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SCORE CLASS 1 CHAMPION Cody Parkhouse Notches Class 1 Championship For The Fourth Time By Mike Vieira Photos By Get Some Photo  Going into the last race of the season, SCORE’s Class 1 saw the top four teams separated by only a few points for the Championship lead, making it the deciding battle for the season win. Cody Parkhouse was in third place before the start of the 54th SCORE Baja 1000. “By the math, we knew that if we won the 1000, we would win the Championship,” says Cody Parkhouse. “But if we didn’t win the race, we needed a couple of other things to go right for us to still win the Championship. Of course, it’s always our goal to win every race we enter, but you never know what’s going to happen. There’s driver error and little weird issues here and there, so you never really know what to expect.” Things eventually fall into place for him, though. As close as it was, a second-place finish in the SCORE Baja 1000, after a first-place win at the SCORE Baja 400, sealed the Class 1 Season Championship for the fourth time for Parkhouse and his Jimco Hammerhead, despite some difficult times in races earlier in the season.   The SCORE San Felipe 250 saw Parkhouse having trouble with a sensor that caused his car to run rich and run out of fuel, as well as some other issues that put the team well off pace before getting things repaired. “We finished,” he says, “but we didn’t have that good of a run.” With hopes for a better race at the SCORE Baja 500, things started well. “We had a good run going until about Mile 183,” Parkhouse says. “We were third on the road and second on time, and I came up over a blind rise and stuffed the front end into a ditch. It blew apart the steering box, bent the upper and lower arms on the left side, and that took us out of the race. We had a spare steering box that at least allowed us to get out of the desert, but we didn’t have spare arms or any of that, so we’re out.” The SCORE Baja 400 brought much better fortunes for the team. For the first half of the race, Cody and co-driver Justin Hermann just wanted to keep pace with the rest of the field. Then in the second half, his dad, Brian, with co-driver John Kohut, took over. “They started picking it up,” says Parkhouse. “That’s when everybody else started having some issues, and we were able to win that one by having a nice, clean race with no real stories to tell.” The win in the SCORE Baja 400 gave the team a first-place start for the SCORE Baja 1000, where the team ran another relatively clean race with only two flat tires and a broken brake line costing them some time. “We got to the finish and thought we had won,” he says, “We got to celebrate for about a day and a half, and then the final results came out, and we got one more penalty than the Wilsons did. That knocked us down to second. It was kind of a letdown, but they’re good friends of ours, so we still celebrated, but just not quite the same as if we had won.” Parkhouse’s Jimco Hammerhead is one of the earlier models, and for next season, they are updating to the specs of the more current models. “We sit pretty low in it because the roof is low,” he says, “We’re cutting everything off from the mid-rail up to make it sit a little higher like the newer ones, so we have an improved line of sight, and can see better.” Beyond his sponsors, Parkhouse is grateful to his wife and entire family for the support they provide to allow him to engage his racing passions. He also thanks Jeff Smith and his entire crew for the work they put in to make everything work smoothly. “Our car doesn’t have our names on it because we are a team, and racing is a team effort,” says Parkhouse. “With me being the driver of record, I kind of get the glory of it, but I split all the races half and half with my dad, and sometimes we have a third driver, but everyone is hugely important and we couldn’t do it without each of them.” “Overall, it was a good year,” he says. “It’s kind of weird to say we won a Championship and it wasn’t a great year, but it just kind of worked out.” No doubt, Parkhouse will be happy to have another “good year” in 2022 in his quest for his fifth Class Championship.  SJ

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