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SCORE MECHANIC OTY Andres “Lechero” Rodriguez Sacrificed Everything To Keep His Team Competitive STORY AND PHOTO By Dan Sanchez When Rob MacCachren won the 2021 SCORE Trophy Truck Championship, it was an all-out effort for the team to get to the SCORE Baja 400, and an act of pure sportsmanship from the McMillin team to allow MacCachren the opportunity to win it. But behind the scenes, Andres Rodriguez worked tirelessly, committed to getting the No. 11 MacCachren SCORE Trophy Truck to a third-place finish at the SCORE Baja 400. It was for this reason, SCORE fans and his teammates voted “El Lechero” for the 2021 SCORE Mechanic OTY. “It was a very stressful season for me,” said Rodriguez. “Our team used to be comprised of six guys. Some worked on the truck, others on the tires or the chase trucks. This season, it was just me. I brought in my son to help with all the work that needed to be done before and after each race.” The season began for Rodriguez with engine trouble at the SCORE San Felipe 250. “Somehow during pre-running, sand got into the engine and we lost oil pressure. We worked with Kevin Kroyer to clean out the oil dry-sump system and we got the pressure back. Rob had to qualify slowly so he wouldn’t hurt the engine, and as a result, we qualified very badly.” During the race, Rodriguez didn’t think the engine would last, but ultimately, the truck finished sixth. At the SCORE Baja 500, the team finished fifth, and then with a third-place finish at the SCORE Baja 400. But that was the end of the season for Rodriguez, as Rob MacCachren drove the McMillin truck at the SCORE Baja 1000 to win the race and class championship. “The McMillin team invited me to go to Baja and be there for the race, but I didn’t go because it was not my truck,” said Rodriguez. “But during the SCORE Baja 1000, I tracked the race carefully and I couldn’t sleep. I wanted Rob and Luke to win so badly, and when they did, I was cheering for both of them, but it felt a little different. I’m glad Luke and Rob won it. Rob deserves it as he lives for racing.” Rodriguez’s efforts to get Rob MacCachren and the No. 11 truck to that point last season did not go unnoticed. “Your team has to win a championship or the big races to be SCORE’s Mechanic OTY,” said Rodriguez. “Once the voting was out and I had won, I received thousands of messages from friends, family, and most of all, SCORE fans. I was exhausted from the last couple of seasons and being away from my family. I was very happy that all my friends in Mexico were proud of me and voted for me. I always try to show them that you have to work hard and do the right thing to be successful.” Being voted for the 2021 Mechanic OTY award was an amazing honor for Rodriguez, who has now earned the award twice, his first in 2018. But the win is bittersweet, as he has left the MacCachren racing team and began working for Vildosola Racing at the end of the 2021 season. “When you win a race, it’s a wonderful feeling,” he said. “But after that, you come back to reality, and that wasn’t good for me. Rob is my friend and I have worked for him for eight years and won two championships with him. Now, I needed a change in my personal life as the physical and mental strain was so overwhelming. I’m very happy to have finished the 2021 season with the best team and the best results one could ever hope for, but am now looking forward to a new journey and bringing what I know to another team.”   SJ

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