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

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Page 72 of 111

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS Car And Truck Classes Tackle A Tough And Unforgiving Course By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, and Jose Vazquez Photos by Get Some Photo The fact that the course was a bit shorter in distance than the 2021 SCORE San Felipe 250, didn’t mean it was any easier for the car and truck classes. Most drivers, when asked, described the 277-mile course as rough, full of whoops, and full of opportunities to get stuck. Nevertheless, car and truck classes came out in full force to take on the first race of the SCORE season, and to once again enjoy the fans being present to cheer them on. CLASS 7 SCORE fans cheered for 17-time Class 7 champion Dan Chamlee, who is looking for an 18th this 2022 season. Chamlee, in the No. 700 Ford, was out first, but Scott Brady in the No. 703 Ford and Randy Bluth in the No. 720 Ford managed to get by Chamlee when he got stuck in a wash. “The course was very bumpy and rocky,” said Chamlee. “I felt that outside of getting stuck on the sandy wash for half an hour, I did pretty well. I pulled over in a bad spot and that cost me half an hour. The truck ran really well despite some suspension judgment errors I made. I had to be really careful with it. We’re in our 20th year of never missing a SCORE race and we’re going for the entire series again.” By the time Chamlee was free and speeding back on the course, Brady had already passed and held on to the first-place position to win the class. “The course was incredible,” said Brady. “It was rough enough to keep the slow guys slow and the fast guys fast. I like that. We had a flawless day with absolutely no issues whatsoever. This is the start of the season we wanted. This is what Mexico is about for us– being here with all the people. Look at how many people come to cheer for us and let us do what we love in their country. You really can’t describe it, it’s incredible.” Bluth also got by Chamlee and was also able to hold his position to finish second. “My brother (James Bluth) had to stop once to check a weird noise the car was making and that was the only issue we had,” said Bluth. “The course was really difficult and it was really demanding. We tried to catch the winners but couldn’t make it. We’re very happy that we finished second. This might not be the SCORE Baja 1000, but it’s a very demanding race.” After freeing himself, Chamlee drove steady to finish in third place. SCORE LITES Matt Ferrato was happy to return to San Felipe with the crowds and was even happier when he ended up in first place on the course in SCORE Lites and held on to win the class in the No. 1216 car. “Returning to El Malecon was awesome, and I’m happy that all the fans were here,” he said. “The course was rough and sandy. It was bumpy the entire way. We pre-ran for ten days and prepared really well for the race. We’re so happy to be down here and thank SCORE for putting on a great event. It’s been a great week for us, the car was extremely well-prepared and our notes were super helpful.” Finishing second in class was Mario Alcala in the No. 1201 car, followed by Miguel Cortez in the number 1205 car. CLASS 1/2-1600 Only three of the eight teams in 1/2-1600 finished the brutal 277-mile course. Among them was Martin Rangel in the No. 1626 car who drove to his and his team’s first victory. “It was a difficult and technical course,” said Rangel. “We could go fast on most parts, but also had to take good care of the car. We had a problem at around mile 188 but another car helped us and we kept going. It’s our first victory at the SCORE San Felipe 250 and we’re all very emotional. We worked really hard for it and everyone on the team did a tremendous effort for it to happen.” In second place was Ruben Osuna Gallardo in the No.1699 car. “It wasn’t the fastest race, but it was a very competitive one,” said co-driver Miguel Estrada. “There were a lot of challenges, but outside of some problems with the gas tank, we didn’t have anything to worry about. We were really looking forward to returning to El Malecon for contingency and the race itself.” Finishing third was Juan Sanchez in the No 1612 car. CLASS 5 Fans cheered as the Grabowski brothers roared to the finish line to win in Class 5. Their Subaru-powered Bug is a favorite among Class 5 fans and they finished the course in a blistering 6:43:08, well ahead of any competitor. “It was probably one of the toughest races I’ve ever done in my life, it was never-ending,” said Jack Grabowski. “My back is so sore, but it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life as well. It was a radical course and we’ll be back, for sure. The car went phenomenal and our BFGoodrich Tires were perfect– we didn’t have a flat all day, and our King Shocks kept us rolling.” Finishing second was the No. 507 car of Ramon Fernandez, followed by the No 525 car of Martin Anguiano. “The course was very different from what we had on pre-running,” said Fernandez. “We got hit from behind and had to cruise in the final 100 miles. We knew we’d never be able to challenge the winners as they have a very potent vehicle. It was great to have finished, but I feel very tired now. It was great being back at El Malecon.” CLASS 3 Cesar Gutierrez attempted the SCORE San Felipe 250 in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Hailing from Tijuana, Mexico, he brought Jesus Canizales and Ernesto Gutierrez as co-drivers to finish the race in 11:44:31. CLASS 5-1600 Among the five teams that entered the King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250, only two in class 5-1600 finished. Taking the win was Jose Enrique Gutierrez in the No. 555 Baja Bug co-driven by Jose Gutierrez, Luis Gutierrez, and Alfonzo Amaya, all hailing from Tijuana, Mexico. “It was a pretty tough course, with a lot of whoops and washes,” said Jose E. Gutierrez. “We had good pre-running last week and great communication during the race which helped us a lot. We had some good battles with other cars in our class and it was fun. It’s great to see all the effort we made these past few weeks be rewarded today. We want to thank SCORE for their impeccable organization and the fans for being here. It’s my first SCORE San Felipe 250 and to have won it, that makes me really happy.” Finishing in second place was the No. 553 car of Cesar Iniguez with co-drivers Victor Iniguez, Abel Larraguiel, and Edgar Meza. BAJA CHALLENGE 2021 Class Champion Edward Muncey was looking for a win at this year’s race. He finished second last season but came away with the championship. In his path, however, the BC1 team of Barry Thompson and Tim Spurgeon finished first to take the class win. “It went really well and we had a good run,” said Thompson. “We had a flat and some small issues, but we got back on the course and did pretty well. It was such a good run. The car did well and we were pretty clean.” Muncey had Roger Norman, Dominic Muncey, and Shawn Evans co-driving in the BC4 car, but could not pull off the win and had to settle for second place. Finishing third in class was the BC2 team of William Jordan and Zaheer Abbas. CLASS 7F The battle for the Class 7F win is always exciting when two great teams go head to head. Brandon Walsh in the No. 701F Toyota Tacoma and Justin Park in the 714 F Ford Ranger met up again in San Felipe. Walsh changed the colors of his Tacoma from the Ivan Stewart TT appearance look to a white, orange, and black paint scheme that was just as eye-catching. He, along with co-driver Aaron Celico were stopped in traffic on the course, but still managed to pull off a class win. “We didn’t have any problems, but we had to stop for 15 minutes at about race mile 195 because there were a lot of broken cars and no way to get around,” said Walsh. “We had to help them fix their cars to keep going. We both drove pretty clean and our pit teams were right there when we needed them.” Park drove the Bilstein-sponsored Ford Ranger to a second-place finish with co-drivers Eduardo Perez, Todd Fashing, and Mike Agostino. CLASS 7SX Darrio Serrano and Armando Duron are another pair of racers who make watching Class 7SX incredibly exciting. Both were close to winning the 2021 Class Championship last year, with Duron taking the title. But they returned to San Felipe to battle it out again in the desert. Despite problems on the course, Serrano in the No. 744 Ford Ranger finished first to win the class, leaving Duron in the No. 758 Ford Ranger in second place. “We had a couple of problems when we switched drivers and also lost our brakes at about race mile 200,” said Raul Cota, navigator for Serrano. “We ran the truck smoothly to bring it to the finish line and we didn’t know we were first until about 20 miles to the end.” CLASS 11 SCORE fans love Class 11 Bugs and they have a close following. Among the six teams that entered this year’s race, Fernando Prado in the No. 1155 car finished first, followed by Hector Sarabia in the No. 1145 car. Hector is 60 and had his family and friends, a total of nine, co-driving the car with him, for the second-place finish. In third place was the 1156 car of Arthur Penner. “Our car ran perfectly the entire race– all we needed to do was replace two flats,” said Antonio Feria, co-driver with Prado. “I was honored to drive as part of Fernando’s team for this race and wanted to thank SCORE for the amazing time.” SPORTSMAN In Sportsman Unlimited Truck, Tony Stone with Joel Abbott finished first in class in the No 1468 Chevy Silverado. Lawrence Rust in the No. 1533 buggy finished first in the SPT Unlimited Buggy class, while Jim Borden finished first in the SPT UTV Unlimited Open class in their No. 1809 Can-Am X3. OFFICIAL FINISHERS CLASS 7 (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs)-- (Starters 5, Finishers 3) 1. 703 Scott Brady, 55, Gerber, CA/Jesse Van Hoy, 32, Nipomo, CA/A. J. DeNunzio, 50, Ballard, CA, Ford Ranger, 06:07:58, (45.17 Miles Per Hour); 2. 720 Randy Bluth, 52, Mesa, AZ/James Bluth, 54, Mesa, AZ/Louis Gilbert, 56, Houston, Ford Raptor, 06:25:39; 3. 700 Daniel Chamlee, 59, Montecito, CA, Ford Ranger, 06:40:25 SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)--(Starters 6, Finishers 5) 1. 1216 Matt Ferrato, 51, Lake Havasu City, AZ/Nicholas Dasalo, Custom, 06:31:52 (42.41 Miles Per hour); 2. 1201 Mario Alcala, 40, Mexicali, MX/Mario Alcala Jr, 20, Mexicali, MX/Kevin Alcala, 22, Mexicali, MX, Seagrove, 07:21:27; 3. 1205 Miguel Cortez, 53, San Diego/Cesar Quirarte/Francisco Ramos, Curry, 08:27:07; 4. 1211 Oscar R. Alvarez, 45, McAllen, TX/Ramon Bio, 22, Spring Valley, CA/Fernando Alvarez, 39, San Antonio, TX/Adrian Guerrero, 33, Ensenada, MX/Cisco Bio, 37, Spring Valley, CA/Luis Leon Bio, 36, Ensenada, MX/Mario Rivera, 31, Ensenada, MX, OSO, 09:40:53; 5. 1277 Javy Buelna, 37, Mexicali, MX/Omar Buelna, 30, Mexicali, MX/Adan Cruz, 25, Mexicali, MX/ Luivan Volker, 50, Mexicali, MX, Erick Galindo, 36, Ensenada, MX/Pavel Ramirez, 33, Ensenada, MX, PRC, 10:13:46 CLASS 1/2-1600 ( VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) (Starters 8, Finishers 3) 1. 1626 Martin Rangel, 41, Surprise, AZ/Daniel Pacheco/Alex Nava/Ricardo Coronado, Romo, 07:44:07 (35.81 Miles Per Hour); 2. 1699 Ruben Osuna Gallardo, 44, Mexicali, MX/Omar Iniguez, 36, Mexicali, MX/Fernando Flores, 50, Mexicali, MX/Miguel Estrada, 29, Mexicali, MX/Victor Tamayo, Mexicali, MX, Negrito, 08:11:06; 3. 1612 Juan Sanchez, 22, Chula Vista, CA/Juan B. Sanchez, 24, Chula Vista, CA/Juan M. Sanchez, 29, Chula Vista, CA, Chenowth, 12:15:46 CLASS 5 (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed)(Starters 6, Finishers 3) 1. 527 Jack Grabowski, 23, Upland, CA/Troy Grabowski, 20, Upland, CA, Custom-Subaru, 06:43:08 (41.23 Miles Per Hour); 2. 507 Ramon Fernandez, 46, Ensenada, MX/Jesus Marquez, 42, Ensenada, MX/Fabian Aros, Ensenada, MX, Parker-Chevy, 08:09:32; 3. 525 Martin Anguiano, 58, Ventura, CA/Colin Cline, 21, Ojai, CA/Salvador Anguiano, 57, Oxnard, CA/Felipe Anguiano, 53, Carpenteria, CA, VW Baja Bug-Chevy, 09:35:44 CLASS 3 (Short wheelbase 4X4 based on production vehicles)— (Starter 1, Finisher 1) 1. 319 Cesar Gutierrez, 37, Tijuana, MX/Jesus Canizales, 31, Chula Vista, CA/Ernesto Gutierrez, 44, Tijuana, MX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, 11:44:31 (23.59 Miles Per Hour) CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs) (Starters 5, Finishers 2) 1. 555 Jose Gutierrez, 25, Tijuana, MX/Jose Gutierrez, 53, Tijuana, MX/Luis Gutierrez, 22, Tijuana, MX/Alfonso Amaya, 25, Tijuana, MX 09:12:16 (30.09 Miles Per Hour), 2. 553 Cesar Iniguez, 37, Mexicali, MX/Victor Iniguez, Mexicali, MX/Abel Larraguiel, Mexicali, MX/Edgar Meza, Mexicali, MX, 10:00:20 BAJA CHALLENGE (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich Tires Starters 3, Finishers 3) 1. BC1 Barry Thompson, 64, Martinez, CA/Tim Spurgeon, 61, Danville, CA, 08:31:49 (32.47 Miles Per Hour), 2. BC4 Edward Muncey, 50, San Diego/Roger Norman, 58, San Diego/Dominic Muncey, San Diego/Shawn Evans,10:53:03, 3. BC2 William Jordan, 47, Phoenix/Zaheer Abbas Ali, 39, 11:02:38 CLASS 7F (Stock frame, 2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-size trucks)-- (Starters 3, Finishers 2) 1. 701F Brandon Walsh, 35, Encinitas, CA/Aaron Celiceo, San Diego/Cody Weaver, Springville, Pa./Leafar Delgado, San Diego, Toyota Tacoma, 08:21:54 (33.11 Miles Per Hour); 2. 714F Justin Park, 46, Encinitas, CA/Eduardo Perez, San Quintin, MX/Todd Fashing, Temecula, CA/Mike Agostino, San Marcos, CA, Ford Ranger, 10:23:45 CLASS 7SX (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks)-- (Starters 2, Finishers 2) 1. 744 Dario Serrano, 40, La Paz, MX/Jorge Serrano, 37, La Paz, MX/Raul Cota, 25, La Paz, MX/Alan Chavez, 27, La Paz, MX, Ford Ranger, 09:20:52 (29.63 Miles Per hour); 2. 758 Armando Duron, 58, Mexicali, MX/Israel Duron, 30, San Diego/Armando Duron Jr, 36, San Diego/ Pedro Duron, 43, Mexicali, MX/Rodolfo Rivera, 36, San Diego/Christian Rivera, 33, San Diego, Ford Ranger, 09:31:17 CLASS 11 (stock VW sedans, safety modifications) (Starters 6, Finishers 3) 1. 1155 Fernando Prado, 36, Mexicali, MX/Antonio Ferla, 35, Mexicali, MX, 10:28:01 (26.46 Miles Per Hour); 2. 1145 Hector Sarabia, 60, Ensenada, MX/Esteban Ruiz, 41, Ensenada, MX/Juan C. Sarabia, 37, Ensenada, MX/Hector Martinez, 21, Ensenada, MX/Ricardo Rodriguez, 38, Chula Vista, CA/Porifio Gutierrez, 70, Ensenada, MX/Salomon Salvatierra, 35, Los Cabos, MX/Jose L. Salissoni, 57, Ensenada, MX/Hector Mayrez d’Gadia, 61, Ensenada, MX/Bryan Gunderson, 40, Houston, 11:09:43; 3. 1156 Arthur Penner, 65, Canada/Rick Danek, 64, Canada/Juan de Dios Dominguez, 65, Ensenada, MX/Gerardo Montijo, 48, Ensenada, 12:37:18 SPT UNLIMITED TRUCK (Starter 1, Finisher 1) 1. 1468 Troy Stone, 53, Bend, OR/Joel Abbott, Prineville, OR, Chevy Silverado, 08:17:04 (33.44 Miles Per Hour) SPT UNLIMITED BUGGY (Starter 1, Finisher 1) 1. 1533 Lawrence Rust, 60, Lakeside, CA/Tory Rust/Steven Rust, VW Baja Bug, 09:51:14 (28.11 Miles Per Hour) SPT UTV UNLTD OPEN (Starters 3, Finishers 1) 1. 1809 Jim Borden, 73, Bakersfield, CA/Doug Mendez, 50, Bakersfield, CA/Brian Gonzales, 35, Palmdale, CA/Jesse Gonzales, 37, Chino, CA, Can-Am X3, 09:17:01 (29.84 Miles Per Hour)

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