2001 season final report, champions announced

Las Vegas' MacCachren Wins Class 1-2/1600, Overall Point Championships in 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series Ashley/Smith Duo Take Trophy-Truck Hengeveld/Street Capture Class 22, Overall Motorcycle Crowns SCORE Awards -- Night Dec. 8 in Las ...

Las Vegas' MacCachren Wins Class 1-2/1600, Overall Point Championships in 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series
Ashley/Smith Duo Take Trophy-Truck
Hengeveld/Street Capture Class 22, Overall Motorcycle Crowns

SCORE Awards -- Night Dec. 8 in Las Vegas

LOS ANGELES--Despite fierce competition from the world's best desert racers, Las Vegas' Rob MacCachren has earned his first SCORE overall point championship following the recent Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the final event of the five-race 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series. MacCachren, a second-generation Southern Nevada desert racer, also won the Class 1-2/1600 point title in his VW-powered Fraley race car. He won four of five races in his class, marking his first SCORE races in the 1600cc class since his rookie season in 1983.

At the season-ending 34th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 on Nov. 9-10, MacCachren, 36, won the competitive class which featured a race-high 23 out of 219 total starters among the 25 classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs which competed in the season finale of America's Foremost Desert Racing Series. Putting a major exclamation point to his triumphant season, he won his class by over two hours.

SCORE points are determined both on final finishing position and number of vehicles which started the race within the individual class.

With three straight class wins, the team of David Ashley/Dan Smith won the point crown in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in their Duralast Ford F-150. The Ashley/Smith duo, both of Riverside, Calif., came from behind for the third consecutive race, twice defeating the Ford F-150 of Las Vegas brothers Tim and Ed Herbst and the Chevy Silverado of Las Vegas' Brian Collins in Mexico. Ashley/Smith also finished ninth in overall points.

"We've had a season one could only dream about in the garage or when out pre-running for a race," said MacCachren, who finished second by four minutes in the only SCORE race he didn't win this year. "From my dad who taught me how to race and still helps, to car builder Bruce Fraley, who also drove in some races, to the rest of my family and our dedicated crew, these championships have truly been a team effort. We took one SCORE race at a time. After we won in Laughlin, we just kept going one at a time and won four out of five races along the way."

Las Vegas area racers earned the top three spots in the SCORE overall point standings. While MacCachren took top overall honors and the Class 1-2/1600 SCORE crown with 346 points, second overall and winning the unlimited Class 1 with 312 points was Troy Herbst. Third overall and first in Class 10 was Danny Anderson with 304 points.

Earning an unprecedented fifth consecutive SCORE Class 1 season championship, Herbst, 35, the youngest of the three racing Herbst brothers, drove the Terrible Herbst Motorsports' Ford-powered Smithbuilt open-wheel desert race car. Anderson, 40, ended the year by winning his class both in Primm and Mexico, catapulting him to the top of the Class 10 point standings in his Toyota-powered Jimco. Anderson also won SCORE Class 10 in 1999.

MacCachren, the 1994 SCORE Trophy-Truck season champion who has driven in three different SCORE truck classes as well as three open-wheel car classes in his SCORE career, raced primarily in a Midwestern short-course series since 1997 with limited appearances on the SCORE circuit. His 1-2/1600 crown is his fifth in SCORE racing. Besides SCORE Trophy-Truck, he has also won Class 7S twice (1989 and 1990) and Class 8 (1992 and 1993). He also co-drove in some races during Las Vegas' Danny Anderson 1999 championship run in Class 10.

Ashley, 44, and Smith, 37, were consistent all year, finishing second in Laughlin, third in San Felipe before winning the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and the SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300 prior to the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Ashley/Smith, who also won the SCORE Trophy-Truck title in 1998, joined Tim and Ed Herbst as the only racers to have won the season crown in the marquee SCORE class twice. The Herbsts won in 1999 and 2000.

The Herbst brothers, who endured transmission problems in their four-wheel drive SCORE Trophy-Truck for the third straight race after winning in San Felipe, finished third in SCORE Trophy-Truck points behind runner-up Collins, who won the season-opener in Laughlin.

Fourth overall and second in Class 1, with 298 points, was Steve Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., who had one win, a second, a fourth, a fifth, and a 17th in his Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.

Fifth overall, third in Class 1 with 282 points was Jeff Quinn, Irvine, Calif., in a Porsche-powered Jimco.

A total of just 19 points separated fifth through 10th place in the Duralast SCORE Desert Series overall point standings. Sixth overall with 279 points was second-generation racer Cisco Bio, 19, of Spring Valley, Calif., who won Class 9 in a VW-powered Tubular Design race car.

Class 10 racers Mark Hutchins and Steve Myers used a tie-breaker to decide seventh and eight overall as each earned 268 points. Hutchins, Henderson, Nev., was seventh overall (Second in Class 10, Toyota-powered Jimco) while eighth was Myers, Newport Beach, Calif.(Third in Class 10, Toyota-powered Jimco). SCORE Trophy-Truck winners Ashley/Smith were ninth overall with 263 points while tenth overall was Class 5 champion George Seeley Jr., with 260 points in an unlimited VW Baja Bug.

Bio, who earned his first SCORE class crown, won four of five Class 9 races, missing an undefeated season by finishing second at the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 by just 45 seconds.

Seeley Jr., 43, who won three Class 5 races this season, captured the Class 5 title for the third straight year and fourth in the last five years.

Among the other 2001 SCORE Class Point Champions are: Cory Susag, Dana Point, Calif. (Class 7S, Chevy S-10); Allan Gregory, Alpine, Calif. (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug); Ron Dalke, Tucson, Ariz. (SCORE Lite, VW-powered Tatum); Scott Steinberger, Cypress, Calif. (Protruck/SS/Truck, Ford F-150); John Griffin, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Stock Full, AM General Hummer); Dr. Macrae Glass, Kingman, Ariz. (Stock Mini, Ford Ranger); Clive Skilton, Orange, Calif. (Class 3I, Jeep Grand Cherokee); Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif. (Class 22, Honda XR650R motorcycle) and John Gregory, Chula Vista, Calif. (Class 25, Honda ATV).

Susag, 27, with co-driver Doug Siewert, 35, Oceanside, Calif., won three of five SCORE races for their third SCORE Class 7S title in four years and their second straight. Hengeveld, 26, won two of three SCORE races in 2001 with co-rider Jonah Street, 29, Ellensburg, Wash., for their first SCORE class title.

The SCORE Awards Night, honoring this year's class champions along with the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman Awards, will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Orleans Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. There were 526 total drivers/riders of record in this year's Duralast SCORE Desert Series.

The 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series opens with the 8th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Jan. 24-27 in Laughlin, Nev.

- www.score-international.com.

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Series Score
Drivers Rob MacCachren , Steve Hengeveld , Jonah Street , Steve Myers , Troy Herbst