SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - April 2019

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

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Page 17 of 113

Wait For It… Andy McMillin kept pushing hard to ultimately win the SCORE Trophy Truck and Overall win at the 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250 By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo It’s been a long time since veteran racer and multi-SCORE Baja 1000 winner Andy McMillin won the SCORE San Felipe 250. The last time he won it was in 2005, racing with his dad Scott McMillin in a Class 1 buggy. “I won a lot of SCORE races, but this is the one that eluded me,” said McMillin, after winning the 33rd SCORE San Felipe. This race was one that had McMillin guessing as to its final outcome, one that he didn’t realize he had one until 20-30-minutes after he crossed the finish line. “It was a race that was the craziest roller coaster ride of emotions,” said McMillin. “I knew that we were close on time with several racers and I just kept the pace going.” McMillin’s race started with him towards the rear of the SCORE Trophy Truck pack in 27th place. Then the race began to open up to McMillin, providing him with opportunities, and then seemingly taking them away. “We started far back behind both slow and fast racers,” said McMillin. “We then moved up quickly until we got to the rocky portion of the course. We cleared it and passed a bunch of people from the top of Matomi all the way to Highway 3. By race mile 140, we were a minute and a half behind Ryan Arciero, the current leader at the time.” As McMillin began to catch up to Arciero, he made a mistake that could have cost him the race. “At the bottom of the summit we rolled over,” said McMillin. “We were okay on time and I wanted to keep it smooth, being very careful around the rocks. I knew there was a ditch up ahead and I had marked it on the GPS. My brakes weren’t working so well and it wasn’t stopping fast enough. I hit the gas to try and clear the ditch and the truck barrel-rolled and landed on all four wheels, sideways on the course.” Two trucks managed to pass McMillin while he was trying to fix the flat he received during the rollover, but McMillin and his co-driver managed to get it all repaired quickly. “The jack was all messed up so we had to use the back-up jack,” said McMillin. “We finally got it fixed and it cost us about a little over three minutes.” McMillin got back on the course and throttled it hard and high speed trying to catch up. “By then the hood broke away and was lifting up. We couldn’t go faster than 75-80 mph,” said McMillin. “We got to our second fuel pit and checked the truck. It was all good but we were seven minutes down from Arciero’s time.” McMillin continued to push hard and was informed that Arciero got a flat and that Bryce Menzies was ahead of them by one or two minutes. “I put the hammer all the way down,” said McMillin. “By the time we got to Zoo Road, we were going 100 mph and catching up to Menzies.” As luck would have it, McMillin hit a rock at high speed and had to fix yet another flat. “My dad got on the radio and said I had Arcerio’s time beat. I could have slowed down but our family motto is to never give up.” McMillin’s cousin Dan McMillin was also pushing hard for the finish after starting in 37th place, and Menzies was also pushing hard for the finish with a time that looked like a winning one. “You never know what’s going to happen so I kept my head down and continued to push hard,” said McMillin. Crossing the finish line, the fans had Arcerio winning, but SCORE had not added any penalties from missing checkpoints and other minor infractions on the course. “I knew Dan and Bryce’s time would be really close so I waited to see what would happen,” said McMillin. “I was told that I had beat Dan’s time by 45-50 seconds, but I knew Menzie’s time was really fast, so I was waiting on Bryce to come in. When he didn’t show up as expected, I asked and found out he had a flat just short of the finish line. Then we realized we had actually won.” The 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250 was an important win for McMillin. Not only did it reassure fans and other racers that he’s still a major competitor in every race he enters, but that he’s pushing for a championship this season by also competing in every SCORE race in 2019. “I was a little unsure of myself with the luck we’ve had so far,” said McMillin. “We had some gear failure at King of The Hammers, then finished fifth at the Mint, but this win reminded me of how much our family loves Baja. Pre-running with my dad and feeling so at home here with the fans and course, there’s something special about it.” Although McMillin’s Mason Motorsports truck is only less than two years old, he and Mason Motorsports are planning on debuting a new truck at the SCORE Baja 500. “I think four-wheel drive is ready for Baja,” said McMillin. “Team C has been successful with it along with Justin Matney at RPM Off-Road, and Bryce Menzies. So we’ll be at the SCORE Baja 500 with a new all-wheel-drive truck. Now we’ll be starting in the first position that will hopefully give us an advantage and take home another SCORE Baja 500 win!” SJ

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