Series 2009 season opener news 2009-01-03

SCORE Trophy-Truck to qualify for start slots; Rigsby draws First Class 1 Start for 15th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Field Includes NASCAR's Robby Gordon & Brendan Gaughan, Rob MacCachren, Tim Herbst, Troy Herbst. B.J. Baldwin, Brian...

SCORE Trophy-Truck to qualify for start slots; Rigsby draws First Class 1 Start for 15th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge

Field Includes NASCAR's Robby Gordon & Brendan Gaughan, Rob MacCachren, Tim Herbst, Troy Herbst. B.J. Baldwin, Brian Collins, Pat Dean and Dale Ebberts; Pre-race festivities include $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap-Jan. 22, SCORE Trophy-Truck Qualifying-Jan. 23

LOS ANGELES--While Southern California's Ed Stout received the first qualifying spot for the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, New Mexico desert racer Josh Rigsby got his New Year's wish as he received the first starting spot in the unlimited Class 1 in Saturday's computerized drawing for starting positions for this month's 15th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The drawing was held at SCORE's Los Angeles headquarters.

For the 15th straight year, motorsports fans and racers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan will gather in Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River, for the popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The first major motorsports event of the year will be held Jan. 22-25, launching the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series.

With late entries accepted until race morning, among the other desert racing stars in Saturday's drawing were Dale Ebberts, B.J. Baldwin and Pat Dean, who between them have won the overall title five of the last six years in Laughlin along with NASCAR Cup Owner/Driver Robby Gordon, NASCAR Truck racer Brendan Gaughan, six-time Laughlin class winner Rob MacCachren, and Terrible Herbst Motorsports drivers Tim Herbst and Troy Herbst.

Besides B.J. Baldwin, R. Gordon and Tim Herbst, among the other SCORE regulars who were also officially entered in time for the drawing in SCORE Trophy-Truck were Brian Collins, Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler, Cameron Steele, Gus Vildosola Jr., Damen Jefferies, Bobby Baldwin, Chad Ragland, Robbie Pierce, Pete Sohren and Bill McBeath.

Over 150 expected entries will compete in 17 classes for cars and trucks for nearly $400,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the four-day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

Besides Rigsby, Dean, Ebberts, and Troy Herbst among the other SCORE regulars who have officially entered in Class 1 are: Randy Wilson, Ronny Wilson, Armin Schwarz, Chuck Dempsey, John Herder, John Harrah and Harley Letner.

MacCachren, whose Laughlin wins include SCORE Trophy-Truck in 1996 and both Class 1-2/1600 and SCORE Lite in 2004, drew the first start in Class 1-2/1600.

Ebberts was the overall SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge race winner in both 2003 and 2005 in Class 1 while B.J. Baldwin won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Dean is the defending Overall and Class 1 race winner from the 2008 event.

B.J. Baldwin, 29 of Las Vegas, has won both the 2006 and 2008 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point titles and he was also second in last year's Laughlin race in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division.

With 17 classes of cars and trucks divided into five groups, the single race is divided into multi-lap segments split over two days. Starting at 7 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 24-25), the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division will run 8 laps at 1 p.m. each day on the spectator-friendly much-abbreviated 6.25-mile course followed by the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars who will run their 8 laps at 3 p.m. each day. The combined elapsed time and number of laps completed from both days will determine the final finishing position for each vehicle. Two vehicles will leave the start line every 15 seconds.

Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 each per day for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, children five and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each per day for the three days, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food, beverage and special seating.

The stadium seating area will include the immensely popular SCOREvision Large-screen LCD display, showing live footage from virtually the entire race course.

Tickets, priced at $5 each, will also be available each race day (Jan. 24-25) for 'SCORE Hill', which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits. The SCORE Hill will have grandstands and standing room areas along with vendors, concessions and the other public safety services available.

The newest spectator area, opened last year adjacent to Laughlin High School off of Cougar drive, allows entry at $10 per vehicle, as space allows, to the backside of the course with a view of much of the 6.25-mile loop. Tickets for the Laughlin High spectator area will be available only on each day of racing (Jan. 24-25).

One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and gets the weekend off to a roaring start at 6 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 22). Drivers will enjoy the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse and the honor of beaing the 2009 champions. The SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium portion of the race course, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year's competitors will be attempting to break the event record in the SCORE Laughlin Leap of 160' 6" set in 2004 by Mark Post in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150.

Advance tickets for the Laughlin Events Park are now on sale at www.visitlaughlin.com or by calling 800.308.2233.

For the second straight year, qualifying for starting positions for the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division will be held the Friday (Jan. 23) before the race. With free admission to the grandstand seating area, SCORE Trophy-Truck qualifying will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and each truck will be timed over one solo lap of the 6.25-mile course to determine the start order in that class for Saturday's first half of the race.

Since its debut in 1995, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge has helped establish Laughlin as a viable host for special events. Thousands of spectators join nearly 150 racers and their crews in converging on the city each year to watch the best of the best desert racers compete in a unique-format, two-day race that includes a temporary stadium surrounding the start/finish line area and the main pits.

Friday's pre-race activities will also include the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway and vendors village from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. SCORE Contingency, which includes each vehicle being pushed down the street in front of the displays, will be held for the second straight year on Bruce Woodbury Way at Casino Drive.

A total of 17 different classes for cars and trucks are split into five groups, each running as part of multiple-lap races over the much-abbreviated 6.25-mile loop each day. Racing action runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day (Jan. 24-25). The marquee racing division is SCORE Trophy-Truck, featuring high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars. The other classes with the largest entry fields will be Class 10, Class 1-2/1600 and SCORE Lite.

The Laughlin Events Park, with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court is just minutes from the destinations nine resorts and includes an infield with switchbacks, woop-t-doos, minijumps and the SCORE Laughlin Leap.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Rob MacCachren , Damen Jefferies , Armin Schwarz , Brendan Gaughan , Larry Roeseler , B.J. Baldwin , Mark Post , Tim Herbst , Troy Herbst