SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, dominic@SCORE-International.com
June 3, 2022
BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500, Presented by 4 Wheel Parts
Pre-race SCORE Media Conference Quotes
463.12-mile race in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Round 2 of four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship;
Start/finish line adjacent to Riviera del Pacifico Cultural center; Saturday—motorcycles/quads start at 4 am, cars/trucks/utvs at 9am LIVE streaming, vehicle tracking at www.score-international.com; Rat Sult, SCORE LIVE host, lead announcer; #SCOREBaja500
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Race-week festivities Friday included the extensive pre-race SCORE Media Conference for Saturday’s BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The Conference speakers featured several SCORE racers, Ensenada Mayor Armando Ayala Robles, Baja California Secretary of Tourism Miguel Aguiniga Rodriguez, BFGoodrich Tires Tony Menard and Grand Marshal Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart. The conference was held in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.
Round 2 of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship is being held over a rugged race course around Baja California Norte on Mexico’s magnificent and majestic Baja California peninsula. Race course distance is 463.12 miles.
The race will start and finish for the first time in four years on fantastic fan-friendly Costero Blvd. adjacent to the iconic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
With classes for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, racers from 30 U.S. States and 14 countries have entered. The elapsed-time race will start at 4 a.m. PT on Saturday for the motorcycle/quad classes followed by the start of the car/truck/UTV classes at 9 a.m. PT.
Live internet streaming from Saturday from the start/finish line compound, live action, filmed by Drones, from around the course as well as vehicle tracking will be available at www.score-international.com.
BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500, Presented by 4 Wheel Parts Pre-Race Media Conference Quotes
(interviews: Paul Hanson, Cindy Clark, transcribed: Cindy Clark, Guilherme Torres)
MEXICAN OFFICIALS ARMANDO AYALA ROBLES, Mayor of Ensenada: First of all, I’d like to thank everyone involved with the SCORE Baja 500 for returning to Ensenada for another year and helping the city to continue as the off-road capital of the world. Our city has a very unique weather and it’s one of the few places in the world where you can experience all four seasons in a single day, which makes races here unpredictable. That and the great organization provided by SCORE and the support of the authorities and the private sector make racing here in Ensenada a unique and exciting experience. I wish all the teams the best of luck and a safe and exciting race.
MIGUEL AGUINIGA RODRIGUEZ, Secretary of Tourism of Baja California: On the behalf of Baja California’s Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda, I’d like to welcome the racers, teams, sponsors and SCORE officials to this year’s SCORE Baja 500. There’s been a significant increase in tourism in Baja California over the last months and this past weekend the hotel occupancy in the state was 25% higher than in 2019, even before the start of the pandemic. SCORE races have always been really impactful in terms of attracting tourists to our state and especially to Ensenada. On the behalf of Governor Maria del Pilar Ávila Olmeda, I’d like to thank SCORE for the work they do organizing the races here and to wish all the teams a pleasant time here in Ensenada, be it during the race or while enjoying the city.
GRAND MARSHAL IVAN STEWART – I am really thrilled to be the Grand Marshal and I want to thank Roger and Elise and the SCORE staff for the fantastic job that they do. This is a 500-mile race and I think it is the ultimate challenge in motorsports worldwide. By that I mean anything can happen. You can have a forest fire, a flash flood, just about anything you can image, cattle running in front of you… Believe me, I can tell you about all kinds of problems that have happened down here; it is the ultimate adventure in motorsports. It is something very special to me. I love coming down here and I love all the people. The people I talked to today and gave an autograph to, I remember when they were just little kids and now they are grown. To be a part of Ensenada and all of Baja, every one of these drivers will come back with a story, something that happened, they had some kind of problem they had to deal with. It is really special to be here. I look forward to the race.
RACERS SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Custom Trucks) ROB MACCACHREN, No. 1 – – Ivan, it is an honor to have you here. Did you bring a helmet and a suit? Because I could probably use some of your help getting one of those SCORE Baja 500 wins. I have been racing a long time and you have a lot more than me. We need to talk so I can get some of your tricks. We have been down here pre-running for five or six days. I think the miles per hour will be pretty slow. I was sitting with the BFGoodrich Tire guys at breakfast and we guess a 47-mile per hour average. It seems like it has rained a lot down here and that made some ruts bigger and then it didn’t rain at all, so it is pretty dried out and very technical. Thank you to Roger and Elise (Norman), I love racing down here in Baja. I have been doing it for a long time and it has been a lot of fun. Congratulations to everyone who finishes. It will be well deserved for whoever finishes. I want to thank my sponsors, BFGoodrich Tires, Vision Wheel, Fox Shocks, KC Lites, Baja Fools for my pit support. Those guys are already heading down to their pit spots. Hopefully we will have a good, clean run, no issues and come back first. Thank you.
LUKE MCMILLIN, No. 83 – – We have been pre-running for seven days now and got in four laps on some sections of it and in other sections two times. It is an extremely technical course. When I first saw it, I was bummed that it is only 463 miles and was going to be a little short but it is definitely not anything to be bummed about. It is going to be a very mentally tough race because the summit is extremely rocky and it is extremely narrow early on; there are no easy routes. After the summit, it is going to be hot desert, so you have to stay hydrated because after that you have the Mike’s loop, which is really torn up, really rough. Then it gets really tough and you have the goat trail. Usually, you think after the goat trail that you are on the home stretch and it will be easy. But it’s not. It is probably the toughest last 100 miles of the SCORE Baja 500 ever.
LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 – – Even with all the years we have been running down here, all the years on motorcycles, the SCORE Trophy Truck is super exciting. Winning last year for me was monumental. Many don’t know, but 50 years ago was my very first SCORE Baja 500 and it was on a 125cc motorcycle, so here I am, 50 years later, and now in a SCORE Trophy Truck. This race is very special to me. Things have really changed from then to now. There was very little pavement back then. The goat road was THE road into the valley. This year’s course is super challenging, with a variety of terrain. It is super exciting. I’ve been down here pre-running for ten days but you can’t know it well enough. I just try to memorize it. The course is fantastic and super challenging. You have to be precise. In some places you only have inches on either side. My co-driver, Justin Morgan, also has motorcycle experience so we read the terrain the same, we gel together well. The racing craft we have created, reading the terrain and the momentum and putting the tires in the right track… We would love to win, but it is such a stacked pack. We are starting back in the pack due to some mechanical issues at the SCORE San Felipe 250. We are going to put our head down and hopefully come out up top. Finishing is amazing, and a podium finish would be huge.
DAN MCMILLIN, No. 23 – – We are excited to be here. Happy birthday, Ivan! We have been down here for about a week pre-running. It is extremely technical. When Justin Smith and I won the SCORE Baja 500 in 2020, it was way faster. This is going to be a patient race, there is a lot of rocks. But we have the BFGoodrich Tires under us, so we are not too worried about it. We are starting 22nd, I think. Hopefully the guys in front of us make mental errors. We just have to keep it on the road and hopefully others will make mistakes. Hopefully we will be there at end. I have to thank our whole team, our family, 4WheelParts, BFGoodrich Tires, Method Wheels, VP Racing Fuels. We are looking forward to tomorrow.
ALAN AMPUDIA, No. 10 – – We’re very happy to return to the Riviera after some years. This place is very special to all of us here and for the city of Ensenada. Going through contingency today and seeing all the fans out there was really exciting. We’re ready for tomorrow. It’s a very technical course, with a few rocky sessions and I expect it to be a little slower than in previous years. But we’ve been pre-running for ten days and are more than ready. We just want to have some fun and I hope everyone has a good day out there and be safe.
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) CHRISTOPHER POLVOORDE, No. 204 – – It is really fun going through contingency without the COVID restrictions. I am really looking forward to this race. I have never raced the SCORE Baja 500 out of Ensenada before. This course is very technical. Racing the big truck, I am still learning the boundaries of it. This tight course is going to be a long, fun day. I want to thank everyone at SCORE and everyone behind the scenes that allow us to come down here and race in Baja. It is truly a magical place. The more time I spend down here, the more I see why everyone invests so much time down here. Growing up I knew people who came down here weeks before the race pre-running and now here, I have been down here for 13 days, just trying to master this course. Thank you to everyone that gets me here, Optima Batteries, Ford Performance, Steel-It; there are so many brands behind me that make this dream come true. I am looking forward to the race. I hope everyone has a fun and safe day tomorrow. I am excited to see how it turns out.
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)— BRENDAN GAUGHAN, No. 162 – – We love coming down to pre-run. The whole reason I race SCORE is I love pre-running. We have been down here since Friday, me and Mike Montes, my co-driver. It was a difficult time because there are two sides to the mountain. I will be starting the SCORE Baja 500 going all the way to race mile 310. There are a couple of new cut-outs. It is a fun course, a tight course. It is a buggy-style course. I think the buggies and the two-wheel drives will do great here. We verified our notes with Dallas Luttrell, a Collins Motorsport team member. This is a technical, tight course, which slows the pace down a little, which will help out the buggies. It will be a fun race.
BRAD WILSON, No. 153 – – I want to thank SCORE International and everyone here in Mexico. This is a great event. Especially being back down here downtown. I want to thank BFGoodrich Tires, Method race wheels, King Shocks, VisionX lighting, everyone at Wilson Motorsports. They are the ones that get us here. It is going to be a tough race. It is going to be hot and technical and rocky. We are going to put trust into our tires and trust into my navigator Ricky to get me through my half before I turn it over to Justin. Hopefully both of our team cars will make it to the finish line.
KYLE QUINN, No. 138 – – I know Brad (Wilson) will be knocking on my door all day. We got a good car and a good team. We are excited to see what tomorrow brings.
CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs) JEFF PROCTOR, No. 709 – – We had our ‘Team of Talons’ down here. I am in the Honda Ridgeline. We had a good pre-run, it went according to plan. This course is really tight and technical. I think it will favor the side-by-sides, especially getting over the summit. I don’t think the race will start until about race mile 110. Once we get down to the bottom, then it will be open game and hopefully we can make some passes. We are excited to put this Honda program to this race. I will start this race and then hand it over to Richard Glazczak. We are hoping to put all four of the Hondas on the podium. I think it will be hard to pass during this race.
PRO MOTO 50 (Riders over 50 years old) GIOVANNI SPINALI, No. 500x – – It is really nice to be back in this building and without masks. The SCORE Baja 500 is my favorite race. It starts early and ends early enough to head over to Papas and Beer and Hussong’s for celebratory drinks. I want to thank Redline Oil and Vase Powersports, Dunlop tires, Suspension 101, O’Neal with our gear. It is going to be a long, hot day tomorrow. I hope everyone has a good safe race. CO-RIDER JIM O’NEAL said: The SCORE Baja 500 is my favorite race. All you teams, riders and drivers support SCORE and Ensenada. Spend all the money you got. Don’t leave here with any pesos. We want to come back year after year. CO-RIDER JOHN GRIFFIN said: We are happy to be in Ensenada again. I can remember my dad bringing me out here when I was a little kid, just loving SCORE racing. We would drive all night and get here in the morning to watch the trucks and cars leave the line. Parnelli Jones, Ivan Stewart, Rod Hall and all these icons of the sport. And now I’m walking through tech today and seeing all my gray hair and all my friends with gray hair. And all these kids who are seeing it for the first time. It is still cool. Redline Oil is sponsoring our team. We are happy to do that.