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Childress/McCoy top Motorcycle
NASCAR’s R. Gordon takes Overall 4-Wheel win Saturday
As 345 vehicles attempt 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 500

McMillins win unlimited Class 1 again as over 150,000
watch desert duel in Baja California, Mexico

ENSENADA, Mexico (June 5, 2005) -- Returning to his racing roots, NASCAR Team Owner/Driver Robby Gordon began his double-duty weekend with a stunning overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy-Truck victory in the 37th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race in Ensenada, Mexico. Leaving shortly after finishing the race to return to Dover, Del., to drive in Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race, Gordon charged to the front early in his No. 83 Red Bull Chevy CK1500 and stayed there, covering the brutally-tough 419-mile course in 9 hours, 10 minutes, 32 seconds, averaging 45.66 miles per hour.

Gordon, 36, who lives in Mooresville, N.C. and races out of his Robby Gordon desert race team shop in Anaheim, CA, captured the 4-wheel vehicle win with a flawless, flat-free race over a boulder-strewn, silt-grabbing desert course in front of a massive crowd estimated at over 150,000 spread out along the course by Mexican tourism officials.

The race featured a near-record 345 starters, from 20 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada and Japan, for round 3 of the six-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series. The large field, competing in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, was the fourth-largest in the storied history of the summer desert classic and the most since the event record was set and then tied in 1976 and 1977.

Because the already-rough course deteriorated so much causing several massive traffic jams behind stuck vehicles, SCORE officials extended the time limit by two hours to 19 to become an official finisher in the elapsed-time race. A total of 180 survivors out of 345 starters made it to finish line within the new time limit.

Beating an impressive race-record field of 29 SCORE Trophy-Trucks for his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500 win in the marquee SCORE racing division for 800-horsepower, high-tech, unlimited production trucks, Gordon claimed his third overall 4-Wheel crown in the event and his fourth class win. His previous class wins were in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and his other two overall crowns were the last two years of that string. Spending most of the last nine years as a part-time SCORE desert racer, Gordon won his first SCORE race since winning four races on the way to the 1996 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion. Gordon became the eighth different winner in the 12 years since the marquee SCORE Trophy-Trucks made their Tecate SCORE Baja 500 debut.

Looking much like an inverted deflating balloon on a string, the 419-mile race course started in downtown Ensenada adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and finished inside the Deportivo Antonio Palacios baseball stadium in the heart of Ensenada.

“We earned this one,” said Gordon. “The race was tough, it was a pretty slow average and a lot of rocks. It’s nice to win one – we’ve come so close so many times. It was a good run for us. I just drove and easy pace. I am sick so my ears kept popping. We were tight was Jason (Baldwin, No. 1) but then he had a problem – I think he got a flat. We had a great race today. We race in Dover, Delaware tomorrow. The only bad news today was the private plane we were going to use is broken. I’ve got some good friends, so I have to see what I can do.”

Running second to Gordon all day in SCORE Trophy-Truck was defending season point champion Jason Baldwin, Laguna Beach, CA, who started 30-seconds after Gordon in the elapsed-time race. Baldwin, who placed third overall, finished in 9:17:07 in his No. 1 Baldwin Racing Ford F-150.

Third in SCORE Trophy-Truck and fourth overall in a truck originally built and driven by Gordon was the team of Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, CA/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, CA, in 9:24:44 in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150.

Finishing fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck and sixth overall was Las Vegas brothers Tim and Ed Herbst, recording a time of 9:35:17 in their No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150.

Second overall among 4-wheel vehicles and winning the unlimited Class 1 for the second straight race was Andy McMillin and his father Scott McMillin, Poway, CA, in a time of 9:15:12, four minutes, 40 seconds behind the winning Gordon.

Second in Class 1 and fifth overall was Damen Jefferies, Oak Hills, CA, with a time of 9:32:11 in a Porter-Chevy, 16 minutes, 59 seconds behind the dominating McMillins.

Third in Class 1, seventh overall in a Jimco-Chevy was the team of Brian Ickler, Poway, CA/Steve Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, reaching the finish line in 9:36:04.

Finishing fourth in Class 1, eighth overall, was venerable Corky McMillin, 76, the oldest racer in the event in 9:40:53 in a Chenowth-Chevy. McMillin, who shared driving duties with Gary Arnold, El Cajon, CA, is the family patriarch of the three-generation McMillin Racing team.

Completing the top 10 overall among cars and trucks, just two seconds separated SCORE Trophy-Truck racers Brian Collins, Las Vegas/Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., in a Chevy Silverado, who was 9th overall and fifth in class. Finishing 10th overall and sixth in class was Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, CA, in a Ford F-150.

The three vehicles that covered the course the fastest Saturday were motorcycles. The privateer team of Mike Childress, Wrightwood, CA/Mike ‘Mouse’ McCoy, Santa Monica, CA, beat three factory teams, riding a Honda XR650R to a time of 8:40:25, averaging 48.31mph. All four top finishing motorcycle teams were in Class 22.

Second among the motorcycles was the American Honda A team of Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, CA/Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, CA, with a 8:49:45 time on a Honda XR650R while third was the Honda B team of Robby Bell, Murrieta, CA/Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, CA, completing the course in 9:08:16 on another Honda XR650R.

The fourth motorcycle finisher was the Factory KTM team of Chris Blais, Apple Valley, CA/Andy Grider, Los Olivos, CA, running the route in 9:10:48 on a KTM 660 Rally motorcycle.

“It was amazing – I loved it”, said the 21-year-old Childress. “It’s my first time ever to win a SCORE race. I’ve been doing this since I was 14 and it was a dream to win a race and now I did it. We were in fourth early on. Mike’s Sky Loop was the hardest part. I passed Johnny (Campbell, 1x) at Santa Tomas and never looked back. Mouse McCoy ran the 1000 all by himself and I thought what better guy to get than him to ride with.”

The Childress/McCoy victory snapped the five-year winning streak in this race by Hengeveld, who won with Campbell three of those years.

Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev., and teammates Cycle Chislock, Murrieta, CA, and Levi Marana, Hemet, CA, were the fastest Overall ATV this year, winning Class 25 in 10:16:14, averaging 40.80mph on their Honda TRX450R. They staying unbeaten in SCORE this season with the winning, matching their triumph in San Felipe in February.

Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, CA, led a team to victory in Class 40 (motorcycle riders over 40 years old) for the five consecutive year, but many other racers had their streaks broken in the Baja desert. O’Neal has won his class in both SCORE races this year.

The popular race also featured a SCORE-record four primary female drivers and all of them were finishers in the grueling test. Three of the women who were drivers of record, and all finished. In addition, Bekki Wik, Las Vegas, drove half the race in Class 1 with Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif.

They finished sixth out of 31 starters in their class and 26th overall. Michelle Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, CA, placed second in Class 5 with her talented husband Vic, while Sigal Greenberg, Desert Hills, Ariz., was second in Class 9 while splitting the driving with John Hallal. Heidi Steele, San Clemente, Calif.whose husband Cameron finished 15th in SCORE Trophy-Truck, was the overall Sportsman Car champion. Steele had driving assistance from Justin Smith, Capistrano Beach, Calif.

In the car and truck classes, remaining undefeated with three wins this year were John Holmes, Olvenhain, Calif. (Class 7S, Ford Ranger), Todd Wyllie, New River, Ariz. (Class 8, Chevy C1500) and Mexico’s Eric Fisher (Class 9, Garibay-VW).

Besides O’Neal, winning for the second time in two SCORE races this year were Tim Morton, Escondido, Calif. (Class 21, Honda CRFX250R) and Mexico’s Gerardo Rojas (Class 30, Honda XR650R).

SCORE overall point leaders Rob MacCachren and Bryan Freeman of Las Vegas extended their lead with their second win in three SCORE races in Class 1-2/1600. MacCachren also finished ninth in SCORE Trophy-Truck as the other driver for Gus Vildosola, Mexicali, Mexico, in the Vildosola Racing Ford F-150.

Other class winners included: George Seeley, Glendale, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Danny Ledezma, Chula Vista, Calif. (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug), Doug Siewert, Fallbrook, Calif. (Class 7, Chevy S-10), Lobsam Yee, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 10, Jimco-Honda), Arturo Honold, Mexicali, Mexico (SCORE Lite, Curry-VW) and Jim Nuckles, Brawley, Calif. (Protruck, Ford F-150).

Seven motorcycle riders attempted to run the brutally-tough course solo and five succeeded. The fastest was Robert Laughlin, Solvang, Calif. (Sportsman M/C>250cc, Honda XR650R) with a time of 10:24:21, good for 22nd overall among the 96 motorcycle and ATV starters.

In addition to nearly $400,000 in purse and contingency postings, the race was also part of the annual Toyota Milestone Awards and $12,000 Toyota True Grit programs. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2005 SCORE Desert Series. The $12,000 Toyota True Grit purse is split among the SCORE season point champions who are also Toyota Milestone award winners in four non-factory-backed classes. This is the 20th consecutive year that Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has teamed with SCORE to present these prestigious awards.

For the first time in several years, the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be televised nationally on a delayed basis. With multiple showings, The Outdoor Life Network (OLN) will air the race as a one-hour primetime special. Aura 360, the Maine production and marketing company that has this year’s SCORE television rights, will produce the show.

SCORE official sponsors for 2005 are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, C.L. Bryant-VP Racing Fuels-official fuel supplier. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Las Vegas Events, Herbst Gaming, Kartek Off-Road, Centrix Financial, Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Bilstein, Signpros, Cotuco, Fideicomiso Publico para la Promocion Turistica de Ensenada, Cotuco, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products, and Advanced Color Graphics.

Next on the 2005 SCORE Desert Series schedule is the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Cup I, a special non-points race July 28-30 on The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The newest SCORE event will be held on a unique, man-made 1.5-mile ‘Chunk of Baja’ course featuring the SCORE Trophy-Truck and the unlimited Class 1 racing divisions along with Class 1-2/1600 and combined groups for Class 10/SCORE Lite and Classes 7/7S/7SX.

For information contact:
SCORE International at its Los Angeles headquarters
(818) 225-8402 or visit
the official 2005 SCORE Desert Series website at:
www.score-international.com

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

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For Finance Information, contact:

Mark Handley (760) 613-3122

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


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