Point standings report pre-San Felipe 250

Dan Smith Leading SCORE Trophy-Truck Class 10's Kordonowy, Protruck's Barlow Tied for Overall Point Lead in 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series Round 2 -- 16th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Mexico, March 1-3 LOS ANGELES--Starting the season...

Dan Smith Leading SCORE Trophy-Truck
Class 10's Kordonowy, Protruck's Barlow Tied for Overall Point Lead in 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series

Round 2 -- 16th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Mexico, March 1-3

LOS ANGELES--Starting the season with just a seven-point margin among the top 10 point leaders, Dennis Kordonowy and Steve Barlow are tied for the overall point lead after the recent season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Round 1 of the six-race 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series. With their respective class wins in Laughlin, Kordonowy, Carson City, Nev., leads Class 10 and Barlow, Temecula, Calif., paces the Protruck division.

Using contrasting styles, Kordonowy, 47, came back from fifth place (one minute, 11 seconds behind the leader) after the first half of the two-day season opener while Barlow, 37, roared to the front and held on for his win in the race which featured 114 total starters competing in 17 classes for cars and trucks. Kordonowy drove a VW-powered FastTrack open wheel desert race car while Barlow piloted a Ford F-150 for their class wins in Round 1 of America's Foremost Desert Racing Series.

Both with race-high 14-vehicle fields in their respective classes, Kordonowy's Class 10 victory margin was just 10 seconds while Barlow won the Protruck division by a more comfortable margin of one minute, 53 seconds.

For Kordonowy, a veteran Northern Nevada racer who started desert racing in 1972 and occasionally competes in a SCORE race, it was his first SCORE win in Class 10. He did it in a vehicle for which he built not only the chassis for, but also the air-cooled VW racing engine. It was Barlow's second straight Laughlin victory in the Protruck division. The pair lead their respective classes and are tied for the early Duralast SCORE Desert Series overall point lead with 54 points each.

The 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series heads south to Mexico for the first of three races in Baja California--the 16th Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race, March 1-3. The computerized drawing for starting positions, by class, will be held Saturday at the SCORE International headquarters in Los Angeles.

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

Driving solo in Laughlin while his teammate David Ashley was sidelined with a stomach virus, Dan Smith won the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in the Enduro Racing Ford F-150. Smith, third after the first day of racing in Laughlin, roared back to post a 45-second victory margin over the Ford F-150 of Damen Jeffries, Temecula, Calif., the three-time SCORE class champion who made his debut in the marquee SCORE racing division. Las Vegas' Brian Collins, who won last year's SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, is third in SCORE Trophy-Truck points The Smith/Ashley team, both of Riverside, Calif., are also fourth in SCORE overall points.

Third overall and leading the unlimited Class 1 with 53 points are brothers Dale and Mike Dondel of Hemet, Calif. Dale, 37, and Mike, 35, drove their Chevy-powered Nye Frank Buggy to victory in Laughlin, winning by a one minute, 35-second margin, averaging an impressive 66.76 miles per hour in the 104-mile race.

Fifth overall, and leading the SCORE Lite class is Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif. The 1999 SCORE Overall and Class 1-2/1600 point champion, Bruckmann has 50 points so far in SCORE Lite, where he finished second last season.

A total of just two points separate sixth through 10th place after one race in the 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series overall point standings. Sixth overall with 49 points is the team of Doug Siewert, Oceanside, Calif./Cory Susag, Dana Point, Calif., the Class 7S leaders in a Chevy S-10. For the defending SCORE Class 7S season champs, the Laughlin victory was the pair's fifth SCORE Class 7S win as they attempt to win their fourth season title in five years.

Tied for seventh in overall points with 48 each are Martin Christensen, Rick L. Johnson and Mitch Griffin. Christensen, Escondido, Calif., is second in Class 10 in his BMW-powered Jimco. Johnson, Barstow, Calif., is second in Protruck in a Ford F-150 while Griffin, Newbury Park, Calif., leads Class 1-2/1600 in a VW-powered Lothringer.

Currently tied for 10th in overall points with 47 are Allan Gregory and Troy Herbst. The Class 5/1600 leader and defending SCORE season champion in the class, Gregory, Alpine, Calif., who won in Laughlin for the second straight year in his 1600cc VW Baja Bug. Herbst, the Las Vegas racer who has won a record five consecutive SCORE Class 1 point crowns, is second in the unlimited Class 1 in his Ford-powered Smithbuilt open-wheel desert race car.

George Seeley Jr., Glendale, Calif., leads Class 5 after recording his 14th win in the class since 1997. Seeley, 43, became the first five-time SCORE winner in Laughlin, picking up his fourth straight and fifth in six years.

Among the other 2002 SCORE class point leaders after the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge are: Craig Turner, Yorba Linda, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger); Joe Patelli, Romoland, Calif. (Class 8, Chevy Blazer); Dave Sykes, Del Mar, Calif. (Stock Full, Ford F-150); and Dr. Macrae Glass, Kingman, Ariz. (Stock Mini, Ford Ranger).

For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters (818) 225-8402 or visit the official website of the Duralast SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.

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Drivers Troy Herbst