Laughlin Event and Pit Crew Showdown news

Draw for Start Positions Jan. 4 Nearly 200 Racers Expected for Season-Opening ...

Draw for Start Positions Jan. 4
Nearly 200 Racers Expected for Season-Opening #8th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, Jan. 24-27

Event Starts with $25,000 Laughlin Leap & Pit Crew Showdown on Jan. 24

LAUGHLIN, Nev.--Getting a major head start on the new year in motorsports, thousands of desert racing fans will join nearly 200 racers at the increasingly popular 8th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, January 24-27, along the banks of the Colorado river adjacent to the growing Southern Nevada resort destination of Laughlin. A new one-year contract has been signed and the drawing for starting positions will be held this Friday (Jan. 4) at the SCORE International headquarters in Los Angeles.

Being held 90 miles south of Las Vegas, the first major motorsports race of the year will be the opening round of the six-race 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series, America's foremost desert racing series. Racers from across the U.S., Mexico and Japan will launch the new racing season during the unique, four-day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, which features the $25,000 Laughlin Leap and Pit Crew Showdown. A total of 16 different classes, including the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck and unlimited Class 1 divisions, will compete in the event.

A new agreement between SCORE International and Las Vegas Events (LVE) has transferred the management of contracts and agreements for the event from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to Las Vegas Events, which is funded by the LVCVA.

"Las Vegas Events is looking forward to working with SCORE International on the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, one of the most exciting Laughlin events of the year," said Pat Christenson, president of LVE.

"The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is one of the premier stops of the Duralast SCORE Desert Series," said Sal Fish, CEO of SCORE International, which is based in Los Angeles. "Laughlin offers a number of amenities in the hotel/casino properties for the racers and fans to participate in after the dust has settled for the night. It's a great way for SCORE to start its season each year. We've had a wonderful relationship with the Laughlin resort and tourism community and we expect this year's event will add to SCORE's racing legacy in Laughlin."

Unique in format in all of desert racing, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge kicks off Thursday, Jan. 24 with the $25,000 Laughlin Leap and Pit Crew Showdown.

The race itself is split into two days of action (Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27) with the 16 classes for desert race cars and exotic race trucks divided into seven groups for seven separate races each day. From sunrise to sunset, SCORE desert racers will heat up the abbreviated 13-mile loop desert course in multiple-lap races with time limits of 85 or 90 minutes each. The event finishing order, by class, will be based on the combined two-day elapsed time of each racer.

The start/finish line area will be at the Laughlin Events Park at Thomas Edison Drive and Bruce Woodbury Way. In front of grandstands, a vendor's village and food court, the stadium-style course will include the Laughlin Leap, switchback turns, mini-jumps and moguls, helping to give spectators the rare opportunity to cheer their favorite racers up-close.

"The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a highly anticipated event that brings an action-packed weekend of racing and fun to Laughlin," said Bill Keena, General Manager at Harrah's Laughlin and local chairman of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. "Swirling dust, high energy and fast action will fill the days at the Laughlin Event Site, while the evening will be filled with great entertainment, spectator parties and endless gaming opportunities at the Laughlin resort properties."

On Friday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., fans can meet and greet their favorite racers and check out their high-tech racing machines throughout the day at the manufacturer's midway and technical inspection held in the start/finish line area.

Race weekend festivities will once again start with the extremely popular $25,000 Laughlin Leap and Pit Crew showdown on Thursday, Jan. 24. Starting with the Pit Crew battle at 6 p.m. at the Laughlin Events Venue Stadium followed be the bodacious Laughlin Leap, drivers and crews will test their own skills and the quality of their race vehicles. Participants will attempt to beat the existing records. The fastest pit stop was performed in 2000 by the crew of Dale Ebberts, Canyon Lake, Calif., in a record 44.96 seconds. The longest Laughlin Leap was recorded last year by Dale Dondel, Hemet, Calif., whose Nye Frank race car went airborne for a distance of 120 feet.

The biggest stars in the sport of desert racing are expected to compete. The drawing for starting positions within each class will be held Friday (Jan. 4) at the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles. Racers can also enter late up until the close of on-site registration on Friday, Jan. 25.

General Admission tickets for grandstand seats in the Laughlin Events Park will be $10 each for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. By mandate of the Bureau of Land Management, the start/finish line area is the only "designated" spectator area on the course. To place ticket orders or for more information, contact the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce at (800) 227-5245 or (702) 298-2214.

The 8th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Committee and the Laughlin Visitors Bureau, a division of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.


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