Series news on 2009 season opener

Jan. 22-25 in Laughlin, Nev. Over 150 cars & trucks expected for 2009 SCORE Desert Series Opener at 15th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Computerized start drawing on Jan. 3; pre-race festivities include $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap &...

Jan. 22-25 in Laughlin, Nev.
Over 150 cars & trucks expected for 2009 SCORE Desert Series Opener at 15th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge

Computerized start drawing on Jan. 3; pre-race festivities include $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap & SCORE Trophy-Truck Qualifying

LOS ANGELES--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.

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.

The computerized drawing for starting positions within each class will be held for all pre-registered entries on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 at the Los Angeles headquarters of SCORE International.

"The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a wonderful event on the SCORE calendar and it is especially a great way to start the year," said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO. "In our sport, it is about as fan-friendly as you can get and nothing surpasses the hospitality the Laughlin resorts show our racers and fans. And the racing is awesome."

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 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 over 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.

Las Vegas' Pat Dean (Class 1) and Rich Ronco (SCORE Trophy-Truck) are the topdefending SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge race winners.

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.

The 15th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Council, the Laughlin visits Bureau, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in association with Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.

Located 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Laughlin offers visitors a relaxed and friendly atomosphere. This city by the river has grown to include nine resorts with affordable first-clas accomodations, 24-hour casino gaming, gourmet dining and outlet shopping. Laughlin, a unique resort destination that welcomes nearly 5 million visitors annually, has also become one of the leading special event destinations in the Southwest. From world-class bull riding action to daring desert racing to professional rodeo on the Colorado River, Laughlin has plenty to offer the adventurous spectator.

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 17 Pro and two Sportsman classes for cars and trucks in the U.S. with seven additional Pro and three more Sportsman classes for motorcycles and ATVs competing in the races in Mexico. SCORE races in the U.S. average 175 entries while the average in Mexico, with motorcycle and ATV classes running as well as the cars and trucks is 300.

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, Terrible Herbst Inc., Blue C Enthusiast Advertising, Off-Road, American Suzuki, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.

-credit: www.score-international.com.

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