Letner leading Class 1 after Laughlin victory, NASCAR's R. Gordon takes early Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point lead in 2009 SCORE Desert Series Other class point leaders include defending class champs: Pfankuch, Moss, Carr, Chamlee, H....
Letner leading Class 1 after Laughlin victory, NASCAR's R. Gordon takes early Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point lead in 2009 SCORE Desert Series
Other class point leaders include defending class champs: Pfankuch, Moss, Carr, Chamlee, H. Steele & St. John
LOS ANGELES--Following his dominating season-opening victory at the recent 15th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, NASCAR Cup owner/driver Robby Gordon finds himself at the top of a very crowded Overall leaderboard in the 2009 SCORE Desert Series point standings. With 54 points, Gordon, who returned to his desert racing roots in Laughlin, also leads the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck class for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks in his No. 77 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500.
With just 14 points separating the top 21 in 2009 SCORE Overall points, SCORE racers are now preparing for the 23rd Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, to be held in San Felipe, Mexico, March 13-15. The computerized drawing for starting positions, by class, for Round 2 of the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series will be held at the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 14.
After leading the SCORE Overall points much of last season and finishing third, San Diego County racer Adam Pfankuch, 26, is second overall this year and again leading Class 1-2/1600 in a Mirage-VW with 53 season points, just one behind Gordon. Pfankuch also raced in the SCORE Lite class in Laughlin, helping driver of record Rick St. John, Encinitas, Calif., win the race in a Duvel-VW. St. John is tied for 10th in overall points with 43.
Tied for third in overall points is Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., who is second in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., who leads Class 1. With 48 points each, Steele, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year, drives the No. 16 Desert Assassins Chevy Silverado while Letner, who finished second in Laughlin, drives a Chevy-powered Alpha Performance open-wheel desert race car in the unlimited Class 1.
SCORE points are based on starting and finishing as well as the number of starters in each class and placement position in every race.
Completing the top five in points and second in Class 1-2/1600 is Brian Burgess, Riverside, Calif./Aaron Hawley, Las Vegas with 47 points in a Seagrove-VW.
"What a great way to start the year, by winning the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge for the first time," said Gordon, whose victory was his eighth in the 15-plus year history of the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division. "Out Chevy truck was ready to dominate and we didn't have any real driver errors so we are able to start the year out front, which is a great thing in any form of motorsports. Our plan is the same as it was before the Laughlin race--to run the entire SCORE series and our goal is to win the SCORE Trophy-Truck point championship again. I haven't won it since 1996 and I would like another title."
While the top five in the 2009 SCORE Overall point standings are just seven points apart, the second five is even tighter with two drivers tied with 44 points and three more all tied up with 43 after the season's first race.
Tied for sixth overall are Ed Stout, Santa Ana, Calif., who is third in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the No. 13 Stout Industries Chevy Silverado and Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., who is second in Class 1 in a Jimco-Chevy.
Besides St. John, the SCORE Lite point leader, the other two drivers tied for eighth overall with 43 points each are Class 10 point leader Robert McBeath, Las Vegas in a Jimco-Honda and Cody Robinson, El Centro, Calif., third in Class 1-2/1600 in a Curry-VW.
Winning Class 3 in Laughlin for the seventh time in eight years in his durable Ford Bronco, Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif., has 30 career SCORE race wins to go with his six SCORE class season point crowns.
Picking up where she left off last year, Heidi Steele, San Clemente, Calif., leads the Class 6 points in the Desert Assassins Ford Ranger. Steele, whose husband is Cameron Steele, second in SCORE Trophy-Truck points, became the first female driver of record to win a SCORE truck season title and the first female driver to win a prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Award as her team finished every required mile of the season.
Her title last year was in Class 7SX and this year in Laughlin she drove in two classes and also stands in third place in Class 7 in another Desert Assassins Ford Ranger.
Among the car and truck classes, other point leaders include: Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), John Holmes, Olivenhain, Calif. (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Greg Adler, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (Class 8, Ford F-150, Alonso Angulo, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug) and Gavin Skilton, Anaheim, Calif. (Stock Mini, Honda Ridgeline).
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 drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 24th consecutive year, a total of 52 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.