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Next Weekend in Laughlin, Nevada
Las Vegas’ Troy Herbst hoping to starting New Year like last year
Among record 219 entries in 11th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge

Four-day event includes $25,000 Jason Hunter Memorial Class 10 Race;
$26,000 SCORE Laughlin Leap & SCORE Pit Crew Showdown

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 6, 2005) -- Las Vegas’ Troy Herbst, the winningest desert racer on the planet during the last eight years, is hoping to start 2005 off they way he started and finished 2004, claiming yet another unlimited Class 1 victory in the SCORE Desert Series. For the 11th straight year, motorsports fans and racers will flock to Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River for the vastly popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

As a new year filled with hope and promise begins, the first major race of the year will be held next Thursday through Sunday, launching the five-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series, the world’s foremost desert racing series.

Herbst will lead a race-record field of over 230 cars and trucks into next week’s 11th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge knowing he has an amazing 16 class wins since 1997, six Class 1 SCORE season point championships, three SCORE Overall season point crowns and he is the defending Class 1 champion in Laughlin in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car.

When late registration is complete, over 230 expected entries from 12 States, Mexico, Australia, Canada and Japan will compete for nearly $400,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the four day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.

A total of 16 Pro and two Sportsman classes for cars and trucks are split into seven groups in Laughlin, each running as part of one of seven races of two to five laps each over the much-abbreviated 11-mile loop each day. Racing action runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day (Jan. 15-16). The marquee racing division is SCORE Trophy-Truck, featuring high-tech, 750-horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars. SCORE Trophy-Truck will be the 3:35 p.m. finale each day, with Class 1 running just before at 2:20 p.m.

Gary Dircks (SCORE Trophy-Truck) and Herbst (Class 1) are the defending Laughlin race winners.

Herbst is coming off the biggest win in the history of Terrible Herbst Motorsports which is really saying a lot when you consider how successful this team has been.

The youngest of the three racing Herbst brothers, Troy Herbst, 38, placed a major exclamation point on his already phenomenal career as he won the overall 4-wheel vehicle title at the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in November. Herbst was helped by Baja legend Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, CA, who drove part of the 1,013.57-mile race down’s Mexico’s infamous Baja California peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz.

Starting with family patriarch Jerry Herbst, Terrible Herbst Motorsports has competed in the granddaddy of all desert races 34 years and while they have had class wins, and many close seconds, Troy Herbst’s victory was the first overall win for the team in the legendary race.

“I can’t even begin to put in words what it was like at the finish line in La Paz when I realized that we had accomplished something my family has been attempting to do for over three decades,” said Troy Herbst, who won six consecutive SCORE Class 1 season point crowns from 1997 through 2002. “We are such a close family, it truly was a victory for my dad and my brothers as much as it was for Larry and I. Now, we get to start the New Year focused and ready to rock ‘n’ roll on the river. The SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a special race for Terrible Herbst Motorsports because of the format and the hospitality there it is a great opportunity for family, friends and customers to see ‘Los Terribles’ in action up close and personal.”

Hawaii’s Alan Pflueger and Southern California’s Wayne Lugo received the No. 1 starting positions in the top two classes in the computerized draw for starting positions, by class, held on Dec. 28.

Pflueger, who won two races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division during the 2004 SCORE Desert Series, drives solo in the No. 28 Pflueger Racing Chevy Silverado. The 2002 SCORE Rookie of the Year, Pflueger won the 2003 Protruck class championship before moving up to SCORE Trophy-Truck. Pflueger won his Protruck class in five races over two seasons before making the move to SCORE Trophy-Truck.

An event-record 26 vehicles have entered to date in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, including defending SCORE Desert Series Champion Jason Baldwin, Laguna Beach, CA, in the No. 1 Baldwin Racing Ford F-150.

Among the other SCORE Trophy-Truck entries are Las Vegas brothers Tim and Ed Herbst, the winningest team in class history with 11 career race wins in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 and NASCAR Nextel Cup regular Robby Gordon, Mooresville, N.C., who will return from competing in the Dakar Rally to race in Laughlin.

Lugo, a SCORE regular from Chino, CA, is still looking for his first victory in the unlimited SCORE Class 1 for unlimited open-wheel desert race cars. Lugo delighted a sellout crowd during last year’s pre-race SCORE Laughlin Leap competition by flying over the jump to a cascade of fireworks spraying out the back of his race car.

Class 1-2/1600 leads the way with a race-record 44 entries to date, followed by Class 1 and Class 10 with 33 each, SCORE Trophy-Truck with 26 and SCORE Lite with 17.

Drawing the first starting positions in those high-entry classes were: Tony Murray (Class 1-2/1600), Lugo (Class 1), Bekki Wik (Class 10), Pflueger (SCORE Trophy-Truck) and Jake Batulis (SCORE Lite).

Because of the race format, several racers will compete in more than one class. Leading the way will be Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, a six-time SCORE season point champion, who is officially entered in three classes this year for the second straight year and is negotiating to race in a fourth as well.

Last year, MacCachren set a race-record by winning both Class 1-2/1600 and SCORE Lite while driving solo and finished second in SCORE Trophy-Truck, driving one day for driver of record Gus Vildosola of Mexico.

A very special addition this year will be the $25,000 Jason Hunter Memorial Class 10 race, with the $25,000 bonus purse posted by Hunter Motorsports to honor the memory of the 2001 SCORE Rookie of the Year who was killed in an automobile accident on Jan. 4, 2004. Starting with $10,000 for first, the purse will pay down to seventh.

The race will also begin the chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road bonus to be awarded to the top three 2005 SCORE Overall point leaders.

Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $15 for each Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, children five and under are free.

Daily VIP tickets are $35 each for three days, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food beverage and special seating.

The stadium seating area will include the immensely popular SCOREvision large-screen LCD display, showing live footage from various locations around the race course.

Advance tickets for the Laughlin Events Park are on sale at 800.308.2253.

Tickets will also be available for two other designated spectator areas around the course at the event.

At a cost of $10 per vehicle, there is one area off of Nevada State Highway 163 adjacent to the racecourse as well as the popular ‘SCORE Hill’, which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits. Admission to these areas is on a first-come, first-served basis. Overnight camping is permitted at the 163 area with event pass, but no overnight camping is permitted on ‘SCORE Hill’. These areas will both have and public safety services available.

One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and gets the weekend off to a roaring start at 6 p.m. next Thursday. Drivers and pit crews will share the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse and the honor of being the 2005 champions. The SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year’s competitors will be looking to break the event record set last year by Mark Post in the SCORE Laughlin Leap (160’6”).

Next Friday at 4:30 p.m. at the Laughlin Events Park, the SCORE Pit Crew Showdown focuses attention on the entire racing team to compete for a $10,000 purse. Like other pit crew events, the vehicle must pull into the pit, have all four tires replaced, and then race out of the pit before the clock stops. But there's a twist. This competition doesn't take place on a level slab of concrete, and the unusual shocks required to compete in desert racing require that the vehicle be lifted several feet into the air. Challengers in this event will be hoping to break the standard set last year by Rob MacCachren’s crew in the SCORE Pit Crew Showdown (40.60 seconds).

The Events Park with grandstand seating, vendor’s village and food court is just minutes from the destination's nine resorts and includes an infield packed with switchbacks, woop-t-doos, minijumps and the Laughlin Leap.

The 11th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Committee, the Laughlin Visitors Bureau, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in association with Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.

Current SCORE official annual sponsors are BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Centrix Financial, CL Bryant Racing Fuel-official fuel. Associate sponsors are: Herbst Gaming, Kartek Off-Road, Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Bilstein, Signpros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products, and Advanced Color Graphics.

For information contact:
SCORE International at its Los Angeles headquarters
(818) 225-8402 or visit
the official Optima SCORE Desert Series website at:


Schedule of Events
Thursday, January 13, 2005

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Media Center Open River Palms Hotel/Casino Convention Center
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Driver Registration River Palms Hotel/Casino Convention Center
6 p.m. $16,000 Laughlin Leap Laughlin Events Park (Start/Finish Line)

Friday, January 14, 2004
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Driver Registration River Palms Hotel/Casino Convention Center
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Media Registration River Palms Hotel/Casino Convention Center
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Contingency & Technical Inspection Laughlin Events Park
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Course Orientation (Racers Only) Official Race Course-Laughlin Events Park
4:30 p.m. $10,000 SCORE Pit Crew Showdown Start/Finish Line-Laughlin Events Park
7:30 p.m. Mandatory Driver’s Meeting Harrah’s-Laughlin Hotel/Casino-Showroom

Saturday, January 15, 2005
6 a.m. Late Registration & Tech Inspection Start/Finish Line area-Laughlin Events Park
6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Media Center Open Start/Finish Line area-Laughlin Events Park

Sunday, January 16, 2005
6 a.m. Late Registration & Tech Inspection Start/Finish Line area-Laughlin Events Park
6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Media Center Open Start/Finish Line area-Laughlin Events Park
8 p.m. Awards Celebration Edgewater Hotel/Casino-Rio Vista Room

7 a.m. RACING STARTS (7 Races each day) Start/Finish Line-Laughlin Events Park
7 a.m. Group 1 Classes 5 (4 laps), 5/1600 (4), 9 (4), 11 (2), SPT Car--80-minute time limit (65 minutes for Class 11)
8:30 a.m. Group 2 SCORE Lite (4 laps)—80-minute time limit
10 a.m. Group 3 Protruck (4 laps), Classes 8 (4 laps), 7 (4), 7S, Stock Full, Stock Mini, 3, SPT Truck (ALL 3 laps)—75-minute time limit
11:25 a.m. Group 4 Class 10 (4 laps)—75-minute time limit
12:50 p.m. Group 5 Class 1-2/1600 (4 laps)--80-minute time limit
2:20 p.m. Group 6 Class 1 (4 laps)—65-minute time limit
3:35 p.m. Group 6 SCORE Trophy-Truck (4 laps)--65-minute time limit

The Start/Finish Line area is located at the Laughlin Events Park
At the corner of Thomas Edison Drive and Bruce Woodbury Way

For information contact:
SCORE International at its Los Angeles headquarters
(818) 225-8402 or visit
the official Optima SCORE Desert Series website at:

For Sponsorship Information, contact:
  Mark Handley (760) 750-1905

Next Race:
June 5-7 2009: Baja 500

2009 News:
10/25: Score: We're back & Racing the Baja 500

News Archives:
10/25: BitD: HT400 Deciding Race of Season
10/24: SCORE: 18 True Grit Drivers Remain
10/20: SCORE: 300 Baja 1000 Entries Expected
10/17: Solar: Help-U-Sell Sponsorship
10/10: SCORE: Legendary Baja 1000
10/06: SCORE: Baja 1000 Draw
09/30: Solar: Bay Club Sponsorship
09/23: SCORE: 2006 Schedule Announced
09/22: SCORE: Baja 500 Prime Time Special
09/19: SCORE: NBC & OLN TV Schedule
09/16: Solar: Primm 300 Race Recap
09/16: Solar: Nevada Desert Takes Its Toll
09/15: SCORE: Point Leaders after Primm
09/13: Solar: Prime Synthetics Sponsorship
09/12: SCORE: Collins Captures Overall
09/12: SCORE: Primm 300 Notes & Quotes
09/07: BitD: Vegas To Reno Letter & Updates
08/24: Solar: Lincoln Electric Sponsorship
05/27: SCORE: Final Races to Appear on TV
03/25: SOLAR: Another Magazine Appearance

News Archives



For Finance Information, contact:

Mark Handley (760) 613-3122

For Sponsorship Information, contact:
Mark Handley (760) 613-3122

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