Nearly 350 entries expected Collins in SCORE Trophy-Truck, G. Steele in M/C Draw Pole positions for 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Racers from 37 States, 14 countries entered to date in nationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races; Race to...
Nearly 350 entries expected
Collins in SCORE Trophy-Truck, G. Steele in M/C Draw Pole positions for 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Racers from 37 States, 14 countries entered to date in nationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races; Race to be held in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, Nov. 19-23
LOS ANGELES--If Saturday's 'live' drawing for starting positions is any indication, November's 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race should add another colorful chapter to the legacy of the world's best known desert race. Brian Collins in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Grant Steele in Class 22 for open motorcycles drew the pole positions for the legendary granddaddy of all desert races.
An impressive total of 296 vehicles officially entered in time for Saturday's live drawing for starting positions, by class, held during the SCORE Fiesta at the newest Off Road Wareouse facility in Temecula, Calif.
With nearly 350 entries expected to compete in 28 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, the granddaddy of all desert races will be held Nov. 19-23 in Ensenada, Mexico. Completing its 35th year as the World's foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2008 SCORE Desert Series. To date entries have come from 37 U.S. States and 14 countries.
While late entries are accepted up to race day, the total of 296 entries officially entered in time for Saturday's live start drawing represents the third-largest drawing total in the 41-year history of the storied event.
The SCORE Baja 1000 day Saturday included the Baja Pits bar-b-que, a pit crew competition, vendor's village, along with appearances by several of the top SCORE desert racers and numerous SCORE desert racing vehicles on display. There were also be special showings of official SCORE Baja race DVDs produced by Aura360 along with a raffle for Coco's Corner and another for Baja Pits.
With massive crowds reaching nearly 300,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged course that travels through the Pine Forest to near Mexicali, down Laguna Salada to San Felipe and back to the Pacific Coast through Santo Tomas covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula. The race will start for the 34th time and finish for the 19th time in Ensenada.
The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (Friday, Nov. 21) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 14 hours. All vehicles will have a 31-hour time limit to become official finishers in the legendary adventure.
The race will start and finish on Boulevard Costero along the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.
Collins, 46, of Las Vegas, is currently second in SCORE Trophy-Truck points and won this year's Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March in his No. 12 Dodge Ram1500. Splitting the driving with Collins will be veteran racer Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif. The drawing featured a season-high 30 entries in the SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks.
Grant Steele, 38, Temecula, Calif., and his team, will lead 14 entries to date in Class 22 for open motorcycles on a Honda CRF450X.
Drawing the first start in the ATV classes was the veteran team led by Greg Row, 45, Alpine, Calif., who will ride a Bombardier DS650 in Class 25.
A unique part of Saturday's drawing was the special drawing for the top 10 finishers from the nearest previous SCORE Baja race entered in the current race in both SCORE Trophy-Truck and the unlimited Class 1. For this race it was the top 10 finishers from this year's 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., whose roots are in SCORE desert racing, drew the 28th starting position in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the Team Gordon No. 77 Chevy CK1500. Gordon will be heading to the the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 right after driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale in Florida on Nov. 16.
Making its debut in the race in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division will be the new No. 81 Volkswagen Baja Race Touareg TDI, the first clean Turbo-diesel vehicle ever raced in SCORE Trophy-Truck. The new vehicle will be driven by the veteran team of Mark Miller, Cave Creek, Ariz./Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. With seven career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins between them, including three together, Miller/Arciero drew the 14th starting position for the race in the first Turbo-diesel to run in the featured SCORE racing division.
Three entries with second-generation SCORE desert racers feature drivers who are running NASCAR series. Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan is a NASCAR Truck Series regular who will race in the unlimited Class 1 in Baja, while Justin Loftin, Westmorland, Calif., who drives in the NASCAR West Series and Brian Ickler, Poway, Calif., who has won four races this year in the NASCAR East Series
"To have 295 entries in the drawing for start positions for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is incredible any year, but to have it this year with everything going on in the U.S. and the world is phenomenal," said Sal Fish, the legendary desert racing pioneer who has been part of SCORE since soon after it was founded in 1973. "We have had eight races in 40 previous races in this event with 300 or more starters so it looks like this year's race will join the very elite 300 club."
Pre-race festivities on Thursday, Nov. 19, for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including the vastly popular tech and contingency of all vehicles and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer and media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20.
While entries will be accepted up to race morning (Friday, Nov. 21), late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.
The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor's Celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23.
Besides Collins/Hovey, Miller/Arciero and Gordon, other entries among the veterans in the talented 30-truck field in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division include Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (No. 1-Ford F-150), B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas (97-Chevy Silverado), Roger Norman, Reno, Nev./Larry Roeseler, Irvine, Calif. (8-Ford F-150), Robbie Pierce/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif. (35-Chevy Silverado), Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Rick Geiser, Phoenix (Cadilllac Escalade), Chad Ragland, Vista, Calif./Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz. (33-Toyota Tundra), Mexico's Gus Vildosola/Gus Vildosola Sr. (No. 4-Ford F-150), Honolulu's Alan Pflueger (28-Chevy Silverado), Ron Whitton, Mesa, Ariz. (39-Ford F-150), Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz. (2-Ford F-150), Scott Steinberger, Cypress, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif. (7-Ford F-150), Jesse James, Sunset Beach, Calif. (54-Chevy CK1500), Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif./Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif. (72-Ford F-150), Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix (84-Chevy Silverado), Ed Stout, Irvine, Calif. (13-Ford F-150) and Bobby Baldwin, Las Vegas (96-Chevy Silverado).
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (30), Class 1 (27), SCORE Lite and Class 5/1600 (13 each), Class 1-2/1600 (12) and Class 10 (10).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 has the most entries to date with 14, followed by Class 30 with 11.
Leading the seven Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which had 32 entries and Sportsman Motorcycle under 250cc which had 16 entries in the drawing.
Drawing first start in Class 1 was Chuck Dempsey, Oak Hills, Calif., in a HMS-Chevy, while first off in SCORE Lite will be Jake Jones, Aliso Viejo, Calif., in a Henry-VW. First off in Class 5/1600 will be Ernie Negrete, San Diego in a 1600cc VW Baja Bug, first in Class 1-2/1600 is Adam Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif., in a Mirage-VW and leading Class 10 into the desert will be Adam Ashcraft, Vista, Calif., in an AlumiCraft-VW.
Among the other early entries is the venerable Rod Hall, Reno, Nev., who is one of the only two individuals who has raced in all 40 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.
The legendary Hall, 69, of Reno, Nev., has a race-record 19 career class wins in this race and is the only driver to have competed every year in a car or truck class. Hall returns this year as the defending class champion in a Hummer H3 in the Stock Mini class.
Pre-running on the approximately 634-mile loop course will officially begin on Saturday, Nov. 1. Pre-running will be allowed only from Ojos Negros and back. One way pre-running from the start to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Wednesday and Thursday of race week (Nov. 19 and 20).
It's the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the Granddaddy of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula.
This year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the fifth consecutive year, scheduled to air at 1 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 14 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.
The 2008 SCORE Desert Series also includes the chase for the $20,000 Volkswagen of America Point Leader Bonus and the run for the Toyota Milestone Awards for car and truck racers who complete every required mile of the season.
The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 also features the $5,000 Volkswagen bonus to the highest finishing Volkwagen-powered vehicle in the race. Among the other special awards at the event will be the Sal Fish SCORE IronRider award presented to all declared motorcycle and ATV riders who are official finishers of the race while riding solo.
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, Kartek Off-Road, American Suzuki, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
Additional associate sponsors, for the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is the Fideicomiso Publio para la Promocion Turistica de Ensenada.
The new 6,000-square foot ORW Temecula store is the fifth outlet of the popular group in San Diego County. Off Road Warehouse, headquartered in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego has been a racer's favorite since 1972. The Temecula store celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 27. With over 1 million items to choose from, ORW outlets present over 600 product lines in their colorful showrooms.
Red Bull provided entertainment for the fiesta and among the vendors participating were Baja Pits, Dion & Sons and MasterCraft.