SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - November 2018

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 97

THE FIGHT TO BE FIRST 30 SCORE Trophy Trucks Battle To Qualify For Starting Positions At The SCORE Baja 1000 By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Visitors walking down Las Vegas Boulevard during the afternoon of Tuesday, October 30th, turned in awe as they observed 30 SCORE Trophy Trucks parading down the street towards the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Led by a police escort, the trucks were part of the SEMA SCORE Baja Experience that was held during the 2018 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 30th thru November 2nd. Aside from giving SEMA attendees a close-up look at the ultimate off-road race vehicles during the show, SCORE racing teams brought their trucks to compete during the SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying Presented by BFGoodrich Tires, and earn a good starting position for the 51st SCORE Baja 1000. The caravan towards the LVMS drew lots of attention, as these 900 horsepower vehicles rumbled through town with open exhaust systems and 40-inch tires, ultimately rolling into the special .6-mile off-road course built for this unique qualifying event. SEMA attendees were allowed entry with their exhibitor or attendee badges, filling the grandstands to capacity, and anxious to see how these vehicles perform, and who would take the pole position for the race. Jumps And Spills The evening started out with SCORE Trophy Trucks and Trophy Truck Legends trucks out on the course to practice. Armin Schwarz, driving the number 5 RPM OffRoad truck for the driver of record Clyde Stacy, experienced a roll-over. Schwarz was unhurt, but the amazing RPM OffRoad team managed to get the Trophy Truck back in shape and prepared for qualifying. The hardcore action didn’t stop after practice, as Richard Armstrong in the number 61 SCORE Trophy Truck rolled the vehicle after finishing his two qualifying laps. “That was so much fun!” said Armstrong laughing. “It was my first time qualifying and I need to work on that!” Later that evening the Papas & Beer SCORE Trophy Truck driven by Alan Ampudia took one of the turns too tight and went up on two wheels. Trying to correct the truck he headed straight towards the K-rails and got the front of the truck high-centered on it. While the mishaps made for an interesting night, SCORE fans came to see vehicles jump and take sharp corners as fast as the vehicles would allow. In past seasons, those drivers with good short-course experience, know how to handle courses like this and watched as the best off-road racers in the world put it all out in Las Vegas. The Lead Changes Hands Drivers such as Bryce Menzies were the ones to watch during qualifying. Despite suffering from the flu and with difficulty shifting, Menzies managed to put in one of the fastest times and held onto the top spot early in the evening. That didn’t last, however, when last year’s top qualifier, Robby Gordon got on the course. Gordon was driving with his son Max and put on a spectacular two lap performance, with a time of 1:53.52, that put him on the top of the field. “To be able to compete against these four-wheel drive trucks with a 15-year old truck, we’re really happy about that,” said Gordon. “We’re going to build a four-wheel-drive truck pretty soon.” Gordon didn’t have much time to celebrate as he was immediately followed by Luke McMillin in the number 83 truck, and managed to run with a quicker time of 1:53.05 to take the lead at that point during qualifying. “I can’t believe it, it didn’t feel like a good run,” said McMillin. “I can’t wait for race day and am proud of my team for putting in the work.” McMillin will be co-driving at the SCORE Baja 1000 with veteran Larry Roeseler who was on the sidelines watching. “I am so proud of Luke,” said Roesler. “We teamed up last year and were leading the race 800 miles into it. Then we had a failure, so we’re teaming up again this year to redeem ourselves. I’m just so proud to be a part of the team.” After the rollover during practice, Armin Schwarz got his truck back together and managed to set a two-lap time that put Clyde Stacy in the pole position for the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend class. But while the qualifying seemed to be wrapped up with Luke McMillin and Robby Gordon in the number one and two positions, Ricky Johnson driving for Larry Connor in the number 6 SCORE Trophy Truck, ran a spectacular qualifying two-lap time of 1:51.92 to take the top qualifying position. “I made a couple of quick mistakes and I leaned too hard on the sway bar but this Mason all-wheel-drive truck is fantastic,” said Johnson. In the end, the remaining SCORE Trophy Trucks couldn’t beat the Supercross Hall Of Famer’s time and Johnson took home the Ultimate Dana Fast Qualifier award. “I’ve raced and won the SCORE Baja 1000 five or six times on motorcycles and eight to 10 times in trucks. I’ve been trying to prove I’m a car racer,” says Johnson. “Being in the top five here among drivers like Bryce Menzies, Robby Gordon, Rob MacCachren and all these legendary racers, I feel like I’ve worked my way into the driver’s seat.” This was the third year that Dana/Spicer sponsored the Fast Qualifier award, and the second time Johnson won the award, after winning it driving for Justin Matney in 2015. SJ ULTIMATE DANA FAST QUALIFIER 1. 6 Ricky Johnson, 53, Trabuco Canyon, CA (DOR--Larry Connor), Chevy Silverado (Mason), 1:51.92 2. 83 Luke McMillin, 25, San Diego, Ford F-150 (Racer), 1:53.05 3. 77 Robby Gordon, 49, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy Silverado (Custom), 1:53.52 4. 60 Cole Potts, 19, Scottsdale, Ariz., Chevy Silverado (Racer), 1:53.84 5. 7 Bryce Menzies, 31, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor (Huseman), 1:53.97 6. 33 Dale Dondel, 53, Temecula, CA (DOR--Todd Tuls, 49, Bennington, Neb.), Ford Raptor (Racer), 1:54.12 7. 11 Rob MacCachren, 53, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Geiser), 1:56.73 8. 32 Ryan Arciero, 45, Lake Forest, CA, Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith), 1:57.99 9. 19 Ryan Millen, 33, Huntington Beach, CA (New Zealand) (DOR--Tim Herbst, 55, Las Vegas), Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith), 1:58.18 10. 97 B.J. Baldwin, 39, Las Vegas, Toyota Tundra (ID), 1:58.43 11. 23 Dan McMillin, 30, San Diego, Ford F-150 (Racer), 1:58.73 12. 16 Cameron Steele, 50, San Clemente, CA, Chevy Silverado (Geiser), 1:58.95 13. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, 23, Tecate, MX, Chevy Rally Truck (builder-Geiser), 1:59.17 14. 85 Mike Lawrence, 30, Banning, CA, Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith), 1:59.30 15. 31 Andy McMillin, 31, San Diego, Chevy Silverado (Mason), 2:00.40 16. 70 Kevin Thompson, 45, Braunfels, TX, Ford F- 150 (Herbst-Smith), 2:00.54 17. 15 Billy Wilson, 33, Corpus Christi, TX, Ford Raptor (Jimco), 2:00.79 18. 50 Zak Langley, 43, Manhattan Beach, CA, Ford F-150 (ESM), 2:01.41 19. *5L Armin Schwarz, 55, Austria (Germany) (Driver of Record--Clyde Stacy, 73, Bristol, Va.), Chevy Rally Truck (Geiser), 2:01.50 20. 88 Mike Walser, 51, Comfort, TX, Chevy Silverado (Mason), 2:01.57 21. 4 Justin Matney, 33, Bristol, Tenn., Chevy Rally Truck (Geiser), 2:01.65 22. 57 Mike Palmer, 56, Denver, Chevy Silverado (Palmer), 2:02.88 23. 20 Robbie Pierce, 59, Santee, CA, Ford Raptor (Jimco), 2:03.31 24. 54 Christian Souapas, 22, Rancho Santa Fe, CA (DOR--Troy Herbst, 52, Las Vegas), Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith), 2:03.89 25. 62 Mike Cook, 37, Provo, Utah, Chevy Silverado (Mason), 2:04.68 26. 86 Joe Bacal, 49, Anthem, Ariz., Dodge Ram1500 (Geiser), 2:06.75 27. *12L Gustavo Vildosola, 65, Mexicali, MX, Ford Raptor (ID), 2:08.21 28. 61 Richard Armstrong, 50, Canada, Chevy Silverado (Brenthel), 2:11.12 29. *81L John Swift, Oxnard, CA (DOR--David Westhem, 58, Tahoe City, CA), Chevy C-1500 (Mac West), 2:11.47 30. 10 Alan Ampudia, 27, Ensenada, MX, Ford Raptor (ID), 13:28.28  *SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)--   Additional SCORE Trophy Truck race entries not qualifying: 26 Dave Taylor, 44, Page, Ariz./Steve Strobel, Clarks, Neb., Chevy Silverado (Geiser) *37L Rolf Helland, 59, Morris, Ill./Jeff Mackiewicz, 50, Ottawa, Ill., Ford Raptor (Geiser)
40 Chris Miller, 44, Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Jimmy Nuckles, 50, Brawley, CA, Toyota Tundra (ID) 45 Gary Magness, 64, Denver/Devin Housh, 37, Desert Hot Springs, CA, Ford F-150 (Custom) 66 Harry Hepler, 54, Lansing, Mich./Steve Purchase, 35, Lansing, Mich./Josh Chedester, 30, Lansing, Mich., Ford Raptor (Evans) 72 Aaron Ciliceo, 46, San Diego/Greg Adler, 50, Manhattan Beach, CA/Abraham Lartundo, 39, San Diego, Toyota Tundra (Maniak) *72L Rob Reinertson, 56, Woodside, CA/Mike Salimbeni,  52, Lathrop, CA, Ford F-150 (North American)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE Journal - November 2018