If the grandstands full of off-road race fans at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is any indicator, off-road racing appears to be alive and well in 2011. Despite recent years where rain and ugly weather plagued this race, sunny skies and a steady desert breeze greeted racers and fans at the Laughlin Event Park.

Although this race doesn’t have the most jam-packed field since it’s so early in the season (SCORE officials told us 123 racers entered), many big-name racers looking to stay in the points battle for the year-end championship were definitely on hand. The race format is unique compared to the longer endurance races SCORE puts on south of the border. The Laughlin Desert Challenge is held on a 6.25-mile loop course just away from the main strip of casinos on the riverbank. The overall time of both Saturday and Sunday’s laps combine to determine the overall winner for each class.

With the other classes racing in the morning (see below for class results), the Trophy-Trucks powered off the line just after lunch. The crowd was teeming with anticipation for the start of the race since Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin were the first two off the line. The fan favorites didn’t disappoint, as the two trucks powered off the line with Baldwin gaining a small lead down the drag-strip-style front straight. The two battled for the first few laps, but Gordon eventually was forced to pull off with engines issues and was unable to continue.

Check out the full story on Off-Road.com here.

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