Racers always seem to return to places of past success and this weekend’s 24th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 will certainly be no exception as 67 desert racers who have combined for 151 class wins are all part of the ferocious field of nearly 275 entries in this popular spring race on Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
Attracting entries from 25 states and nine countries, the lineup includes 31 entries in SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower unlimited production trucks. Round 2 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be held this weekend in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
With nearly 275 entries expected, which would be among the top five totals in race history, competition will be held in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the 248-mile race. The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. Pacific Time Saturday, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The start and finish line for the race will once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with an 11-hour time limit to become an official finisher.
The field includes racers from the last 11 overall motorcycle winners as well as 10 of the last 14 overall 4-wheel vehicle winners. Also entered are 25 class winners from last year’s race.
Arizona’s Ron Whitton and Southern California’s Robby Bell received the first starts for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles in the computerized drawing for starting positions. Whitton races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Bell competes in Class 22 for open motorcycles where he has three class and overall wins in this event.
The pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and tech inspection of the vehicles in the race will be held on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the picturesque Malecon, flanked by the Sea of Cortez on one side and the popular restaurants and night clubs of San Felipe on the other.
Racer registration will be held Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bandidos Cantina. At 10 a.m. on Sunday, the awards celebration will be held in front of The Beachcomber Night Club on the Malecon.
SCORE Trophy-Trucks have won 14 overalls in San Felipe in the first 16 years of its history.
In the first 23 years of this race, Honda has earned 14 overall motorcycle victories (including the last four years), Kawasaki has six, KTM has two and Husqvarna has one.
This year’s race will use a 248-mile race course that is very similar to the past two years with a few major modifications beyond those caused by normal weather conditions. It runs in a counter clockwise direction out of San Felipe up to and then parallel to Highway 3 (south side). It then heads south back down through three of the most picturesque, challenging washes and magnificent canyons in all of Baja.
The rugged course has four physical checkpoints and 12 virtual checkpoints as each vehicle is required to use a tracking device obtained through International Racing Consultants for vehicle safety and tracking purposes.
Leading the gregarious group of 31 racers with at least two class wins in this race entered this year are: Jim O’Neal (Classes 30, 50 and 60) with 10 age group motorcycle wins–all in the last nine years, Eric Solorzano with nine class wins in Class 11 for stock VW Sedans, Johnny Campbell (Class 22) who has eight motorcycle class wins, Rob MacCachren (SCORE Trophy-Truck) and Larry Roeseler (SCORE Trophy-Truck, who each have six and Curt LeDuc (SCORE Trophy-Truck) who has five career class wins in San Felipe. O’Neal has raced in all 23 previous SCORE San Felipe 250 races.
Also entered this year are four racers who each have four class wins here: SCORE Trophy-Truck racer Tim Herbst (SCORE Trophy-Truck) along with motorcycle racers Steve Hengeveld (Class 22), Tim Morton (Class 40) and Gerardo Rojas (Class 30).
San Diego’s son/father team of Andy and Scott McMillin, the last overall winners in this race from Class 1 (2005, Jimco-Chevy) are racing in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the No. 31 McMillin Homes Ford F-150, which has won the last two SCORE races–last year’s season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and this year’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. Scott McMillin has three class wins in San Felipe.
Drawing the first starting slot for the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars was Germany’s Armin Schwarz and teammate Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif. Riding the first ATV off the line will be Class 25 team led by Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif. Schwarz has one class win, Christensen two and Matlock has three class victories in this race.
NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, the reigning SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion who finished second in San Felipe last year in the No. 1 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500, is taking his ‘spring break’ from his day job as NASCAR is off this week. Normally, he has to pull double duty with SCORE and NASCAR. Gordon has two class wins in this race.
At the 24th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, MasterCraft Racing has entered not only company owner Robbie Pierce’s No. 30 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck, but also the No. 20 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck to be driven by eight-time SCORE season class point champion Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas and the No. 42 Chevy Silverado driven by Will Staats, Valencia, Calif. All three trucks were built by prominent chassis builder Mike Julson’s Jimco Racing Products of Santee, Calif. Julson is listed as a co-driver for both Pierce and MacCachren for this race, if needed.
The MasterCraft racers will not be eligible to win any part of the special $10,000 MasterCraft Safety cash contingency bonus purse MasterCraft Safety has offered for this year’s San Felipe race.
In San Felipe, Pierce will start fourth, MacCachren 19th and Staats 23rd in the massive SCORE Trophy-Truck field.
Following January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series is visiting Mexico for the first of three races in 2010.
As of today, SCORE Trophy-Truck has the most entries with 31, followed by the unlimited Class 1 with 20, SCORE Lite and Class 1-2/1600 with 16 each. While 256 official entries have been received to date, late registration will be accepted up until race morning.
Among the motorcycle classes, the open Class 22 has the most vehicles entered to date with 11.
Class 24 has the most ATVs entered so far with 17.
Live internet coverage, with photos, text, audio and video, can be found on Friday and Saturday through www.SCORE-international.com and www.DirtNewz.com and live vehicle tracking on Saturday at www.racetheworld.net. Tracking International is providing the website and personnel through a joint agreement announced today with SCORE and BFGoodrich Tires.
In addition to season class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings as well as earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 25th consecutive year, a total of 59 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.
Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull-official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, MasterCraft Safety, Blue C Advertising, Off-Road, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
Associate sponsors for the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 are the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe and Cotuco. Additional sponsors in Baja are the Office of the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.
The race annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the popular month-long ‘Spring Break’.
For more information regarding the series, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.