 28, Ensenada, Mexico/Aaron Ampudia, 26, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Raptor (ID) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 10:38:18 (45.59 mph) 5. 19 Tim Herbst, 56, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, 58, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 10:40:28 (45.44 mph) 6. 7 Bryce Menzies, 31, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor (Huseman) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 10:50:47 (44.72 mph) 7.85 Mike Lawrence, 31, Banning, Calif., Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 10:53:57 (44.50 mph) 8. 185 Justin Davis, 25, Chino Hills, Calif./Larry Job, 59, Las Vegas, Jimco-Chevy (Class 1), 10:59:48 (44.11 mph) 9.23 Dan McMillin, 31, San Diego, Ford F-150 (Racer) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 11:01:27 (44.00 mph) 10.11 Rob MacCachren, 54, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Geiser) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 11:06:51 (43.64 mph) 11. 15 Billy Wilson, 33, Corpus Christi, Texas/Greg Adler, 50, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (SCORE Trophy Truck), Ford Raptor (Jimco) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 11:08:20 (43.54 mph) 12. 45 Gary Magness, 65, Denver/Devin Housh, 37, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith) (SCORE Trophy Truck), 11:26:47 (42.37 mph) 13. 299 Charles Dorrance, 43, Austin, Texas/Dave Carapetyan, Austin, Texas/Dylan Herman, Reno, Nev., Geiser-Chevy (Trophy Truck Spec), 11:30:59 (42.12 mph) 14. 5L Clyde Stacy, 74, Bristol, Va./Nick Vanderwey, 52, Phoenix, Chevy Rally Truck V-16 (Geiser) (SCORE TT Legend), 11:34:53 (41.88 mph) 15.138 Brian Wilson, 33, Lakewood, Calif./Kyle Quinn, 30, Lakewood, Calif./Ronny Wilson, 57, Long
Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy (Class 1), 11:34:53 (41.88 mph)