Halopoff leads Class 1; Andy McMillin leading Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point Standings after Round 1 of five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series
4 McMillins in top 21; Leaders include MacCachren, Villagomez, Caspino, Lawrence and Bacal; Computerized start draw for 24th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 on Feb. 13
LOS ANGELES--Opening the books on the 37th year of the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series with a major race victory at last weekend's 16th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, third-generation Southern California desert racer Andy McMillin has also taken the early lead in the Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point standings for the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series.
Starting the 2010 SCORE season off with an impressive victory in Laughlin, Andy McMillin, 22, of National City, Calif., earned his first career class win in Laughlin and his third career race win in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck class for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks in his No. 31 McMillin Realty Ford F-150. Leading six McMillin entries at Laughlin, Andy McMillin was the fast qualifier for the race, led after the first half of the race on Saturday (Jan. 16) and pulled further away from the prolific pack of 28 SCORE Trophy-Trucks on Sunday (Jan. 17) to record the fastest elapsed-time in the popular race.
Round 2 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be the 24th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, March 12-14, in Baja California, Mexico. The computerized drawing for the 28 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs will be held in SCORE's Los Angeles headquarters on Saturday, Feb. 13.
With just 22 points separating the top 21 overall point leaders after the opening round of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series, the McMillin family actually has four racers in the top 21 after the first race. Returning to the SCORE Desert Series on a fulltime basis for the first time in three years, the San Diego-based team had six entries and five drivers in Laughlin.
Mark McMillin, Andy's uncle, finished fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck and is eighth in SCORE Overall points with 50 in his No. 23 McMillin Racing Ford F-150. Mark's sons Daniel and Luke McMillin are also in the top 21 overall point leaders after solid performances in Laughlin.
Daniel McMillin, 22, finished third in Class 1 and is tied for 10th in overall points with 48 in the McMillin Racing Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. Luke McMillin, the youngest of the McMillin racers at 16, finished fifth in Class 1-2/1600 in the McMillin Racing AlumiCraft-VW and is tied for 21st in the SCORE Overall point standings with 41 points after the Laughlin race.
"I've never won a SCORE Laughlin race so it really feels good," said Andy McMillin, whose late grandfather Corky McMillin first started racing in SCORE in 1976. "It was an awesome way to end last year (with a win in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 with his father Scott McMillin) and a great way to start this year off. Hopefully we'll go down to San Felipe and win that one, too. I think it just counts for the team and just feeling confident. Every time I go to the start line, I know I have a chance of winning in this truck as long as I don't make a mistake. That says a lot about our team and the way they put this truck together."
SCORE points are based on starting and finishing as well as the number of starters in each class and placement position in every race.
Second in SCORE overall points and leading the unlimited Class 1 is another third-generation Southern California desert racer. Kory Halopoff, 26 of Orange, has 58 points in the Letner Racing Tatum-Chevy following his class win in Laughlin.
Third in SCORE Overall points and second in SCORE Trophy-Truck is Las Vegas' Kory Scheeler who has 57 points in the No. 57 Real Tech Racing Chevy Silverado.
Las Vegas' Rob MacCachren picked up his seventh career class win in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in Class 1-2/1600 where he beat a strong field of 21 starters and his 56 championship season points in his AlumiCraft-VW.
MacCachren, who has eight career SCORE season class point championships, also raced in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in Laughlin where he finished seventh and is 13th in overall points in the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
Three Mexican nationals were among the class winners in Laughlin, giving each the early lead in their respective classes. They are Francisco Villagomez, Col. Santa Rosa, who defeated a large field of 20 starters in SCORE Lite in a Pabloff-VW to put him in fifth in the SCORE Overall point standings with 55 points, along with Elias Hanna, Ensenada (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger) and Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico (Class 8, Ford F-150).
In addition to Andy McMillin, Halopoff, MacCachren, Villagomez, Hanna and Lopez, among the 2010 SCORE point leaders in car and truck classes following their class wins at the recent SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge are: Dave Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Mike Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif. (Class 10, Lothringer-VW), Kevin Carr, San Deigo (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), William Eriksen, Elizabethtown, Ky. (Class 2, PredatorX18-Chevy) and Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 7-2, BajaLite-Chevy).
In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 25th consecutive year, a total of 59 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series.
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.
Additional sponsors in Baja are the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.