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A SCORE BAJA 1000 THREE-PEAT Luke McMillin Wins A Third SCORE BaJa 1000 In A Row Story by Stuart Bourdon Photography by GetSome Photo Winning SCORE Baja races is one thing Luke McMillin can’t get enough of, but winning his third SCORE Baja 1000 in a row at the 55th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts is something he feels was the greatest accomplishment of his young career. For McMillin, the mindset to win the race all began last year, when he won it for the second time with Rob MacCachren as the driver of record and he as co-driver. His approach to this year’s race began with extensive pre-running to become more than just familiar with the course. “We’ve put in a lot of miles of pre-running. I feel very comfortable with my half of the course,” said McMillin. “I like the technical stuff, the rockier the better, so the course SCORE has set up is perfect for me. Our strategy is to just keep things moving, that’s the key in the Baja 1000, keep the truck moving.” Rob McCachren, co-driving with McMillin for this race, had also been in Baja for 10 days pre-running his section of the course, and laughingly suggested he knows all the rocks by name now. “It’s an honor to help Luke in his effort to get another SCORE Baja 1000 win and to race with the entire McMillin crew. They are a highly professional team that dots all the Is and crosses all the Ts.” SIMILAR MINDSETS “One of the reasons I think Rob and I work together so well is that we both have the same attitude about racing,” said McMillin. It’s about being in the race shop all the time and really being involved in all aspects of the racing effort, not just being a driver that shows up with a helmet. You have to put in the work and have the drive to win.” It certainly doesn’t hurt that Rob MacCachren has a record of winning on a regular basis. As McMillin said, “It also has a lot to do with a level of trust and respect, and nobody really has a resume like MacCachren,” said McMillin. “When he’s the one starting your truck, it’s sort of like, ‘we’re good on this. We’re going to be okay.’ I mean he’s the G.O.A.T.” UPS AND DOWNS After crossing the finish line first overall and climbing out of the #83 McMillin Racing Mason AWD SCORE Trophy Truck, McMillin told us, “It was the wildest SCORE Baja 1000 I’ve ever been in. It had extreme highs and tremendous lows. Rob passed Bryce Menzies at about mile 70 for the physical lead, and I thought well that’s cool, but it’s also very early. It’s also Baja. Anything can happen.” “Then Rob got a flat, and my brother [Dan McMillin] and Bryce got by him. But once up and running, Rob came on strong and passed them again. Then a driveshaft failed. Rob and navigator Jason, who rode the entire race solo, changed it out in about 20 minutes, but during that downtime, three trucks passed them.” The SCORE tracking showed that MacCachren was the fourth vehicle on the road at that point, but according to McMillin, the team wasn’t too worried because only five SCORE Trophy Trucks were running in a fast group with small time differences, leading the rest by a considerable margin. “By the time I got in the truck, we were up to third on the road,” said McMillin. “Bryce had transmission trouble, so that put my brother in his truck and I in first and second place on the course. I followed Dan over the summit and down to the beach, where he ended up getting a flat. That put me out front.” OVERALL WIN PLUS McMillin described the last 150 miles of the race as if they were having fun pre-running. “We were about 15 minutes apart, moving fast but being careful, that’s the way we pre-run,” said McMillin. “The next truck behind him [Dan] was 45 minutes out, so for those last miles some of the pressure was off. We kept up a good pace, and the two Big Blue M team trucks came across the finish line first and second overall for the first time in a SCORE race.” “This is a very special day for our team because, with Rob’s help, this is now our third SCORE Baja 1000 win in a row,” added McMillin. “The only other people to have done that are Rob MacCachren and Larry Ragland–two legends I’ve looked up to my entire life. The fact that there was no one else close behind is a testament to our race shop and the amount of time they put into building, prepping, and testing these trucks. Everyone worked hard and earned this win, and I’m happy for the entire team.” SJ

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