Baja 1000 draw summary

Race-record 400 entries expected B.J. Baldwin in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Cardone in M/C draw Pole positions for 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race Racers from 32 States, 10 countries entered to date in nationally-televised Tecate SCORE Baja...

Race-record 400 entries expected
B.J. Baldwin in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Cardone in M/C draw Pole positions for 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race

Racers from 32 States, 10 countries entered to date in nationally-televised Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Peninsula run Nov. 15-18 in Mexico from Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur

LOS ANGELES--If Saturday's 'live' drawing for starting positions is any indication, November's 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race should be one for the ages. B.J. Baldwin in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Damon Cardone in Class 22 for open motorcycles drew the pole positions for the legendary granddaddy of all desert races. This year's odyssey of over 1,000 miles will be a grueling adventure down Mexico's mysterious Baja California peninsula starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California, Sur. It will be held Nov. 15-18.

An amazing race-record total of 343 vehicles officially entered in time for Saturday's live drawing for starting positions, by class, held during the RACEfest at the Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Hotel/Casino and presented by the Desert Assassins race team.

This year's memorable adventure will cover approximately 1,052 miles of the rugged and tortuous Baja California peninsula, starting on the Pacific Ocean side and stretching across and down the majestic peninsula to the Sea of Cortez side, back to the Pacific before winding back again to the Sea of Cortez and the finish line.

Nearly 400 entries from nearly 35 U.S. States and 10 countries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs will be part of this year's tribute to the sport of desert racing. The granddaddy of all desert races is the season-finale of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the world's foremost desert racing series.

"The Lake Elsinore Hotel/Casino and the Desert Assassins race team hosted a great event to honor our drawing for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO and President. "The place was packed and there was still plenty of food and refreshments to go around. It was a tremendous start for what promises to be another memorable chapter in the history of the world's greatest desert race."

With massive crowds reaching over 300,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the point-to-point race course, the race will start for the 32nd time in Ensenada and will finish for the 17th time in La Paz.

The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (Thursday, Nov. 16) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 16 hours.

B.J. Baldwin, 27, of Las Vegas, is the current SCORE Trophy-Truck point leader and won this year's season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January in his No. 97 Chevy Silverado. The drawing featured a race-record 36 entries in the SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks.

Damon Cardone, 40, Castaic, Calif., and his team, will lead a race-record 23 entries to date in Class 22 for open motorcycles on a Honda XR650R.

Drawing the first start in the ATV classes was the championship team led by Josh Frederick, 28, of Moapa, Nev., who will ride a Bombardier Outlander 800 in Class 25.

NASCAR Nextel Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., whose roots are in SCORE desert racing, drew the 31st starting position in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the Team Gordon No. 83 Red Bull Chevy CK1500. Gordon, , will again pull double-duty, driving the the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 before flying to Homestead, Fla., to race in the NASCAR Nextel Cup season finale. Driver of record for the team this season is Andy McMillin, Poway, Calif.

Among the other cross-over racers who are entered so far include NASCAR's Boris Said and World Rally champion Armin Schwarz, Indy Racing League star Buddy Rice and actor/racer Patrick Dempsey, star of the ABC TV hit show 'Grey's Anatomy.'

Pre-race festivities on Wednesday, Nov. 15, for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including tech and contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. across from the San Nicolas Hotel. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

While entries will be accepted up to race morning (Nov. 16), late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class. J The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor's Celebration will be held during the SCORE Fiesta on the Malecon beachwalk in La Paz, which starts at noon on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Besides the B.J. Baldwin and Gordon, other entries in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division include Las Vegas' Ed and Tim Herbst (No. 19-Ford F-150), Mexico's Gus Vildosola/Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas (4-Ford F-150), Honolulu's Alan Pflueger (28-Chevy Silverado), Brian Collins, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz. (12-Chevy Silverado), Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif. (86-Ford F-150), Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif. (3-Ford F-150), Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif./ Mark Miller, Phoenix, (81-Chevy Silverado), Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz. (2-Ford F-150), Chad Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz. (80-Chevy Silverado), Bob Shepard, Phoenix (1-Chevy CK1500), Garron Cadiente, Phoenix (38-Ford F-150), Scott Steinberger, Cypress, Calif., Jesse Jones, Phoenix (76-Ford F-150), Japan's Ikuo Hanawa (14-Toyota Tundra), Marty Coyne, El Centro, Calif. (5-Ford F-150), Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./EdStout, Irvine, Calif. (16-Ford F-150), Bobby Baldwin, Las Vegas (96-Chevy Silverado), Mike Julson, Descanso, Calif. (20-Chevy Silverdo) and brothers David and Matt Scaroni, Heber, Calif. (27-Ford F-150).

In just his fourth SCORE race, TV personality Jesse James, of Monster Garage fame, will debut his new No. 54 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck.

The classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (36), Class 1 (25), Class 1-2/1600 (22), Protruck (18), SCORE Lite (16), Class 5/1600 (14) and Class 10 (11).

Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which had a race-record 34 entries in the drawing.

Drawing first start in Class 1 was Germany's Armin Schwarz, who lives in Austria, in a Jimco-Chevy, while first off in Class 1-2/1600 will be Trevor Streetch, San Clemente, Calif., in a Prime-VW, while first start in Protruck went to brothers Eric and Jared Hardin, Anaheim, Calif., in a GMC Sierra.

Also among the Class 1 entries is the team of Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif., who will be going for a record third consecutive Overall victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in a Smithbuilt-Ford. They drew the 21st starting position in their class.

Among the other early entries are Rod Hall, Reno, Nev., and Ron Bishop, Escondido, the only two individuals who have raced in all 38 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.

The legendary Hall, 67, of Reno, Nev., has a race-record 18 career class wins in this race and is the only driver to have competed every year in a car or truck class. Hall returns this year as the defending class champion in a Hummer H3 in the Stock Mini class.

Bishop, 63, who will be a co-rider this year in Class 22, is the only racer who has competed every year on a motorcycle. He will be racing on a BMW HP2 motorcycle on the team led by rider of record Beau Hayden.

Among the cross-over entries is X-Games Freestyle legend Travis Pastrana, who won three gold Medals at this year's X-Games, who will be racing in Class 1 with SCORE veteran Damen Jefferies, Oak Hills, Calif., in a HMS-Chevy.

The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race course from Ojos Negros to San Ignacio will be marked and open for pre-running on Saturday, October 14th. From San Ignacio to La Paz, SCORE is diligently working with the government of Baja California Sur to repair sections of the course damaged by Hurricane John. SCORE is making every effort to have the lower half marked and ready for pre-running on October 14th, but as of today only the top half of the course is scheduled to be open for sure.

It's the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula.

This year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the third consecutive year, airing at 2:30 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 10 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.

In addition to the 'live' SCORE race drawing, other activities in the two-day RACEfest included a Freestyle Motocross Demonstration, a SCORE Pit Crew Challenge, a Texas Hold 'em Poker Tournament, Pool Party, the SCORE Lite Challenge, a Silent Auction and live music. Proceeds from the two-day RACEfest are going to the Chris Ackerman Foundation.

In addition to appearances by several of SCORE's top drivers and riders and their incredible desert-racing machines, the festivities started on Friday night with the No Fear energy drink Freestyle MX show, silent auction, and live music by the 80's cover band 'Flock of 80's. Appearing at the Freestyle show were X Games stars Nate Adams and Brian Deegan along with Deegan's entire Metal Mulisha team.

Saturday's activities started with Kettle One Bloody Mary Mixer and Lake Elsinore Casino sponsored brunch and continue with the Blue C Communications/Desert Assassins SCORE Lite Challenge where more than a dozen top SCORE desert racers raced individually, one lap, for times.

During the day-long festivities on Saturday there was an afternoon SCORE Pool Party featuring Ketel One Martini and Red Bull Ice Bar and a Margaritaville Tequila station and during the drawing there was a luncheon for racers and their families catered by Wahoo's Fish Tacos.

The top driver in the Poker Tournament was Mark Landersman while winning the SCORE Lite Challenge was Adam Pfankuch (22.74 seconds) with Dale Ebberts second (22.84) and Matt Scaroni third (23.51). On the podium in the $5,000 Yokohama SCORE Pit Crew Challenge were the teams led by the winning Jason Batilus (39.92 seconds), runner-up Adam Pfankuch (43.28) and third place Joey Westhoff (43.78).

-credit: www.score-international.com.

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Series Score
Drivers Boris Said , Robby Gordon , Curt LeDuc , Rob MacCachren , Mark Miller , Damen Jefferies , Rod Hall , Armin Schwarz , Buddy Rice , Larry Roeseler , Patrick Dempsey , B.J. Baldwin , Mark Post , Larry Ragland , Tim Herbst , Jesse James , Brian Deegan , Troy Herbst