40 Years to Glory tribute

In Long Beach, Calif. BFGoodrich Tires, Volkswagen of America announce major plans during Thursday's '40 Years to Glory' SCORE Baja 1000 Tribute A near-capacity crowd including legends of the SCORE Baja 1000 desert race celebrate 4-decade legacy...

In Long Beach, Calif. BFGoodrich Tires, Volkswagen of America announce major plans during Thursday's '40 Years to Glory' SCORE Baja 1000 Tribute

A near-capacity crowd including legends of the SCORE Baja 1000 desert race celebrate 4-decade legacy of Granddaddy of all desert races at Long Beach Performance Arts Center

LONG BEACH, Calif.--During an epic evening of emotion and passion, BFGoodrich Tires and Volkswagen of America punctuated the tribute awards with major announcements during Thursday's '40 Years to Glory' gala at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The event celebrated the upcoming 40th anniversary of November's legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races.

With a near-capacity crowd of almost 3,000 in the Terrace Theater saluting the legends of SCORE Baja racing, BFGoodrich Tires' Todd Steen announced a 10-year contract extension as the official tire of SCORE International while VW's Clark Campbell announced a first-ever six-figure contingency program for VW as well as presented SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish with two very special vehicles.

The event also honored nearly 100 individuals who have participated in the SCORE Baja 1000, from SCORE Baja Pioneers, SCORE Baja Innovatorsto SCORE Icons to SCORE Media and SCORE Photographers.

The new agreement positions BFGoodrich Tires as the official tire of SCORE International into the year 2018, guaranteeing BFG participation and racer support for the 50th Anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

BFG Tires have been the most prolific tire used in SCORE desert racing and BFG was the tire for 20 consecutive overall 4-wheel champions in the race.

BFGoodrich Tires' commitment to the growth of SCORE International and desert racing is also demonstrated in its support of numerous competitors in 18 classes and several volunteer-based pit areas located along the racecourse of the SCORE Baja 1000. BFGoodrich Tires dedicates 10 full service tractor-trailer pit vehicles and nearly 250 volunteer and active personnel to support more than 73 percent of the field at the SCORE Baja 1000 who will be competiting on BFGoodrich Tires, a tradition that started in 1981.

As a special tribute to the history and mystique that surrounds Volkswagen's winning tradition in Baja, a unique program totaling $40,000 will be available for this year's 40th anniversary of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. The program includes recognition of some of the most adventurous drivers and their beloved Volkswagen Beetle sedans, a total of up to $9,000 will be awarded to the top three finishers in Stock VW Sedans (Class 11). Also included in the program is a special $10,000 bonus for the highest finishing Volkswagen-powered vehicle in any Class.

Beginning in 2008, Volkswagen will offer a season-long contingency program for SCORE International Off-Road racers competing in Volkswagen-powered vehicles. Funds totaling up to $100,000 will be available, including a special bonus for the highest points position finishing VW.J

As a long-time supporter of desert racing and as the official vehicle of SCORE International, Volkswagen presented SCORE International President and CEO Sal Fish with a specially outfitted "SCORE Course Marker" Volkswagen Touareg 2.

Adorned in official SCORE graphics, the vehicle was specially modified for use by Sal Fish in his on-going efforts to design some of the most grueling desert racing courses in the world. The Touareg 2 is well suited for this type of use with its superior off-road capabilities and luxurious interior.J

In an additional surprise presentation, Fish was presented with a fully-restored 1973 Volkswagen Thing, a replica of the first official vehicle of SCORE International. In a blending of both past and present, the restored VW Thing was painted and adorned with a graphics package resembling the new Touareg 2 presented to Fish.

"The entire tribute evening for the SCORE Baja 1000 was an extremely emotional experience for me, but the presentation of this special Volkswagen Touareg 2 took the breath out of me and almost knocked me off of my feet," said Sal Fish, who has been the CEO/President of Los Angeles-based SCORE International since shortly after it was founded in 1973. "Our relationship with Volkswagen of America and their commitment to our SCORE desert racers is one of the top highlights of my career."

The evening's presentation honored race celebrities in separate groups, with Baja icons like Sal Fish, Parnelli Jones, Ivan Stewart, Walker Evans, Frank Vessels, Bob Gordon, Frank Arciero Jr. the McMillin family, and Rod Hall all shared a portion of the dramatic 90-minute program. Those valiant riders on two wheels (motorcycles)who also shared the spotlight included Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler, Eddie Mulder, Bruce Ogilvie, Ron Bishop, Johnny Campbell, Steve Hengeveld and Mitch Mayes. Additional star powercame in the form of many cross-over drivers that fill SCORE Baja racing legend books like sport car legends Bob Bondurant and Peter Brock, rising NASCAR star Boris Said, along with Indianapolis 500 veterans Danny Sullivan, Roberto Guerrero and brothers Mike and Robbie Groff.

Making '40 Years to Glory' even more memorable was the unprecedented gathering of Baja pioneers, including Dave Ekins, Spence Murray, Bruce Meyers, Andy DeVercelly, Dave Deal, Johnny Johnson, Pete Condos and Bobby Ferro.

During an evening of a thousand memories being rekindled, the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame conducted a successful silent auction of SCORE Baja racing memorabilia and noted motorsport artist Eric Herrmann presented his finished original painting honoring the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.

'40 Years to Glory' also included the world's largest display of vintage and historic desert race vehicles and motorcycles. The dynamic event was co-hosted by motorsports television personalities Dave Despain and Paul Page and the evening's '40 Years to Glory' tribute included a special tribute by famed motorcycle builder turned SCORE Trophy-Truck racer Jesse James to the late Hollywood actor and Baja 1000 veteran Steve McQueen.

The special gala was made possible by the generous support of presenting partners Volkswagen of America, BFGoodrich Tires, Micron Technology, Blue C Enthusiast Advertising and Red Bull-North America, in association with Dirt Sports Magazine, Hot Rod Magazine, Kartek Off-Road and Bandito Brothers Productions.

This year's 40th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the season finale of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held Nov. 10-16 as a journey down Mexico's majestic Baja California peninsula. With pre-race activities in Tijuana, there will be more pre-race activities and the race will start in Ensenada and finish some 1,300 miles later in Cabo San Lucas. With over 400 entries expected from 40 U.S. States and 15 countries, the historic race will be taped by NBC Sports.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Boris Said , Roberto Guerrero , Bob Bondurant , Parnelli Jones , Danny Sullivan , Rod Hall , Steve Hengeveld , Peter Brock , Larry Roeseler , Eddie M , Jesse James , Johnny Campbell