July 26, 1974 – historical date that began legacy of SCORE— the iconic SCORE Baja 500 celebrates its 52nd year in 2020
Opener of two-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship Sept. 22-27; Private start/finish at El Dorado Ranch; Televised on ABC World of X Games; Online registration closes Friday at http://score-international.com/raceinfo/baja-500-2/ NOTE: All-Time SCORE Baja 500 overall winners list at bottom of text
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – To everything there is a beginning and the launch of SCORE International’s remarkable history in Mexico came on July 26, 1974 when what has become the World’s Foremost Desert Racing organization took over and officially produced its first SCORE Baja race – the SCORE Baja Internacional in Ensenada, Baja California.
The Baja 500 was actually started in 1969 by the NORRA organization but because of legal challenges regarding the use of the name after NORRA was removed as the official U.S. desert racing promoter in Mexico by the government at the end of 1972, SCORE had to use the name SCORE Baja Internacional for over a decade.
Eventually then-SCORE owner Sal Fish was able to negotiate the use of the original name of the race and it became duly registered as the SCORE Baja 500. In 1973, the Baja 500 was organized and produced by a local tourism group called the Baja Sports Committee. FAST FORWARD
Entries continue to climb past the century mark in these uncertain times for this month’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd Annual SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
To date, 108 official entries have come from 17 U.S. States along with host country Mexico, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. The first of two races on the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule will be held Sept. 22-27 in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
San Felipe is the peaceful village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. Both 2020 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year. ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration through the SCORE website closes at 8 p.m. PT on Friday (Sept. 11). Information on all SCORE races can be found on the home page under the Race Info tab.
For more info, visit http://score-international.com/raceinfo/baja-500-2/.
Official entries received after the drawing for starting positions will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes. THE SHOW
Competition will include classes for cars, trucks UTVs, motorcycles and quads for the internationally-televised BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
Many of 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. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on the ABC Network World of X Games programming and syndicated internationally to as many as 25 countries. The shows are produced by SCORE in association with SoCal’s prominent SoCal BCII TV. Lead announcer for the show will be veteran Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHoF) inductee (2018), SCORE Trophy Truck champion racer and action sports TV announcer Cameron Steele.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday (Sept. 26) will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 3 a.m. PT and approximately 7 a.m. PT for the cars, trucks and UTVs.
Nearly 150 vehicles are expected at the start line. Long-time SCORE sponsor and race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has also posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel winner to help commemorate this year’s race. GRAN HISTORIA
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization.
With tremendous assistance from Ensenada tourism advocate Nico Saad, Mickey Thompson and his fledgling SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the event starting in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE in December of 2012.
The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 26, 1974 as the first of over 150 all-time SCORE Baja races. Because of legal issues with original race promoter NORRA (1969-1972), SCORE had to call the race the SCORE Baja Internacional for over a decade. Sal Fish negotiated the ownership of the name and starting in 1991 it has been called the SCORE Baja 500, even though it was always called the Baja 500 by racers and fans alike.
Ensenada has hosted the SCORE Baja 500 the most of any location. It has started 46 times there and finished 42 times there.
Prior to this year, only four times has the race not been held in Ensenada at all. Because of continuing friction between the government and land owners, Sal Fish moved the 1984 to the desert near Barstow, Calif., USA and again in 1989 for the same reason Fish moved the race to San Felipe.
Because of the growth of the population in Ensenada, Fish started and finished the race in Ojos Negros in both 1991 and 1992.
Again because the city couldn’t identify an appropriate route back into Ensenada, the race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas four times (1988, 1990, 1994 and 1995). In 1993, SCORE was forced to start the race in Ojos Negros and finish in Santo Tomas.
From 1996 through 2019, the SCORE Baja 500 started and finished in Ensenada. The race started and finished for nearly two decades in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and left town and returned to the city by running up and the Ensenada Arroyo (wash) for nearly two miles each way in front of upwards of 50,000 spectators to the outskirts of town and on to the Ojos Negros area.
With no spectators allowed because of the Biosecurity Protocols, this year’s race will start and finish at the El Dorado Ranch resort in San Felipe.
While this will be just the second time for the SCORE Baja 500 to be held in San Felipe, the SCORE San Felipe 250, which was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic, has been held in San Felipe for 32 of its 33-year history.
The most starters and finishers in the history of this great race happened in 2007 when 492 total vehicles officially started the race and 283 of them were official finishers. WHO’S WHO
Overall winners in the SCORE Baja 500 are a virtual who’s who in the world of desert racing motorsports. And most of them made their names synonymous with the sport with their exploits in this popular race. Their accomplishments in this race have made them famous and their notoriety has made this race even more popular for five decades.
A book is available about the 50th anniversary race (held in 2018)and all of the multi-time overall winners of this magnificent SCORE desert race but suffice it to say for now that these heroes of SCORE Baja racing will never be forgotten. And more than a few of them are still competing vigorously for more etchings in the granite blocks of all-time champs of the SCORE Baja 500. RACER LEGACY
Desert racers like Ivan Stewart, Larry Roeseler, Bobby Ferro, Parnelli Jones, Larry Ragland, Robby Gordon, Malcolm Smith, Dr. Bud Feldkamp, Troy Herbst, Bryce Menzies, Steve Hengeveld, Johnny Campbell, Bruce Ogilvie, Rob MacCachren and McMillin family racers—Corky, Scott, Mark and Andy—are all part of the eternal legacy of all-time overall winners of the legendary SCORE Baja 500. ALL-STAR HISTORY
Overall champions of the SCORE Baja 500 are led by Larry Roeseler, still racing in the SCORE TT Legend class, with a race-record 11 overall wins, including a race-record nine on motorcycles. Ivan Stewart is one behind with a race-record 10 overall 4-wheel vehicle wins including the 1994 race which was the debut of the Sal Fish-created marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division.
Hollywood stunt driver supreme Bobby Ferro and former NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon each have four overalls in the SCORE Baja 500 as does ‘On Any Sunday’ film star Malcolm Smith (including one on a motorcycle). Gordon is still an active racer in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Lightning Larry Ragland has five overall victories and Dr. Feldkamp, Troy Herbst, the youngest of the three Herbst racing brothers and Bryce Menzies, a Red Bull international racer, each have three overall SCORE Baja 500 wins. Herbst and Menzies are both still racing in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck class.
Parnelli Jones was the 1963 Indy 500 winner who won the overall in the SCORE Baja 500 in 1970 and 1973 in the iconic purpose-built ‘Big Oly’ Ford Bronco.
Besides Roeseler’s nine overall motorcycle victories, Steve Hengeveld has seven overall two-wheel wins and Johnny Campbell has five. Campbell is now a team owner and retired from SCORE Baja racing on a motorcycle. Roeseler and Hengeveld are both still active racers.
Starting with family patriarch, the late Corky McMillin, the McMillin family has combined for 11 overall victories in the SCORE Baja 500. Corky had two wins, his son Scott and Mark and Scott’s son Andy each have overall SCORE Baja 500 titles and Andy is the defending race champion.
Three other very capable McMillin family racers on the horizon looking for their first overall are Scott’s daughter Jessica and Mark’s sons Dan and Luke.
A trio of racers from Las Vegas have multiple overall wins in this race. Troy Herbst has three (1996, 2002 and 2003) as does Bryce Menzies who has three overall wins (2011, 2012 and 2014) and Rob MacCachren has six class wins, several top five finishes and two overall victories in this race (1996, 2018).
Also on the overall winner’s list with one 4-wheel victory each are active racers B.J. Baldwin (2008), Kory Halopoff (2009), Mike Julson (1995), Curt LeDuc (1995), Harley Letner (2009), Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (2015) and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr (2016). PRE-RUNNING
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 486.81-mile race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts will begin at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday (Sept. 12) starting at race mile 0.16 and finishing at race mile 485.16. Pre-running starting at 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Sept, 23 through Friday, Sept. 25 will start at race mile 0.0 to race mile 7.80 outbound only.
The official SCORE Racer Brief, course map and GPS files will be available under racer info on the SCORE website after 6 p.m. PT on Thursday (Sept. 10). MAIN COURSE
The race will feature a course, as finalized and plotted by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva of 486.91 miles. It will run both North and South of San Felipe in a counterclockwise direction on the East side of the Baja California peninsula.
When completed, the historic race course will be 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 ocean with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.
There will be three physical full-stop checkpoints and 197 virtual checkpoints. Checkpoint 1 is at race mile 155.63 (Laguna Salada), CP2 is at rm283.52 (Laguna Amarga) and CP3 is at rm453.
Much of the course will run through Laguna Salada as well as going through parts of four of Baja California’s infamously magnificent washes: Amarillas, Chanate, Huatamote and Azufre.
All Sportsman classes along with Pro classes 7SX, 11 and 9 will run an abbreviated course of 426.41 miles. START ORDER/DRAW DEADLINE
For all the non-qualifying classes, the starting order within each class for this race will be determined by a start order drawing, if the individual entry is received and all fees paid in full by 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 11).
The results of the drawing, to determine the remainder of the start order within each class, will be posted on the SCORE website at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18.
Between tonight and 5 p.m. PT on Sept. 18, walk-in entries will be accepted in the SCORE Ensenada office but those entries will not be able to qualify or be in the start draw. Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Sept. 23, 24, 25) and will be given the next available start position within their respective classes. QUALIFYING
SCORE will hold a qualifying session for this race starting at 7 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Sept. 23 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec divisions. Entries in these classes must also be completed by Friday, September 11 to be eligible to qualifying. Start order for qualifying will be based solely on entry order into race, by class.
Starting positions for the other classes will be determined by a random drawing after the close of online racer registration which is at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.
Late, on-site entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered.
Qualifying will be held on a 3.47-mile course South of San Felipe near the local airport. EL DORADO RANCH S/F
Following planning with and approval from city and state governments, SCORE International has announced that all the official pre-race activities and the start/finish line compound for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will be held in a restricted area at the prominent El Dorado Ranch resort with no spectators allowed. Spectators following health and safety protocols will be allowed in the open areas around the 486.91-mile race course.
With the Biosecurity Protocols in place, SCORE will produce extensive live streaming of the race and pre-race festivities air on the SCORE website and SCORE social media platforms. HEALTH & SAFETY
Because of the significant health and safety Biosecurity protocols developed by SCORE in conjunction with and the approval of state and local health authorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all race-week festivities and the start/finish line compound will be restricted access only and closed to the general public. All race-related activities and the race start/finish compound will be on the grounds of the popular El Dorado Ranch gated resort which is located seven miles North of downtown San Felipe alongside of Mexico Federal Highway 5. DETAILS
As required by the health and safety Biosecurity protocols required to conduct this race, race week activities will have restricted access at the Eldorado Ranch with no spectators allowed for contingency, tech inspection and the start/finish compound.
On-site Racer Registration and Media Registration, again with restricted access, will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (September 22-25) at the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch.
Racer registration will be held for racers who are qualifying from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 22). Racer registration for the balance of the entries will be held on Wednesday (Sept. 23) from Noon to 7 p.m. PDT, on Thursday (Sept. 24) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 25) with no new entries accepted after 3 p.m. PDT on that final day of registration.
SCORE Media registration will be held in the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 22) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday (Sept. 23) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday (Sept. 24-25). LIVE STREAMING
On the two days of contingency (Sept. 24-25) and during the race on Saturday, Sept. 26 until the course closes on Sunday morning, Sept. 27, there will be extensive live streaming from the start/finish line compound broadcasting race activities and start and finish line interviews. Popular Rat Sult will again serve as primary host of the SCORE live streaming.
With no spectators allowed in the start/finish line compound, all of the week’s activities will be streamed both live and same-day including the race, airing via the internet on the SCORE website and social media platforms. LAST YEAR’S CHAMPS
Andy McMillin returns to defend his overall win in last year’s SCORE Baja 500 in his No. 1 McMillin Racing all-wheel drive Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck built by Mason Motorsports. Expected back to defend in Pro Motorcycles, Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. and his co-riders Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif. and Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif. are expected to defend their overall motorcycle title on their No. 1x Honda CRF450X, competing once again in the Pro Moto Unlimited motorcycle. SCOREscope 2020 SCORE SKED
November 17-22, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico 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 two-races will air as 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.
SCORE Baja 500 All-Time Overall champions (1969 thru 2019)
Year—DRIVERS/RIDERS, VEHICLE 1969—Bud Ekins/Guy Jones, Baja Boot-Olds
Doug Douglas/Jim McClurg, Ducati 1970—Parnelli Jones, Ford
Bill Silverthorn/Gene Fetty, Husqvarna 1971—Bobby Ferro, Funco-VW
Malcolm Smith/J.N. Roberts, Husqvarna 1972—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Gene Fetty/Bill Silverthorn, Honda 1973—Parnelli Jones, Ford
Howard Utsey/Mickey Quade, Husqvarna 1974—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Mitch Mayes/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna 1975—Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Harley-Davidson 1976—Bobby Ferro/Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna 1977—Ivan Stewart, Chenowth-VW
Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson, Husqvarna 1978—Bud Feldkamp/Malcolm Smith, Funco-VW
Brent Wallingsford/Scot Harden, Husqvarna 1979—Malcolm Smith/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Jack Johnson, Husqvarna 1980—Bob Gordon, Chenowth-Chevy
Bruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller, Yamaha 1981—Malcolm Smith/Bill Newbury, Chenowth-Chevy
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Yamaha 1982—Larry Ragland, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Chuck Miller, Yamaha 1983—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-VW
Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna 1984—Larry Ragland, Chaparral-VW
Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna 1985—Ron Gardner/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Kurt Pfeiffer/Scot Harden, Husqvarna 1986—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Garth Sweetland/Scot Harden, Husqvarna 1987—Bob Gordon/Tim Crabtree, Chenowth-Porsche
Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki 1988—Mark McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Dan Ashcraft/Kurt Pfeiffer, Yamaha 1989—Robby Gordon, Ford (no motorcycles) 1990—Robby Gordon, Ford
Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte, Kawasaki 1991—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Garth Sweetland/Paul Krause, Kawasaki 1992—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr/Paul Krause, Kawasaki 1993—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Danny Hamel/Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki 1994—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Dave Ashley/Dan Smith, Ford
Paul Krause/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki 1995—Curt LeDuc, Jeep (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Mike Julson/Bob Lofton, Jimco-VW
Paul Krause/Craig Smith, Kawasaki 1996—Rob MacCachren, Ford (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Troy Herbst, Smithbuilt, Smithbuilt-Porsche
Paul Krause/Ty Davis, Kawasaki 1997—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Mark McMillin, Jimco-Porsche
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda 1998—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda 1999—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Jonah Street/Torsten Borstrom, Honda 2000—Larry Ragland, Chevy
Jonah Street/Steve Hengeveld, Honda 2001—Mark McMillin, Jimco-Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Jonah Street, Honda 2002—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda 2003—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda 2004—Alan Pflueger, Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda 2005—Robby Gordon, Chevy
Mike Childress/Mouse McCoy, Honda 2006—Brian Collins/Larry Ragland, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda 2007—Larry Ragland/Brian Collins, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Steve Hengeveld, Honda 2008—B.J. Baldwin, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda 2009—Harley Letner/Kory Halopoff, Tatum-Chevy
Bill Boyer/Donnie De Arman/Nicholas Blais/Rudy Iribe, Honda 2010—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Ford
Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda 2011—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda 2012—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Robby Bell/David Pearson/Steve Hengeveld, Kawasaki 2013—Robby Gordon, Chevy
Timmy Weigand/Colton Udall/David Kamo, Honda 2014—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Ricky Brabec/David Pearson/Max Eddy Jr, Kawasaki 2015—Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Chevy
Ricky Brabec/Max Eddy Jr/Justin Morgan/Ian Young, Kawasaki 2016—Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, Ford
Colton Udall, Mark Samuels, Honda 2017—Andy McMillin, Ford
Francisco Arredondo/Shane Esposito/Justin Morgan/Roberto Villalobos, Honda 2018—Rob MacCachren, Ford
Justin Morgan/Mark Samuels/Justin Jones, Honda 2019—Andy McMillin, Chevy
Justin Morgan/Mark Samuels/Justin Jones, Honda NOTE: From 1994 through 1997 SCORE Trophy Truck ran as its own series
SCORE Baja 500 Overall Champions
Cars & Trucks 11
*Larry Roeseler 10
Ivan Stewart 5
Larry Ragland 4
**Malcolm Smith 3
Bryce Menzies 2
**Dan Smith 1
Gus Vildosola Jr
*9 on motorcycle **1 on motorcycle Motorcycles 7
Steve Hengeveld 5
Kendall Norman 4
Ted Hunnicutt Jr
Justin Morgan 3
Jonah Street 2
Max Eddy Jr
Colton Udall 1
Ian Young Manufacturers Overall 4wheel Vehicle Trucks/SUVs* 13
Jeep *Includes 1994-97 (55 Total) Cars 7
Tatum *Includes 1994-97 (55 Total) Overall Engine Winners Cars & Trucks* 15
Oldsmobile *Includes 1994-97 (55 total) Motorcycles 21
Harley-Davidson Tires 4wheel vehicles (missing 4 early years) 32
BFGoodrich Tires 5
Western Auto Tires 4
Toyo Tires 2