Laughlin Desert Challenge Saturday notes

Round 1 - 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series 7th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge With 191 Racers Competing in 17 Classes First Day Race Recaps - Saturday, January 20, 2001 NOTE: Racers are divided into seven different groups, by ...

Round 1 - 2001 Duralast SCORE Desert Series 7th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge With 191 Racers Competing in 17 Classes

First Day Race Recaps - Saturday, January 20, 2001

NOTE: Racers are divided into seven different groups, by individual class, for racing two, three or four laps over a 13-mile desert course. Each group starts and finishes with a stadium-style course in front of grandstand seating, hillside viewing and the event VIP tent with more than 10,000 spectators on hand. Racers have either a 75- or 85-minute time limit from the time each starts to complete their required laps each day to be an official finisher for that day. The event finishing order, by class, will be based on the combined two-day elapsed time of each racer. Sunday's start order will be based on their individual finishing position on Saturday.

Group #1: Classes 5 (4 laps), 5/1600 (4), 9 (4), 11 (2) - 85-minute time limit - 28 starters

A total of 19 of the 28 Group 1 starters completed the required laps Saturday. George Seeley, Jr. in Class 5 posted the best overall time for the four-lap racers with a time of 59 minutes, 19 seconds (48.957 miles per hour) to lead his class by four minutes, 14 seconds. Seeley, who started 30 seconds behind the first cars off the line and gained Saturday's lead in the first lap, takes a comfortable lead into Sunday's competition for the $900 first-place prize plus contingencies. Eric Deen (Class 5-1600, 1:10:14, 41.347 mph), Forest Creasy (Class 9, 1:11:08, 40.824 mph) and Chris Woodward (Class 11, 45:02, 32.242 mph) lead their classes after Saturday's racing. Creasy, who was first off the line in his class, enjoys a 23-second lead in Class 9 over Andy Kisner in the chase for the $2,400 first-place prize plus contingencies. Joe Sheble and Andy Kisner led Creasy after the first lap before Saturday's Class 9 winner gained the lead for good over Sheble after three laps. Woodward, who started 30 seconds behind the first cars off the line in his class, has a 41-second lead over Eric Solozano in the Class 11 race for the $900 first-place prize plus contingencies. Woodward gained a 54-second advantage after Saturday lap before coasting to the finish line ahead of Solozano. Deen, who started two minutes behind the first cars off the line in his class and gained the lead for good after the first lap Saturday, has a 48 second lead over Allan Gregory for the $3,900 Class 5-1600 first-place prize plus contingencies. Robert Wright was in second-place after three laps in Class 5-1600 before retiring in the fourth lap.

Group #2: Class 1-2/1600 (4 laps) - 85-minute time limit - 30 starters

A total of 26 of the 30 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. Adam Pfankuch is the leader after the first day with a time of one hour, one minute, seven seconds (47.515 miles per hour). Pfankuch, who started five minutes, 30 seconds after the first car off the line, leads the field after the first day for the $9,000 first-place prize plus contingencies. He moved into second-place after the first lap behind Rob MacCachren, who held a seven-second lead after the first 13 miles. Pfankuch gained a 20 second lead after lap two over MacCachren and extended the lead to 34 seconds at the finish. Group #3: Class 1 (4 Laps) - 75-minute time limit - 16 starters

A total of 13 of the 16 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. John Herder, who started 2 minutes, 30 seconds behind the first car off the line, finished as the first-day leader with a time of 49 minutes, 16 seconds (58.944 miles per hour) to lead Troy Herbst by three seconds. Herbst started 30 seconds ahead of Herder. Herbst, was the 2000 Duralast SCORE Desert Series Overall and Class 1 point champion, led Herder by three seconds after the first 13-mile lap. Dale Dondel took the lead after the second lap by a 11 seconds over Herder and 17 seconds over Herbst. Dondel held a two second lead over Herder after 39 miles (three laps) and five seconds over Herbst. With 16 cars starting the Class 1 competition, Sunday's winner will earn $4,800 for first-place plus contingencies.

Group #4: Trophy-Truck, Class 8, Protruck/SS/Truck (ALL 4 laps) - 75 - minutes 19 starters

A total of 16 of the 19 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. Tim and Ed Herbst (49 minutes, 49 seconds, 58.293 miles per hour) led from the start the first day of the Trophy Truck competition in first-place ahead of Lonny Helmbolt by one minute, 54 seconds. The Trophy Truck winner will net $1,800 plus contingencies. The Herbsts will be seeking their fourth SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Trophy Truck title after winning in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Ed Herbst also won Class 1 in 1995 - the inaugural SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. Pat Bell (1:03:34, 45.684 miles per hour) and Scott Steinberger (57:15, 50.724 miles per hour) lead the Class 8 and Protruck/SS/Truck competition. respectively. Bell will be seeking the $1,500 Class 8 first-place prize plus contingencies with a 10-minute lead over Jim Patelli. Steinberger has an 83-second lead over Steve Barlow in the race for the $3,000 ProTruck first-place prize plus contingencies.

Group #5: Class 10 (4 laps) - 85 minutes - 25 starters

A total of 20 of the 25 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. Chris Harrold (55 minutes, 47 seconds, 52.058 miles per hour) led from the start in posting two sub-14 minute laps. Harrold, who started 2 minutes, 30 seconds behind the first cars off the line, has a one minute, 30 second advantage heading into Sunday's action over Rick Ellison (57:17, 50.695 mph). Harrold won the 1999 SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Class 10 competition. Danny Anderson, who won the title last season, is fourth heading into Sunday and is behind by over two minutes. Harrold will be seeking the $7,500 Class 10 first-place prize plus contingencies.

Group #6: SCORE Lites (4 laps), Sportsman Buggy, (4 laps) - 85 minutes - 28 starters

A total of 22 of the 28 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. Kory Halopoff (1 hour, 6 seconds, 48.319 miles per hour) led from the start to gain an advantage for the $8,100 first-place prize in the Score Lites plus contingencies. Starting three minutes, 30 seconds behind the first car off line, Halopoff's best lap was his last by completing the 13-mile lap in 14 minutes, 54 seconds. Halopoff has a 34-second lead over Steve Grienke (1:00:40, 47.868 miles per hour) entering Sunday's competition. William Akrawi (1:08:29, 42:404 miles per hour), the only competitor in the Sportsman Buggy, completed Saturday's four laps.

Group #7: Classes 3 (3 laps), 7 (4), 7S (3), Stock Full (3), Stock Mini (3) - 85-minutes - 32 starters

A total of 19 of the 32 starters completed the required laps after the first day of competition. With five classes competing, the first-day leaders are Kirk Kovel (Class 3, one hour, 12 minutes, 55 seconds, 29.869 miles per hour), Craig Turner (Class 7, 1:01:54, 46.914 miles per hour), Jared Hardin (Class 7S, 55:06, 38.823 miles per hour), T. Macrae Glass (Stock Mini, 1:16:06, 28.620 miles per hour) and Marc Stein (Stock Full, 58:07, 37.476 miles per hour). Manny Esquerra, who was seeking his fourth SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Trophy Truck title after winning in 1997, 1999 and 2000, broke after lap one when he was running second. Sunday's Group 7 winners will be vying for the following first-place prizes - Class 3 ($300 plus contingencies), Class 7 ($2,700 plus contingencies), Class 7S ($4,200 plus contingencies), Stock Full ($1,500 first-place prize plus contingencies) and Stock Full ($1,500 plus contingencies).

-SCORE

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Series Score
Drivers Rob MacCachren , Robert Wright , Troy Herbst