SCORE Journal


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

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LONG, HOT, AND WHOOPY SCORE Trophy Truck Classes Race One For The History Books Story by Stuart Bourdon, Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, John Gonzales, Ariana Medrano, and Guilherme Torres PHOTOS BY Get Some Photo The 2023 BFGoodrich 56th SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by K&N was like no other Baja 1000 race in history. For the first time, it began in La Paz and ran northward through the entire length of Baja California Peninsula, to Ensenada. It was the second-longest SCORE Baja 1000, stretching 1,310.94 miles, and it was also the 25th time the race ended in Ensenada. It also turned out to be one of the roughest courses, taking a brutal toll on many vehicles. Of the 335 vehicles that left the starting line, 56 were SCORE Trophy Trucks spread across three classes. Only 31 of those finished. That’s half the field. Tales of blinding dust, boulders coming out of nowhere in the dark, deep silt, rain, and mud were common among winners, survivors, and the fallen. Unlimited Trophy Trucks One of those winners was the No. 7 Red Bull SCORE Trophy Truck of Bryce Menzies. He started the race in the pole position and capped his 2023 SCORE racing season with a first-in-class and overall win at the 2023 SCORE Baja 1000. The plan was to have Andy McMillin take the second shift, and Tavo Vildosola would bring the truck home. The team started with Menzies and had what he called, “a clean run” all the way to race mile 525. Then the truck was handed McMillin still in perfect shape.” “Bryce got the truck to me first on the road and on time,” said McMillin. “Unfortunately, I had a flat tire early in my section and some of the guys behind us got closer. But I knew that if we were still first through the Bay of LA, no one was going to be able to pass us on those big, fast roads after that.” The only real issue the team had was a charging system problem that meant they could not run the top light bar. Despite that, Tavo Vildosola took the reins at the race mile 925 and brought the truck in for the win. “Having raced down here for the last 25 years, I was very familiar with my section,” said Vildosola. “It was rough and wet, and Luke (McMillin) was making up time on me. I just put my shield up from Ojos Negros to the finish and kept pushing. We knew we had a great team.”Behind the Menzies team by about one minute and 18 seconds was the No. 1 truck of Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren who finished second overall and second in the Unlimited SCORE Trophy Truck class. Rob MacCachren drove to race mile 638. “We lost track position about race mile 32 and that cost me two spots,” said MacCachren at the finish. “That allowed Menzies to get out in front 15 minutes, but Luke did a great job bringing us closer in the final section of the course.” Finishing third was Mike Walser with Ray Griffith, and Christopher Polvoorde, who started the truck in La Paz. “My section was super clean and smooth,” said Polvoorde. “It was even a little bit boring.” Ray took the wheel from race mile 525 to race mile 915, when Mike Walser hopped into the driver’s seat for the last leg. Polvoorde said the team had some charging issues of their own during the night but were able to move up from fifth to third and bring it on home. Polvoorde was also Driver of Record (DOR) in his own No. 91 truck, sharing driving duties with Rick D. Johnson Jr., Rick D. Johnson Sr., Bobby Pecoy, and Rolf Helland. The team finished in eighth place.  Trophy Truck Legends Gustavo Vildosola Sr. scored first in the SCORE Trophy Truck Legends class. This is the second year in a row that Gustavo has won the SCORE Baja 1000. As a matter of fact, the 2023 SCORE Baja 1000 class win is the team’s eighth straight SCORE race class victory. Including Gustavo and perennial teammate, off-road legend Ricky Johnson, four drivers had a hand in winning it in the No. 1L truck. Ricky started it, Mike Johnson took it to Mike Coleman, who then gave the wheel over to Gustavo Vildosola Sr. at race mile 1,000. “Much of our success was due to the cooperative pit and support network we created with the McMillin, Menzies, and Vildosola families,” said Vildosola. “The three teams combined could stretch eight pits along the racecourse and service any member of the group.” The second-place TT Legend team was that of Clay Lawrence, who started and finished the truck, with Mark Dobson and Steve Lawler driving shifts in between. “The course was completely different going north this time and the rain changed everything again,” said Lawrence. “This hasn’t been our best finish, but I have not had this much fun in a long time and that’s what this is all about.” David Payne got third in the TT Legends class. Payne drove the first 350 miles, Lee O’Donnell ran it to the 800-mile mark, and Damon Bradshaw took it to the finish. “We went 300 miles flawlessly but then hit a rock and that’s when the trouble started,” said Payne. “We had to replace some of the rear end parts and later got stuck in silt beds. But we were racing to the very end.” Trophy Truck Spec The Herbst racing dynasty dominated the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class at the 2023 SCORE Baja 1000. Riley Herbst took a short break from his NASCAR gig to team up with his father Troy Herbst and family friend Jordan Dean in the No. 298 truck. Riley Herbst drove the mid-section, and Dean brought the truck across the finish line. At one point a loose hood had to be jettisoned, and it was muddy from Valle de Trinidad to the finish, but it was basically a no-flat, no-trouble race. Troy Herbst said, “It went flawless for us. We couldn’t be happier.” Second place in the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class went to Travis Williams in the No. 277 truck. Teammates C.J. Hutchins (who started the truck) and Travis Chase (who ran the middle section) got the truck to Williams at race mile 900. Hutchins had taken the truck from 13th to fourth on the road, before getting stuck behind another truck. Chase and Williams were able to make up a lot of that time, but not enough. “It was our first Baja 1000 and our first season with SCORE. To come in second is huge for our team,” said Williams.  Pat Sims, Tim Wilson, and Blaine Conrad split up driving duties for a clean run to a third-place finish in the No. 211 truck. Tim took the first 500 miles. Blaine drove the truck from there to race mile 950. Pat Sims sped to the finish line. Pat said, “It went great. The only issue I had was with the intercom on my helmet. It was a typical SCORE Baja 1000 – long, hot, and whoopy.” OFFICIAL FINISHERS SCORE TROPHY TRUCK  (Unlimited Custom Trucks including Builder) (22 Starters, 13 Finishers) 1. 7 Bryce Menzies, 36, Las Vegas/Andy McMillin, 36, San Diego/Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, 41, Mexicali, Mx, Ford Raptor (Mason) 22:35:33 (58.03 miles per hour) 2. 1 Luke McMillin, 30, San Diego/Rob MacCachren, 58, Las Vegas, Chevy 1500 (Mason) 22:36:52 3. 89 Mike Walser, 56, Comfort, Texas/Christopher Polvoorde, 23, Hemet, CA/Ray Griffith, 35, Downey, CA, Chevy Silverado (Mason) 23:26:07 4. 69 Andrew Myers, 43, San Marcos, CA/Adam Householder, Anaheim, CA, Toyota Tundra (Herbst/Smith) 24:23:28 5. 82 Sam Baldi, 58, Beaumont, CA/Eduardo Laguna, 33, Mexicali, Mx/Jake Johnson, 46, Yucaipa, CA, Chevy Silverado (Baldi) 24:27:14 6. 33 Roberto Romo Jr, 18, Mexicali, Mx/Roberto Romo Sr, 41, Mexicali, Mx/Juan C. Lopez, 49, Tecate, Mx, Ford Raptor (Racer) 24:46:15 7. 43 Larry Roeseler, 66, Boulevard, CA/Toby Price, 36, Australia/Paul Weel, 44, Australia, Chevy Silverado (Mason) 25:54:25 8. 91 Christopher Poolvoorde, 23, Hemet, CA/Rick D. Johnson Jr, 27, Barstow, CA/Rick D. Johnson, 58, Barstow, CA/Bobby Pecoy, 59, Corona del Mar, CA/Rolf Helland, 54, Morris, Ill., Ford Raptor (Mason) 25:54:42 9. 26 Dave Taylor, 49, Page, AZ/Ryan Poelman, 47, East Orem, UT/Dodge Poelman, 23, Orem, UT, Chevy Silverado (Geiser) 26:10:30 10. 10 Alan Ampudia, 32, Ensenada, Mx/Aaron Ampudia, 31, Ensenada, Mx/Jax Redline, 18, San Antonio, Texas, Ford Raptor (Mason) 26:37:14 11. 9 Ethan Ebert, 17, Marana, AZ/Richard Glasczak, 48, Oceanside, CA/Chip Prescott, 59, Fallbrook, CA/Bobby Smith, Honda Ridgeline (TSCO) 28:54:11 12. 45 Gary Magness, 69, Denver/Chelsea Magness, Denver/Matt Robinson, Denver/Jeff Blackwell, Oklahoma City/Mike McNaughton/Armando Bravo, 57, Coachella, CA, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith) 30:26:50 13. 68 Roberto Ruiz, 48, Tecate, Mx/Jose Contreras, 39, Mexicali, Mx/Emiliano Ruiz, 20, Mexicali, Mx, Chevy R6 (Geiser) 35:41:46 SCORE TT LEGEND  (Unlimited Custom Trucks, including builder, Drivers over 50 years old) (7 Starters, 4 Finishers) 1. 1L Gustavo Vildosola Sr, 70, Mexicali, Mx/Ricky Johnson, 59, El Cajon, CA/Mike Coleman, San Diego/Mike Johnson, Hollywood, CA, Ford Raptor (Mason) 25:29:27 (51.43 miles per hour) 2. 85L Clay Lawrence, 61, Banning, CA/Steve Lawler, 63, Upland, CA/Mark Dobson, 55, Vista CA, Chevy Silverado (Herbst/Smith) 33:48:52  3. 61L David Payne, 63, St. Luis, Mo./Damon Bradshaw, 51, Peoria, AZ/Lee O’Donnell, Chevy Silverado (Brenthel) 45:39:43 4. 55L Jose Flores, 60, Culiacan, Mx/James Sejd, 63, Gainesville, Va./Andrea Tomba, Italia, Chevy Silverado (Jimco) 46:15:26 TROPHY TRUCK SPEC  (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) (34 Starters, 21 Finishers) 1. 298 Riley Herbst, 24, Las Vegas/Troy Herbst, 59, Las Vegas/Jordan Dean, 25, Las Vegas, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 25:33:14 (51.30 miles per hour);   2. 277 Travis Williams, 46, Avondale, AZ/Travis Chase, 44, La Crescenta, CA/C.J. Hutchins, 38, Las Vegas, Geiser-Chevy, 26:21:53 3. 211 Pat Sims, 56, Eunice, N.M. (San Felipe, Mx)/Tim Wilson, 22, Henderson, Nev./Blaine Conrad, 30, Las Vegas, Nev., ESM-Chevy, 27:13:22 4. 244 Oliver Flemate, 46, Ensenada, Mx/Santiago Creel, 37, Mx City/Cristian Castelan, Ensenada, Mx, TSCO-Chevy, 27:26:36;   5. 207 Mason Cullen, 24, Long Beach, CA/Matt Cullen, 54, Long Beach, CA/Broc Dickerson, 22, Brawley, CA, Geiser-Chevy, 27:38:56 6. 295 William Hedrick Jr, 27, Vicente Guerrero, Mx/William Hedrick, 54, Vicente Guerrero, Mx/Jorge Sampietro, 32, Ensenada, Mx/Jimmy Nuckles, 55, El Centro, CA, ID-Chevy, 27:52:19  7. 281 Damon Lewis, 25, Fallbrook, CA/Christian Lewis, 30, Fallbrook, CA/Michael Lewis, 53, San Marcos, CA/Dave Densmore, 44, Escondido, CA, Mason-Chevy, 28:18:05 8. 294 Vincent Munoz, 37, Yucaipa, CA/Pat Gailey, 35, Corona, CA/Danny Folks, Camarillo, CA, Full Potential-Chevy, 29:16:30 9. 260 Santiago Creel, 37, Mx City/Dan Fresh, San Juan Capistrano, CA/Elias Hanna, 41, Ensenada, Mx/Guillermo Zamacona, Ensenada, Mx, Jimco-Chevy, 29:28:35 10. 266 David Ziegler, 48, Reno, Nev./Paul Ziegler, 53, Reno, Nev./Chuck Dempsey, Oak Hills, CA, Brenthel-Chevy, 29:39:20 11. 263 EJ Herbst, 22, Las Vegas/Ryan Millen, 38, Huntington Beach, CA (New Zealand)/Justin Blower, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 29:47;01 12. 282 Brent Fox, 55, Highland, UT/Brook Beckstrom, 52, Salem, UT/Trevor Rasmussen, 41, Highland, UT/Preston Brigman, Lehi, UT, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 29:50:15 13. 225 Scott McNeil, 35, Sun Tan Valley, AZ/John McNeil, 57, Mesa, AZ/Kelly McNeil, 61, Mesa, AZ, Geiser-Chevy, 31:19:32 14. 205 Joe Delucie, 44, Las Vegas/Neal Drickey, 44, Omaha, Neb./DJ Blasko, 45, Las Vegas/Chris Kemp, 60, Grants Pass, Ore./Cliff Robinson, Las Vegas, Nev., SLR-Chevy, 34:27:23 15. 240 Chris Miller, 50, Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Chasen Gaunt, 27, Torrance, CA/Maverick Gaunt, Torrance, CA, Mason-Chevy, 35:26:00  16. 231 Carlos Ramos, 36, La Paz, Mx/Jose Rosas, 37, La Paz, Mx, Custom-Chevy, 35:53:26 17. 270 Jimmy Diaz, 39, Los Barriles, Mx/Bruce Cook, 36, Canada/Alan Gillette, 55, Hartford, Wisc./Anson Pfaff, 26, Eugene, Ore., Fusion-Chevy, 36:20:34 18. 234 Jason McNeil, 45, El Cajon, CA/Elijah Kiger, 23, Kirby, Pa./Justin Davis, 30, Chino Hills, CA, TSCO-Chevy, 37:07:52 19. 241 Stephen Beal, 52, Dallas/Jeff Geiser, Phoenix/Sean Geiser, 33, Phoenix, Geiser-Chevy, 37:38:08  20. 287 Ryan Lewis, 29, San Antonio, Texas/Clint LaRue, 43, Boerne, Texas/Eric Sheetz, 38, Carlsbad, CA/Barry Karakas, 54, Oak Hills, CA, Jimco-Chevy, 46:28:19 21. 280 Bryan Scheible, 59, Georgetown, Texas/Edgar Mayoral, 32, Ensenada, Mexico/Pete Baschmann, 37, Elma, N.Y./Tom Robinson, Buffalo, N.Y., Brenthel-Chevy, 48:28:29.

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