SCORE Journal


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

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INES IN THE SAND Speed And Where To Pass Are Keys To Winning In San Felipe By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo The Car and Truck classes vary as much as the obstacles on the course during the SCORE San Felipe 250. From trucks to rock-crawlers and Baja bugs, racers use their vehicles of choice to challenge themselves and their vehicles to finish and win. Among this year’s group, the Class 7 racers have begun to see more competition from factory and individual teams. Leading the effort is Jeff Proctor of the factory Honda Ridgeline team, who are just as organized as some of the SCORE Trophy Truck teams. Once again, the 709 Honda Ridgeline took the class win with Proctor and Pat Dailey driving, finishing in a blistering 5:39:19 to finish nearly in the top 25 of the race. “My co-driver navigated a flawless race,” said Proctor. “We had some pretty good lines in the sand washes and it was one of those days that everything just clicked and we didn’t really have any issues. We are taking home the win and couldn’t be more excited to kick this 2021 SCORE Season with a ‘W’. To get through all those nasty, sharp-edged rocks, all the square-edged whoops that San Felipe is known for– we are just stoked to be here at the finish line.” In second place in the class was the 727 RMR-Ford of Rhys Millen, co-driven by Hammond Meredith. Millen had won the class at the 2020 SCORE Baja 1000 in this same vehicle, which is proving to be a competitive one, built by Millen himself. “We had an incredible run and the chassis worked really well,” said Millen. “This is a unique four-wheel-drive truck. It is powered by a production-based 2.3L Ford four-cylinder Eco-boost. This course pushes suspension and drivelines, and we are still developing this car, so to put it on the podium in Baja California and at the SCORE San Felipe 250– I guess you can say that four-wheel drive is awesome. An incredible job to Tensor for helping me develop this tire. We are even running electric power steering with no issues and the car gets better and better. An amazing job by my entire crew who built this vehicle. We designed it in-house. How satisfying it was to finish such a rough course.” Finishing in third was 16-time Class 7 Champion Dan Chamlee who is one of the most respected and consistent drivers/finishers in modern SCORE history. Chamlee had Kurt Kimball co-drive in his Ford Ranger. “The course was very soft and we ate a lot of fuel,” said Chamlee. “From the time we pre-ran to the race, the whoops doubled in size. These BFGoodrich tires really helped a lot. It was fun out there. We felt good about our time.” THE WISDOM TO WIN In SCORE Lites, Scott Wisdom in the 1221 car, teamed up with family members Brady and Jacob Wisdom, and Brian O’Dor, to take the class win. “It was typical San Felipe – rough,” said Wisdom. “Luckily, the car suspension was working really well. We pushed hard through the whoops. Even down on horsepower as we hurt the motor, we were able to pull it off. We are happy about that. We are going for the SCORE Championship this year.” Matt Ferrato in the 1216 car finished in second place with co-driver Mike Kilogowski. Finishing in third was Jorge Cardona in the 1228 car, with Oscar Cardona. “We really enjoyed all the washes,” said Ferrato. “As usual, some cross-grain was brutal. The 40-inch tires really tear the course up. By the time the buggies roll through, the ruts are really deep and make it virtually impossible for the Class 11’s to finish, but I guess that’s the evolution of the sport.” SANCHEZ FINDS A PATH TO VICTORY As the course worsened throughout the day, it was very rocky by the time the 1/2-1600 cars got through it. While these cars struggled on the course, only four of the seven starters in this class were able to finish. On top was Kevin A. Sanchez in the 1621 car co-driven by Fernie Padilla and Alan Zavala. The team had some carburetor issues but managed to deal with them without getting a flat and made it to the finish line first. In second place was the 1680 car of Carlos Jiminez Guana, with Juan Pinuelas co-driving. They were followed by Eli Yee in the 1616 car with Angel Barajas and Alejandro Corona to take third place in class. HAMMERING OUT A FINISH In the Hammer Truck class, Mike Hales and his Jeep Wrangler are becoming a popular sight at the finish line. Hales was the 2020 Class Champion and he’s back this year to prove he can win races with co-drivers Brian Mhoon, Juan Cortez, Jack Hales, Jesus Quezada, and Tom Hales. CLASS 5 BUGS FINISH 100% Class 5 Baja Bugs are still as competitive as they were when they first entered into SCORE competition decades ago. The 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 wasn’t any different with four large teams competing for their first win of the season. After a grueling course, Greg Sullivan in the 508 car finished first to win the class. Sullivan had Billy Gereghty as co-driver. “The whoop-de-do’s after the trucks went through there were humongous,” said Sullivan. “I think they were bigger than my car. But we had a lot of fun. We had a good challenge with Jerry Longo behind us and he rolled a little bit. We thought he was done so we slowed down and cruised a bit and don’t know when or where but he passed us somehow. When we found that out we stepped it back up, caught him, and passed him when he pit. What a great day.” Longo in the 526 car battled hard with Sullivan and took second place. Longo had Brian Dykema and Brian Hudson as co-drivers. Finishing in third place was the 509 car of Jose Luis Gonzales with Adrian Rodriques Vargas and Charli Lopez Gonzales. The course was just as tough for the 5-1600 class with Jorge Gutierrez in the 598 car taking first place. “The race went great,” said Gutierrez. “When we did the driver change, we lost our starter, so we had to push it and hope we didn’t stall. But we didn’t. We had issues going up that hill near race mile 187 but we had somebody there with support and helped pull us up. No issues. Flawless.” Finishing second in class was the 557 car of Larry Negrete Jr, followed by the 571 car of David Heredia with Marco Robles, Pedro Avalos, and David Valenzuela, to take third place. SPURGEON WINGS BC First-time winner for the Baja Challenge Class was Tim Spurgeon in the BC2 car, with Barry Thompson co-driving. “This is our first time winning, but our fourth time running here,” said Spurgeon. “We had some problems early–cooling issues, but we just kept digging. We took the lead about halfway through and just took care of the car the rest of the way home. It was a lot of fun.” Following close behind to take second place in class, was the BC4 car of Edward Muncey. His team consisted of former SCORE Trophy Truck racer and SCORE Baja 1000 winner Roger Norman, along with Stacey and Rob Hartman. “This is our family car and Carly is my niece and Rob is my brother-in-law,” said Muncey. “Then the most incredible thing on this whole trip was riding with my brother (Roger Norman) who is a former SCORE Baja 1000 Trophy Truck Champion. He was incredible. He was driving this thing off the wheels but perfectly in control, tight in the turns, knew when to put on the throttle– rocked it. It was an education.” Finishing third in class was the BC5 car driven by William Jordan and Jared Ihen. MONTANO AND WALSH BATTLE IN 7F In Class 7F it was the 726F Ford Ranger of Arturo Montano against the 701F Toyota Tacoma of Brandon Walsh. Both vehicles tackled the difficult San Felipe course, but ultimately Montano and his co-drivers Raul Suarez, Carlos Perfecto, and Rafael Ramirez emerged victoriously. Wash, with co-drivers Erika Woosley, and Carl Montoya took second place. Armando Duron in his 758 Ford Ranger held on to finish the course and win in Class 7SX. He was aided by his family of co-drivers Israel, Armando Jr. Sergio Jr., and Pedro Duron, and Ivan Padron. THE SOHREN FAMILY COMPLETES AN IMPORTANT RACE Entering Class 3000, was the Sorhen family with the driver of record Farrah Sohren heading the team. Brother Van, and sisters Paige and Blair also co-drove in one of Pistol Pete’s trucks with his wife Cami in the passenger seat. The team also had duties acting as Grand Marshal for their dad and were honored to be a part of this San Felipe race. “ It was phenomenal and really, really fun,” said Paige Sohren. “We did a good job and it was amazing to be out there with all my siblings. It was an absolute honor.” CLASS 11 Baja BUGS FINISH THE COURSE One of the fan favorites is to watch the SCORE Class 11 Bugs start and finish any race. In San Felipe, three teams competed and ultimately the 1100 car of the Garcia family finished with the fastest time to win the class. Luis Fernando and his brother Luis Francisco headed the team and had co-drivers Omar Beltran and Ramses Garcia help bring the win. It was not easy for the Garcia team as right behind them was none other than Eric Solorzano in the 1111 Bug with Paul Nauleu, Rober Fleishman, and Mike Acuna. SJ

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