Rows of Trophy Trucks and other SCORE off-road race vehicles invaded the Las Vegas Convention Center as part of the 2014 SEMA Show.

Rows of Trophy Trucks and other SCORE off-road race vehicles invaded the Las Vegas Convention Center as part of the 2014 SEMA Show.

In another departure from the status quo in major league off-road racing, SCORE has invaded the 2014 SEMA Show in a big way, creating hype for its crowning event, the 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which gets underway 413 miles away, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, next weekend.

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.

Bryce Menzies earned the fastest time today in qualifying and will head off the line with clean air on Friday.

Bryce Menzies earned the fastest time today in qualifying and will head off the line with clean air on Friday. Photo: Josh Burns

Bryce Menzies put an exclamation point on the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000, and the race hasn’t even begun yet. Menzies placed first in qualifying today at a short five-mile track just outside of Ojos Negros in Baja California, Mexico. With race times now official, Menzies beat his next closest competitor by roughly 7 seconds.

Juan Carlos Lopez finished in second place behind Menzies. Finishing in third place during qualifying was Gustavo Vildosola Jr., who said that he likes the qualifying format despite a poor qualifying attempt at the Baja 500 last June.

Robby-Gordon-Roger-Norman-Baja-500-6-4-13Ensenada, B.C., Mexico – As near perfect weather conditions blanketed the Baja California desert, 32 trophy trucks gathered in Ensenada for the running of the prestigious 45th Annual Tecate Baja 500. This event saw Robby Gordon of Orange, Calif., back behind the wheel of his familiar SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI No. 77 Chevrolet Trophy Truck for the first time since dominating the Parker 425 in February.

During qualifying Thursday afternoon, Gordon raced around the 5-mile qualifying course the quickest, putting him on the overall pole to start Saturday’s 500-mile race. Shortly after taking the green flag, Gordon’s hopes of a flawless race where extinguished, when he had to ultimately test his driving skills by saving the No. 77 trophy truck from crashing violently in the wash. The SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires / MAPEI Chevrolet Trophy Truck would find itself hydroplaning and spinning around after hitting flooded water at nearly 90 MPH.

SAN DIEGO—While admittedly fitting all of the pieces together is definitely a ‘work in progress,’ new SCORE President Roger Norman has announced some additional staff appointments as he continues to prepare to launch his first season at the helm of SCORE at next week’s 27th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

As new owner of the world’s foremost desert racing organization, Norman, who himself is a SCORE Baja 1000 overall champion, will start his legacy in 2013 as SCORE International celebrates its 40th anniversary season. SCORE was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.

Purchasing SCORE International from Sal Fish on Dec. 20 of last year, Norman has been operating at warp-speed as he finalizes his race staff to start the SCORE year.

SAN DIEGO—Roger Norman, the businessman, racer and now owner of SCORE Intnernational, officially begins his reign as the head of the most-prized and eternally-cherished desert racing organization in the world by announcing today the new Roger Norman’s Dirt Live weekly desert racing internet broadcast will air each Tuesday at 6 p.m. at www.score-international.com.

The one-hour weekly Roger Norman’s Dirt Live show will be broadcast live on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Pacific Time.  The show content will be centered around the two desert racing series he owns, the SCORE Desert Series and the High Desert Racing Association as well as the new bonus points program he has developed called the World Championship of Desert Racing. Broadcast studios will be at Norman’s race shop in San Diego.

Las Vegas, NV – After nearly 40 years of stewardship, SCORE International CEO Sal Fish has turned over control of the premiere desert racing series to businessman, Trophy Truck racer and race promoter Roger Norman.  SCORE International, originally founded by the late Mickey Thompson in 1973, is world renowned for its legendary races like the Baja 1000.

“It has been an incredible experience and lifestyle for all these years,” said Sal Fish, “It’s not often you have a chance to pass on your life’s work to someone who shares the same dedication and passion for the sport. It’s an emotional time for me and I would have never considered this if it were not for Roger, his wife and the team he has around him. I don’t know anyone who is better equipped to take offroad racing to the next level. Roger has some incredible plans; I am very excited for the future of our sport.”

The acquisition by Roger Norman allows the unification of the rules, technical inspection, class formats, car numbering and scoring systems between HDRA and SCORE that many racers have wished about for years. SCORE will operate under Hacienda Baja Racing, a Mexican company. SCORE and HDRA will remain independent but will share the same structure. Any car that passes SCORE technical inspection will also be HDRA legal and vice versa. Popular HDRA Classes like Heavy Metal will be added to the SCORE rulebook and every HDRA member will receive a SCORE rulebook. Co-Technical directors Jake Velasco and Art Savedra will each operate out of their own region; Art in Las Vegas, NV and Jake in San Diego, CA. Having two locations will make it much easier for racers going through the inspection process. “I’m excited to work with Art,” said Jake Velasco, “He took me under his wing when I started with HDRA and shared his many years of experience. By using a single set of rules, inspection will be consistent and much easier for everyone.”

Last week Best in the Desert held “The longest off-road race in the United States” in the TSCO Vegas to Reno. The race challenged competitors with 549 miles of rocky, silty Nevada desert.

BITD recently posted the official finishers of the race, confirming Steve Strobel’s overall win and first in the Trick Truck class. Finishing second overall and first in Class 1500 was Garrick Freitas. In the Open Pro Motorcycle class, Shane Esposito earned the overall win. Greg Stuart earned the win in the Quad Pro class, and Brandon Schueler took home first place in the Class 1900 UTV division.

Check out more Vegas to Reno Coverage
Strobel Vegas to Reno Race

Vegas to Reno Photo Gallery

2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Qualifying

RENO, NV –  Roger Norman and the 2011 Baja team is gathering at Norman Motorsports in El Cajon, CA for final preparations and training maneuvers before heading across the border to pre-run for the 2011 SCORE Baja 500.  This years team will consist of Roger Norman driving the entire 500 miles with Lance Clifford as the co-driver for the first 300 miles and then Tim Nugent will co-driver to the finish line in celebration of his full recovery.  “Tim Nugent is the only thing tougher than my BFGoodrich Tires in Baja!  He is the motorcycle rider hit at last years Baja 500, who over the last 11 months has successfully recovered from 23 broken bones,” said Roger Norman.  “When Tim told me he still wanted to conquer the Baja 500 I asked him to be a part of our team.  Not only will he conquer it, but he will be in the truck with me at the finish line to celebrate a win and his full recovery!”

A year after one of the most horrific moments in Roger Norman’s racing career, the anniversary couldn’t be brighter.  “Roger is a great person.  Throughout the whole ordeal at the hospital he would come to visit,” said Tim Nugent.  “We are taking something tragic and making something better out of it.  We’re both healing.  It’s a celebration, it’s not a closure, it’s another door opening.”

RENO, NV – Roger Norman took the Pro Modified Win in the Torchmate Racing Pro Mod #8 rock crawler at only his second appearance in the W.E. Rock Western Pro Nationals.  “I felt better having the one competition under my belt,” said successful Trophy-Truck racer Roger Norman.  “I came knowing this was one of the hardest sets of courses, and we just went methodically through the process of accomplishing each for the overall win.”

The obstacles on Saturday were intense including a 30ft vertical climb called the Terminator.  With a couple of tries, Norman pushed the Torchmate Rig up over the top and on Sunday he mastered it in one shot!  Norman also did about a 25ft vertical drop where he did the longest standing nose wheelie of the weekend, right into a water filled tunnel.  “The adrenaline for the entire 10 minutes is pumping!” exclaimed Norman.  “It is amazing what we are doing, and then you watch all the rest of your competitors try and do the same thing.  It makes for a great day!”  He left the competition on Saturday in the lead by well over 40 points.