LOS ANGELES—With 37 of the world’s best desert racers entered in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck starting grid, dust will fly next month but none higher than the point championship duel between second-generation desert racer Rob MacCachren and Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez at the 45th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. This year’s iconic desert classic, the final event of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series, will be held Nov. 14-17 on a the brutally-rugged 1,121.55-mile Sal Fish signature desert race course.
AROUND THE GLOBE
With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 35 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes in the internationally televised race, entries have already come from 32 U.S. states and 19 countries. In addition to the 32 U.S. States, racers have entered from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the US Territory of Guam. With 30 days before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 15, late entries will be accepted up to race morning.
With the rugged course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz in Baja California Sur.
This year will be the 38th time in the first 44 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 19th time in has finished in La Paz.
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious and majestic Baja California peninsula.
Leading the car and truck classes into the Baja desert will be the featured SCORE Trophy Trucks, the high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks that have been the showcase of SCORE since Sal Fish created the spectacular class in 1994.
WHAT’S THE POINTS
Coming back from adversity on the race course in June’s 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, his two race wins this season along with his 11th-place finish out of 36 starters in Ensenada, Las Vegas’ All-America racer Rob MacCachren continues to ride at the top of the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck point standings after four of five races in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
Starting the season with back to back overall wins in 2012 (Laughlin-Round 2 and San Felipe) after opening the season with a ninth-place finish in the first round in Laughlin, Nev., MacCachren, 47, has earned 271 championship points in the No. 20 Rockstar Energy/MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
‘Rockstar Rob’, who has eight SCORE season class point titles, earned his 48th career SCORE class win, his 11th career SCORE Trophy Truck race win in San Felipe in March. MacCachren is tied with Las Vegas brothers Ed and Tim Herbst with the most race win in the 18-plus year history of SCORE’s premier racing division. The Mac Attack also won the season title in the inaugural 1994 campaign of SCORE Trophy Trucks.
In San Felipe, MacCachren also earned the 75th all-time SCORE Baja overall race win for noted tire manufacturer BFGoodrich. BFG Tires have now been the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in 22 MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 races, 28 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and 25 in the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
“Our Rockstar/MasterCraft race team were the heroes of the SCORE Baja 500 race for us,” reflected MacCachren, who earned his 200th career win this summer in desert and short-course/stadium racing.
“They got us up and running and what could have been a disaster as far as the season points are concerned was turned into a respectable finish in a huge field of SCORE Trophy Trucks. Our BFG Tires are the best in the universe and it has been my honor and my confidence-builder to know that any race vehicle I am driving has the best desert racing tires in the world guiding us around the course, whether it is in the open desert or in short-course, stadium-style racing.”
“We want to win the 45th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 but we also want to win the season point championship in SCORE Trophy Truck so our race strategy will be designed to accomplish both.”
Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez, who finished second in both Laughlin races, sixth in San Felipe and eighth in Ensenada in the No. 18 RPM OffRoad Chevy Silverado is second in SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck points. RPM leads the point standings in six classes after the first four races of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series. Lopez, of Tecate, Mexico, has 265 points, a mere six behind MacCachren.
SCORE points are based on starting, finishing, placement and number of official starters within each class.
After winning Round 1 of the season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and finishing second in the last two races in San Felipe and Ensenada, Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin has moved up to third in overall and SCORE Trophy Truck points with 254 in the No. 97 Monster Energy Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Baldwin has four career race wins in SCORE Trophy Truck. Baldwin has four career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins and also won the season championship in the class in both 2006 and 2008.
At this year’s SCORE Baja 500, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies won the race for the second straight year in the No. 1 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck, defeating Baldwin, who had crossed the finish line physically first, by just 11 seconds in the elapsed-time race.
Pre-race strategies have a way of disappearing like a mirage in the mysterious Baja desert and while MacCachren, Lopez and Baldwin are duking it out in the badlands south of the border, a host of other great racers, led by Menzies, may claim the crown jewel of desert racing by winning the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
On the silt-laden, rock-strewn even mud-packed trails of Baja, it’s hard to imagine a more formidable field of contenders in SCORE Trophy Truck than this year’s magnificent field of hopeful Baja champions. Statistically, 16 drivers in this year’s field have combined to win 77 of the 104 total races in the 18-plus year history of the class, including 12 of the 18 former season point championships and eight of the last nine race winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in SCORE Trophy Truck.
IT’S TERRIBLE GOOD
This year’s super-talented SCORE Trophy Truck field includes three of the top four winningest drivers in class history, led by Las Vegas’ Tim Herbst and MacCachren, also of Las Vegas, who are tied with a record 11 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. Tim Herbst, who earned all of SCORE Trophy Truck race wins with his older brother Ed Herbst, will be racing this time with SCORE Baja racing legend Larry Roeseler. Tim and Ed also won the season title in SCORE Trophy Truck in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
Roeseler, who lives in El Cajon, Calif., has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler and Tim Herbst will split time behind the wheel of the No. 19 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007) in this race while driving with the youngest of the three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’.
Troy Herbst, another Las Vegas SCORE Trophy Truck racer, will be the second driver this year for Ryan Arciero, Foothills Ranch, Calif. in the No. 49 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Arciero has three career SCORE Trophy Truck race victories including two (2003, 2004) in this race.
Among the other favorites to win this race will again be San Diego’s son/father team of Andy McMillin, San Deigo and Scott McMillin, Coronado, Calif. Part of the legendary McMillin desert racing family that has been winning SCORE Baja races since 1976, Andy, 25, and Scott, 52, have won this race as a team two of the last three years in the No. 31 McMillin Homes Ford F-150. Andy, who also won this race in 2006 with NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, has five career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins while his father Scott has three, all with Andy.
Andy’s cousin, Dan McMillin and his father, Scott’s brother, Mark McMillin, are also top SCORE Trophy Truck challengers in the No. 23 McMillin Realty Ford F-150. They finished fourth in class in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Another top contender for this year’s title will be the father-and-son team of Gus Vildosola Sr./Gus Vildosola Jr, who won the overall title in the 2010 race to La Paz in the No. 21 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford F-150.
Their huge win was the first in this race for a Mexican national team as they were not only the fastest four-wheel vehicle in the race, they had the fastest overall time on the course of all vehicles, including the usually-faster motorcycles. Gus Sr has two SCORE Trophy Truck career race wins while Tavo, who like has father has won in other classes as well, has one SCORE Trophy Truck career race win.
Another of the talented Las Vegas SCORE Trophy Truck teams is the three-driver team of Collins Motorsports. Kory Scheeler is the driver of record for this race and will split time behind the wheel of the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Dodge Ram1500 with NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan and six-time SCORE Trophy Truck race winner Brian Collins.
Trying to double his odds for a victory, television sports commentator/SCORE desert racer Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., is driver of record in two, yes two, SCORE Trophy Trucks as the SCORE Baja veteran has entered both the No. 14 and the No. 16 Desert Assassins GMC Sierra race trucks.
WAIT, THERE’S MORE
Several more of the numerous contenders in this race has to start with another double-downer. Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., is a second driver in to entries, the No. 84 Chevy Silverado of Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix, and the No. 62 Ford Raptor of Billy Bunch, La Quinta, Calif. LeDuc, who has won this featured class four times in his career was also the 1997 season point champion in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Robby Gordon is also a two-timer as he is listed as a second driver for both the No. 18 truck of Juan C. Lopez and in his own No. 77 Chevy CK1500. Gordon, who has nine career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins, has also won the season crown in both 1996 and 2009.
Jesse Jones, Phoenix, is also listed on two entries as the two-time SCORE Trophy Truck race winner and 2010 season point champion has entered his own No. 76 Ford F-150 and is listed as the second of three drivers, if needed, for Menzies in the No. 1 truck.
Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif., has one career SCORE Trophy Truck race win and is entered with former motorcycle champion Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., in the No. 71 Ford F-150.
Another very competitive team racing their first full season in SCORE Trophy Truck, Steve Strobel, Clarks, Neb./Dale Ebberts, Wilton, Calif./Gay Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., are currently fourth in season points in the No. 94 Strobel Motorsports Ford F-150.
After the debut of their BMW XJ-6 last season, veteran World Rally Championship racer Armin Schwarz and US teammate Martin Christensen, who lives in Escondido, Calif. but is originally from Denmark, apper to be getting much closer to dialing in all the elements on their unique race truck to match the skill of its drivers.
LEST WE FORGET
While the winner of the race is truly next to impossible to predict, among the other contenders will be surely be brothers Mark Weyhrich/Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 9 Ford F-150), John Langley/Zak Langley/Morgan Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Dan Martin, El Segundo, Calif. (No. 50 Ford F-150), Ken Losch, Tempe, Ariz./Rob Martensen, Phoenix (No. 34 Chevy Silverado), Ed Stout, Staunton, Calif./Glenn Harris, Oxnard, Calif./Jamie Campbell, San Juan Capistranto, Calif. (No. 13 Chevy C1500), Greer brothers Tommy, Tucson, Ariz./Glen, Green Vallley, Ariz./Bruce Greer, Oro Valley, Ariz. (No. 37 Dodge Ram1500), Ron Whitton/Chas Dana, Mesa, Ariz. (No. 39 Ford F-150), Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz. (No. 2 Ford F-150), Chris Kemp, San Clemente, Calif./Dave Tounget, Murrieta, Calif./Alan Pflueger, Honolulu (No. 93 Ford Raptor) and the several other new teams including Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico/Matt Loidice/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., (No. 88 Chevy Silverado), Rob Reinertson, Woodside, Calif./Al Hogan, Columbus, Mont./Bobby Neth, Julian, Calif. (No. 73 Chevy Silverado), John Clark Gable, Malibu, Calif. (No. 92 Ford F-150) and Jay Reichert, Cottonwood Shores, Texas/Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas (No. 26 Ford F-150).
BY THE NUMBERS
While entries will be accepted up to race morning, late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy Truck (37), Class 1 (22), and Class 10 (12).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 for open motorcycles has the most entries to date with 11.
Leading the entries in the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which had 34 entries so far.
Pre-running on the majority of the race course from Ojos Negros to La Paz begins Friday and pre-running from the start line in Ensenada to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Tuesday and Wednesday of race week, Nov. 13 and 14. Preliminary pre-running, without GPS files, from San Felipe to La Paz, opened on Oct. 6.
This year’s historic 45th anniversary race will run down the length of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula. It will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The challenging race course for this year is somewhat similar to 2010, but longer than the last time the race finished in La Paz, although the terrain has obviously changed significantly because of weather conditions and natural use.
With eight mandatory checkpoints spread down the peninsula plus the finish line, the course starts on the Pacific Ocean-side of Baja California in Ensenada and heads southeast to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez before heading south through Coco’s Corner, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, back to the Pacific at San Juanico, then back to the Sea of Cortez just above Loreto, back to the Pacific near Ciudad Insurgentes heading down along the Pacific through Santa Rita before turning back east and down into La Paz for the finish.
All entries are provided with GPS programs defining the course and all are required to utilize special data recording devices that plot the actual route and speeds each vehicle takes during the mammoth race.
In 2012, BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating the 37th year as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for nearly four decades, BFG has been the has produced the tire of choice for 25 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including 25 of the last 26 years and a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005.
BFG also provides unmatched pit supports for races using their tires with eight full pit areas along the race course to La Paz and complete radio relay the entire 1,121.55 miles.
SAL FISH IronRider AWARDS
This race also features the prestigious Sal Fish SCORE IronRider awards presented to each motorcycle and ATV rider who completes the entire course within the time limit while riding solo. To date, a total of 28 racers, all on motorcycles, have declared the intent to ride the entire race solo in their quests for the Sal Fish SCORE IronRider Award.
STRIVING FOR GOLD…
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 27th consecutive year, a total of 24 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series after four rounds in the five-race series.
Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award. All categories, except Engine Builder and Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer, will be determined by public on-line voting while Engine and Buggy awards are determined by season points.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of the three SCORE Baja races.
MasterCraft Safety is co-title sponsor of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Official Sponsors of the 45th SCORE Baja 1000 and the SCORE Desert Series are:
-Tecate Beer, Official Beer
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Graham Watchmakers, Official Timekeeper
-Red Bull, Official Energy Drink
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bullet Liner, Official Spray-On Bedliner
-SatellitePhoneStore.com-Official Satellite Phone Rental Company
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Fox Car Rental, Official Rent-A-Car
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
-Maxtrax, Official Vehicle Recovery Device
-Azunia Tequila, Official Tequila
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Baja California Sur Tourism, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information regarding SCORE International and the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, with links to the newly enhanced SCORE social media platforms, visit www.score-international.com or call SCORE at 818.225.8402.
All-Time Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
SCORE Trophy-Truck class winners
2000—Dan Smith/David Ashley
2001—David Ashley/Dan Smith
2002—David Ashley/Dan Smith
2003—Mark Miller/Ryan Arciero
2004—Mark Miller/Ryan Arciero
2005—Bob Shepard/Rick Geiser
2006—Andy McMillin/Robby Gordon
2007—Mark Post/Rob MacCachren/Carl Renezeder
2008—Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler
2009—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
2010—Gus Vildosola Jr./Gus Vildosola Sr.
2011—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
45th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
SCORE Trophy Truck OFFICIAL ENTRIES
(By Class Starting Order, with vehicle number, driver of record, hometown, co-driver, hometown, vehicle) (as of 10/23/12)
2 Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., Ford F-150
93 Chris Kemp, San Clemente, Calif./Dave Tounget, Murrieta, Calif./Alan Pflueger, Honolulu, Ford Raptor
20 Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas/Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif., Ford F-150
23 Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif./Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Ford F-150
12 Kory Scheeler/Brendan Gaughan/Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram1500
34 Ken Losch, Tempe, Ariz./Rob Martensen, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado
97 B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado
1 Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas/Jesse Jones, Phoenix/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
31 Andy McMillin, San Diego/Scott McMillin, Coronado, Calif./Jessica McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150
9 Mark Weyhrich/Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150
76 Jesse Jones, Phoenix/Bryce Menzies/Larry Job, Las Vegas, Ford F-250
18 Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico/Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy Silverado
19 Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford F-150
14 Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Josh Daniel, Vista, Calif., GMC Sierra
94 Steven Strobel, Clarks, Neb./Dale Ebberts, Wilton, Calif./Gay Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., Ford F-150
50 John Langley/Zak Langley/Morgan Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Dan Martin El Segundo, Calif., Ford F-150
88 Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico/Matt Loidice/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., Chevy Silverado
59 Craig Potts, Scottsdale, Ariz., Ford F-150,
26 Jay Reichert, Cottonwood Shores, Texas/Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas, Ford F-150
73 Rob Reinertson, Woodside, Calif./Al Hogan, Columbus, Mont./Bobby Neth, Julian, Calif., Chevy Sivlerado
16 Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Jeff Laubscher, Dana Point, Calif., GMC Sierra
62 Billy Bunch, La Quinta, Calif./Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., Ford Raptor
53 Jose Flores, Culiacan, Mexico/Eduardo Perez, San Diego/Jesus Lara, Cd. Constitucion, Mexico, Chevy Silverado
84 Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz./Michael Vanderwey, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado
13 Ed Stout, Staunton, Calif./Glenn Harris, Oxnard, Calif./Jamie Campbell, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Chevy C1500
92 John Clark Gable, Malibu, Calif., Ford F-150
48 Jimmy Knuckles, Brawley, Calif., Ford F-150
21 Gus Vildosola/Gus Vildosola Jr, Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Raptor
45 Gary Magness/Davin Housh, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150
10 Greg Nunley, Tulare, Calif./John Lennon, Paradise Valley, Ariz., Ford F-150
37 Tommy Greer, Tucson, Ariz./Glen Greer, Green Valley, Ariz./Bruce Greer Jr, Oro Valley, Calif., Dodge Ram1500
49 Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif./Troy Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150
15 Armin Schwarz, Germany/Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif. (Denmark), BMW XJ-6
77 Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500
71 Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., Ford F-150
39 Ron Whitton/Chas Dana, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150
60 Mike Voudouris, Austin, Texas/Travis Bozanno, Las Vegas,Ford F-150