race had 206 total starters from 25 States, eight countries for rugged 271.9-mile ‘sprint’ race
SAN FELIPE, Baja California, Mexico – Returning after a one-year absence to a race he relishes so much, Las Vegas’ Rob MaCachren masterfully and methodically manipulated and succinctly stormed his way past the competition and through the relentless desert race course to the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory Saturday at the 31st annual SCORE San Felipe 250.
Round 1 of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship was held on a super-challenging, technical 271.9-mile course during a sensationally stunning sunny Saturday in Mexico that started and finished in quaint San Felipe on the northeast portion of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula along the tranquil waters of the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border in Calexico, Calif.
The race started and finished on the picturesque malecon in the heart of San Felipe for the first time in the 31-year history of the SCORE San Felipe 250.
A total of 204 official starters raced in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, utvs, motorcycles and quads. Entries came from 25 U.S. States, host Mexico, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany and Guatemala. The race had 143S official finishers and a very high finishing rate of 70.9 percent in the very challenging elapsed time race that had a 13.5-hour time limit.
With necessary penalties assessed, the results were made official early Sunday morning following data tracking review by SCORE race officials.
A Hall of Fame desert and short-course off-road champion, MacCachren, 52, backed up his top-qualifying effort on Thursday to capture his ninth class win and his fifth overall and fifth in SCORE Trophy Truck in the SCORE San Felipe 250. MacCachren stormed strategically to a penalty-free winning time of four hours, 20 minutes, 15 seconds at a sterling 62.69 miles per hour in his No. 11 Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150.
Prior to this year, MacCachren’s Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250 have been in 2003 (with Gustavo Vildosola Sr), 2007 (with Mark Post) and driving solo in 2011 and 2012.
Among his nearly 250 career race wins, MacCachren has also won the overall title at the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000 for the last three consecutive years.
While MacCachren clearly dominated a field of 24 SCORE Trophy Trucks, the remaining podium placements represented great racing efforts as well. Finishing second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck three minutes, 55 seconds behind MacCachren in 4:24:11 (61.75mph) was defending race champion Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, in the No. 15 Bevly Wilson Racing Chevy Silverado.
Placing third overall and in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks five minutes, 36.53 seconds behind MacCachren was two-time defending SCORE season point champion Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez with a time of 4:25:52 (61.36mph) in the No. 1 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck.
The race will air as a one-hour special in the United States on the El Rey Network. With necessary penalties assessed, the results were made official early Sunday morning following data tracking review by SCORE race officials.
GOLDEN SCORE 2017
The 2017 season also marks the golden 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be held in mid-November. The SCORE Baja 1000 is the oldest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
Enjoying the experience of yet another SCORE Baja race win, MacCachren remembered at the finish line, “I clipped a rock about mile 50 and got a flat tire. That allowed Apdaly (Lopez) and Cameron Steele to get in front of us,” MacCachren said. “We tried to work away and chop off that gap that they put on us. Apdaly was pulled over on the side of the road a little bit later and we got in front of him. Cameron Steele was running really strong and we made up a few minutes on him coming through mile 125 to mile 175. It started to stabilize and I think he got the word that we were coming. He started right behind me so we were going to have to pass him to beat him.
“Coming up on mile 200 there were gnarly sand whoops and we were just hammering down and I started getting in his dust. I got really close to him at about 100 feet back and I couldn’t see for a moment and went off into a cactus and it ended up coming into the cab. It stuck in me and my co-driver Wayne so we were trying to pull that out of us and let Cameron get ahead a little bit. I told Wayne to tell me not to be a wimp and just go and leave that stuff in there. He said “don’t be a wimp” and then we got going. We got out ahead of Cameron right before the Huatuamote wash. We were running hard the last 30 miles to make sure he didn’t get us on time.”
OVERALL MOTORCYCLE WINNERS
The overall motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited winner was the team of Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif., on the No. 1x Ox Motorsports Honda CRF450X. Samuel is rider of record this year as normal rider of record Colton Udall is out indefinitely with injuries. It was the second straight overall win for Samuels in the SCORE San Felipe 250. Samuels and co-ridersDaymon Stokie, Australia, and Ryan Penhall, Laguna Niguel, Calif. teamed up to finish in 5:12:38 (52.18mph) to win the Pro Moto Unlimited class on a Honda CRF450X.
M/C WINNERS QUOTES
Samuels rode the first three miles and Stokie took over to race mile 47. Samuels rode again to race mile 144, Stokie rode again to race mile 190 and Penhall rode to the finish.
Obviously happy with his overall motorcycle victory, Samuels commented, “The course was really brutal. My section was the northern section and the SCORE Baja 500 and 1000 used that section last year making it really choppy and a lot of rocks came up. I was worked today. We deployed people to where they are best suited and we choose teammates that get along. We’ve got a good team bond, we have a good time and we all work together to make the job happen.”
Penhall commented at the finish line, “I rode a smooth race but had one tip-over. I rode smart and had a good time out there. This was the roughest course I’ve ever ridden in San Felipe. More rocks are showing up in the sand washes and the whoops are getting deeper. As the SCORE Trophy Trucks get more and more suspension it just gets harder for the bike guys.”
SCORE Trophy Trucks have now won 21 overalls in San Felipe in the 24-year history of the featured SCORE racing division. In the 31 years of this race, Honda has now earned 20 overall motorcycle victories (including 18 of the last 21 years), Kawasaki has seven, KTM has three and Husqvarna has one. For long-time SCORE sponsor BFGoodrich Tires, it was their 26th overall 4-wheel vehicle victory and 24th straight in the SCORE San Felipe 250.
4-WHEEL TOP 11
The marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division blistered the rugged race course to record 10 of the top 11 overall finishing positions in the race.
Fourth behind MacCachren, Wilson and Lopez was Lopez’s RPM Racing teammate and RPM co-owner Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., who finished less than three seconds behind Lopez in 4:25:55.75 in the No. 4 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck.
Fifth was Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin in 4:29:16 in the No. 97 Monster Energy Toyota Tundra, sixth was was Las Vegas brothers Tim Herbst/Troy Herbst, with a time of 4:32:35 in the No. 19 Monster Energy Ford F-150 and seventh in the No. 16 Monster Energy Chevy Silverado was Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., who finished in 4:41:15.
Eighth and ninth overall placements went to third-generation desert racers. San Diego’s Dan McMillin was eighth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in 4:43:29 in the No. 23 Ford F-150 while ninth overall and winning the unlimited Class 1 was Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif. with a penalty-free time of 4:57:09 in the No. 153 Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.
Tenth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in 4:58:30 was Jesse Jones, Phoenix who split the driving in the No. 76 Ford F-150 with his son Austin Jones, also of Phoenix and Australia’s motorcycle star Toby Price.
Eleventh overall and 10th in SCORE Trophy Truck in 5:02:42 was Denver’s Gary Magness in the No. 45 Ford F-150.
OVERALL UTV WINNER
Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif., was the overall UTV winner with a time of 6:36:48 in a Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo in the Pro UTV FI class which had 13 starters.
MAKE THAT 17
Age-group racer and note apparel manufacturer Jim O’Neal, 70, of Simi Valley, Calif. added another class win to his trophy case for a SCORE race-high17 class wins –all in the last 17 years.
O’Neal has now raced in all 31 SCORE San Felipe 250 races and he has a SCORE-record 19 career season class point titles including two in 2016. This year in San Felipe was the rider of record for the team riding on the No. 100x in Pro Moto Limited.
YO ELEVEN, ELEVEN
Seasoned veteran Class 11 stock VW Sedan racer Eric Solorzano, 57, Tijuana, Mexico, won his class in San Felipe for the 11th time. Solorzano is one of the winngest racers in SCORE history and has earned 11 season point champions in Class 11 in his long career. His race vehicle number this year—No. 1111 and his finishing time this year was 10:11:12.
ANOTHER CLASS WIN
In addition to MacCachren, O’Neal and Matlock, also adding to his win total in San Felipe was Donald Lewis, 73, Manchester, Conn., who led a team to victory in the Pro Moto 60 class (riders over 60) for his fifth class win. Riding with him in San Felipe were Ron Dugan, 75, Upland, Calif. and Robert Koch, 63 Leona Valley, Calif.
Also picking up his fifth class wins in San Felipe was Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (Pro UTV FI).
Earning their fourth class wins in this race were Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Trophy Truck Spec) and Gustavo Vildosola Sr (SCORE TT Legend for drivers over 50 years old).
Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif., captured his third class win in San Felipe (SCORE Lites). Winning for the third straight year was Jorge Sampietro, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 1/2-1600).
MORE CLASS WINNERS
Among the other car and truck class winners in this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 were Brock Dickerson, Brawley, Calif./Jeff Dickerson, Brawley, Calif. (Alumi Craft-Chevy), Noah Ostanik, Carlsbad, Calif. (Class 8, Ford F-150), Luis Lopez, Mexicali, Mexico/Victor Cesena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Class 5, VW Baja Bug) Bud Pecoy, W. Des Moines, Iowa (Baja Challenge, BTC-Subaru) and Jorge Gutierrez, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug).
Among the other motorcycle class winners this year were Jose Carassco, Rosarito Beach, Mexico, (Pro Moto Ironman, Suzuki RMZ450X), Kevin Johnson, Boulder City, Nev. (Pro Moto 40, Husqvarna 510), Chad Thornton, Farmington, N.M., (Pro Moto 30, KTM 450XCW) and Giovanni Spinali, Lake Forest, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, Honda CRF450X).
A MASTERFUL COURSE
SCORE President Roger Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva worked with the government officials and ejidos of the Mexicali and San Felipe areas to develop a memorable SCORE San Felipe 250 race course.
This year’s grueling race course was another beauty to behold but a tough challenge to race on. It ran in a counter clockwise direction running over high-speed dry lake beds, through low-speed winding, rock-strewn, twisting canyons and trails, along quick-paced dirt roads and through three of Baja’s most infamous washes in Chanate, Huatamote and Amarillo.
There were two full stop checkpoints in addition to the start/finish line which was located for the first time in the history of this race on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe. Checkpoint 1 was located at El Chinero and the second was at Morelia Junction.
The course passed through La Ventana, Saldana and Borrego as well as the Diablo dry lake bed.
There were two road crossings, both on Highway 3. The first will be going north at km 192 after checkpoint 1 and the second one coming south near Borrego, crossing at km 179 on the highway.
SPRING BREAK HAPPENING
For over three decades, the annual motorsports festival that has brought the largest economic impact of any single event held annually in this lightly-populated portion of the ruggedly rough and bountifully beautiful Baja peninsula has been the SCORE San Felipe 250.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the second time all four are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
31st SCORE San Felipe 250, March 29-April 2, San Felipe, Mexico
50th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico
EL REY NETWORK
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience/SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas will all air on El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows will each be one-hour telecasts.
El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network targeting “Strivers,” viewers who hold strong core beliefs about the importance of family, independence, hard work, craftsmanship, and legacy.
Founded by maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and curated by Rodriguez and his artistic collective, the network features action-packed programming, relatable heroes and aspirational stories that embrace today’s America. El Rey’s slate is anchored by signature series including the original drama “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” the one-on-one interview program “El Rey Network Presents: The Director’s Chair,” and “Lucha Underground,” a lucha libre wrestling series produced by Mark Burnett.
El Rey Network’s lineup also showcases a wide range of iconic feature films and television series including genre, action, and sci-fi/ horror. El Rey Network LLC is jointly owned by Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures, with a minority stake held by Univision Networks & Studios, Inc.
El Rey Network is available in 45 million homes across the country through cable and OTT providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 341 and Dish Network Channel 253. For more information on how to watch El Rey visit http://elreynetwork.com.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Raceline Wheels-Official Wheel, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, El Rey Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 4 Wheel Parts, Coca Cola, The Satellite Phone Store, Satellite Del Norte, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, CETTO Vineyards.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Sur State Government, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: Ayuntamiento de Playas de Rosarito, Cotuco de Playas de Rosarito, Comite de Mercadatecnia Playas de Rosarito.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)—1. 11 Rob MacCachren, 52, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 4:20:15 (62.69 miles per hour); 2. 15 Billy Wilson, 31, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 4:24:11; 3. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, 22, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck, 4:25:52; 4. 4 Justin Matney, 32, Bristol, Tenn., Chevy Rally Truck, 4:25:55; 5. 97 B.J. Baldwin, 37, Las Vegas, Toyota Tundra, 4:29:15; 6. 19 Tim Herbst, 53, Las Vegas/Troy Herbst 50, Ford F-150, 4:32:35; 7. 16 Cameron Steele, 48, San Clemente, Calif./Cody Stuart, 32, Capistrano Beach, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 4:41:15; 8. 23 Dan McMillin, 29, La Mesa, Calif., Ford F-150, 4:43:29; 9. 76 Jesse Jones, 51, Phoenix/Toby Price, 28, Australia/Austin Jones, 19, Phoenix, Ford F-150, 4:58:30; 10. 45 Gary Magness, 63, Denver/Devin Housh, 36, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150, 5:02:41; 11. 24 Cory Keysar, 49, Colorado Springs, Colo., Ford Raptor, 5:13:39; 12. 85 Mike Lawrence, 29, Murrieta, Calif./Luis Meyers, 30, Riverside, Calif., 5:16:25; 13. 38 Eric Hustead, 46, St. George, Utah, Ford F-150, 5:19:13; 14. 6 Larry Connor, 67, Miamisburg, Ohio/Ricky Johnson, 52, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 5:24:39;
3 Mark Post, 59, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, 55, Las Vegas/Kyle LeDuc, 34, Temecula, Calif., Ford F-150, 5:34:39; 16. 13 Damen Jefferies, 44, Apple Valley, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 8:59:07. (21 Starters, 16 Finishers)
CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)—1. 599 Jorge Gutierrez, 39, El Cajon, Calif./Miguel De La Mora, 37, Westminster, Calif./Octavio De La Mora, 40, Santa Ana, Calif./Carlos Molina, 40, San Diego, 8:12:17 (33.14 mph); 2. 550 Hector Hurtado, 28, Tijuana, Mexico/Fernando Flores/Oscar Shacon, 8:13:41; 3. 577 Luis Herrera, 36, Granada Hills, Calif./Ernie Negrete, 44, San Diego/Jorge Torres, 44, Tijuana, Mexico, 8:33:11; 4. 582 Rodolfo Martinez, 42, Spring Valley, Calif./Miguel Camarena, 43, San Diego/Miguel Rodriguez, 43, San Diego, 8:48:44; 5. 555 Tomas A. Fernandez, 45, Laredo, Texas (Mexico)/Adrian Saucedo, 26, Ensenada, Mexico, 11:43:59. (5 Starters, 5 Finishers)
CLASS 3 (short wheelbase 4X4)—1. 349 Ken Leavitt, 50, Jerome, Idaho/Lara Wagstaf, 39, Ketchum, Idaho/Tim Bradford, 32, Ventura, Calif., Ford Bronco, 13:29:29 (20.15 mph). (3 Starters, 1 Finisher)
April 1, 2017 – San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
PRO CARS & TRUCKS
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
ROB MacCACHREN, No. 11– (First in class and first overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — I clipped a rock at about mile 50 and got a flat tire. That allowed Apdaly (Lopez) (1) and Cameron Steele (16) to get in front of us. We tried to work away and chop off that gap that they put on us. Apdaly was pulled over on the side of the road a little bit later and we got in front of him. Cameron Steele was running really strong and we made up a few minutes on him coming through mile 125 to mile 175. It started to stabilize and I think he got the word that we were coming. He started right behind me so we were going to have to pass him to beat him. Coming up on mile 200 there were gnarly sand whoops and we were just hammering down and I started getting in his dust. I got really close to him at about 100 feet back and I couldn’t see for a moment and went off into a cactus and it ended up coming into the cab. It stuck in me and my co-driver Wayne so we were trying to pull that out of us and let Cameron get ahead a little bit. I told Wayne to tell me not to be a wimp and just go and leave that stuff in there. He said “don’t be a wimp” and then we got going. We got out ahead of Cameron right before the Huatamote wash. We were running hard the last 30 miles to make sure he didn’t get us on time.
BILLY WILSON, No. 15 (Second in class and second overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — Initially I wasn’t too concerned about my qualifying position. Last year I started in 12th and I figured I would be OK this year. Last year more people had issues sooner in the race so I had more clear air. I was in the dust for a lot of this race leading us into a huge tree within the first 20 miles. It was pretty gnarly and I had to pull in at race mile 40 and pull the hood off. We never stopped again after that. Jesse Jones came by me while the motor temperature was coming up through the wash. He came right by me with that four-wheel drive truck and made more dust which delayed us a little more.
CARLOS LOPEZ, No. 1, (Third in class and third overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — The battery in the truck wasn’t charging so we had to change it out. We lost about 10 minutes but I’m happy to be at the finish line. Cameron Steele (16) was in front of us all day but we passed him about a mile from the finish. We are going to take this truck back to the shop and get ready for the SCORE Baja 500.
JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 4 (Fourth in class and fourth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We got around Tim Herbst (4) and after that we had clean sailing the rest of the way in. We started getting a vibration in the driveline on a lakebed so we had to back it down and our top speed was like 72 after that. We are glad to finish. The SCORE San Felipe 250 is always a tough course but we are always happy to be down here in Baja and love the fans. Really we were just trying to get her home and get our finishing points. It was a good race.
B.J. BALDWIN, No. 97 (Fifth in class and fifth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — We had a problem right off the bat with our communications and my mic was amplifying the engine noise in the radio noise. My ears are ringing right now. I hit a big rock and had a flat at mile 100. I think we are just off pace. I’ve been at the hospital with my daughter all week. She is fine, but I missed a bunch of pre-running and I didn’t even get to pre-run a whole lap.
TIM HERBST, No. 19 (Sixth in class and sixth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) Tim shared driving duties with Troy Herbst.) — We were just looking for traction and trying to find speed. My radio didn’t work, I didn’t know where we were and so I was just trying to drive as fast as I could. I saw a couple of the McMillins pulled over on the side so I figured maybe we would get them by attrition.
CAMERON STEELE, No. 16 (Seventh in class and seventh overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — In the beginning we were smooth running with clean air. At race mile 210 we lost a third member and had to pull over and check it. We decided not to change it and instead baby it in. We were three miles from town and 30 seconds behind Rob (MacCachren) (11) on time. We lost the third member right on the bridge and the locals came out, grabbed our tow rope and pulled us across the bridge. B.J. Baldwin (97) gave us a tap in at the finish line.
DAN McMILLIN, No. 23 (Eighth in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish.) — The whoops and the big holes along the bottom between race mile 180 and 210 were tough. It was 30 miles of big whoops. We got passed by (Billy) Wilson (15) and (Jesse) Jones (76) because we were taking it easy through there. That was the hardest part of the whole course and we were trying not to fry the shocks. I passed B.J. Baldwin (97) on a really good line that I made with shovels and picks while pre-running.
JESSE JONES, No. 76 (Ninth in class and tenth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Austin Jones started the race and Jesse took over the wheel following a flat. Toby Price drove from race mile 130 to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER TOBY PRICE SAID: We had a few issues and bits and pieces of problems. We had a couple of flat tires which killed us a little bit. I love the speed of this truck and how it gets across the whoops. I’m stoked to be able to jump into one of these and ride with Jesse Jones. We had a fairly decent run.
BRAD WILSON, No. 153 (First in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle to finish. Wilson drove the first 134 miles. Justin Munyon drove to the finish.) — My section was flawless but I was dodging huge rocks and trying to keep it smooth. Justin did his thing and brought it back. The last 15 miles coming into Borrego is the worst of Mexico in terms of how rough and rocky it is. It turns into an attrition race from that point. My original strategy was to try and get the car into the top three. We started ninth and by the time I gave the car to Justin we were second on course and first on corrected time.
ROB ARCHIBALD, No. 104 (Second in class. Archibald drove the entire race.) — We blew a shock because the whoops sections are so deep that it makes for a Trophy Truck race and with a live axle buggy you are slamming through the whoops. You have to back off and get through the stuff in as smooth of a manner as you can and not break the car. We battled with the Wilsons a little bit. It looked like their cars were set up pretty well. My intention was to run the first half of the race and keep the car together and then charge hard on the second half. We thought we had run out of fuel because we were supposed to get a splash at 235 to make it to the finish line but we didn’t see any of our people. I put a bigger fuel cell on a few months ago so that paid dividends.
MORGAN LANGLEY, No. 150 (Third in class. Morgan Langley drove to race mile 130. Halopoff drove to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER KORY HALOPOFF said: I got a flat about 10 miles from the finish and the wheel got stuck on the caliper. It took forever to fix and that’s when the Wilsons got by and we had to cruise it back in. The sandy whoops were pretty bad. They were taller than a 37-inch tire.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
ELIAS HANNA, No. 274 (First in class.) — It was a really fast course. Our biggest challenge was the dust. In the first few miles we were battling against both drivers and the course. We did a good job and we are happy. We did a lot of pre-running so I knew where my fast lines were but the dust made it difficult to take my lines.
JOHN LANGLEY, No. 250 (Second in class.) — The most satisfaction I got today was beating the kids and by that I mean my kids are my competition. I’m 73 years old and for me it is a kick to still be able to race. It is a great bonding experience with my kids. If you don’t pre-run you don’t have as much as an advantage because when you pre-run you know where the gotchas are and where the day-enders are. That’s important in this game.
LEE BANNING, No. 255 (Third in class. Banning drove to race mile 130. Steve Melton drove to the finish.) Our strategy was to never get out of the truck for a flat. — CO-DRIVER STEVE MELTON said: Forward momentum was the biggest thing in this race and try not to get any flats. I had a pretty clean run and didn’t have to battle anybody.
CHAD BROUGHTON, No. 200 (Fourth in class.) — It turned into a long day today but we’ll take fifth place and keep going.
BRIAN GOLDSTEIN, No. 229 (Fifth in class. Matt McBride drove the entire race.) — I think we started second to last so pulling a third is pretty good. In the last four miles we had a quad that decided to get in our way so we took a tree and got a rear flat. That was our only down time.
BROC DICKERSON, No. 1023 (First in class. Dickerson drove the entire race.) — The track was super rocky. We had one flat hitting a rock but it was super soft and we had second gear go out. I couldn’t use second and that is really tough. We were back and forth with Justin Davis (1085.) I would pit and he would pass me and then he would pit and I would pass him. He was the last one to pit so I got by him and held it to the finish. We started in 15th so I was planning on charging in the beginning and getting as many cars as I could. When we were second physical I started to cruise and that’s when the transmission gave out.
JUSTIN DAVIS, No. 1085 (Second in class. Davis drove the whole race.) — It was pretty good but I think we could have done a little bit better. We struggled in the beginning and had a flat and that set us back. We played catchup all day. It was a fast track but you really had to hunker down but it was rough and it hurt. There were times when all we could see was sky and dirt and you had to stand on it.
CODY REID, No. 1068 (Third in class.) — We had some minor issues out on El Diablo with a mechanical problem that took us 20 minutes to get it going again. Around race mile 190 we pretty much lost all of the suspension so we just pushed to get here and hoped for the best. We learned a few things today and we’ve got some work to do.
NOAH OSTANIK, No. 844 (First in class.) — CO-DRIVER STEVE SUSRAL said: We are going for the championship in November.
JORGE SAMPIETRO, No. 1697 (First in class. Jorge started and drove to 138. Misael Arambula drove to the finish.) — The 275 miles was the toughest one yet. San Felipe is always a challenge. We battled with Roberto Romo and Ruben Sanudo. They put a really nice pace on the race.
MARIO ESTRELLA, No. 1623 (Third in class. Estrella started the race to mile 130. Martin Gonzalez drove to the finish.) — The second half of the course was really sandy. I saw a lot of cars broken down. I hit a tree pretty hard and broke my steering and then I ran out of gas two miles from the finish. I’ve done this for many years but this course was tough.
RICK BOYER, No. 1662 (Fifth in class. Chris Boyer started the race. Rick Boyer drove to the finish.) — We had some problems. My son started and he put it on the lid early in the race. We went from the front to the back and then he got a flat and went farther back. He gave me the car in fifth or sixth place. We had an alternator pulley go out and that put us down about 25 minutes.
VIC BRUCKMANN, No. 1299 (First in class. Bruckmann drove the entire race.) — I’ve raced a lot of SCORE San Felipe 250s but this one was by far the most brutal one I’ve ever done.
RAFAEL AGUIRRE, No. 1222 (Second in class.) — Thank you to Baja for all of the support.
MATIAS ARJONA IV, No. 1202 (Third in class. Arjona drove the whole race.) — It was so sandy that we ran first gear at 10 miles-per-hour. It was really tough. We had a lot of battles with UTVs because with all-wheel drive they go fast. Our strategy was to just go for it but then we saw that 13 cars were going to start in the class so we changed the plan to be calm and get to the finish.
LUIS LOPEZ, No. 509 (First in class. Victor Cesena started the race and Lopez drove to the finish.) — CO-DRIVER VICTOR CESENA said: It was a clean race and we are so happy to be here. It was a perfect race for us. We were lucky and the car behaved great.
VINCENT MUNOZ, No. 8094 (First in class. Munoz drove the whole race.) — I think we finished in about seven hours. We broke an upper link and had a two-hour down time. We had to try and rig it back into place and then limp for 20 miles so we could weld it again. It was an awesome day though.
DANIEL REYES, No. 715 (First in class. Reyes drove to race mile 85. Danny Martinez drove to race mile 170 and Jose Arumada finished.) — Our car is a pre-runner and not a race car so it was tough. We came to have fun and we didn’t pre-run. Everything was perfect though.
Pro UTV FI
WAYNE MATLOCK, No. 2971 (First in class.) — We wanted to come here today and get a good finish because we are going for the championship this year. We thought we were in second when we pulled up to the line because we’ve been chasing Mark Burnett (2905) all day long. It was an awesome race so when we pulled up here and they told us we were first we were blown away. We did change one tire but no belts or anything else.
MARC BURNETT, No. 2905 (Second in class.) — We had some rough times today. We started out strong and we ran out of fuel twice about 10 miles from the finish. I also broke my wrist while I was driving the car. I drove about 185 miles with a broken wrist and it was really painful.
BRANDON SCHULER, No. 2919 (Third in class.) — It was rough but there was nothing we didn’t expect. San Felipe is always a rough one and we went in expecting it and I think it paid off for us. We stayed positive today. You look up and see nothing but whoops for miles and that kept me going.
JUSTIN SMITH, No. 1955 (First in class. Smith drove the whole race.) — I drove the race solo because my partner couldn’t make it at the last minute. We were going to split it up but we ended up doing the whole thing. The toughest challenge was having a short car with no horsepower in big whoops. It was just painful having to go through those that slow. We went back and forth with Kristen Matlock (1954) who started behind us. We were trying to cruise the majority of the time and then she had a problem and we never saw her again. We were really trying to keep pace with her. We knew there were only a few cars in our class so we kept a comfortable pace to get a podium. We ended up passing the first two guys in the class in the first nine miles. I’m not sure if our comfortable pace was fast or if they were just going slower.
DON WHITTINGTON, No. 1998 (Second in class.) — We lost power for about 35 minutes and we lost a lot of time. We drove really hard for the last 150 miles. Once we ran out of battery power for 30 minutes I ran as hard as I possibly could. I thought I might break the car but it didn’t break. You can’t run these things hard because there are too many rocks and too many obstacles.
JORGE GUTIERREZ, No. 599 (First in class.) — I lost my carburetor top at the wash, didn’t have any horsepower and I thought I had a flat. I dedicated this race to my wife, son and kids who couldn’t make it. They were supporting me from home so it was a great finish. The course was super rough and we don’t run power steering in this car and I drove the whole way.
HECTOR HURTADO, No. 550 (Second in class. Hector Hurtado shared driving duties with Fernando Flores.) — CO-DRIVER FERNANDO FLORES said: It was a very difficult course. The Hutamonte wash and race mile 220 to the finish was especially tough. Pre-running two days before helped us a lot.
BUD PECOY, No. BC4 (Rolf Helland drove to race mile 130. Pecoy drove to the finish.) — We had a good time and kept the car together. We only had one breakdown and that was it. We had a CV joint go out. We wanted to ride our race and keep a good pace without pushing it too hard.
ERIC SOLORZANO, No. 1111 (First in class. Solorzano drove the whole race.) — This is our 11th SCORE San Felipe 250 win. This is the hardest one I’ve raced. There were a lot of whoops from race mile 150 and it was very challenging. We got stuck one time and all of our chase people were great. Everybody was very respectful on the course today. I always use the same strategy. You take it easy here because the course will eat the vehicle. We are dealing with 70 horsepower and that’s it.
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MARK SAMUELS, No. 1x (First in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Samuels rode the first three miles. Daymon Stokie rode to race mile 47. Samuels rode again to race mile 144. Stokie rode again to race mile 190. Ryan Penhall rode to the finish.) — The course was really brutal. My section was the northern section and the SCORE Baja 500 and 1000 used that section last year making it really choppy and a lot of rocks came up. I was worked today. We deployed people to where they are best suited and we choose teammates that get along. We’ve got a good team bond, we have a good time and we all work together to make the job happen. CO-RIDER RYAN PENHALL SAID: I rode a smooth race but had one tip-over. I rode smart and had a good time out there. This was the roughest course I’ve ever ridden in San Felipe. More rocks are showing up in the sand washes and the whoops are getting deeper. As the SCORE Trophy Trucks get more and more suspension it just gets harder for the bike guys.
GARRETT POUCHER, No. 33x (Fifth in class. Poucher shared riding duties with Michel Valenzuela, Jeremy Newton, Troy Vanscourt and Braxton Gallion.) — We got stuck behind a delay at the beginning. We rode from Saldana to the finish without brakes. It has been quite the ride. This one taught us a lot and we will be better prepared for the SCORE Baja 500.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 23x (Fourth in class.) — CO-RIDER AUSTIN MILLER SAID: We had tire issues today and we had to replace two after shredding them. We are looking forward to some more battles in upcoming races.
PRO MOTO 30
CHAD THORNTON, No. 333x (First in class.) — We had a pretty bad crash and tore a tracker off so we had to climb in the rocks and get it back on. There were a couple of setup issues with the bike but we had a good race.
PRO MOTO 40
KEVIN JOHNSON, No. 401x (First in class. Johnson shared riding duties with Ryan Gustine.) — Ryan (Gustine) crashed on the in the first 12 miles but we rode it and we are here.
PRO MOTO 50
GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 510x (First in class.) — My section was 20 miles of whoops. We were riding in the 40 class and we won it in 2014, but we got old and now we are riding in the 50 class.
ROBERT GATES, No. 549x (Second in class.) — I think my first race was a 250 down here twenty years ago.
PRO MOTO 60
DONALD LEWIS, No. 609x (First in class.) — CO-RIDER ROBERT KOCH said: We come down here and do battle with the elements and compete and finish
PRO MOTO IRONMAN
JOSE ARMANDO CARASSCO, No. 721x (First in class.) — The bike made it and it’s awesome. The bike is 100 percent stock except for the gas tank. No stabilizer, no suspension work and no motor work. I want to thank everybody who thought it was possible and the ones that thought I couldn’t do it. Because of them I made it. We are ready to compete in this championship.
DOMINIC FAGUNDES, No. 732x (Second in class.) — This was the first ever race of my life and I decided to pick this one.
SAID SANCHEZ, No. 31 (First in class.) — We did good all day and the bike ran flawlessly. We had a solid race.