SCORE Journal


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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 88

SCORE 2022 SEASON FLASHBACK Highlights Of The Four Races Of The 2022 Season By Dominic Clark and SCORE Journal Staff Photos by Get Some Photo With the final wave of the checkered flag that ended the 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship Season, the four races that took place this year, showcase the cooperative effort between SCORE International, Mexico’s Baja California government, cities, businesses, and people to help continue desert off-road racing well into the future. Each of the four races this season, brought out some memorable moments. SCORE San Felipe 250 The 2022 season began with the King Shocks 35th SCORE San Felipe 250, April 2-3rd. With a field of 273 official starters that included racers from the United States, Mexico, and nine other countries, San Diego’s Luke McMillin raced to grab the Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck win. The race was also a big moment for BFGoodrich Tires as the McMillin win was also the tire company’s 100th Baja win.  Off-road vehicle builder and innovator Lynn Chenowth was selected as the race’s Grand Marshal and he ushered in a host of festivities that brought back race fans to watch from a safe distance. The previous year’s races had not permitted SCORE fans at the race festivities, including Contingency and the Start/Finish line due to COVID restrictions imposed by the Mexican Government. This 2022 season-opening race welcomed SCORE fans back to these historic festivities, and they did so by the thousands, flocking to the Malecon in downtown San Felipe, Mexico where these festivities took place. The race course for this year was 277.00 miles and of the total racers who started, an amazing 72.90 percent (199) finished the race. Among them was Kyle Quinn in the Wilson Motorsports No. 138 buggy who took the win in Class 1. Christopher Polvoorde began a great first season in SCORE TT Spec, winning his first race here. Wayne Matlock took the Pro UTV Overall and Open class win with the fastest time, and Justin Lambert took the win in the PRO UTV FI class. In the Pro Moto divisions, the highlight was Juan Carlos Salvatierra winning with his 10x team in his first entry into the SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited class, after winning two consecutive Pro Moto Ironman Championships. Brandon Wright took over the SCORE Pro Moto Ironman division with a win, starting a season-long campaign toward a class championship. SCORE BAJA 500 Without the previous year’s COVID restrictions, SCORE fans were eager to converge in Ensenada, Mexico to attend the BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. Huge crowds gathered in front of the Boulevard Costero, in front of the Riviera Del Pacifico Cultural Center to watch a total of 259 official starters including racers from 30 U.S. States, Mexico, and 14 other countries.  This year’s Grand Marshal was Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, who celebrated his 77th birthday at the event among SCORE fans and racers, at the Corona Hotel & Spa on June 2nd. The celebrations which included a very crowded Contingency and Starting line did not offer anyone any idea of how tough this race course actually was. With starting positions dictated by the racer’s finishes at the SCORE San Felipe 250, the excitement towards this race was at an all-time high.  Spanning across 463.12 miles, only 67.20 percent of racers were able to finish it, but first across the finish line was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, in the No. 1 SCORE Trophy Truck. Other winners in various classes included another first-place finish for Juan Carlos Salvatierra and the 10x team in SCORE’s Pro Moto Unlimited Class. Fernando Beltran on the 180x bike finished first in Pro Moto Limited, who also now had two first-place finishes in class, along with Ryan Liebelt in Pro Moto 40 and Jano Montoya in Pro Moto 30.  In the Buggy classes, Shelby Reid rocketed for a Class 1 finish, while Stan Potter in the No. 1006 car finished first in Class 10. Pro UTV classes saw Austin Weiland take the win in the Pro FI class, and Mike Pratt take the win in Pro Open.  SCORE BAJA 400 To gain a good starting position for the SCORE Baja 1000, racers returned to Ensenada, Mexico for the 3rd SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels held September 17-18. This year’s Grand Marshal was ORMHOF inductee and legendary SCORE Champion Curt LeDuc. Large crowds gathered again in front of the Riviera Del Pacifico Cultural Center in downtown Ensenada to meet LeDuc and to witness Contingency, along with the start and finish of the race.  The exciting 393.82-mile race course saw a field of 197 starters and 136 finishers, a solid 69.04 percent finishing rate. Of the racers who completed the course, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in 2022, making him the overall winner for the second straight year.  Other winners included Gus Vildosola Sr. who took his third straight class win in SCORE TT Legends. 2021 Class 1 Champion Brian Parkhouse took his first win this season, and a young Chris Polvoorde earned his second victory in the SCORE TT Spec class. In the Pro Moto divisions, Juan Carlos Salvatierra continued his winning streak taking the Pro Moto Unlimited class, as did Jano Montoya in Pro Moto 30, Fernando Beltran in Pro Moto Limited, and Ryan Liebelt in Pro Moto 40. In Pro Moto Ironman, Francisco Septien won after entering his first and only race of the season.  SCORE BAJA 1000 With the anticipation of many class championships on the line, the BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts brought out some of the 2022’s most amazing races. In what turned out to be one of the toughest courses in race history of the season, (828.35 miles) there was a finishing rate of just 55.44 percent due to many technical sections that had racers on the edge of their seats. This year’s Grand Marshal was legendary SCORE moto racer, Scot Harden, marking the first time a former SCORE moto champion was selected. Starting and finishing in the heart of Ensenada, adjacent to the iconic Riviera Cultural Center, there were 276 official starters with racers from 35 U.S. States, the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico, host Mexico, and 18 total countries. Once again, competitors teamed up at the end of the season to improve their chances of winning this prestigious off-road race and/or securing a class championship. The team of Luke McMillin, from San Diego, and Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren were the Overall race winners in theSCORE Trophy Truck class. For McMillin and MacCachren, it was their second straight win racing together. In 2021 they teamed up for MacCachren to take the championship and in this race, McMillin was able to capture the class championship. This race, however, was extra special for McMillin, as it was his third SCORE Baja 1000 win in a row, winning it with Larry Roeseler in 2020, Rob MacCachren in 2021, and again in this race. Kyle Quinn captured his second Class 1 win of the season to cap off a fantastic year for the Wilson Motorsports team to recapture the championship. Class 10 saw some of the most competitive racing for several teams who were in contention for the championship. After two DNFs and a fourth-place finish at the SCORE Baja 500, Hiram Duran took the eventual class win, leaving Jose David Ruvalcaba to take the class championship after a third-place finish here.  In the Pro Moto Unlimited class, SCORE fans wanted to see the 10x team of Juan Carlos Salvatierra finish a perfect season up to this point. They were challenged by a legendary 7x team made up of Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, and Kendal Norman. After the 10x team suffered some electrical issues, the 7x team flew to a victory in the class, leaving the 10x team to a third-place finish, but with a class championship intact.    Fernando Beltran finished a perfect season in Pro Moto Limited, as did Ryan Liebeld on the 400x bike competing in Pro Moto 40. Tanner Janesky took his first SCORE Baja 1000 win in the Pro Moto Ironman class.  The UTV classes had a difficult time on the course leaving many unable to finish. That did not stop Branden Sims from winning in the Pro UTV Open class and UTV Overall. In the UTV FI class, Austin Weiland took his third win of the season.  At the SCORE Baja 1000, everyone was watching the SCORE Stock Mid-Size Truck class in which Ford Motor Company entered its Next Generation Ford Raptor Ranger. The Australian-built truck was almost completely stock and had a host of drivers including Brad Lovel who worked on the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ford Bronco R projects that also competed in Baja. The team, led by Curt LeDuc put up a great race and finished well ahead of the limited time to give the Raptor Ranger a “Baja Proven” stamp on its first outing.  The success of each of these four races could not have been without the amazing efforts of Jose A. Grijalva, SCORE President/Race Director, and Juan Tintos Funcke, SCORE General Manager. Assisting Grijalva and Funcke with many details that often go unnoticed, were SCORE Vice-President of Marketing and Sales Jim Ryan; SCORE Administrator Marco Durazo; SCORE Media Operations Director Dominic Clark; SCORE Assistant Race Director Rodolfo Fernandez Alcantara; SCORE Registration/Member Services Coordinator Eduardo Kawanishi; SCORE Contingency Vendor/Mexico Registration Director Jacky Rocha; SCORE Tech Director Dan Cornwell; SCORE Course Personnel Director Hector Ponce; SCORE Logistics Director David Duenas and SCORE Sales and Marketing Manager Kurt Miller. Also part of the SCORE ‘A Team’ this year that helped organize, design, and then implement the Protocol and Rescue Plan for each event were Miguel Ceballos of Cruz Roja Mexicana and Rigoberto Loyoza of BRL (Baja Rescue Logistics). SJ

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE-Journal-JAN-2023