Sal Fish (left) congratulates MotorcycleUSA rider Darin Hecker following the 2006 Baja 1000. Fish has been the heart and soul of the SCORE International racing organization since 1973. That responsibility is now on the capable shoulders of off-road legend Roger Norman.
In a surprise move, long time off-road racing promoter Sal Fish has sold SCORE International to another off-road pioneer, Roger Norman. Norman has been busy lately between racing trophy trucks in SCORE and competing in rival series Best in the Desert while in between projects that include the expansion of Wide open Excursions. The change of ownership is effective immediately and Mr. Fish will have no more responsibilities with the SCORE organziation after the season concludes with the annual SCORE Awards Night on Jan 12, 2013. – MotoUSA Ken Hutchison.
After nearly four decades of leadership in the sport he loves so much and nurtured as a parent would a child, iconic race producer Sal Fish announced today that he has sold his SCORE International desert racing organization that includes the SCORE Desert Racing Series to Roger Norman effective immediately. Fish, the CEO/President of Los Angeles-based SCORE International has set the pace for the sport of desert racing since shortly after it’s forming by the late Mickey Thompson in 1973.
The legendary Fish felt the time was right to pass the torch to the next generation of race producers and says he is very comfortable in turning over the reins of the 39-year old SCORE International to Norman. The sale of SCORE to Norman is final with Fish having no direct involvement with future race promotions of the SCORE organization moving forward. He will however produce the 2012 SCORE Awards Night, honoring the racers of the world’s foremost desert racing series. The SCORE Awards Night will be held Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa in Newport Beach, Calif., honoring the Champions of 2012 and ushering in a new and exciting era for SCORE International.
Easily the most recognizable figure in the sport of desert racing, Fish, 73, was philosophical as he announced his decision, saying, “Next to my wife Barbara, SCORE has been the love of my life, my passion and I have left my blood, sweat and tears in the desert of Baja California, Mexico, and in the USA in Arizona, California and Nevada. Over these many years, I’ve been knocked down, but always managed to get up to fight again and have enjoyed more than anyone could ever imagine these many years in the desert.
“I could go on and on, but I believe fervently that this is the time to pass the torch to the next generation and Roger Norman is a great racer with a big vision, superb business acumen and I know I leave my ‘baby’ in good hands. I know I’ll wake up tomorrow wondering what did I do, but I have had a phenomenal run and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have been able to grow this sport to the level it has reached and now Roger and his team will take it to the next level. I have no regrets and I leave knowing I have left a good legacy for the sport to continue to move forward in for the next 40 years.”
As a hotel/casino owner in northern Nevada, business developer and a champion racer himself, Norman was well aware of the daunting task at hand when he resurrected the High Desert Racing Association, (HDRA) in 2011. HDRA was highly regarded when it was active in the 1980s and early 1990s.
“For me it’s a dream come true,” said Norman regarding his acquisition of SCORE. “Sal Fish is the godfather of this sport and it is an honor to move forward with the incredible legacy he has left our sport with SCORE International. We have been talking about this for over a year, but I knew I had to learn all sides of the sport before I could be in a position to make a solid offer to Sal.”
“I have tremendous respect for the future of the sport and the leadership role of SCORE International.”
Regarding his future plans, Norman commented, racers will be competing for three separate championships, HDRA, SCORE, and the World Championship. The World Championship will be comprised of three HDRA races in America and three SCORE races in Baja. The World Championship is the culmination of six of the seven races of the HDRA and SCORE race series with the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (Nov. 14-17, 2013) in Ensenada, Mexico as the deciding factor with 2x points. The first race is the HDRA South Point Vegas 250, January 12, 2013, in Jean, Nev.
“Races will be nationally televised in the U.S. and we will provide greater detail of our plans over the next two weeks. The vision of a world championship will be monumental for our sport. We will look forward to honoring the legacy of SCORE and the colossal contribution to our sport by Sal Fish at the SCORE Awards Night on Jan. 12.”
SCORE AWARDS NIGHT
In addition to the special SCORE Achievement Awards and the 36 Pro, 6 Sportsman class champions and three overall point champions who will be honored during the SCORE Awards Night at the Hyatt Regency, another highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman Awards.
Individuals as well as manufacturers and organizations are honored through 11 distinct awards, whose winners are decided by several thousand SCORE fans through online voting including the entire SCORE membership of more than 2,000. Among the awards to be presented are MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the year, SCORE Contingency Company of the year, SCORE Pit Support Team of the year, SCORE Mechanic of the year and SCORE Person of the year.
Another element of the diverse program will be the presentation of the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards. As it has for 27 years, the coveted Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to those drivers in four-wheel vehicle classes who finish every required mile of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series. A total of 16 racers completed all 1,920.21 required miles in the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
The evening will include a colorful video/photographic tribute to the 2012 SCORE Desert Series produced by Blue C Advertising, highlighting the still photography of Trackside Photo.
A pre-awards reception will start the festivities at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner, a special tribute to the 2012 SCORE season and presentations at 7 p.m.
Individual ticket reservations as well as reservations for tables of 10, priced at $850 per table, are being accepted through the SCORE offices at 818.225.8402. Individual tickets are $85 each.
Official Sponsors of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series:
Tecate Beer, title sponsor of the SCORE Baja races.
MasterCraft Safety co-title sponsor of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
-Tecate Beer, Official Beer
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Graham Watchmakers, Official Timekeeper
-Red Bull, Official Energy Drink
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bullet Liner, Official Spray-On Bedliner
-SatellitePhoneStore.com-Official Satellite Phone Rental Company
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Fox Car Rental, Official Rent-A-Car
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
-Maxtrax, Official Vehicle Recovery Device
-Azunia Tequila, Official Tequila
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Baja California Sur Tourism, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.