Laughlin 2007 opener preview

Jan. 18-21 in Laughlin, Nev. Nearly 250 entries expected for 2007 SCORE Desert Series opener At vastly popular 13th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Computerized start order drawing to be held Thursday for four-day event, which includes...

Jan. 18-21 in Laughlin, Nev.

Nearly 250 entries expected for 2007 SCORE Desert Series opener At vastly popular 13th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge

Computerized start order drawing to be held Thursday for four-day event, which includes $16,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap on Jan. 18

LOS ANGELES--For the 13th straight year, motorsports fans and racers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Japan will flock to Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River for the vastly popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The first major motorsports event of the year will be held Jan. 18-21, launching the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series.

Nearly 250 entries will compete for nearly $400,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the four day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

The computerized drawing for starting positions within each class will be held for all pre-registered entries this Thursday at the Los Angeles headquarters of SCORE International.

"The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a wonderful event on the SCORE calendar and it is especially a great way to start the year," said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO. "In our sport, it is about as fan-friendly as you can get and nothing surpasses the hospitality the Laughlin resorts show our racers and fans. And the racing is awesome."

Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 for each Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, children five and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each for the three days, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food beverage and special seating.

The stadium seating area will include the immensely popular SCOREvision large-screen LED display, showing live footage from various locations around the race course.

Tickets are also on sale for the only other spectator area for the event, the popular 'SCORE Hill', which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits. The SCORE Hill will have grandstands and standing room areas along with vendors, concessions and other public safety services available.

One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and gets the weekend off to a roaring start at 6 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 18). Drivers and pit crews will share the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse and the honor of being the 2007 champions. The SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year's competitors will be looking to break the event record in the SCORE Laughlin Leap set in 2004 by Mark Post in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150 (160' 6").

Advance tickets for the Laughlin Events Park are now on sale at www.visit.laughlin.com or by calling 800.308.2253.

Since its debut in 1995, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge has helped establish Laughlin as a viable host for special events. Thousands of spectators join over 200 racers and their crews in converging on the city each year to watch the best of the best desert racers compete in a unique-format, two-day race that includes a temporary stadium surrounding the start/finish line area and the main pits.

A total of 17 different classes for cars and trucks are split into eight groups in Laughlin, each running as part of one of seven multiple-lap races over the much-abbreviated 7-mile loop each day. Racing action runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day (Jan. 20-21). The marquee racing division is SCORE Trophy-Truck, featuring high-tech, 750-horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars. The other classes with the largest entry fields will be Class 10, Class 1-2/1600 and SCORE Lite.

Las Vegas' B. J. Baldwin (SCORE Trophy-Truck) and Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (Class 1) are the defending SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge race winners. The 2006 event included a race-record 233 starters. With an event-record 30,000 spectators on hand, a near race-record 113 vehicles officially finished the two-day race.

The Laughlin Events Park with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court is just minutes from the destination's nine resorts and includes an infield packed with switchbacks, woop-t-doos, minijumps and the Laughlin Leap.

The 13th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Committee, the Laughlin Visitors Bureau, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in association with Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.

The upcoming 2007 race is the start of a another contract extension between Laughlin, the LVCVA, LVE and SCORE International, confirming the event's significant economic and promotional impact.J

Located 90 miles south of Las Vegas, Laughlin offers visitors a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This city by the river has grown to include nine resorts with affordable first-class accommodations, 24-hour casino gaming, gourmet dining and outlet shopping. Laughlin, a unique resort destination that welcomes nearly 5 million visitors annually, has also become one of the leading special event destinations in the Southwest. From world-class bull riding action to daring desert racing to professional rodeo on the Colorado River, Laughlin has plenty to offer the adventurous spectator.

-credit: www.score-international.com.

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Drivers Mark Post