Two second-generation and one third-generation desert racers are the top three qualifiers for Saturday’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, is being held this week in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
Former IndyCar driver/NASCAR driver/NASCAR team owner/Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee (2019) Robby Gordon qualified first Wednesday morning for Saturday’s race, followed closely by third-generation superstar Luke McMillin in second and former NASCAR racer/second generation desert racer Justin Lofton as the third fastest qualifier.
“That was a fun course, I have to be honest,” Gordon said. “Very technical, it wasn’t about the big bumps or who was crazy to the big bumps, it was very, very technical. I think it was good for our truck. Obviously, we’ll see what the time is, but I’m glad they did qualifying. Qualifying means a lot. I know it’s a lot of work for the series to do that, but the luck of the draw is just not the right way to go racing, so wherever we’re at, we’re going to be happy with and looking forward to the race.”
Held over a 3.47-mile course south of downtown San Felipe, Gordon, 51 a SoCal native who still lives in Charlotte, N.C. powered his way in a time of three minutes, 57.229 seconds averaging 51.65 miles per hour in his new No. 77 all-wheel drive custom-built Chevy SCORE Trophy Truck. Gordon was the only qualifier who covered the course in under four minutes.
San Diego’s Luke McMillin, 27, whose older brother Dan McMillin, 32, finished fourth in qualifying, completed the qualifying course in 4:00.937 (51.00mph) in his No. 83 Mark Racing Racer-Built Ford F-150.
Back in his desert racing roots, Lofton, 34, of Brawley, Calif., was timed in 4:05.489 (in his No. 41 Lofton Racing Jimco-built Ford Raptor.
Fastest qualifier in Class 1 was Broc Dickerson, 19, Calif., turning in a hot lap of 4:22.020 while averaging 46.72 mph in the No. 123 Ford-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.
Top qualifier in the Trophy Truck Spec class was Clay Lawrence, Banning, Calif., with a time of 5:40.00 (42.23 mph) in the No. 285 LMS-Chevy.
The five trucks in the SCORE TT Legend class for SCORE Trophy Truck drivers over 50 years old all elected not to qualify. Reigning SCORE World Desert Championship point champion team of Clyde Stacy, 75, Bristol, Va. and Nick Vanderwey, 53, Phoenix, in the No. 1L RPM Racing Geiser-Built Chevy V16 will be the first vehicle off the line in their class.
Back To Baja
With significant Biosecurity Protocols established, approved and in place including no spectators for the contingency, start and finish line area, SCORE International is holding its first SCORE Baja race since last November.
After a 10-month absence, this will be the first SCORE race of 2020 and first in Baja since last November’s SCORE Baja 1000.
San Felipe is the peaceful village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. Both 2020 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Competition includes classes for cars, trucks UTVs, motorcycles and quads for the internationally-televised BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
Many of the world’s best desert racers are in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on the ABC Network World of X Games programming and syndicated internationally to as many as 25 countries. The shows are produced by SCORE in association with prominent SoCal company BCII TV.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 3 a.m. PT and approximately 7 a.m. PT for the cars, trucks and UTVs.
Nearly 150 vehicles are expected at the start line. Long-time SCORE sponsor and race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has also posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel winner to help commemorate this year’s race.
El Dorado Start/Finish
Following planning with and approval from city and state governments, SCORE International has announced that all the official pre-race activities and the start/finish line compound for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will be held in a restricted area at the prominent El Dorado Ranch resort with no spectators allowed.
Because of the significant health and safety Biosecurity protocols developed by SCORE in conjunction with and the approval of state and local health authorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all race-week festivities and the start/finish line compound will be restricted access only and closed to the general public.
Spectators following health and safety protocols will be allowed in the open areas around the 493.00-mile race course.
On the two days of contingency Thursday and Friday and during the race on Saturday until the course closes on Sunday morning, there will be extensive live streaming from the start/finish line compound broadcasting race activities and start and finish line interviews.
Popular Rat Sult will again serve as primary host of the SCORE live streaming, assisting will be Karolina Hirales.
With no spectators allowed in the start/finish line compound, all of the week’s activities (qualifying, contingency, start line and finish line) will be streamed both live and same-day including the race, airing via the internet on the SCORE website and social media platforms.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Custom Trucks including Builder)–
TOP QUALIFIER: 77 Robby Gordon, 51, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy Silverado (Custom), three minutes, 57.229 seconds (51.65 miles per hour)
2. 83 Luke McMillin, 27, San Diego, Ford F-150 (Racer), 4:00.937 (51.00mph)
3. 41 Justin Lofton, 34, Brawley, Calif., Ford Raptor (Jimco), 4:05.489 (49.95mph)
4. 23 Dan McMillin, 32, San Diego/Justin B. Smith, 36, Las Vegas, Chevy C1500 (Mason), 4:07.364 (49.56mph)
5. 38 Eric Hustead, 49, St. George, Utah, Ford F-150, 4:07.747 (49.56mph)
6. 10 Alan Ampudia, 29, Ensenada, Mexico/Aaron Ampudia, 27, Ensenada, Mexico, Ford Raptor (ID), 4:12.899 (48.57mph)
7.19 Pat Dean, Las Vegas (DOR-Tim Herbst, 57, Las Vegas/), Ford F-150 (Herbst-Smith), 4:17.030 (47.63mph)
8. 17 Josh De Jong, 31, San Jacinto, Calif./Louis Zavas, 35, Hemet, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Zavas Eng.), 4:24.133 (46.36mph)
9.43 Larry Roeseler, 63, Boulevard, Calif., Toyota Tundra (ID), 4:24.482 (46.36mph)
10. 35 Carlos Perununiri Ibarra, 39, Canada/J. Ivan Sanchez, La Paz, Mexico, Chevy C1500 (Custom), DNQ
11. 40 Christian Sourapas, 24, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (DOR-Chris Miller, 46, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Chevy Silverado (Mason), DNQ
11 Rob MacCachren, 55, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (Geiser), DNQ
SCORE TT LEGEND (Unlimited Production Trucks, Drivers over 50 years old)–
FIRST START: 1L Nick Vanderwey, 53, Phoenix/(DOR-Clyde Stacy, 75, Bristol, Va.), Chevy V-16 (Geiser), DNQ
2. 20L Bobby Patton, 56, Fort Worth, Texas/Robbie Pierce, 61, Alpine, Calif., Chevy Silverado (Jimco), DNQ
3. 25L Mark Winkelman, 61, Cedar Hills, Texas/Lawrence Barbella, 56, San Jose, Calif./Charles Manchester, 55, Stateline, Nev., Chevy Silverado (Custom), DNQ
4. 47L Jim Bult, 59, Monee, Ill./Dan Vroom, Hebron, Ind., Dodge Ram2500 (Walker Evans), DNQ
5. 55L Jose de Jesus Flores, 57, Culiacan, Mexico/Oskar Slingerland, Netherlands, Chevy Silverado (Jimco), DNQ
CLASS 1 (Unlimited open-wheel single or two-seaters)–
TOP QUALIFIER: 123 Broc Dickerson, 19, Brawley, Calif., Jimco-Ford, 4 minutes, 22.020 seconds (46.72 miles per hour)
2. 127 Cody Parkhouse, 33, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 4:23.21 (46.54mph)
3. 163 Rubben Torres, 22, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Alumi Craft-Chevy, 4:34.572 (44.67mph)
4. 103 Gabriel Torres, 27, San Luis Potosi, Mexico Alumi Craft- Chevy, 4:40.245 (43.71mph)
5. 114 Al Torres, 35, Imperial Valley, Calif./Alfredo Torres, 54, Calexico, Calif./Alberto Sornia, 26, El Centro, Calif./Rogelio Ruiz, 49, Mexicali, Mexico, Jimco-Chevy, DNQ
6. 121 Rodimiro Amaya, 29, Constitucion, Mexico/Damen Jefferies, 48, Apple Valley, Calif., Jefferies-Chevy, DNQ
162 Brendan Gaughan, 45, Las Vegas/Buddy Feldkamp, 42, Redlands, Calif./ Mike Montes, 52, Las Vegas/Billy Goerke, 46, Las Vegas, HMS-Chevy, DNQ
179 Mario Fuentes, 49, El Paso, Texas/Armandino Fierro, 47/Robbie Pierce, 60, Alpine, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, DNQ
TROPHY TRUCK SPEC (unlimited Truck/SUV, stock, sealed engines)–
TOP QUALIFIER: 285 Clay Lawrence, 58, Banning, Calif., LMS-Chevy, 4:22.674 (46.72mph)
2. 211 Jim Wilson, 22, Boulder City, Nev. (DOR-Pat Sims, 53, Eunice, N.M.), ESM-Chevy, 4:39.303 (43.87mph)
3. 294 Vincent Munoz, 33, Yucaipa, Calif./Roy Tompkins, 34, Redlands, Calif., ODR-Chevy, 4:40.310 (43.71mph)
4. 264 Ryan Millen, 36, Huntington Beach, Calif. (New Zealand) (DOR-Pierce Herbst, 18, Las Vegas/Thor Herbst, 20, Las Vegas, Herbst/Smith-Chevy, 4:47.865 (42.65mph)
5. 260 Santiago Creel, 34, Mexico City, Mexico, Jefferies-Chevy, 5:00.785 (40.80mph)
6. 210 Ted Moncure, 51, Austin, Texas, LBR-Chevy, 5:24.439 (37.78mph)
7. 225 John McNeil, 29, Mesa, Ariz./Scott McNeil, 32, Mesa, Ariz., BMS-Chevy, DNQ
8. 241 Chase Laven, 33, Corpus Christi, Texas/Chad Bunch, Corpus Christi, Texas, BajaLite-Chevy, DNQ
9. 274 Elias Hanna, 37, Ensenada, Mexico/Francisco Verdugo, Ensenada, Mexico, CBM-Chevy, DNQ
10. 295 William Hedrick Jr, 24, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico/William Hedrick, 54, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico/German Encinas, 44, Ensenada, Mexico, ID-Chevy, DNQ