LOS ANGELES—With early entries accepted until the end of today, the computerized drawing, by class, for starting positions for next month’s new Tecate SCORE San Felipe Challenge of Champions will be held Saturday at SCORE’s Los Angeles headquarters. Round 4 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be held Sept. 9-11 in San Felipe, Baja, California, Mexico.
The race replaces the Primm 300 race that was cancelled this year because of insurmountable insurance issues.
The new race, for 17 Pro and 2 Sportsman classes for cars and trucks, 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.
With late entries accepted up until race morning, nearly 125 official entries are expected to compete in SCORE’s newest race.
Winning two of the first three series races overall and in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, Las Vegas rookie driver Bryce Menzies finds himself at the top of the point leaderboard of 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, has 243 championship points following Round 3 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series. SCORE Trophy-Truck has had the largest starting field for all three races with 32 in Laughlin, 24 in San Felipe and 28 in Ensenada.
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.
Picking up his eighth career SCORE Trophy-Truck race win in San Felipe, Las Vegas Rob MacCachren, an eight-time SCORE season point champion, 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).
With extremely tight competition, just 62 points separate the top 25 overall point leaders following the first three rounds of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series. SCORE Trophy-Trucks are holding down six of the top 10 spots in overall points.
While 38 points separate the top six drivers in the SCORE overall point standings, just 10 points separate the next 12 overall leaders.
Female driver Jessica McMillin, National City, Calif., has won all three races this season (Protruck, Ford F-150) and the other racers who have won all three races to start the year and lead their respective classes are Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger) and Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 4, PSD-Chevy).
Racers who have won their class in two of three races so far this season to lead their respective class point standings are Donald Moss, Sacramento Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco), Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn. (Class 8, Chevy Silverado and Class 11, Stock VW Sedan) and West Bevly IV, Corpus Christi, Texas (Class 7-2, BajaLite-Chevy).
Out of Bristol, Tenn., the RPM Offroad team continues to record impressive results with four entries in Laughlin with three class wins, five entries in San Felipe with two more class wins and five entries in Ensenada with three additional class wins.
With two lead drivers, Justin Matney, of Bristol, Tenn., leads both Class 8 in a Chevy Silverado and Class 11 in a Stock VW Sedan while teammate Clyde Stacy, of Bristol, Va., leads Class 4 in a PSD-Chevy and he also is a rookie in SCORE Trophy-Truck. Matney’s father John Matney won the Stock Full class in San Felipe to go with Stacy’s Class 4 win. In Ensenada, Matney won both Class 8 and Class 11 while Stacy won again in Class 4.
The RPM Offroad team 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).
Jessica McMillin is one of two female drivers leading a class so far this season as Heidi Steele, San Clemente, Calif., leads Class 6 in a Ford Ranger following a class win in San Felipe and a third in Ensenada.
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 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