LOS ANGELES--Born as a motorsport for the weekend warrior, participants from nearly all walks of life are among the growing entry field for next week's massive once-in-a-lifetime Tecate SCORE Baja 2000 presented by AutoZone. From Washington, D.C., Attorney to California Highway Patrolman, with a cardiologist, surgeon, chiropractor and veterinarian thrown in for good measure, the mixture of backgrounds for the world's longest and richest desert race is beginning to resemble the presentation list for 'career day' at your local school.
With 24 pro and six sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, SCORE's tribute to the new millennium is clearly living up to its slogan as a 'Race for the Ages'.
Besides 30 states and Washington, D.C., entries to date have also come from Mexico, Australia, Bahamas, Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland.
The sport's legends will be in the starting grid, to be sure. From Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Walker Evans, Larry Ragland, Larry Roeseler, Robby Gordon, Jack Johnson, Ed, Tim and Troy Herbst, along with Ivan Stewart, the sport's superlatives past, present and future are all entered along with well known 'visitors' like NASCAR's Brendan Gaughan and open wheel pavement stars like Jimmy Vasser, P.J. Jones, Mike Groff and Roberto Guerrero.
But the draw of this historic race down the Mexico's mysterious Baja California includes all the 'Walter Mittys' that ever dreamed of strapping on a racing helmet.
While the construction industry, from general contractor to tile setter, clearly dominates the list of occupations of drivers and riders in the Tecate SCORE Baja 2000, the balance truly runs from A to Z. The list includes teachers, journalists, stunt drivers, railroad engineer, private investigator, Mexican Federal Police, corporate CEOs, artists, college and high school students, optometrists, firefighters, graphic designers and engineers.
On the even more unique side for this uniquest of all races, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, a NASCAR Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series owner, an SCCA Rally Racer, a former AMA motocross racer, an extreme skier and a hairdresser from England.
Among the businesses owned by racers are: Carpet Service, Construction companies, House Moving, auto dealers, motorcycle dealers, beer distributorship, florist, gas stations, restaurant chains, hotel/casinos, ranches, farmers, realty development, paving company, home builders, landscapers, mortgage bankers, publishers, tour company, oil company, and furniture manufacturer.
The race itself features 23 checkpoints over the majestic 1,726.97-mile desert course from Ensenada down the mysterious Baja California peninsula to Cabo San Lucas.
Instant Mexico Auto Insurance will also present a $1,000 bonus to the fastest overall four wheel and two-wheel vehicles. AutoZone will also present the inaugural AutoZone Trophy, a specially designed sterling silver award for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winner.
Starting with Motorcycles at 6 a.m. (or first light) on Sunday, Nov. 12 in front of the Riviera Convention Center in Ensenada, vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race.
Johnny Campbell's Class 22 Honda XR650R will be the first official starter and Craig Corda's Ford F-150 Trophy-Truck will lead the featured division for car and truck classes two hours after the last ATV starts the odyssey. SCORE starting positions are determined by blind draw.