SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - Feb 2017

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

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A ROOKIE MOVE Chad Broughton Is SCORE’s 2016 Rookie Of The Year And TT Spec Champion By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo In his first foray into the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class, 21-year-old Chad Broughton had a pretty good 2016 season. Not only did he end up winning the Trophy Truck Spec class points championship in a new truck, but he was also voted as SCORE Rookie Of The Year. While Broughton may seem young to many novice racers, he’s actually a very mature driver and gained lots of experience from an early age. “I started racing dirt bikes around three or four-years-old, and then began racing in local events by the time I was seven,” said Broughton. By the time he turned 16, Broughton and his family had taken trips to San Felipe, Mexico to see some of the SCORE races. This, combined with the Dust To Glory film, which he claims he watched more than 30 times, got Broughton hooked on wanting to compete in SCORE. In 2012, that dream became a reality when Broughton competed in the SCORE San Felipe 250 in Class 20 and won the class with his dad Paul. After that win, Broughton decided he wanted to keep racing full-time. During the same year, at the SCORE Baja 500, he finished in third place in class, and first in his class at the SCORE Baja 1000. Broughton continued in 2013, winning three SCORE races that year and took home his first class championship. Stepping Into The Baja Lite By the time the 2014 SCORE race season came around, Broughton’s dad wanted to race in a Baja Lite truck and found one for sale. Knowing that Pete Sohren was fully experienced with these vehicles, they asked him for some advice and ended up purchasing parts from Sohren to get the truck in race shape. “While it was exciting to drive in a Baja Lite truck, overall it wasn’t a good year for us,” said Broughton. “We ran in Class 3000 had lots of issues. I actually raced against Pete’s daughter Paige who was a good racer and was also very helpful to us as a team.” Despite getting some hands-on lessons from Pete Sohren, listening to him call out on what he was doing while Broughton sat in the rider’s seat during one of the SCORE Imperial Valley races, Broughton’s Class 3000 season didn’t turn out as he had expected. “I learned a lot from Pete, but Class 3000 was dwindling and we didn’t do well that season. My dad found another Baja Lite truck that we purchased and in 2015, we made some upgrades to it,” said Broughton. “At that time, Paige wasn’t racing and she stepped up and navigated for me the entire season.” More Power To Handle Moving up to the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class in 2016, allowed Broughton to really shine again with a faster and very maneuverable vehicle. They took the Baja Lite XR truck they purchased the previous year and upgraded it to fit into the Trophy Truck Spec class. “Definitely driving something powered by a GM LS3 V8, compared to a four-cylinder Ecotech is a lot faster,” said Broughton. The truck is super light with big tires. You have to drive it a lot more than a class 3000, and you need to be on your game.” Broughton definitely took to the Trophy Truck Spec truck with more confidence and began the 2016 SCORE racing season winning the class at the SCORE San Felipe 250. “We were working on the truck and got it finished only a week before the race,” said Broughton. “There wasn’t much time to test the truck but we still came in first in our class.” Broughton went on to finish second at the SCORE Baja 500, third at the SCORE Rosarito Beach Desert Challenge, and second at the SCORE Baja 1000 to win the points championship in the Trophy Truck Spec class. “I wasn’t thinking about winning a championship,” said Broughton. “In fact, at the SCORE Baja 1000, we crashed around mile 170, flipping end to end. We bent a rear upper link and tore the front bumper off with the lights attached. We took the time to fix it but we couldn’t go fast at night without the lights. We kept a mild pace and the truck held together really well. Once we finally crossed the finish line we realized we were in second place and earned a class championship.” Winning the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec points championship was definitely one of the high points in Broughton’s young racing career. The icing on the cake, however, was when he found out he was voted as 2016 Rookie Of The Year too. “It was definitely a surprise,” said Broughton. “I had thought that some of the other racers such as Billy Wilson and Ramon Bio definitely deserved that honor. Those guys are great drivers and very nice people. So I thought they would definitely have the votes to win that distinction. There was a video of me at the Baja 1000 crash that I think Pete and Paige posted on Facebook, showcasing that if a rookie driver could come back after a crash like that and finish in second place, he deserved to be the Rookie Of The Year. Thanks to Pete, that may have swayed some votes!” Building Momentum For 2017 With a good amount of momentum behind him, Broughton is again planning on holding onto to his Trophy Truck Spec championship status and will have Paige Sohren co-driving with him. Although his rookie year in the class ended in great success, Broughton quickly learned that Baja racing isn’t about going all-out. This demonstrates that for his young age, Broughton is a mature driver with lots of experience to know when to hold back. “In Trophy Truck Spec, you definitely have to pace yourself and be more patient,” says Broughton. “You don’t have to go wide-open off the start. I’ve learned you have to let the race and everything play out and work your way to the front. For now, I plan on driving in this class for a while. It’s good competition and fast enough to where you’re driving and also having fun doing it.” SJ

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