Laughlin: Series Saturday report

Halopoff leading Class 1; A. McMillin surges ahead of the field Saturday to take early lead In SCORE Trophy-Truck at 16th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge; Race finishes Sunday as MacCachren, Smith, Lawrence, Caspino, Chamlee, Bacal, all leading ...

Halopoff leading Class 1; A. McMillin surges ahead of the field Saturday to take early lead In SCORE Trophy-Truck at 16th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge; Race finishes Sunday as MacCachren, Smith, Lawrence, Caspino, Chamlee, Bacal, all leading classes

LAUGHLIN, Nev.--Starting on the pole as the fast qualifier, San Diego's third-generation desert racer Andy McMillin overcame a tight battle with Mexico's Gus Vildosola Jr. to surge ahead of the field Saturday to take the first day Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck after the first of two days of racing in the season-opening 16th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

Dueling through the rugged Southern Nevada desert for just under five of 8 laps over the bone-crushing 6.25 mile race course until Vildosola experienced mechanical difficulties in the infield section of the course, McMillin finished the first half of the race in the lead with a time of 59 minutes and 28 seconds, averaging 50.45 miles per hour in the No. 31 McMillin Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck.

Racing concludes Sunday for 17 Pro and 2 Sportsman classes for cars and trucks with racing starting at 7 a.m. and lasting to 5 p.m. Running 8 more laps each, the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division will start the final portion of its race at 1 p.m., followed by the unlimited Class 1 at 3 p.m. The start/finish line area is located at the Laughlin Events Park at Edison Drive and Bruce Woodbury Drive in the heart of the Laughlin resort district.

As the leader on Saturday, McMillin will start again on the pole Sunday as joining the field of 28 SCORE Trophy-Trucks will be former overall SCORE Laughlin race winners Robby Gordon and B.J. Baldwin, who left Argentina Saturday where they spent the last 16 days competing in the Dakar Rally which ended on Saturday. Gordon and Baldwin were flying commercially from Buenos Aires to Miami where they have a chartered lear jet waiting to fly them to Bullhead City, Ariz., in time for Sunday's final half of the race.

Steve Kendall, Tustin, Calif., drove Gordon's No. 1 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500 around the eight laps on Saturday while driving much harder in B.J. Baldwin's No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado was second-generation desert racer Chad Ragland of Phoenix. Unfortunately for Gordon, his truck finished eight laps over the time limit and will enter Sunday's final half of the race in the 19th place and B.J. Baldwin will take over with his truck standing in third place.

Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., drove his No. 2 Ford F-150 to second place midway through the race, one minute and 20 seconds behind Andy McMillin. Sohren is also racing his vehicle in the unlimited Class 1 minus the fenders and body panels as a Geiser-Ford.

B.J. Baldwin will take over driving in his SCORE Trophy-Truck after Ragland drove the first 8 laps in 1:01:00, 1 minute, 32 seconds behind McMillin and just 12 seconds behind B.J. Baldwin on corrected time.

Round 1 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series features 124 starters from 11 states, Denmark, Mexico and Germany competing for nearly $300,000 in prize money and contingency postings.

Andy McMillin, who won last year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck while splitting driving with his father Scott McMillin, is scheduled to drive again Sunday.

On Saturday, Andy McMillin ran very extremely consistent laps on Saturday of 7:13, 7:17, 7:13, 7:21, 7:23, 7:35, 7:35 and rather conservative final lap in 7:51 to secure his leading heading into Sunday's finale.

"It's really good to be here at the finish," said Andy McMillin. "I've been feeling sick all week and had the stomach flu, but when I get in this truck, all of that goes away and all I think about it racing. I just went out and threw down some good laps and once I saw that (Gus Vildosola Jr.) was out, I just kind of cruised it in and made sure we got it here to race on Sunday."

Surviving the extremely high attrition among 22 starters to lead the unlimited Class 1 is third generation desert racer Kory Halopoff, Orange, Calif., who is in eighth overall with a first-day time of 1:07:25 in a Letner Racing Chevy-powered Tatum open-wheel desert race car.

In second place in Class 1 and ninth overall, just one second behind Halopoff, is Dan Martin, Monrovia, Calif., who drove a COPS Racing Penhall-Chevy. Martin, who led parts of the first eight laps before falling back and then watched the desert stop or slow down the other leaders, was the second driver in the car that won Class 1 in last November's 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Sunday, Justin Smith, who is also racing in Class 1-2/1600 (running second) and SCORE Lite (leading) will drive the Class 1 vehicle.

Standing in third place , one minute behind Halopoff and 59 seconds behind Martin is defending SCORE Class 1 season point champion Randy Wilson, driving a Wilson Motorsports Jimco-Chevy.

Running the fast laps of the day were SCORE Trophy-Truck racers Las Vegas' Kory Scheeler and Mexico's Vildosola Jr. Scheeler flew his No. 51 Real Tech Motorsports Chevy Silverado over the second lap in 7:08. Vildosola Jr. actually had laps of 7:10, 7:22, 7:14 and 7:13 before being sidelined while running just five seconds behind Andy McMillin after four laps on corrected time.

Scheeler enters Sunday's final half of the race in fourth position in SCORE Trophy-Truck in 1:04:17.

Among the other class leaders after Saturday included: Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (Class 1-2/600, AlumiCraft-VW), David Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif., (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif., Mexico (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, (Class 8, Ford F-150), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Mikey Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif. (Class 10, Lothringer-VW), Justin Smith (SCORE Lite, Fraley-VW), Troy Vest, Molalla, Ore. (Protruck, Chevy Silverado), William Eriksen, Elizabethtown, Ky. (Class 2, PredatorX18-Chevy) and Robert Morton, Alisio Viejo, Calif., (Class 9 DesertDyanmics-VW), Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 7-2, BajaLite-Chevy).

Besides SCORE Trophy-Truck and Class 1, several class leaders are less than a minute ahead of second place.

Just eight seconds separate the top three leaders out of 21 starters in Class 1-2/1600 as MacCachren leads Cory Boyer, Bakersfield, Calif. (Lothringer-VW) by four seconds in currently third in the standings is Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif. (Fraley-VW) another four seconds back.

MacCachren, who has six career class wins in Laughlin, is also racing in the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck where he stands 12th after Saturday's first half of the race.

In SCORE Lite, Smith has a 36-second lead on the field of 20 starters using the same Fraley-VW vehicle with some mechanical modifications that he is racing in Class 1-2/1600. Second in SCORE Lite is Cody Freeman, Henderson, Nev., who is driving a Winkler-VW.

Also pulling double-duty, Smith will drive in both classes again on Sunday.

The stadium seating area includes the immensely popular SCOREvision large-screen LCD display, showing live action from nearly the entire race course.

The Laughlin Events Park with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court includes an infield section of the course that includes the popular Laughlin Leap and three long switchbacks.

Round 2 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be the 24th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, March 12-14 in Baja California, Mexico.

The 16th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Commission and 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.

Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels -official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull--official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, Off-Road, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.

16th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Round 1, 2010 SCORE Desert Series
Jan. 15-17, Laughlin, Nev., 6.25 miles per lap

Total Starters: 124 Total Finishers: 81
Top Overall Leaders -- Saturday (Jan. 16)

Rank, Driver(s), Manufacturer, Class, 8-lap, 50-mile time (miles per hour)

1. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 59 minutes, 28 seconds (50.45miles per hour)

2. Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., Ford F-150,SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK,1:00:48 (49.34)

3. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas/Chad Ragland, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado,SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:01:00 (49.18)

4. Kory Scheeler, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:04:17 (46.67)

5. Jesse Ashcraft, San Marcos, Calif./Danny Ashcraft, Vista, Calif., Ford F-150, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:05:23 (45.88)

6. Rob Bruce, Sublimity, Ore./Mark Witte, Silverton, Ore., Chevy Silverado, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:05:26 (45.85)

7. Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., Chevy Silverado, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:05:31 (45.79 mph)

8. Kory Halopoff, Orange, Calif., Tatum-Chevy, Class 1, 1:07.25 (44.50)

9. Dan Martin, Monrovia, Calif./Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, Class 1, 1:07.26 (44.49)

10. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Brian Ewalt, Bonita, Calif., Ford F-150, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:07:36 (44.38)

11. Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, Class 1, 1:08:25 (43.85)

12. Robert Ross,Chula Vista, Calif./Kash Vessels, Bonsall, Calif., Racer-Chevy, Class 1, 1:10:03 (42.87)

13. Daniel McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, Class 1, 1:10:07 (42.79)

13. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:10:07 (42.79)

15. Bill McBeath, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:10:17 (42.68)

16. Rusty Stevens, Pampa, Texas, Ford F-150, SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK, 1:10:42 (42.43)

17. Sam Berri, Murphy's, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, Class 1, 1:11:01(42.24)

18. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150,SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK,1:11:47 (41.79)

19. Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., Alpha-Chevy, Class 1 1:15:07 (39.94)

20. Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Chevy Silverado,SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK,1:16:10 (39.39)

21. Damen Jefferies, Apple Valley, Calif., Chevy Silverado,SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK,1:18:24 (38.27)

CLASS Leaders

SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks, 8 laps, 50 miles, 28 entries, 27 starters, 14 finishers) -- 1. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Ford F-150, 59 minutes, 28 seconds (50.448 miles per hour); 2. Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., Ford F-150, 1:00:48 (439.342 mph); 3. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas/Chad Ragland, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado, 1:01:00 (49.180 mph).

CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters, 8 laps, 50 miles, 25 entries, 22 starters, 7 finishers) -- 1.Kory Halopoff, Orange, Calif., Tatum-Chevy, 1 hour, 7 minutes, 25 seconds (44.499 miles per hour); Dan Martin, Monrovia, Calif./Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 1:07.26 (44.488 mph); 3. Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., Jimco-Chevy,1:08:25 (43.848 mph).

CLASS 1-2/1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc, 6laps, 37.5 miles, 21 entries, 21 starters, 19 finishers) -- 1. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, AlumiCraft, 53 minutes, 11 seconds (42.306 miles per hour); 2. Cory Boyer, Bakersfield, Calif., Lothringer, :53:15 (42.253 mph); 3. Justin Smith/Cody Stuart, Capistrano Beach, Calif., Fraley, :53:19 (42.200 mph).

CLASS 5 (Unlimited VW Baja Bugs, 7 laps, 43.75 miles, 1 entry, 1 starter, 1 finisher) -- 1. Kevin Carr/Noe Valdez, San Diego, 1 hour, 7 minutes, 40 seconds (38.793 seconds).

CLASS 6 (Unlimited, production mini trucks, 6 laps, 37.5 miles, 8 entries, 8 starters, 6 finishers) -- 1. Dave Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif., Ford Ranger, 54 minutes, 34 seconds (41.233 miles per hour); 2. Robert Pickering, Las Vegas/Bryant Layton, Tustin, Calif., Ford Ranger, :55:48 (40.322 mph); 3. Marc Burnett, Chula Vista, Calif./Rick Johnson, Spring Valley, Calif., Ford Ranger, :55:49 (40.310 mph).

CLASS 7 (Open, production mini trucks, 6 laps, 37.5 miles, 2 entries, 2 starters, 1 finisher) -- 1. Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif., Ford Ranger, 53 minutes, 31 seconds (42.042 miles per hour).

CLASS 7SX (Modified, open mini trucks, 5 laps, 31.25 miles, 3 entries, 3 starters, 1 finisher) -- 1. Elias Hanna/Jose Castro, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Ranger, 53 minutes, 25 seconds (35.101 miles per hour).

CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive trucks, 6 laps, 37.5 miles, 2 entries, 2 starters, 2 finishers) -- 1. Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Ford F-150, 51 minutes, 41 seconds (43.534 miles per hour); 2. Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va./Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., Chevy Silverado, :53:20 (42.187 mph).

CLASS 9 (VW-powered, Short wheelbase, single or two-seaters, 4 laps, 25 miles, 1 entry, 1 starter, 1 finisher) -- 1. Robert Morton Jr., Aliso Viejo, Calif., DesertDynamics, 51 minutes, 2 seconds (29.392 miles per hour).

CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc, 7 laps, 43.75 miles, 5 entries, 3 starters, 3 finishers) -- 1. Mike Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif., Lothringer-VW, 1 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds (42.939 miles per hour); 2. David Greenhill, Crowley, Texas, Chenowth-Toyota, 1:03:09 (41.567 mph); 3. Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico, Lothringer-Honda, 1:04:44 (40.550 mph).

SCORE LITE (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc, 7 laps, 43.75 miles, 20 entries, 20 starters, 18 finishers) -- 1. Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif., SmithCo, 57 minutes, 34 seconds (45.599 miles per hour); 2. Cody Freeman/Kenny Freeman, Henderson, Nev., Winkler, :58:10 (45.128 mph); 3. Jaime Huerta, Culican, Mexico, Curry, :59:09 (44.378 mph).

STOCK FULL (Stock, Full-sized trucks, 5 laps, 31.25 miles, 2 entries, 2 starters, 1 finisher) -- 1. Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz., Lexus LX570, 55 minutes, 27 seconds (33.814 miles per hour).

PROTRUCK (Limited, production trucks, 6 laps, 37.5 miles, 1 entry, 1 starter, 1 finisher) -- 1.Troy Vest, Molalla, Ore./Robert Fitch, Silverton, Ore., Chevy Silverado, 57 minutes, 9 seconds (39.370 miles per hour).

CLASS 2 (Limited, 2.2 Liter open-wheel car, 6 laps, 37.5 miles, 2 entries, 2 starters, 2 finishers) -- 1. William Eriksen, Elizabethtown, Ky., PredatorX18-Chevy, 1 hour, 1 minute, 40 seconds (36.486 miles per hour); 2. Sean McDonald, Canyon Lake, Calif./Eric Schmid, Fallbrook, Calif., PredatorX18-Chevy, 1:07:07 (33.523 mph).

CLASS 7-2 (Unlimited 2.2/2.4-Liter Truck, 5 laps, 31.25 miles, 1 entry, 1 starter, 1 finisher) -- 1.Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo., BajaLite-Chevy, 52 minutes, 32 seconds (35.691 miles per hour).

SPORTSMAN

SPT CAR (6 Laps, 37.5 miles, 5 entries, 4 starters, 1 finisher) -- 1. Rory Ward, Mohave Valley, Ariz., Chenowth-Chevy, 1 hour, 3 minutes, 19 seconds (35.535 miles per hour).

SPT TRUCK (5 laps, 31.25 miles, 4 entries, 4 starters, 3 finishers) -- 1. Scott Whipple/Scott Gailey, Norco, Calif., Chevy CK1500, 43 minutes, 24 seconds (43.202 miles per hour).

-source: score

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Series Score
Drivers Justin Smith , Robby Gordon , Curt LeDuc , Rob MacCachren , David Green , Damen Jefferies , B.J. Baldwin , Andy McMillin , Mark McMillin , Scott McMillin