Josh Baldwin in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ashley-Class 1 draw first starts among 202 early entries in 13th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Race-record final field of nearly 250 expected; Four-day event includes $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap on Jan.
Josh Baldwin in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ashley-Class 1 draw first starts among 202 early entries in 13th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Race-record final field of nearly 250 expected; Four-day event includes $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap on Jan. 18
LOS ANGELES--Southern California's Josh Baldwin and Arizona's Bryon Ashley received the No. 1 starting positions in the top two classes in Thursday's computerized draw for starting positions, by class, for next month's 13th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. Representing the second highest number in the event's history, a total of 202 vehicles, in 17 Pro and 2 Sportsman classes, officially entered in time for the drawing held at the Los Angeles headquarters of SCORE International. It will be the first time either Baldwin or Ashley will start first in a SCORE race.
For the 13th straight year, motorsports fans and racers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan will flock to Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River for the vastly popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The first major race of the year will be held Jan. 18-21, launching the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the world's foremost desert racing series.
When late registration is complete, a race-record of nearly 250 expected starters will compete for nearly $400,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the four day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. In 2006, there were a race-record 233 starters in Laughlin.
A total of 17 different Pro and two Sportsman classes for cars and trucks will be split into seven groups in Laughlin, each running as part of one of separate multiple-lap races over the much-abbreviated 7-mile loop each day. Racing action runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day (Jan. 20-21). The marquee racing division is SCORE Trophy-Truck, featuring high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars. Those two classes will run the final two races each day with Class 1 followed by SCORE Trophy-Truck.
Las Vegas' B. J. Baldwin (SCORE Trophy-Truck, Chevy Silverado) and Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (Class 1, Jimco-Chevy) are the defending SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge race winners.
Josh Baldwin, 30, Newport Beach, Calif., a veteran SCORE desert racer whose older brother and 2004 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion Jason Baldwin died tragically in a 2005 airplane crash, will pilot the No. 86 Baldwin Motorsports Ford F-150.
A total of 31 vehicles, second-most in the history of the race, have entered to date in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, including defending SCORE Desert Series Champion B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, in the No. 1 Chevy Silverado.
Among the other SCORE Trophy-Truck entries are Las Vegas brothers Tim and Ed Herbst, the winningest team in class history with 11 career race wins and four SCORE Trophy-Truck season point titles in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Bob Shepard, of Phoenix, the 2005 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion, will be the co-driver for new teammate Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif., in the No. 82 Arciero-Miller RacingChevy Silverado.
Also entered in the featured SCORE division is Hawaii's Alan Pflueger, third in last year's point standings, in the No. 28 Fearless Motorsports Chevy Silverado, along with Andy McMillin, Poway, Calif., third in the 2005 Class 1 points with his father Scott, and fourth in last year's SCORE Trophy-Truck points driving for NASCAR team owner/driver Robby Gordon. This year, Andy McMillin, who won last year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 with Gordon, will team again with his father Scott in the No. 31 McMillin Racing Chevy CK1500.
Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., the 2006 SCORE Rookie of the Year, will also be in the SCORE Trophy-Truck field in his No. 38 G&R Racing Ford F-150 along with his father-in-law and teammate Ron Whitton, Maricopa, Ariz., in his No. 39 G&R Racing Ford F-150. Cadiente, who won last year's Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, was ninth in season points while Whitton, 62, was fifth in the final 2006 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point standings.
This year, Gordon has announced that Team Gordon's driver of record in the No. 77 Chevy CK1500 will be Travis Coyne, 27, El Centro, Calif. Gordon's NASCAR schedule provides him with the opportunity to race in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible's Cup III and the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Coyne's father Marty Coyne drives the No. 5 Coyne Motorsports Ford F-150.
Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., who was the overall Laughlin winner in 1997 and the SCORE Trophy-Truck winner in 2003, has announced that his new teammate for 2007 is Las Vegas' Rob MacCachren, a three-time AARWBA All-America racer with five class wins in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The pair will split driving time this season in Post's No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150.
TV motorsports and action sports announcer Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., will be the driver of record in four classes, including the No. 16 Desert Assassins Ford F-150 in SCORE Trophy-Truck. Steele, whose wife Heidi Steele drew the first start in a Ford Ranger in Class 7SX, will also be the primary driver in Class 1, Class 10 and SCORE Lite. Steele will split driving duties in Class 1, Class 10 and SCORE LIte with fellow second-generation desert racers Darren Hardesty in Class 1 and Kash Vessels in Class 10 and SCORE Lite.
Starting second and third in SCORE Trophy-Truck behind Josh Baldwin will be a pair of key executives from MGM Mirage Resorts of Las Vegas. Bill McBeath, President and CEO of the Bellagio Resort, will make his SCORE Trophy-Truck debut, driving the No. 91 Chevy Silverado while Bobby Baldwin, President of MGM Mirage Resorts and father of 2006 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champ B.J. Baldwin, will drive the No. 96 Chevy Silverado. Both SCORE Trophy-Trucks are prepped by and crew support provided by Las Vegas' Collins Motorsports.
Besides the three SCORE Trophy-Trucks piloted by Bill McBeath, Bobby Baldwin and B.J. Baldwin, the fourth SCORE Trophy-Truck entry from Collins Motorsports will be the No. 12 Chevy Silverado driven by teammates Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., and Brian Collins, Las Vegas. Collins has four class wins in this race, the most recent when he won the SCORE Trophy-Truck class in 2001.
Bryon Ashley, 52, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., will drive a Chevy-powered Tatum open-wheel desert race car as first off the line in the unlimited Class 1.
Class 1 leads the way with 44 entries to date, followed by SCORE Trophy-Truck with 31, Class 1-2/1600 with 28, SCORE Lite with 21, and Class 10 with 20
Drawing the first starting positions in those high-entry classes were Ashley (Class 1), Josh Baldwin (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Aaron Hawley, Las Vegas (Class 1-2/1600), Randy Ross, Oak Hills, Calif. (SCORE LIte) and David Reyes, National City, Calif. (Class 10).
Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 each for each day (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), children five and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each for each of the three days, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food beverage and special seating.
The stadium seating area will include the immensely popular SCOREvision large-screen LCD display, showing live footage from various locations around the race course.J Advance tickets for the Laughlin Events Park are on sale at 800.308.2253.
Tickets are also on sale for the only other spectator area for the event, the popular 'SCORE Hill', which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits. The SCORE Hill will have grandstands and standing room areas along with vendors, concessions and other public safety services available.
One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and gets the weekend off to a roaring start at 6 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 18). Drivers and pit crews will share the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse and the honor of being the 2007 champions. The SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium infield, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year's competitors will be looking to break the SCORE Laughlin Leap record set in 2004 by Mark Post in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150 (160' 6").
The Events Park with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court is just minutes from the destination's nine resorts and includes an infield packed with switchbacks, woop-t-doos, minijumps and the Laughlin Leap.
The 13th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Committee, the Laughlin Visitors Bureau, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in association with Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.