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THE 55TH BFGOODRICH TIRES SCORE BAJA 1000 PRESENTED BY 4 WHEEL PARTS A Preview Of The Biggest Race Of The Season By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo After three spectacular races in the 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship season, the 55TH BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented By 4 Wheel Parts is finally approaching. Scheduled for November 15th through the 20th, the race is the fourth of the season after the SCORE San Felipe 250, the SCORE Baja 500, and the SCORE Baja 400. There is a lot on the line for this final race of the season, including a $25K payout by BFGoodrich Tires for the Overall winner of the race if they win on the company’s tires. For various class racers who have accumulated enough points, winning or finishing in the top three in their class could mean a 2022 Class Championship for their team. Furthermore, for many other racers who simply want to compete in the toughest off-road race in the world, finishing can be one of the most important accomplishments of their career. CELEBRATING 55 YEARS Now in its 55th year, the SCORE Baja 1000 is the oldest and most legendary desert race. It began when two motorcycle racers, brother Bud and Dave Ekins, along with professional motorcycle rider Bill Roberson Jr., decided to gain some publicity for Honda Motorcycles by recording timed runs from Tijuana to La Paz in 1962. As other racers wanted to emulate the run and record a faster time, off-road enthusiast Ed Pearlman organized and founded the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) and established the Mexican 1000 race in 1967. It started officially in Tijuana on October 31, 1967, with 68 entries.  The race came to be known as the Baja 1000, and after the fuel crisis of 1974 which forced local officials to cancel the event, SCORE International, founded by the late Mickey Thompson and headed by Sal Fish (until 2012), was invited by the northern state of Baja California to hold the race on a looped course in 1975. In 1979, the government of Baja California Sur granted permission to resume the Ensenada-to-La Paz format, which SCORE has used intermittently ever since. Roger Norman purchased SCORE International from Fish on Dec. 20, 2012. The race celebrated its 50th Anniversary in November 2017 and has been voted as USA Today’s Top Motorsports Event twice. The longest SCORE Baja 1000 from Ensenada to La Paz was in 2014 when it was 1,2275 miles. The 2017 course was 1,134.40 miles, making it the second longest in event history for races starting in Ensenada and finishing in La Paz. Throughout the history of the Mexican 1000 and SCORE Baja 1000, there have been 23 peninsula runs. THE STAGE IS SET After the 3rd SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels in September, the finish order in which racers completed the race becomes the starting order for this year’s SCORE Baja 1000. For some, winning the SCORE Baja 400 was spectacular, but others were aiming for a good starting position for the next race. The fastest racers across the desert are the SCORE Trophy Truck teams, in which Bryce Menzies will start first and have the advantage of clean air and the ability to set a fast pace in his No. 7 Red Bull Mason, AWD truck. Starting in second place is Luke McMillin in the No. 83 4 Wheel Parts Mason AWD truck, who has the points lead towards a season championship if he finishes on the podium. Starting third in the SCORE Trophy Truck class is Dan McMillin, who had a spectacular SCORE Baja 400 race in his No. 23 4 Wheel Parts Mason AWD truck. In Class 1, Cody Parknouse in the No. 100 Jimco buggy will start first in class and has an opportunity for a back-to-back class championship if he can pull off another win. He faces tough competition, however, with Damon Jefferies, Cody Reid, Brendan Gaughan, and the Wilson Motorsports team right behind him. In other classes, Gus Vildosola Sr. with Ricky Johnson are having a perfect season so far and can top off a SCORE Trophy Truck Legends Class Championship with another win at the SCORE Baja 1000. Christopher Polvoorde in SCORE TT Spec added a second win this season at the SCORE Baja 400 and will also start first in his class. With a win in this next race, he can win a class championship as well as an Overall Season Championship. 2021 SCORE BAJA 1000 MEMORABLE MOMENTS Last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 race brought about some stunning victories from a long-awaited Peninsula run that started in Ensenada and ended in La Paz. One of the most memorable wins of that race included Rob MacCachren and Luke McMillin teaming up to win in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. After a penalty that disqualified McMillin from the SCORE Baja 400, the team approached MacCachren to drive McMillin’s truck at the Baja 1000. The truck was rebadged to MacCachren’s No. 11, and not only gave MacCachren a better starting position, but it would give him and co-driver Luke McMillin the race win and a season championship for MacCachren. MARK SAMUELS RETURNS Pro Moto racers Juan Carlos Salvatierra and his 10x team continue to dominate the Pro Moto Unlimited class and have a chance at a championship season if they win at the SCORE Baja 1000. At this race however, he will have to contend with the 2021 winner Mark Samuels who announced he is entering his first and only SCORE race this season, just to win the SCORE Baja 1000. Samuels, either as Rider of Record or as co-rider with Justin Morgan are multi-time SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited Champions. Samuels has won five SCORE Baja 1000 races in the SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited Class and poses a great challenge to the 10x team. Jano Montoya and his 325x team are also looking to finish a perfect season at the SCORE Baja 1000, as are Fernando Beltran and the 180x team in Pro Moto Limited, Ryan Liebelt and the 400x team in Pro Moto 40, and Puerto Rico’s Faellly Lopez in the Pro Quad Ironman class. Pro Moto Unlimited champion Mark Samuels appeared at the 2021 SCORE Baja 1000 and teamed up with multi-time champion Justin Morgan, Brandon Prieto, and legendary Pro Moto Champion Kendal Norman, to compete and win the race in their only SCORE competition of the season. At the finish, Prieto proposed to his girlfriend, making it a moment they and SCORE fans would never forget. Bolivia’s Juan Carlos Salvatierra finished up the 2021 season with his stunning victory in the SCORE Pro Moto Ironman class, and by winning every race but one that season. He also took home the class championship and put both Bolivia and KTM at the top of off-road racing’s greatest racers of the modern era. In Class 1, SCORE fans saw a battle between Cody Parkhouse and Brad Wilson who traded the lead several times. Each team didn’t let up and tried to run as cleanly as possible. In a stunning upset, Parkhouse in the No. 100 buggy crossed the finish line first, but after penalties from missing a checkpoint, put Wilson in the No. 153 car as the class winner. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Elijah Kiger stunned the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class with an amazing win after starting in fifth place. Kiger got his first taste of Baja racing by co-driving with his dad Scott, who raced in the Pro UTV NA class and had won the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 with Mark Holz. In his first year of racing in SCORE, Phil Blurton followed in his father’s footsteps (Phil Blurton Sr.) and took on a full season. Blurton went on to race in Pro UTV NA FI in his Can-Am Maverick, and placed in the top four every race, culminating with a SCORE Baja 1000 win and a class championship. Elias Hanna had competed in SCORE TT Spec, but in 2021, he was included in the Honda Talon race team where he piloted the Talon in the SCORE Pro UTV NA class to a victory that had his hometown of Ensenada fans elated to see him wave the Mexican flag in victory once again in his career. SJ

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