ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Five decades of milestones are recognized in a tantalizing timeline history developed for the SCORE Baja 500, Round 2 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship when it is held May 29-June 3.
One of the world’s top motorsports events will be celebrated in a special way this year at the upcoming internationally-televised 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500. The celebratory race will start and finish in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 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 3) will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 5:30 a.m. (PDT) and approximately 10 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs.
Over 350 vehicles 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.
Early entries have come from 19 States in the U.S.A. along with host country Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Italy and New Zealand.
ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration, by class, for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, 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 10 p.m. (PDT) on Wednesday, May 23.
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.
START ORDER/DRAW DEADLINE
The starting order within each class for this race will start with the finishing order from the recent SCORE San Felipe 250, if the individual entry is received by Monday, May 21 and paid in full by May 23. For racers who were DNFs in San Felipe but enter by the deadline, a special drawing will be held for them prior to the other entries that come in for each class.
The deadline for those that raced in San Felipe to activate their reserved start position is 8 p.m. PDT on Monday, May 21. Deadline for all additional entries to be included in the drawing for starting positions is on 8 p.m. PDTWednesday, May 23. The results of the drawing, to determine the remainder of the start order within each class, will be held announced on Friday, May 25.
No new entries will be accepted after 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23. Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday andFriday (May 29-30, June 1).
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 will begin on Saturday, May 19.
The race will feature a course, when finalized over the next couple of weeks by SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman along with Race Director Jose A. Grijalva of approximately 510 miles.
When completed, the historic race course will be 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 4,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.
GRANDEST CO-GRAND MARSHALS
Legendary Hall of Fame former SCORE owner Sal Fish has agreed to 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 to share duties for the special golden anniversary race that they both have been such a major part of over the years.
Fish, who will turn 79 on May 2 and Stewart who will turn 73 on June 4, will both be active parts of the celebration of the popular early summer race.
Gracious as always, Fish returns to SCORE for another celebration after being Grand Marshal of last November’s epic 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
Racing since 1973, Stewart joined the Toyota factory team in 1983 for Cal Wells at Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI). He had a total of 84 career off-road race victories in stadium, short course and desert. Stewart had17 SCORE Baja 500 class wins (including 10 SCORE Baja 500 overall wins).
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, 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, 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.
Echoes of the legendary SCORE Baja 500
1969 – The first Baja 500 is held, organized by NORRA with 163 starters, 73 finishers
-Overall 4-wheel winners were Bud Ekins/Guy Jones in a Baja Boot-Olds
-2-wheel champs were Doug Douglas/Jim McClurg on a Ducati motorcycle
1972 – Last race organized by NORRA which was no longer authorized by the Mexican government
-Former Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones wins the overall 4-wheel title for the second time
1973 – Mickey Thompson obtains agreement with Mexican government for his new SCORE
International as the Official U.S. desert race promoter for Baja California
1974 – Sal Fish takes control of SCORE and the first SCORE Baja race is held on July 26, 1974
-Because of litigation regarding the name, SCORE calls the race SCORE Baja Internacional for the next 16 years
-The first SCORE race in Baja has 279 official starters and 173 official finishers
-Bobby Ferro is the overall 4-wheel winner in a Sandmaster-VW
-Mitch Mayes/A.C. Bakken are the overall 2-wheel winners on a Husqvarna motorcycle
-Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart wins his first of 17 class wins in 4-wheel in this race
1975 – Ivan Stewart wins his first of 10 overalls in 4-wheel in a Funco-VW
-Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie team to win the overall 2-wheel on a Harley-Davidson. It was Roeseler’s first of a race-record nine overall motorcycle victories in this race
1976 – BFGoodrich Tires begins its SCORE Baja racing history in the SCCORE Baja 500
-BFGoodrich Tires has won a race-record 31 overall 4-wheel titles in this race
-Bobby Ferro teams with Ivan Stewart to win the overall 4–wheel in a Funco-VW
-Larry Roeseler teams with A.C. Bakken to win the overall 2-wheel on a Husqvarna
1977 – Ivan Stewart drives solo in win the overall 4-wheel in a Chenowth-VW
-Larry Roeseler and Jack Johnson team to win the overall 2-wheel on a Husqvarna
-A then race-record 384 vehicles start the race. Record would last for 22 years
1978 – Dr. Bud Feldkamp and legendary motorcycle racer Malcolm Smith win the overall 4-wheel in a
Funco-VW. Smith would win four overalls include one on a motorcycle (1971) and Feldkamp would win three overalls, two with Smith
-Brent Wallingsford and Scot Harden team on a Husqvarna for the overall 2-wheel as Harden would eventually win three times on a motorcycle
1979 – PPI Begins Racing in SCORE with the Toyota Team and Ivan Stewart
-Frank De Angelo, with BFGoodrich Tires, start pits for racers at SCORE events
-Jack Johnson becomes the first overall 2-wheel winner riding solo; on a Husqvarna this race
1980- ‘Baja’ Bob Gordon wins in a Chenowth-Chevy for his first of two overalls in the SCORE
1982- ‘Lightning’ Larry Ragland drives solo in a Funco-VW for his first of five overall 4-wheel wins
1983- McMillin family of three generation racers records its first of 10 combined overall wins as family
patriarch Corky McMillin and his oldest son Scott win the 4-wheel overall in a Chenowth-VW
1984- Because of a continuing dispute between landowners and the government, Sal Fish moves the
race for the only time in its history outside of Mexico to the U.S.A. desert near Barstow, Calif.
1988 – Mark McMillin, Corky McMillin’s youngest son, drives solo to win the overall 4-wheel in a
Chenowth-Porsche. It was Mark’s first of three solo drives to the overall as the others came in 1997 and in 2001. It was also the second of five overalls in race history for Porsche-powered vehicles
1989- Because of internal disputes again in Mexico, Sal Fish moves the race to San Felipe and for
the only time in race history there were no classes for motorcycles and ATVs
-Robby Gordon wins the overall for his first of four times and the first time for a truck–Ford
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 – Because of the growing population in Ensenada, local officials
can’t identify a location to start and finish in Ensenada, the start/finish areas are changed. In 1990 it starts in Ensenada and finishes in Santo Tomas, in 1991 and 1992 it starts and finishes in Ojos Negros, in 1993 it runs from Ojos Negros to Santo Tomas and in 1994 and 1995 it starts in Ensenada and finishes in Santo Tomas
1991 – Sal Fish completes negotiations with NORRA to finalize use the name Baja 500 that SCORE
has legally registered for perpetuity as the SCORE Baja 500, the name it was always called by racers and fans
1994 – SCORE Trophy Truck Class debuts; created by Sal Fish and SCORE
-Ivan Stewart wins the first SCORE Trophy Truck title at the SCORE Baja 500 becoming the only 4-wheel racer to win four consecutive years, all in a PPI Toyota truck
1994-1997 – SCORE Trophy Truck runs as its own series, Ivan Stewart wins this race in 1994 and
1997 in a Toyota, Curt LeDuc in 1995 in a Jeep and Rob MacCachren in 1996 in a Ford
1996 – Troy Herbst drives solo to win the 4-wheel overall in a Smithbuilt-Porsche. Herbst also won
the overall in 2002 and in 2003 teamed with Larry Roeseler in the same Class 1 vehicle dubbed the ‘land shark’
1997 – Johnny Campbell wins his first of five overall motorcycle titles, all on Honda bikes. Campbell’s
first was the fourth of five overall motorcycle victories for Bruce Ogilvie
-Starting with this race, Honda won the motorcycle portion for the next 16 consecutive years
1998 – Ivan Stewart wins the overall in the first year SCORE Trophy Truck was a part of the main
series, the second of three straight wins for the Ironman
2000 – Team of Jonah Street/Steve Hengeveld win motorcycle overall; the first of seven for
Hengeveld and the second of three for Street
2007 – A SCORE record 492 official starters and a SCORE record 283 official finishers including a SCORE-record 39 starters in SCORE Trophy Truck
–Larry Ragland and Brian Collins team up for the 4-wheel overall for the second straight year
–Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Steve Hengeveld win the motorcycle overall on a Honda
2008 – B.J. Baldwin in a Chevy truck edges Rob MacCachren by just seven seconds in the closest overall finish in the history of the SCORE Baja 500
2010 – Andy McMillin becomes the fourth McMillin to win the overall, teaming with his father Scott in a Ford
2011 – Bryce Menzies begins a run of three overall wins (2012 and 2014 as well) in four years in a Ford F-150
2012 – Robby Bell/David Pearson/Steve Hengeveld win the 2-wheel overall on a Kawasaki, breaking the 16-year win streak by Honda in motorcycle competition in this race
2013 – Roger and Elise Norman era with SCORE sees 276 starters in their first SCORE Baja 500
-Robby Gordon wins his fourth overall in a Chevy truck
2015 – Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez wins the overall in a Chevy truck to become the first Mexican national
to win the overall in the SCORE Baja 500
2016 – Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr in a Ford truck becomes the second Mexican national to win the
2017 – Andy McMillin drives solo in a Ford truck to win his second overall and 10th for the McMillin
Family and giving Ford trucks its race-high 12th overall win in the SCORE Baja 500
-Guatemala’s Francisco Arredondo teams with Shane Esposito, Justin Morgan and Roberto Villalobos to win the overall motorcycle title and give Honda its race-record 19th overall motorcycle victory in the SCORE Baja 500