Envied by some, admired by many more, loathed by a few and respected by all as the ‘Monsters of the Desert,’ 38 SCORE Trophy Trucks are revved up to roar in next week’s BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
The marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 1000 horsepower, unlimited custom trucks was created by legendary former SCORE owner Sal Fish in 1994 and pre-running continues this week in Mexico’s majestic and mysterious Northern part of Baja California peninsula for the season finale of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship.
The finale of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held Nov. 15-20 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, the race will start/finish and colorful pre-race activities in the heart of Ensenada at the iconic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and the adjacent fantastically fan-friendly Boulevard Costero.
Ensenada, ‘The Off-Road Capital of the World,’ is located 80 miles South of the U.S. Border near San Diego.
With over 275 entries expected, 45 competition classes are offered for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. To date, there are 264 total entries from 36 U.S. States, U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico and 18 countries. Joining the USA and the U.S. Territory Puerto Rico, in the field so far are racers from host country Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, India, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Peru and Spain. So far there are 193 cars, trucks and UTVs entered and 71 motorcycles and quads.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the newest top motorsports events in the entire world. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on the ESPN2 World of X Games programming.
The race show on ESPN2 is co-produced by SCORE International and the award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles. Bud Brutsman is the Executive Producer. Intro announcer for the race show will once again be Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee and SCORE champion desert racer Cameron Steele who will again pull double duty racing in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck class as well in his No. 16 Desert Assassins Monster Energy Ford Raptor.
All four 2022 SCORE races are being held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the seventh consecutive year.
CORE, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, is celebrating its 49th season in 2022.
Leading the list of entries with double-digit lineups so far are SCORE Trophy Truck with 38 entries (including seven in SCORE TT Legend for drivers over 50 years old), Trophy Truck Spec with 26 entries, Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) with 26 entries, Class 10 with 19 entries, Pro UTV Stock with 11, Pro UTV Open with nine and among two-wheel vehicles Pro Moto Ironman (Solo riders) with 22 entries to date and Pro Moto Unlimited with nine and Sportsman Motorcycle with 12.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK CHAMPS
Roaring through the desert terrain with the grace, beauty and power of the Bolshoi Ballet and the speed of a runaway locomotive, a total of 14 of the last 16 SCORE Trophy Truck SCORE Baja 1000 race winners are entered in this year’s race, including the last eight straight. And 22 racers are entered in this race who have combined to earn 104 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins (out of 144 total races).
Also entered are 10 racers who have combined for 15 SCORE Trophy Truck season point championships in the first 28 years of the marquee SCORE racing division.
Leading the way among the former SCORE Trophy Truck season point champs are Ed Herbst and his brother Tim Herbst with four titles each (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003), four-time champion Rob MacCachren (1994, 2007, 2018, 2021) and three-time consecutive titles in Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (2015, 2016, 2017).
Individually, Rob MacCachren leads with the most career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins with 19, followed by other race entries Ed and Tim Herbst (11 each), Andy McMillin (11), Larry Ragland (11), Bryce Menzies (8), Mark Post (7), Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr (6), Larry Roeseler (5), Ryan Arciero (4), Curt LeDuc (4), Gus Vildosola Sr (3), Luke McMillin (3), Juan C. Lopez (2), Roger Norman (2) and Cameron Steele (2), and entered with one each career SCORE Trophy Truck race win are Alan Ampudia, Josh Daniel, Pat Dean, Rick D. Johnson, Dan McMillin, and Justin B. Smith.
The massive 38-SCORE Trophy Truck field for this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 includes 22 racers who have combined to win 104 of the 144 races in the history of the featured class.
Enjoying its 29th season at the forefront of the sport, this year’s field also includes 10 racers who have combined to win the SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship in 15 of the first 28 campaigns.
Included in that elite group are the season champs of the last eight consecutive seasons in the SCORE World Desert Championship.
‘Chairman of the Board’ in SCORE Trophy Truck is Las Vegas’ Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Rob MacCachren, the G.O.A.T of off-road racing, with 19 all-time SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. The ‘Mac Attack’ is the winningest racer in the history of off-road racing with 315 class victories in multiple classes in the desert, short-course and stadium off-road racing, the amiable MacCachren has also won four SCORE Trophy Truck season point titles (1994, 2007-with Mark Post, 2018 and 2021-with Luke McMillin).
With a fourth-place finish in SCORE Trophy Truck in this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 and a victory in this year’s SCORE Baja 500, MacCachren finished 11th in the SCORE Baja 400. For this year’s SCORE Baja 1000, MacCachren has agreed to be the second driver for Luke McMillin in the No. 83 McMillin Racing 4 Wheel Parts AWD Chevy 1500 (built by Mason Motorsports) in hopes of earning McMillin the season championship and his third consecutive victory in this iconic race. A reversal of what McMillin did last year when they duo paired with MacCachren as the driving of record, earning him the season point championship.
Also entered are two of the four racers tied for second in career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins with 11 victories each are second-generation racer Tim Herbst, third-generation desert racer Andy McMillin and Hall of Fame racer Ragland.
Another Las Vegas ORMHOF inductee, Tim Herbst pilots his No. 19 Ford F-150 built by Herbst/Smith Fab. Sharing the driving duties with Herbst will be fellow-Las Vegan Pat Dean who has one career SCORE Trophy Truck race victory
Herbst and his older brother Ed Herbst earned four SCORE Trophy Truck season point crowns over a five-year period (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003).
San Diego’s Andy McMillin, son of former SCORE champion Scott McMillin and grandson of the late Corky McMillin, will be the second driver for Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies in the No. 7 Menzies Motorsports AWD Ford Raptor built by Mason Motorsports. Andy McMillin won the 2019 SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion. Menzies won the crown in 2011 and he also won this year’s SCORE Baja 400 for the second straight season.
In what might be his final SCORE race on the eve of his 80th birthday, Ragland will be one of a three driver team with Las Vegas’ Dallas Luttrell, the DOR, and Las Vegas’ Billy Goerke in Lutrell’s No. 87 Dodge Ram built by Collins Motorsports.
Leading the next wave of SCORE Trophy Truck stallions entered in this race are Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr with six career race wins, Larry Roeseler with five and Ryan Arciero who has four career SCORE Trophy Truck race victories.
Part of the most prominent Mexican racing team in SCORE, Vildosola Jr, of Mexicali, will be the second driver this year for Ensenada’s Alan Ampudia, who won the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000. With Ampudia as DOR because he is third in season points. The talented pair will drive Vildosola Jr’s new Mason-built AWD Ford Raptor with Ampudia’s No. 10 on its livery.
Dubbed ‘Mr. Baja’ because of his amazing history in SCORE Baja racing both on two-wheels and four-wheels, Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif. will be driving the No. 43 Baja Jerky Toyota Tundra built by ID Designs. A member of both the Off-Road Motorsports and America Motorcyclist Association Halls of Fame, Roeseler earned his fifth career SCORE Trophy Truck race win by capturing last year’s SCORE Baja 500.
LR has 14 career overall SCORE Baja 1000 victories including 10 on motorcycles, two in open-wheel desert race cars and one in SCORE Trophy Truck. He is the only racer in history who has won this race on a bike, in a car and in a SCORE Trophy Truck.
Roeseler also won the 2020 SCORE Baja 1000 as the second driver for Luke McMillin.
Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif., returns as the inaugural SCORE Baja 400 overall winner in 2019. This year he will be the second driver for Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., in the No. 16 Monster Energy Geiser-built Ford Raptor.
BAJA RUTA MUY ESPECIAL!
Identified, designed and plotted by SCORE President/Race Director Abelardo Grijalva, the 828.25-mile race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, runs in a clockwise direction after the first part to and then back and back from Ojos Negros.
The magnificent course features three physical, full-stop checkpoints and 285 virtual checkpoints. The course also has 18 speed zones for a total of 70.6 race miles.
Checkpoint 1 is at race-mile 200.22 (El Chinero), Checkpoint 2 is at rm 579.98 (Ejido Jaramillo) and Checkpoint 3 is at race-mile 726.57 (El Alamo).
After Ojos Negros, the course goes up and over the Cordillera de Molina to drop into the desert around Rm 115.
After reaching the La Ventana area it will run south to the El Chinero road crossing highway 3 at Km 192 and will keep going south to Matomi wash. Halfway into Matomi Wash it exits and goes north to Azufre Wash, then to Huatamote wash, Chanate Wash and up to Morelia Junction.
From there the course will exit the desert and go to San Matias Pass road and Mike’s Sky Rancho, down to Rancho La Jolla and will run on the San Pedro Martir road to Meling Ranch. After Meling it will run to the Pacific Coast to Ejido Jaramillo and north to just below San Vicente where it will cross back to Valley de Trinidad then back to Ojos Negros and onto to the finish line in Ensenada.
For safety reasons, all of the Sportsman 4 Wheel Vehicle classes along with Class 11 and Class 7SX will run a reduced course of 695.79 miles and the Sportsman Motorcycle and Quad classes will race on a reduced course of 760.91 miles.
This year’s course map is available on the SCORE website under race info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page at www.SCORE-International.com.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited CustomTrucks including Builder)--
6 Dan Myers, 44, Newport Beach, Calif./Jason O’Connor, 54, San Marcos, Calif., Toyota Tundra (Brenthel)
7 Bryce Menzies, 35, Las Vegas/Andy McMillin, 35, San Diego, Ford Raptor (Mason)
10 Alan Ampudia, 31, Ensenada, Mexico/Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, 41, Mexico, Ford Raptor (Mason)
14 Bobby Pecoy, 58, Anaheim, Calif./Rhys Millen, 50, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (New Zealand), Ford Raptor (Geiser)
16 Cameron Steele, 54, San Clemente, Calif./Ryan Arciero, 49, Foothill Ranch, Calif., Ford Raptor (Geiser)
18 JP Gomez, 38, Placerville, Calif./Danny Patterson, 49, Placerville, Calif., Ford Raptor (Geiser)
19 Tim Herbst, 59, Las Vegas/Pat Dean, 51, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith)
23 Dan McMillin, 34, San Diego/Josh Daniel, 47, Bonsall, Calif., Chevy 1500 (Mason)
25 Cody Swanty, 47, Kingman, Ariz./Rory Ward, 52, Kingman, Ariz./Rob Reinertson, Woodside, Calif., Dodge Ram (Geiser)
26 Dave Taylor, 48, Page, Ariz./Travis Ricks, 34, Page, Ariz./Ryan Poelman, 46, East Orem, Utah, Ford Raptor (Geiser)
27 Jonathan Brenthel, 43, La Cresta, Calif./Kyle Jergensen, 27, Phelan, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Brenthel)
34 Broc Dickerson, 21, Brawley, Calif./Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, 28, Tecate, Mexico, Ford Raptor (TSCO)
41 Justin Lofton, 36, Brawley, Calif. (Lockney, Texas)/Derek Balcunas, 40, Hemet, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Mason)
43 Larry Roeseler, 65, Boulevard, Calif., Toyota Tundra (ID)
45 Gary Magness, 68, Denver/Jeff Blackwell, Oklahoma City, Ford F-150 (Herbst/Smith)
46 Paul Weel, 43, Australia/Toby Price, 35, Australia, Ford Raptor (Geiser)
58 Tracy Graf, 59, Canada/Justin B. Smith, 38, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado (Racer)
63 Ruben Torres, 24, San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Gabriel Torres, 29, San Luis Potosi, Mexico/Enrique Avalos, 33, Ensenada, Mexico, Nissan (TSCO)
70 Kevin Thompson, 49, New Braunfels, Texas/Harley Letner, 39, Corona, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Herbst/Smith)
72 Kevin Adler, 56, Lake Havasu City, Ariz./Jason Morgan, 46, Lake Havasu City, Ariz./Dan Street, 50, Chula Vista, Calif., Toyota Tundra (Maniak)
82 Sam Baldi, 57, Beaumont, Calif./Jake Johnson, 44, Yucaipa, Calif./Michael Baldi, 52, Yucaipa, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Baldi)
83 Luke McMillin, 29, San Diego/Rob MacCachren, 57, Las Vegas, Chevy 1500 (Mason)
85 Mikey Lawrence, 34, Banning, Calif., Ford Raptor (Herbst/Smith)
86 Marc Martinez, 49, Oro Valley, Ariz./James Dyer, 50, Oro Valley, Calif./Chad Carney, 53, Oro Valley, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Porter)
87 Dallas Luttrell, 49, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, 79, Cave Creek, Ariz./Billy Goerke, 48, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram (Collins MS)
89 Mike Walser, 55, Comfort, Texas/Jax Redline, 17, Amarillo, Texas, Chevy Silverado (Mason)
90 Raul Gomez, 43, Placerville, Calif./Sergio Garcia, Chino Hills, Calif./Darian Gomez, Placerville, Calif., Ford Raptor (Geiser)
93 Jeff Bianchi, 47, Cedar Lake, Ind./Adam Suttinger, 44, Crown Point, Ind./Erik Eikenmeyer, 20, Tucson, Ariz., Chevy Silverado (Speed)
98 Jose Mendez, 34, Guadalajara, Mexico/Danny Lopez, Guadalajara, Mexico, Ford Raptor (Geiser)
Source Score International
Photo: Bryce Menzies