Quest for Championship Falls Just Short
La Paz, Baja California, Sur, Mexico - Alan Pflueger's quest for his first SCORE Trophy Truck championship fell just short in the desolate Mexican desert as the native Hawaiian piloted his finish No. 28 Monster Energy/Pflueger Racing Team Chevrolet Silverado to a 14th-place finish in the 39th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Pflueger started 28th in the elite Trophy-Truck class and immediately he and navigator Mike Emerson worked their way up to fourth place until an electrical problem forced them to pull over around Mile 250.
"It was a good day," Pflueger said upon exiting his truck. "We had an electrical problem, but [crew chief] John Hoffman and the team did an excellent job finding and fixing the problem. The truck ran unbelievable. We just had that one little hiccup that threw a wrench in things. If that hadn't happened, I think we would have battled for the win."
Pflueger crossed the finish line at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time, for an elapsed time of 28:47.23.
"I am very pleased with this team. Our goal is always to win, but the way this team battled, pitted the truck and got the truck back on the course was amazing. It was a great overall team effort. We made big strides this year as a team and I would call this year very successful. We've learned a lot, grown and most importantly, made improvements and competed. We have a lot of momentum heading into 2007."
The 39th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which marked the completion of the 2006 season, set a record with 431 entries from 38 states and 12 countries. The brutal 1,050.83-mile race, one of the most grueling in the event's history, was run over a difficult desert course with a 43-hour time limit. Only 234 entries finished the race. Pflueger finished 112th overall out of 431 starters, and 14th out of 31 starters in the Trophy Truck class.
Steve Hengeveld was the overall winner of the race, crossing the finish line in 18:17.50 on his motorcycle. Robby Gordon won the Trophy Truck class crossing the finish line in 19:15.27, but it was B.J. Baldwin who took home his first season title with a second-place finish.
Pflueger is one of the rising stars of SCORE International Off-Road Racing. During his first full year of racing in 2002, Pflueger won the Primm 300 and the famous Baja 1000 on the Protruck series, finishing second in points and earning Rookie of the Year honors. He followed up his first year in racing by winning the Protruck Championship in 2003 with wins at the San Felipe 250, the Baja 500 and the Primm 300.
Pflueger moved to the elite Trophy Class in 2004, winning the Baja 500 and the Primm 300. He finished 4th in the 2005 Primm 300 and was runner-up in last year's Baja 1000. Pflueger scored runner-up finishes in 2006 in the Baja 500 and the Terrible's Cup II non-points event.
-credit: pflueger racing