SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - June 2018

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

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Page 10 of 134

50 Years Of Glory Racers And Fans Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of A Legendary Race By Dan Sanchez Photos by Jack Wright The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the most iconic off-road races in history that has made legends out of many racers who have conquered it. Originally organized by Ed Pearlman, the first race was held in 1969 ,and over its span of 50-years, the SCORE Baja 500 is still one of the most prestigious motorsports races for anyone to claim they have won. Needless to say, this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 is a big deal for any of the 327 participants who entered to conquer it. But before the green flag dropped on race day, there were many celebrations and events which racers and fans attended in mass crowds. One of the most popular was Contingency. With so many racers and people attending the 50th anniversary race, SCORE officials had to break up this must-attend event over the course of two days. During Contingency, racers lined up to drive up to the SCORE staring line and have an opportunity to speak with SCORE host and announcer Rat Sult, during the SCORE Live Stream. Fans could watch and listen in from the SCORE International website and app, to the hundreds of racers who showcased their vehicles and thanked sponsors for helping them get to the race, and comment on the challenges they faced just to get there. Celebrations before race day continued each evening with the Monster Energy SCORE Kickoff Party and the Monster Energy Papas Y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz, held after the last night of Contingency. These parties were a way for fans and many of the team volunteers to let loose and have a great time before facing the hard work and long hours during the race. TOP: Crowds gather during Contingency to meet with racers and free swag. Here the folks from 4Wheel Parts toss out ProComp hats to the crowd. left: Bryce Menzies and Cyril Despres lead their large fan base to early celebrations. Below left: Cameron Steel photobombs Rob MacCachren during a media interview sights in and above Ensenada during the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 Recognizing Key Individuals SCORE, the city of Ensenada, and the Mexican government worked diligently with many of its officials, first responders, and sponsors of the race to help make the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 possible. Among some of the pre-race events that honored and recognized individuals who helped make this race possible was a SCORE press conference, where the co-grand marshals Ivan Stewart and Sal Fish were introduced. Ivan Stewart is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in off-road racing. He’s an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee who has won the Baja 500 race overall a total of 10 times, and is one of the original racers who has earned legendary status over a 24-year career history. Sal Fish is the former owner of SCORE International who ran the organization for 38-years and is also an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee. Both men represent the longevity of the race and the tenacity to challenge and conquer Baja, from which legends are made. According to SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman, these two gentlemen deserve thanks for everything they have done for the sport, and honoring them as co-grand marshals was fitting for the 50th Anniversary. Nico Saad (far left) with Co-Grand Marshal Sal Fish and SCORE President/CEO Roger Norman Along with the two co-grand marshals, SCORE recognized off-road industry pioneer Nico Saad who has helped develop the relationship between SCORE International and the Mexican government and local cities like Ensenada. His efforts in negotiating for the sport of off-road racing earned him a place in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, but most importantly with SCORE International, as Saad is one of the people responsible for the Baja 500 to reach its 50-year milestone. A Ceremonial Start Part of the race’s celebratory events was the Mexican Flag Ceremony, which is rarely conducted during racing events, but done this time in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Baja 500. All forms of the Mexican Military were represented and had the honor of unveiling and hoisting the huge flag that is the trademark site for the city of Ensenada. The Mexican government also performed an Honor Guard ceremony, showcasing all of the branches of the military’s armed forces and celebrating both the Mexican flag with its national anthem, and also celebrating the American Flag and singing the national anthem to officially begin the start of the race. SJ

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