Ray Griffith leading Class 1
Juan C. Lopez surges ahead of field Friday to take first-half
lead at the Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge
Navarro IV, Hanna, Burnett, Ampudia, Padilla, Cesena, Hurtado, Row all lead classes
Race for cars, trucks, UTVs finishes Saturday, motorcycles, quads race Sunday
live streaming, vehicle tracking at www.SCORE-international.com
ROSARITO BEACH, Mexico— Benefitting from his son’s flat tire on the final lap, Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez has surged to the first-half lead Friday at the internationally-televised Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
With a special race format, Round 3 of the four-race 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship is being held through Sunday in Mexico’s Baja California. Starting and finishing just south of Rosarito Beach, the colorful resort area on the Pacific Ocean located just 19 miles from the U.S. Border south of San Diego. The actual start/finish area, hot pits and primary spectator area is located at Los Manantiales off of old Highway 1 south of central Rosarito.
Juan C. Lopez of Tecate, Mexico completed the first two of four laps over the rugged 32.1-mile loop course in one hour, 27 minutes and 27 seconds with an average speed of 44.05 miles per hour over the 64.2 miles in the No. 18 RPM Ford F-150 to the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck division lead heading into Saturday’s final two laps.
Lopez and his son Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, just 21 of Tecate, Mexico, are separated by just 32 seconds heading into Saturday’s final half of the race. The younger Lopez, the reigning SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion, started six minutes behind his father physically in the elapsed-time race. Apdaly Lopez covered the first 64.2 miles in 1:27:59 at 43.79 mph in the No. 1 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck.
Sitting in fourth position overall and third in SCORE Trophy Truck heading into the final day of the race is current SCORE Trophy Truck point leader Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas who cruised into the finish line Friday in 1:32:20, nearly five minutes behind the father-son leaders.
With the inverted start on Saturday from Friday’s start order, Apdaly Lopez is literally in the driver’s seat for a race victory on the tight, technical, twisty race course. A flat tire just two miles from the finish on Friday cost the young Lopez the lead in the race. Apdaly’s first lap time was just 44.08 minutes, the fastest lap of the day and he started the second lap with a lead of one minute, 20 seconds over Wilson who had the second-fastest lap of the day of 43 minutes, 10 seconds. FAMILY TIME
In what turned out to be a family battle, Juan C. Lopez said afterwards, “It was a very aggressive course with lots of rocks and you need to protect the tires. My strategy was to be calm and save the tires for the end of the race because it is a short course. Tomorrow we start second to last so we expect to encounter a lot of dust making it a little more difficult but I’m confident we will have plenty of opportunities to pass the trucks ahead of us.”
After finishing with a shredded left rear tire after running the fastest first lap, Apdaly Lopez said, “My dad (Juan C. Lopez) was very impressive today. I enjoy racing against my dad because I admire him so much. The course was very rough with a lot of rocks and we were trying to take care of the tires but we got a flat and then got hit by another truck about two miles from the finish. We came to the finish running on the flat.” PARADE & AWARDS
After staging in front of the massive famed Papas & Beer Beach Club, the three of the four car, truck and UTVs groups will parade on Saturday with a police and SCORE escort to the start line 9.5 miles south of town.
At 8:30 p.m. PT on Saturday at Papas & Beer, the awards celebration will be held for the car/truck/UTV classes and at 6 p.m. PT on Sunday for the motorcycle/quad classes.
All of the week’s festivities will air live, including the three race days and vehicle tracking via the internet on the SCORE website and the new SCORE App. SPECIAL FORMAT
Unique for SCORE, the 20th time using this race format will see all classes racing a total of four laps over a surprisingly rugged 32.1-mile race course (128.4 total miles) split into two, two-lap sessions.
With a final race registration from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. for motorcycles and quads, nearly150 total entries have come from 17 U.S. States and three countries. Classes for cars, trucks and UTVs have been divided into four groups, running their first two laps on Friday and their final two laps on Saturday.
The motorcycle and quad classes will run as one large group, running all of their laps on Sunday, their first two in the morning and the final two in the afternoon following a break.
It is an elapsed-time race with vehicles starting in one-minute or 60 second intervals, racing for the cars, trucks and UTVs will start at 6:20 a.m. PT on Saturday and the course will close at 6 p.m. PT.
The featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks will start their final two laps along with the Trophy Truck spec class at 12:40 p.m. PT followed by the group including the unlimited Class 1, Class 10 and SCORE Lites and 3:20 p.m. PT as the final race on Saturday.
On Sunday, motorcycles and quads will start their first two laps at 10:30 a.m. PT and their final two laps starting at 2 p.m. PT with their course closing at 3:55 p.m. OTHER CLASS LEADERS
Among the other class leaders through the first half of the race are Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./Ray Griffith, Downey, Calif. drove Friday (Class 1, No. 153 Jimco-Chevy), Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif. (Class 10, No. 1009 Alumi Craft-Chevy), Gustavo Pinuelas, Calexico, Calif. (SCORE Lites, Jimco-VW), Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Trophy Truck Spec, No. 274 Chevy 1500), Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif. (Pro UTV FI, No. 2905 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo), Aaron Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico/Alan Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 8, No. 836 Ford F-150), Fernie Padilla, Henderson, Nev., (Class 1/2-1600, No. 1632, Romo-VW), Greg Row, Alpine, Calif. (Pro UTV, No. 1901 Polaris RZR XP1000), Victor Cesena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico/Gerardo Iribe, Santa Ana, Calif. (Class 5, No. 500 unlimited VW Baja Bug), Hector Hurtado, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 5-1600, No. 599 1600cc VW Baja Bug), JT Holmes, Reno, Nev. (Class 7, No. 725 Ford Ranger) and Mauro Diaz, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 11, No. 1109 VW Sedan). SPECTATORS
Local organizations sponsoring and supporting the Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge have developed a special and gradually-elevated spectator area at Los Manantiales with line-of-sight viewing of the start line, finish line, hot pits and first and last portions of the race course. The spectator area will also include food and beverage stands and novelty vendors. The spectator area will also have its own access road with ample directional signage to the area.
The rest of the course will include limited access to spectators in specific locations that will be under police supervision as much of the challenging course winds through several private ranches in the area that are entirely fenced in. HISTORIC COURSE
The race features a colorful course, finalized by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman along with Race Director Jose A. Grijalva of 32.1 miles through the foothills and around a mountain to the south and east of central Rosarito Beach. It will start and finish at the Los Manantiales area.
This landmark race course is another memorable example of Baja California diversity in terrain starting near sea-level and climbing up twice to around 2,000 feet. The course will be another unique jewel reflecting the majestic beauty of Baja California going through more ranches than most SCORE race courses.
Traveling in a clockwise direction, the race course weaves its way through washes, on existing trails, up and over a ridgeline trail at the top of two hills and back down into the start/finish line area off of the old Highway 1 south of Rosarito Beach at Los Manantiales.
Filled with farms and ranches, the race course goes through areas like Piedra Azul, Panchos, Loma Del Gato and Loma Bonita while racing around the famous El Cerro del Coronel mountain in areas where SCORE has never before held a race.
The race course will include three physical, full-stop checkpoints, checkpoint No. 1 at race-mile 9.4, CP No. 2 at race-mile 18.6 and CP No. 3 at race-mile 26.7. BIENVENIDOS A PLAYAS DE ROSARITO
The SCORE World Desert Championship is visiting the popular Playas de Rosarito for the first time in its long and storied history.
Located 19 miles south of the border near San Diego, this scenic location between the alluring beaches of the Pacific Ocean and majestic coastal foothills of Baja California Norte helps to make Rosarito one of the leading resort towns in all of Mexico.
The main urban district of Rosarito Beach is a four mile stretch along the beach on Blvd. Benito Juarez that is filled with hotels, condominiums, restaurants, night clubs and gift shops. HISTRIONICS
While this will be the first time in Rosarito, the SCORE Desert Challenge has been held 19 previous times since it first began in 1995. It was held in Laughlin, Nev., USA, from 1995 through 2012 and in Plaster City, Calif., USA, in 2014.
CBS SPORTS NETWORK COVERAGE
All races in the four-race 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship, along with the special SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience and qualifying for the SCORE Baja 1000 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway are once again airing in the USA and Canada on the CBS Sports Network. The spectacular shows feature not only SCORE Trophy Truck coverage, but also top action and highlights from many other classes of trucks, cars, UTVs, motorcycles and quads – making sure that the most exciting footage and most compelling stories continue as part of each race event broadcast.
Capping off the 2016 broadcast season, the SCORE Baja 1000 broadcast on CBS Sports Network will air as a full two-hour special for the second straight year. ON THE AIR
2016 CBS Sports Network Original Broadcast Schedule (subject to change, check local listings)
· SCORE San Felipe 250 (first telecast-Sunday, April 17, 9 p.m. ET)
· SCORE Baja 500 (first telecast-Sunday, July 24, 9 p.m. ET)
· Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge (first telecast-Sunday, Nov. 13, 9 p.m. ET)
· SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying @SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience (first telecast-Sunday, Dec.18, 9 p.m. ET)
· SCORE Baja 1000 (two-hour special) (first telecast-Sunday, December 25, 9 p.m. ET) CBS SPORTS NETWORK
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. SCOREscope
The four-race 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship includes four special events and for the first time all four are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
· 30th SCORE San Felipe 250, Feb. 25-28, San Felipe, Mexico
· 48th SCORE Baja 500, June 1-5, Ensenada Mexico
· Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 14-18, Rosarito Beach, Mexico
· 49th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-20, Ensenada, Mexico SCORE SPONSORS…
Official SCORE Sponsors: Bud Light-Official Beer, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Vision Wheel – Official Wheel, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, Muck Daddy-Official Hand Cleaner, CBS Sports Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions- Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
Official SCORE Partners: 4 Wheel Parts, Coca Cola, The Satellite Phone Store, PCI Race Radios.
Additional SCORE Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Visit Baja California Sur, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamineto, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: Vi Ayuntamiento de Playas de Rosarito, Cotuco de Playas de Rosarito, Comite de Mercadatecnia Playas de Rosarito, Baja California Secretary of Tourism.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCORE-International.com.
Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge
Sept. 15-18 – Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
Round 3 of four-race 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship
(128.4 miles, four total laps of 32.1-mile course, split into two sessions)
First half of race for cars, trucks, UTVs (Motorcycles, Quads race Sunday)
OFFICIAL ENTRIES – 123 (as of 9/16/16)
(from 17 U.S. States, Guatemala, Mexico)
TOP OVERALL LEADERS – FRIDAY (Sept. 16)
Rank, Vehicle Number, Driver(s), Manufacturer, Class, 2 laps, 64.2-mile time (miles per hour)
1. 18 Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Ford F-150, 1:27:27 (44.05 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)
2. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck, 1:27:59 (43.78 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)
3. 153 Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./Kyle Quinn, Irvine, Calif./Ray Griffith, Downey, Calif, Jimco-Chevy, 1:30:16 (42.67 mph) (Class 1)
4. 836 Aaron Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico/Alan Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford F-150, 1:32:14 (41.76 mph) (Class 8)
5. 15 Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 1:32:20 (41.72 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)
6. Steven Eugenio, Carlsbad, Calif./Larry Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio, Mason-Chevy, 1:33:25 (41.23 mph(SCORE Trophy Truck)
7. 175 Jaime Huerta Jr, Calexico, Calif./Chetin Saldana, TagHuer-Chevy, 1:33:50 (41.05 mph) (Class 1)
8. 274 Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, Chevy 1500, 1:35:06 (40.50 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck
9.. 1009 Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 1:37:17 (39.60 mph) (Class 10)
10. 1632 Fernie Padilla, Henderson, Nev., Romo, 1:37:18 (39.59 mph) (1/2-1600)
Following first two laps (64.2-miles of four-lap race)
Pro Cars, Trucks, UTVs
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)—1. 18 Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Ford F-150, 1:27:27 (44.05 miles per hour); 2. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck, 1:27:58; 3. 15 Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 1:32:20. (Starters 5, Finishers 5)
CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)—1. 153 Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./Kyle Quinn, Irvine, Calif./Ray Griffith, Downey, Calif, Jimco-Chevy, 1:30:16 (42.67 mph); 2. 175 Jaime Huerta Jr, Calexico, Calif./Chetin Saldana, TagHuer-Chevy, 1:33:50. (Starters 7, Finishers 2)
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimted Truck/SUV, stock, sealed V8s)—1. 274 Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, Chevy 1500, 1:35:06 (40.50 mph); 2. 200 Larry Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio/Steven Eugenio, Carlsbad, Calif., Mason-Chevy, 1:37:44; 3. 252 Gonzalo Pirron, Lancaster, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 1:39:53. (Starters 8, Finishers 5)
CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc)—1. 1009 Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 1:37:17 (39.60 mph); 2. 1088 Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico/Joel Serna, Mexicali, Mexico, Jimco-Honda, 1:38:54; 3. 1081 Todd Winslow, Clovis, Calif./Matt Winslow, Clovis, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 1:39:22; 4. 1058 Mike Lawrence, Murrieta, Calif./Louis Meyers, LMS-Chevy, 1:45:17; 5. 1060 Armando Boehme, Royce City, Texas/Kai Boehme, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico/Juan Cota, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Jimco-Chevy, 1:57:03; 6. 1098 David Sanchez Jr, Hesperia, Calif./David Sanchez Sr, Hesperia, Calif., Custom-Chevy, 1:57:05; 7. 1091 David Jones, Clovis, Calif., Curry-Chevy, 2:06:08; 8. 1002 Clay Lawrence, Murrieta, Calif./Sal Pelayo, LMS-Chevy, 2:07:24. (Starters 9, Finishers 8)
CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive trucks)– 1. 836 Aaron Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico/Alan Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford F-150, 1:32:14 (41.76 mph) ; 2. 849 Gabriel Arce, Tijuana, Mexico, Ford F-100, 2:04:53. (Starters 2, Finishers 2)
CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)—1. 1632 Fernie Padilla, Henderson, Nev., Romo, 1:37:18 (39.59 mph); 2. 1644 Cesar Fiscal, Tijuana, Mexico, Romo, 1:37:42; 3. 1616 Ramon Bio, Spring Valley, Calif./Cisco Bio, Spring Valley, Calif./Pancho Bio, Spring Valley, Calif., TubularDesign, 1:42:18; 4. 1603 Oscar Alvarez, McAllen, Texas/Fernando Alvarez, Romo, 1:49:08; 5. 1610 Kevin Price, Fremont, Calif./Michelle Falzon/Jonathan Brand, Custom, 1:50:41; 6. 1606 Ruben Sanudo, Mexicali, Mexico/Roberto Romo, Mexicali, Mexico, Romo, 1:56:28; 7. 1689 Marco Venejas, Fillmore, Calif./Christian Venegas, Fillmore, Calif., JFK, 2:02:38; 8. 1605 Miguel Cortez, San Diego/Cesar Quirarte, Romo, 2:03:15. (Starters 9, Finishers 8)
SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)—1. 1204 Gustavo Pinuelas, Calexico, Calif./Cesar Dela Torre, Jimco, 1:42:16 (37.67 mph); 2. 1218 Miguel Tornel Jr, Chula Vista, Calif., Penhall, 1:42:41; 3. 1210 Luis Barragan, Mexicali, Mexico/Luis Barragan Jr, Mexicali, Mexico, Seagrove, 1:43:35; 4. 1274 Mike Aguilar, San Diego/Adolfo Aguilar Jr, San Diego, Curry, 1:47:12;
5. 1244 Eric Palacios, Las Vegas, Nev./Neri Sanchez, Chenowth, 1:51;50; 6. 1240 Miguel Bonilla, Hermosillo, Mexico/Fernando Mayoral, Jimco, 1:53;17; 7. 1229 Raul Rodriguez, Ensenada, Mexico, Custom, 1:58:07; 8. 1212 Martin Lizarraga, Tijuana, Mexico/Jesse Lopez, Chula Vista, Calif., Venegas, 2:00:20. (Starters 9, Finishers 8)
CLASS 5 (Unlimited VW Baja Bugs)—1. 500 Victor Cesena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico/Gerardo Iribe, Santa Ana, Calif., 2:03:33 (31.18 mph); 2. 549 Ruben Hernandez, Tijuana, Mexico/Ivan Vega, Tijuana, Mexico, 2:15:17. (Starters 3, Finishers 2)
CLASS 7 (Open, production mini trucks)—1. 725 JT Holmes, Reno, Nev., Ford Ranger, 1:42:30 (37.57 mph); 2. 704 Aaron Celiceo, San Diego/Gustavo Vargas, Chula Vista, Calif., Toyota Tacoma, 1:46:05; 3. 701 Brandon Walsh, Encinitas, Calif./Travis Freedman, Toyota Tacoma, 2:03:52. (Starters 5, Finishers 3)
PRO UTV FI (Forced Induction, 4-wheel Utility Vehicle)—1. 2905 Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo, 1:38:11 (39.23 mph); 2. 2975 Mike Cafro, Fallbrook, Calif./Jamie Kirkpatrick, Olympia, Wash., Polaris RZR XP1000, 1:41:55; 3. 2917 Derek Murray/Jason Murray, Eastvale, Calif., Can-Am Maverick X3-1000, 1:42:39. (Starters 8, Finishers 6)
PRO UTV (Naturally Aspirated, Stock 4-wheel Utility Vehicle)—1. 1901 Greg Row, Alpine, Calif./Josh Row, El Cajon, Calif./Brad Meyer, Polaris RZR XP1000, 1:41:25 (37.99 mph); 2. 1949 Alonzo Lopez, Murrieta, Calif., Polaris RZR XP1000, 1:57:04. (Starters 6, Finishers 2)
CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)—1. 599 Hector Hurtado, Tijuana, Mexico/Sergio Lopez, Tijuana, Mexico, 2:04:15 (31.00 mph); 2. 577 Larry Negrete, San Diego (DOR-Ernie Negrete), 2:11:27; 3. 595 Stu Hersey, San Diego/Rick Ponce/Eric Dollente, 2:13:05.(Starters 6, Finishers 4)
CLASS 7SX (Modified stock mini trucks)—(Starters 1, Finishers 0)
CLASS 11 (stock VW sedan)—1. 1109 Mauro Diaz, Ensenada, Mexico/Armando Ventura/Mauro Diaz, Ensenada, Mexico, 2:18:26 (25.95 mph). (Starters 5, Finishers 1)
SPT BUGGY—1. 1581 Zach Summers, Clovis, Calif./Cody Merkord, Clovis, Calif./Kyle Kirkorian, Fresno, Calif., VW Baja Bug, 2:11:16 (29.34 mph). (Starters 1, Finishers 1)
Rosarito Beach 20th SCORE Desert Challenge
Sept. 16-18, 2016 – Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
Driver quotes after first half of race – Friday, Sept. 16
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
JUAN C. LOPEZ, No. 18 (Leader after Friday.) — It was a very aggressive course with lots of rocks and you need to protect the tires. My strategy was to be calm and save the tires for the end of the race because it is a short course. Tomorrow we start second to last so we expect to encounter a lot of dust, making it a little more difficult but I’m confident we will have plenty of opportunities to pass the trucks ahead of us.
CARLOS “APDALY” LOPEZ, No. 1 (Second after Friday.) — My dad (Juan C. Lopez who finished ahead of Apdaly) was very impressive today. I enjoy racing against my dad because I admire him so much. The course was very rough with a lot of rocks and we were trying to take care of the tires but we got a flat and then got hit by another truck about two miles from the finish. We came to the finish running on the flat.
BILLY WILSON, No. 15 (Third after Friday.) — We bumped him (Carlos “Apdaly” Lopez #1) when we were trying to get by him and persuade him to stop and change his flat tire. He knew he had more time on me than it would take him to get to the finish without changing the flat. He was playing it smart by doing that and we were just in his dust, especially with him spinning that tire. We had zero visibility and we tried to pass him in the silt bed. We were going really fast on the first lap and just trying to get out there and get a lead. We were more cautious on the second lap. The course was technical and it keeps you on your toes. You want to go fast but you’ve got to be safe knowing that you can throw it all away in one second.
BRAD WILSON, No. 153 (Leader after Friday. Ray Griffith drove the heat.) — CO-DRIVER RAY GRIFFITH said: We came into the race and right at the start line we had a radiator pop a little hole in it so we did a quick fix. We hustled right before the race and got the thing plugged up. The whole thing is points racing. They (Wilson Racing) brought me down here with my personal car to run points for them so they can get their cars ready for the SCORE Baja 1000. The goal was to just cruise around. We were cruising around and everything was good, we were catching people and our plan was paying off. One by one we took everybody out and on this last lap we had a little bit of competition. There was a guy holding us up and when we finally got around him we got clean air and opened it up a little bit to make time for Brad Wilson driving tomorrow.
JAMIE HUERTA JR., No. 175 (Second after Friday.) — We ran a pretty clean race but unfortunately we had a flat in the rocks. We ran in the dust the whole race. It is a complicated course and you have to run with a great deal of caution.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
ELIAS HANNA, No. 274 (Leader after Friday.) — We started the race charging pretty good. I knew I had to catch the first Trophy Truck Spec because he had a two-minute lead. I had to charge hard through the dust until I did the pass. I played it conservative after that. I took my time making dust and brought it to the finish line. It is the most technical course I’ve ever driven. It is just so narrow there is no room for passing. If you get into somebody’s dust you’ll stay there and make a mistake. Today was our day and we did a good job.
LARRY CONNOR, No. 200 (Second after Friday.) CO-RIDER NEIL MASON said: Early on we made a mistake and got a little too aggressive in the silt and slid off and got stuck down the side. We got passed by Elias Hannah. We were following in his dust and getting fairly close and then we had to change a tire.
GONZALO PIRRON, No. 252 (Third after Friday. Rudy Iribe drove the first heat.) — CO-DRIVER RUDY IRIBE said: We did our homework and pre-ran quite a bit. I pre-ran on my motorcycle so we prepared very well. The course is very technical and there are a lot of rocks. It is very narrow and was very dusty. We caught a couple of cars and it took a long time to pass. That made the second lap substantially slower than the first one.
CHAD BROUGHTON, No. 202 (Fourth after Friday. Co-driver Paul Broughton drove the first heat.) — CO-DRIVER PAUL BROUGHTON said: We got stuck behind a truck that had a flat so we were in dust for quite a while and we couldn’t get around. The course was a lot of fun until we got in the dust and it got a little tricky.
RAFAEL NAVARRO IV, No. 1009 (Leader after Friday.) — Our day went all according to plan. What we have back here in the hills is like what we get in the SCORE Baja 500 for the first 40 miles. We knew it was going to be one lane with a lot of dust. We took it where we could and pretty much took it easy. We tried to keep the car safe. Typically,you don’t have two days of racing so we’ve got another day to think about.
SERGIO SALGADO, No. 1088 (Second after Friday.) — The first lap was so dusty that I couldn’t get by the Class 10 car that was in front of me. It slowed me down for a while. We passed him on the second lap and then we started going a little bit faster. In the canyons there isn’t any wind so you can’t get rid of the dust.
TODD WINSLOW, No. 1081 (Third after Friday. Matt Winslow drove the heat.) — CO-DRIVER MATT WINSLOW said: The day went pretty well. It was dusty starting off and we got behind a couple of guys that just would not get out of the way. We nerfed them a couple of times. We finally got around them and had open air and put the hammer down. The toughest part is the silt. Our problem is that we would catch someone and then we would hit the silt and we couldn’t see anything. They would pull away and then we would catch up in time for another silt bed.
AARON AMPUDIA, No. 836 (Leader after Friday. Co-driver Alan Ampudia drove the first heat.) – CO-DRIVER ALAN AMPUDIA said: The course was a lot of fun. We didn’t think it was going to be that much fun because we pre-ran in a 1600 car but once we got out there and did the first lap it was really fun. It was easy to get around but the dust was a little heavy when I caught up with some other cars. There are some parts of the course with big cliffs and it is really narrow so you can’t make any mistakes.
CESAR FISCAL, No. 1644 (Second after Friday.) — Things went great. I got a good starting position in second because the guy ahead of me was late to the start. It was great because we were ahead of the dust. It was a good race but we did hit a cattle guard. When I hit the cattle guard the car went sideways so I was across the road and had to back up and I thought we were done for the race but we weren’t. We had good luck. It was a great course and I really liked it.
FERNIE PADILLA, No. 1632 (Leader after Friday.) — There were a lot of cars and they were kicking butt all day and I worked my butt off to try and keep up with them. I took a gamble and tried to get the car as light as possible so I tried electric power steering for this race. It backfired on me. It’s not working nearly as well as the hydraulic and my arms are on fire right now. It felt like I didn’t have any power steering today. I only did 64 miles today and I’m exhausted. I didn’t like the course in pre-running but after running it today it is actually a pretty fun course. You’ve got to take your time in the cliff sections but there are a lot of wide-open sections that are just fun.
GUSTAVO PINUELAS, No. 1204 (Leader after Friday.) — We didn’t have any problems and it was a clean race. I liked the course a lot because it was very technical.
MIGUEL TORNEL JR., No. 1218 (Second after Friday.) — I was in another guy’s dust and I took a wrong turn which cost me about two or three minutes. I didn’t lose my position though. I had some transmission problems so I’ll have to see how that is for tomorrow so I don’t damage the car.
VICTOR CESENA, No. 500 (Leader after Friday.) — We had a great day. We had a class 8 in front of us and the dust was horrible and we almost got stuck. We went into a silt bed and we didn’t have enough momentum so we almost got stuck. The race exceeded my expectations and I had a really good time driving.
JT HOLMES, No. 725 (Leader after Friday.) — We were on Dan Chamlee’s tail but you have to be very careful in the dust and I couldn’t get by for a long time. You can’t go by if you can’t see. There’s a steep uphill climb with three lines up it. I checked up and took the first line and he took the second which is a little off-camber and I think a little more difficult and a little looser. I got lucky seeing where he was going, checking up on my speed and doing a 90-left quick and then throttle on. When you have a clean day you can win. If you have trouble and
problems you can’t win but we had a clean day and it was fun.
Pro UTV FI
MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (Leader after Friday.) — We were just taking it easy on the first lap because we had a lot of traffic and a lot of dust. Johnny (Angal #2921) had a little time on us and we were starting to make it up and then he broke down on the side of the road. We kept on pushing and the car is working really well. The course is cool. It was tight and fun for a UTV. It’s a little hard when the trucks are in front of us but I liked it a lot and it keeps you on the edge. I was taking it kind of cautious today and it worked out really well but we’re going to step it up tomorrow because we are starting in the back of the pack, so it will be dustier.
GREG ROW, No. 1901 (Leader after Friday. Josh Row drove the first heat.) – CO-DRIVER JOSH ROW said: We had a really good run and the car was flawless and we had a lot of fun. I didn’t have any dust and it was one of those days that works like clockwork. Tomorrow is going to be a game of patience. We didn’t pre-run so today was a good day to see the track. At first the course was really fun but once we got up on the ridges with all the rocks and drop offs it was no joke.
HECTOR HURTADO, No. 599 (Leader after Friday.) — I liked the course. It was very technical with curves, rocks and cliffs but there was a lot of dust.
MAURO DIAZ, No. 1109 (Leader after Friday.) — This is the worst course I’ve ever driven. It is scary and you better check your brakes. There was a lot of dust and a lot of rocks and big cliffs. We had carburetor problems at the beginning because the engine was kind of cold. It took five or ten miles to warm up a little bit. This is a brand new car in its first race and our first race in SCORE.