mills_motorsports_baja_500_2013_6-11-13Mills Motorsports sought redemption at the 45th running of the SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada, Baja California, after disappointing DNF in San Felipe.  Spurred on by last year’s Baja 1000 win and class championship, the team would stop at nothing to get a victory. Nevertheless, the team’s journey from start to finish was full of enough mayhem to satisfy an entire season.  Twenty one hours, twenty six minutes and three seconds later, the Mills Motorsports #842 SPEC Trophy Truck finished the 2013 SCORE Baja 500 in second place and saluted this race to the record books as one of the most brutal battles in Baja the team has ever fought.

Driver Nick Mills and navigator Tony MacNeil started the race for the Mills Motorsports/KORE Team. Grand Marshall and former SCORE-International President, Sal Fish, waved the green flag and Mills rocketed off the line, bombing through the streets of Ensenada and in and out of the infamous Ensenada wash.  The first 70 miles of the race, Mills performed flawlessly, passing all five competitors in the SPEC Trophy Truck Class.  Mills was running his LS3 motor hard and knew that if he could continue this pace, he could hand the truck off to Alan Roach in an ideal position to finish the race in front.

SCORE-Logo-12-20-11SAN DIEGO — Moving to a remote broadcast location at Las Vegas’ Terrible Herbst headquarters for two weeks, special guests during this Tuesday’s airing of Roger Norman’s Dirt LiveHD weekly Internet broadcast Tuesday at 7 p.m. Pacific Time with be a pair of Nevada racers, Pat Dean of Las Vegas and Kellon Walch of Alamo. Airing in High Definition on www.score-international.com, the show will return its broadcast home at the SCORE International tech shop in San Diego starting Tuesday, June 25.

Scheduled for next Tuesday’s show are Las Vegas’ SCORE Trophy Truck racing brothers Tim and Troy Herbst, two of the all-time winningest drivers in SCORE history all with family patriarch Jerry Herbst, who is part of the 2013 class of inductees into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Dean, whose father Butch Dean is the king of the Nevada off-road racing gurus, has numerous SCORE Class 1 race wins in his long career. Dean, who owns the prominent Patrick’s Signs of Las Vegas, currently is an additional driver for the Cameron Steele No. 16 Monster Energy Desert Assassins team in SCORE Trophy Truck and is expected to drive part of this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in November.

Thumb-Robby-Win-SCORE-Baja-500-6-2-13With the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 now in the books, we wanted to take a look back at some of the class winners of the 502-mile off road race that was held last weekend in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

There were 276 vehicles that left the starting line of the 2013 Baja 500, with 162 of those reaching the finish time in the allotted time (a finishing percentage of 58.71 for the field). Racers from 25 different U.S. States and 15 different counties participated in this year’s race.

As is often the case, there are hundreds of unique stories that come out of every off-road race – especially those held in Baja. Here’s a brief look at some of the class winners from the race along with some comments from them after crossing the finish line.

Mike-Johnson-Alumi-Craft-Baja-500-6-5-13Ensenada, Baja California, MX – Alumi Craft takes another victory at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, their second Baja 500 win in a row. Alumi Craft racer Mike Johnson dominated the field of 22 class 10 cars during the grueling 500 mile race. Every Alumi Craft car that entered finished the race giving them four positions total in the top ten.

“We couldn’t be happier with our Alumi Craft chassis,” said Mike Johnson, “The package we have with Radar Tires, FOX shocks, Dave Folts Transmission and Danzio power is perfect. I have a 2008 Alumi Craft prerunner that I am really happy with. When my partner Mike Majesky and I were looking to get into class 10 we knew we wanted an Alumi Craft. I think they are well above everyone else in quality and design. I like the lightweight feel with no sacrifice in the strength department which comes from their applied knowledge of car building.”

Jagged-X-Polaris-Off-Road-Baja-500-6-5-13Minneapolis – After Jagged X/Polaris Driver Matt Parks won the opening round of the 2013 SCORE Baja championship, at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, he knew he would need to share the driving duties for the second round, the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500.  Parks enlisted teammate Brandon Schueler, who races in the Best In The Desert series, to not only drive, but to start the race. The strategy would pay off with the Jagged X Team winning their second straight SCORE race.

“Schueler has more UTV racing experience that anyone out there and I knew he would do a great job in Baja,” Parks said.

Schueler and his co-driver Keith Redstrom took the green flag in the No. 1932 RZR XP 4 900 and kept a steady pace through the first fuel stop but encountered a huge bottleneck at the 100 mile mark where a long line of cars were stuck in a particularly nasty section. Once through the section, Schueler took after the lead UTV. Once in second place and 230 miles into the race, Schueler handed the RZR over to Parks and co-driver Jason Spiess.

Robby-Gordon-Toyo-Baja-500-6-4-13Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico – Toyo Tires captured a historic 1st and 2nd overall in the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 this past weekend.  Robby Gordon of Charlotte, NC, driving his #77 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires® Chevy CK1500 trophy truck, won the 501-mile race in a time of 10:04:36.  Finishing second was BJ Baldwin of Las Vegas, NV, piloting his #1 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Chevy Silverado trophy truck in a time of 10:13:51.  Both drivers relied on Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires for their decisive podium finish over a field of some 275 international competitors.

For the first time, pre-race qualifying was held a few days earlier on a section of the Baja 500 race course near Ojos Negros.  Robby Gordon qualified the fastest, ensuring a number one starting position.

BFGoodrich-6-1-11Ensenada, Mexico (June 3, 2013) – BFGoodrich Tires, the tire that has dominated desert racing for decades, took seven of the top 10 overall finishers in the Trophy Truck category as well as five overall class wins to lead all tire manufacturers at the 45th running of the Tecate SCORE 2013 Baja 500. The company owns 29 overall wins at the Baja 500.

Robby Gordon went off first on Saturday, overcame an early stumble and went on to claim the overall victory and the Trophy Truck division at the 501-mile race in a time of just over 10 hours. It was Gordon’s 10th career SCORE Trophy Truck win.

Team BFGoodrich members Bryce Menzies (3rd), Rob MacCachren (7th) and Dan McMillin (11th) led a contingent of more than 20 racers on the tires that have won more races in Baja than any other tire – BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR and BFGoodrich T/A KRT.

Thumb-Robby-Win-SCORE-Baja-500-6-2-13Robby Gordon followed up his first-place qualifying effort on Thursday with a victory yesterday, as he pulled away from the Trophy Truck field to earn his second win in the Trophy Truck class at the 2013 SCORE Baja 500.

“It was a good day. The guys did a great job prepping the car – it ran all day long,” Gordon said. “The pit stops were awesome, awesome pit stops.”

Gordon’s efforts were nearly derailed just after the start of the race, however, as an area in the wash flooded by a broken water main the night before almost took the #77 Speed Energy Chevy out.

Roger-Full-Norman-SCORE-Baja-500-6-1-13The recent acquisition of SCORE by Roger Norman has been met with some apprehension by the motorcycle and ATV camps, and that’s understandable to a degree.

After all, as a Trophy Truck competitor, Norman’s much-publicized collision with a backmarker motorcycle competitor during the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 500, and his outspoken commentary regarding motorcycle and ATV safety afterward, have left many bike teams concerned over the future of these classes now that he has acquired the legendary sanctioning body, one which owes a great deal of its history and success to these classes.

Yet Norman’s presence on the starting line to see off every motorcycle and ATV entry in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 field at least gave the impression that he doesn’t simply consider them as mere obstacles to the all-powerful Trophy Trucks and buggies that serve as Baja racing’s biggest draw. He is concerned about their future, and he wants to see the classes grow.

To that end, Norman has implemented changes to some of the bike and ATV classes, most notably in the Sportsman ranks, for this year’s 500, and if he is able to implement his plans fully, even more are in store for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in November.

“I think where we are right now is that we are on the ground floor,” Norman said. “There are a lot of things that we can do to increase the bike counts. One of the things is to make it a bigger event for the bikes and give it its own television show.”

Thumb-Caselli-Baja-500-Start-6-1-13Just minutes before the start of the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the motorcycle and ATV teams gathered at the starting line in Ensenada, the pre-dawn peace and quiet was occasionally shattered by staccato exhaust notes in anticipation of the start.

Gathered at the front of the line, four motorcycles, led by THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Robby Bell, was the picture of focus in anticipation of a repeat of the team’s 2012 race victory. Bell said that he just wanted to have a mistake-free race.