San Felipe: Round two preview

LOS ANGELES--Led by last year's overall winners Mark Post/Rob MacCachren and Robby Bell, four of the last five overall 4-wheel champs and the last 10 motorcycle winners are ready for a unique 'spring break' this weekend at the 22nd Annual Tecate...

LOS ANGELES--Led by last year's overall winners Mark Post/Rob MacCachren and Robby Bell, four of the last five overall 4-wheel champs and the last 10 motorcycle winners are ready for a unique 'spring break' this weekend at the 22nd Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race.

Round 2 of the 2008 SCORE Desert Series will be held Saturday in Mexico's quaint and picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, a noted haven for 'spring breakers', located on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.

Featuring the third-most entries in the event's 22-year history, over 280 entries from 20 states and six countries will compete in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the 232-mile race. The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. (PST) on Saturday, March 15, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. (PST) The start line for the race will once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. The race will finish just south of the Arches, directly behind the Cerveza Tecate building. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with a 10-hour time limit to become an official finisher.

Following January's season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, America's Foremost Desert Racing Series will visit Mexico for the first of three races in 2008.

Post, Laguna Beach, Calif., and MacCachren, Las Vegas, are the defending overall and 4-Wheel winners of the popular spring race in the No. 1 Riviera Racing Ford F-150 in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for 800-horsepower, hi-tech, unlimited production trucks while Bell has been the overall Motorcycle and Class 22 winner the last two year's on the No. 1x Honda CRF450X.

Between them, team owner Post (with three) and MacCachren (6) have nine class wins in this race, and they have been part of four overall titles. Post won this race Overall in Class 1 in 1998 and in 2004 in SCORE Trophy-Truck with Jerry Whelchel as his second driver and last year with MacCachren as his second driver.

MacCachren, who was recently honored as the 2007 Dirt Sports Magazine Driver of the Year, also won as the second driver for Mexico's Gus Vildosola in 2003 when that pair captured the overall.

This will be Riviera Racing's first trip back to Baja since winning last year's amazing 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the arduous adventure with 424 starters that covered 1,296 miles from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. The win clinched both the 2007 SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck season point championships for the Southern California-based Riviera Racing team.

Bell, Sun City, Calif., won the motorcycle title in this race the last two year's with injured teammate Kendall Norman. Replacing Norman as the second rider for this race is team owner Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif. (Johnny Campbell Racing), who has seven class wins, including six overalls with three different co-riders.

Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., won this race overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck in 2006 as a SCORE rookie in the No. 38 GNR Racing Ford F-150 and Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., won the motorcycle and Class 22 race in this event four times. In 2001, Hengeveld won with Jonah Street as his co-rider and repeated in 2002, 2003 and 2004 with Campbell has his co-rider.

Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif., won the motorcycle and Class 22 race in San Felipe in 2005 with Chris Blais and Andy Grider on a KTM, breaking the eight-year win streak of the factory Honda teams. This year he will lead a team on the No. 2x Red Bull KTM 530XCRW with David Pearson, Las Vegas and David Kamo, New Plymouth, Idaho, as co-riders.

Vildosola, Mexicali, is racing this year as the second driver for his son Gus Vildosola Jr., in the No. 4 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford F-150 in the SCORE Trophy-Truck division.

Among the other racers entered this year who have been very successful in this race are Jim O'Neal, Eric Solorzano, Donald Moss, John Griffin and Adam Pfankuch.

O'Neal, Simi Valley, Calif., is an age-group motorcycle rider who has put together eight winning teams in the last seven years in San Felipe. O'Neal is the all-time co-leader for class wins in this race, tied with Dan Smith. Going for double class wins again (he won two in 2005), O'Neal will lead teams in both Class 30 and Class 50 this year on Hondas.

Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico, has seven wins in Class 11 for stock VW Sedans while Moss, Sacramento, Calif., has five wins in the last six years in Class 3 in his sturdy Ford Bronco.

Griffin, Mission Viejo, Calif., in Stock Full and Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif., in Class 1-2/1600, both have four class wins in San Felipe. This year, Griffin will again race with Jeremy Spirkoff, El Cajon, Calif., in a Ford F-350, while Pfankuch will drive a VW-powered Mirage.

Arizona veteran desert racer Pete Sohren and Southern California's rising star Robby Bell received the pole positions for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles in the computerized drawing for starting positions in late February. Sohren races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Bell competes in Class 22 for open motorcycles.

Drawing the first starting slot for the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars is defending season point champion Billy Gasper, Chino Hills, Calif. Riding the first ATV off the line will be defending SCORE Overall ATV and Class 25 point Champion Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif.

Sohren, 43, of Glendale, Ariz., is a veteran SCORE desert racer who has won Class 5 (unlimited VW Baja Bugs) twice in this race (1997 and 2001). He now drives the No. 2 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck, finishing eighth in season points last year after a solid fourth-place finish in the 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

With 20 entries so far, Sohren will lead a strong field in SCORE Trophy-Truck that features many of the world's top desert racers. SCORE Trophy-Trucks have won the overall in San Felipe 12 times in the 14-year history of the marquee racing class.

To date, Class 1-2/600 has the most entries with 29 followed by SCORE Trophy-Truck and, Class 1 with 20 each, SCORE Lite with 17 and Class 5/1600 with 12. Late registration will be accepted up until race morning.

Among the Pro Motorcycle classes, Class 22 (open) has 13 entries while Class 21 (under 250cc) and Class 30 (riders 30 years and over) have eight each. In the Pro ATV classes so far Class 24 (under 250cc) has 13 and Class 25 (open) has 12.

Gasper, 40, who won last season's SCORE Class 1 season point championship with his brother Dave, will drive the No. 100 Chevy-powered Porter open-wheel desert race car in Class 1.

Helping Prather, 27, lead the ATV entries off the line in a Honda TRX450R will be riding mates Mike Cafro, 37, Bonsall, Calif., Levi Marana, 22, Hemet, Calif., and Chad Prull, 32, Laveen, Ariz.

-credit: score


Cars & Trucks

Year--Driver(s), Vehicle (Class) 1982--Dan Cornwell, Chenowth-VW (Class 1) 1983--Corky McMillin/Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche (Class 2) 1984--Scott McMillin/Corky McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche (Class 2) 1990--Brian Collins/Jack Johnson, Chenowth-VW (Class 1) 1991--Larry Ragland, Chevy C1500 (Class 8) 1992--Bob Richey/Boyd Cox, Raceco-Porsche (Class 1) 1993--Scott Douglas, Ford Ranger (Class 7) 1994--Ivan Stewart, Toyota SR5 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 1995--Larry Ragland, Chevy C1500 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 1996--Robby Gordon, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 1997--Curt LeDuc, Jeep Grand Cherokee (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 1998--Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel, Riviera-Chevy (Class 1) 1999--Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2000--Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2001--Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2002--Dan Smith/David Ashley, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2003--Gus Vildosola/Rob MacCachren, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2004--Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2005--Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Jimco-Chevy (Class 1) 2006--Garron Cadiente, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2007--Mark Post/Rob MacCachren (SCORE Trophy-Truck) J


Year--Rider(s), Vehicle 1982--Bob Balentine, Honda XR500 (Class 22) 1983--Jack Johnson, Honda XR500 (Class 22) 1984--Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna CR500 (Class 22) 1990--Dan Smith/Danny Hamel, KTM (Class 22) 1991--Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicut Jr, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1992--Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicut Jr, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1993--Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500(Class 22) 1994--Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1995--Danny Hamel, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1996--Paul Krause, Kawasaki KX500 (Class 22) 1997--Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 1998--Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 1999--Johnny Campbell/Cole Marshall, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 2000--Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab, Honda XR650 (Class 22) 2001--Steve Hengeveld/Jonah Street, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2002--Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2003--Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2004--Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda XR650R (Class 22) 2005--Chris Blais/Andy Grider/Quinn Cody, KTM MXC525 (Class 22) 2006--Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda CRF450X (Class 22) 2007--Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda CRF450X (Class 22)

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Series Score
Drivers Bob Bale , Robby Gordon , Scott Douglas , Curt LeDuc , Rob MacCachren , Steve Hengeveld , Tim Staab , Larry Roeseler , Paul Krause , Chris Blais , Andy Grider , Jonah Street , Mark Post , Larry Ragland , Tim Herbst , Andy McMillin , David Pearson , Scott McMillin , Johnny Campbell , Quinn Cody