Baja 500 news on start draw

New format for SCORE Trophy-Truck, Class 1 to be used during Computerized Start draw for June's 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Over 400 entries expected June 1-3 in Ensenada, Mexico, For Round 3 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series LOS ...

New format for SCORE Trophy-Truck, Class 1 to be used during Computerized Start draw for June's 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500

Over 400 entries expected June 1-3 in Ensenada, Mexico, For Round 3 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series

LOS ANGELES--Rewarding the top 10 finishers in the previous race in Mexico for the first time, Friday's computerized drawing for Starting positions for June's 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race will include a special drawing for the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division and the featured unlimited Class 1 at the SCORE International headquarters in Los Angeles. Round 3 of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series will be held June 1-3 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

All of the top 10 finishers in each of these two classes from March's Tecate SCORE Baja 250 that are entered by the end of today will be drawn first, with a secondary drawing for starting positions with the next position available for the remaining entries in each class. As of this morning, all of the top 10 finishers in SCORE Trophy-Truck and eight of the top 10 in Class 1 had officially entered. Both classes are expected to have nearly 30 entries in time for Friday's drawing and both are anticipated to have nearly 40 starters at the event itself.

The computerized Start draw, by class, for all classes in the event will be held on Friday as well.

With over 400 entries expected from nearly 30 U.S. States, Mexico, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Japan, the green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 2) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. The car and truck classes will start three hours after the last Sportsman ATV at approximately 10 a.m.

Nearly 300 of the anticipated entries are expected to be entered in time for Friday's start draw. Competition will be held for 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. Late entries will be accepted right up to race morning.

Leading the entries into Friday's Start draw are all three overall winners from last year's race. Back to defend their overall 4-wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy-Truck title is the team of Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz./Brian Collins, Las Vegas, in the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Returning as the overall motorcycle and Class 22 champs is the team of Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., on the No. 1x Honda CRF450X. Back to defend their overall ATV and Class 25 victory is the team of Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., on the No. 1a Honda TRX250R.

Several crossover/celebrity racers are already entered in this year's race, led by NASCAR's Robby Gordon and Brendan Gaughan. Both second generation desert racers, Gordon, who has won this race three times, is a NASCAR Team Owner/Driver and is entered in SCORE Trophy-Truck while Gaughan, who is a NASCAR Truck Series driver, is entered in Class 1

Seven-time World Rally Championship driver Armin Schwarz of Austria is returning to Baja for the second time to race in Class 1 and Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen of New Zealand is back again to race in the Stock Mini class.

The two celebrity drivers who are both SCORE regulars are SCORE Trophy-Truck drivers Cameron Steele and Jesse James. Steele, who is a TV sports announcer for Supercross, X Games and Champ Cars, has entered three classes once again--SCORE Trophy-Truck, SCORE Lite and Class 22.

James, whose wife is legendary motion picture star Sandra Bullock, owns the world-famous West Cost Choppers company and was the star of the old Monster Garage television series.

The starting line area will once again be in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in downtown Ensenada, Mexico. The finish line will be where it was last year--inside the Campo de Softball Jose Negro Soto stadium at 11th Street (Calle Once)and Espinoza Avenue in Ensenada. The stadium is located approximately 1.5 miles east of the start line area. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race.

Pre-race festivities at the 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will include the colorful SCORE Midway and tech inspection between the San Nicolas Hotel and the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday (June 1). Racer registration will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the San Nicolas Hotel from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday (May 31) and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday (June 1).

The mandatory racer's briefing will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday (June 1) in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.

At 11 a.m. on Sunday (June 3), the awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel.

As SCORE officials finalize the course layout for this year's race, pre-running will begin on Saturday, May 19.

Las Vegas' B.J. Richardson has assumed the Overall and unlimited Class 1 point lead in the 2007 SCORE Desert Series. Following a second in Class 1 at the 13th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and a fourth in Class 1 in March's 21st Tecate SCORE Baja 250, Richardson finds himself as leader of the pack.

Richardson, 41, who drives a Valley Performance Chevy-powered Bunderson open-wheel desert race car, has 146 points to lead the 2007 Overall and Class 1 point standings after two rounds of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series. The team is sponsored by John Gaughan's Las Vegas Dissemination Company.

Hovering right behind Richardson in a three-way tie for second in the Overall standings just four points back with 142 points each are SCORE Trophy-Truck co-leaders Las Vegas' B.J. Baldwin and the team of Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, along with rookie Robert Ross, Chula Vista, Calif., who is second in Class 1 points.

A total of just 22 points separate the top 20 overall point leaders after the Tecate SCORE Baja 250, which was held on March 10 in Ensenada, Mexico.

SCORE points are determined both on final finishing position and number of vehicles that started the race within the individual class.

Fifth overall after two races and third in Class 1 with 141 points is John Herder, Tucson, Ariz., who won his class in Laughlin and finished 14th in Round 2.

Just seven points separate the next five drivers in SCORE Overall points, led by Hawaii's Alan Pflueger, who is sixth overall and third in SCORE Trophy-Truck with 139 points in the No. 28 Pflueger Racing Chevy Silverado.

Daniel McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., who leads Class 1-2/1600 in a Jimco-VW after his stirring first career SCORE race win at the Tecate SCORE Baja 250, is tied for seventh overall with 135 points. A third generation SCORE desert racer, McMillin, whose father Mark McMillin (Class 1) and his cousin Andy McMillin and his uncle Scott McMillin (SCORE Trophy-Truck) are all stars of the SCORE Desert Series, is tied in overall points with Bill Gasper, Chino Hills, Calif., who is fourth in Class 1 in a Porter-Chevy.

Ninth overall and fifth in Class 1 points is Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., with 134 points in a Jimco-Chevy while 10th overall is the SCORE Lite class point leader Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., who has 132 points in his Desert Assassin-VW.

With motorcycles and ATV classes joining the cars and trucks in SCORE races in Mexico, the overall point leaders after one of three races are the Jim O'Neal-led team in motorcycles and the Danny Prather-led team in ATVs.

O'Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., and his team have 77 points in Class 30 for motorcycle riders over 30 years old on a Honda CRF450X while Class 22 point leaders Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., have 76 points and are second in overall motorcycle points on another Honda CRF450X.

Prather, Ramona, Calif., and his teammates Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif. and Levi Marana, Hemet, Calif., have 75 points to lead Class 25 on their Honda TRX450R.

The 2007 SCORE Desert Series also includes the chase for the $75,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several 2007 SCORE Class point champions along with the run for the $12,000 Toyota True Grit and Toyota Milestone Awards.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Rob MacCachren , Armin Schwarz , Brendan Gaughan , Rod Millen , B.J. Baldwin , Larry Ragland , Andy McMillin , Mark McMillin , Jesse James , Scott McMillin