SAN DIEGO — BFGoodrich Tires, KTM, champion motorcycle racer Kurt Caselli (posthumously) racer Rene Rodriguez, and mechanic Johnny Nelson were among the big winners Saturday night as SCORE International officially concluded the 2013 SCORE Desert Series with the annual SCORE Awards Night gala in SoCal at the Town & Country Resort Hotel in San Diego.
SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards were presented in 11 categories along with the 30 winners of the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards and the class and overall point champions of Roger Norman’s three-race 2013 SCORE Desert Series.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 400 and a worldwide audience via the live webcast of the festivities, the evening was also a celebration of 40 years of SCORE championship desert racing. Following the lengthy salute to the stars of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, new SCORE owner Roger Norman summarized his first year as SCORE’s CEO and President.
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 38 years was honored as the 2013 SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year. With veteran BFGoodrich Tires representative Frank DeAngelo accepting, it was the 25th time that BFGoodrich Tires has been voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year.
The SCORE Off-Roadsman awards were determined for the third straight year by a public, online vote. Among the other honorees were the top point leaders from the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series. Several thousand votes were cast during the voting window following the season-ending 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race this past November in Mexico.
KTM Motorcycles, which fielded a factory team in the 2013 SCORE Desert Series led by rider of record Kurt Caselli that finished third in Class 22 points, was honored for the second time (and consecutively as the SCORE Motorcycle Manufacturer of the Year. Caselli, who died as results of injuries sustained during a racing accident during this year’s season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was also voted posthumously as the 2013 SCORE Person of the Year. The evening included a memorial video tribute to Caselli.
2013 SCORE Baja 1000 Coverage
Baja 1000 Class Winners
“We want to sincerely acknowledge the support, assistance and sacrifices made by family members, friends and sponsors–because without their support, the accomplishments of our racers in the series would not have been possible,” commented Norman. “Becoming a SCORE overall or class champion, or winning a coveted SCORE Off-Roadsman Award or SCORE Toyota Milestone Award is an achievement of the highest degree.”
Earning its first SCORE Off-Roadsman award, Rigid Industries, the prominent LED lighting manufacturer was voted as the SCORE Congingency company of the year.
With very tight voting in most categories, Mexico’s Rene Rodriguez, was selected as the 2013 SCORE Rookie of the Year after his sterling season in Class 11 for the iconic stock VW sedans. Rodriguez won his class in two of the three races to earn the Class 11 season point championship.
Nelson, the crew chief and co-rider for 2013 SCORE Trophy Truck and SCORE Overall season point champion B.J. Baldwin and Baldwin Motorsports of Las Vegas, was voted the SCORE Mechanic of the Year for the first time.
“The year of 2013 was another memorable year in the history of SCORE International,” Norman added. “We enjoyed a total of nearly 500 different drivers/riders of record that competed in our three spectacular SCORE Baja events. For my wife Elise and I, this was our first year as the caretakers of this amazing treasure we all know as SCORE International. We are committed to work with our racers to expand the reach of SCORE even further than it has achieved so far.”
Mike Julson, of Santee, Calif., who is a SCORE regular co-driver in both SCORE Trophy Truck and the unlimited Class 1, saw his Jimco open-wheel desert race cars win the 2013 SCORE Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer point championship for the 20th time and 19th straight.
Kroyer Racing Engines of Las Vegas captured the 2013 Engine Builder point championship for the fourth straight year.
Another element of the diverse program will be the presentation of the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards. As it has for 28 years, the coveted Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to those drivers in four-wheel vehicle classes who finish every required mile of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series. A total of 30 racers completed all 1,638.1 required miles in the three-race 2013 SCORE Desert Series.
The evening will include a colorful video/photographic tribute to the 2013 SCORE Desert Series produced by Dirt LiveHD and GetSomePhoto.
The entire evening will be streamed live by Dirt LiveHD on the SCORE website.
Mexican journalist Gabriel Garcia of Ensenada’s El Vigia newspaper, was honored for the second time in the last three years as the SCORE Journalist of the Year, while HighRev Photo (Jason Zindroski) earned the SCORE Photographer of the Year honors for the fourth time. Winning the SCORE Videographer of the Year award for the first time was Tempt Media (Eric Stolz).
Leading the parade of 2013 SCORE Desert Series point champions were the three overall titlists—Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin. (Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 1 Monster Energy Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado), Tim Weigand, Valencia, Calif. (Overall motorcycle and Class 22 on a Honda CRF450X) and Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico (Overall ATV and Class 25 on a Honda TRX450R).
For Baldwin, who won the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and was second in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, it was his second straight SCORE Overall and fourth total SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship.
For Weigand, who won Class 22 in all three SCORE Baja races, it was his second SCORE Overall Motorcycle and and first SCORE Overall ATV and first class season win for Arellano, who had two race victories in 2013 in Class 25.
Emcees for the evening were prominent racer/action sports TV announcer Cameron Steele and legendary champion motorcycle racer and team owner Johnny Cambell.
The six-race 2014 SCORE Desert Series opens with the 28th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Baja California, Mexico, Feb. 27-March 2.
The original SCORE International founded in 1973 by the late Mickey Thompson and headed by Sal Fish from 1974 until Fish transferred ownership of SCORE International to Norman on Dec. 20, 2012. SCORE continues as the premier sanctioning body in the sport of desert racing. SCORE races feature 42 Pro and seven Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in the races in Mexico. Fish transferred ownership of SCORE International to Norman on Dec. 20, 2012.
For more information, visit the official website of the new SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
2013 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Award Winners
SCORE Contingency Company of the Year—Rigid Industries
SCORE Motorcycle Manufacturer of the Year—KTM Motorcycles
SCORE Mechanic of the Year—Johnny Nelson, Baldwin Motorsports
SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year—BFGoodrich Tires
SCORE Journalist of the Year—Gabriel Garcia, El Vigia Newspaper
SCORE Photographer of the Year—HighRev Photo (Jason Zindroski)
SCORE Videographer of the Year—Tempt Media (Eric Stolz)
SCORE Rookie of the Year—Rene Rodriguez, Class 11
SCORE Person of the Year—Kurt Caselli (posthumously)
*SCORE Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer—Jimco (Mike Julson)
*SCORE Engine Builder—Kroyer Racing Engines (Kevin Kroyer)
*Determined by points; others-public, online voting
2013 SCORE Baja 1000 Coverage
Baja 1000 Class Winners