SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - JULY 2017

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

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Page 89 of 102

TAMING THE SCORE BAJA 1000 Rob MacCachren recalls his history and experiences racing the SCORE Baja 1000 and the possibility of winning it a fourth time in a row. By Stephen Romero For thousands of racing fans and off-road enthusiasts, the upcoming 50th SCORE Baja 1000 will be one of the biggest races in the history of off-road motorsports. It’s the pinnacle race of all others and will test the limits of those competing, weeding out the ill-prepared and making superstars of those that find themselves standing on the podium after it has ended. A half-century after it began, the SCORE Baja 1000 continues to attract world’s best off-road racers. No one knows this better than Rob MacCachren in the now famous number eleven Rockstar MacCachren Ford F-150 Trophy Truck. For MacCachren, the pressure to win couldn’t be greater as he’s successfully won three of these races in a row and tries to make it four on the very special occasion of its 50th anniversary. Yet, MacCachren wouldn’t have it any other way, and right now, he just sees it as winning another race. By far, Rob MacCachren is one of the most popular SCORE drivers on record, and he’s the current points leader going into the second half of the 2017 SCORE racing season. Add to that, the possibility of winning his fourth consecutive SCORE Baja 1000, and shattering his own three-peat record, and that of Larry Ragland seems almost unbelievable to those who have followed his career. “We’ve won a lot of races over the years, and people starting counting the wins when we were getting close to 200 with BFGoodrich,” says MacCachren. “I don’t like to do that. Maybe in the rocking chair, after I’ve retired from racing, I may reflect back at what I did. That goes for the 50th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000 too. Do I want to win it? Heck, yes! Do I want to win four in a row? Heck yes! But I’m approaching it like any other race. We are preparing just as hard for this one as any other. It would be special for sure, and a lot more people have it on their bucket list. I’m focused on the SCORE Baja 1000 in a different way, but we are still putting all our efforts in winning it.” Baja Is His Addiction The notorious SCORE Baja 1000 has been an addiction of sorts for MacCachren, especially now that he is counting the days until the green flag drops in November 2017. His ability to win three of these races in a row seems to imply he knows what he’s doing out there, and knows how to win the SCORE Baja 1000. MacCachren however, isn’t taking anything for granted. “It takes 365 days of solid planning to get to the next SCORE Baja 1000,” said MacCachren. “You’re working all year long to win, lose or draw.” MacCachren knows the importance of getting on the podium and he’s as prepared as much as possible for the ultimate outcome in November. One thing is for certain, however, with nine previous SCORE Baja 1000 class wins and four overall SCORE Baja 1000 championships, MacCachren’s every move will be scrutinized by legions of spectators that will line the course for miles. His most recent win at the 2017 SCORE San Felipe 250 says much about his tenacity to put on a show in front of the crowds; as it does for his unique ability to pull a rabbit out of a hat should he encounter trouble. Guaranteed, no one will walk away disappointed, that’s for sure. Where It Began “I’ve been racing motorcycles since I was eight years old. My dad introduced me to my first SCORE Baja 1000 in 1984, and I jumped into four-wheeled off-road race cars at 16 the following year,” said MacCachren. His short introduction to the race took him from being part of the crew to the driver of record. MacCachren first raced the SCORE Baja 1000 Peninsula course in a two-seat buggy and from that moment on he had an insatiable itch to return to Mexico year after year, to get that first official finish or, if luck would have it, the victory. His first came in 2007 the 40th Anniversary of the race. “We’ve been pretty successful over the last few years,” says MacCachren. A Long Road to Success Things didn’t happen overnight for MacCachren. He paid his dues, and then some. There were long stretches where sponsorship was difficult to find, and MacCachren would somehow survive to see another race. But today, MacCachren is a sponsor’s dream. “When I look back at the start of my racing career I recall my dad saying that if I wanted to race, I had to work on the car too,” said MacCachren. “I was just 16 years old with no job and I thought, sure no problem. When it became work and I wanted to have fun with my friends that all changed. I stayed with it, however, and I learned a lot of about what it takes to compete, and what to do to finish a race before destroying the car.” In the 1980s, MacCachren was racing as a hobby, but it wasn’t long before he went professional and got picked up by Walker Evans and he drove three years for Jeep. Then in the early ‘90s, he began to race for Ford and became one of the select drivers to get a ride full-time as a member of the Rough Riders team, which was a huge step in his career. “Then after a few years of racing for other teams I went to Ford and BFGoodrich and started my own team,” said MacCachren. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding to race for yourself. I control my own destiny and it’s been great.” From Buggies to Trucks MacCachren started in buggies at an early age, then jumped into Class 8, but the allure of Trophy Trucks in the ‘90’s was too much. As the technology of these vehicles began to improve, MacCachren made his move and never looked back. “I raced the Class 8 trucks for several years with the Rough Riders and then I saw how reliable and fast the Trophy Trucks were becoming,” said MacCachren. “When I started racing I was the youngest guy in the field. I looked up to people like Ivan Stewart, Scoop Vessels, and Walker Evans. I always wanted to be like them. In a weird way, the reality is that now I am that guy!” In the end, MacCachren feels that experience will work in his favor simply because he knows how to deal with what can happen on the course to La Paz. His close-knit team and support crew of more than 100 people all understand that their man in No. 11 is their number one priority. If all goes as planned at the 50th SCORE Baja 1000, all MacCachren has to do is focus on driving. Skills he’s had a career to master. SJ

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