LAUGHLIN, Nev.—Starting off the new year and new racing season like it has for nearly two decades, this weekend’s 18th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is an extremely popular three-day event for fans and racers, but no racers enjoy it more than six drivers who have combined for 33 classes wins in Laughlin, Nev.

Launching its 39th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization in 2012, Sal Fish’s SCORE International will hold the first major motorsports events of the year in the United States in Laughlin, 90 miles Southeast of Las Vegas.

With entries so far from 15 U.S states along with Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Mexico, Rounds 1 and 2 of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series will be held Friday through Sunday along the banks of the Colorado River in the Southern Nevada resort destination of Laughlin. Competition will be held for 20 Pro and three Sportsman classes for race buggies and trucks.

For the first time in the history of the event, each day of the two-day Laughlin gathering (Saturday and Sunday) will be separate race events for purposes of championship points, prize money and trophies.

The course is 6.25 miles long with the classes divided into groups for five multi-lap races each day. The start/finish line area and main pits will once again be located at the Laughlin Events Park just off of Casino Drive in Laughlin. The day-long races will start each day at 7 a.m.

Leading the parade of multi-class winners in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge entered this year is eight-time Class 3 winner Donald Moss of Sacramento, Calif. Las Vegas SCORE Trophy Truck racer Rob MacCachren has seven class wins in Laughlin while Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., has six class wins and will be racing one of the two days in the unlimited Class 1 for driver of record Steven Eugenio, El Centro, Calif.

The 2011 off-road racing season kicked off in Laughlin, Nevada, at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. With the New Year came some new sponsors, and a few of the heavy-hitters in the trophy truck class were representing new brands this year.

Toward the end of last year, news broke just before the SEMA show that Robby Gordon had started a new energy drink company called Speed Energy. Well, his team vehicles, be it his trophy truck or his Team Hummer vehicle he raced at Dakar, are now plastered in bright-orange Speed Energy for 2011. Since his race in Dakar didn’t go as well as hoped, Gordon made the trek back to the States to race in the Laughlin Desert Challenge and posted the fastest qualifying time on Friday – and almost won the Laughlin Leap – which put him on the front row with the other fastest qualifier in BJ Baldwin. Unfortunately the weekend didn’t turn out so well (read full coverage here) for Gordon.