SCORE Journal


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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 111

RACING AT FULL THROTTLE The SCORE San Felipe 250 Returns With Faster Finishing Speeds By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo and Jack Wright NMedia3 Approaching the Malecon in the town of San Felipe, Mexico, one can hear the roar of the crowds as if a goal was scored in the World Cup, or a touchdown at the Super Bowl. It was then that you knew Baja racing fans were back. Along with the fans, food and souvenir vendors also came back in large groups, bringing a renewed excitement and enthusiasm that spread across the entire city. It had been a while since fans were allowed due to COVID protocols in previous races. It also had racers appreciating the efforts of the Mexican Health Department and the Foundational Municipal Council of San Felipe to lower COVID protocols and have SCORE fans present. Fans were once again able to enjoy watching racers and interacting with teams during Contingency, as well as watch the race start from a safe distance. The SCORE San Felipe 250 has always been considered a “sprint race” where competitors run the course as fast as possible to win. This year’s 277-mile course, combined with more capable vehicles and experienced racers made the King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250 race a spectacular one to witness. The clash among the race’s 276 entries was especially exciting in the SCORE Trophy Truck class, where 44 teams battled against each other and the rough Baja terrain. Among them were some of the fastest Baja racers to date, averaging speeds over 62-miles per hour, making for some of the fastest finishing times SCORE officials had ever seen with most of the top racers in this class finishing the course in slightly over four hours! A Specialized 277-Mile Course While the racecourse started and finished in its traditional area on the San Felipe Malecon, it was carefully thought out to increase safety for motorcycle and quad racers. SCORE President and Race Director Jose A. Grijalva split the course into two separate sections around race mile 230, where moto and quad racers would take an approximately 40-mile section separate from the trucks and cars. This was done to keep riders away from oncoming SCORE Trophy Trucks and Class 1 vehicles, giving them additional peace of mind and the ability to concentrate more on the course. While the sections were towards the end of the course, they still headed in the same directions and had the same mileage. After leaving the Malecon, it headed North to the Zoo Road crossing up to the El Chinero area, West to Borrego, and South through Laguna Diablo to Morelia Junction before winding West and South through four of the area’s famous washes; Amarillas Wash, Chanate Wash, Azufre Wash, and Matomi Wash. Then the course turned back North to the finish line. Grand Marshal Lynn Chenowth There were many choices for this year’s Grand Marshal, but in keeping with SCORE’s San Felipe’s history and traditions, Lynn Chenowth was ultimately selected. As a race vehicle designer, builder, and innovator, Chenowth’s race vehicles were the first to win the SCORE San Felipe 250 overall in the race’s history. Some of the drivers who won those races in Chenowth vehicles included SCORE’s Tech Director Dan Cornwell, Corky McMillin, Scott McMillin, Jack Johnson, and Brian Collins. They led Chenowth to multiple SCORE San Felipe victories from 1982 through 1990. With such a strong legacy in Mexico’s San Felipe area, Lynn Chenowth ultimately built the Chenowth Legacy Lodge just South of town. It’s a resort and museum where he’s lived for the past 37 years and showcases all of the various model vehicles that the company built, as well as some historical race-winners. Before this year’s race, SCORE’s live stream production team visited the museum with Lynn Chenowth to discuss what’s there and how he reached this point in his career. Contingency Back At The Malecon Local Mexican police estimated that 40K people came to San Felipe to witness the race, and by the appearance of crowds during Contingency, Thursday, March 31st, many converged on the Malecon. SCORE’s hosts Rat Sult and Dave Arnold interviewed hundreds of competitors who were lined up to reach the podium to showcase their vehicles, teams, and sponsors. The crowds were able to interact with teams as they lined up along the main street, and once the vehicles reached the starting line, fenced sections only allowed drivers and teams through. Nevertheless, both racers and fans enjoyed being together once again to stir up the excitement before the race. Qualifying For A Front Start It was a serious Qualifying day on April 1st for SCORE Trophy Truck, Trophy Truck Legend, Trophy Truck Spec, and Class 1 racers who were trying to get a good starting position for this race. For some, it meant going all out to start first or within the first five starters to improve their chances of a race win. The finishing positions at this King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250 would also determine racer’s starting positions for the 2022 SCORE Baja 500, so it was important for racers in these classes to do as best they could, but without damaging their vehicles for the race. The qualifying course was a 5-mile route south of downtown San Felipe, and for those spectators and teams present, it was an amazing display of speed and power. Bryce Menzies was the top qualifier with a time of 6:10.408 seconds, followed by Justin Lofton finishing in a time of 6:15.001. The third place starter was Luke McMillin with a time of 6:49.219. Within the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend-class was Ricky Johnson DOR for Gus Vildosola Sr., finishing the course in 6:38.655 to start first in their class. The fastest time in the SCORE TT Spec class was Ryan Hancock with a time of 6:24.825. Class 1 also had some tight competition for the first place starting position, but ultimately it went to Conner McMullen who finished with a time of 6:49.219. Race Day The excitement for the King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250 culminated with the start of the race on Saturday, April 2nd. Motorcycle and Quad classes began at 6 a.m. followed by the car, truck, and UTV classes starting at 10 a.m. Unlimited classes started each vehicle every 60-seconds while all other classes started one every 30-seconds. All of the vehicles participating had 15-hours from their start time, to finish the course. SJ

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE-Journal-April-2022