July 26, 1974 always remembered as historical date that began the legendary lasting legacy of SCORE | SCORE-International.com

July 26, 1974 always remembered as historical date that began the legendary lasting legacy of SCORE

SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, dominic@SCORE-International.com

May 7, 2021

Race week June 10-13

BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500,
presented by 4 Wheel Parts
July 26, 1974 always remembered as historical date
that began the legendary lasting legacy of SCORE

Round 2 of four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship
in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico; Airing on ESPN2 World of X Games;
Racer registration, event info at www.SCORE-International.com; #SCOREBaja500

NOTE: All-time starters/finishers, race sites 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 was asked to take 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
The BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts,Round 2 of the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship, will be held June 10-13 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
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 as SCORE continues in its 48th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Because of the significant health and safety 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 located Northeast of downtown Ensenada at the end of the extension of Avenida ruiz on the highway overpass, the same location as last year’s SCORE Baja 1000.
Use the following link for the map to the SCORE start/finish compound:
https://score-international.com/raceinfo/map-to-compound/.
Spectators, adhering to the protocols, will be allowed to watch the race from around the race course.
ONLINE RACER ENTRY APPLICATIONS
Racer entry applications continue to be available at www.SCORE-International.com under Race Info on the SCORE Baja 500 page. Questions should be directed to SCORE Registration and Membership Director Audreonna Garcia at 775. 852.8907. Online racer entry applications will be accepted through Friday, May 21.
DETAILS
With nearly 300 entries expected from 30 U.S. States and 20 countries, 51 competition classes are offered for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. Among the latest group of 47 total early entries are racers from 11 U.S. States, host country Mexico, along with Bolivia and Canada.
Domestically, the race will be televised on a delayed basis on the World of X Games show on the ESPN2 as co-produced by SCORE International and award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles.
All four 2021 SCORE races are being held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the sixth consecutive year.
SCORE Live will be streaming throughout race week on the SCORE website and on the new SCORE TV app. Colorful Rat Sult, never at a loss for interesting words, is back for his sixth season as the host of SCORE Live.
THE DATE: JULY 26, 1974
With tremendous assistance from Nico Saad, long-time Ensenada tourism advocate and owner of the legendary San Nicolas Hotel in Ensenada, Mickey Thompson and his fledgling SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the Baja 500 starting in 1974 and the exclusive U.S. promoter for Baja Calif.
Thus came the birth of the SCORE Baja Internacional (legal issues precluded SCORE from gaining the rights to use the name Baja 500 until 1991). The first SCORE Baja Internacional (produced by Mickey Thompson and Sal Fish) was held on July 26, 1974 in Ensenada with 279 official starters and 173 official finishers.   But fans, media and racers alike have always called it the Baja 500.
Noted Hollywood stunt driver and Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Ferro won the overall 4-wheel vehicle title for the third of four times in his career in 1974, this time in a VW-Sandmaster open-wheel desert race car. The fastest overall motorcycle in this race was the Husqvarna with Mitch Mayes and A.C. Bakken sharing the riding duties.
START/FINISH LOCATIONS
Ensenada has hosted the SCORE Baja 500 the most of any location. It has started 46 times there and finished 42 times there.
Only six 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. The health pandemic forced it to be moved again to San Felipe in 2020.
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, last year’s race was moved to San Felipe where it started and finished at the El Dorado Ranch resort just North of town.
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.
OVERALL CHAMPIONS
Legends are born at the SCORE Baja 500.  Drivers with the most overall wins in the race, Larry ‘Mr. Baja’ Roeseler is on top with 11 (including nine on a motorcycle and two in an open-wheel desert race car).
Second is Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart with the most overall 4-wheel victories by far with 10 (and he also has race-record 17 total class wins including the 10 overalls).
Third in overall wins with five overall 4-wheel wins is ‘Lightning’ Larry Ragland.
With four overall 4-wheel wins each are Bobby Ferro, Robby Gordon and Malcolm Smith (including one on a motorcycle).
With three overall 4-wheel wins each are Dr. Bud Feldkamp, Troy Herbst, Mark McMillin, Mark’s brother Scott McMillin, Andy McMillin (Scott’s son) and Bryce Menzies.
With two overall 4-wheel wins each are Brian Collins, Bob Gordon (Robby’s father), Parnelli Jones, Rob MacCachren, Corky McMillin (McMillin family patriarch) and Dan Smith (including one on a motorcycle).
Besides Roeseler with nine, the leaders in overall motorcycle wins are Steve Hengeveld (7), Johnny Campbell, Paul Krause, Bruce Ogilvie, Kendall Norman and Justin Morgan with five each.
With four each are Robby Bell, Ted Hunnicutt Jr and Mark Samuels and with three each are Scot Harden and Jonah Street.
Also on the iconic 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) Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr (2016) and Daniel McMillin (2020).
Among active racers, with five motorcycle overall wins is active racers Justin Morgan (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), with four is Mark Samuels (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020) with three is Justin Jones (2018, 2019, 2020) and with two motorcycle overall wins each on two-wheels are Max Eddy Jr (2014, 2015), Justin Jones (2018, 2019), Ricky Brabec (2014, 2015) and Colton Udall (2013, 2016).
With one motorcycle overall win each are active racers Mike Childress (2005), Shane Esposito (2017), David Kamo (2013) and Roberto Villalobos (2017).
MANUFACTURER CHAMPS
In the battle of manufacturers, several categories are presented.
Leaders in overall car/truck wins are Ford Truck (14), Chevy Truck (9), Funco, Chenowth and Toyota trucks with seven each, Jimco and Smithbuilt with three each, Sandmaster with two and with one each are Baja Boot, Chaparral, Jeep and Tatum.
Leaders in overall Tire manufacturers’ wins for cars/trucks are BFGoodrich Tires (33), Western Auto (5), Toyo Tires (4) and tied with two each are Firestone Tires, Goodyear Tires and Yokohama Tires.
The leaders in overall motorcycle wins are Honda (22), Husqvarna (12), Kawasaki (11), Yamaha (4) and with one each are Beta, Ducati and Harley-Davidson.
The leaders in overall engine wins for cars and trucks are Ford (16), Chevy (13), Volkswagen (13), Toyota (7), Porsche (5) and Jeep (1).
CROSSOVERS
Among the drivers from other motorsport disciplines who have tested the Baja 500 have been Indy Car racers Rick and Roger Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Ongias, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Roberto Guerrero, Michel Jourdain Jr., Johnny Unser and Mike and Robbie Groff, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, SCCA legend Elliot Forbes-Robinson, Pike’s Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen, Drifting and Pike’s Peak champion Rhys Millen, World Rally Championship’s Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera, world motorcycle champions Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler and Destry Abbott, Motocross legends Ricky Johnson and Jeremy McGrath, Dakar Rally Champions Ricky Brabec, Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, XGames star Travis Pastrana, Sports Car champion Larry Connor, drag racers Don Prudhomme and Larry Minor and legendary SCORE founder and motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
ON-SITE RACER REGISTRATION
Being held in the SCORE start/finish line compound on the East end of Avenida Ruiz, regular on-site and late racer registration will be held on Thursday (June 10) from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT and on Friday (June 11) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No new entries will be accepted after 6 p.m. PT on Thursday (June 10) and 3 p.m. PT on Friday (June 11).
START ORDER/DRAW DEADLINE
The starting order within each class for this race will be determined by the individual finishes at this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, if the individual entry is received and all fees paid in full by 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21.
All entries received and paid in full by May 21 who didn’t race in San Felipe, will be part of a drawing to determine the remainder of the start order within each class. The draw results will be posted on the SCORE website at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28.
Up until and 5 p.m. PT on May 28, entries will be accepted in the SCORE Ensenada office but those entries received after May 21 will not be in the start draw. Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Thursday and Friday (June 11 and 12) and will be given the next available start position within their respective classes.
All entries received after 8 p.m. PT on Friday, May 21 will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes.
GREEN FLAG—JUNE 12
The motorcycle and quad classes will start at 6 a.m. PT Saturday (June 12) while the car, truck and UTV classes will begin their journey starting at 10 a.m. PT. SCORE Trophy Truck, TT Legend, Class 1, Trophy Truck Spec and the Pro Moto Unlimited classes will start one vehicle every 60 seconds race while all other classes will start one every 30 seconds.
While the fastest vehicles in the elapsed-time race are expected to finish in approximately eight hours, all vehicles will have 20 hours from the time each starts to become an official finisher in the historic race.
PRE-RUNNING
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 464-mile race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts will begin at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 22 starting at race mile 33.10 and finishing at race mile 427.90. The rm0.0 to rm33.10 section will be open only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday (June 9-10). No inbound running from rm33.10 to the finish except on race day.
The official SCORE Racer Brief, course map and GPS files will be available by 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 20 on the SCORE website under race info/SCORE Baja 500.
COURSE PREVIEW
With pre-running opening on Saturday, May 22 for the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva is putting together another memorable race course to challenge the world’s best desert racers. The finished distance will be approximately 464 miles.
Running in a clockwise direction, The race will start and finish without spectators in the SCORE compound because of Health and Safety protocols. The SCORE start/finish compound will be located East of downtown Ensenada at the end of the extension of Avenida Ruiz on the highway overpass, the same location as last year’s SCORE Baja 1000.
All Sportsman classes, Class 7SX, Baja Challenge, Class 11 and the Baja-e will race on a reduced course.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 45 years, received two awards for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. BFGoodrich Tires was honored after the 2020 season 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 34 overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 250, all three SCORE Desert Challenge races, the lone 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 Baja 500. BFGoodrich Tires has posted a contingency bonus for the overall winner of this race of US$25,000.
PRESENTING SPONSOR
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500 is 4 Wheel Parts, the Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship.
SCOREscope
2021 SCORE SKED
Here are the remaining three dates in the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship which are all being held exclusively in Baja California, Mexico for the sixth consecutive year:

  • 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
ESPN TV NETWORKS AGAIN IN 2021
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. The season-opening BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford, is scheduled to air on May 30. Check local listings for exact time.
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 journalists Sam Posey and Jack Arute.
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, Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association, Ensenada Tourism Marketing Committee and Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCORE-International.com.

SCORE Baja 500
All-Time Starters, Finishers, Race Sites

1969
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 163, Total Finishers: 73
1970
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 260, Total Finishers: 170
1971
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 226, Total Finishers: 114
1972
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 301, Total Finishers: 144
1973
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 333, Total Finishers: 138
1974
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 279, Total Finishers: 173
1975
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 365, Total Finishers: 155
1976
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 384, Total Finishers: 179
1977
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 384, Total Finishers: 161
1978
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 282, Total Finishers: 96
1979
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 283, Total Finishers: 139
1980
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 294, Total Finishers: 126
1981
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 277, Total Finishers: 117
1982
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 208, Total Finishers: 117
1983
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 192, Total Finishers: 86
1984
Barstow, California, USA
Total Starters: 174, Total Finishers: 84
1985
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 213, Total Finishers: 95
1986
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 277, Total Finishers: 174
1987
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 299, Total Finishers: 185
1988
Ensenada to Santo Tomas, Mexico
Total Starters: 237, Total Finishers: 147
1989
San Felipe, Mexico
Total Starters: 219, Total Finishers: 118
1990
Ensenada to Santo Tomas
Total Starters: 272, Total Finishers: 159
1991
Ojos Negros to Ojos Negros, Mexico
Total Starters: 254, Total Finishers: 163
1992
Ojos Negros to Ojos Negros
Total Starters: 209 Total Finishers: 138
1993
Ojos Negros to Santo Tomas
Total Starters: 198, Total Finishers: 110
1994
Ensenada to Santo Tomas
Total Starters: 212, Total Finishers: 109
1995
Ensenada to Santo Tomas
Total Starters: 251, Total Finishers: 172
1996
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 204, Total Finishers: 99
1997
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 214, Total Finishers: 98
1998
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 201, Total Finishers: 98
1999
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 221, Total Finishers: 120
2000
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 219, Total Finishers: 107
2001
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 249, Total Finishers: 146
2002
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 258, Total Finishers: 132
2003
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 260, Total Finishers: 147
2004
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 300, Total Finishers: 181
2005
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 345, Total Finishers: 179
2006
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 438, Total Finishers: 221
2007
Ensenada to Ensenada
*Total Starters: 492, Total Finishers: 283
2008
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 289, Total Finishers: 195
2009
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 267, Total Finishers: 174
2010
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 289, Total Finishers: 192
2011
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 254, Total Finishers: 154
2012
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 259, Total Finishers: 183
2013
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 276, Total Finishers: 156
2014
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 232, Total Finishers: 126
2015
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 210, Total Finishers: 135
2016
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 236, Total Finishers: 137
2017
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 233, Total Finishers: 148
2018
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 321, Total Finishers: 187
2019
Ensenada to Ensenada
Total Starters: 245, Total Finishers: 144
2020
San Felipe to San Felipe
Total Starters: 129, Total Finishers: 78
     *Event Record-Starters & Finishers

SCORE Baja 500
All-Time Start Sites

Times, City
46-Ensenada
3-Ojos Negros
2-San Felipe
1-Barstow, California, USA

All-Time Finish Sites

Times, City
42-Ensenada
5-Santo Tomas
2-Ojos Negros
2-San Felipe
1-Barstow, California, USA

Top Total Starters

Year, Number (Finishers)
1. 2007—492 Starters (283 Finishers)
2. 2006—438 Starters (221 Finishers)
3. 1977—384 Starters (161 Finishers)
3. 1976—384 Starters (179 Finishers)
5. 1975—365 Starters (153 Finishers)
6. 2005—345 Starters (179 Finishers)
7. 1973—333 Starters (138 Finishers)
8. 2018—321 Starters (187 Finishers)
9. 1972—301 Starters (144 Finishers)
10. 2004—300 Starters (181 Finishers)
11. 1987—299 Starters (185 Finishers)
12. 1980—294 Starters (126 Finishers)
13. 2008—289 Starters (195 Finishers)
13. 2010—289 Starters (192 Finishers)
15. 1979—283 Starters (139 Finishers)
16. 1978—282 Starters (96 Finishers)
17. 1974—279 Starters (173 Finishers)
18. 1981—277 Starters (117 Finishers)
18. 1986—277 Starters (174 Finishers)
20. 2013—276 Starters (159 Finishers)
21. 1990—272 Starters (159 Finishers)

Top Total Finishers

Year, Number (Starters)
1. 2007—283 Finishers (492 Starters)
2. 2006—221 Finishers (438 Starters)
3. 2008—195 Finishers (289 Starters)
4. 2010—192 Finishers (289 Starters)
5. 2018—187 Finishers (321 Starters)
6. 1987—185 Finishers (299 Starters)
7. 2012—183 Finishers (259 Starters)
8. 2004—181 Finishers (300 Starters)
9. 2005—179 Finishers (345 Starters)
9. 1976—179 Finishers (384 Starters)
11. 1986—174 Finishers (277 Starters)
11. 2009—174 Finishers (267 Starters)
13. 1974—173 Finishers (279 Starters)
14. 1995—172 Finishers (251 Starters)
15. 1970—170 Finishers (260 Starters)
16. 1991—163 Finishers (254 Starters)
17. 1977—161 Finishers (384 Starters)
18. 1990—159 Finishers (272 Starters)
19. 2013—156 Finishers (276 Starters)
20. 1975—155 Finishers (365 Starters)
21. 2011—154 Finishers (254 Starters)
22. 2017—148 Finishers (233 Starters)
23. 2003—147 Finishers (260 Starters)
23. 1988—147 Finishers (260 Starters)