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

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THE SCORE BAJA 400 Race Winners Set The Stage For A Historic Race By Dan Sanchez photos by Getsomephoto After four races, the SCORE Baja 400 has become a favorite among off-road racing fans, attracting record crowds and competitors for this year’s K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels. Not only is this race the qualifier for starting positions in what will be a historic SCORE 50th Anniversary Baja 1000 Peninsula race, one that starts in La Paz and finishes in Ensenada, but it also showcases racers who are teaming up to improve their chances for a race win, and in many cases, a 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship. RACE WEEK Racers began familiarizing themselves with the 384.66-mile course early in September. They soon realized they would be driving through technical areas with rocks and silt, canyons and washes, high-speed areas, and beautiful seashore vistas. The course was slightly North of Highway 3 from the start in Ensenada, Mexico, and extended South past Valle De La Trinidad and down to Mike’s Sky Ranch. Then, the course headed west to Punta Colonet, up the coast into Santo Tomas, and back towards Highway 3 before connecting to the finish line in Ensenada. QUALIFYING For SCORE Trophy Truck, Trophy Truck Legends, Trophy Truck Spec, and Class 1 vehicles, a Qualifying session was held on September 14th on a 5.29-mile course east of Ensenada. The fastest qualifier in the SCORE Trophy Truck class was Australian racer Toby Price, driving for Paul Weel in the No. 46 truck with a time of 6:43:533. Tavo Vildosola qualified second in the No. 21 truck, and Alan Ampudia in the No. 10 truck qualified third. The No. 1L of Gus Vildosola qualified first in the SCORE Legends class with Ricky Johnson driving. In the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class, former champion Apdaly Lopez led the field to start first. Class 1 racers did not attempt to qualify for the race and instead agreed among themselves and SCORE Officials that their start order would remain in the order they entered the race. The starting positions for all other classes were determined by a drawing, in which racers were notified of later that day. All of qualifying was available to watch on SCORE’s Live Stream, viewable on the SCORE website, app, YouTube, and Facebook pages.  SCORE TROPHY TRUCK TEAM PLANS REVEALED Because the K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels is the qualifier for the SCORE Baja 1000 race, some of the teams unveiled their plans for that race by revealing their co-drivers to improve their chances at the start. One of the most exciting for SCORE fans was the Bryce Menzies team, which included Andy McMillin driving the Menzies second SCORE Trophy Truck. It was evident that Menzies and McMillin were top contenders in this race and wanted to improve their chances at the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. Cameron Steele also had Ryan Arciero (winner of the first SCORE Baja 400 race) join him as co-driver and planned to have Arciero on the team for the next race. Although they were driving in their own vehicles in this race, Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren announced they would be pairing up for the SCORE Baja 1000, something they had done in the past and with much success after winning the race together in 2021 and 2022. Luke McMillin also won the race in 2019 with legendary racer Larry Roeseler, winning it three times in a row. Mike Walser, who finished second at this year’s SCORE Baja 500, was teamed up with Christopher Polvoorde, who had been racing in the Trophy Truck Spec class and was offered a chance to move up to the Trophy Truck class. GRAND MARSHALS The K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels also had two legendary Grand Marshals. Walker Evans and Mark McMillin performed all the celebratory duties, as Sal Fish, designated as the 50th Anniversary Grand Marshal for all of the 2023 race season, was not able to attend while celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary. Evans and McMillin are inductees of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and share incredible racing histories in SCORE. Evans is a pioneer of the sport, and with more than 150 victories in his career, he started desert racing in 1969 at the original NORRA Mexican 1000. He later earned multiple class wins in SCORE races, including the Baja 1000, Baja 500, Parker 400, Fireworks 250, and the original Mint 400. Mark McMillin and his brother Scott are sons of Corky McMillin, who began the family’s off-road racing history in 1976. Mark has earned six season class championships in SCORE, including five overall victories in the SCORE Baja 1000 and eight class victories. In the SCORE Baja 500, he has earned three overall wins and five class wins. Mark McMillin is also Chairman of the Board of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. CONTINGENCY DAY One of the highlights of the K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels was Contingency Day, where racers and teams lined up on the race starting line in front of the Riveria del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero. SCORE emcees, Rat Sult and Dave Arnold, were busy interviewing all of the racers from a variety of classes throughout the day, shown live on the SCORE Live Stream viewable on the SCORE website, app, YouTube, and Facebook social media pages. Teams from SCORE Trophy Trucks to Sportsman moto racers enjoyed talking about their vehicles, sponsors, and their chances for winning their class at this race, all in front of record crowds in attendance along the Boulevard. MISSED SCORE CONTINGENCY ON LIVE STREAM? WATCH IT HERE:

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