May 3, 2014
Inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250
Round 2 of five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship
April 26, 2014 – Plaster City, Calif.
(Quotes Recorded April 26; Released following FINAL data tracking review)
Pro Cars & Trucks
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
Andy McMillin, No. 11 — (Andy McMillin drove the race for MacCachren (in MacCachren’s truck) who was racing in a short course series this weekend. First Overall, first in SCORE Trophy Truck) — ANDY McMILLIN said: It was a lot of fun out there today and SCORE put on a great Inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250. I was pumped to get on top of the podium and I’ve got thank Rob MacCachren for giving me the keys to his truck for the weekend. It means a lot to have a guy who is so good at desert racing and such a legend to have the trust and faith in me to race his truck for him. Rob’s truck ran flawlessly all day and never stopped. This truck is similar to mine and it is setup really good for this race. Normally when I test my truck out here it runs well and then I take it down to Mexico and it doesn’t run well. This one worked well in qualifying and it worked well in the race. It means a lot to win this race in my own backyard. Being familiar with the terrain and the course really helped. It was a really fun course. It was really fast and it had some silt and really deep holes.
CLYDE STACY, No. 5 (Apdaly Lopez drove the first two laps, second Overall, second in SCORE Trophy Truck) — We lost power to the engine for about half a lap when our air filters got clogged. It’s really a great race course. Hopefully we get back here next year to run this course.
STEVE SOURAPAS, No.6 (Sourapas drove the entire race, Third overall and third in SCORE Trophy Truck) — We made too many mistakes and got lost a bunch of times. We didn’t qualify so we started in the back and that slowed us up. I don’t know how far the guys got ahead of us but it took us quite a while to get by the 72 (Robert Acer) truck. There was a pile up about six miles from the finish and the road was blocked. I had to get out of the truck and help them tow it out. We lost about five or ten minutes there. Other than that it was a flawless race.
JESSICA McMILLIN, No. 82 (Daniel McMillin drove the first lap, fifth in SCORE Trophy Truck, ninth overall) — I had no idea how to go off the infield jumps and we got to go over them at 25 miles per hour so that told me nothing. I called my brother Dan to get some perspective. What I gathered is that you have to hit it at speed so I just put my head down and hit it. It was really fun. We grew up driving out here so there were certain sections where I knew exactly where I was and that was very helpful.
SERGIO SALGADO, No. 88 (Salgado drove the entire race, sixth in SCORE Trophy Truck.) — We had one flat and some problems in the second lap pit with the fueling hoses and we lost 20 minutes there. A few parts of the course weren’t that clear and we got lost twice. The stadium style infield is new to us and we aren’t used to jumps that high. During qualifying I just put the gas down and tried to jump high but I don’t think that is the right way, so I’m still learning. I think you have to go fast and then let go of the gas before jumping. On the second lap we broke the lights on the front of the truck on the first infield jump.
B.J. BALDWIN, No. 1 (Baldwin drove the entire race. Finished in 10th place in SCORE Trophy Truck) — We ran out of gas because there was so much silt and we were sliding around and burning more fuel than we thought. I had two flats which is very rare for me. We were running lower than normal air pressures, which was helping us in the washes but it was a mistake. The tire failures were my fault because I was too aggressive with the pressures.
JUSTIN MATNEY, No. 101 (Drove the entire race. First in Class 1, fourth Overall) — It was really soft and sandy out there. The sand storm blowing in hurt everybody a little bit. You would come around a corner thinking you were gaining on somebody and then the wind would clear out and there would be nobody there. We had a clean day with no problems.
KEVIN SMITH, No. 1630 (Smith and Sammy Ehrenberg shared driving duties, first in Class 1/2-1600) — We had a perfect day. We were the last car to start and the first to finish. A few guys were broken down and a few we passed physically. We just charged and passed cars at the right time. We never hit a single car as n ll day. We have a new chrome front bumper so part of my tactic was not to scratch my chrome bumper. CO-DRIVER SAMMY EHRENBERG said: Kevin drove through the field and gave me a good car. We had a little bit of a steering issue. It tightened up and took a little bit to get used to. I was able to run the lead car down and get out front. I felt really comfortable in the car today and could push it as hard as I wanted.
DEREK EUGENIO, No. 1679 (second in Class)– The track treated me okay and the car handled it well but we had a little bit of a motor issue which we haven’t figured out yet. We finished and that was the goal. It was a great event from start to finish. The infield was cool because I’ve never seen anything like this. It was a very diverse course with a little bit of everything from the bumps to the soft stuff to all the sand.
RUBEN SANUDO, No. 1606 – (third in Class) CO-DRIVER ANDY ESTRADA said: The course is really hard especially when you are going west. That dust gets in your face and the sun sets in your eyes and you can’t see the track. Once you come back across everything is fine. The course was rough just like it always is.
ARNOLDO GUTIERREZ, No. 509 (Gutierrez shared driving duties with Victor Cesena, first in Class 5) — CO-DRIVER VICTOR CESENA said: It was a really rough and tough course. We had electrical problems and the gas pedal is electric so it stopped working and we thought we would have to spend the night on the course. We got it working and are so happy that we made it all the way to the finish.
DONALD HARPER, No. 569 (Harper shared driving duties with Guy Savedra, first in class) — It was a little dusty at the beginning and I got lost about two times but other than that we ran well. CO-DRIVER GUY SAVEDRA said: It was a brutal course and Gypsum Mine Road and the backside of the powerline roads were really rough and everything turned into silt out there.
JUSTIN PARK, No. 747 (Park drove solo, first in Class 7SX) — It was a good race but really tough. At first it seemed okay but the course got eaten up by the big guys. They started catching us on the other side of Superstition Mountain and it got kind of sketchy. We were struggling to look over the back of our window so we wouldn’t get pushed over one of the edges out there. It was really rocky. We wadded up in some whoop section and went side-to-side and almost rolled over. We hit the brakes and luckily pulled through but I think we bent a few parts.
MIKE LAWRENCE, No. 1006 (Lawrence drove the entire race, first place in Class 10, sixth Overall.) — We started 16th and there is a fine line where you push it too hard and get a flat. I went from first to twelfth place in San Felipe so I just wanted a decent finish today and it turned out in our favor. We didn’t even test the car for this race because we’ve been so busy with our short course program but it ran flawlessly.
MIKE JOHNSON, N0. 1031 (Lawrence shared driving duties with Mike Majesky, second place in Class 10) — From the back of the pack to the front of the pack we only had a right rear flat and a little bit of brake fade at the end. We had a seven-minute lead on Mike Lawrence (1006) and with that flat he got around us and we just couldn’t make up the time with the brake fade. You had to have some navigation skills for this race because the wind did clear some of the trails away. The ground is flat and without embedded trails you have to watch your GPS. There are lines everywhere out there. It made an interesting dynamic in the race and the course. It can’t all be follow the trail and go and in a single-seat I don’t have anybody to change tires or tell me left, right or you’re off course. I like the challenge and I like that Roger (Norman) mixed it up a bit.
CODY REID, No. 1068 (Reid shared driving duties with Corey Goin, third in Class 10) — It is a newer car and the suspension still needs a lot of work as I unfortunately found out on the section that runs parallel to Evan Hewes Highway. I almost had to get out because my back was absolutely killing me and there were tears running down my face. A lot of it is a trust thing and we don’t trust the car yet and we don’t know exactly how it is going to handle in certain situations. It is a much lighter car than our two-seater so it doesn’t sit down as well but it is much faster and corners better.
CALEB SANDEN, No. 1288 (Drove the race solo, first in SCORE Lites) – I am wiped out. With all the wind we plugged the jets on the carburetor and we had to pull into the pits and clean it out. We got going again and made up all of the time. We lost a header and had to stop at remote pit two and wire tie some studs to the block to keep the header on. The wind blew all the markers down so we went by GPS and my brother and navigator Cameron had to work his butt off. We needed to come here and win because this is our backyard and if we didn’t win we would get a lot of heat.
WES BEVLY, No. 8116 (Bevly shared driving duties with Chad Bunch, first place, Stock Full) — It was very rough and I wasn’t expecting that but it was fun. The four-wheel drive went out and we got stuck going up a sand dune and a retrieval crew pulled us out. Getting stuck cost us about 45 minutes but it was pretty quick. I’m used to racing in Mexico where you break down and you look for a place to spend the night. It is cool having people here to help. It makes me want to come back.
PAIGE SOHREN, No. 3002 (Sohren, a female driver, shared driving duties with Nikki Nolan, first place in Class 3) — I got a little out of control a few times and almost lost it but we kept it together. We went down into a ditch sideways and almost rolled it. The dust was gnarly out there.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC
CHRISTIAN SOURAPAS, No. 866 (First place, Trophy Truck Spec) — We had a pretty clean day until the last lap that was pretty eventful. About five miles into the last lap we got into a pretty good battle with Larry Connor (871) until he rolled his truck. We stopped to make sure he was okay and then kept going. At one point we came into a washout where we had taken the same line in previous laps but we hit it and got stuck. I got sick in the truck in the last five miles and after stopping and starting again Taylor Mills (841) came up on us and hit us in the extreme dust. It was just a racing deal and nobody’s fault and after that we had a pretty sweet battle coming into the finish.
TAYLOR MILLS, No. 841 (Second place, Trophy Truck Spec) — It felt good to get out there, have minimal problems and cross the line first. We had one flat that I caused. We bounced up and hit a telephone pole with the rear right and took out the quarter panel and the tire. That cost us a few minutes.
DAN UNSICKER, No. 8048 (Unsicker drove the whole race, first place Heavy Metal) — It was a good day. We had two flats and that was the only time we had to slow down. The sand was blowing through and we were digging in behind a sixteen car on the first lap and there were rocks buried in the sand and we flattened the tires. After that we had better visibility and were able to get through the section a lot better. Visibility was an issue today for sure.
DEREK MURRAY, No. 1917 (Murray drove the entire race. First place in Class 19) — It was a rough course and it constantly beats you up. You get everything on this course. There are washes, dunes, whoops, jumps and this infield section is absolutely awesome. It was super-clean and super-fun. We had a little confusion with the arrows through one section so we were a little worried about that but we knew we had it today. We didn’t pre-run so I didn’t know what to expect. I expected to be rough but it was rougher than I thought it would be.
MARC BURNETT, No. 1905 (Burnett drove the entire race. Second Place in Class 19) – On the first lap we were leading by about 10 miles and we had a belt break and from there the car started stuttering and hurting for fuel. The bottom line is that we made it to the finish line. I think one of the reasons the belt broke is because we were pushing in the wind. We are happy to be here.
MARK SAMUELS, No. 1x (Ian Young and Mark Samuels shared riding duties. First in Open M/C, first Overall M/C) CO-RIDER IAN YOUNG said: The wind was really gnarly. At times I couldn’t even keep my head up and had to put my visor all the way down just so I could get a break. There were crosswinds, side winds, headwinds and tailwinds. It was gale force coming from behind. It was fun times though. The Kawasaki team and I had a really cool battle through the infield and then Ricky Brabec and I were probably going 50 through the whoops near Evan Hewes Highway. We were fifth-gear-pinned going back and forth. I was a really fun 250-mile race and I have a lot of respect for what Roger (Norman) is doing.
RICKY BRABEC, No. 4x (Brabec shared riding duties with Max Eddy. Second place in Open M/C, second Overall M/C) — I’ve raced here before so I knew the area. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew it was going to be fast because I’ve been out here before and I know the terrain. As the laps went on it got rougher and the whoops got more cupped out. Max (Eddy) and I just tried to keep the bike on two wheels. Max had a little mistake and tipped over and hurt his hand so I ended up doing a little bit more of the race. After he hurt himself I only did about 30 more miles than I was supposed to which wasn’t big mileage but I’m going to a race tomorrow and was trying to save my body. It was cool racing against my buddies Mark Samuels and Ian Young on the 1x. We were passing back and forth. This wind and blowing dust was a bummer today but this has been a great year so far.
MARK WINKELMAN, No. 310x (Winkelman, Kevin Murphy and Morgan Crawford shared riding duties. First place, Class 30, third Overall M/C) — CO-RIDER KEVIN MURPHY said: We had a pretty good strategy and we had a little bit of a race there with Mike Johnson and Ty Renshaw (300x) and it was pretty fun. The course turned out to be more fun than I thought. Obviously the wind was a factor and over toward the sand dunes there was a little bit of a brown out on the first lap. We got a little turned around because the sand blows over and covers the line. It was a struggle over there.
GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 410x (Spinali shared riding duties with Paul Thomas, John Griffin and Mike Carter. First Place, Class 40) CO-RIDER PAUL THOMAS said: What is so much fun about all of these races is that during course recon you do so much thinking about the race that when it comes time to get on the bike (on race day) it just becomes fun. The waiting around is the hardest part but once you are out there the adrenaline kicks in and you just start hammering those whoops harder than you did during pre-running because the race is on. It goes by so fast and I can’t believe we are done with it already. The dust really kicked up on the last section of the course and I hit a branch that ripped my goggles off. It was challenging except when I had the wind at my back. The GPS helped in the dust.
EARL ROBERTS, No. 510x (Roberts shared riding duties with Donald Connelly, first place Class 50) — CO-RIDER DONALD CONNELLY said: We had a great race. The bike ran great with no problems and we made all the pits. The course was a little faster than I expected. There was a lot of really just wide-open stuff. It was a lot of fun, safe and a great course.
JIM DIZNEY, No. 611x (Max Christensen, Robert Koch and Jim O-Neal shared riding duties. First place Class 60) — It was a rough course. This is my local desert and I knew it was going to be rough. We weren’t going to run this race but we are in it for points this year so it wasn’t an option. We had to do it. The wind and the fact that it was dark on the start created some problems for us. There were some course markers down and we missed some turns and had to backtrack. Overall it was good and we had a clean run. Max Christensen was with us for the first time and I gave him a good chunk of the course to ride. He got on the bike twice and did a great job for us. He’s used to riding a two-stroke so this is a heavy bike for him. He loved it.
TONY GERA, No. 702x (Gera rode the entire race. First place, SCORE Ironman) — I got lost a little bit on the first lap and right when I hit the main pit I ran out of gas. I probably only lost about five minutes. The wind was a factor on the second lap when the markers started disappearing and I had to find my way.
JAVIER ROBLES JR., No. 10a (Robles Jr. shared driving duties with Mike Cafro, Jorie Williams and Robbie Mitchell. First place, Pro ATV, first Overall ATV) — It was a little easier than we expected because our competition handed it to us. All we had to do was stay on the trail and keep the bike going. Our competitors ran out of gas, blew a motor and blew a transmission so they had their issues. We just kept clicking along.
SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, email@example.com