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San Felipe 250 2024:  39 Score Trophy Trucks / Score TT legends prepped to rock'n'roar in daunting Baja desert

San Felipe 250 2024: 39 Score Trophy Trucks / Score TT legends prepped to rock'n'roar in daunting Baja desert

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Opener of 4-race 2024 SCORE World Desert Championship on 285.69-mile course,
Next-week’s contingency, start/finish on picturesque El Malecon in San Felipe
SCORE live streaming includes qualifying, contingency, start/finish, course action,
Starting his ninth season as host announcer on the S/F ramp will be Rat Sult,
SCORE Champion Mark Post Grand Marshal for SCORE San Felipe 250
 
#SCORESanFelipe250
 
    ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Launching its sixth decade as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization this year, the top 19 finishers from last year including All-Universe SCORE desert racers Rob MacCachren, Luke McMillin, and Bryce Menzies, 39 SCORE Trophy Trucks are poised, prepped, and revved to roar through the magnificent Mexican desert next week. These spectacular, high-tech, 1000-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks, will lead the field of over 260 expected entries in the King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250.
     Round 1 of the four-race 2024 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held next Wednesday through Sunday on a rugged 285.69-mile race course in and around the quaint, peaceful village of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
FAST FACTS
     Pre-race Contingency and Tech Inspection and the start/finish line compound will be located on the picturesque El Malecon in San Felipe along the inspiring azure waters of the Sea of Cortez.
     San Felipe is 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. on the eastern side of the Baja peninsula. All four 2024 SCORE races will be held on the Northern half of Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the ninth consecutive year.
     SCORE, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, is celebrating its 50th season in 2023.
DIRTFAX
     With over 270 entries anticipated at the start line to launch the 50th season of SCORE desert racing, 252 total entries have been received so far for the popular ‘Spring Break’ event, with racers representing 28 U.S. States, U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico, and 10 countries. The countries with at least one racer so far are United States, host country Mexico, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Chile, France, New Zealand, and Peru.
     To date, there are 186 cars/trucks/utvs entered and 66 motorcycles/quads.
MORE DIRTFAX
     With double-digit entries to date are the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck (high-tech, unlimited, 1000-horsepower, custom trucks) with 39, Trophy Truck Spec (SCORE Trophy Trucks with spec engines) with 45, Class 10 (10), Pro UTV Open (21), Pro UTV FI (18), Pro UTV Stock (14), Pro Moto Unlimited (13) and Pro Moto Ironman (solo riders) with 15.
FAB FIELD
     Included in the massive field of SCORE Trophy Trucks are a litany of the greatest desert racers in the world. Entries include six racers who have combined to win 15 SCORE Trophy Truck season point championships in the 30-year history of the marquee racing division in the sport of desert racing.
     There are also 19 drivers entered who have combined to win 87 of the 149 All-Time SCORE Trophy Truck races.
     In the SCORE San Felipe 250, five of this year’s SCORE Trophy Truck drivers have combined to capture the checkered flag 16 times in the 30-year history of the high-profile racing class.
THREE DECADES-PLUS
     Celebrating the 37th anniversary of the youngest of the three legendary SCORE Baja races, sometimes referred to as the SCORE ‘Baby Baja’, entries are being accepted on the SCORE website under Race Info at https://score-raceinfo.com/37th-san-felipe-250-march-20-24-2024/ for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
‘THE LUKE’ WITH A VERY COOL HAND
     Picking up where he left off in 2022, San Diego’s defending race champion Luke ‘The Luke’ McMillin roared through the Baja desert to defeat a massive 285 starters in last year’s King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250.
    Luke McMillin, 31, drove solo to power his stunning No. 1 Mason-built all-wheel drive Chevy 1500 to lead the third-largest number of starters and finishers in race history to an awe-inspiring, error-free, penalty-free winning time of four hours, 29 minutes, and 27 seconds over the sun-drenched, rock-filled, silt-strewn 282.51 miles for a remarkable average speed of 62.91 miles per hour.
     ‘The Luke’ has five careers SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. Besides the last two in the SCORE San Felipe 250, he won three consecutive SCORE Baja 1000 races (2020, 2021, 2022).
PODIUM FINISHERS
   Second place finisher, after qualifying sixth, was Mexico’s Alan Ampudia, 33, of Ensenada, ran a patient race to finish in second place, just under seven minutes behind ‘The Luke’, driving his No. 10 Papas Y Beer Racing AWD Ford Raptor (built by Mason Motorsports) in 4:36:43, with an average speed of 61.26 mph.
     Menzies, 36, won this race in 2021, was second in 2022 (to McMillin) and ended up finishing third in last year’s race, driving his No. 7 Menzies Motorsports AWD Ford Raptor built by Mason Motorsports in 4:43:37, with an average speed of 59.77mph.
     The first two SCORE Trophy Trucks both had average speeds of over 60mph.
     Ampudia has one career SCORE Trophy Truck race win, while Menzies has 10 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins, including three during his 2023 SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship run.
PRE-RUNNING
     Pre-running on the official 285.69-mile race course opened at last Saturday (March 9). Pre-running starts at race-mile .70 and finishes at race-mile 284.38.
     This year’s race course runs in a counter-clockwise direction with one physical checkpoint at the Borrego Road crossing. Motorcycle and quad classes have two deviations to the overall race course, but all vehicles will run the exact same total mileage. Sportsman classes will run 284.86 total miles.
     The official GPS files, course map, Racer’s Brief, and Penalty Bulletin are all available on the SCORE website under Racer Info.
TOP 10 SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS-2023
     Besides Luke McMillin, Ampudia, and Menzies the rest of the top 10 SCORE Trophy Truck finishers, including one SCORE TT Legends (drivers over 50 years old) started with fourth place finisher Andrew Meyers, 43, San Marcos, Calif., with a time of 4:45:15 in his No. 69 Toyota Escondido Toyota Tundra.
     Fifth was Mexico’s Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, 41, Mexicali, Mexico, in 4:46:39 in his No. 21 Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor and sixth in class and overall was Las Vegas’ Steve Olliges, 55, with a time of 4:50:53 in his No. 51 Ford Raptor.
     Seventh was in 4:58:13 was Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., in his No. 43 Baja Vida Toyota Tundra.
     Eighth overall and winning the SCORE TT Legend class for the second straight year was veteran SCORE champion racer Gustavo Vildosola Sr, 69, Mexicali along with second driver Ricky Johnson, 58, Trabuco Canyon, Calif. They finished in 4:58:44 in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor.
     Finishing ninth overall was Adam Householder, 38, Placentia, Calif. in 4:59:01 in his No. 24 Ford F-150.
     Completing the top 10 overall and SCORE Trophy Truck finishers was 17-year-old SCORE Rookie Roberto Romo Jr, 17, in a time of 4:59:34 in his No. 33 Coast Aluminum Ford Raptor.
METHOD RACE WHEELS SCORE QUALIFYING
     For just the fifth time in the history of this popular ‘Spring Break’ race, SCORE will hold the Method Race Wheels SCORE Qualifying session starting at 7 a.m. PT on Thursday, March 21 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend and Trophy Truck Spec classes. The starting order for qualifying in each class will be the order in which they entered the race.
     Entries received in the qualifying classes received after Friday, March 8 will be given then next available starting slot within their respective classes.
     Start order for qualifying will be determined by the date and time that they are received.
     Qualifying will be held on a 5.20-mile course not used before by SCORE. Qualifying is not open to the public.
     Qualifying will be part of the SCORE Live streaming of the event accessed through the SCORE website with Austin Farner as the SCORE studio host.
OVERALL TOTALS
     SCORE Trophy Trucks have won 26 overalls in San Felipe in the 30 years that this class has been part of this race. In last year’s race, SCORE Trophy Trucks captured the top 19 overall finishing positions.
     Among tire manufacturers, BFGoodrich Tires, courtesy of ‘The Luke’, won their 31st overall crown in the 36-year race history.
     In the overall pro 4wheel vehicles, Chevy vehicles have earned seven wins and in overall engine winners, Chevy has nine overall victories.
SAN FELIPE GOLD
     Leader of the pack of former SCORE San Felipe 250 Trophy Truck race winners entered in this year’s race is Las Vegas’ G.O.A.T. MacCachren, 59, with six wins (2003, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018).
     Next is Vildosola Jr, of Mexicali, who is entered with three straight SCORE Trophy Truck race victories in San Felipe (2013, 2014, 2015).
     Also with three straight victories are Las Vegas’ brothers Ed Herbst and Tim Herbst (1999, 2000, 2001). Tim Herbst will be driver of record this year in his No. 19 Monster Energy Ford F-150 (Geiser) with Pat Dean as his second driver. Ed and Tim Herbst have 11 career SCORE Trophy Truck race triumphs driving as a team.
     With two wins (2003 with MacCachren, and 2013 with his son Vildosola Jr) in San Felipe are Gus Vildosola Sr, Mexicali, Mexico, who will be racing this year in SCORE TT Legend in his No. 1L Ford Raptor (Mason) all-wheel drive SCORE Trophy Truck, and Luke McMillin (2021, 2022).
     With one SCORE Trophy Truck win each in San Felipe, are Menzies (2021), and Andy McMillin (2019).
AND THERE’S MORE
     Any SCORE racer will tell you that the challenge is as much, if not more, about the struggle against the beautiful but unforgiving Baja terrain as it is about beating the other competitors in the class. The old desert-racing adage is ‘to finish first, you must first finish’.
     In addition to the fabulous SCORE San Felipe favorites in SCORE Trophy Truck there are over 20 more challengers that could easily end up on the podium when all is said and done.
     But leading the group of contenders, even without a SCORE San Felipe 250 win, are SCORE Trophy Truck race winners from other races entered in this lineup.
     At the top of that group is easily SoCal Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Cameron Steele, 55, San Clemente Steele has two career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins both in 2018. He drives the No. 16 Desert Assassins Ford Raptor (Geiser).
     Hall of Famer Larry Roeseler, 66, Boulevard, Calif., has five career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins and he is entered for the first time in the SCORE TT Legend class (drivers over 50 years old) as the second driver for Clay Lawrence, 61, Banning, Calif., in the No. 85L Ford Raptor (1 Nine Industries).
     Also entered in this year’s race with one career SCORE Trophy Truck race win each are San Diego’s Dan McMillin (Luke’s older brother), who won the 2020 SCORE Baja 500 with Las Vegas’ Justin B. Smith, in the AWD No. 23 McMillin Racing Chevy 1500 (Mason) and Josh Daniel, Bonsall, Calif., in his No. 80 Ford Raptor (Geiser).
     In San Felipe, Smith will be the second driver for Canada’s Tracy Graf in the No. 58 Chevy Silverado (Racer).
NEXT IN LINE
     While former race winners are always pre-race favorites to repeat, the SCORE Trophy Truck field for this year’s King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250, includes several more racers who have either won in other SCORE classes or in other race series.
     Among those additional thoroughbreds charging for a breakthrough, in numerical order, are Adam Householder, Anaheim California (No. 24, Ford F-150 (1 Nine Industries), Australia’s Toby Price/Paul Weel, in their No. 46 Chevy Silverado (Mason), Andrew Myers, San Marcos, Calif. (No. 69 Toyota Tundra (1 Nine Industries), Kevin Thompson, New Braunfels, Texas/Harley Letner, Corona, Calif. (No. 70 Chevy Silverado (Mason), and Dallas Lutrell, Las Vegas, in his No. 87 Dodge Ram (Collins).
SCORE TT LEGEND
     While Mexico’s Vildosola Sr, 70, Mexicali, Mexico, and his driving teammate Ricky Johnson, 59, El Cajon, Calif., will be the favorites in this special marquee class for SCORE Trophy Truck drivers over 50 years old in the Vildosola Racing No. 1L Ford Raptor.
     Among the contenders to challenge the defending race and season point champions will be Rolf Helland, 64, Morris, Ill./Rick D. Johnson, 56, Barstow, Calif., in the No. 37L Ford Raptor (Mason).
     Vildosola Sr has won the season point championship in this relatively new class (started in 2017), with crowns in 2018, 2022, 2023 and Helland won the season title in 2021.
     Vildosola Sr and Ricky Johnson have won the San Felipe race each of the last two years while Helland and Rick D. Johnson won this race in 2021.
     A third team to watch for will be Clay Lawrence, 61, Banning, Calif., with his new second-driver Larry ‘Mr. Baja’ Roeseler, 66, Boulevard, Calif., in the No. 85L Ford Raptor (1 Nine Industries).
RACER REGISTRATION
     With online racer registration closed, late entries may register in person at the SCORE Ensenada office will have until 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 14. Those entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered.
     Starting positions for the all-other classes (that are not qualifying) were determined by a random drawing after the close of online racer registration. Results of the start draw are posted on the SCORE website.
     On-site, late racer registration will be held Wednesday through Friday (March 20-22) in San Felipe. Registration will be held in the Centro Comercial Plaza Armex (Avenida Mar de Cortez Sur No. 39) in San Felipe from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday for qualifying teams, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT on Friday. Late, on-site entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered.
     Questions should be directed to Shannon Lund, SCORE Registration and Membership Director at 775.852.8907 or registration@SCORE-<wbr< a=""> />International.com.</wbr<>
ANOTHER AMAZING COURSE
    With pre-running well underway for the King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250, SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva and Co-Race Director Rodolfo Fernandez have put together another memorable race course to challenge the world’s best desert racers.
     Starting and finishing back on the picturesque El Malecon, the race is 285.69 miles, running in a counter-clockwise direction and features one physical full stop checkpoint (Borrego Road Crossing at race-mile 201.03).
     For just the third time and for safety reasons, SCORE has developed two separate sections within the overall race course for motorcycles and quads only, but all Pro classes will still cover 285.69 total miles of magnificent Baja terrain. All Sportsman classes will run a course of 284.86
     There are 133 virtual checkpoints for cars/trucks/UTVs, 111 for motos/quads. The course has eight speed zones for a total of 6.90 miles.
     The course heads North to the Zoo Road crossing up to the El Chinero area North for an extended long loop through Laguna Saldana, the Arroyo Grande, through Arroyo Arrajal, South to Borrego, down through Laguna Diablo, South past Morelia Junction, finally heading east gloriously infamous Chanate Wash, before heading north for the final sprint to the finish line.
     The moto/quad first deviation of the course is at RM 90.51 north of El Chinero and rejoins the overall course at RM 178.77. The second deviation starts at RM 270.56, heading south to make a long loop through Chanate Wash, back east through Azufre Wash where those classes will run North parallel to the car/truck/utv course before joining back up at rm 278.62, for the final seven miles to the finish line on El Malecon.
     All Sportsman classes will run a reduced course of 284.79 miles.
     The official course map, GPS files, course notes and Racer’s Information packet are all available on the SCORE website. They are located under race info for the SCORE San Felipe 250.
SCORE LIVE
     During qualifying on Thursday, contingency on Friday and the race on Saturday until the course closes on Sunday early morning, SCORE Live streaming will be broadcasting race activities and start and finish line interviews as well as live action from Drones, ground cameras and in-car cameras from around the race course. There will also be live Zoom interviews for individuals around the race course as part of SCORE Live for this race.
     Popular Rat Sult, who is starting his ninth season as the voice of SCORE, will once again serve as host and lead ramp announcer of the expansive SCORE Live streaming. Assisting Sult will be Mexico’s Gabriel Garcia.
     Sult and Garcia will be announcing from the SCORE start/finish ramp while the show will also include SCORE studio announcers in El Cajon, Calif., providing live info and updates throughout the race. Host announcer in the SCORE Studio will again be Brandon Johnson while co-hosts during the race will be Wes Miller and Heidi Steele.
     SCORE live is being produced again by SCORE Media House, Bud Brutsman, producer, Alberto Luna, on-site director.
     Coverage will also include Austin Farner in the studio announcing during qualifying.
     SCORE live may be launched from the home page of the SCORE website or from the SCORE App.
GREEN FLAG
     The King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250, will be an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday, March 23 will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 6 a.m. (PT) and 9 a.m. (PT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in around four and one-half hours, all vehicles will have a 13-hour time limit in the 285.59-mile race to become official finishers in the iconic race.
POST—GRAND MARSHAL
     Grand Marshal for this year’s King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250 is SCORE champion racer Mark Post, a prominent businessman in Southern California and Las Vegas.
     Post, 65, of Las Vegas and Laguna Beach, Calif., has been an active desert racer for nearly 30 years, recorded his most impressive season in 2007 when he won the SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship. In 2007, with the iconic Rob MacCachren as his second driver, Post won the 40th anniversary SCORE Baja 1000, a race of 1296.39 miles from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in his spectacular No. 3 Riviera Racing Black Diamond Ford F-150.
     Post, MacCachren, and third driver Carl Renezeder, covered the distance in 25 hours, 21 minutes, and 25 seconds, averaging 53.43 miles per hour to be the fastest overall four-wheel vehicle finisher in the race.
    In his remarkable 2007 SCORE season Post finished fourth in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, first in the SCORE San Felipe 250, fourth in the SCORE Baja 500, second in the SCORE Terrible’s Las Vegas Primm 300, capped by his massive victory in the season-ending 40th SCORE Baja 1000 from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas.
     Also in 2007, Riviera Racing won the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Cup short-course event on the dirt track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Rob MacCachren driving.
    In the SCORE San Felipe 250, Post has three career overall and class wins, two with Jerry Whelchel before winning in 2007 in SCORE Trophy Truck with MacCachren. Post and Whelchel won Class 1 in this race in 1998 and again in 2004 in SCORE Trophy Truck.
     Post also earned a prestigious SCORE Milestone Award in 2007.
     In his illustrious SCORE racing career, Post has seven career SCORE Trophy Truck race victories, (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and his three in 2007.
SCOREscope
2024 SCORE SCHEDULE
     Here are the dates for the four-race 2024 SCORE World Desert Championship which will be held in Baja California, Mexico for the ninth consecutive year:
·       King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250—
March 20-24, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
·       BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 500—
May 29-June 2, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
·       5th SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels—
September 11-15, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
·       BFGoodrich Tires 57th SCORE Baja 1000—
November 11-17, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
SCORE SPONSORS…
     Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber and Race Title Sponsor, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel and race presenting sponsor, Optima Batteries-Official Battery, Rugged Radios-Official Radio Communication, Sylvania-Official Light, Method Race Wheels-Official Wheel and Race Qualifying sponsor, Lasernut-Official Custom Metal Fabricator, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
     SCORE Official Partners: The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance.
     Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Tourism, MEXICO Secretary of Tourism, San Felipe Foundational Municipal Council, Ensenada Municipal Government, San Felipe Marketing Tourism Committee, Ensenada Marketing Tourism Committee, Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association, Proturismo Ensenada, and Cruz Roja Mexicana.
 
 
Source: SCORE International
Photo: from Bryce Menzies
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