Toyota Baja 1000 special awards preview

Toyota True Grit and Milestone Award Candidates Prepare For The Legendary Baja 1000 TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov.15, 2004) Heading into the final desert off-road race of the 2004 season, Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-20, 21 competitors in...

Toyota True Grit and Milestone Award Candidates Prepare For The Legendary Baja 1000

TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov.15, 2004) Heading into the final desert off-road race of the 2004 season, Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-20, 21 competitors in nine classes remain eligible for the prestigious Toyota Milestone Award, while 14 remain for the Toyota True Grit Award. Competitors who finish every mile of every race in the five- race 2004 SCORE Desert Racing Series will receive one of the two awards both presented by Toyota.

"Toyota is proud to honor the world's best desert racing drivers," said Les Unger, national motorsports manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "For 18 years we have had the privilege of presenting the SCORE Toyota True Grit and Milestone Awards to the toughest racers on the planet."

Coined as the "longest and toughest" race of the year in the SCORE Desert Racing series, the 1,016.31 mile course, with 14 checkpoints, will travel along the Baja California peninsula starting in downtown Ensenada and finishing on the outskirts of La Paz. Nearly 300 vehicles are expected to compete in 26 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks motorcycles and ATVs.

Desert racers who complete all 2,092.61 miles in the five-race series will receive the Toyota Milestone Award. The 10th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, started the 2004 season with 180 drivers fully eligible for the awards.

After four races, 14 drivers in the non-factory backed classes 1-2/1600, 10 and SCORE Lite remain eligible to receive the $12,000 Toyota True Grit prize. The prize money is split between the class point champion(s) who finish every mile in the series.

The Toyota Milestone Award and Toyota True Grit will be presented at the annual year-end banquet, SCORE Awards Night, Saturday, Dec.11, Primm Valley Resort in Primm, Nevada.

Veteran desert racing legend Parnelli Jones, Indy 500 and SCORE Baja champion, will serve as Baja 1000's Grand Marshall and preside over the festivities. Jones won the 1963 Indy 500 as well as back-to-back SCORE Baja 1000 races in 1971 and 1972.

For the first time in more than two decades, the race will be televised as a one- hour NBC Sports special in December on the NBC Television Network and will air Saturday, Dec.11 from 2:30 3:30 p.m. (EST). Al Trautwig, emmy-award winning sportscaster, will anchor the event on NBC. A special pre-run preview segment, including NASCAR's Robby Gordon, will air during the Jeep World of Adventure Sports on Saturday, Dec 4. CNBC's `Bullseye", with host Dylan Ratigan will also produce segments to air Nov.30, Dec.1 and Dec.2.

For more information, including a list of top drivers and riders and pre/post race schedule, log-on to www.score-international.com

-toyota-

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Series Score
Drivers Robby Gordon , Parnelli Jones