SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - March 2018

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

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32nd SCORE San-Felipe 250 Race Preview The SCORE Season Starts April 5th - 8th By Score Journal Staff Photos by Get Some Photo Celebrating its 32nd year, the SCORE San Felipe 250 has become one of SCORE’s most iconic races in Baja. While the world awaits the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the SCORE Baja 500, the SCORE San Felipe 250 starts of the season with exciting new teams, entries, rules, and racers that will make the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship series exciting to watch. This season opener takes place April 5th – 8th and is one of the races that SCORE racers need to win in order to get a head start towards a championship season. Some of the many challengers of this race have dominated it over the years. The Herbst team were the first to win the race three times in a row, taking the overall victories in 1999, 2000, and 2001. There’s no doubt that their experience and capability will give them an advantage in this year’s competition, as well as for the rest of the season. Mexico’s Gus Vildosola Jr is always a favorite to win this race. He’s also a triple-winner, finishing first overall in three straight victories in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Although Vildosola Jr. did not have a great 2017 season, finishing 43rd in the SCORE Trophy Truck division, there’s no doubt that he will be coming back stronger and more determined to win again. Gus Vildosola Sr. will also be competing in in the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend class at this race. He won the class when it debuted in San Felipe last year . Last year, Rob MacCachren came out to win the SCORE San Felipe 250, making it his fifth overall win in his career, adding to his past victories in 2003 with Gus Vildosola Sr., 2007 with co-driver Mark Post, and winning it solo in 2011 and 2012. MacCachren’s history in San Felipe also includes four additional class victories, making him one of the top class winners in this race. While history often repeats itself, there’s always the chance for a top team to come out and dominate the race. SCORE fans are often seeing the orange and black vehicles of the RPM Off-Road team with Apdaly Lopez out in front. The three-time SCORE Trophy Truck Champion undoubtedly has a great chance at winning in San Felipe and start his way towards another Championship season. In the last three SCORE San Felipe 250 races, Lopez has finished in third place overall and definitely wants to add a victory at this race. In addition to Lopez’s entry into the SCORE San Felipe 250, RPM Off-Road will have two other SCORE Trophy Trucks in the race, including team owner Justin Matney in his 4WD Trophy Truck, and veteran racer Juan C. Lopez in the number 18 Ford Raptor Trophy Truck. The team will also include Clyde Stacy in the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend’s class, who is teaming up with Armin Schwarz for this race. The RPM Off-Road team will also enter an all-female Trophy Truck Spec team led by motocross and UTV champion Sara Price, as well as a Class 1 entry headed by Derek Fletcher. Among the over 30 entries expected in the SCORE Trophy Truck racing division is a pair of prominent SCORE racers who haven’t been in San Felipe for several years. Robby Gordon, the 1996 overall winner of the SCORE San Felipe 250, will be back in the field for this first time since 2012 and Bryce Menzies, the 2011 SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion and 2011 SCORE Rookie of the Year, has entered for the first time since 2013. In the Pro Moto Unlimited class, motorcycle fans will be watching the new 1x team of Francisco Arredondo of Guatemala, and his talented band of riders, take on some of the best motorcycle racers in the world as they all compete for the 2018 Pro Moto Unlimited Championship. In 2017, Arredondo won every race in the SCORE World Desert Championship season except the SCORE San Felipe 250. We can bet that he’s more determined than ever to win this race and challenge other top competitors. In the growing Pro UTV classes, it was Wayne Matlock who won here last year, but for a variety of reasons, couldn’t hold on for a Class Championship. With some of the toughest competition ever in the Pro UTV category, it’s anyone’s race, including top racers such as Brandon Schueler, 2017 Season Champion Marc Burnett, Justin Lambert, Alonzo Lopez, and the Murray brothers. With most of these teams improving their horsepower and upgrading to the next level of performance UTV, it will also be interesting to see how these vehicles will perform during the 2018 season. When it comes to the most victories in San Felipe, however, there are two racers that stand out far above the rest. The first is the 73-year-old motorcycle racer, Jim O’Neal. O’Neal began his racing career long before he started racing in Baja in 1981 when he ran his first SCORE Baja 1000. Since then, he has earned a total of 17 class victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250 alone and has raced more than 105 SCORE races in his career within various motorcycle classes. O’Neal has the most SCORE San Felipe class victories than any other racer in the 31 years the race has been held. While motorcycles have always been fast in Baja, it’s more astonishing that a Class 11 driver can earn 11 class victories in San Felipe. Eric Solorzano won the class in San Felipe last year and may add a 12th victory in 2018 if everything goes as planned. The fact that Class 11 vehicles are essentially stock VW Bugs, the chances of parts breaking and getting stuck in silt and deep sand prevent anyone driving in this class from even finishing a SCORE race. Solorzano, however, leads a die-hard group of racers who don’t know the word “quit” and along with other legendary Class 11 racers such as Pancho Bio and Dennis Hollenbeck, they continue to keep this class alive and exciting for SCORE fans. A Grueling, Longer Course Although the SCORE San Felipe 250 is considered a short-distance race, the course is still not any easier than a 500-mile or 1000 mile Baja race. This year’s San Felipe 250 course is a total of 319-miles, making it the longest in the history of the race. The course runs over high-speed dry lake beds and winds through heavy rock-strewn canyons and trails. Some of the course is routed along dirt roads and through four of Baja’s most infamous washes in Las Cuevitas, Matomi, Huatamote and Amarillo. The course has its starting line and the finish line in San Felipe’s Malecon, making it a great area for spectators to view and experience the race. The course includes three full-stop checkpoints located at El Chinero (race mile 74.2), La Providencia (rm 185.5) and at Old Puertecitos Road (rm 270.33). The route then heads north to Zoo Road, west to Morelia Junction. A few new trails lead racers through Las Cuevitas wash to go back to the east side near 3 Poles. It then goes north to checkpoint 1 running up to La Ventana, back south to Laguna Amarga (Borrego). From there it will go across Matomi, Old Puertecitos Road, through Huatamote and Amarillo before heading back to the finish line on the Malecon. SCORE has implemented a speed zone for the 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, that extends from race-mile 10 to race-mile 14 in the Zoo Road area. This was done for the safety of both drivers and spectators. There are a total of three speed-zones on this course for a total of just 5.2 miles. Best Race Experience One of the best experiences during a SCORE race is actually a day before it starts. Contingency day is April 6th and is held on the Malecon in downtown. It’s here where racers, teams, and their vehicles line the streets of San Felipe to meet with fans and hand out decals and swag. It’s also the best time to get an autograph with some of your favorite racers. After Contingency head over to the the SCORE San Felipe 250 Fan Appreciation Beach Party sponsored by Raceline Wheels that takes place from 7pm to 10pm. SCORE’s main priority is safety, so SCORE officials have created a variety of safe zones around the race course for some of the best viewing options on race day, Saturday, April 7th. The top choice is the start and finish line on the Malecon. Aside from watching each class leave and finish here, spectators can watch the huge SCOREVision screen and see what’s happening along various portions of the course. Keep in mind that racing starts very early with motorcycle classes leaving the starting line at 6:20 am. The schedule of classes leaving the start is subject to change, so make sure to ask a SCORE official for the latest updates if you want to catch your favorite team leaving with the green flag. Four-wheel classes are scheduled to leave the starting line at 9:30 am, with the roar of the SCORE Trophy Trucks starting off first. All vehicles have a 16-hour time limit to finish the race, but it’s a good idea to head back around noon to see when the top vehicles will be coming in and who is battling for the lead to win the race overall. For more information on the week-long events at this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, visit SCORE San Felipe 250 All-Time Overall Champions Year:Driver(s), Vehicle (Class) Pro Cars, Trucks, UTVs 1982: Dan Cornwell, Chenowth-VW (Class 1) 1983: Corky McMillin/Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche (Class 2) 1984: Scott McMillin/Corky McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche (Class 2) 1990: Brian Collins/Jack Johnson, Chenowth-VW (Class 1) 1991: Larry Ragland, Chevy C1500 (Class 8) 1992: Bob Richey/Boyd Cox, Raceco-Porsche (Class 1) 1993: Scott Douglas, Ford Ranger (Class 7) 1994: Ivan Stewart, Toyota SR5 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 1995: Larry Ragland, Chevy C1500 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 1996: Robby Gordon, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 1997: Curt LeDuc, Jeep Grand Cherokee (SCORE Trophy Truck) 1998: Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel, Riviera-Chevy (Class 1) 1999: Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2000: Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2001: Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2002: Dan Smith/David Ashley, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2003: Gus Vildosola/Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE T-Truck) 2004: Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2005: Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Jimco-Chevy (Class 1) 2006: Garron Cadiente, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2007: Mark Post/Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE T-Truck) 2008: Brian Collins, Dodge Ram1500 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2009: Brian Collins, Dodge Ram1500 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2010: Armin Schwarz/Martin Christensen, Jimco-BMW (Class 1) 2011: Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2012: Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2013: Gus Vildosola/Gus Vildosola Jr, Ford Raptor (SCORE T-Truck) 2014: Gus Vildosola Jr, Ford Raptor (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2015: Gus Vildosola Jr, Ford Raptor (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2016: Billy Wilson, Chevy Silverado (SCORE Trophy Truck) 2017: Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy Truck) Sportsman Cars, Trucks, UTVs 2008: Peter Lang, Homebuilt-Chevy (SPT Car) 2009: Peter Lang, Homebuilt-Chevy (SPT Car) 2010: Wendell Mortensen, Raceco-VW (SPT Car) 2011: Nick Tonelli, Ford Ranger (SPT Truck) 2012: Randy Swink, Ford Ranger (SPT Truck) 2013: Vincent Munoz, Ford Ranger (SPT UNL Truck) 2014: Martin Huffman, Brenthel-Chevy (SPT Buggy) 2015: Derek Fletcher, RPM-Chevy (SPT Buggy) 2016: Jorge Navarro, Polaris RZR XP900 (SPT UTV) 2017: No Finishers Pro Motorcycles 1982: Bob Balentine, Honda XR500 (Class 22) 1983: Jack Johnson, Honda XR500 (Class 22) 1984: Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna CR500 (Class 22) 1990: Dan Smith/Danny Hamel, KTM (Class 22) 1991: Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicut Jr, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1992: Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicut Jr, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1993: Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500(Class 22) 1994: Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1995: Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1996: Paul Krause, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1997: Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 1998: Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 1999: Johnny Campbell/Cole Marshall, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 2000: Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 2001: Steve Hengeveld/Jonah Street, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2002: Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2003: Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2004: Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2005: Chris Blais/Andy Grider/Quinn Cody, KTM MXC525 (Class 22) 2006: Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2007: Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2008: Robby Bell/Johnny Campbell, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2009: Kendall Norman/Tim Weigand, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2010: Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2011: Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2012: Kurt Caselli/Ivan Ramirez, KTM 450SX-F (Class 22) 2013: Tim Weigand/Colton Udall, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2014: Ricky Brabec/Shane Esposito/Max Eddy Jr, Kawasaki KX450F (Class 22) 2015: Colton Udall/Justin Jones, Honda CRF450X (Open) 2016: Colton Udall/Mark Samuels, Honda CRF450X (Unlimited) 2017: Mark Samuels/Daymon Stokie/Ryan Penhall, Honda CRF450X (Unlimited) Sportsman Motorcycles 2008: Bill Gilbert, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C250cc) 2009: Jeff Leonard, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C250cc) 2010: Ron Tolman, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C250cc) 2011: Issac Cisneros, Yamaha YZF450 (SPTM/C450cc) 2012: Mark Winkelman, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C450cc) 2013: Mark Winkelman, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C450cc) 2014: Raul Hernandez, KTM450EXC (SPT M/C) 2015: Juan Dominguez, Honda TRX450R (SPT Quad) 2016: Kristopher Harvey, Honda CRF450X (SPT M/C) 2017: Sidney Marchand, KTM 500EXC (SPT M/C)

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