Monster Energy/Pflueger Racing Team Take Second in 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (June 4, 2006) - Alan Pflueger rolled into the 38th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with a chip on his shoulder. The driver of...
Monster Energy/Pflueger Racing Team Take Second in 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (June 4, 2006) - Alan Pflueger rolled into the 38th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with a chip on his shoulder. The driver of the No. 28 Monster Energy/Pflueger Racing Team Chevrolet Silverado had racked up two wins in his five previous Baja 500 races, including an overall and Trophy Truck win in 2004, his rookie season (the other class win came in 2003). But with a seventh and 14th-place finish in the season's first two events, the native Hawaiian knew that a solid Baja 500 run would put him and his team in a position to capture its first Trophy Truck championship.
Pflueger didn't disappoint, crossing the finish line in 9:44:05, just minutes behind winner Larry Ragland and Brian Collins, for an impressive second-place overall and class finish. Ragland and Collins crossed the finish line in 9:36:49 for an average speed of 44.13 mph. It was Pfleuger's second runner-up finish in a row in Baja. He finished second in the 2005 Baja 1000.
"What a race," Pflueger said after climbing out of his Trophy Truck. "We unloaded fast. When we got through contingency on Friday, we put a tarp over the truck and locked her up. There was no tweaking needed. She was that fast and that good. [Crew Chief] John Hoffman and this team did a phenomenal job. I'm the lucky one who got to drive."
And drive he did; soloing the entire 424.29 miles of the race without a relief driver. The 26th Trophy Truck off the starting line, Pflueger and navigator Mike Emerson - following the strategic plan laid out by Hoffman - remained calm, steady and patient for the first half of the race, taking care of their Trophy Truck and biding their time.
They worked their way through the technical Pine Forest section of the race course located from Mile 28 - Mile 99, and then slowly started picking off fellow, over-aggressive drivers and passing broken down vehicles as they raced their way south. Once they passed through the most difficult section of the racecourse located at the southern end of the track from Mile 211 - Mile 230, the duo attacked, turning on the afterburners and sprinting toward the finish line.
"This team is so hungry for a win," Pflueger said. "The wins will come. It's hard to be too disappointed because we are doing the right things that lead to victories. We are running very consistent and are finishing and competing in every race. We went out and performed as a team, and everyone on this team did their part. We did what it takes to win this race, we just came up a little short. We're right in the hunt for the championship."
More than 150,000 fans watched the 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the third event of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series. The 424.29-mile adventure was run in a clockwise direction over a tight and technical desert course with an 18-hour time limit to complete the race. A record 438 racers from seven countries and 28 states competed in the event, including a record 37 in the elite Trophy Truck division. Only 222 competitors finished the race.
"I told [SCORE President and CEO] Sal Fish that he better have a lot of tissues at the finish line because a lot of teams were going to be crying," Pflueger said. "It was a very tough course, but that's what we expect racing Baja."
Entering the race, Pflueger was in 6th place in the points standings with 91, only 35 points behind leader B.J. Baldwin, who finished in fifth place. His finish will significantly move him up in the overall points standings. The official points standings won't be available until next week.
The next event on the 2006 SCORE International Off-Road circuit is the non- points Terrible's Cup II held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nev., July 28, 2006. It will be the fourth event of the six-race season.
Pflueger is one of the rising stars of SCORE International Off-Road Racing. During his first year of racing in 2002, Pflueger won the Primm 300 and the famous Baja 1000 on the Protruck series, finishing second in points and earning Rookie of the Year honors. He followed up his first year in racing by winning the Protruck Championship in 2003 with wins at the San Felipe 250, the Baja 500 and the Primm 300.
Pflueger moved to the elite Trophy Class in 2004, winning the Baja 500 and the Primm 300, and finishing the 2004 season just shy of the championship. He finished 4th in the 2005 Primm 300 and was runner-up in last year's Baja 1000.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Pflueger, 39, is the President of the Pflueger Automotive Group. He resides in Honolulu with his wife, Eleni, and their two sons, Hunter and Max. Pflueger Racing is headquartered in Murrieta, Calif. For more information on Alan Pflueger and the Monster Energy Pflueger Racing Team, visit its website at. For more information on SCORE International Off-Road Racing, please visit its website at www.score- international.com.
Monster Energy (www.monsterenergy.com) was launched in 2002 and in just three short years has become the number two brand in the exploding energy drink category. Monster Energy provides consumers seeking a boost of energy to fuel their active lifestyle with a proprietary blend of vitamins, herbs and amino acids that packs a vicious punch with a smooth flavor that's easy to pound down.
. A record 37 Trophy Trucks competed in this year's Baja 500. The previous record came in January of this year when 33 Trophy Trucks competed in the Laughlin Desert Challenge, located in Laughlin, Nev.
. The 438 overall competitors in this year's Baja 500 set a SCORE record for a Mexican off-road race and is the second most in SCORE history. A record 452 entries competed in the 1988 Parker 400.