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

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TALKING DIRT INSPIRING PEOPLE By Dan Sanchez Editor, SCORE Journal While the 56th SCORE Baja 1000 was truly a race for the history books, it produced more than great racing stories and season champions. In my view, some of the best moments during the race were the inspiring stories that evolved. This included watching moto racers like Nicola Dutto from Italy, take on one of the toughest races in SCORE history as a paraplegic. Not only is his ride across the desert inspiring, but for Dutto, it was just another challenge to conquer, and nothing can stand in his way from enjoying moto racing and continuing his incredible career. By now everyone knows the story of Wouter-jan Van Dijk, from Australia. He simply wanted to race the SCORE Baja 1000 and made an all-out effort to do it, overcoming all of the obstacles he faced getting to Mexico, as well as the course itself. Former SCORE owner Sal Fish has always told me that SCORE is for everyone, and open to everyone who wants to compete. Van Dijk, is truly an example of what Fish had envisioned for SCORE, and it’s great to see that it continues. Working together is perhaps one of the most common elements we saw and heard at this race. As in so many other SCORE Baja 1000 races, many teams rally together, joining with family and friends to win their class or even finish. While there were again many such teams at this race, one of the most inspiring to me was in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. For Bryce Menzies, this SCORE Baja 1000 win was huge, perhaps the epitome of his career. But to share that with Tavo Vilsosola, and Andy McMillin was inspiring to see. It was a win that all three of these guys really needed for individual reasons of their own. If any of them had begun to doubt their abilities, (I‘m not saying that they did), the confidence was evident in their faces, and they seemed almost in disbelief of what they had accomplished. To me, all three proved that they are still at the pinnacle of a sport where driving as perfectly as possible matters. Let’s not forget Luke McMillin. Afterall, he is the 2022 champion, and if he’s not winning races he’s on the podium. Over the past few years, he has clearly risen to be what I believe as the top off-road racer in the world. His dedication, effort, and the work he puts into preparing for a race, should be a playbook on competing at this highest level of off-road racing. What is most inspiring to me, is that he has single handedly raised the bar for what it takes to race in SCORE’s Unlimited Trophy Truck division. All of the top SCORE Trophy Truck racers always comment on how they felt the pressure of Luke McMillin on the course. Making such an impact in the sport is undeniably most inspiring to see. Hopefully, in the years to come, the new generation of racers will take what McMillin has done and build upon it.

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