Davis leads Class 1
Rookie Menzies leading SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck Season points after Round 1 of 5-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series; Other class leaders include D. McMillin, Moss, Stacy, Matney (2), Caspino, Chamlee, Hanna, Huerta, J. McMillin;
LOS ANGELES--As if winning his first overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck race in just his second try wasn't enough, rookie Bryce Menzies of Las Vegas also finds himself atop the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point leader board after the recent season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
After impressively coming from behind midway through the two-day race to earn the victory over another typical star-studded SCORE race field, Menzies, 23, leads defending SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., 67-61 after Round 1 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the world's foremost desert racing series. Menzies, who finished seventh in his first SCORE Trophy-Truck race last June at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, drives the No. 70 Red Bull Ford F-150 for Menzies Motorsports while Jones, 44, pilots the No. 1 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150.
Menzies and Jones race in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. With extremely tight competition, just 24 points separate the top 25 overall point leaders following the season-opener of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series.
Ironically, the SCORE Trophy-Truck that Menzies drives was originally owned by Jones, who won his only race in it when he captured his class at last year's MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
After his surprising victory in Laughlin in the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars, tied for second in overall points with Jones is 17-year old Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., last year's SCORE Lite season point champion, in a Chevy-powered ESM open wheeler. While Menzies defeated a field of 32 SCORE Trophy-Trucks in Laughlin, Davis mastered a group of 26 stalwarts in Class 1 to earn his class win.
"It was phenomenal how well-prepared our Red Bull Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck was in Laughlin," reflected Menzies, who was an honors graduate from Coronado High School in Las Vegas. "And our BFG Tires were unbeatable to say the least they way the gripped and handled the deteriorating terrain in Laughlin. I am humbled that I won the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge and it even surprised me in my first time racing there that I stayed patient enough to come from behind and actually win my first SCORE race in the most prominent class in the history of the sport. There are a ton of dusty miles before the season ends but I am proud that Menzies Motorsports is leading the pack of thoroughbreds out of the starting gate for the 2011 SCORE Desert Series."
After a strong third-place finish overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck in Laughlin, Mexico's Gus Vildosola Jr., who won last year's legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 peninsula run with his father Gus Vildosola Sr., is fourth in overall points with 57 in the No. 21 Red Bull Ford F-150 of Vildosola Racing while fifth overall and second in Class 1 points with 55 is third-generation desert racer Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., who drives an Alpha-Chevy.
While just 12 points separate the top five racers, only four points separate the second five drivers. Leading the second five in sixth place overall and fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck is Las Vegas' Rob MacCachren, 45, the six-time AARWBA motorsports All-America driver, who has 54 points in the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
Three of the other four top 10 point leaders are SCORE Trophy-Trucks as well with seventh being Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz., with 52 points in the No. 2 Ford F-150. Tied for eighth overall with 51 points each are SCORE Trophy-Truck driver Adam Householder in the No. 24 Chevy Silverado and Class 1 racer Dan Martin, Monrovia, Calif., in a Racer-Chevy.
Completing the top 10 in SCORE Overall points and seventh in SCORE Trophy-Truck is Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., with 50 points in the new No. 98 TSCO Motorsports Ford F-150.
Out of Bristol, Tenn., the RPM Offroad team has come out of the box strong and with four entries, the talented team leads three classes after three wins in Laughlin and RPM has also entered the ranks of SCORE Trophy-Truck with the new Geiser Brothers-built No. 18 Chevy Silverado.
With two lead drivers, Justin Matney, of Bristol, Tenn., leads both Class 8 in a Chevy Silverado and Class 11 in a Stock VW Sedan while teammate Clyde Stacy, of Bristol, Va., leads Class 4 in a PSD-Chevy and he is 15th in SCORE Trophy-Truck.
In 2009, the team won two SCORE class season point champions with Matney winning in Stock Full and Stacy capturing the title in Class 8. Last year, Stacy won the crown in Class 9. This year, the RPM team plans on running in all four classes that they raced in at Laughlin for the entire five-race season.
Third generation desert racers Daniel McMillin and his cousin Jessica McMillin, both of San Diego, both lead classes after their Laughlin wins. Daniel McMillin, who is ninth in his regular class standings-Class 1, is leading Class 1-2/1600 in a Jimco-VW while Jessica McMillin is leading Protruck in a Ford F-150.
Among the other 2011 SCORE point leaders in car and truck classes after their Laughlin wins are: Jamie Huerta, San Luis, Ariz. (SCORE Lite, Curry-VW), Michael LaPaglia, Murrieta, Calif. (Class 10, Racer-Chevy), David Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco), Wes Bevly III, Corpus Christi, Texas (Stock Full, Ford F-150) and West Bevly IV, Corpus Christi, Texas (Class 7-2, BajaLite-Chevy).
Carr, Chamlee, Moss, Hanna and Caspino are all defending SCORE season class point champions and Caspino has now won six consecutive SCORE races in Class 6.
Round 2 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be the 25th anniversary of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, March 11-13 in Baja California, Mexico. The race annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the popular six-week-long 'Spring Break'.
Following January's season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series will be visiting Mexico for the first of three races in 2011.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are attempting 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.