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SLOWING DOWN FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP The 2023 Season Brings Bryce Menzies The SCORE Trophy Truck Crown by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo  By no means was the 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship a sure thing for Bryce Menzies, even though he was leading the points chase going into the 56th SCORE Baja 1000. A few other drivers, such as Rob MacCachren or Luke McMillin, could have earned the champ title if the results of that last race of the season had been different. When the dust had settled, Menzies and team drivers Andy McMillin and Tavo Vildosola had covered 1,311 miles from La Paz while running strong, with only a couple of minor troubles, through the entire length of the Baja California peninsula to the checkered flag in Ensenada by two minutes. With a narrow but commanding win at the 2023 SCORE Baja 1000, Menzies clinched the 2023 SCORE Trophy Truck class championship. Menzies talked about some challenges he faced leading into the 2023 racing season. “In the beginning, we were still figuring out how to handle the all-wheel-drive truck at its peak while having it stay together. It has so much traction all around it that you don’t have to drive the truck at 100 percent to be able to win the race.” “I think that was the key, learning to slow down and keep the truck together because our ‘slow pace’ in the AWD truck is as quick as our fast pace in a two-wheel-drive. However, the biggest thing is having the team on the same page. We’ve got a good group of people and have figured out how to prep these trucks and keep them running fast.” Menzies continued, “Winning the championship is more difficult than ever now because of how high the level of driving talent is today. If you have one bad race, you’re pushed back really far. I hadn’t won a championship since 2011, so the goal coming into this year was to set up ourselves to win another championship. We decided the most important thing was finishing as high as possible in every race. If we had an issue, we needed to focus on getting the truck to the finish line because that was the way to win the championship.” As to plans for the 2024 SCORE desert-racing season, Menzies said, “We’ve already been testing in the off-season. If you’re not ahead of the ball and constantly testing and trying different things, someone else will show up with new or better ideas. We’re working on some parts to make the front drive system stronger. We can drive harder, keep the truck together, and keep winning.” SJ

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