Father and Son Scott and Andy McMillin Win the SCORE Tecate Baja 500

Jun. 05, 2010 By Josh Burns
Team McMillin earned the overall four-wheel SCORE Tecate Baja 500. Photo by Art Eugenio

Before his son Andy was even born, Scott McMillin raced around the Baja Peninsula with his father Corky for decades. Today, Scott was able to share the joy with his son in the same his father did with him, as the Scott and Andy earned the overall victory at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 race, continuing the success the team had after winning the SCORE Baja 1000 in 2009.

Family patriarch Corky can be credited for the racing blood that flows through the McMillin veins. Scott's brother Mark has had his share of notable Baja victories, and Daniel, Luke and Jessica McMillin all currently climb behind the steering wheel. Scott and Corky raced this very event many times, even winning the Baja 500 overall with him in Class 2 in 1983 and '86.

"Well, it feels great," Scott said of winning the race with his son. "Actually when I was coming to Ojos Negros, I was thinking of my dad. My dad passed away 4 1/2 years ago, and in the ‘70s and ‘80s I ran with my dad, and I won this race two times overall with my dad in '86 and [‘83], and so it's great to do it with my son, you know. I get to experience and feel how what my dad felt, and I know how Andy feels because I was there, so it's great."

Andy echoed the same sentiments, as both were a little emotional at times after finishing the race and waiting to see if they finished far enough ahead of the #21 truck of Gustavo Vildosola and the #8 truck of Roger Norman.

"It's indescribable really," Andy said of racing with his father. "Not a whole lot of people get to compete in certain activities with their dad because of age difference, but my dad is showing he has what it takes and our team has what it takes in order to defeat the competition. We got all the best equipment, we have the best pit crew and it really showed today.

ndy McMillin and Gustavo Vildosola congratulate each other after the race.

"I had a really clean first 260 miles, and I handed it over to my dad, the ‘shoe' I call him, and he just hauled ass to the finish," Andy continued. "My whole life I dreamed about situations like this, and to have that stuff finally come true is pretty frickin' crazy, so it's unbelievable. I'm so excited."

Over 300 racers were registered for the 42nd running of the SCORE Tecate Baja 500. The official starters for race was 289, which is tied as the twelfth most starters in the history of the race. One of the big stories was the massive number of Trophy Trucks, as 37 Trophy Trucks started the race, which is the most ever for any SCORE race.

Whether it was extra motivation to beat the large crowd or trucks or the desire to be the first Mexican citizen to earn a Baja 500 overall victory, racer Gus Vildosola Jr. battled hard until the end. Despite his solid effort, Vildosola had to settle for second place, finishing 7 minutes and 1 second behind the McMillins, but he was still greeted to a very excited crowd.

Finishing just behind him in the physical third spot was BJ Baldwin. Fourth place went to the team of Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler, with a visibly shaken Roger Norman crossing the finish line.

With Roeseler running the first half of the race, Norman took over driving duties in the second half, and unfortunately he hit a motorcycle while trying to pass another vehicle. He spent the next 35 to 40 minutes not knowing the fate of the rider. Though we still don't know much on the rider's status, we know he was flown back to the U.S. quickly after surffering two broken legs.

An emotional Roger Norman struggled to get through the race after an accident with a motorcyclist.

Norman was was clearly still shaken by the incident after crossing the finish line, saying his heart just wasn't in it to really push the leaders toward the end.

The next Trophy Truck to cross the line was that of Nick Vanderwey, who co-drove with Curt LeDuc and brother Larry Vanderwey. Finishing in sixth place and eight overall in four-wheeled vehicles was Bryce Menzies, who made his debut in the 500 today.

"This is the start of our desert program, and we'll see where it goes from her," Menzies said.

Last year's Baja 500 winner Rick D. Johnson finished in 7th place after starting way back in the pack. He had a good race but said he just ran into too much traffic.

Crowd favorite Robby Gordon, who missed qualifying for tomorrow's NASCAR race at Pocono, battled until the end despite having to replace his transmission after battling for the lead for much of the race.

Robby Gordon's team worked to replace the transmission. After being in contention for much of the race, he still managed to finish just out of the top ten. Photo by Art Eugenio

"It took us about an hour and half to change it, and we got beat by an hour and a half, so it's a bummer," Gordon said after the race. "Unfortunately this is going to hurt us for the 1000, and that's all I could think about."

Since the top 10 finishers in the Baja 500 are guaranteed a top 10 draw, he was battling the for finish but was unable to make it and finished in 13th place.

Jesse Jones ran an awesome race, leading it for much of the way, but he ran into trouble later in the race and eventually blew his transmission, which is the same fate of Rob MacCachren who also led the race at the start.

Steve Eugenio ran away with the SCORE LITE win at the SCORE Tecate Baja 500. Photo by Art Eugenio

The All German Motorsports team of Armin Schwarz and Martin Christensen were looking like the team to be in Class 1 but ran into mechanical issues and were forced to slow off the pace. Ronny Wilson then took over the lead, holding off Steve Appleton coming down the stretch. Unfortunately for Wilson, they took the wrong turn not far from the finish and lost the lead, allowing Steve Appleton to pass them and take the Class 1 victory. Kory Halopoff and co-driver Harley Letner round out the Class 1 podium in third.

Brian Wilson led Class 1 for most of the race, but a wrong turn in the late stages of the race cost him the win to Steve Appleton.

Brian Wilson led Class 1 for most of the race, but a wrong turn in the late stages of the race cost him the win to Steve Appleton.

In the Pro Motorcycle class, JCR Honda's Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody took the win over Colton Udall and Jeff Kargola. For more details on the race, click here.

In Pro ATV, Wayne Matlock pulled off another victory in Baja, beating out second-place finisher Javier Robles and third-place Craig Christy.

Wayne Matlock took the overall win in the Pro ATV class. Photo by Art Eugenio

Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Unofficial Results
For complete results on the race, click here.

Class 1
1. Steve Appleton
2. Ronny Wilson
3. Kory Halopoff

Class 1-2/1600
1. Brian Wilson
2. Arnoldo Ramirez
3. Hiram Duran

Class 5
1. Drew Belk
2. Cody Kellogg

Class 5/1600
1.Anlonso Angulo
2. Gustavo Avina
3. Victor Celis

Class 6
1. David Caspino
2. Heidi Steele
3. A.J. Rodriguez

Class 7
1. DanChanlee

Class 7SX
1. Elias Hanna

Class 8
1. Kent Krorker
2. Dave Crinklaw
3. Noak Ostanik

Class 10
1. Sergio Salgado
2. Jon Walker
3. Alex Crosthwaite

1. Steve Eugenio
2. Justin Davis
3. Lee Banning

Stock Full
1. Tim Casey
2. Joe Bacal

1. Troy Vest
2. Gary Magness
3. Chelsea Magness

Class 7-2
1.Ron Stobaugh

Class 4
1. Ed Zimmerman


Class 22
1. Kendall Norman
2. Colton Udall
3. Robert Underwood

Class 21
1. Sol Saltzman
2. Mark Fillebrown
3. Adam Neuwirth

Class 20
1. Jason Trubey
2. Anna Cody
3. Jesus Rios

Class 30
1. Francisco Septien
2. Mike Johnson
3. Bill Eddings

Class 40
1. Louie Franco
2. Kenrik Anderson
3. Brian Campbell

Class 50
1. Jim O'Neal
2. Ryan Armitage
3. Koichi Takei

Class 60
1. Susumi Ishii/Hisazumi Fukumura


Class 25
1. Wayne Matlock
2. Javier Robles
3. Craig Christy

Class 24
1. Roberto Villalobos
2. Brandon Brown
3. Craig Christy

Class 26
1. Rob Ransford
2. Reid Rutherford


Overall Car
1.Peter Lang

Overall Truck
1. Ken Frazier

Overall UTV
1.Thomas Graves

M/C <250cc
1. Matt Ladendorf

M/C <250cc
1. Rick Matteson


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