Series 2010 final points report

Jesse Jones captures 2010 SCORE Overall, SCORE Trophy-Truck Season point championship in 5-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series Septien earns Motorcycle Overall title, Brown claims ATV Overall point crown; SCORE Awards Night next Saturday (Dec. 11) at...

Jesse Jones captures 2010 SCORE Overall, SCORE Trophy-Truck Season point championship in 5-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series

Septien earns Motorcycle Overall title, Brown claims ATV Overall point crown; SCORE Awards Night next Saturday (Dec. 11) at the Atrium Hotel in SoCal

LOS ANGELES--Closing the books on the 37th year of Sal Fish's 'World's Foremost Desert Racing Series' and relishing in his first season in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck racing division, veteran racer Jesse Jones has earned the Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point championship by the closest margin in the 17-year history of the sport's most spectacular racing class.

Jones will receive his awards Saturday in SoCal at the Atrium Hotel, located adjacent to John Wayne airport in Irvine, during the Annual SCORE Awards Night celebration honoring the 2010 SCORE Desert Series point champions, the winners of the 2010 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards and the 13 winners of the 2010 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards. A total of 594 racers competed in the 2010 season, covering 2,122.90 dusty, dirty, grinding and grueling desert racing miles during the five-races.

Entering the season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race six points behind year-long leader and third generation desert racer Andy McMillin, Jones, 44, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., outlasted his much younger opponent in a desert duel for the ages to edge McMillin, 23, of National City, Calif., by just two points. With both drivers experiencing significant mechanical issues during the race down Mexico's Baja California peninsula in late November from Ensenada to La Paz, Jones finished 12th out of 32 starters in SCORE Trophy-Truck as McMillin, who split driving in this year's three SCORE Baja races with his father Scott, limped home in 20th place, giving Jones his second career SCORE class point championship since winning Class 8 for full-size trucks in 2001.

SCORE points are determined by equal starting and finishing points for all classes and placement position points based on the number of starters in each class for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

In a season where the racing has never been closer in the featured class for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks, McMillin came out of the gate first by winning the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and Jones matched him by winning round 2 at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, and McMillin surged ahead by winning June's Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with help from his father Scott and Jones stayed close by winning round 4 at the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible's Primm 300 in September prior to their duel down the mysteriously majestic Baja peninsula.

Jones ended his championship campaign with 445 points in his No. 76 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck including his first two career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins with the McMillin, who now has four career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins including three with his father Scott, very close behind with 443 total points in their No. 31 McMillin Realty Ford F-150.

The owner of an aerospace technology company based in the Phoenix area and the 2001 SCORE Class 8 season point champion, Jones drove solo in the first four races of the season and had help from legendary co-driver Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., to help clinch his first career SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point championship.

Third in overall points and in SCORE Trophy-Truck following a third in Laughlin, a 16th in San Felipe, a fifth in class at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and 11th in Primm is Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix with 417 points in his No. 84 Vanderwey Racing Chevy Silverado.

The prominent McMillin Racing family actually had four racers finish among the top 15 point leaders in the 2010 SCORE Desert Series.

Mark McMillin, Andy's uncle, was 15th in SCORE Overall points and 9th in SCORE Trophy-Truck with 369 points in his No. 23 McMillin Racing Ford F-150. Mark's sons Daniel and Luke McMillin are also in the top 15 overall point leaders after solid performances this season.

Daniel McMillin, 22, whose top finishes are a third in the unlimited Class 1 in Laughlin, second in San Felipe and sixth in Ensenada for the 500 and second in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was second in his class points and tied with his father at 15th in overall points with 369 in the McMillin Racing Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. Luke McMillin, the youngest of the McMillin racers at 17, finished fifth in Laughlin, second in San Felipe and fifth in Ensenada, fifth in Primm and fourth in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 to become the first third-generation McMillin to win a SCORE season point championship, winning Class 1-2/1600 in McMillin Racing AlumiCraft-VW. He also finished 13th in the SCORE Overall point standings with 372 points.

Tied for fourth in SCORE overall points and in SCORE Trophy-Truck was Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif., who ended with 401 points in his No. 30 MasterCraft Racing Chevy Silverado.

Tied with Pierce, who had driving assistance this season from Jimco chassis builder Mike Julson, was SCORE Lite point champion Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., who clinched the title by winning his class at the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in a Seagrove-VW for his first SCORE class race victory.

Sixth overall and fifth in SCORE Trophy-Truck was Las Vegas' two-time season point champ B.J. Baldwin of Las Vegas, who recorded 397 points in the No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado.

Eighth overall and pulling out the season point title in Class 1 was another third-generation Southern California desert racer. Kory Halopoff, 27 of Orange, who had 390 points in the Letner Racing Alpha-Chevy following his class win in Laughlin, a 10th in San Felipe, a third in Ensenada and an 11th in both Primm and the season finale. After driving solo in Laughlin, Halopoff split the driving the rest of the season with his normal teammate and his cousin-Harley Letner, 27, who is also of Orange.

Tied for eighth in overall points and sixth in SCORE Trophy-Truck was the brother team of Gary and Mark Weyhrich of Troutdale, Ore., who split driving time in their No. 9 TSCO Racing Ford F-150, capping their season with a fifth place class finish at the season-ending Baja peninsula run.

The only car or truck racer who won his class in all five races this season, earning his second career SCORE season class point title was David Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif., who won Class 6 in his Ford Ranger and finished in overall points with 395. He also won the Class 1-2/1600 title in 2007.

The defending SCORE Trophy-Truck and SCORE Overall point champion Robby Gordon, the NASCAR team owner/driver from Charlotte, N.C., ended up 14th in the overall SCORE point standings and 8th in SCORE Trophy-Truck with 371 points in 2010, ending the year with a solid second-place finish in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in the No. 1 Robby Gordon Motorsports Chevy CK1500.

While Caspino was the only car/truck racer undefeated in 2010, the Septien team and the Class 40 age-group team led by Louie Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif., are the only two motorcycle or ATV teams who won all three SCORE Baja races in the 2010 SCORE Desert Series.

There are also six Mexican nationals who their respective Pro class point standings.

The Mexican nationals who won the 2010 SCORE point standings as driver/rider of record in their respective classes were: Gustavo Avina, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug), Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Tied in Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico (Class 8, Ford F-150), Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 10, Jimco-Honda), Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan) and Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 30, Honda CRF450X).

Among the Mexican class champions, Solorzano earned his 10th career SCORE Class 11 season point triumph while Avina, Hanna and Lopez each won their respective classes in three races this season for their first career SCORE season point titles.

Among the other 2010 SCORE point champions in car and truck classes were: Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), Gavin Skilton, Anaheim, Calif. (Stock Mini, Honda Ridgeline), Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco), Troy Vest, Molalla, Ore. (Protruck, Chevy Silverado), Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 9, Mayoral-VW), Mike Shaffer, San Leandro, Calif. (Class 17, Jeep Cherokee), John Langley, Santa Monica, Calif. (Class 4, Racer-Chevy) and Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 7-2, BajaLite-Chevy).

Carr, Chamlee and Bacal all won their respective classes in four of five races this year with Carr earning his third SCORE season class point championship, Chamlee picking up his sixth career season crown and Bacal his first. Moss, along with his brother Ken of Marysville, Calif., picked up their eighth career SCORE season class title in 2010. Shaffer won Class 17 for the third time in the last four years.

Vest won his class three times this season enroute to his first SCORE title.

With motorcycles and ATVs racing in the three SCORE Baja races, the overall motorcycle and Class 30 (riders over 30 years old) point champion was the team led by Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico, on a Honda CRF450X, who also won the 2010 SCORE overall motorcycle point title with 284 points, edging the Class 40 title team led by Franco by just one point. The Franco-led team also rode a Honda CRF450X, the most prominent motorcycle in all of SCORE Baja racing.

Following their Class 24 ATV class wins in San Felipe and the SCORE Baja 100, and a second at the SCORE Baja 500, winning the overall and Class 24 ATV point crown with 295 points was the team led by Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore. on a Honda TRX450R. Brown's leading co-riders were Jorie Williams, Longview, Wash., and Mike Kelley III, Edgewood, Wash.

Winning Class 22 for open motorcycles on a Honda CRF450X for the JCR/Honda team was the tandem of Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif. It was the fifth career Class 22 season title for Norman. Norman/Cody capped their season and clinched the crown by winning this year's Peninsula run for the second straight year as Norman now has five and Cody three overall motorcycle wins in the granddaddy of all desert races.

Winning Class 25 open ATV class in San Felipe and the SCORE Baja 500 to win Class 25 for the third straight year was team led by rider of record Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif., on a Honda TRX700XX with 271 points. His teammates were Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif. and Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif. and for their second-place finish at the season finale the fourth rider was Harold Goodman, Brownstown, Mich.

Among the other motorcycle class point champions the teams led by Sol Saltzman, Vail, Colo. (Class 21, Honda CRF450X), Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev. (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Jim O'Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. (Class 50, Honda CRF450X), and Donald Lewis, Marlborough, Conn. (Class 60, Honda CRF450X).

Competing in age group motorcycle classes, O'Neal now has a SCORE-record 15 career SCORE class point championships and all have come in the last 15 years. Lewis and his team earned their third Class 60 title in the last four years.

Recording his first-ever SCORE race win in San Felipe and backing it up with another class win in Ensenada, Chicago's Rob Ransford and team won Class 26 (utility ATVs) on a Can Am 4X4. His teammates were Tim Winiarski, Carson, Calif. and Joe Rice, Lomita, Calif. for their first SCORE season crown.

In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes also raced 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 13 drivers earned the awards for the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. Racers were also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award which will all be announced at the SCORE Awards Night.

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, MasterCraft Safety, Blue C Advertising, 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, Secretary of Tourism of Baja California Sur and Azunia Tequila.

-source: score

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , B.J. Baldwin , Larry Ragland , Mark McMillin , Mike Kelley , Quinn Cody
Teams Williams , Robby Gordon Motorsports