Coverage: 2011 SCORE San Felipe 250
The San Felipe race isn’t the longest SCORE race south of the border, but it is known for being the absolutely roughest, most punishing Baja has to offer. At 250 miles, a “sprint” as some would call it, the Mastercraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 is an all-out mad dash for the win. With miles upon miles of shock-killing whoops, waist-deep silt, rock-infested washes and canyons, this year would prove to be the toughest yet.
This year marked the 25th running of the San Felipe race and it was run in remembrance of Pepe Limon, the SCORE Mexico liaison who passed away late last year. “Tore up!” is how Roger Norman described it just days before the race, and “rough” is the word almost every driver and rider blurted out at the finish.
The fastest man in the desert Saturday was Rob MacCachren driving the Rockstar Mastercraft #20 Trophy Truck. Everyone knows MacCachren has a long list of wins and is probably the greatest desert racer of all time, but surprisingly this was Rob’s first overall win as driver of record.
“We took off with just a real conservative pace and they started dropping one by one,” said MacCachren. “When we dropped into Matomi Wash, Jesse (Jones) was first on the road, (Gary) Weyhrich was second and I was third. Jesse Jones had a flat right at the beginning of Matomi and we got by him. Right at the end of Matomi we got by Weyhrich, and then we had the physical lead all the way in. We were really struggling with the power steering, and Jesse was pretty much on my bumper the whole way in. I knew he had to get by me and put 30 seconds on me to win and we were going to do everything we could to keep that from happening. There were absolutely no problems at all with the truck (other than the power steering), and we didn’t have any flats. I really needed this win; it’s great.”
Jones was last year’s Trophy Truck season championship winner and was on a good pace to do it again, but one mistake took it all away bringing him in for a second-place finish and second overall. “Once we got first on the road, I had to kind of back the pace down a little bit to save the equipment,” Jones said. “Our rear end was running a little hot and then I made a mistake. We had a flat tire going into the wash and when we stopped to change it, we got stuck. It’s my fault – I threw the race away. That cost us about 10 minutes. I wish I could blame it on somebody else, but I can’t. Good job for Rob (MacCachren). What a great day anyway; we all got to race really, really close and that’s what it’s all about so that’s more fun anyway.“
Andy McMillin flew through the pack after starting from the 22nd position and landed in the 3rd spot on the podium.
“It was a really, really fun day,” Andy said. “About three miles out from the finish, the truck started bobbling at like 110 miles an hour, so I backed it down to about 80 and it quit bobbling and we kind of ran consistently. And then there’s a hard left and another hard right on the very last straightaway, and it came into the corner and it died. My heart sank – I knew we were leading – and then, luckily, we were only down for maybe 30 seconds and we got it fired up again and got here (to the finish).
“It was close at the finish line. That was the only problem I had and I have no idea what it was. I just cruised off the start, stuck to my game plan all day and we’re here. It was so rough out there. I’m going to be so sore tomorrow but it’s worth it, that’s for sure.”
Taking the Class 1 honors was 17-year-old Justin Davis. His rookie year in Class 1 had been perfect so far, as he took the win at Laughlin and now San Felipe. “We had no flats, no problems,” Davis said. “We just cruised in and had a good race. It was a perfect day. It was definitely rougher than last year but we made it to the end. We passed most of the cars (that started ahead of me) before the end of Zoo Road and then just got behind the SCORE Trophy-Trucks and had a clean run.”
Steven Eugenio (check out video of the team's Laughlin SCORE start) and Adam Pfankuch had an amazing run in Class 12. Starting last in class, the team drove their way through the pack and took the class win with more than 20 minutes to spare, landing 19th overall amongst the four-wheeled racers.
“We had an almost perfect day,” said Eugenio. “Adam started and drove the first half but had to get out three times because the brakes kept locking up. We finally got it sorted out and I got in at race mile 120, passed McNeil about a mile after I got in and cruised in from there. It’s great to finally win the 250 after being so close the past few years!”
Taking home the win in Class 1600 was “The Great” Cody Robinson from El Centro, California (Roberto Romo started and drove to mile 100 and Robinson drove from mile 100 to the finish).
“When I got in the car, I think I had a 10-minute physical lead and more on corrected time,” exclaimed Cody. “From there, I didn’t really have many problems until I lost a (CV) boot at mile 180 so I was stopping and greasing it. But besides that, the car ran good. It works great in the rough stuff; this is my second win in a row here at San Felipe.”
The heavy metal trucks of Class 8 had a great race going on with Noah Ostanik edging out the competition. “It was extremely rough but it was a good day,” Noah said. “We had minimal issues – we just had a driveshaft issue about mile 115 and took care of it. Other than that, it was a flawless day. We’ll take the win any day.”
With the conclusion of the San Felipe 250, SCORE racers will turn their attention to preparing for the SCORE Tecate Baja 500, which will start and end in the seaport city of Ensenada on June 3rd-5th. Don’t miss it!
MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 Results:
Pro Cars & Trucks
1. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 4:17:45 (58.68mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
2. Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Ford F-250, 4:18:29 (58.52mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
3. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150, 4:18:53 (58.43mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
4. Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz./Michael Vanderwey, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado, 4:26:53 (56.67mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
5. Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150, 4:27:07 (56.62mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
6. Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 4:28:38 (56.31mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
7. Adam Householder, Orange, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 4:32:41 (55.47mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
8. Jesse James, Austin, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 4:35:56 (54.82mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
9. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Ford F-150, 4:36:18 (54.74mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
10. Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Ford F-150, 4:41:07 (53.80mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
11. Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., ESM-Chevy, 4:44:42 (53.13mph) (Class 1)
12. Brian Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 4:46:15 (52.84mph) (Class 1)
13. Damen Jefferies, Apple Valley, Calif., Jefferies-Chevy, 4:47:06 (52.68mph) (Class 1)
14. Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Cody Stuart/Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif./Pat Dean, Las Vegas, GMC Sierra, 4:52:49 (51.65mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck
15. Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif./Jeff Quinn, Irvine, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 5:01:41 (50.14mph) (Class 1)
16. Dave Crinklaw, Reedley, Calif./Mike Thurlow, Kingsburg, Calif., Ford F-150, 5:03:25 (49.85) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
17. Gus Vildosola Jr. /Gus Vildosola Sr., Mexicali, Mexico, Ford F-150, 5:03:57 (49.76mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
18. Ken Losch, Tempe, Ariz./Greg Nunley, Tulare, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 5:14:58 (48.02mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
19. Steven Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., Prill, 5:33:08 (45.40mph) (SCORE Lite)
20. Jesse Ashcraft, San Marcos, Calif./Adam Ashcraft, Oceanside, Calif., Ford F-150, 5:34:01 (48.02mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck)
1. Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, San Clemente, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 4:36:51 (54.63mph) (Class 22)
2. Shane Esposito, Lake Elsinore, Calif./Bobby Garrison, Hesperia, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., Kawasaki KX450F, 4:58:10 (50.73 mph) (Class 22)
3. Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas/Steve Garnett, Carson City, Nev., Honda CRF450X, 5:27:46 (46.15mph) (Class 30)
4. David Gonzalez Jr/Carlos Casas, Chula Vista, Calif., KTM 450XCW, 5:31:24 (45.64mph) (Class 21)
5. Adam Neuwirth, Los Angeles/Salvador Hernandez, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 5:34:31 (45.22mph) (Class 21)
6. Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico/Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev./Noe Ibarra, Banning, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 5:36:43 (44.92mph) (Class 30)
7. A.J. Stewart, Jamul, Calif./Bryce Stavron/Donald Stanley, San Clemente, Calif./Kyle Corfman, El Centro, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 5:52:04 (42.96mph) (Class 22)
8. David Kleiman, Carlsbad, Calif./Mike Gress, Anaheim Hills, Calif./Chad Earl, Huntington Beach, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 5:55:47 (42.51mph) (Class 21)
9. Jim Dizney, Alpine, Calif./Doug Smith, Upland, Calif./Eric McKenna, Loomis, Calif./Steve Williams, Tehachapi, Calif./Paul Doebereiner, La Quinta, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 5:55:54 (42.50mph) (Class 50)
10. Trevor Insley, San Clemente, Calif./Matt Eddy, Barstow, Calif./Bill Gilbert, Ladera Ranch, Calif./Morgan Crawford, 29, Sanger, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 6:07:13 (41.19mph) (Class 21)
1. Mike Cafro, Bonsall, Calif./Beau Baron, Atascadero, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 6:19:37 (39.84mph) (Class 25)
2. Craig Christy/Andy Lagzdins, Burbank, Calif./Dave Scott, Belen, N.M./Garren Fuller, Santee, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 6:20:48 (39.72mph) (Class 25)
3. Roberto Ruiz, El Centro, Calif./Rodolfo Navarro, Mexicali, Mexico/Carlos Apdali/Ivan Mejorado, Tecate, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 6:20:59 (39.70mph) (Class 25)
4. Travis Dillon, Spring Valley, Calif./Jeremy Gray/Robbie Cockrell, Barstow, Calif./Mike Sorchy, Lakeside, Calif., Honda TRX700XX, 6:24:20 (39.35mph) (Class 25)
5. Christian Vera, Lemon Grove, Calif./Adolfo Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 6:25:13 (39.26mph) (Class 25)