SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - OCTOBER 2017

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

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Page 39 of 225

THE RACE THAT STARTED IT ALL CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF HISTORY AS THE 50TH BFGOODRICH TIRES SCORE BAJA 1000 ANNIVERSARY! By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo In March of 1962, Dave Ekins and Bud Roberson Jr. decided to drive 1000 miles from Tijuana to LaPaz in Baja, Mexico. At that time, they couldn’t have realized what they thought of as a publicity stunt, would eventually turn into the world’s greatest off-road race that will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in November 2017. With the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 now upon us, the celebrations and preparations for the event began more than a year ago, leading up to this highly anticipated moment in off-road racing history. Because of its significance, racers from around the world have already entered into the event, and more than 300 entries are expected before the checkered flag comes down at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. Pre-race activities begin with the SEMA Baja Experience at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada October 31st thru November 3rd. The SEMA Show is where the automotive aftermarket and racing industry gather to showcase the latest products and innovations the market has to offer. SCORE’s Baja Experience brings the excitement and passion for the Baja 1000 to the event, with racers, vehicles, interactive displays, and a duplicate of Mike’s Sky Ranch on the grounds giving SEMA attendees a glimpse into what the SCORE Baja 1000 is all about. On the evening of Tuesday, October 31st, SEMA attendees will hear the thunder of 37 SCORE Trophy trucks roar to life and caravan down Las Vegas Boulevard, as they head over to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying. SEMA Show attendees can experience the qualifying at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and find out who will be the first to leave the starting line at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 race. From Vegas To Ensenada Teams and fans will head to Tijuana early to pre-run the 1,134.40 mile race down the Baja peninsula to La Paz. The course for this 50th anniversary will begin in downtown Ensenada in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. From there the course travels east to a 20-mile stretch to Ojos Negros, down the ‘Goat Trail’ to Valley de Trinidad and to a new trail that will drop into Kiliwas Wash before going back to Highway 1 on Mike’s Road. The course then heads from San Matias to San Felipe and the Sea of Cortez over a new trail that will start at Morellia Junction all the way to Zoo Road, skipping the infamous bad whoops. South of San Felipe, the course winds to Coco’s Corner on a new trail, before entering Checkpoint 1 at Coco’s. Racers will proceed to Bahia de Los Angeles and south to Mujica where Checkpoint 2 is located before crossing Highway 1 again to go to the Pacific side of the course. Past San Ignacio, the course goes on another new trail to El Datil which skips the silt and highway on the way to Scorpion Bay, La Purisima, and San Isidro. Checkpoint three will be before Loreto, where the course then runs up to San Javier Mission before heading to Checkpoint 4 at the highway crossing to Lopez Mateos. The course then heads behind Ciudad Constitution to Santa Rita where another new trail goes to Loma Amarilla. It’s here where the final Checkpoint 5 will be located. Getting closer to La Paz, the course will go through the ‘silty’ Santa Fe area and on to Punta Conejo. The last stretch travels down by the ‘Waterfall’ before La Paz and at El Centenario, where the final pavement section to the finish line is adjacent to the Grand Plaza Hotel on the outskirts of La Paz. Two-Day Contingency To Celebrate With the history and amount of vehicles in attendance for the 50th anniversary of the race, SCORE made its popular Contingency Day extend over two days. This pre-race event will be held Tuesday, November 14th and 15th on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, and run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The evening of November 14th will also have fans swarming to the Monster Energy Papas y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz in downtown Ensenada from 7 p.m. to midnight. This is where fans and teams gather together to celebrate the race and enjoy music, food, and drink before the seriousness of the race takes place the following morning. Fans will also get an opportunity to meet the race’s Grand Marshal, Sal Fish, 78, the iconic desert racing promoter who owned SCORE International for 38 years. Fish is an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee and ran SCORE from 1974 until he sold the company to Roger and Elise Norman in 2012. The Race Experience For those attending the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, they’ll have to get up pretty early, or not sleep at all, to see the motorcycle and quad classes off the starting line, at midnight on Wednesday, November 15th. Car, truck and UTV classes will take to the starting line at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16. While the fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course in approximately 20 hours, all vehicles will have 48 hours from the time each starts to complete the course and become an official finisher of the 50th-anniversary race. SCORE will once again have the race streaming live with interviews on stage and at the starting line. Live race streaming will take place throughout the entire race, allowing fans the ability to see what’s happening during various portions of the event and to join in on the celebrations as racers start and cross the finish line in the morning hours as they reach La Paz Saturday, November 18th. Who Could Win The Big 50 Overall? ROB MACCACHREN- One of the fan favorites picks to win this race include three-time SCORE Baja 1000 overall winner Rob MacCachren. MacCachren started the 2017 SCORE Season with a victory at the SCORE San Felipe 250, followed by a third-place finish at the SCORE Baja 500. After winning the SCORE Baja 1000 in 2014, 2015 and 2016, MacCachren can make history by winning it again for the fourth time in a row, (sixth career total). What gives MacCachren the edge over the competition is his experience and mastery of logistics, coupled with a large team and support crew. He simply knows how to win this race better than anyone else. CARLOS APDALY LOPEZ is the young Trophy Truck racer who must be added to the list of those who have a good chance at winning the BFGoodrich SCORE Baja 1000. Racing for the RPM Off-Road Team, Lopez has been the Trophy Truck season champion for 2015 and 2016 seasons. Lopez is fast and knows how to save the vehicle, making him a threat to any Trophy Truck racer in the field. CAMERON STEELE could be considered the underdog this entire season. Although he finished seventh in San Felipe, eighth in the Baja 500, and fourth in Tijuana, he’s held the lead for several of these races and could upset the entire field with a well-deserved win at the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. Steele’s had a series of bad luck that kept him from winning in 2017, but if all goes right for him at the Baja 1000, he definitely has the capability, experience, team, and mental fortitude win the race overall. JUSTIN MATNEY, owner of the RPM Off-Road racing team, is another top contender to win this year’s BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. Not only is he the current points standing leader going into the race, but his four-wheel-drive Chevy Trophy Truck, built by Geiser Brothers, has been fast all season. Matney finished fourth in San Felipe, a earned a second place finish at the SCORE Baja 500, and a first-place finish with Josh Daniel behind the wheel in Tijuana. Matney and the truck have been solid this entire season and if the truck can withstand the 1,100-plus miles of Baja terrain, he definitely has some advantages with the four-wheel drive to take the win. BILLY WILSON is another SCORE Trophy Truck racer that has shown his capabilities in recent years. In 2016 Wilson was in contention for a championship season and came back in 2017 with a second place finish in San Felipe. He followed that up with a depressing 16th place finish at the SCORE Baja 500 and a DNF in Tijuana. But the Corpus Christi Texan isn’t one to be so easily discounted. He’s come back from behind in the past, to upset the entire Trophy Truck field, demonstrating he could do it again at the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. ANDY MCMILLIN-It doesn’t matter what race Andy McMillin enters, he is always counted as a serious contender. McMillin won the SCORE Baja 1000 a total of five times and is considered one of off-road’s greatest drivers. More than just driving skills, McMillin also has tons of experience, winning his first SCORE Baja 1000 at age 19. He knows how to handle the vehicle and has resources available to him that gives him a definite chance at winning the 50th. LARRY ROESELER has won more SCORE Baja 1000 races than any other racer in history, (13 to be exact). Although Roeseler will be running in the Trophy Truck Legends class, you can be that at this race, he will be one where he’ll put out all the stops and want to win it, just to show he’s still the guy to beat. The Safecraft Trophy Truck is very capable and competitive as any other Trophy Truck out there. If Roeseler really wants to win this race, other racers had better keep an eye out for the white and blue truck in their rearview mirror.

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