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Page 28 of 105

A HARD FIGHT TO THE FINISH SCORE Trophy Truck Classes Battle The Longest Loop Course To Finish The 53rd SCORE BaJa 1000 By Dan Sanchez Photos by GetSomePhoto There’s no doubt that the 898.40-mile loop course of the 53rd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts was one of the toughest and most technical in SCORE’s recent history. Some of the SCORE racing veterans who did not attend the SCORE Baja 500, decided to come to Ensenada and participate. This added to the competition and difficulty of the race for everyone in this class, but also made it more exciting for SCORE fans. Nevertheless, Dan McMillin in the number 23 4WP SCORE Trophy Truck had the lead after winning the SCORE Baja 500 and was poised to do it again with the help of co-driver Justin “Bean” Smith. McMillin had Smith start the race and had the clean air. “Justin did a great job and got me the truck at mile 440,” said McMillin. “The leaders were still stacked-up but I was at that point still the first truck on the road and in the lead physically.” Dan’s brother Luke McMillin who teamed up with Larry Roeseler started third behind Tim Herbst. Roeseler started the race and later handed off the truck to Luke McMillin. Around race mile 580, Luke had caught up to Dan. “I didn’t want to hold him up,” said Dan McMillin. “I pulled over and let him go.” The McMillin brothers were first and second on the course, with Alan Ampudia in the number 10 Papas and Beer SCORE Trophy Truck, quickly gaining on them both. By the time the leaders hit Huatamote, Ampudia had passed Dan McMillin and was in second place behind Luke and fighting for the lead. “We were right up to Luke in his dust, and we hit a hole faster than what we should have,” said Alan Ampudia. “I didn’t think the truck was going to dive, and we ripped off the entire front end and lost what seemed to be an eternity to fix it. Our team helped us fix everything, and we got back on the course, but it was too late for the win.” The number 11 truck of Rob MacCachren, driven by co-driver Josh Daniels, had moved its way from a rear start to catch Dan McMillin near Puertecitos. With Dan McMillin now in fourth place and around race mile 765, the truck’s engine quit. “It was frustrating because the truck was running great up to that point,” said Dan McMillin. “It’s a bummer, but at least Luke got the win, and that’s great.” Luke McMillin managed to stay ahead of the rest of the pack and crossed the finish line first. After a disappointing SCORE Baja 500 race, Rob MacCachren and Daniels had a tremendous run and finished in second place. “I feel extremely rewarded just for finishing this race,” said MacCachren. “The course was brutal, very tight, and twisty. Once I went through and saw how torn-up the course was, I don’t know how some of those limited vehicles could get through there. Whoever finishes this race should be proud.” Bryce Menzies, who also started in the back of the SCORE Trophy Truck pack, also managed to move up and finish in third place with co-driver Andy McMillin who drove the number 7 Red Bull truck to the finish. “Bryce had a problem earlier in this run that put us down early,” said McMillin. “He did a great job and got me a really good truck when I got in it. We pushed hard and made up a bit of time, but it was too late. I couldn’t be happier for my cousin Luke.” Fastball Racing Finishes First In TT Legend While 2020 may not have been the best year for most of us, luck continued to rain down on Dodger co-owner Bobby Patton. After winning the World Series, his Fastball SCORE Trophy Truck Legend team added another victory by winning the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend class. Jimco owner Robbie Pierce headed the efforts and recruited Ricky Johnson and Bobby Karakas to co-drive after Patton could not attend the race. The race for them, however, didn’t come easy as they had to overcome vehicle issues that cost them an hour of down-time. Right behind them was Clyde Stacy with Nick Vanderwey in the number 5L RPM Off-Road truck, who finished second in class. Jose de Jesus Flores from Culiacan, Mexico, headed the number 55L Chevy Silverado and took third place in class. Flores was aided by co-drivers Oskar Slingerland and Sandy Hall. Jeff Bader Triumphs In SCORE TT Spec Teaming up with co-driver Dan Fresh, Jeff Bader had a very rough SCORE Baja 1000 race that started from a crash during pre-running to a finish to win the class. Bader had been battling with Pierce Herbst in the number 264 truck for the lead until they managed to get by him on the course by carrying more speed and pushing hard. Pierce would end up finishing second in class and is eager to make his mark in SCORE like his father, Tim Herbst. “It was a long but great day of racing,” said Herbst. “We had some minor issues missing turns and one flat, but we had a lot of fun. There was a lot of silt, and it slowed us down a bit, but we wish we could have gone faster on some parts of the course.” Herbst had his siblings Thor and Riley Herbst as co-driver along with Ryan Millen. Finishing third in SCORE TT Spec was Elijah Kiger with Brock Heger, Sean Bogdan, and Christopher King driving the number 238 TSO Chevy. “It was a great effort for the entire team,” said Kiger. “We hit a lot of stuff on the way and had a couple of flats as well as bottlenecks. But overall, the day went well.” SJ Official Finishers SCORE TROPHY TRUCK  (Unlimited Custom Trucks including Builder) (18 Starters, 12 Finishers)   1. 83 Luke McMillin, 27, San Diego/Larry Roeseler, 63, Boulevard, CA, Ford F-150 (Racer), 19:10:25 (46.86 mph);  2. 11 Rob MacCachren, 55, Las Vegas/Josh Daniel, Vista, CA, Ford F-150 (Geiser), 19:21:30;  3. 7 Bryce Menzies, 33, Las Vegas/Andy McMillin, 33, San Diego, Ford Raptor (Mason), 19:42:40;  4. 16 Cameron Steele, 52, San Clemente, CA/Bobby Pecoy, 55, Yorba Linda, CA/Rene Brugger, San Diego, Ford Raptor (Geiser) 20:30:23;  5. 19 Tim Herbst, 57, Las Vegas/Pat Dean, 51, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith) 20:40:02;  6. 10 Alan Ampudia, 29, Ensenada, MX/Aaron Ampudia, 27, Ensenada, MX, Ford Raptor (ID), 20:53:46;  7. 77 Robby Gordon, 51, Charlotte, N.C./Damen Jefferies, 47, Apple Valley, CA, Chevy Silverado (Custom), 23:18:48;  8. 97 B.J. Baldwin, 41, Las Vegas/Ray Griffith, Toyota Tundra (ID), 23:41:09;  9. 89 Mike Walser, 53, Comfort, TX/Luke Johnson, 27, Sun City, CA/Rod Walser, 44, Canadian, TX, Chevy Silverado (Mason), 23:53:47;  10. 40 Chris Miller, 46, Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Christian Sourapas, 24, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, Chevy Silverado (Mason), 24:23:59;  11. 38 Eric Hustead, 50, St. George, Utah/Kolton Hustead, 21, St. George, Utah/T.J. Flores, 43, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Ford), 25:12:36;  12. 90 Raul Gomez, 41, Placerville, CA/Darian Gomez, 20, Placerville, CA/Micah Genovese, 35, South Lake Tahoe, Nev., Ford Raptor (Geiser), 25:58:01.   SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old) (4 Starters, 3 Finishers) 1. 20L Robbie Pierce, 61, Alpine, CA/Ricky Johnson, 57, Encinitas, CA/Barry Karakas, Oak Hills, CA, Chevy Silverado (Jimco), 27:29:58 (34.09 mph); 2. 5L Clyde Stacy, 75, Bristol, Va./Nick Vanderwey, 53, Phoenix/Jeff Geiser, 54, Phoenix, Chevy V-16 (Geiser), 36:13:46;  3. 55L Jose de Jesus Flores, 57, Culiacan, MX/Oskar Slingerland, 55, Netherlands, Sandy Hall, 55, Culpepper, Va., Chevy Silverado (Jimco), 37:10:28.     TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines 17 Starters, 12 Finishers) 1. 261 Jeff Bader, 39, Ladera Ranch, CA/Dan Fresh, 52, Dana Point, CA, Brenthel-Chevy, 21:44:55 (41.31 mph);  2. 264 Pierce Herbst, 18, Las Vegas/Ryan Millen, 36, Huntington Beach, CA(New Zealand)/Thor Herbst, 20, Las Vegas/Riley Herbst, 21, Las Vegas, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 22:00:30;  3. 238 Elijah Kiger, 20, Kirby, Pa./Brock Heger, 20, El Centro, CA/Sean Bogdan, 28, Kirby, Pa./Christopher King, 26, Kirby, Pa., TSCO-Chevy, 22:58:14;  4. 295 William Hedrick Jr, 24, Vicente Guerrero, MX/William Hedrick, 54, Vicente Guerrero, MX, ID-Chevy, 23:45:36;  5. 273 Jordan Brenthel, 33, Temecula, CA/Jonathan Brenthel, 41, La Cresta, CA/Chuck Dempsey, 52, Oak Hills, CA/Greg Adler, 51, Temecula, CA, Brenthel-Chevy, 23:45:47;  6. 230 Chad Hall, 57, Reno, Nev./Austin Hall, 34, Sparks, Nev., Samco-Chevy, 25:29:54;  7. 294 Vincent Munoz, 34, Yucaipa, CA/Roy Tompkins, 34, Redlands, CA, ODR-Chevy, 25:37:59;  8. 260 Santiago Creel, 34, Mexico City, MX/Jorge Sampietro, Ensenada, MX, Jefferies-Chevy, 26:55:27;  9. 274 Elias Hanna, 38, Ensenada, MX/Todd LeDuc, 41, Cherry Valley, CA, HN-Chevy, 26:57:58;  10. 269 Guillermo Zamacona, 40, La Paz, MX/German Encinas, 43, La Paz, MX/Issac Frayle, 28, Las Paz, MX, Jimco-Chevy, 27:27:49;  11. 280 Bryan Scheible, 56, Georgetown, TX/Thomas Robinson, 34, East Aurora, New York, Brenthel-Chevy, 32:47:10;  12. 276 Gerardo Iribe, 44, Rosarito Beach, MX/Gerardo J. Iribe, 19, Santa Ana, CA., Curry/ISRT-Chevy, 34:16:47.

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