SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - JUNE 2017

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

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Page 26 of 108

LEGENDARY RACER LARRY ROESELER Wins The Legends Class, And Still Finishes in The Top 10 Overall After the top seven SCORE Trophy Trucks headed across the finish line, Baja veteran Larry Roeseler led the rest of the Pro four-wheel classes by finishing eighth overall and first in the SCORE TT Legend class. Over his career, Roeseler has won 11 overall victories at the SCORE Baja 500, and at age 60, there’s no doubt he is still one of the best off-road racers in the world. “We ran well the first half and then things started to unravel,” said Roeseler. “A few flats and trees and no brakes and some shifting issues and oil pressure issues so you just have to keep some perseverance to the finish line. I’ve been truly blessed, and Ensenada is like home for me. The fans are great and the city is great and this was a really good race.” Team Wilson Continues To Dominate Class 1 Right behind Roeseler in the number 138 Class 1 buggy was Brian Wilson, who finished ninth overall and first in Class 1. The battle for the Class 1 win at the SCORE Baja 500 was as difficult as the Baja terrain. Wilson started the race in the 15th position and had to work their way up to the front of the Class 1 pack until they found themselves in the lead with a corrected time. The Wilson team of Kyle Quinn, Ronny Wilson, and Randy Wilson, managed to stay in the lead ahead of Mike Malloy in the number 111 buggy, and Al Torres in the number 114 buggy. “It was a fantastic day,” said Brian Wilson. “The dust and the fog coming back onto the course gave us the most trouble.” Brad Wilson started the season with a first place class finish at the SCORE San Felipe 250. Brian finished fifth at that race which in addition to this first place finish, puts him in the lead for a Class 1 championship. Elias Hanna Drives Towards The TT Spec Championship Finishing first in the Trophy Truck Spec class at the SCORE Baja 500, Elias Hanna is well in the points lead towards a class championship this season. Hanna drove the entire Baja 500 course solo and added to his first place victory back at the San Felipe 250. “We worked so hard to get this truck to the podium and getting a win is more than enough,” said Hanna. “I and my team deserve this win. It was hot in San Felipe so we had to back it up a little bit, but we are pretty happy and we battled the entire day.”  A little less than seven minutes behind Hanna was Andrew Meyers in the number 280 Toyota Tundra. Meyers finished in second place in the class and were battling with Hanna throughout the day. Finishing in third place in the Trophy Truck Spec class was Lee Banning in the number 255 Geiser-Chevy, who shared the driving with Steve Melton and Lee Banning Jr. The team suffered from a broken front shock but still managed to stay ahead of 14 other tough competitors, including Pete Sohren who won the first starting position during qualifying but finished eighth, as well as 2016 class champion and Rookie Of The Year, Chad Broughton who ran fast and finished fourth in class. Class 10 Racers Take A Beating Only 11 of the 17 starters within Class 10 were able to finish the SCORE Baja 500 this year, but of the top competitors Broc Dickerson in the number 1023 buggy managed to pull off his second Class 10 victory this season, despite driving solo and experiencing a roll-over that looked as though it would end his day. “There were a lot of people that were hard to get around,” said Dickerson. “Around mile marker 20, I rolled the car so I was back with the Class 1/2-1600 cars and had to get through all them. The San Felipe section from mile 325 to 350 was super rough and I just wanted to stop because it hurt. It was interesting but it all worked out.” Finishing second in class was Cody Reid who shared driving duties with Adam Pfankuch. “We had a really flawless run going until San Matias wash when we lost a fuel pump which cost us a couple of minutes of time,” said Reid. “I knew how close Brock Dickerson was getting so I started pushing a little bit harder, the brakes got a little bit touchy and I locked all four wheels up coming into a corner and put us up on a boulder. We were stuck there until Dickerson was nice enough to pull us out. We cruised it back to the finish.” Finishing in third place as the SCORE Baja 500, was 2016 Overall Class 10 Champion Rafael Navarro IV. Navarro ran hard throughout the race in his number 1000 buggy but had a tough time on the rocks and in the dust. “Third is kind of where we ran all day so I’m just happy to be here,” said Navarro. “We had a great run and my dad killed it in San Felipe. I had a lot of fun with the family and that’s what it’s all about.” Production Trucks Survive Baja While the Class 10 racers had a difficult time on the course, the heavier two-wheel drive trucks in Class 8 had only two survivors. Rick Sanchez in the number 808 Ford F-150, along with Miguel Padilla, finished first in class followed by Noah Ostanik, Steve Sural, Dave Dinsmore and Todd Sanderson in the number 844 Ford F-150. “We didn’t have any flats or mechanical problems,” said Sanchez. “We took care of the truck and we had a great day. We worked so hard and we have a lot of guys at the shop preparing this truck for every race and when we win it is a great feeling not just for me but also for all of my family and friends that are here.” Within Class 7, it was a Chevy versus Ford battle for the win which in the end, was won by Dallas Luttrell and Billy Goerke in the number 737 Chevy. Finishing second in class was Dan Chamlee and Kirk Kimball in their Ford Ranger, followed by Jeff Proctor in the factory sponsored Honda Ridgeline. These three were the only survivors of the Baja 500 from a starting field of eight vehicles. Class 7SX had more participation, from which Alonso Gonzalez from Ensenada, Mexico won the class in his Ford Ranger. Sean Whalen from Draper, Utah came in second with the help of his teammates D.J. Osborne and David Morris. A couple of four-wheel classes had single competitors that simply needed to finish the race to win their respective classes. While that may seem simple enough, the Baja course can prove to be tough for even an “assured” victory. For Pro Truck racer Larry Nash, he survived the course to win the class, and did so with the help of his teammates John Ramsden and George McDougall. The number 1351 Ford F-150 crossed the finish line in 17:37:10 with an average speed of 29.15 mph. Lone Wolves The Baja Challenge class, which has had an amazing finishing rate over the years, continued their record with Marco Gonzales driving the BC1 car. Gonzales, out of Glendora, California, drove solo and finished the course in 18:12:26 averaging 28.21 mph. Within the Sportsman division, Buggy-1, Ricardo Rodriguez in the number 1504 buggy barely finished ahead of the course time limit of 20 hours, to win the class within a time of 19:59:21 and averaged 25.20 mph. VW Powered Classes Battle Each Other And The Course Nothing says more about the determination and love for SCORE off-road racing than watching the traditional VW powered classes push through the various terrain in Baja. Class 1/2-1600 had nine starters, from which Roberto Romo took the class win. This propelled his team to the top of the points standing and a chance for a 2017 championship. Romo came in second place at the SCORE San Felipe 250 and at the Baja 500, he was joined by Fernie Padilla and Ramon Perez to lead the class going into the Rosarito Beach race. Finishing second in Class 1/2-1600 was Oscar Alvarez, assisted by Fernando Alvarez and Rudy Palacios, driving the number 1603 buggy. Mario Estrella, along with Martin Gonzales, and Francisco Ritz finished in third place driving the number 1623 buggy. Finishing in fourth was the number 1619 buggy of Victor Celis, with Carlos Celis, Manuel Ornelas, and Ernesto Casto driving. SCORE Lites racers had tough competition with 12 starters at the SCORE Baja 500 this year. Moving through the pack and finishing first in class was Matt Ferrato, aided by Mike Majesky and Mike Kuligowski in the number 1216 car. In the 1203 car, Oliver Flemate finished in second place, aided by Mario Nunes and Manuel Barrera. Finishing third in class was Miguel Bonilla, with Fernando Mayoral, Miguel Bonilla Valenzuela, and Mario Vargas in the number 1240 car. Class 5-1600 had a pack of six starters of which Thomas Fernandez took the class win with Adrian Saucedo, Alejandro Guevara and Joaquin Fernandez driving the number 555 VW Baja bug. Finishing in second place was Hector Hurtado with Sergio Lopez, Fernando Flores, and Oscar Chacon. This second place finish by Hurtado puts him at the top of the points standings for the class. In third place was Rodolfo Martinez with Miguel Camarena and Giserio Hernandez. In one of the toughest classes of all, Class 11, Pancho Bio in the number 1118 stock VW sedan finished the course with a good time of 19:02:54. Bio was aided by drivers Hector Sarabia, Cisco and Ramon Bio, Viry Felix, and Adrian Guerrero, all hailing from Ensenada, Mexico.

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