SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - June 2018

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

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Page 27 of 134

The McMillin’s Take Over BaJa Luke, Andy, and Dan McMillin demonstrate why the family has been a dominant force in off-road racing By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo SCORE fans at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 got to witness one of the most spectacular SCORE Trophy Truck races in a long time. It was the first time in recent history that the SCORE Trophy Truck in the first starting position, Rob MacCachren, and the Rockstar Energy Ford F-150, held on to finish first and win the race overall. This was also a race where fans got to experience the reason why the McMillin family has been top competitors in the sport over the race’s 50-year history. MacCachren’s finish was no doubt a result of his team’s logistics capabilities combined with a well-prepped truck, and MacCachren’s driving abilities, but fans were also impressed at Luke McMillin’s second place finish followed by Dan and Andy McMillin’s fourth and fifth place finish at the race. The McMillin’s history at the SCORE Baja 500 dates back to their grandfather Corky McMillin who has won the Baja 500 two times, followed by his sons Mark and Scott McMillin who have won the Baja 500 three times each. Andy McMillin won the race in 2017 where Luke finished fourth and Dan finished in 14th place. The McMillin family dominated the SCORE Trophy Truck field with Luke McMillin finishing second, Andy McMillin finishing fourth, and Dan McMillin finishing in fifth place Dan McMillin had one of his best SCORE Baja 500 races, finishing in fifth place The McMillins began the season with a strong effort, with Luke finishing third at the SCORE San Felipe 250, followed by cousin Andy who finished in fourth, and Dan who finished that race in sixth place. At the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, Luke, Andy and Dan started the race in the same positions but each knew they would have a tough time catching up to MacCachren and Cameron Steele, who started in second place and had been a difficult competitor to pass during the SCORE San Felipe race. They also needed to get around Ryan Arcerio who started in the fifth spot, driving the number 32 Herbst/Smith built Trophy Truck that has so far, has helped him land in the top five this season and had a good chance at winning this race. At the start of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, MacCachren drove conservatively as the first one out, not knowing if spectators or other vehicles would be ahead on the course. Steele began putting a lot of pressure on MacCachren to drive a faster pace and battled with the leader in several instances. For a while, it looked as though Steele could take over the lead spot and earn a much-needed win. “Early on, we had Cameron Steele behind us and something happened,” said MacCachren. “It’s hard when you’re out front to know how hard to run.” ABOVE: Cameron Steele started the race in second place, and battled for the lead with MacCachren Steele’s bad luck began when he had to pull back from his race with MacCachren and had to switch a driveshaft around the Meling Ranch area, race mile 309. “We were still in the hunt for a top 10 finish, “ said Steele, who continued to have problems. This time he had to deal with the drivetrain’s third member. “We didn’t give up and managed to finish in 20th place.” With Steele out of the way, Luke McMillin had a clear shot at MacCachren, should he encounter any problems, as well as stay out in front of Andy McMillin close behind. Luck would stay with both racers as neither MacCachren or Luke McMillin had any issues and remained in their positions until the end of the race. “We had a good day, but just couldn’t catch the robot, Rob MacCachren,” said Luke McMillin. “We had zero issues today with anything on the truck and zero flat tires, so I just really want to thank my team and my sponsors. We put in a lot of hard work and this team just keeps getting better and better.” Ryan Arcerio, driving the Herbst/Smith Ford started fifth and finished in third place The good luck streak at the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 also kept up with Ryan Arcerio, who got around Andy McMillin and could see Luke McMillin the rest of the race. “We had one flat leaving the coast and we could see Luke,” said Arcerio. “I thought we were sitting perfect and it had been like that all day long.” Arcerio ran a nearly perfect race with only the one flat tire hindering him for a moment, but without losing much time. But the effort wasn’t enough to catch up to McMillin and MacCachren, leaving Arcerio with a respectable third place overall and third place SCORE Trophy Truck finish. “My hats off to Kyle with reading the notes as he did a hell of a job and I challenge anyone that thinks that job is easy. Want to thank Troy Lee Designs for the look of this truck; it’s awesome and we brought the truck back without anything wrong.” Dan McMillin had another one of his best SCORE finishes in a while. Teaming up with Larry Roeseler, McMillin started sixth behind Arcerio and maintained his position throughout the 542.12-mile course. “The first half was extremely fast because it was pretty much the same as the SCORE San Felipe 250,” said McMillin. “I knew it like the back of my hand and I was pushing really hard. We were flying and we had two flat tires that I absolutely earned and I’m surprised with this course, that we didn’t get a 100 of them; it was so brutal.” Finishing fifth overall was last year’s SCORE Baja 500 winner Andy McMillin, who had a good race and vehicle, but he didn’t seem to have the same pace as his cousins. “It’s good to finish as that was a really gnarly SCORE Baja 500,” said McMillin. “It was actually a little slower than I thought it would be, but that speaks to the difficulty. I don’t know what it was today, but it just wasn’t clicking for me. We will go back to the drawing board and see where we can get some more speed as we didn’t have any problems with the truck. I really appreciate Red Bull for coming on board as my title sponsor and wish we could have backed up our win from last year, but still, want to thank all the pit crew waiting hours and hours for us in the desert.” Lopez had a race-winning pace after starting in 20th place, and ultimately finished in sixth Finishing behind Andy McMillin was 2017 SCORE Trophy Truck Champion Apdaly Lopez. Lopez had problems during the SCORE San Felipe 250 which set him back in the pack. He started the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 in the 20th spot, showcasing the hard talent Lopez possesses to finish in the top six, and who could have clearly won if he had started in thenp top five. SJ

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