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Page 29 of 116

ON THE FAST TRACK . SCORE Trophy Trucks Tackle The SCORE San Felipe 250 At Full Throttle . By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Guilherme Torres, and Ariana Medrano .Photos by Get Some Photo . No SCORE race is ever without any challenges, but along with a grueling 263.80-mile loop course, the SCORE Trophy Truck racers were poised to go all out for the win. After Qualifying, Toby Price and Paul Weel were fastest, followed by Tavo Vildosola, Bryce Menzies, and Luke McMillin, who rounded out the top four in the class. . When the green flag dropped, the Weel/Price team started with a very fast pace, followed by Vildosola. Winning this race six times, Vildosola knows it requires an all-out sprint to the finish and he was taking advantage of his second starting position. Menzies and McMillin are usually the fastest on any course, but they had some catching up to do before challenging each other for the lead. . Running nearly flat out is usually a risk that SCORE Trophy Truck racers take. If you can make it without breaking, it’s a sure win on this short-distance course. For Price and Weel, the gamble did not play out well, and after forty miles, the truck had a Manifold Absolute Pressure (Map) sensor fail in the engine, and it ended their race early. . . The remaining leaders early in the race had flat tires to deal with. Tavo Vildosola stopped after the first fifty miles with one but then had other more serious problems. “It was a complicated day,” said Vildosola. “The first fifty miles were not flowing well. We got a flat and Bryce (Menzies, No. 7) and Luke (McMillin, No. 1) got by me. Then we started to pick up the pace, put some lines together, and flow a little bit. Then we got to pit one and it was a disaster. We almost ran out of fuel getting into pit two, barely made it, and coasted in. From there on, we had engine cooling issues with oil leaking from the system. We had to continuously stop and add oil. We can build from here and go to the SCORE Baja 500.” . Bryce Menzies was plagued with flat tires, finding it difficult to maintain his pace, and lost lots of time in the process. “We got up into second place pretty early and then it seemed like we kept having flat tires, and I didn’t know why,” he said. “We are testing some new tires with Toyo and we got six flats. One of them ripped the brake line off and the jack ripped off. Every time we had to change a tire, we had to find rocks to get under the jack to be able to get the truck up. We kept pushing from there. And then we had some oil issues with the engine and my seatbelt kept coming undone. It was one of those races where you were wondering how in the heck is this happening?” . . NEW LEADERS ON THE COURSE . As the top qualifiers went down, Luke McMillin in the No. 1 truck continued to have a perfect day with no flats or vehicle trouble. Once McMillin got out front, he put some distance between the other competitors on the course and then cruised to the finish to take the win. It was a perfect race for McMillin, who now repeated the win from the 2022 season. “We didn’t make one mistake. We didn’t bobble once,” said McMillin. “We just drove eighty percent all day, we just drove it around. That’s what it takes. I’m really excited, really grateful to be able to pull off another win.” . After a sixth-place start, Alan Ampudia found himself chasing down Luke McMillin. Ampudia also had a flat and some issues with the truck’s jack, but managed to pull it all together to finish in second place. “It was going good, then we were behind Luke and were in his dust all the way to race mile ninety,” said Ampudia. “Then finally, we got a flat. Something happened with the jacks– on my side, it got ripped off, so we ended up losing a lot of time. We didn’t see anybody, we thought we were fifth. But overall, a good day. It was really, really fun. I’m happy that we have a good starting spot for the SCORE Baja 500. Thank you to all the fans for supporting us and my team. [Steve] Covey killed it on the right seat.” . Despite the flat tires that plagued Bryce Menzies, his team’s attention to pitting and making repairs paid off, allowing him to finish third. “This is not where we wanted to finish, but with all the issues that went on, I’ll take it. It was challenging, but overall, we made it to the finish,” he said. “I am super happy for Luke (McMillin, No. 1) to get another win. That is awesome. They are really putting in all the work and effort. And for Alan (Ampudia, No. 10) to get second in his first time in his new Mason truck. On to the next one. It is going to be a battle all year long.” . . MAKING IT TO THE FINISH . Although having to refill the truck with oil, Tavo Vildosola managed to finish fifth in class behind Andrew Meyers in the No. 69 truck. After crossing the finish line, Vildosola shut down the engine to avoid any damage and was graciously towed up to the ramp by Bryce Menzies. . Veteran racers Larry Roeseler finished seventh, and Rob MacCachren finished eighteenth. Dan McMillin, who was also running well, had a vehicle failure that took him down for a while, but the team got it repaired, and he managed to finish in fifteenth place. . . VILDOSOLA SR. GETS ANOTHER WIN . 2022 SCORE Trophy Truck Legends Champion Gustavo Vildosola, with co-driver Ricky Johnson, had a good day with a couple of flat tires that didn’t slow them down and managed to finish first in class. “Ricky had one flat– I had one flat. I think it was impossible not to have any on this course. It was very, very challenging,” said Vildosola Sr. “The toughest part of this course for us was the wash, which was so rocky. The water just washed all the sand away. There were giant rocks we had to crawl through.” . Co-driver Ricky Johnson had put the Vildosola No. 1L truck at the start of the class after qualifying. When he started on the course, he quickly put a lead on Clay Lawrence and former class champion Rolf Helland. “It went great,” said Johnson. “Vildosola Racing did a great job, the truck was perfect. I had one flat. Don’t know what I hit, but there are a million rocks out there. I was in a pocket by myself with no pressure from behind. We stopped to change the tire, and we had to add fuel because we had to change our strategy with the track course being longer. So, it was great. Gus did a fantastic job.” . Lawrence in the No. 85L truck also had issues getting through all of the rocks on the course but kept their race clean and finished in second place. “It was awesome. We were really stoked,” he said. “It turned into a much faster course once they took out the mini-summit, so we were moving pretty well. It was rough. I found if you take care of your BFGoodrich Tires, they take care of you– it was all about taking care of them. We just tried to keep it clean and it worked out. I want to thank our team and everyone here in San Felipe– they love racing here. Thank you to SCORE for putting it on. Thanks to my family, especially my daughter, who has been really helpful.” . . HERBST TOPS TT SPEC CLASS . It was a blistering pace for the TT Spec class, with the top finishers right behind the top ten fastest finishers in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. With a total of forty-three starters, the competition was fierce, and competitors also had to attack the course at nearly full speed to guarantee a win. The key was to get a good Qualifying position, as there wouldn’t be enough course length to weed out the competition ahead. . Despite not having a great qualifying run, Thor and Pierce Herbst in the No. 291 SCORE TT Spec did what most thought would be impossible. Starting in sixteenth, they moved up the field and managed to finish first in class. Towards the last portion of the course, the Herbst team was chasing down Chris Polvoorde in the No. 24 truck and Jason McNeil in the No. 234 truck. . Polvoorde had the lead after starting sixth in class and was heading toward the finish. Miscalculating the fuel needs of the truck, the team ran out just before the finish, allowing the Herbst team and McNeil to pass. As they approached the finish back into San Felipe, SCORE fans could see it would be tight. The Herbst team finished only seconds before McNeil in one of the closest races. Herbst finished in 5:07:03, while McNeil finished in 5:07:23. Both teams had penalties applied to their overall time, so at the finish, no one knew who had won until SCORE officials came out with the verdict. . “It went really well. We didn’t have any problems other than trimming a few trees,” said Thor Herbst. “We ran in the dust most of the time and made a few passes. Our job in starting the race was to get the car to Pierce clean and with no problems and that’s what we did.”  . “Overall, we had a clean race,” said co-driver Pierce Herbst. “I got two flats, and got squirrely in some of the sandy spots; it was totally my fault. But we kept going and were glad we made it to the finish. Big thank you to Terrible Herbst Motorsports, all the guys in the shop, Monster Energy, BFGoodrich, King Shocks, and everyone who got us here.” . Jason McNeil had a good finish to the day after having the fastest Qualifying time to start first. He had planned to drive conservatively and although he was passed by Chris Polvoorde in the No. 24 truck, Polvoorde and McNeil would pass each other several times until they were both passed by the Herbst team. “This is probably one of the best races we have ever done,” he said. “We started out in front and wanted to be conservative in the rocks. We did not want to get a flat. Polvoorde caught us in the pits so then it was game on. We chased him down, pushed him, he got a flat.” . McNeil and Polvoorde continued to battle until Polvoorde’s fuel crisis. “We got a flat with two miles to go. We pulled over to change it and he passed us back and then a mile later he was pulled over. It is incredible. Really, really excited to be here at the finish. It was a good one. SCORE did a great race. This TSCO truck did its job.” . Seven other competitors would pull out in front of Polvoorde before the team reached him to add fuel, allowing him to finally cross the finish line in 10th place. It was a difficult and disappointing day for the Polvoorde team but 30 of the 43 starters in the class successfully finished an exciting race. . As the starting positions are now set for the SCORE Baja 500 set for May 31st through June 4th, the competition isn’t any easier and the field of SCORE Trophy Trucks will be ready to battle again and change their strategies. SJ . . . FINISH LINE TALK . SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS . . ANDREW MYERS, No. 69 (Fourth Place) “We lost a right rear at about race mile 120, right before our pit. We pulled into the pit, changed the tire, fueled it up, and took off. Then we dinged the driveshaft and it wouldn’t go over 85-90mph, so I ran the last 100 miles half throttle, just putting this baby. I kept thinking I was going to get passed. Thanks to all the SCORE officials and the people of Baja. We love coming down here and racing. Super stoked. I am ready for the SCORE Baja 500.” . . LARRY ROESELER, No. 43 (Seventh Place) “It’s always wonderful to make it to the finish line at the SCORE San Felipe 250. Honestly, it was a really good race course. Good racing. It looks like we may be top ten. We started outside of 25, maybe 26th. We just ran hard all day. No flat tires, BFGoodrich tires were awesome. We had to take the hood off because the latch broke. The guys did an amazing job. Baja Vida Baja Jerky guys, I owe it all to them. This is a really nice way to start the season.”   . . SCORE TT SPEC . TRAVIS WILLIAMS, No. 277 (Third Place) “We started 17th. It was rough out there today, but we had a lot of fun. We didn’t qualify well, so we started way in the back and had to pass a lot of people and got stuck in a lot of dust. But it is what it is. We have to get better at qualifying. Hats off to SCORE.” . . JASON COLEMAN, No. 292 (Fourth Place) “It was tough with the dust early on. I earned myself one flat. I smacked a rock in the new section, and it dinged a wheel, so it was not the tire’s fault. That put us back a little bit and we had to charge. Things started to shake out, but it got better at the end. It was charging all the way. I am stoked to see this Eibach truck back here at the finish line at the SCORE San Felipe 250 on the Malecon. BFGoodrich Tires, Fox Shocks, FK Rod Ends, Maxim Oil, this thing held up amazingly. It was a great day.” . OFFICIAL FINISHERS . . SCORE TROPHY TRUCK . (Unlimited CustomTrucks including Builder) . (*39 Total Starters, *25 Total Finishers) . 1. 1 Luke McMillin, 30, San Diego, Chevy 1500 (Mason), 4:29:27, (62.91 MPH) . 2. 10 Alan Ampudia, 32, Ensenada, MX/Steve Covey, 42, Lynchburg, TN, Ford Raptor (Mason), 4:36:43 . 3. 7 Bryce Menzies, 35, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor (Mason), 4:43:37 . 4. 69 Andrew Myers, 43, San Marcos, CA/Julio Quintero, 40, Escondido, CA, Toyota Tundra (Herbst/Smith), 4:45:16 . 5. 21 Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola, 41, Mexicali, MX, Ford Raptor (Vildosola), 4:46:39 . 6. 51 Steve Olliges, 55, Las Vegas/Justin Lofton, 41, Brawley, CA, Ford Raptor (Geiser), 4:50:53 . 7. 43 Larry Roeseler, 66, Boulevard, CA, Toyota Tundra (ID), 4:58:13 . 8. 24 Adam Householder, 38, Placentia, CA/Trevor Ellingham, 40, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith), 4:59:01;9. 33 Roberto Romo Jr, 17, Mexicali, MX/Roberto Romo, 41, Mexicali, MX, Ford Raptor (Racer), 4:59:34 . 10. 82 Sam Baldi, 58, Beaumont, CA/Jake Johnson, 44, Yucaipa, CA/Michael Baldi, 32, Yucaipa, CA/Robert Llewellyn, 41, Yucca Valley, CA, Chevy Silverado (Baldi), 5:03:32 . 11. 70 Kevin Thompson, 49, New Braunfels, Texas/Harley Letner, 39, Corona, CA, Chevy Silverado (Herbst/Smith), 5:22:34 . 12. 87 Dallas Luttrell, 41, Las Vegas/Billy Goerke, 48, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram (Collins MS), 5:23:37 . 13. 19 Tim Herbst, 59, Las Vegas/Pat Dean, 52, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith), 5:26:02 . 14. 58 Tracy Graf, 59, Canada/Justin B. Smith, 38, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado (Racer), 5:40:26 . 15. 23 Dan :McMillin, 35, San Diego, Chevy 1500 (Mason), 6:07:26 . 16. 45 Gary Magness, 69, Denver/Jeff Blackwell, Oklahoma City, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith), 7:11:08 . 17. 16 Cameron Steele, 55, San Clemente, CA/Ryan Arciero, 49, Foothill Ranch, CA, Ford Raptor (Geiser), 7:14:14 . 18. 11 Rob MacCachren, 58, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Geiser), 7:58:28 . 19. 85 Mikey Lawrence, 35, Banning, CA/Dustin Grabowski, Upland, CA, Ford Raptor (Herbst/Smith), 9:26:26 . 20. 27 Kyle Jergensen, 27, Phelan, CA, Chevy Silverado (Brenthel), 9:45:21 . 21.96 Enrique Murillo, 52, La Paz, MX/German Alvarez, 37, La Paz, MX, Chevy Silverado (Jimco), 11:28:20 . . SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Custom Trucks, including builder, Drivers over 50 years old) . (*8 Starters, 4 Finishers) . 1. Gustavo Vildosola Sr, 69, Mexicali, MX/Ricky Johnson, 58, Trabuco Canyon, CA/Michael Coleman, 56, San Diego, Ford Raptor (Mason), 4:58:53, (56.71 MPH) . 2. 85L Clay Lawrence, 60, Banning, CA, Chevy Silverado (Herbst/Smith), 5:55:27 . 3. 61L David Payne, 62, St. Luis, Mo./Damon Bradshaw, Peoria, AZ, Chevy Silverado (Herbst/Smith), 6:04:54 . 4.55L Jose de Jesus Flores, 59, Culiacan, MX/Andrea Tomba, 53, La Paz, MX/James Sejd, 63, Gainesville, Va., Chevy Silverado (Jimco), 6:28:43 . TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines) . (43 Starters, 30 Finishers) . 1. 219 Thor Herbst, 23, Las Vegas/Pierce Herbst, 20, Las Vegas, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 5:07:03, (55.20 MPH) . 2. 234 Jason McNeil, 45, El Cajon, CA/Eric Clay, St. George, Utah, TSCO-Chevy, 5:07:23 . 3. 277 Travis Williams, 46, Avondale, AZ/Pete Tolar, 45, Phoenix/Jeff Knupp, 38, Peoria, AZ, Geiser-Chevy, 5:12:22 . 4.292 Jason Coleman, 38, Huntington Beach, CA/Brady Milen, 31, Huntington Beach, CA, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 5:13:06 . 5. 236 Michael Marsal, 34, Millbrook, N.Y./Hudson Hall, 29, New Braunfels, Texas/Chuck Dempsey, 52, Oak Hills, CA, Brenthel-Chevy, 5:15:12 . 6. 238 Elijah Kiger, 23, Kirby, Pa./Sean Boodan, 30, Kirby, Pa., TSCO-Chevy, 5:15:37 . 7. 263 EJ Herbst, 22, Las Vegas/Ryan Millen, 37, Huntington Beach, CA (New Zealand), Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 5:24:49 . 8. 211 Pat Sims, 56, Eunice, N.M./Tim Wilson, 22, Boulder City, NV/Jeffery T. Wilson, 25, Boulder City, NV, ESM-Chevy, 5:27:15 . 9. 282 Brent Fox, 54, Highland, Utah, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 5:30:25 . 10. 204 Christopher Polvoorde, 22, Hemet, CA, Mason-Ford, 5:32:19 . 11. 205 Joe Delucie, 44, Las Vegas/Ryan Millen, 38, Huntington Beach, CA (New Zealand), SLR-Chevy, 5:38:43 . 12. 247 Scott Shields, 47, El Cajon, CA/Kevin Shields, El Cajon, CA, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:41:41 . 13. 246 Ethan Hagle, 30, Somis, CA/Ben Hagle, 33, Somis, CA, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:45:19 . 14. 223 Kyle Murray, 31, Long Beach, CA/Ryan Murray, Long Beach, CA, Geiser-Chevy, 5:51:47 . 15.217 Joe Belt, 36, Bonita, CA/Brad Looney, 27, Campo, CA, Custom-Chevy, 5:52:48 . 16. 260 Santiago Creel, 36, MX City, Jimco-Chevy, 6:06:10 . 17. 244 Oliver Flemate, 46, Ensenada, MX/Ana Paula Flemate, 17, Ensenada, MX/Luis Muguna, 30, Ensenada, MX, TSCO-Chevy, 6:07:18 . 18. 207 Mason Cullen, 23, Long Beach, CA/Matt Cullen, 54, Long Beach, CA, Geiser-Chevy, 6:25:22 . 19. 249 Dustin Swanson, 44, Honolulu, Hawaii/Eric Dollente, 43, Imperial, CA, TSCO-Chevy, 6:31:55 . 20. 225 Scott McNeil, 34, Mesa, AZ/John McNeil, 57, Mesa, AZ/Kelly McNeil, 61, Mesa, AZ/Mitch McNeil, 32, Mesa, AZ/Rodney Pyburn, 37, Gilbert, AZ/Adam McNeil, 45, Mesa, AZ, Geiser-Ford, 6:32:52; 21. 273 Jonathan Brenthel, 43, Temecula, CA/Jonathan Brenthel, 36, Temecula, CA, Brenthel-Chevy, 6:33:25 . 22.284 Jose Contreras, 38, Tecate, MX/Eduardo Arellano, Tijuana, MX, BRP-Chevy, 6:55:01 . 23. 264 Arnoldo Gutierrez Jr, 34, Mexicali, MX/Mario Vargas, 33, Mexicali, MX, Brenthel-Chevy, 6:56:15 . 24.266 David Ziegler, 47, Reno, NV/Paul Ziegler, 51, Reno, NV, Brenthel-Chevy, 7:14:00 . 25. 240 Chris Miller, 49, Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Chasen Gaunt, 27, Torrance, CA, Mason-Chevy, 8:01:35 . 26. 227 Jack Olliges, 16, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor (Geiser), 8:02:18 . 27. 231 Carlos Ramos, 35, La Paz, MX/Stephano Algorri, 30, La Paz, MX, Custom-Chevy, 8:38:38 . 28. 252 Oscar Arambula, 45, Ensenada, MX/Adan Leggs, 42, Ensenada, MX, Mason-Ford, 9:52:30 . 29. 226 Juan C. Lopez, 48, Tecate, MX/Apdaly Lopez, Tecate, MX, Curry-Ford, 11:50:21 . 30. 289 Tanner Rust, 32, El Cajon, CA/Jeff Embree, 51, Austin, Texas, Foutz-Ford, 12:14:32 .

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