Fathers and sons will race the Baja 1000

220 Racers Nov. 8-10 in Mexico From McMillins, Gordons and Halls, Father/Son Racers Prepared to Challenge the 34th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 25 Fathers & their sons set for Final Round of 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series LOS ANGELES--Since this...

220 Racers Nov. 8-10 in Mexico
From McMillins, Gordons and Halls, Father/Son Racers Prepared to Challenge the 34th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

25 Fathers & their sons set for Final Round of 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series

LOS ANGELES--Since this unique form of motorsports began in the late 1960s, desert racing has always been a family sport and the tradition continues into the 21st century as 25 fathers and their sons are among the entries for the 34th running of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race, Nov. 8-10 in Ensenada, Mexico.

Nearly 220 vehicles from 30 States, Canada, France, Israel, Japan and Mexico, are expected to take the green flag in the historic race that features 25 different classes. Motorcycles and ATVs will begin the race at 6:30 a.m. (PDT) on Friday, Nov. 9, with the cars and trucks starting their trek at 8 a.m. (PDT). Vehicles will start one every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race and will have a 30-hour time limit.

Mark Post, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., will drive the first four-wheel vehicle to leave the starting line--the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150 in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in the final round of the five-race 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series. Johnny Campbell, of San Clemente, Calif., will ride the No. 1x factory-sponsored Honda XR650R motorcycle in the open Class 22 that will start first among two-wheel vehicles.

While numerous second generation and even a couple of third generation drivers are entered along with numerous brothers, the 25 fathers entered will either team with or attempt to teach their sons some lessons of the desert in the annual adventure around the rugged terrain of the mysterious Baja California peninsula.

Three of the most successful families in the sport--the McMillins, Gordons and Halls, will be in separate race vehicles in next month's odyssey. But, while they may be driving in different vehicles, their family heritage always keep them available to assist each other in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Southern California's Corky McMillin, Bonita, and his sons Mark McMillin, Chula Vista and Scott, of Poway will be among the front runners in the unlimited Class 1. All three McMillins, including 72-year old family patriarch Corky McMillin, are always in the hunt and Mark has won his class eight times in the granddaddy of all desert races. In 1985, Mark McMillin, 45, won Class 1 while his father Corky and brother Scott, 41, teamed up to win Class 2.

Corky and Mark both drive V6 Ford-powered Chenowth open-wheel desert race cars while Scott drives a V8 Chevy-powered Porter. Corky has not raced this year while recovering from two back surgeries, but fully expects to be on the starting line on Nov. 9.

"This year has been pretty tough on my dad, and more because of not being able to race than because of the operations," said Mark McMillin, who along with his brother and father are part of in San Diego County's Corky McMillin Companies which specialize in real estate sales and development. "We ran our first race together in 1976 and this year was the first time Scott and I ran a SCORE race without dad. I may have won the overall in the SCORE Baja 1000 five times, but one of the McMillin's fondest memories will always be the 1998 race from Santo Tomas to La Paz when we all raced for the first time in Class 1 and Scott finished second, dad was fourth and I was eighth. That's one race we'll never forget."

In last year's once-in-a-lifetime Tecate SCORE Baja 2000, run from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, Mark left his broken vehicle to help his father finish fourth in Class 1, two places ahead of Scott.

A pioneering family, the McMillins were the first racers to bring the Porsche motor into the sport and were also among the first to use Ford motors in open-wheel desert race cars.

Bob Gordon, 53, and his son Robby, 32, also have enjoyed racing in Baja. Both have won the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, so much in fact, that "Baja Bob" was a nicknamed earned by Bob Gordon, who has five class wins, two of which were overall victories. Baja Bog will co-drive in Class 1 this year for Jeff Quinn.

Robby Gordon, who like his father is from Orange, Calif., was the overall winner in 1989 in Class 8 and returns this year to drive his No. 5 Ford F-150 in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division. The younger Gordon, whose career has expanded to CART and NASCAR, will be pulling double duty on race weekend as he also drives the No. 31 Chevy for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Homestead, Fla.

Legendary desert racer Rod Hall, 62, will drive an AM General Hummer in the Stock Full class. Hall, of Reno, Nev., has an all-time high 16 career class wins in this race and he is the only car or truck racer who has competed in all 33 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races. His son Chad, 38, will drive another identically-equipped AM General Hummer in the stock full class. Together, the Halls operate a Hummer dealership in Reno.

Three Las Vegas area fathers are among the list of other father/sons who will also be racing in Mexico, two of them in the same vehicle. Defending SCORE Class 10 point champion Mark Hutchins, 46, of Henderson, will share driving duties with his 16-year old son Christopher.

In the unlimited Class 1, Las Vegas' Rudy Cortez, 57, and his son Carlos, 29, will split time behind the wheel in the high-speed class which features a race-high 22 entries so far.

Las Vegas' Tom Bradley Sr., 60, will co-drive for Class 7 point leader Ernesto Cervantes while Tom Bradley, Jr., 34, will co-drive for Rob Kittleson in the Protruck/SS/Truck Class.

Cisco Bio, 19, of Spring Valley, Calif., leads SCORE Class 9 in points and is the only undefeated car or truck racer this season with four straight victories. He will have his father Pancho, a veteran desert racer, as his co-driver.

Leading the Mexican father/son teams in the race will be Mexicali's Vildosola family. Gus Vildosola Jr., 19, is the driver of record in Class 1-2/1600 and his co-driver will be his father Gus Vildosola, 48.

Besides the McMillins, two other fathers who will have two sons racing are the Skilton and McNeil families. Clive Skilton, 60, of Orange, Calif., leads the SCORE Class 3 International points in a Jeep Grand Cherokee and his son Gavin, 31, will co-drive with him. Clive Skilton's other son, Darren, 33, of Long Beach, Calif., will drive his Kia Sportage in Class 3 where he has won the last two years.

Perry McNeil, 52, of Lemon Grove, Calif., will drive a Ford Ranger in Class 7 with his sons Justin, 23, and Perry Alan, 21, as co-drivers.

Pre-race festivities will center around the San Nicolas Hotel in Ensenada on Thursday (Nov. 8) and the race will start adjacent to the Riviera Convention Center in downtown Ensenada and finish on the outskirts of town at the end of Avenida Ruiz. Traditionally drawing large crowds, the pre-race Manufacturer's Midway will be held adjacent to the San Nicolas, near downtown Ensenada. The colorful pre-race manufacturer's midway and display of all the race vehicles will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the day before the race.

The race will be televised as a one-hour special on the Speedvision Network. Shoemaker Productions of San Clemente, Calif., is producing the show which will first air at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (PST) on Saturday, Dec. 22 and 10 a.m. (PST) on Sunday, Dec. 23.

For more information, contact SCORE International at its Los Angeles headquarters (818) 225-8402 or visit the official Duralast SCORE Desert Series website at www.score-international.com.

-SCORE-

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Rod Hall , Mark Post , Mark McMillin , Johnny Campbell
Teams Richard Childress Racing