2020 SCORE World Desert Championship prepping to launch; Racer registration is now open for 34th SCORE San Felipe 250
Start/Finish on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe along Sea of Cortez; to be televised on ABC World of X Games; deadline for Start Draw–Tues., March 13 Qualifying–SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1, Trophy Truck Spec
to be held in San Felipe on Wednesday, March 25
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Launching another decade of exuberating excellence, seeing if one racer can win the overall title for the seventh time, another win for two racers for the second straight year as well as starting and finishing for just the fourth time on the Malecon in the heart of town are just four of the story lines awaiting racers from around the world as racer registration has opened for the 34th Annual SCORE San Felipe 250 in Baja California, Mexico.
The season-opening event of the four-race internationally-televised 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held March 24-29 in San Felipe, the peaceful fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. All four 2019 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year. THREE DECADES-PLUS
Celebrating the 34th anniversary of the youngest of the three legendary SCORE Baja races, sometimes referred to as the SCORE ‘baby Baja’, entries are being accepted on the SCORE website under Race Info at www.SCOREInternational.com for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Pre-race festivities will be held in San Felipe on March 24, 25, 26 and 27 with race days on Saturday and Sunday March 28, 29 concluding with the post-race awards fiesta at Noon PT on Sunday, March 29.
The colorful pre-race contingency and Manufacturer’s Midway, the starting line and the finish line will all be on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe for the fourth straight year. Contingency will be held over two days for the second straight year and second time in the history of this race with classes split with some going through the line on Thursday (March 26) and the balance, including the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Cass 1 and Trophy Truck Spec divisions, going through on Friday (March 27).
The deadline to enter online in time to be in the drawing for starting positions within each class is 8 p.m. PT on Friday, March 13. QUALIFYING
For just the second time in the history of this popular ‘Spring Break’ race, SCORE will hold a qualifying session starting at 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday, March 25 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec classes. Entries in these classes must also be completed by Friday, March 13 to be eligible to qualifying.
Starting positions for the other classes will be determined by a random drawing after the close of online racer registration which is at 8 p.m. on Friday, March. 13.
Late, on-site entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered.
The first time qualifying was held for this race was in 2017 when Rob MacCachren, Cameron Steele and Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez were the top three qualifiers in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks.
Qualifying will again be held south of the airport, which is located on the south end of San Felipe. DEFENDING CHAMPS
Expected back to defend their overall race wins last year are San Diego county racers Andy McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck) and Justin Morgan (Pro Moto Unlimited).
A. McMillin, San Diego, started his successful march to the 2019 SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck point championship with his San Felipe win in his No. 31 Chevy Silverado. He also won the overall and Class 1 title in this race in 2005 while splitting the driving with his father Scott McMillin.
Morgan, El Cajon, Calif., won for the second straight year in 2019 on his No. 1x SLR Honda CRF450X. Last year he split the riding with teammates Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif., who now has four SCORE San Felipe 250 race wins and Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif., who won for the second time in San Felipe.
Morgan won the SCORE Overall Motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited point title last year by winning all four races in the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship. He has now won 11 consecutive SCORE Baja races over the last three seasons. BFGOODRICH TIRES BONUS
As part of their massive SCORE Contingency program for 2020, long-time SCORE sponsor partner BFGoodrich Tires is offering a large contingency bonus for each overall winner in the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. For the 34th annual SCORE San Felipe 250, the contingency bonus is US$10,000. BFGoodrich Tires is entering its 44th year as the Official Tire of SCORE and in 2020 the company will also be the title sponsor of both the 52nd SCORE Baja 500 and the 53rd SCORE Baja 1000.
Presenting sponsor of both of those iconic races will be 4 Wheel Parts. SIX-TIMER
While three racers have three overall victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250, Las Vegas’ Hall of Fame racer Rob MacCachren might have set a standard that will last for awhile, unless he breaks his own record of six overall and SCORE Trophy Truck wins.
MacCachren, who won the overall in San Felipe in 2018 to give him 10 class wins in this race, earned his first SCORE Trophy Truck overall in this race in 2003 when he split the driving with Mexico’s Gustavo Vildosola Sr and his second in 2007 when he split the driving with Mark Post.
MacCachren earned back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012 driving solo and won his fifth in 2017 and his sixth in 2018 driving solo again in his No. 11 MacCachren Motorsports Rockstar Ford F-150. THREE TIMERS
Three racers have won three overall victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250.
The most recent racer to win overall three times in San Felipe was Mexico’s Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, who won three straight (2013, 2014, 2015). Vildosola Jr is tied with two other Las Vegas racers with three overall wins each in this race.
A second generation Mexican desert racer, Vildosola Jr of Mexicali has five class wins in this race in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Branix Ford Raptor SCORE Trophy Truck.
Vildosola Jr, with help from his father Gus Sr in 2013 won his first overall. He drove solo the next two years to tie the record in 2015 of three straight overall wins set by Las Vegas racing brothers Ed Herbst and Tim Herbst who won three straight in 1999, 2000 and 2001 in the No. 19 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150.
There is one more Southern Nevada driver with three overall wins in San Felipe but not three straight.
Las Vegas’ Brian Collins won his first San Felipe Overall in 1990 in Class 1 while splitting driving time with SCORE Baja motorcycle racing legend Jack Johnson, also of Las Vegas. Collins also captured two straight driving solo in SCORE Trophy Truck in 2008 and 2009. MOTORCYCLE MAGIC
Among the SCORE Overall motorcycles winners at the SCORE San Felipe 250 no one has done it any better than SCORE Baja legend Johnny Campbell who recorded seven overall motorcycle victories for Honda (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008).
One motorcycle star with five SCORE Overall Motorcycle wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250 is Colton Udall (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016). Two other motorcycle aces with four SCORE Overall Motorcycle wins each are Steve Hengeveld (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) and Mark Samuels (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) while with three SCORE San Felipe 250 Overall wins were Danny Hamel (1994, 1995, 1996) and Robby Bell (2006, 2007, 2008). GLORY ROADS
History clearly shows that the SCORE San Felipe 250 has been a major building block for many of the world’s all-time greatest desert racers in addition to being the lovable baby brother of the three traditional SCORE Baja races.
Host to the biggest and brightest stars in the history of desert racing, legends like Ivan Stewart, Walker Evans, Roger Mears, Rod Hall, Larry Ragland, Brian Collins, Dan Smith, Curt LeDuc, Danny Hamel, Johnny Campbell, Juan Carlos Ibarra, Steve Hengeveld and Greg Row all are part of the foundation of this rustic race.
Also adding to the fabric of this iconic SCORE Baja racing tapestry have been current racers like Rob MacCachren, Larry Roeseler, Andy McMillin, Dan McMillin, Luke McMillin, Gus Vildosola Jr, the Herbst Brothers Ed, Tim and Troy, the Wilson family (Randy, Rick, Brad and Brian), Robby Gordon, B.J. Baldwin, Robby Bell, Colton Udall, Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels, Wayne Matlock, Billy Wilson, Adam Pfankuch, Donald Moss, Santiago Creel, Jano Montoya, Giovanni Spinali and Jim O’Neal. HOUR GLASS
This is a tale of a race told in two parts. It was first run in 1982 for three years through 1984.
It wasn’t held during the first five years in the seven-year run of the combined HDRA/SCORE Desert Racing Series as it resumed in 1990. It almost disappeared after the 1993 race when the combined series split and the SCORE San Felipe 250 had just 82 total starters.
It bounced back though, as all good things in Baja do, climbing to 250 or more starters seven times, including twice with over 300 starters.
The largest starting field was 394 in 2007 when then SCORE President Sal Fish had to move the race to Ensenada less than two weeks before the race because of disputes between land owners and government officials. That race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas, south of Ensenada.
The largest starting field for the race when it was run in San Felipe was 2006 when 341 vehicles left the start line.
The most finishers in this shortest of the three traditional SCORE Baja races were in 2007 when 288 completed it and 2006 when 220 crossed the finish line within the time limit.
Like all of the SCORE Baja race courses, the SCORE San Felipe 250 has always featured some of the most start, dramatic and awe-inspiring terrain and scenery in the world. Infamous for its punishment to racer and vehicle, part of the courses has included a whoop section of over 25 miles virtually like driving over a washboard.
Over the years, this race has seen parts of its courses go through several of the legendary Baja washes like Matomi, Huatomote, Chanate, Azufre, Cuevitas and Amarillas.
For many years, the start and finish line area was beneath the fabled San Felipe Arches landmark on the outskirts of town. MULTI WINNERS
The all-time leader in class wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250 is motorcycle age-group racer Jim O’Neal who has competed in all 33 previous SCORE San Felipe races, winning his class a record 18 times.
Second in class wins is Eric Solorzano who has won 11 times in Class 11 (stock VW Sedan) while third is MacCachren with10 class wins and fourth is Donald Moss who won nine times in 10 years in Class 3 in his sturdy Ford Bronco (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013).
Tied for third in class wins with eight each are SCORE Baja motorcycle racing legend Johnny Campbell and Dan Smith who first won in 1984 on a motorcycle and won his final one in 2002 in SCORE Trophy Truck, teaming with David Ashley. VIVA GANADOR MEXICANO
Juan C. Ibarra became the first Mexican national to win a SCORE Trophy Truck race when he won his class in 1998 while finishing second overall to the Class 1 team of Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel in the SCORE San Felipe 250. EL BANCO
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 rugged, rough and bountifully beautiful Baja peninsula has been the SCORE San Felipe 250. SCOREscope 2020 SCHEDULE
Here is the four-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
34th SCORE San Felipe 250, March 25-29, San Felipe, Mexico
BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 3-7, Ensenada, Mexico
2nd SCORE Baja 400, Sept. 16-20, Ensenada, Mexico
BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-21, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur
ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship aired on the ABC family of networks. The four-races air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays on ESPN2.
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 journalist Sam Posey.
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. 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 Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.