In a race full of ‘SCORE Super Teams’ that turned into a true ‘survival’ test, San Diego’s youthful super star Luke McMillin and the admired G.O.A.T. in desert racing, Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren teamed to rise above the rest in a field of 276 starters early Saturday morning to win the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck title in the legendary season-ending BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The international event was the season-finale of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Starting second physically on the road in the elapsed time race and splitting the driving in McMillin’s Big Blue M racing machine all-wheel drive 4 Wheel Parts/BFGoodrich Tires No. 83 Chevy 1500, the dynamic duo patiently worked their way to the front of the pack and finished the beautifully bodacious 828.25-mile race around the Northern Part of Mexico’s majestic Baja peninsula in a sterling penalty-free time of 16 hours, 37 minutes and 46 seconds with an average speed of 49.81 miles per hour.
The SCORE Baja 1000 is at the pinnacle of motorsports as the oldest, most iconic, most prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
SCORE International is well known around the globe as the ‘World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization.’ Celebrating its 49th season in 2022, this race is the flagship event of the SCORE World Desert Championship.
THE LUKE & THE G.O.A.T.
One of several ‘Super Teams’ competing in this race primarily because of the length of the course, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee MacCachren, 57, stabled his aging two-wheel drive thoroughbred when invited to join the Big Blue M race team again for this historic race and be Luke McMillin’s second driver in the McMillin’s No. 83 McMilling Racing AWD Chevy 1500 built by Mason Motorsports.
Using Luke McMillin’s No. 83 SCORE Trophy Truck, McMillin entered the race as the SCORE Trophy Truck overall point leader for 2022 and second in the SCORE Overall points.
A third-generation desert racer, Luke McMillin, 29, and venerable Hall of Famer ‘Rob Mac’ started second behind another ‘Super Team’ of Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies and Luke McMillin’s cousin Andy McMillin, also of San Diego.
Last year, the McMillin family allowed MacCachren to be driver of record while driving in Luke’s truck and the pair won that race as well and MacCachren earned the SCORE Trophy Truck season point-championship.
Stalking their prey again this year like a hungry Cheetah, MacCachren started and stayed the course, with L. McMillin taking over the wheel at race mile 394, they then battled Luke’s older brother Dan McMillin and Josh Daniel, passing Josh when he had a flat tire, never looking back the rest of the way to the checkered flag.
Dan McMillin and Daniel finished second to give the iconic McMillin Racing family their first one-two overall finish in a SCORE race.
BIG BLUE M FAMILY LEGACY
With an enduring legacy started by the late family patriarch Corky McMillin, Luke McMillin added to the Big Blue M rich history with his third career victory in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division.
With his victory, L. McMillin also earned a US$25,000 contingency bonus from long-time SCORE sponsor and race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires offered to the winner of this year’s race.
The victory also marked the 33rd overall victory in this race for vehicles equipped with BFGoodrich Tires.
Besides his late grandfather Corky, Luke McMillin’s champion family members include his brother Daniel McMillin, his dad Mark McMillin, his uncle Scott McMillin, and his cousins Andy McMillin and Jessica McMillin. As a family, the McMillins now have earned a race-record 15 overall victories in the SCORE Baja 1000.
While Luke McMillin earned his third (straight) SCORE Baja 1000 overall, his father Mark has five as does his cousin Andy and his uncle Scott has two overalls in this storied race.
Luke won in 2020 teamed with Larry Roeseler and the last two years with the legendary G.O.A.T. MacCachren.
With his overall win, L. McMillin became just the third driver in race history to earn a three-peat with his third consecutive SCORE Baja 1000 victory. The other two Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame racers to accomplish the feat have been MacCachren (2014, 2015, 2016) and super vet Larry Ragland (1995, 1996, 1997).
Ragland, Carefree, Ariz., who will turn 79 in December, was the second driver in this year’s race for Las Vegas’ Dallas Luttrell and they finished seventh in SCORE Trophy Truck and 14th overall.
Source SCORE International
Photo Luke McMillin