LOS ANGELES--Starting the season with just an eight-point margin among the top five point leaders, Mexico's Eli Yee has assumed the overall point lead after the recent Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, Round 2 of the six-race 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert...
LOS ANGELES--Starting the season with just an eight-point margin among the top five point leaders, Mexico's Eli Yee has assumed the overall point lead after the recent Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, Round 2 of the six-race 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series. With a third in the season opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and a victory in San Felipe, Yee, of Tijuana, has also taken over the Class 10 point lead in Honda-powered Jimco open-wheen desert race car.
With a strong 26-vehicle field in Class 10 in San Felipe, Yee impressively won his class by more than 21 minutes and finished a solid ninth overall among four-wheel vehicles. He now has 110 season points.
Las Vegas' Troy Herbst, 35, has moved up to the top spot in the unlimited Class 1 points and second overall, five points behind Yee with 105. Herbst, 35, finished third in San Felipe, three minutes and 44 seconds behind Class 1 winner Mike Julson's Chevy-powered Jimco. Herbst was second in January's SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
The Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 featured 235 total starters competing in 24 classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. There were 147 official finishers in Round 2 of America's Foremost Desert Racing Series.
SCORE points are determined both on final finishing position and number of vehicles which started the race within the individual class.
"We are probably the first Mexicans who have led the SCORE overall points, and it may or may not last all year, but either way, it's a dream come true to be in this position at any time," said Yee, 28, whose younger brother Lobsam Yee, 25, is currently third in the Class 1 point standings.
Herbst returns to the top of Class 1, where he has won a record five consecutive season point championships in his Ford-powered Smithbuilt desert race car.
In a three-way tie for third, just three points behind Herbst with 102 points each, are class point leaders Dan Smith/David Ashley (SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ford F-150), Steve Barlow (Protruck, Ford F-150) and Allan Gre gory (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug).
All from Southern California, Smith/Ashley, both of Riverside, Barlow, of Temecula and Gregory, of Alpine, have each won their respective classes in both season-opening SCORE races and each have 102 season points.
For the Smith/Ashley Enduro Racing team, San Felipe was a record fifth straight victory in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division. Smith/Ashley and Gregory are defending SCORE season point champions in their respective classes.
A total of just nine points separate sixth through 10th place after two races in the 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series overall point standings. Sixth overall and second in Class 10 with 99 points is Steve Schmidt, Jamual, Calif., who drives a Honda-powered Chenowth.
Seventh in overall points with 93 is Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif., and eighth with 92 is Dan Fresh, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Christensen leads Class 10 after two races in a Jimco with a prototype BMW racing engine while Fresh is currently first in Class 7S in a Jeep Comanche.
Currently tied for ninth in overall points with 90 each are Rick Johnson, Barstow, Calif., and Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif.
Johnson has finished second in both races behind Steve Barlow in Protruck by a total of just one minute, 31 seconds while Moss leads Class 3 after winning both of this year's races in a Ford Bronco.
Among the other 2002 SCORE car and truck class point leaders after the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 are: Craig Turner, Yorba Linda, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger); Joe Patelli, Romoland, Calif. (Class 8, Chevy Blazer); (TIE in Class 1-2/1600) Kash Vessels, Tucson, Ariz. (Chenowth) and Jake Maness, Redstone, Colo. (Jimco); George Seeley Jr., Glendale, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), John Griffin, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Stock Full, AM General Hummer); Bob Land, Lake Forest, Calif. (Stock Mini, Isuzu Rodeo Sport) and Ken Stroud, Alpine, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Raceco).
Leading the featured motorcycle class is the team of Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif. (Class 22, Honda XR650R).
Leading the top ATV class is the team of Jimmy Stephnensen, Las Vegas/Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif. (Class 25, Honda 250R).
The 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series returns south to Mexico for the second of three races in Baja California--the 34th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, May 31-June 2. The computerized drawing for starting positions, by class, will be held April 19 at the SCORE International headquarters in Los Angeles.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters (818) 225-8402 or visit the official website of the Duralast SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
Round 3 -- 34th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 May 31 - June 2