Series 2009 Awards Night report

BFG Tires, Honda, R. Gordon, Wilson, Stapleton, COPS All big winners at 2009 SCORE Desert Series Awards Wilson Motorsports earned both SCORE Rookie of the Year and SCORE Mechanic of the Year awards LAS VEGAS--BFGoodrich Tires, Honda,...

BFG Tires, Honda, R. Gordon, Wilson, Stapleton, COPS
All big winners at 2009 SCORE Desert Series Awards

Wilson Motorsports earned both SCORE Rookie of the Year and SCORE Mechanic of the Year awards

LAS VEGAS--BFGoodrich Tires, Honda, Wilson Motorsports and NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon were all big winners Saturday as SCORE International officially concluded the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series with the annual SCORE Awards Night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Among the others earning SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards were Baja Pits, COPS Racing, and Mike Stapleton.

The evening was also a celebration of 36 years of SCORE championship desert racing. SCORE President/CEO Sal Fish also announced in association with Alberto Trevino, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism, that the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will be an adventure down the length Mexico's Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada and finishing in La Paz. The last time it went down the majestic peninsula was 2007 when the race finished in Cabo San Lucas to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Granddaddy of all Desert Races.

BFG Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 34 years was honored as the 2009 SCORE Contingency Company of the Year for the 21st time.

The SCORE Off-Roadsman awards are determined by the vote of more than 2,500 members of Los Angeles-based SCORE International. Among the other honorees were the top point leaders from the 2008 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series.

Gordon, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. but was raised in Orange, Calif., was recognized as the 2009 SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point champion as well as being honored by the SCORE membership as the 2009 SCORE Person of the Year. He also received a coveted SCORE Toyota Milestone Award for completing every required mile in the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.

"Robby Gordon is as fierce a competitor as there is in the desert and being consumed full time in NASCAR makes it even more remarkable what he accomplished this year in the SCORE Desert Series," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President. "It was also amazing to have the SCORE membership vote Robby as the 2009 SCORE Person of the Year. He had a truly remarkable season and these honors are very well deserved. It's also remarkable that he has never lost touch with his racing roots."

American Honda was voted SCORE Motorcycle Manufacturer of the Year for the 21st time and the 13th consecutive year.

COPS Racing was selected the SCORE Entry Sponsor of the Year for the first time, a three-vehicle team owned by television producer John Langley.

Among the special awards presented by SCORE and Sal Fish was included a very special appreciation recognition to the government of Baja California for all of its assistance to helping SCORE produce three highly successful races in Baja California, Mexico, in 2009. Receiving the award was Oscar Escobedo, the Secretary of Tourism for the state of Baja California.

Wilson Motorsports, Long Beach, Calif., picked up two prestigious awards in front of nearly 400 SCORE desert racers, crews and families at the SCORE Awards Night. Brian Wilson, who was driver of record for the second-place team in Class 1-2/1600, was voted the 2009 SCORE Rookie of the Year and Mike Stapleton was selected as the 2009 SCORE Mechanic of the Year. Stapleton also was honored with this award in 2001.

"BFGoodrich Tires has supported all of desert racing, especially SCORE, for 34 years," said Fish, "To win the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 once is a major feat, but to capture the world's most prestigious desert race 20 straight years (1986-2005) is unbelievable. BFG Tires are the most dominant desert racing tires in the world and we are privileged to be able honor them. They have also started a new streak with three consecutive Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 overall victories. BFG's grassroots support of desert racers is unparalleled. SCORE is deeply honored to have the relationship with BFG Tires that we have for over three decades. No motorsport has a more involved and committed sponsor than we have in BFG Tires."

Mike Julson, of Santee, Calif., who is a SCORE regular co-driver in SCORE Trophy-Truck, saw his Jimco open-wheel desert race cars win the 2008 SCORE Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer point championship for the 16th time and 15th straight.

FAT Performance (Greg Aaronson and Ron Fleming) captured the 2009 Engine Builder point championship for the 10th time.

A rugged group of 14 SCORE racers were also honored as 2008 SCORE Toyota Milestone Award winners after finishing all 1,713.76 race miles during the season.

Tim Sanchez, the owner of DirtNewz.com, the most extensive source of desert racing coverage in the world, was honored for the first time as Judy Smith SCORE Journalist of the Year, while HighRev Photography (Jason Zindroski) earned SCORE Photographer of the Year honors for the second time.

SCORE opens its five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series Jan. 15-17 in Southern Nevada with the 16th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

SCORE International, founded in 1973 by the late Mickey Thompson and headed by Sal Fish since 1974, continues today as the premier sanctioning body in the sport of desert racing. SCORE races feature 20 Pro and two Sportsman classes for cars and trucks in the U.S. with seven additional Pro and four more Sportsman classes for motorcycles and ATVs competing in the races in Mexico. SCORE races in the U.S. average 150 entries while the average in Mexico, with motorcycle and ATV classes running as well as the cars and trucks is over 300.

SCORE official 2009 sponsors were: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuel-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull North America-official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.

Additional associate sponsors for the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 were ProTurismo de Ensenada and the State Tourism Department of Baja California.

For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.

2009 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Award Winners

Contingency Company--BFGoodrich Tires

Motorcycle Manufacturer--American Honda

Mechanic--Mike Stapleton, Wilson Motorsports

Entry Sponsor--COPS Racing

Pit Support Team--BFGoodrich Tires

Judy Smith Journalist--Tim Sanchez, DirtNewz.com

Photographer--HighRev Photo

Suzuki Rookie of the Year--Brian Wilson, Class 1-2/1600

Person of the Year--Robby Gordon, Team Gordon

*Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer--Jimco

*Engine Builder--FAT Performance

*Determined by points, others by membership vote

-credit: score

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