Race-record 393 starters roar in Mexico Alan Pflueger powers Chevy Silverado to SCORE Trophy-Truck Victory in Saturday's massive 21st Tecate SCORE Baja 250 Roeseler captures unlimited Class 1 in Smithbuilt-Ford, Bell/Norman claim Overall &...
Race-record 393 starters roar in Mexico
Alan Pflueger powers Chevy Silverado to SCORE Trophy-Truck Victory in Saturday's massive 21st Tecate SCORE Baja 250
Roeseler captures unlimited Class 1 in Smithbuilt-Ford, Bell/Norman claim Overall & Class 22 motorcycle win
ENSENADA, Mexico--In what will surely go done as one of the closest races in SCORE desert racing history Hawaii's Alan Pflueger drove his Chevy Silverado to the Overall 4-Wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy-Truck titles in Saturday's record-setting 21st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 250. With a victory margin of 11 seconds over the SCORE Trophy-Trucks of second place Tim Herbst and 17 seconds over third place B.J. Baldwin, Pflueger powered his No. 28 Pflueger Racing Chevy Silverado over the dusty 216.23-mile course to a winning time of four hours, four minutes and 37 seconds, averaging 52.97 miles per hour.
Round 2 of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series started in Ensenada, located on the Pacific Ocean 65 miles South of the U.S. Border at San Diego and finished in Santo Tomas, 30 miles south of Ensenada.
The amazing race-record field of 393 starters from 18 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, England, Italy and New Zealand competed in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. The 216.23.-mile course that resembled 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 288 finishers (an amazing 73.3 percent finishing rate) are both new records for SCORE
Despite racing with no brakes the final 60 miles of the race, Pflueger, who picked up his third career SCORE Trophy-Truck race win and second class win in this event, edged both Herbst and Baldwin, who are both from Las Vegas, in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800 horsepower, unlimited productions trucks.
Herbst, who drove solo while his older brother Ed continues to recover from off-season neck surgery, finished in 4:05:08 in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 while Baldwin, the defending SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion, covered the quick course in 4:05:14 in the No. 1 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado.
Repeating as the winning motorcycle duo and recording the fastest time of the race we the American Honda team Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif., and Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., with a time of 3:52:31 (55.80mph) on a Honda CRF450X, while defending SCORE Desert Series season point champions Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., were ATV overall winners with a time of 4:31:54 (47.72mph) on a Honda TRX450R.
"It was a good race -- tires ran good no flats all day," said the popular Pflueger. "It was a little wild running with no brakes but we finished. The brakes started going into Trinidad - and I had no pedal and halfway through the beach. I was trying to run the (Tim) Herbst down and it went to the floor. I said "oh boy, we're in a different race no; we're going for the finish. No one passed us. We had a great day and unfortunately things happen in racing in Baja, this is for tough guys in a tough sport and we lost the brakes; luckily we didn't go off of some cliff. We're here and thank you for all the fans in Baja for cheering us on."
In finishing seventh overall among 4-wheel vehicles, Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif., picked up his sixth career Tecate SCORE Baja 250 class win, driving solo to the unlimited Class 1 victory in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford-powered Smithbuilt open wheel desert race car. Roeseler continues to handle the complete driving duties this year for Las Vegas' Troy Herbst who continues rehab from Achilles tendon surgery.
As SCORE Trophy-Truck dominated the overall 4-wheel finishers list with the first six and 9 of the top 10 overall finishing positions, finishing fourth was Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif, with a time of 4:07:02 in a Ford F-150.
Completing the top five overall 4-wheel vehicle finishers group was the SCORE Truck-Truck father and son team of Gus Vildosola and Gus Vildosola Jr. with a time of 4:07:47 in a Ford F-150.
In the chase for the overall motorcycle victory, the team of Bell/Norman edged the team of Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif./Andy Grider, Los Olivos, Calif., by 4 minutes, 19 seconds. Childress/Grider also rode a Honda CRF450X.
"Robby Bell, my partner, rode from the start to Valle de Trinidad," said Norman, "and I just took it home and we were probably about dead even (with Childress), at maybe about 110 miles into the race and between the two teams, both did a great job off the start. We were physically in first place when I got on the bike but I was told we were about two minutes behind on time because Mike Childress was really turning it up. No problems at all - our bike was amazing - the Honda CRF450X - did a great job, couldn't ask for more."
In Class 1-2/1600, the talented team of Daniel McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., and Caleb Gaddis, El Centro, Calif., roared to the class win over a field of 28 starters in a Jimco-VW.
Ageless veteran motorcycle racer Jim O'Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., won Class 30 on his Honda CRF450X for his eighth class win in this race in the last seven years. O'Neal was attempting to pull off a double by winning Class 50 as well, but he and his team of talented co-riders finished second by 7 minutes, 6 seconds to the winning Honda CRF450X ridden by Craig Adams, San Clemente, Calif., and his teammates Tim Withers, Pepeekeo, Hawaii and Doug Smith, Upland, Calif.
Leading the large group of Mexican nationals who competed in the massive event was Tijuana's Lobsam Yee, who picked up his fourth career class win in this event, winning Class 10 for the second straight race this season in a Jimco-Honda.
In Class 9, Mexico's Eric Fisher won for the seventh time, including the last four straight years, in his Garibay-VW.
Mike Horner, Mission Viejo, Calif., picked up his fourth career win in the Tecate SCORE Baja 250, earning the Class 7S victory in a Toyota-Tacoma. It was Horner's second straight win to start the 2007 SCORE season. Perry McNeil, Lemon Grove, Calif., won Class 7 in a Ford Ranger.
TV sportscaster and action sports announcer Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., led three teams to the finish line. He finished 11th in SCORE Trophy-Truck, second in SCORE Lite with a huge assist from Kash Vessels and 10th in Class 22. He wife Heidi Steele finished third in Class 7SX in a Ford Ranger.
Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix, won Class 8 in a GMC Sierra for his second straight win this year and second straight in this event while winning SCORE Lite over a SCORE record field in the class of 27 starters was the team of Mike Williams, Prescott, Ariz./Mike Sandoval, Fallbrook, Calif., in a Meco-VW.
In Class 3, Dylan Evans, Anaheim Hills, Calif., won in a Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Among the other car and truck Class winners late Saturday were: Mario Reynoso, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug), Luivan Voelker, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Terry Henn, Walnut, Calif. (Stock Full, Hummer H1), Gavin Skilton, Orange, Calif. (Stock Mini, Honda Ridgeline) and Jason Voss, Cupertino, Calif. (Protruck, Ford F-150).
Among the other motorcycle class winners were teams led by Carlos Casas, Chula Vista, Calif. (Class 21, Honda CRF450X), Ryan Penhall, Corona, Calif. (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Brett Helm, Poway, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) and Don Lewis, Upland, Calif. (Class 60, Honda XR650R).
Winning the ATV Class 24 was the team led by Francisco Servin, Chula Vista, Calif. on a Yamaha WRC450.
Officially in the race-record starting field of 393, 226 of the entries were cars or trucks and 167 were either motorcycles (108) or ATVs (55). The final entry list of 423 easily eclipsed the previous entry record of 362 set last year, the 393 starters blew away last year's race-record of 341 starters and the 288 official finishers bettered last year's race record of 220 finishers.
SCORE officials announced early Sunday morning after the race that several time penalties will be assessed this week to 17 racers in 10 classes for speed zone violations during the event. None of those to be penalized were top finishers in their respective classes. The race course included six short pavement sections where racers are required to say within the posted highway speed limits.
The world's best desert racers return to Ensenada for Round 3 of the 2007 SCORE Desert Series, June 1-3 for the 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race.
The 2007 SCORE Desert Series also includes the chase for the $75,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several 2007 SCORE Class point champions along with the run for the $12,000 Toyota True Grit and Toyota Milestone Awards.