ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Referred to with admiration as the ‘Monsters of the Desert,’ SCORE International is celebrating the 25th ‘Silver’ season of the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom desert racing trucks. The salute to these ‘Monsters’, created by then SCORE-owner Sal Fish in 1994, continues at next week’s Golden Anniversary of the legendary BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.
Online racer registration remains open until tonight (June 23) and pre-running on the rugged, race-record 542.12-mile course continues for through Friday (June 1) a total of 281 vehicles entered so far.
Round 2 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held next Tuesday through Sunday (May 29-June 3). The celebratory internationally-televised race will start and finish in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, located 80 miles south of San Diego.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of the golden anniversary of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday (June 2) will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 3:30 a.m. (PDT) and approximately 8 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in around 11 hours, all vehicles will have a 22-hour time limit from the time each starts to become an official finisher.
Over 350 vehicles, in classes for cars, trucks, utvs, motorcycles and quads, are expected at the start line with racers from as many as 30 U.S. States and 20 countries anticipated.
Race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus to help commemorate this year’s race.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
A class like no other in all of the motorsports, SCORE Trophy Trucks are the rugged thoroughbreds of the most grueling of all forms of motorsports and will once again be in the spotlight of next week’s Golden Jubilee race of the SCORE Baja 500.
When first started by then SCORE-owner Sal Fish, these ‘monsters’ ran as their own series within the SCORE series for four years, 1994 through 1997. The Tecate SCORE Trophy Truck Series would usually run the day before the rest of the classes in a kind of made for TV series.
Starting in 1998, SCORE Trophy Truck was merged into the rest of the classes in the SCORE series and has run as the featured racing division for every year since.
In the early years, with factory teams from Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Nissan and Jeep competing, the class peaked at 20 starters, but usually had no more than a dozen entries at any single race.
Since the factory teams pulled out with the emergence of the NASCAR Truck Series, SCORE Trophy Truck numbers have grown dramatically, averaging nearly 35 in every event in the SCORE World Desert Championship.
In the SCORE Baja 500, a SCORE Trophy Truck has been the overall winner in 13 of the last 14 years, including the last eight straight.
“With the help of several people, most notably Frank DeAngelo (BFGoodrich Tires consultant), we launched the amazing SCORE Trophy Truck in 1994 with significant factory support,” remembers Sal Fish, who owned SCORE from its beginning in 1974 until he sold the organization to current owners Roger and Elise Norman after the 2012 season.
“We began with these special trucks running their own series for four years (1994-1997—Tecate SCORE Trophy Truck Series), but as manufacturer support waned because of the advent of the NASCAR Truck Series, we moved SCORE Trophy Truck to the marquee racing division in the SCORE series. Since then, the SCORE Trophy Truck class has just exploded in popularity.”
“In 25 years, this unique racing division has developed into one that rivals all forms of motorsports. The expanding technology involved and the amazing ingenuity of the racers and their teams have made SCORE Trophy Truck a racing machine beyond compare. I have never regretted for one moment introducing this class to the motorsports world.”
THE T-T PILOTS
Entered in this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 among 35 total entries so far are seven racers who have combined to win the SCORE Trophy Truck division in this race 11 times including eight of the last 10 years.
In terms of the overall history of this class, entered in this year’s race are seven drivers who have combined to capture 16 of the 25 SCORE Trophy Truck season point championships.
In terms of career race wins in the SCORE Trophy Truck, 12 racers entered in next week’s race have combined to win this class 72 times out of 128 all-time SCORE races over the last 24-plus years.
While there are many great driver’s in this year’s SCORE Trophy Truck field at this race, just seven have won it at least once.
SCORE BAJA 500 WINNERS
Leading the way in SCORE Trophy Truck race wins in this race is Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies, 30, with three wins in four years (2011, 2012, 2014) in the No. 7 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford Raptor, built by Geiser Brothers. In early April he broke his back while filming a commercial and while he continues to recover, he has added a Red Bull teammate to the No. 7 truck. Driving much of the race will be France’s five-time Dakar Rally motorcycle champion Cyril Despres, 44, who has driven for the Peugeot car team the last three years and finished third in 2017.
A pair of veteran racers have won this race twice. Former NASCAR team owner/driver Robby Gordon, 30 of Charlotte, N.C., won SCORE Trophy Truck in 2005 and 2013. He will be driving the No. 77 Speed Energy Team Gordon Chevy Silverado (custom-built).
The other two-timer will be San Diego’s Andy McMillin, 31, who won SCORE Trophy Truck in this race in 2010 splitting driving with his talented father Scott McMillin and he is the defending champion after driving solo last year to the checkered flag. Next week, McMillin will drive the new No. 31 McMillin Racing Chevy Silverado (Mason-built) with his father listed as an additional driver, if needed.
The other four racers entered who have won the SCORE Trophy Truck class in this race one time are Rob MacCachren (1996), Ryan Arciero (2003), B.J. Baldwin (2008) and Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (2015).
This year Las Vegas’ Hall of Famer MacCachren, 53, will drive the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports F-250 (Geiser-built) and Arciero, 44, of Lake Forest, Calif., will be behind the wheel of the No. 32 Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith-built). Baldwin, 38, also of Las Vegas, will pilot the No. 97 Monster Energy Baldwin Motorsports Toyota Tundra (ID-built) and Mexico’s Lopez , 23, of Tecate, will drive the No. 1 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck (Geiser-built).
SCORE T-T SEASON CHAMPS
Entered in this race are seven racers who have combined to win 16 of the 24 SCORE Trophy Truck season point championships.
At the head of this group with four SCORE Trophy Truck season point championships each are Las Vegas brothers Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003) and fellow Las Vegan Baldwin (2006, 2008, 2012, 2013). The Herbst brothers will split the driving in this race in the No. 19 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith built).
Mexico’s youthful Apdaly Lopez has won three straight SCORE Trophy Truck season point crowns (2015, 2016, 2017).
With two season point titles each in the premiere racing division are Las Vegas’ MacCachren (1994, 2007) and Gordon, Charlotte, N.C. (1996 and 2009).
Winning the 2011 season crown was Las Vegas’ Menzies.
SCORE T-T ALL-TIME RACE WINNERS
A ‘Dusty Dozen’ SCORE racers entered in this year’s 50th BFGoodrich SCORE Baja 500 have combined to win 72 races in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division.
All-time leader with 16 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins is Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer MacCachren while tied for second on the all-time list is the Ed/Tim Herbst tandem and Gordon. Andy McMillin has nine career wins, Baldwin has six, Menzies five and tied with three wins each are Arciero, Scott McMillin and Gus Vildosola Sr.
Mexico’s Vidosola Sr, of Mexicali, will be racing in the SCORE TT Legend class for drivers over 50 years old in the No. 12L Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor (ID-built).
With two career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins each are Apdaly Lopez and his father Juan C. Lopez. In this year’s race, the elder Lopez, who teamed with his talented son to win last year’s epic 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, will drive the No. 18 RPM Racing Ford Raptor (Racer built).
Racing next week with one career SCORE Trophy Truck race win is Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, who drives the No. 15 Bevly-Wilson Racing Ford Raptor (Jimco built).
The total of 281 entries to date have come from 29 U.S. States, U.S. Territory-Puerto Rico along with 14 total countries–host country Mexico, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru and Spain.
States among the field range so far from California, Washington and Oregon in the Pacific West, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico in the Mountain West, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut in the Northeast, Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas in the Midwest and Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia in the South.
Leading the entries so far is the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks with 35 official entries as of today.
Other classes with double-figure entries so far besides SCORE Trophy Truck with 35 are Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) with 35 entries also, Trophy Truck Spec with 24, Class 10 with 22, SCORE Lites with 18, Sportsman Moto with 17, the unlimited Class 1 with 13 and with 10 each are Class 1/2-1600, Class 11 and Pro Moto 30.
ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration, by class, for Pro and Sportsman entries, is ongoing through the SCORE website. Information on all SCORE races can be found on the home page under the Race Info tab.
Official entries received after the drawing will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes. Online entries will be accepted until 8 p.m. (PDT) today (Wednesday, May 23).
Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (May 29-30, June 1) in Ensenada.
Practice, or pre-running, on the official rugged race-record 542.12-mile course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 opened this past Saturday. Pre-running starts at race mile 39.30 at Rancho Mezcal and that section from the start to race mile 39.30 may only be run outbound on Thursday and Friday of race-week. GPS files, course notes and preliminary Racer’s Briefing are available on the race page on the SCORE website under race info.
AT THE RIVIERA…
The Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, in the heart of Ensenada, will again be the site of many of the activities surrounding the SCORE Baja 500. Racer registration and media registration will both be held in the Red Room on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (May 30-31, June 1).
Racer registration will be held on Wednesday (May 30) from Noon to 8 p.m. PDT along with 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday (May 31) and Friday (June 1). On Friday, no new entries will be accepted after 4 p.m.
Media registration the Red Room will be held on Wednesday (May 30) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday (May 31) and Friday (June 1).
The SCORE Media Center will be in the Red Room during the race (June 2-3) with internet access and live race updates, vehicle tracking displays including unofficial elapsed times.
In the Cathedral Room at the Riviera will be pre-race media conference at 11:30 a.m. PDT as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday (June 1). The post-race awards celebration will also be in the Cathedral Room at noon PDT on Sunday (June 3).
The start/finish line for the race will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Blvd. Costero.
RECORD LONG COURSE
The Golden Anniversary course, designed and finalized by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva is an astounding race-record 542.12 miles. The course will run in a clockwise direction. The first and last 19.5 miles will be shared course outbound and inbound.
Starting and finishing once again in the heart of Ensenada in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, it will quickly leave the pavement and head up the spectator-friendly Ensenada Arroyo for two miles as it heads out of town. Upwards of 50,000 spectators are expected to watch the race in that area alone. And local tourism officials expect upwards of 200,000 fans spread along the entire length of the grueling race course.
The historic race course is another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the seashore with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the mesmerizing, stark beauty of Baja California.
This year’s anniversary course will have four physical checkpoints—Checkpoint No. 1-El Chinero, (Race Mile 174.20), Checkpoint No. 2-San Matias (RM 260.72), Checkpoint No. 3-Vicente Guerrero (RM 368.15) and Checkpoint No. 4-Santo Tomas (RM 466.83).
Reflecting on the course, Grijalva commented, “This is going to be the roughest, toughest, longest and most spectacular SCORE Baja 500 race course in its 50 years of existence without exception.”
Among the other towns, areas and landmarks the course goes through or near are Ensenada Arroyo, Ojos Negros, the Goat Trail, Valle de Trinidad, Diablo Dry Lake Bed, Las Cuevitas Wash, Mike’s Sky Rancho, Rancho El Coyote, Rancho Meling, Camalu, Colonet, Colonet Wash and Erendira .
Following last year’s epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship spotlights the special tribute to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the event in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE to Roger and Elise Norman in December of 2012.
This year will be the 45th time the race has started and 41st time it will finish in Ensenada, the off-road capital of the world.
GRANDEST CO-GRAND MARSHALS
Legendary Hall of Fame former SCORE owner Sal Fish will join Hall of Fame retired racer Ivan Stewart as co-Grand Marshals for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.
Fish, the ‘godfather’ of desert racing who ran SCORE from its Baja start in 1974 for 38 years through the end of the 2012 season joins the iconic ‘Ironman’ Stewart, who has 17 class wins (including 10 overalls) in the SCORE Baja 500, to share duties for the special golden anniversary race that they both have been such a major part of over the years.
Fish, who turned 79 on May 2 and Stewart will turn 73 on June 4.
Below is the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule. For the third consecutive year all four races are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 4-April 8, San Felipe, Mexico
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 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, 4 Wheel Parts, 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.
Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500
Round 2 of four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship
June 2-3, 2018—542.12 miles—Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Total Entries: 281(as of 5/23/18)
(from 29 U.S. States, U.S. Territory-Puerto Rico; Host Mexico, Andorra, Argentina, Austria,
Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Spain)
(Number, driver/rider of record/additional drivers/riders, vehicle, engine)