SCORE Journal


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

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MCMILLIN CROWNED TT CHAMP Hard Work Brought Luke McMillin And Team, The 2022 SCORE Trophy Truck Championship        Story by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo  Portrait photo by Jack Wright NMedia3 The 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship could not have started out better for Luke McMillin. A third-generation off-road racer in his late 20s, McMillin had already been competing successfully for many years since his first days in buggies. At the start of this season, he was now a few years deep into a very productive SCORE Trophy Truck racing career when he took off from the finish line of the 2022 King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250. McMillin’s #83 Mason AWD Trophy Truck was in tip-top shape due to its immaculate preparation by his well-heeled shop crew. He and his crew had spent many long weeks in the desert testing, tuning, and perfecting the truck and his piloting skills of the AWD platform. The 2022 SCORE Off-Road Racing season would prove just how well-oiled his entire team really was. Battle of the Titans As he sat with his co-driver/navigator Jason Duncan, staring at the green flag of the SCORE San Felipe 250 that was about to drop, McMillin had only one thing on his mind – winning. He started the SCORE San Felipe 250 third, but that didn’t last long. After a duel with Bryce Menzies for the lead, a race that saw blisteringly fast speeds, McMillin moved ahead and crossed the finish line first overall and first in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. The next race, the SCORE Baja 500, proved a brutal one for all competitors including McMillin. Even though he started up front and had created a commanding lead, Baja gremlins would work their malevolence. The power steering box blew, and they had to stop and change it. McMillin recovered the lost time well but finished sixth in class. A few days before the 3rd SCORE Baja 400 presented by VP Racing Fuels, the Baja peninsula had been savaged by a destructive storm that turned the course into a twisted mess. Again, McMillin began the day running well, but later the truck lost its front drive. McMillin said, “The truck was no longer pulling, it was just pushing. And that slowed us down. Then we got a flat, and that briefly stopped us.” Bryce Menzies got past him, but McMillin was able to deliver a second-place finish. The 55th SCORE Baja 1000 presented by 4 Wheel Parts was the final race of the season, and McMillin’s last chance to score a win and the points needed for the SCORE Trophy Truck class crown. For the SCORE Baja 1000, McMillin teamed up with Rob MacCachren to drive the first part of the 828-mile race through some of the most treacherous terrain off-road racing had to offer. The truck had some troubles, and the lead changed hands quite a few times, but the pit and chase crews were on point to keep the truck moving. In the end, McMillin brought the truck across the finish line in first place. Significant Wins Despite setbacks here and there, Luke McMillin and his team were able to decisively win the season-opener SCORE San Felipe 250. They recovered from a steering system failure to take sixth place at the SCORE Baja 500 and stayed in the game with a second-place finish at the SCORE Baja 400. McMillin then teamed up with Rob MacCachren again for a highly competitive and hard-fought 2022 Baja 1000 win. Winning the 2022 SCORE Baja 1000 was more than just winning the world’s most iconic off-road race, however. It was a fountain of highly significant wins. It was McMillin’s third SCORE Baja 1000 win in a row. That puts him in the rarified air with only two drivers – Larry Ragland and Rob MacCachren – that have achieved the same feat. The win had also put him ahead of the rest of the SCORE Trophy Truck field by 46 points to become the 2022 SCORE Trophy Truck Class Champion. McMillin told us “It wasn’t just winning the SCORE Baja 1000. It was getting the championship we have been shooting for all along. That was our main goal and we got there. My brother Dan was second in the race and in the points chase, and that made it even better.” Looking ahead, McMillin said, “The entire team from driver and co-driver to our mechanics, the pit and chase crews, really clicked and worked hard this year to get this championship. We’ll come back next year and see if we can do it all over again.”SJ

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