SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - June 2019

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

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Page 16 of 114

UNDEFEATED Andy McMillin wins the 51st SCORE BaJa 500 making it two race overall wins in a row By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo When the SCORE Trophy Trucks roared off the starting line at the 51st SCORE Baja 500, Andy McMillin left first after winning the SCORE San Felipe 250 which acted as the SCORE Baja 500 starting position qualifier back in April. The odds of winning another Overall SCORE race, back to back in the same season are very slim, but McMillin managed to stay focused and won the 51st SCORE Baja 500, making it the first time in his career to do so. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” said McMillin. “Rob MacCachren did it last year but for me, it’s a really big accomplishment to put together two races back to back, especially since we rolled over at the SCORE San Felipe 250 and bounced back to finish first.” Ryan Arciero was second off the starting line with McMillin’s cousins Dan and Luke McMillin, along with Zack Langley who made up the top five starters in the field. Last year’s SCORE Baja 500 winner Rob MacCachren started in 20th place, but Andy McMillin had to worry about Cameron Steele, Robby Gordon, Bryce Menzies and Tim Herbst who were in the top dozen and in a good position to win the race. Fortunately, Andy McMillin maintained his lead ahead of the competition, but it was his cousins Dan and Luke that really put up a fight for the win. “I had Ryan behind me on corrected time, but by the first two hundred miles, my cousins Dan and Luke were right there on time next to me,” said McMillin. A tire puncture around race mile 120 closed the gap between the three McMillin racers, which made for a very interesting race as they traded for the lead on corrected time. “I had a scheduled fuel stop at Borrego and by then we were the top three on the course. Racing against my cousins for the lead was the coolest thing ever,” said McMillin. “They’re family but on the course, they are also trying to win. At San Matias, McMillin got a flat, which allowed his cousin Luke to catch up. “I had another puncture around race mile 255 and it allowed Luke to catch up to me,” said McMillin. “I put the hammer down and thankfully the truck held up well. I think Luke could have won but he clipped a tire on a cattle guard approaching the finish. I had marked that on my GPS and knew the fastest way was to go through it. As I approached I saw that it was narrow, so I made a split-second decision to pitch the truck sideways and go around it on the right. Luke went straight through and hit one of the cement curbs. After 460 miles on the course, it was that one decision that I believe won me the race!” McMillin now leads the SCORE Trophy Truck division for the 2019 Points Championship and is determined to win at the inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, where the race will determine the starting position for the 52nd SCORE Baja 1000. “The Lucerna race will be interesting as the starting positions are determined by random draw,” said McMillin. Hopefully, we’ll get a good starting spot and finish first, or get a good starting spot for the SCORE Baja 1000. The Lucerna race will also be where we will bring out our new AWD SCORE Trophy Truck. We may be a bit more conservative in this race, but depending on the course and where we start will ultimately dictate how we attack it.” SJ

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