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Whoops There It Is! The San Felipe 250 returns for its 34th Year challenging racers with some of BaJa’s most difficult terrain By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo SCORE racers refer to the San Felipe “whoop” sections as some of the most difficult terrain they’ve ever experienced. Some compare it to what moguls are for skiers, but for off-road vehicles, these sections of large bumps on the road are known to break suspensions, shocks, and rattle some bones. Despite the difficult course, the SCORE San Felipe 250 is an iconic race that SCORE racers and fans love to experience and witness. RACE HEROES This year will be the 34th running of the race, which like the SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000, has had its share of racers who have become legendary heroes who have conquered it more than once. At the top of the list is Pro Moto racer Jim O’Neal, owner of the motorcycle apparel and gear company that bears his name. O’Neal has a total of 18 class championships that are combined from his team efforts, as well as being the veteran on other teams where he’s ridden in more than one class in a single race. “I had competed in San Felipe in various races before SCORE came to town,” said O’Neal. “It’s a great place to race and to relax when you’re not on the bike.” Another legendary veteran of the SCORE San Felipe 250 is six-time overall winner Rob MacCachren. The SCORE Trophy Truck Champion also has 10 career class wins in this race, one that he describes as Baja’s toughest. His last win there was in 2018 which gave him two SCORE San Felipe 250 wins in a row. “There are so many Trophy Truck drivers that are very competitive and one wrong step, clip a rock or something and you’re done,” said MacCachren about the race after winning it in 2018. “As you’re coming towards the city, it’s almost like a sea. The course is closed, you’re coming, there are cameras, there are drones, it’s incredible. You come through at 100 mph and they open up and you come on through. I love racing in San Felipe.” Eric Solorzano has 11 SCORE Class Championships in this race, all while driving one of the most classic, yet difficult vehicles to race in Baja, a Class 11 Bug. Solorzano’s last victory in this race was in 2017 but that has not kept this champion from being one of the most determined and most inspiring veterans of the SCORE San Felipe 250 race. 2019 WINNERS Last year, some of the top racers returned to race the full-season of the SCORE World Desert Challenge. One of them, five-time SCORE Baja 1000 winner Andy McMillin, had never won the SCORE San Felipe 250 in his long history of Baja racing. Yet, despite a roll-over, McMillin drove a very close race against his cousin Dan McMillin, and veteran racers Bryce Menzies, and Ryan Arciero. At the finish, Andy McMillin had to anxiously wait to see if his course time was enough to take the race win and ultimately triumphed. While the McMillin family were demonstrating their racing prowess during this first race of the 2019 season, the 1x Pro Moto Unlimited team of Justin Morgan, Justin Jones, and Mark Samuels were out to prove they could take home a second Championship. They performed a near-flawless race, and once they got away from the dust and traffic, they flew to what looked like an easy finish for them. In the popular Pro UTV classes, the SCORE San Felipe 250 was another opportunity for Wayne and Kristen Matlock to show they were a dominant force in Baja. Both won their respective classes (making it twice in a row, 2018 and 2019), and both celebrated at the finish line. “That was the toughest course I’ve ever done,” said Wayne Matlock after the race. “I haven’t been sore from a race in a long time.” RACE SCHEDULE CHANGES Due to the COVID-19 outbreak forcing a change to the race, the schedule of events and any additional changes to the course will be announced on the www.score-international website. SJ

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