The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is the first race of the five-event off-road desert race series, but more importantly it serves as a kick-start to a new year of off-road racing. New sponsor stickers are plastered over cars, some new teams are tackling different classes, and much like the New Year is for dieters hoping to shed a few pounds, this first event gives racers the hope of starting off a championship drive by winning the first race of the season.

The Laughlin Desert Challenge is unique to the longer, more tedious races SCORE puts on south of the border. This race, which is held at the Laughlin Event Park just off Casino Drive, features a 6.25-mile loop course. The event at one point consisted of two days of racing with each serving as individual events, but SCORE now combines the racing from both days to determing the overall winner. More on that when racing begins tomorrow.

The 2010 Lucas Oil Off-Road Series wrapped up last month, but race fans dying to get some action this weekend before football starts are in luck. The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup, presented by Rockstar Energy, will air on CBS Sports Spectacular this Saturday, January 8th, at 1:00 p.m. EST. (10:00 a.m.PST). Be sure to check your local listing, as airtime may be subject to change.

The Lucas Oil Challenge Cup was covered on back in December, but seeing the action on video is definitely must-see TV. This race occurred after the final round of the regular season as the finale showdown of Lucas Oil Off Road Racing for 2010.  Some of the major racers in the competition include Brian Deegan, Carl Renezeder, Rob MacCachren, Rick Huseman, Kyle LeDuc and more.

 Canidae Pet Foods Trophy Truck at The Laughlin Leap 2010Race fans may have heard of the accident of 17-year-old dirt bike racer Justin Imhof, who was severely injured while riding for the JCR Honda team on the 8x bike at the Baja 1000 in Mexico. ImHof was at UCSD Hospital for several weeks in a coma.

Although he recently came out of hte coma, he still has a long road toward recovery. Canidae Racing decided to organize a an auction, with money raised to benefit the young racer.

“All of us at Canidae Racing were very moved when we heard about his injuries,” said Scott Gailey, driver for Canidae Racing. “We know how difficult recovery from such a devastating racing injury can be, and also understand the financial difficulties that can go along with the medical care and rehabilitation. We all decided to help Justin and his family by auctioning off a ride in our Trophy Truck for the Laughlin Leap on January 14th. We are putting the winner in the navigator seat!”

It’s not every day that us regular folks get a chance to chat with Dodge engineers about their trucks, but that’s exactly what Dodge has invited readers to attend.

This Wednesday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. EST (3:30 PST), Dodge has invited us to a live chat regarding Ram Trucks, including the new Power Wagon and other Ram features, such as the Hemi V-8 engine or drivetrain.

Roger Norman’s Crystal Bay Casino #8 Trophy Truck finished in third overall at the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in the Trophy Truck class. After teaming up with long-time Baja racer Larry Roesler in recent years (and Roeseler was offered a great deal to team up with the Herbst team again), Norman decided he would tackle this race alone.

The team released a  half-hour documentary chronicling the preparation and the action during the race.

“Completing the Baja 1000 is always an amazing experience,” Norman said. “We are very proud to be able to share our story with everyone.” The team of Norman and co-driver Lance Clifford completed the 1061 miles in 19:56:27, a very impressive time averaging 53.24 mph.

Gustavo Vildosola Jr. & Sr., Rodrigo AmpudiaIn the first half of the race, it was the father-and-son team of Gustavo Vildosola Jr. and Sr. that led the field for the overall four-wheel racing in the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The team, which also features Rodrigo Ampudia as the third driver, is trying to make history by being the first Mexican nationals to capture the overall title in the 1000 – something that has never been done in the 42-year history of the event.

Oshkosh LCV Baja 1000 Just a few days prior to the start of the 43rd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the Oshkosh Corporation announced it was entering two of its Light Concept Vehicles (LCV) into the race.

Both vehicles, which are pretty massive in size compared to the traditional Trophy Truck, are running in their own M Class.

Rod Hall Racing, which the team notes is the most winning family in Baja, announced the launch of the Hall USA #61 Trophy Truck at Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada just before the start of the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

The family hopes to bring their success in four-wheel drive stock racing into the Trophy Truck realm, as the family says “the Hall rally truck is 4WD and built to compete for overall wins in ANY off-road race in the world.”

Although the racers are making their way down the Baja Peninsula to complete the 1061.69-mile course for the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the finish line in La Paz is still taking shape.

The dirt bikes were the first off the line this morning at 6:30 a.m., and it is expected they will cross the finish line close to 18 hours later. SCORE expects them to come in sometime between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. Friday morning … but the race could slow down considerably once the sun goes down.

Casey Currie Monster Energy BFGoodrich Baja 1000 InterviewThe four-wheeled vehicles are getting ready to head off the line at roughly 11:30 PST this morning, with SCORE telling us that the last count was 301 total entries for the 43rd running of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The motorcycles went off the line at about 6:30 a.m., so there will be a five-hour gap between the trucks and the ATVs, side-by-sides and bikes.

Just before the start of the trucks this morning, Monster Energy and BFGoodrich released an interview with Monster Energy’s own 2010 TORC Pro Light Champion Casey Currie. Currie is about to compete in the Baja 1000 race on the BFGoodrich Tires/Wide Open Excursions “Baja Challenge” (BC5) race team! For the race, Currie will be joined by Chad Gilsinger, Bud Brutsman, Jason Scherer, Lars Wolfe and Kyle Tucker. Together they will tackle the 1061-mile course that runs down some of the roughest terrain in North America.