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No Easy Wins Racers In Car And Truck Classes Find A Way To Finish In One Piece By Dan Sanchez Photos by GetSomePhoto It was clear that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the amount of car and truck class participation at the 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts. For the many that complied with the protocols and found it safe enough to compete, the rugged terrain and fewer than normal class sizes didn’t make it any easier to pull off a win. In the car classes, SCORE Lites competitors had some of the best racing action in a while. Six teams came out to win the SCORE Baja 500, and despite two flat tires and having to fix a broken from suspension arm, Gustavo Pinuelas in the number 1218 car finished first. “We had to handle two flat tires in the first part of the course, at miles 19 and 80,” said Pinuelas. “We also noticed the suspension front arm was broken near the end and had to fix it, but luckily the car held it well until the end. We’re very happy to have finished the SCORE Baja 500, and that’s a tribute to my dad.” Co-drivers with Pinuelas were Cesar Castillo and Jose Robles. Finishing second in SCORE Lites was the team in the number 1247 car of Wes McKenzie with Ramon Martinez, and Rick and Julie Boyer. “The most difficult thing was the weather. We were out the entire day, and it was difficult to handle the high temperatures at times,” said Martinez. “It got better near the end as it got fresher. There was a lot of sand, and it was complicated for the smaller cars to make it through. Especially in some areas after the larger cars had been there.” Third in class was the number 1205 car of Miguel Cortez and Cesar Quirate. Finishing fourth in class was the number 1229 car of Doug Satterfield with Black Roberts, Kevin Fox, Miguel Viveros, and Kevin Mack as co-drivers. Racan Survives To Win 1/2-6000 If the Class 10 racers had a difficult time in the soft dirt, the 1/2-1600 racers would have it even worse after many teams before them chewed up the course. The class consisted of the 1662 car of Julie Boyer, the 1696 car of Chris Racan, and the 1616 car of Eli Yee. After a tough battle with each other and the course, Racan finished first in class with co-drivers Enrique Guerrero, Gilberto Cervantes, Luis Guerrero, and Brian Salmon. Boyer drove the race solo to finish in second place, an amazing feat that earned her some well-deserved credit for enduring the heat and rough terrain. Proctor Gets Back Into The Ridgeline Earlier this year, Honda team leader Jeff Proctor announced they would be moving into a Pro UTV class. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and a shortened season, he and co-driver Pat Dailey instead got back into their number 709 Honda Ridgeline for this race. Both powered through the San Felipe desert to take the Class 7 win. “SCORE Baja racing is so tough. It’s always a battle on the course, and here in San Felipe, the course is so rough,” said Proctor. “It favored our truck, however, and we like the speed and the rough. The truck held together like it always does, and we had an uneventful day, which is good. We just drove the wheels off of it. It’s so exciting to come away with a win after all the effort our entire team puts on so we can race at this level.” Finishing second is 2019 Class 7 Champion Dan Chamlee in a newly powered Ford Ranger. Known for his consistency, a second-place finish for Chamlee could be all that he needs to add another Class 7 championship under his belt, if he finishes at the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. “We made some miscalculations and ran out of gas at the lake bed, and that cost us a lot of time,” said Chamlee. “We got some gas from the Herbst’s truck, kept moving, and got out at the next pit. Thanks to them for that. It was a long day, but we’re here, and that’s what matters.” Finishing third in Class 7 was Mario Murillo Jr in the number 713 Chevy with co-drivers Jorge Flores and Van Smith. Finish To Win Within several classes, entrants simply needed to finish to win the class, but in many cases, the San Felipe terrain and the heat would be big obstacles to overcome. Mike Hales, in the number 4421 Jeep Wrangler, was one of the teams that persevered to finish first in the Hammer Truck class. Hales was assisted by co-drivers Jack Hales and Jesus Quezada. Likewise, in Class 5, Trey and Bill Hernquist in the number 501 car started and finished the race to win the class. “It was technical, rocky, and rough as we always expect. Going after the SCORE Trophy Trucks made it more complicated this time because there were boulders and rocks and stuff everywhere,” said Bill Hernquist. “But we had no real issues, no drama. It was rough but fun. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.” Class 5-1600 had the number 553 car of Cesar Iniguez with Miguel Estinos, Victor Tamuno, Victor Iniguez, Emilio Saludo and Omar Arellano combine their driving skills to finish first in class. Baja Challenge had SCORE’s Ed Muncey with Joe Duryea, Todd Hodnett, Roger Norman, with Jason and Eddie Abraham team up to take on the course and finish first in class. In Class 7F, Doug Siewert, in the number 720F Jeep Gladiator, finished first in class with co-drivers Bruce Landfield and Darren Wells. Class 7SX saw the number 742 Ford Ranger of Brandt Anderson finish first in class with co-drivers John Holmes, Scott Anderson Brian Newbery, and James Masters. SJ Official Finishers  SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc) (6 Starters, 4 Finishers) 1. 1218 Gustavo Pinuelas, 44, Mexicali, MX/Cesar Castillo, 33, Mexicali, MX/Jose Robles, 30, Mexicali, MX, Jimco, 12:16:48 (40.15 mph);  2. 1247 Wes McKenzie, 59, Dallas/Ramon Martinez, Ensenada, MX/Rick Boyer, Bakersfield, CA/Julie Boyer, Bakersfield, CA, Raceco, 13:01:32;  3. 1205 Miguel Cortez, 51, San Diego/Cesar Quirate, Mexicali, MX, Curry, 14:56:04;  4. 1229 Doug Satterfield, 43, San Diego/Black Roberts, 37, Santee, CA/Kevin Fox, 32, Santa Rosa, CA/Miguel Viveros, 27, Sacramento, CA/Kevin Mack, 40, Philadelphia, Meco, 16:17:42 CLASS 1/2-1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) (3 Starters, 2 Finishers) 1. 1696 Chris Racan, 39, Oceanside, CA/Enrique Guerrero, 46, Ensenada, MX/Gilberto Cervantes, 46, Chula Vista, CA/Luis Guerrero, 25, Ensenada, MX/Brian Salmon, 43, San Diego, Custom, 16:58:05 (29.05 mph);  2. 1662 Julie Boyer, 47, Bakersfield, CA/Lothringer, 19:15:12 CLASS 7  (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs) (3 Starters, 3 Finishers) 1. 709 Jeff Proctor, 41, Glendora, CA/Pat Dailey, 44, Vista, CA, Honda Ridgeline, 10:19:25 (47.75 mph);  2. 700 Dan Chamlee, 58, Montecito, CA/Kurt Kimball, 57, Santa Barbara, CA, Ford Ranger, 12:27:09;  3. 713 Mario Murillio Jr, 43, Fort Worth, TX/Jorge Flores, 44, Fort Worth, TX/Van Smith, 61, Fort Worth, TX, Chevy truck, 15:48:23 HAMMER TRUCK UNLIMITED (unlimited, 4-wheel drive Rock Crawler) (1 Starter, 1 Finisher) 1. 4421 Mike Hales, 40, Rogers, Ark./Jack Hales, 66, Rogers, Arkansas/Jesus Quezada, 43, El Paso, TX, Jeep Wrangler, 17:41:08 (27.88 mph) CLASS 5 (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed) (2 Starters, 1 Finishers) 1. 501 Trey Hernquist, 21, Encinitas, CA/Austin Ashe, 28, Oxnard, CA/Bill Hernquist, 58, Encinitas, CA, 13:53;43 (35.48 mph)  CLASS 5-1600  (1600cc VW Baja Bugs) (1 Starter, 1 Finisher) 1. 553 Cesar Iniguez, 36, Mexicali, MX/Miguel Estinos, 29, Mexicali/Victor Tamuno, Mexicali/Victor Iniguez, 30, Mexicali/Emilio Saludo, 43, Mexicali/Omar Arellano, 35, Mexicali, 16:43:25 (29.48 mph)   BAJA CHALLENGE  (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich Tires) (1 Starter, 1 Finisher) 1. BC4 Edward Muncey, 49, San Diego/Roger Norman, San Diego/Joe Duryea/Todd Hodnett/Jason Abraham/Eddie Abraham, 16:02:10 (30.74 mph)  CLASS 7F (Stock frame, 2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-size trucks) (2 Starters, 1 Finishers) 1. 720F Doug Siewert, 54, San Marcos, CA/Bruce Landfield, 58, Yorba Linda, CA/Darren Wells, Santa Ana, CA, Jeep Gladiator, 19:39:04 (25.09 mph) CLASS 7SX  (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks)  (Raced 433.34 miles) 1Starter, 1 Finisher) 1. 742 Brandt Anderson, 40, San Juan Capistrano, CA/John Holmes, 65, Cardiff, CA/Scott Anderson, 43, San Juan Capistrano/Brian Newbery, 44, Vancouver, Wash./James Masters, 50, San Juan Capistrano, CA/, Ford Ranger, 16:06:45 (30.60 mph)

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