LOS ANGELES—Las Vegas desert racers Rob MacCachren and Bryce Menzies along with youthful Southern California racer Justin Davis are in a tight battle for the 2011 SCORE overall point championship heading into this weekend’s inaugural Tecate SCORE San Felipe Challenge of Champions. Round 4 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be held Saturday in San Felipe, Baja, California, Mexico. This race is a late replacement the Primm 300 race that was cancelled this year because of insurmountable insurance issues.
With late entries accepted up to race morning, over 100 entries are expected for the new race, for 17 Pro and 2 Sportsman classes for cars and trucks, that will run over the same course that was recently used for this year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March of just over 250 miles.
The race will start at 7 a.m. (PDT) Saturday and the start/finish line area will be located adjacent to the iconic San Felipe arches entering town. Vehicles will leave the start line one every 60 seconds in the elapsed time race. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish the 250-plus mile course in approximately four hours, 15 minutes, and all vehicles will have an 11-hour time limit from the time each starts to become an official finisher of the race.
Pre-race festivities will be held on Friday on the picturesque malecon boardwalk along the Sea of Cortez in the heart of San Felipe. The colorful SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway will be held on the malecon from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) and pre-race safety inspection will be held on the malecon from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Driver and media registration will be held at the Hacienda Don Jesus hotel two blocks off the Malecon from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (PDT) on Friday as well. The post race awards celebration will be held at 10 a.m. (PDT) on Sunday in the plaza in the heart of the malecon.
Drawing the first start for this race was the veteran MacCachren, 46, a six-time all-America motorsports driver including three first team awards, has earned eight SCORE class season point championships in his sterling career and he was the overall winner in this year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March on the same race course to be used Saturday. He drives the No. 20 MasterCraft Safety Racing Ford F-150 in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 850 horsepower unlimited production trucks. Including this year’s first San Felipe race win, MacCachren has eight career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins. MacCachren is in rehab treatment for the broken left collarbone he sustained will racing in a short course race in Southern California.
Among the others who drew first starts are Justin Davis (Unlimited Class 1), twin brothers Arturo and Abel Velazco (Class 1-2/1600), Sergio Salgado (Class 10) and Rafael Navarro IV (SCORE Lite).
Winning two of the first three series races overall and in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, Las Vegas’ SCORE rookie driver Menzies leads the points in the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series.
Menzies, who opened the season by winning the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January, drove to a penalty-free victory as well in June’s 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 500 to assume a commanding lead in the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point standings in the No. 70 Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150. Sandwiched between his first two career SCORE race wins in the marquee racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks, Menzies finished sixth in SCORE Trophy-Truck at the 25th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March.
SCORE points are based on starting, finishing, placement and number of official starters within each class, Menzies, 23, who had only raced the 2010 SCORE Baja 500 where he finished seventh in his first start in SCORE Trophy-Truck before this year, has 243 championship points following Round 3 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series.
With two wins and a second so far this year, second in overall points and leading the unlimited class 1 is Justin Davis, 18 of Chino Hills, Calif., just three points behind Menzies with 240 so far. Davis, last year’s SCORE Lite point champion, won Class 1 in Laughlin and San Felipe and was a close second in Ensenada driving the Green Army Motorsports Chevy-powered ESM open-wheel desert race car.
MacCachren is third in overall and second in SCORE Trophy-Truck points so far after finishing fourth in Laughlin and ninth in Ensenada with 227 points.
Following consistent seventh, fifth and fourth-place finishes in the season’s first three events, Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., is fourth in overall points and third in SCORE Trophy-Truck with 214 in the No. 98 TSCO Motorsports Ford F-150.
Tied for fifth in overall points with 205 is Mexico’s preeminent son-father team Gus Vildosola Jr. and Sr., in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Ford F-150 (fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck) and Damen Jefferies, Apple Valley Calif. in the Jefferies-Chevy (second in Class 1).
SCORE Trophy-Truck has the most entries to date with 15, followed by Class 1 with 12.
The RPM Offroad team of Bristol, Tenn., has a SCORE-record seven entries in this weekend’s new race. RPM Offroad has its five regular entries in the new Tecate SCORE San Felipe Challenge of Champions–SCORE Trophy-Truck (Clyde Stacy), Class 4 (Clyde Stacy), Class 8 (Justin Matney), Class 11 (Justin Matney) and Stock Full (John Matney). They added two additional entries in the last few weeks in Stock Mini with Justin Matney as driver of record and Class 17 with Stacy as the driver of record. The team obviously has several co-drivers to assist the drivers of record but SCORE rules do require that in order to receive points for the race, the driver of record must either start or finish the race which will be a unique challenge in itself for the formidable RPM Offroad team.
“We have worked out the logistics for it, but there isn’t much room to wiggle with our driver changes,” said Justin Matney, 25. “But we really love SCORE Baja racing and these races are a test market for all of the products we carry in our retail outlet back home so our goals may be different than some teams but we do enjoy winning and now are chances have gone up even more to have multiple class wins.
In three races so far this season, RPM Offroad has recorded eight class wins in four different classes and currently leads the class point standings in three classes–Class 8, Class 11 and Class 4. Additionally, the team is currently 13th in SCORE Trophy-Truck points and second in Stock Full.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $300,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 26th consecutive year, a total of 32 drivers remain eligible after Round 3 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.
Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels -official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Symons Ambulance-official ambulance and Slime-official tire sealant. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
While Tecate is title sponsor of the inaugural Tecate SCORE San Felipe Challenge of Champions, additional race sponsor is the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe and Cotuco.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com