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BATTLE TO THE FINISH SCORE TT Spec Racers Struggle To Overcome The Competition By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, and Jose Vazquez Photos by Get Some Photo At the start of the 2nd SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels, it was Christopher Polvoorde who qualified for the first starting position followed by Jason McNeil. With 26 starters in this class, the competition was tough enough, so a good starting position helped anyone who started in the top five. This included Jeff Bader who qualified third, Ryan Hancock in fourth, and Clay Lawrence who started in fifth place. When the race began, Polvoorde maintained his lead until the pack reached Mike’s Sky Rancho where he had vehicle trouble and could not finish. This opened the door for McNeil, Hancock, and Bader to pass. As McNeil increased his lead for the eventual class win, the battle for second place with Hancock and Bader was on. As Bader got caught up in the dust, Hancock maintained his lead over Swaim and finished second in class, sharing driving duties with Brock Heger in the No. 228 TSCO truck. “It was a good day, and I had a ton of fun trying to make up time,” said Heger. “We were seven minutes down when Ryan gave me back the truck at race mile 330. They told me to go for it and we did.” Swaim drove the race solo and was happy with a third-place finish, placing him at the front for a good start to the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. “The course was rough,” said Swaim. “There were a lot of rocks out there. It was dusty, there were holes, big ones, wash outs, silt– it had it all. We are looking forward to a good starting spot for the SCORE Baja 1000.” Bader would ultimately finish in fourth place, but he’s looking to give it his all at the SCORE Baja 1000. “This course was great until about race mile 330. Then it became a white-out dust storm,” he said. “Luckily, all our pre-running paid off and we knew the course fairly well. Erica Sacks (navigator) did a great job calling it out. We didn’t hit anything, and received no flats.  BFGoodrich tires came through again for us. I think this is our sixth race without a flat. We’re happy to finish, as this is about getting ready for the SCORE Baja 1000.” With the third-largest group of competitors in this race, the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class continues to grow along with the talent and specialized vehicles that make it one of the most exciting classes to watch. SJ

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