SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - December 2018

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

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Page 22 of 112

The Start Of A New Decade The 51st SCORE Baja 1000 Ended The 2018 Season With Huge Wins, Big Upsets, And More Excitement By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Nearly 300 entries poured into Baja California to participate in the 51st SCORE Baja 1000, challenging themselves and their machines to see if they can cross the finish line in victory. For some racers and teams, the race was a must-win situation in order to capture a class championship. For others, it’s the chance of a lifetime that took months, sometimes years, of preparation to participate in the most grueling race in off-road motorsports history. One of those people making history was Cameron Steele with the number 16 SCORE Trophy Truck and the Desert Assassins race team. Steele persevered through a difficult race with what he calls a calmness that allowed him and the team to face all the obstacles Baja could throw at him. This was Steele’s first SCORE Baja 1000 victory in a SCORE Trophy Truck, and definitely gave him and the team the boost they needed to continue to be a top-level race team and as an advocate for the beauty and people of Baja. Adding to this year’s race excitement, was the fact that a Pro Moto team won the SCORE Baja 1000 Overall for the first time since 2013. Finishing less than half a minute faster than Steele, was the 7x team of Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels, and Justin Jones. SCORE fans were just as amazed at their finish, as their riding capabilities that kept them out in front. While fans cheered on their favorite teams, the excitement of the race would start several days before the checkered flag dropped. For the eventual winners, their story of the 51st SCORE Baja 1000 began pre-running the event weeks before it started, and culminated during two days of Contingency, which had fans swarming into Mexico to witness the start of a new decade of the world’s toughest and most inspiring race. Crowds Meet Racers During Contingency Days As racers and SCORE fans congregated in Ensenada, Mexico, pre-race events were scheduled to help set the festive race atmosphere, while also showcasing Mexico’s colorful and historical partnership with SCORE and the SCORE Baja 1000. For most SCORE fans, Contingency day is one of the best aspects of the pre-race events, as teams, vehicles, and race sponsors lined up on the Boulevard Costero. As record crowds arrived in Ensenada, they gathered in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Wednesday, November 14th to meet motorcycle, quad, and UTV teams that took over the street on the first of a two-day Contingency. The four-wheel classes and SCORE Trophy Trucks lined up on the Boulevard Costero on Thursday, November 15th, where fans got a look at these 900 horsepower off-road vehicles that dominate the desert and get a chance to meet the drivers from this class and the remaining truck and car classes for the race. Later that evening, the Monster Energy Papas y Beer SCORE Street Party took place, with teams, fans and locals gathering on Ensenada’s Avenida Ruiz (downtown) to celebrate the history and the most iconic race in off-road motorsports. The party began at 6 p.m. and went on till midnight for everyone except the motorcycle racers, who were preparing for their 4 a.m. call to the starting line on Friday, November 16th. Those fans who made it to the starting line on Ensenada’s Boulevard Costero early the next morning were able to witness racers heading off into the darkness to challenge the Baja desert, and do everything right to finish there again and celebrate 16 hours or more later.

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