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

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Page 22 of 101

WAR OF THE TITANS Racers Unite Forces To Battle In The SCORE Trophy Truck Class By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, Cindy Clark, and Ariana Medrano Photo by Get Some Photo When championships and a win at the most prestigious off-road event in the world are on the line, SCORE Trophy Truck racers often team up to increase their chances of winning. SCORE fans love to see these “super teams” made up of two or more of their favorite competitors. The line-up for this year’s 55th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts was the who’s who of SCORE Trophy Truck elite, with some wanting not only a win but also a chance at a season championship. These included Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren driving the No. 83 McMillin 4WP truck, Alan Ampudia and Tavo Vildosola Jr driving the No. 10 Ampudia Papas Y Beer truck, and Bryce Menzies and Andy McMillin driving the No. 7 Menzies Red Bull truck. While Menzies, McMillin, and Ampudia were all trying for the championship title, other SCORE Trophy Truck racers also teamed up for this race to improve their chances of winning it. These included Dan McMillin and Josh Daniel driving the No. 23 McMillin 4WP truck, Australians Paul Weel and Toby Price driving the No. 46 Gold Coast/Quad Lock truck, Cameron Steele and Ryan Arciero driving the No. 16 Monster Energy/Desert Assassins truck, Broc Dickerson and Apdaly Lopez driving the No. 34 TSCO truck, and Bobby Pecoy with Rhys Millin driving the No. 14 Monster Energy truck. Although the talent and vehicles seemed stacked up for those partnering up at this race, it was Baja who ultimately handed out the last card. From the start, Bryce Menzies, who finished first at the SCORE Baja 400 to start first in this race, began with a blisteringly fast pace, but soon had transmission issues. The team’s pit crew replaced a transmission allowing the team to continue, but another fatal transmission issue around race mile 420 finally put them out of contention. While the team of Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren sped to the lead, Dan McMillin with Josh Daniel were not far behind and at times took the lead on the course. The lead changed several times after Luke McMillin’s truck had driveshaft issues, allowing Cameron Steele’s team to take the lead. By the time the leaders in the class got to Mike’s Sky Ranch, Dan McMillin was back in the lead. After a flat tire that allowed Luke McMillin to get back in the lead, Dan remained ten miles or so behind his brother to finish in second place. “I started the race and went to race mile 155, then Josh got in and got me the truck first on the road and first on time,” said Dan McMillin. “Josh got a couple flats in his section but kept moving and guys were dropping out, he and his navigator Billy did a killer job and I can’t thank them enough. From Mike’s road on, we just stayed in front of Luke. It was Luke and I by about forty-five minutes in front of the third-place truck, but right before San Telmo road, I hit a ditch, got a flat, and busted my brake line, so we had to stop, re-rack a tire, and fix the brakes. That’s when Luke got by me and here we are, first and second.”   At the finish line, Mark McMillin, ORMHOF Inductee and five-time SCORE Baja 1000 Overall winner, was proud of his two sons and their accomplishments. “I want to tell the whole world that the McMillin family is a strong one,” he said. “We are one and two overall and that’s something that the McMillin family has never done. I’d like to thank my boys who had the steering wheels in their hands, but also everyone else who had a big part in this. My dad, Corky, is smiling on us today. Congratulations to SCORE for putting on yet another great SCORE Baja 1000 and I love the Mexican people– every one of them.” While the McMillin’s put on a great race for SCORE Fans, “Mr. Baja” Larry Roeseler also landed on the podium in third place after driving the race solo. “What a tough race. It was just relentless, technical, and a lot of bumps,” said Roeseler. “It was super exciting. I got lucky at the beginning. Got by a couple guys that had some early problems. I caught Ricky Johnson and that was really fun, as I was able to close up on him and Stella him and blasted the siren at him. He found a spot and pulled over for me. Later, I got by Toby Price over by race mile 165 and made a killer pass on him. He saw the underside of my truck as we went over a jump. We came together and sort of did a big fly.  San Felipe sort of took its toll on us. I got a flat on Puertecitos Road and then our pit forgot to re-rack a new one for me. So when I got another one going up Azufre, I had to do the rest of the washes with no spares. I was really nervous about that and I definitely slowed down. I finally made it to the next pit and got spares, fresh tires, and fuel. Pat Dean got by me but then he got a flat. We were third on the road and we just kept pushing and pushing. I’m super happy we’re on the podium.” VILDOSOLA TAKES TT LEGEND CLASS  A season-long fight for the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend class had Gus Vildosola Sr. and co-driver Ricky Johnson in the No. 21L truck battle with 2021 Class Champion Rolf Helland in the No. 37L truck and Clay Lawrence in the No. 85L truck for each race win. For this race, Vildosola also added Michael Coleman as co-driver to the roster and took a conservative approach to finish in first place. Ricky Johnson drove the truck from the start and managed to get the team third overall on the road and first in class, around race mile 415. “We were up with the first group of SCORE Trophy Trucks, so we could kind of get away from everybody,” said Johnson. “Obviously, the Lawrence’s in the 85L truck, and the 37L truck of Rolf Holland with his co-driver, Rick D. Johnson, are always a threat.” Mike Coleman drove after Johnson, keeping the truck in its position on the course. Gus Vildosola Sr. got in at RM 315 and dove it to the finish for their fourth consecutive class win this season. “I think I need to say that we had an almost perfect day,” said Vildosola. “We thought we had a transmission problem, but after putting some oil in it and everything continued the same, and we decided it was the sensor. Ricky started and did a great job, and handed us back a great truck. Then Mike Coleman got in it and handed me a perfect truck with good brakes, suspension, and steering. I’m very proud of my team because these guys were all over the course and worked very hard to get the truck ready.” Clay Lawrence finished in second place with co-drivers Steve Lawler and Arturo Velazco. “I was trying to keep the truck clean,” said Lawrence. “We had good air in front and behind us. I took a wrong turn but no one passed me. It was like a giant fun pre-run for me. The rains uncovered a lot of rocks but the track was great by race day. The whole experience is great– the weather is great. We are happy to be down here.” Finishing in third place was the No. 25L team of Mark Winkelman who put out a great effort since the DNF they posted at the SCORE Baja 400. The rest of the SCORE TT Legend class, four teams, had a more difficult time with the rocks on the course and were not able to complete the race due to mechanical failures. “This is Baja man,” said Ricky Johnson. “If anyone bitches about rocks and stuff, all they have to do is go compete in a rock crawling race, and once you do that one time you never complain about the rocks down here. In Baja, we can’t just always go fast over bumps. I like the challenge of slowing down and doing what you have to do to get to the finish.”  RYAN POLEMAN |  No. 26 | 4TH PLACE | (Co-Driver With Dave Tayor DOR) “The race was crazy. It was super fast and super fun. Dave Taylor started in about 28th and gave it to me in about eighth position. This is the best finish I have ever had here in SCORE in the SCORE Trophy Truck class, so I am pumped to do that in the SCORE Baja 1000.” BILLY GOERKE | No. 87 | 7TH PLACE | (Co-driver for Dallas Luttrell DOR) “I think this race was amazing. I got to drive up through Mike’s (Sky Ranch), a little bit of San Felipe, and a little bit on the coast. I love all the mountain trails that SCORE had on this course. I think this is one of the best SCORE loop Baja 1000’s of all.”  RAUL GOMEZ | No. 90 | 8th PLACE: “I am a rock crawler so I didn’t have any problems with the rocks on this course. The truck shut off at race mile 130, and we lost 45 minutes but we banged on the dash and it came back on. This was a well-planned brutal awesome race course.”  DAN MYERS | No. 6 | 10th PLACE: “I hit a couple of huge boulders – one the size of a coffee table that flattened two tires. So then we had no spares. And then I hit another boulder and got another flat tire on the Summit. Luckily the guys from Fast Ball racing let us have a tire out in the middle of the desert. I want to thank SCORE for putting on a great race and the people of Ensenada and Baja California and all the people that have come down here and my family.” OFFICIAL FINISHERS SCORE TROPHY TRUCK  (Unlimited CustomTrucks including Builder) (*36 Starters, 16 Finishers) 1. 83 Luke McMillin, 29, San Diego/Rob MacCachren, 57, Las Vegas, Chevy 1500 (Mason), 16:37:46, (49.81 MPH) 2. 23 Dan McMillin, 34, San Diego/Josh Daniel, 47, Bonsall, CA, Chevy 1500 (Mason) 16:59:40 3. 43 Larry Roeseler, 65, Boulevard, CA, Toyota Tundra (ID) 17:39:11 4. 26 Dave Taylor, 48, Page, Ariz./Ryan Poelman, 46, East Orem, Utah, Ford Raptor (Geiser), 17:56:39 5. 85 Mikey Lawrence, 34, Banning, CA/Dustin Grabowski, Upland, CA, Ford Raptor (Herbst/Smith), 18:17:15 6. 19 Tim Herbst, 59, Las Vegas/Pat Dean, 51, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith), 18:58:28 7. 87 Dallas Luttrell, 49, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, 79, Cave Creek, Ariz./Billy Goerke, 48, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram (Collins MS)19:49:36 8. 90 Raul Gomez, 43, Placerville, CA/Sergio Garcia, Chino Hills, CA/Darian Gomez, Placerville, CA, Ford Raptor (Geiser)19:52:30 9. 82 Sam Baldi, 57, Beaumont, CA/Jake Johnson, 44, Yucaipa, CA, Chevy Silverado (Baldi), 21:08:48 10. 6 Dan Myers, 44, Newport Beach, CA/Luke Johnson, El Cajon, CA, Toyota Tundra (Brenthel), 21:28:26 11. 58 Tracy Graf, 59, Canada/Justin B. Smith, 38, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado (Racer), 22:20:20 12. 18 JP Gomez, 38, Placerville, CA/Danny Patterson, 49, Placerville, CA/Marcos Gomez, 47, Placerville, CA, Ford Raptor (Geiser), 23:06:35 13. 45 Gary Magness, 68, Denver/Jeff Blackwell, OK City, OK/Armando Bravo, Coachela, CA,   Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith), 23:09:13 14. 25 Cody Swanty, 47, Kingman, Ariz./Rory Ward, 52, Kingman, Ariz., Dodge Ram (Geiser), 23:59:34 15. 72 Kevin Adler, 56, Lake Havasu City, Ariz./Jason Morgan, 46, Lake Havasu City, Ariz./Dan Street, 50, Chula Vista, CA, Toyota Tundra (Maniak), 26:42:50 16. 27 Jonathan Brenthel, 43, La Cresta, CA/Kyle Jergensen, 27, Phelan, CA, Chevy Silverado (Brenthel), 28:48:40 SCORE TT LEGEND  (Unlimited Custom Trucks, including builder, Drivers over 50 years old) (*7 Starters, 3 Finishers) 1. 21L Gustavo Vildosola Sr, 69, Mexicali, Mexico/Ricky Johnson, 58, Trabuco Canyon, CA/Michael Coleman, 56, San Diego, Ford Raptor (Mason); 18:08:10 (45.67 MPH) 2. 85L Clay Lawrence, 60, Banning, CA/Arturo Velazco, 50, Beaumont, CA/ Steve Lawler, 63, Upland, CA, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 20:42:26 3. 25L Mark Winkelman, 64, Cedar Hill, Texas/Daniel Gonzalez, 60, Ensenada, Mexico/Rudy Iribe, 54, Chula Vista, CA/Charles Manchester, 59, Lake Tahoe, Nev./Ted Moncure, 53, Long Beach, CA, Ford Raptor (XSR1), 28:20:39

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