SCORE Journal


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

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Page 46 of 116

A FIGHT TO THE FINISH . Class 1 and 10 Buggy Racers Had To Battle Each Other And The Course To Win . By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Guilherme Torres, and Ariana Medrano .Photos by Get Some Photo . . Finishing first physically but placing second due to penalties is always a hard pill to swallow. But clean races win races when the competition is as tough as it is in Class 1. Although the Wilson Motorsports team with Brad Wilson in the No. 153 car crossed the finish line first, they acquired penalties that put them in second place behind Cody and Brian Parkhouse in the No. 127 car. . . Although it was not the finish the Wilson team wanted, they earned a great starting position for the SCORE Baja 500 and were already determined to win that race. “We had a near-flawless day,” said Brad Wilson at the finish. “We took our time where we had to and pushed where we could.” . Wilson started the race, then gave the car to co-driver Justin Munyon with a five-minute lead. “Justin turned it into a ten-minute lead. He had no issues, and we ran our own race,” added Wilson.” Although the team avoided any flat tires that plagued the SCORE Trophy Truck class racers, the Wilson team was glad to finish with the car in great shape, ready for the next race. . While Parkhouse and Wilson battled for the lead, Cody Reid in the No. 168 car did have trouble with flat tires on this very rocky and rugged course. “Turned out to be a hard-fought day,” said Reid. “Co-driver Mike Diorio ‘busted his ass’ changing out tires and calling notes.” Reid managed to pull it together and make up time to finish in third place, setting him up for a great start to the SCORE Baja 500. . Behind the RPI team was a beaten and tired Damen Jefferies. Driving the No. 121 car solo in this race, Jefferies had high hopes to win, as he had finished in the top three in some of the 2022 races. Jefferies’ hopes for a win began to dwindle as the car began to have engine trouble right from the start. “We lost a cylinder early, and we fought through that,” said Jefferies. But that wasn’t all of the issues that plagued him and the team. . “Then the shifter broke and I drove in third gear the rest of the way, but that wasn’t a killer for us,” he said. “We were also having fuel issues and ran out about six miles before the pit and sat there for two and half hours, so that cost us the win.” . Although Jefferies had several problems in this race, he and the team managed to finish fourth in class and thanked his sponsors and team. “BFGoodrich is the most amazing tire I have used,” he said. “The whole team worked hard, and I want to thank all of them. It is my anniversary, and I want to say Happy Anniversary to my wife in Texas, and I’m in Baja, so I’ve got to get home and make it right.” . Rounding out the Class 1 finishers were Adam Castaneda in the No 102 car in fourth and Al Torres in the No. 101 car, who finished in sixth place. . . RACE NOTES WIN IT FOR JUSTIN BUCKLEY IN CLASS 10 . At first, it didn’t seem hopeful for Justin Buckley in the No. 1064 for a Class 10 win. While other racers were there weeks beforehand pre-running, Buckley and his team only pre-ran half the course. “We only got about half a lap of pre-running,” said Buckley. “We got down here late due to work issues. And then we had lots of pre-runner issues. There were about 100 miles of this race course that we only saw today for the first time.” . Luckily for them, their navigator Luke Kupp came down earlier and took lots of notes for their GPS. “He did a killer job,” said Buckley. “We would not be here without him.” Kupp’s notes gave the team the right path to take the Class 10 win without any other issues. . Cade Garcia in the No. 1004 car was not so lucky. Shortly right after the start, the team got a tire puncture which allowed the several cars they had just passed to get by them. “After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing.,” said Garcia. “We passed a lot of ten cars and got back to the leader. And we are crossing the finish line second, physically. We are close to the corrected time. The course was very fun, it was brutal, typical SCORE San Felipe 250. Very rough and jagged. SCORE laid out a very fun course.” . Without adding any penalties, Garcia ultimately got the second-place finish over Cesar Cuevas in the No. 1011 car, who finished in third place. “The race started out pretty good, and the course was really dusty,” said Cuevas. “In pre-running, it seemed like it was going to be really rough. But we started picking up some speed during the race. We had some issues with the gas pedal getting stuck. We worked on that, and we were running second physically.” . Cuevas then hit a rock that bent the rim, costing them time to catch up to the leaders on the course. “We were passed while we were trying to hammer the rim back out. The last section on the rocks was really, really rough, so we concentrated on keeping the car safe. After that, we picked up the pace and drove hard. My son was my co-pilot for the first time. It was wonderful. He did a great job. I am really proud of him.” . For all the Class 1 and Class 10 teams, the SCORE San Felipe 250 was a proving ground for what the rest of the 2023 50th Anniversary Season would bring. While these racers are never sure if they will win or not, their starting positions for the SCORE Baja 500, from May 31st to June 4th, will offer some advantage over the competition. SJ . . OFFICIAL FINISHERS . . CLASS 1  (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters) . (9 Starters, 6 Finishers) . 1. 127 Cody Parkhouse, 35, Long Beach, Calif./Brian Parkhouse, 63, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 5:27:33, (51.75 MPH) . 2.  153 Brad Wilson, 33, Long Beach, Calif./Justin Munyon, 36, San Clemente, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 5:28:11 . 3. 168 Cody Reid, 30, Apple Valley, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 6:22:38 . 4. 121 Damen Jefferies, 50, Poolville, Texas (Apple Valley, Calif.)/Josh Burman, 35, Poolville, Texas, Jefferies-Chevy, 8:12:49 . 5. 102 Adam Castaneda, 24, Yuma, Ariz./Jose Bustamante, 23, Yuma, Ariz./Brent Mann, 50, Phoenix, Jimco-Chevy, 10:10:20 . 6. 101 Al Torres, 38, Imperial Valley, Calif./Alfredo Torres, 54, Calexico, Calif./Christian Samano, 35, San Diego, Jimco-Chevy, 10:18:56 . . CLASS 10  (Limited, sealed engine, single or two-seaters) . (19 Starters, 12 Finishers) . 1. 1064 Justin Buckley, 32, Long Beach, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:50:17, (48.39 MPH) . 2. 1004 Cade Garcia, 22, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. ESM-Chevy, 5:56:38 . 3. 1011 Cesar Cuevas, 47, Chula Vista, Calif./Cesar E. Cuevas, 17, Chula Vista, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 6:04:11 . 4. 1091 Francisco Vera, 32, El Rosario, Mexico/Alexis Vera, 27, El Rosario, Mexico, Mexico Alumi Craft-Chevy, 6:09:29 . 5. 1020 Carlos Guillen, 38, San Diego/Julio Covas, 44, San Diego, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 6:53:00 . 6. 1054 Bryan Goetsch, 30, Lake Havasu City, Ariz./Misha Goetsch, 32, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Brenthel-Chevy, 7:02:48 . 7. 1013 Harley Meservey, 53, Coos Bay, Ore., Lothringer-Chevy, 7:18:59 . 8. 1079 Manlio F. Diaz, 43, La Paz, Mexico/Eduardo Laguna, 32, Mexicali, Mexico/Mario Diaz, 37, La Paz, Mexico/Juan Olave, 47, La Paz, Mexico, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 7:28:03;  9. 1016 Hiram Duran, 45, Tecate, Mexico/Marco Duran, 19, Chula Vista, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 8:47:56 . 10. 1006 Stan Potter, 61, San Marcos, Calif./Freddie Willert, 55, El Cajon, Calif./Dan Worley, 62, Encinitas, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 09:21:52 . 11. 1019 Alberto Mendez, 39, Ensenada, Mexico/Luis Floriano, 36, Tijuana, Mexico, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 9:29:29 . 12. 1000 J. David Ruvalcaba, 50, Ensenada, Mexico/Esteban Cruz, 51, Ensenada, Mexico/Alberto Cruz, 53, Ensenada, Mexico, Alumi Craft-Honda, 12:58:57

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