LOS ANGELES—As it has for nearly 40 years as the preeminent desert racing organization in the world, SCORE International is adding to its legacy of innovation and pioneering technology development with the announcement this week by SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish of the new manufacturer-friendly SCORE Super 8 Truck class.

The new class, open to all manufacturers of unlimited trucks and sport utility vehicles with engines limited to stock, sealed V-8s, will make its debut at November’s 45th anniversary of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race, the season-finale of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series.

“SCORE has always listened to the racers and when we are in agreement with the need and our ability to effectively develop and oversee the rules and regulations, we are very open to introducing new classes into SCORE desert racing,” said Fish, CEO/President of Los Angeles-based SCORE International since soon after it was founded in 1973. “Following on-going discussions with numerous racers and diligent research and preparation of class regulations by Bill Savage and SCORE Tech, we are very enthusiastically announcing the debut of this special truck class which will be open to every truck and SUV manufacturer.”

If you are going to have a favorite race it doesn’t hurt to love the SCORE Baja 500. At the top of the list of great things about the race are the fans. You would be hard pressed to find greater fans anywhere else on earth. The Mexican people love off-road racing and for BJ Baldwin, that passion goes both ways. “I just love being in Mexico,” Says BJ Baldwin, “We are so grateful that they welcome us down to race in their country. I really look forward to contingency because it gives me a chance to hand out stickers, take photos and sign autographs for the fans. I always have a great time; the crowds are amazing.”

The fans are great and so is the course. The 500 has it all; long high speed sections with big jumps mixed with tight twisty mountain roads that leave no room for error. It’s hard not to sneak a peek at the beautiful landscape but drivers beware, a brief lapse in concentration can end your race in a heartbeat. No wonder BJ loves this race he’s spent a lot of time running out front. He captured the win driving in 2008 after a heated battle with Rob MacCachren and has stood on the podium on a regular basis. The entire team expects to continue that tradition. “The truck has never been better,” says BJ, “My new Toyo’s have really improved the overall handling of the truck. The Toyo’s go through the rocks like nothing else. Now that I have the best tires, I can drive the truck to its full potential.”

Fort Mill, SC – Team GT is preparing for their next desert adventure as they take to the Las Vegas desert for the Canidae Tap It Silver State 300 Saturday, May 5. Cupertino, California-resident Jason Voss is looking to put his Trick Truck back on the podium and improve upon a disappointing General Tire Mint 400 race, when he returns to the desert this weekend. Voss has battled mechanical issues and even rolled his truck during Mint 400 qualifying, but that’s not enough to keep him on the sidelines. He and his team have been working hard to overcome their demons and drive to the top of the podium. We sat down with Voss this week and asked a few questions about the upcoming race and here’s what he had to say:

Q: You’ve had several challenges the last couple races with mechanical issues.  What kind of preparations are you making to help ensure a strong finish at Silver State this weekend?

A: Yes, mechanical issues having been haunting us for about the last year and a half. We have been spending a lot of time out in the desert testing the race truck to ensure we are ready for the Silver State race. We are taking each mechanical setback one step at a time, to ensure we have a real able truck come race day.

OAKLAND, CA – Shaffer-Motorsports car #401 won the San Felipe 250 in Class 4 last weekend in Baja, Mexico.  After a long week of prerunning and a 24 hour turn around to the US for a rebuilt transaxle, the team made the mad dash to the finish line with only 12 minutes separating them from second.  “It was quite a race.  From being down at the half way point, then making a great pass at RM194 for the lead, then watching Daniel put some time on them, we just focused on keeping the sprint up,” said Mike Shaffer, driver of record and owner of Shaffer’s Offroad.

The race didn’t come without consequences, as with most desert races.  They wound up with three flat tires and four wheels that need some serious attention.  But the tolls of the course didn’t stop the drivers Mike Shaffer, Shawn Twitchell and Daniel Aeberli from pushing the Transfer Case Express car to its max and finishing.  “All of the drivers and co-drivers are working really well together and you can see the difference at each race as they meld together,” said Shaffer.

Prerunning may have been more of an endurance experience than the race itself.  During the shock tuning session on Thursday the transaxle gave way.  Ron Weddle, from Weddle Industries, invited them to the shop in Southern California to get it fixed.  “He showed up at 2:45am in the morning when the guys got there to work and had them back on the road to Baja by 7:30am,” said Shaffer.  Within 24 hours the Shaffer-Motorsports crew had diagnosed and fixed the problem, and had the car through tech and ready for the green flag Friday morning!

Read more of the Transfer Case Express driver reports on the Shaffer-Motorsports website: http://www.shaffer-motorsports.com.

The next race for the Red, White and Black Transfer Case Express car will be the Baja 500 June 1, 2012.

It is said that one of the most famous races in the world is limited to 33 entries. That of course is the Indy 500. Well, one of the most famous off-road desert races in the world also has a limited entry. That being The Mint 400, “The Great American Off-Road Race” which is limited to just over 300 entries. What these two legendary events share in common is the prestige of just having the opportunity to be included and compete against the best and fastest racers in the world.

The premier 800-plus horsepower Trick Truck field includes the likes of BJ Baldwin, Steve Sourapas, Rob MacCachren, Cameron Steele, Steve Olliges, John Swift, Adam Householder, Tim & Troy Herbst, Jason & Rich Voss, Kevin McGillivray, Chad Ragland, Marc Ewing, Rick Geiser, Rick D Johnson, Jerry Zaiden, Jerry Whelchel, Mark & Gary Weyhrich and so many more.

The fast and nimble Class 1500 unlimited buggy entries include Clyde Stacy, Robby Gordon, Dale Dondel, Chuck Hovey, Adam Pfankuch, Sam Berri, Ray Griffith, Mike Childress, Shelby Reid, Harley Letner, Garrick Freitas, Kory Halopoff, Pat Dean, TJ Flores, Justin Lofton, Todd Tuls and the list goes on.

For 2012, The Mint 400 field is now complete and the racers fortunate enough to be part of it are ready to take on the challenge of a lifetime. It will get started Thursday morning, March 22nd when 35 Trick Trucks and 50 open Class 1500 buggies get set to go head to head at the Times Trials for a shot at the coveted “Team Ford” pole award and the $1000 in bonus cash from Steve Olliges of Team Ford Lincoln that goes along with it. In a new twist this year, the Class 1100 limited displacement buggies will also have a shot at their own Times Trials that will determine their overall starting order along with a $1000 cash award for the fastest qualifier generously sponsored by Banning Motorsports and Drake Supply Company.

Contingency and tech inspection kicks off Friday, March 23rd from 8:30 AM until 7:30 PM on Fremont St. for the Fremont Street Experience. Race fans will have the chance to get up close to the race vehicles and drivers as well as check out all the awesome products on display as they weave their way down the street lined with hundreds of race related manufacturers and vendors. This spectacular event is made possible through the sponsorship of the entire Downtown Las Vegas/Fremont Street Group.

Mad Media and the Martelli brothers are coproducing the Mint 400 along with Best In The Desert. “We’ve expanded the reach of The Mint for 2012 dramatically by increasing the coverage with our TV partner FUEL TV and by partnering with Race-Dezert.com for live tracking and web coverage during the race,” said Joshua Martelli.  “We’ve also just pulled the trigger on a new Mint 400 social media package that includes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We will be producing a ton of new video content prior to and during the race – and distributing it through these channels to all of our fans.  We’re going to elevate The Mint 400 back to being the most important motorsports event in the world, one year at a time.”

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas – Official Oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, American Beta – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Bullet Liner and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

Twenty of the 33 Trick Trucks entered in the 2012 Blue Water Resort & Casino Parker “425”, February 3rd thru 5th, have signed up to take part in this year’s Trick Truck Challenge. This will be the second year for the Trick Truck Challenge that saw over $134,000 in bonus money paid out in 2011. To be eligible for the year-long Challenge, Trick Truck teams must be signed up by the Parker “425” race.

Casey Folks, Director of Best In The Desert, announced, “As of January 25th, 20 of the top Trick Truck teams in the world have signed up for the second year of the exciting Best in the Desert $120,000 Trick Truck Challenge. That’s right – one hundred and twenty thousand dollars paid back 100% to the racers. A special bonus purse will be paid out to the top three participating Trick Truck finishers at each of the six Best In The Desert races as well as the year-end bonus. The special Trick Truck Challenge Cup Trophy will also be awarded at the end of the year to the overall winning team.” Folks continued, “No other off-road racing organization has a program like the Best in the Desert Trick Truck Challenge. I’ve always said, either lead, follow or get out of our way and Best in the Desert is in the lead!”

$10,000 will be paid to 1st, $6,000 to 2nd and $3,000 to 3rd for each of six races for a total of $19,000 per race. An additional $10,000 will go to 1st place, $4,000 for 2nd and $2,000 for 3rd in the final year-end standings. Plus another $44,000 in year-end bonus has been posted from sponsors TSCO, Camburg Engineering, Jimco Racing, Geiser Bros., MasterCraft and Racer Engineering.

Best In The Desert is proud to announce that the Trick Truck Challenge has been a huge success for the 2011 racing season.  Twenty-Two (22) of the best racers in the country put in an additional $5000 for prize money to be paid out to the top 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place Trick Truck winners in each of the five Best In The Desert races. The prize money added up to $108,000 paid out and another $18,000 will be paid out as a Year-End Bonus to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place year-end winners. Now that is some serious money to take home by racing Best In The Desert; plus the Best In The Desert payback class money, any way you look at it the Trick Truck 1st Place winner is going home with a lot of money!

The Trick Truck race is still up for grabs and will be one of the closest races ever followed by all race enthusiasts.  In Best In The Desert a racer must start all five races, but can throw out their lowest points. This means that the Trick Truck race is actually a battle to the end, this is how it plays out after you have dropped the racers lowest scores going into the TransWest Ford Henderson “250”:

LOS ANGELES—Sturdy adventurers and the world’s best desert racers will begin practicing Friday as official pre-running on starts for November’s 44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.

With over 250 entries expected to compete in 36 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, the granddaddy of all desert races will be held Nov. 17-20 in Ensenada, Mexico.

Completing its 38th year as the world’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the iconic racing extravaganza event is the finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series. To date entries have come from 32 U.S. States and 15 countries. This year’s race will be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

The race itself starts on Friday, Nov. 18 and official entry forms are available online along with all pertinent race information and pre-running rules on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com.

This year’s race will start for the 37th time and finish for the 21st time in Ensenada. The race will start and finish on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.

With late entries accepted up until race morning, the 692.82-mile race course this year is a combination of much of the 2008 and the 2009 courses.

The rugged course travels from Ensenada east through Ojos Negros, down Laguna Salada to San Felipe, down through the three legendary Baja canyon washes of Matomi, Huatomote and Chanate, joining familiar routes to the six-mile turnoff before Mike’s Sky Rancho, heading over to the Pacific Coast crossing Highway 1 near San Vicente and to Erendira, then through Santo Tomas, Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros, covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula to and from Ensenada. Except for the San Felipe loop, the course travels in a clockwise direction. The San Felipe loop will be run counter clockwise.

The race course features six physical checkpoints along with 64 virtual checkpoints.

LOS ANGELES—Following the fourth of five races in the 2011 SCORE Desert Series, 27 of SCORE’s toughest drivers remain in the hunt to earn 2011 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards.

Leading the way are eight racers in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division and four in the Class 1 for unlimited open-wheelers.
The eight SCORE Trophy-Truck drivers who have completed every race mile so far this season are: Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas (No. 70, Ford F-150), Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (No. 20, Ford F-150), Gus Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico (No. 21, Ford F-150), Pete Sohren, Phoenix (No. 2, Ford F-150), Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 98, Ford F-150), Adam Householder, Orange, Calif. (No. 24, Chevy Silverado), Jesse Ashcraft, San Marcos, Calif. (No. 78, Ford F-150) and Ken Losch, Tempe Ariz. (No. 10, Chevy Silverado).

Nearly entries are expected to compete in 35 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars and trucks in the upcoming 44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races. The season finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be held Nov. 17-20 in Ensenada, Mexico. With late entries accepted up until race morning, entries from nearly 35 US States and 15 countries are expected to take the green flag in the 692.82-mile course.

Pre-race festivities will be held in Ensenada on Thursday, Nov. 17, and the elapsed-time race will start at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 with a 32-hour time limit. The awards celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, poolside at the San Nicolas Resort in Ensenada.

Toyota is presenting these prestigious awards to the world’s toughest desert racers for the 26th consecutive year. The Toyota Milestone awards will go to those pro car and truck drivers who finish every required mile in the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series.

“Toyota is proud to honor the world’s best desert racing drivers,” said Les Unger, national motorsports manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “For over a quarter of a century, Toyota has had the privilege of presenting the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards to the toughest racers on the planet.”

2011 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards.
For more information regarding the SCORE Desert Series, visit www.score-international.com.

2011 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards
(27 Racers have completed every required mile after four rounds in the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series)

SCORE Trophy-Truck
Bryce Menzies
Gus Vildosola Jr.
Rob MacCachren
Pete Sohren
Adam Householder
Gary Weyhrich
Jesse Ashcraft
Ken Losch

Class 1
Justin Davis
Dan Martin
Brian Parkhouse
Daniel McMillin

Class 1-2/1600
Luke McMillin
Brad Wilson
Arturo Velazco

Class 5
Kevin Carr
Cody Kellogg

Class 6
Heidi Steele
Marc Burnett

Class 7
Dan Chamlee

Class 8
Justin Matney

Class 10
Sergio Salgado

SCORE Lite
Rafael Navarro IV
Zak Langley

Protruck
Jessica McMillin

Class 7-2
Wes Bevly IV

Class 4
Clyde Stacy

LOS ANGELES—Reality TV star Jesse James has received the first starting position during Saturday’s drawing for November’s 44th running of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. While James, who lives in Austin, Texas, will pilot his No. 54 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck, starting first among the motorcycle and ATV classes will be Craig Bowman on a Honda CRF450X.

This year’s internationally televised granddaddy of all desert races, the mammoth finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with race week festivities scheduled for Nov. 17-20.

A solid total of 202 vehicles officially entered in time for Saturday’s drawing held at SCORE International’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

The race itself starts on Friday, Nov. 18 and official entry forms are available online along with all pertinent race information and prerunning rules on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com.