Ensenada: Baja 125 pre-race notes

Race-record field of nearly 400 includes 57 racers with combined 153 Class wins in Saturday's 21st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 250 Round 2 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series from Ensenada to Santo Tomas. Includes defending Overall/SCORE ...

Race-record field of nearly 400 includes 57 racers with combined 153 Class wins in Saturday's 21st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 250

Round 2 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series from Ensenada to Santo Tomas. Includes defending Overall/SCORE Trophy-Truck, Motorcycle and ATV winners

ENSENADA, Mexico--Helping celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 250 desert race, a race-record field of nearly 400 entries, including 57 racers, who have a combined 153 Class wins between them, are heading to Mexico this week along with of thousands of spectators looking for an early 'spring break' in Mexico's majestic Baja California peninsula. Leading the field will be Garron Cadiente, and the teams of Robby Bell/Kendall Norman and Wayne Matlock/Chad Prull, the defending Overall/SCORE Trophy-Truck, motorcycle and ATV race champions, respectively.

Round 2 of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, will start in Ensenada, located on the Pacific Ocean 65 miles South of the U.S. Border at San Diego and will finish in Santo Tomas, 30 miles south of Ensenada.

With racers competing in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes, the 216.23.-mile course resembles a wrinkled fish hook, heading east to Ojos Negros, then south through Tres Hermanos and the middle of the northern part of the peninsula to Valle de Trinidad before heading back west to Cerro Colo and up north along the picturesque Pacific Ocean past Erendira and back inland to finish line in Santo Tomas.

The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. on Saturday, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 10 a.m. All vehicles will have a 9-hour time limit in the elapsed time race and vehicles will start in 30-second intervals.

With a race-record field of 393 entries, to date, from 18 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, England, Italy and New Zealand, the race will be the first of three races produced annually by SCORE in Mexico.

The start line will be at the end of Avenida Ruiz in Ensenada, approx. two miles east of downtown. The actual finish line area will be in the Santo Tomas baseball field, along Highway 1, 1.5 miles south of the center of Santo Tomas.

Garron Cadiente, the 2006 SCORE Rookie of the year, is back to defend his overall race win in this event, where he won the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in the No. 38 G&R Racing Ford F-150.

Last year's winning motorcycle duo of Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif., and Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., will defend their crown on a Honda CRF450X, while Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif., and Chad Prull, Laveen, Ariz., return as the 2006 ATV winners on a Honda TRX450R.

The race will be webcast live with video and audio on the SCORE International website at www.score-international.com, with production provided by Digital 1 Unlimited in association with SCORE Television partner Aura360. Other websites that will have same day highlight coverage of the race include www.dirtnewz.com, www.off-road.com and www.race-dezert.com.

The talented field includes 17 class winners from last year along with 19 racers who have at least three class wins in this event and have combined for a total of 110 total class wins.

Among the class winners are 13 of the 20 previous Overall 4-wheel vehicle winners and eight of the last nine overall motorcycle winners.

Leading the racers with multiple class wins entered this year is Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif., who has seven and is listed as a possible third rider for the American Honda Bell/Norman team in Class 22. Also with seven class wins in this event are veterans Jim O'Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., and Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico.

O'Neal, owner of the noted accessory manufacturing company that bears his name, is a veteran motorcycle rider who continues to put together championship teams, having won his seven titles in the last six years. In 2005 he won two age group classes and this year is the rider of record for talented teams in both Class 30 (motorcycle riders over 30 years old) and Class 50 (motorcycle riders over 50 years old) on Honda motorcycles.

Solorzano has won Class 11 for stock VW sedans for seven consecutive years.

Mexico's Eric Fisher has six wins in Class 9 in this event while Las Vegas' Rob MacCachren has five wins and will be the second driver in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck for two-time overall race winner Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. MacCachren was the overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck winner in this event in 2003 as the second driver for Gus Vildosola in the No. 4 Vildosola Racing Ford F-150.

Also with five wins in this event is veteran Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif., who is the driver of record this year in the No. 100 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford in the unlimited Class 1 with two-time winner Troy Herbst of Las Vegas as the second driver on the team.

Among the four-time class winners entered this year are John Griffin, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Stock Full, Hummer H1) and Adam Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif., who is entered in Class 1 this year in a Jimco-Chevy.

Las Vegas' Tim Herbst, who has four class wins in this event, and Southern California's Chris Blais, who led the overall motorcycle winning team in 2005, received the pole positions for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles in the computerized drawing for starting positions held Feb. 9. Herbst races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Blais competes in Class 22.

Drawing the first starting slot for the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars was Brian Parkhouse, of Bell Gardens, Calif. Riding the first ATV off the line will be the team led by San Diego's Jovany Pimentel. Returning to hsi desert roots to drive his new Kreger-Chevy in Class 1 is Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan, a regular on the NASCAR Truck Series.

The record field in the 21st Tecate SCORE Baja 250 is led by the unlimited Class 1 with 37, the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division with 36, Class 1-2/1600 with 29, SCORE Lite with 28, Class 10 with 22 and Class 30 with 17, Class 22 with 16 and Class 25 with 15.

So far, 230 of the entries are cars or trucks and 163 are either motorcycles (108) or ATVs (55). Late registration will be accepted up until race morning, virtually guaranteeing a final starting grid of more than 360 for the first time in the colorful 20-year history of the popular race. The previous entry record of 362 set last year and last year's 341 starters were both the most in the event's history.

Pre-race festivities at the Tecate SCORE Baja 250 will include the colorful SCORE Midway and tech inspection to be held across from the San Nicolas Hotel in downtown Ensenada from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday, the awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel. Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas from 2-7 p.m. Thursday and 8:30-4:30 p.m. on Friday.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Rob MacCachren , Brendan Gaughan , Larry Roeseler , Chris Blais , Mark Post , Tim Herbst , Troy Herbst