BJ-Baldwin-Top-Johnny-Nelson-2013-SCORE-Baja-1000-11-16-13

BJ Baldwin and co-driver Johnny Nelson earned the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000 victory and the season championship.

Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Chevrolet driver BJ Baldwin crossed the finish line first in Ensenanda, Baja California, to earn his second consecutive SCORE Baja 1000 in the early morning hours of November 16. Baldwin faced a tough battle from the team of Rob MacCachren and Andy McMillin down the stretch, but he was able to muster up the energy to fend them off in spite of soloing the entire 883.1 miles of race course for the 2013 1000.

Baldwin came into the race heavy-hearted after an accident in Baja while preparing for the race cost him his beloved dog Xena. It was a long month of personal issues leading up the race and Baldwin said he was not as prepared as he’d like to be, but in spite of that he was able to put all of those issues behind him to earn the win.

Rob MacCachren

Rob MacCachren will share driving duties with Andy McMillin at this year’s Baja 1000.

87. Eight-seven. 80-7. However you flip it, 87 is a big number, especially when you consider that when the flag drops for the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000 it will be Rob MacCachren’s 87th race of the year. A true professional in every sense of the word, MacCachren is always on the hunt for the ever-elusive Baja 1000 victory, but considering he’s sitting third in overall points, a win can potentially wrap up the Trophy Truck Championship for him as well.

Considering the longer-than-usual distance of this year’s Baja 1000 loop race, and the fact that most racers feel it will be a brutal one, MacCachren enlisted the help of some top-flight talent in the form of former Baja 1000 winner Andy McMillin. The two will share driving duties throughout the 883.1 miles, with Rob taking the truck off the line, Andy tackling the middle section, and Rob hopping back in for the finish.

Tavo qualified in third place for the 2013 Baja 1000 Trophy Truck start. Photo: Scott Rousseau

Tavo qualified in third place for the 2013 Baja 1000 Trophy Truck start. Photo: Scott Rousseau

Vildosola Racing didn’t have a great SCORE Baja 500 by their standards. Gustavo Vildosola Jr., known by many as “Tavo,” spun out during his qualifying lap, putting the team much further back in the pack than they had hoped for at SCORE’s first-ever qualifying session. The team then suffered mechanical issues during the race that led to an early exit in the 500.

For this year’s Baja 1000, Tavo qualified third in Trophy Trucks and will head off the line near the front of the pack. Although this year’s race is shorter in mileage at 883.1 compared to last year’s “peninsula run” of 1121.55 miles, it will be the longest loop race ever for the 1000, and most racers expect it to be one of the toughest.

SCORE CEO Roger Norman (right) listens to 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Grand Marshal and off-road racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart during today's Baja 1000 press conference in Ensenada. The race will complete Norman's first full year as SCORE's owner.

SCORE CEO Roger Norman (right) listens to 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Grand Marshal and off-road racing legend Ivan “Ironman” Stewart during today’s Baja 1000 press conference in Ensenada. The race will complete Norman’s first full year as SCORE’s owner.

For SCORE CEO Roger Norman, most of the hard work done for the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The 883.1-mile race, which promises to be a thrilling event, kicks off this evening when the motorcycle and ATV classes leave the starting line at 11 p.m. Talk has centered around the sheer brutality of this year’s course, we took the opportunity to chat with Norman about the race and the state of SCORE as its first season under his guidance enters the final countdown.

A lot of racers have chimed in on how difficult this year’s Baja 1000 course is going to be.

Well, as you know for the first two races of the year, we made the San Felipe 250 a true 250-mile race, and we made the Baja 500 over 500 miles. All the races that we’ve done were different, and we’ve had some new course, which keeps it exciting. It’s just a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do. It’s a lot of work, and it is more than what anyone could imagine. And it’s not just me. It is a lot of other people. There is no way that I could do it without the help of a lot of great people that love this sport as much as I do.

THUMB-Photos-SEMA-2013-11-4-13If you love anything automotive, SEMA is a wonderland. The problem is that the general public can’t just buy tickets and stroll in. Nope, the Special Equipment Manufacturers Association Show is for the automotive industry, so unless you know someone or work within the industry in some capacity, chances are you’re not getting in. The good news is that the media is allowed in, so we can show the general public all the cools things they wouldn’t otherwise see at the show.

From concept vehicles to new product unveils, celebrity appearances and booth girls, there’s eye candy in every direction at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week. Check out our photo highlights of the show for all of the coolest off-road vehicles and gear. We’ll update the gallery throughout the week of the show, so be sure to check back and drool a little at all the cool stuff.

David-Higgins-Rally-America-Champion-10-25-13CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were crowned the 2013 Rally America National Champions, with a spectacular victory at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR); the final round of the 2013 Rally America Championship.   Higgins entered LSPR locked in an epic season-long battle with rival Ken Block.   Block needed a win at LSPR to steal the championship away from Higgins, who had led in points nearly all season.  Higgins and Block both drove flat-out at LSPR, with Higgins edging ahead of Block near the mid-point of the rally. After sustaining heavy damage by rolling his car,  Block retired, handing Higgins the rally win and more importantly the Championship, his third Rally America Driver’s Title in a row.

“It was the fastest that we have ever gone,” exclaimed Higgins at the podium.  “Our Subaru has just been brilliant again. We’ve enjoyed this weekend and that was really the biggest, most important factor. Sure there was a lot of pressure, but we really went out there to have fun.  Rally is a team sport and I’m so proud of the one we have behind us in Vermont SportsCar and Subaru of America. I’m so happy Craig (Drew) and I could step up our game to deliver for the team.”