Southern California’s Larry Roeseler, the all-time winningest active racer in all of desert racing, enters next week’s 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with 16 class wins, including 11 overall victories in this race. Roeseler will lead nearly 275 vehicles expected to enter, including 68 racers who have already entered and who have combined for 183 class wins in this popular summer classic.
Round 3 of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series, the second-oldest desert race in the world and part of the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature over 275 entries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. It will be held June 4-7 in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world’s best desert racers in action at this year’s 41st anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Roeseler, 52, who has returned to Boulevard, Calif., in his native San Diego area after living several years in Hesperia and Huntington Beach, is the second driver this year for Roger Norman, Reno, Nev., in the No. 8 Norman Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck. The duo won the last two races of the 2008 season and are currently in 10th place in the 2009 point standings in SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks.
Larry Roeseler ranks beside the legendary Malcolm Smith (pictured
) as the only racers who have won the overall SCORE Baja title on four-wheels and a motorcycle.
Besides the legendary SCORE Baja racer Malcolm Smith, Roeseler is the only active competitor in this race who has won the overall title in both a four-wheel vehicle and on a motorcycle. Roeseler’s incredible SCORE Baja racing record for the three races SCORE produces annually in Mexico has him with 39 class wins including 26 overall victories. Roeseler has 11 career SCORE season point titles.
In the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 his 11 overall wins (nine on motorcycles and two in 4-wheel) are the most in race history. His 16 career class wins in this race are third all-time behind semi-retired Rod Hall’s 18 and retired Ivan Stewart’s 17.
With late entries accepted up to race morning, over 275 entries are expected for the 432.51-mile race from 25 U.S. States from Hawaii to Vermont along with the additional countries of Mexico, Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan and Portugal.
The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 6) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 10 a.m. With vehicles starting one every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, it will start and finish in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in the heart of Ensenada, leaving and returning into the city through the spectator-laden Arroyo Wash.
“I know I have been very fortunate in my desert racing career to be a part of incredible teams, which is certainly a major, major reason why I have been so successful,” said Roeseler, who has not only raced for factory motorcycle teams, but also major four-wheel teams including Team MacPherson, Terrible Herbst Motorsports and now Norman Motorsports. “It’s an understatement to say I really enjoy racing in Baja. The truth is that there is no better place to race in the world than the three SCORE Baja races. I am grateful to all of the amazing people who have helped my career along the way, but one I am compelled to single out at this time is my motorcycle mentor and riding partner for many races—Bruce Ogilvie, who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. I will never forget Bruce and all that he did for me and so many in this sport.”
Jim O'Neal has 12 class wins coming into the 2009 Baja 500.
Besides Roeseler, the other racers entered this year with the most class wins in this race are: Richard Jackson and Jim O’Neal (12 each), Marcos Nunez (8), Steve Hengeveld and Troy Herbst (7 each), Eric Solorzano and Nick Vanderwey (6 each), Johnny Campbell, Ted Hunnicutt Jr. and Rob MacCachren (5 each) and Robby Gordon, Rick D. Johnson and Jerry Penhall (4 each).
The racers entered with three career class wins in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 are: Craig Adams, Pancho Bio, Dan Chamlee, Brian Collins, John Holmes, Eizaburo Karasawa, Kendall Norman, Hector Sarabia and Darren Skilton.
While late entries will be accepted up to race morning, as of today, the Pro 4-Wheel vehicles classes with the most entries are: SCORE Trophy-Truck (24), the unlimited Class 1 and Class 1-2/1600 (18 each) and Class 7 (10).
Leading the Pro Motorcycle classes in entries so far are the open Class 22 (17), age group Class 30 (12) and under 250cc Class 21 (11). Class 24 leads the Pro ATV classes with 11 entries to date.
Among the Sportsman classes, SPT Motorcycles over 250cc has 28 entries and SPT Motorcycles under 250cc has 13. There are also 13 SPT ATVs to date.
This popular SCORE summer race began in 1969 under the auspices of the old NORRA organization and SCORE began its enduring run with it on July 26, 1974. This year will be the 36th anniversary of the first SCORE race in Baja.
Included in nearly $400,000 in contingency posting and the cash purse for the race, Sunoco Race Fuels, the official race fuel of SCORE, has posted a special US$5,000 cash contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winner.
For the second straight year and just the second time in the 41-year history of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, the colorful pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and Contingency, the start and finish line will all be located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It will be first time in race history that both the pre-race activities and the finish will be held on this historic boulevard.
The SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 5 on Blvd Costero. Racer registration will again be held in the Grand Ballroom of the San Nicolas Hotel. Registration hours will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday June 5.
The awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday, June 7 at 10 a.m.
In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 24th consecutive year, a total of 32 drivers remain eligible after Round 2 of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.
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, Terrible Herbst Inc., Blue C Enthusiast Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
Additional sponsors for this race are the Baja California Department of Tourism, Cotuco and ProTurismo de Ensenada.
For more information regarding the series, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com
41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Round 3 of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series
June 4-7, 2009--Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
SCORE Baja 500 Multiple Class Champs-entered in this year’s race (thru 2008)
DRIVER OF RECORD (Total, Years)
Larry Roeseler – 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1990,
1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
Richard Jackson -- 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Jim O’Neal—1991, 2001, 2002 (2), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (2),
2007 (2), 2008
Marcos Nunez -- 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006
Steve Hengeveld -- 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
Troy Herbst -- 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
Eric Solorzano – 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Nick Vanderwey -- 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007
Johnny Campbell -- 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004
Rob MacCachren -- 1990, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005
Robby Gordon -- 1988, 1989, 1990, 2005
Rick D. Johnson -- 1995, 1998, 1999, 2004
Jerry Penhall -- 1994, 1997, 1998, 2002
Craig Adams -- 2005, 2006, 2007
Pancho Bio -- 1990, 1991, 1993
Dan Chamlee -- 2006, 2007, 2008
Brian Collins – 1998, 2006, 2007
John Holmes (1992, 2005, 2006)
Eizaburo Karasawa – 1994, 1999, 2005
Kendall Norman -- 2006, 2007, 2008
Hector Sarabia -- 1993, 1995, 2000
Darren Skilton -- 1997, 1998, 2000
Rodrigo Ampudia Jr. – 1992, 1994
Cisco Bio – 1999, 2001
Vic Bruckmann – 1998, 1999
Brett Helm – 2007, 2008
Curt LeDuc – 1992, 1995
Jeff Kaplan – 1977, 1978
Ricardo Malo – 2003, 2005
Adam Pfankuch – 2003, 2008
Alan Pflueger – 2003, 2004
Gerardo Rojas – 2004, 2005
Lobsam Yee – 2004, 2007