(January 15, 2005) -- NOTE –
Racers divided into seven different groups, by individual class, to race two,
three or four laps over an 11-mile desert course. The competition starts and
finishes with a stadium-style course in front of grandstand seating. Combined
with the hillside viewing and the event VIP tent, more than 15,000 spectators
were on hand for the first of two days of racing (according to Bureau of Land
Management estimates). Racers had one-hour five-minute (65 minutes) to one-hour,
20-minute (80 minutes) time limits from the time each starts to complete the
required laps each day to be an official finisher for that day. The event finishing
order, by class, will be based on the combined two-day elapsed time of each
racer. Sunday’s start order will be in the same order as they finished
GROUP #1 Classes 5 (4 laps), , 5/1600
(4), 9 (4), 11 (2), Sports Buggy (3) – (30 Total Starters, 22 Finishers)
George Seeley (500 from Glendale AZ, :58:03) led from the start
to be the first-day leader in the class by 4 minutes, 31 seconds over Chris
Bowman (519 from Upland, AZ, 1:02:34) and Kevin Carr (502 from San Diego, 1:05:38).
All three starters completed the required four laps. Seeley, the 2004 SCORE
Desert Series Class 5 champion, has won six of the last eight Laughlin Desert
Challenge Class 5 titles (excluding 1998 and 2003).
• Jeffrey Sack (555 from Huntington Beach,
AZ, 1:05:32) led from the start to be the first-day leader in the class by 1
minute, 22 seconds and 1 minutes, 36 seconds, respectively, over Marcos Nunez/Norberto
Rivera (579 from Ensenada, Mexico, 1:06:54) and Billy Gereghty (551 from Lake
Havasu City, Ariz., 1:07:08). Ten (10) of the 12 starters finished the required
four laps. Nunez finished second to Dave Collier in the 2004 SCORE Desert Series
final point standings for Class 5/1600. Defending Laughlin champion Gerardo
Iribe (Rosarito, Mexico) did not compete as Sack finished second.
• Eric Fisher/Hector Sarabia (900 from
Ensenada, Mexico, 1:11:01) led Class 9 by 62 seconds over Heath Mitchell (901
from Kingman, Ariz., 1:12:03). Three of the five starters finished the four
laps. Fisher won the 2004 SCORE Desert Series Class 9 title. Fisher and Sarabia
won the 2004 Laughlin Class 9 title.
• Scott Pellerin (1103 from Romoland,
AZ, :39:59) paced four of the five Class 11 finishers with a 1-minute, 47-second
lead over Brian Thompson (1115 of Bloomington, AZ, :41:46). Eric Solorzano (1100
from Tijuana, Mexico and competing with Felipe Ortega, :47:00) is currently
fourth and is the 2004 SCORE Desert Series Class 11 champion. Solorzano has
won three Laughlin Class 11 titles, including 2004 when he out-raced Pellerin,
who won the Laughlin titles in 2002 and 2003.
• Kory Scheeler/Chris Benites (1404,
Las Vegas, :44:30) are the Sportsman Buggy leaders over Robert Fallers, Peoria,
-Rick Hammer (1403 from Tempe, Ariz. :46:18) as two vehicles finished among
GROUP #2 SCORE Lites (4 laps) –
(16 Total Starters, 14 finishers)
• Jake Batulis (1201 from San Clemente, Calif. :53:58)
led from the start as the top four finishers were within 61 seconds of each
other. James Golden (1203 from Newport Beach, Calif with Jason Hatz, San Diego,
:54:03) are five seconds behind the leader followed by Tom Watson/Tim Noe (1200
from El Centro, AZ, :54:33) and Robert Naughton (1213 from Flagstaff, Ariz.,
:54:59). Watson won the 2004 SCORE Desert Series points champion while Batulis
finished 16th and, Golden fifth. Rob MacCachren (Las Vegas, Nev.), the Laughlin
2004 SCORE Lite winner is currently in sixth place with Vic Bruckmann (1206
from Lemon Grove, AZ, :55:18). Bruckmann won the 2002 Laughlin SCORE Lites title.
GROUP #3 Protruck (4 laps), Class 8 (4), Classes
7 (4 laps), 7S (3), 7SX (3) Stock Full (3), Sportsman Truck (3), 3 (3)
(55 Total Starters, 41 finishers)
• Jim Nuckles/Jeff Dickerson (288 from Brawley, AZ, :51:17)
gained a 13 second edge over Eric Hardin/Jared Hardin (225 from Anaheim, AZ,
:51:30) and 53 seconds over David Scaroni/Matt Scaroni (227 from Heber, AZ,
:52:10). Twelve vehicles started in Pro Trucks Saturday with 10 finishing. Matt
Scaroni was the 2004 SCORE Desert Series ProTruck points champion. Rick Johnson,
the 1998 Laughlin ProTruck champion, was 10th Saturday.
Donald Moss (301 from Sacramento, Calif.) posted a three-lap
time of 52 minutes, 22 seconds, 39.623 mph) to pace the three of four finishers
Saturday in Class 3. Moss is seeking his fourth Laughlin Class 3 title and has
a 11 minute, 33 second lead over Ken Leavitt (349 from Las Vegas, 1:03:55).
• Craig Turner (710 from Yorba Linda,
AZ, 55:34) has a 23 second lead over Victor Herrera Jr./Victor Herrera (701
from Tijuana, Mexico, :55:57) in Class 7. Twelve vehicles started Saturday with
eight finishers. Dan Chamlee (700 from Summerland, AZ, 1:03:48), the 2004 SCORE
Desert Series points champion for Class 7, placed eighth Saturday.
• Tyler Fox (729 from Ramona, -Steve
Martz, San Marcos, AZ, :48:14) holds a 25 second lead over John Holmes (739
from Olivenhain, AZ, :48:39) in Class 7S. Eight vehicles started Saturday with
six finishing. Nick Moncure (720 from Long Beach, Calif.), the 2004 SCORE Desert
Series Class 7S points champion, was co-driving with his brother Ted Moncure
as the team was sixth Saturday (1:10:08).
• The Class 7SX leader is Jeff Lloyd/Jody Frank (742 from
Los Angeles, 1:01:40) with almost a three minute lead over Greg Zamarripa (728
from San Diego/Perry McNeil, Jr., Lemon Grove, AZ, 1:04:07). A total of four
vehicles started Saturday with three finishers.
• Todd Wyllie (800 from New River, Ariz.,
:51:30), the Class 8 points champion on the 2004 SCORE Desert Series, led the
class Saturday with a 67 second edge over Robby Fallers (805 from Peoria, Ariz.,
:52:37). Six vehicles started Saturday with five finishing. Dave Raimonde (802
from Phoenix, 54:16) was third Saturday. He finished second to Wyllie in the
Class 8 season point’s standings and won the 2004 Class 8 Laughlin title.
• In Stock Full, Terry Henn (861 from Walnut, Calif. :51:16)
has over a four minute lead after Saturday’s race with Mark Handley (865
from San Marcos, Calif. with co-driver Ignacio Sanchez of Yorba Linda, AZ, :55:23.
Five vehicles started Saturday with three finishers with John Griffin (860 from
Mission Viejo, -Mike Sabbarese, Huntington Beach, AZ, :59:27) third. Griffin
was the 2004 SCORE Desert Series Stock full point’s champion. Griffin
and Sabbarese were second in Lauglin last season behind Travis Walser. Jim Beaver
(862 from Walnut, Calif.) had a 41 second lead over Henn after two laps, but
did not finish.
• Bobby Quarnstrom/Carlos Niemetschek
(1503 from Azusa, AZ, :47:59) has a three minute, 31 second lead in the Sportsman
Truck over Matt Torian (1501 from Escondido, AZ, :51:30). Mark Growe (1500 from
Placentia, AZ, :56:28) finished third Saturday. He is the 2004 SCORE Desert
Series point’s champion for the Sportsman Truck class. Four vehicles started
Saturday and three finished.
GROUP #4 Class 10 (4 laps) –
(33 Total Starters, 23 finishers)
Twenty-three of the 33 vehicles that started the group finished as the Class
10 JASON HUNTER MEMORIAL RACE leader Saturday was Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner
(1020 from Villa Park, AZ, :51:14) has a 23 second lead over Lobsam Yee/Eli
Yee (1019 from Tijuana, Mexico, :51:37) and 34 seconds over Martin Christensen
(1002 from Escondido, -Dave Mason, Valley Center, AZ, :51:48). John Cooley (1012
from Santee, AZ, 54:20), who placed second behind Steve Myers on the 2004 SCORE
Desert Series Class 10 points standings, was 11th Saturday. Lobsam Yee was 12th
on the season standings last season while Christensen was tied for fourth with
Jim Anderson (1023 from Claremont, AZ, 54:45) in 2004. Halopoff and Letner are
the defending Laughlin Class 10 champions.
GROUP #5 Class 1-2/1600 (4 laps)
– (46 Total Starters, 40 finishers)
• Forty (40) of the 46 starters finished Saturday’s Class 1-2/1600
four-lap race as Rob MacCachren/Bryan Freeman (1612 from Las Vegas, :57:23)
had a 26 second lead over Adam Pfankuch (1629 from Carlsbad, Calif. :57:49).
MacCachren has won four Laughlin titles entering this year’s event, including
the 2001 and 2004 Class 1-2/1600 titles. MacCachren finished second in the Class
1-2/1600 SCORE Desert Series point’s race behind Brian Jeffrey.
GROUP #6 Class 1 (4 laps) - (26 Total
Starters, 21 finishers)
• Brian Ickler (104 from Poway, Calif. with Steve Sourapas,
Rancho Santa Fe, AZ, :44:48) posted a two-minute edge over Pat Dean (103 from
Las Vegas, :46:48) as 21 of the 26 starters finished the four-lap, 44-mile race.
Twelve racers finished Saturday with elapsed time under 50 minutes. John Marking
(100 from El Cajon, Calif. with Danny Anderson of Las Vegas as a co-driver),
and Troy Herbst (110 from Las Vegas) finished 16th and 18th, respectively, Saturday.
Marking won the 2004 SCORE Desert Series Class 1 point’s championship
with a six-point edge over Herbst. Herbst won his second Laughlin Class 1 title
last year while Marking finished second.
GROUP #7 SCORE Trophy Truck (4 laps)
- (23 Total Starters, 14 finishers)
• Fourteen of the 21 starting Trophy Trucks finished Saturday’s
four-lap, 44-mile race with Dale Dondel (11 from Hemet, Calif. with David Bonner,
Norco, AZ, :47:24) edging Steve Sourapas (2 from Rancho Santa Fe, AZ, :47:43)
by 19 seconds. Alan Pflueger (28 from Honolulu, 48:07) was third Saturday followed
by Tim Herbst (19 from Las Vegas with Ed Herbst, 48:08) and Josh Baldwin (86
from Newport Beach, AZ, 48:12). Dondel did not finish among the top 22 Trophy
Truck point makers on the 2004 SCORE Desert Series while Jason Baldwin (1 from
Laguna Beach, Calif.), last year’s champion, completed only three laps
Saturday. Baldwin was third behind Sourapas (:11:40) and Dondel (:11:41) after
the first lap. Gary Dircks (23 from Anthem, Ariz.), the 2004 Laughlin Trophy
Truck winner, only completed three laps Saturday.
• RACE NOTE – The SCORE
Laughlin Desert Challenge has attracted drivers from 13 states and five countries
(Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United States).
• RACE NOTE – A total
of 242 vehicles entered the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge with 229 vehicles
starting Saturday’s races and 175 finishing the first of two days of racing.
• RACE NOTE – Brian
Ickler (104 from Poway, Calif. with Steve Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe,
Calif.) posted the top four lap times of :11:09 (third:11:10 (first), :11:11
(second) and :11:18 (fourth) Saturday.