38th Tecate SCORE BAJA 1000
World’s best desert racers at 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 to decide
Overall and Class Point Champs for 2005 SCORE Desert Series
Adventurers from 31 U.S. States, 12 countries in Mexico
For this week’s granddaddy of all desert races
     ENSENADA, MEXICO—When all the pre-race music, pageantry and autograph sessions are finished, reality will abruptly return Friday morning when the green flag drops for the 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. Emphasis will quickly shift from all the celebrity and crossover drivers when the tire treads meet the rugged desert terrain of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula as the world’s best desert racers will earn and lose SCORE season point championships in the season-finale of the six-race 2005 SCORE Desert Series.
     The granddaddy of all desert races will be held for the 38th time this week, starting and finishing in Ensenada and running 709 miles around Mexico’s ruggedly majestic Baja California peninsula.
     Among the crossover racers entered are NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Boris Said and Michel Jordain Jr., Indy Racing League’s Buddy Rice, Champ Car World Series stars Sabastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia, Freestyle and Supercross legends Travis Pastrana and Ricky Johnson, along with Pike’s Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen. SCORE Trophy-Truck regular Cameron Steele is a prominent ESPN adventure sports announcer. TV stars Jesse James (Discovery Channel’s Monster Garage) and Patrick Dempsey (ABC TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) are also prepared to add some special ‘stardust’ to their glistening galaxy. Two-Time World Champion Hot Dog Skier Glen Plake and land speed racing legend Gale Banks are also in the field.
     A race-record field of over 360 entries from 31 U.S. States and 12 countries, competing in 27 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, are part of this year’s tribute to the sport of desert racing. The race is the crown jewel of the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series.
     With massive crowds reaching nearly 300,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the single loop course, the race will start in front of the Riviera del Pacific Convention Center in Ensenada and will finish for just the second time inside the Deportivo Antonio Palacios baseball stadium in Ensenada.
     The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. Friday with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 9:30 a.m., or two hours after the last ATV leaves the line. Faster four-wheel vehicles will leave in 60-second intervals while all other classes will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the 709-mile course in around 14 hours, all vehicles will have a 30-hour time limit to become official finishers.
     Truly the race of champions, this year’s race will again determine the SCORE season class champs. The closest point races include the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division, where just 22 points separate the top seven and the unlimited Class 1, where just 34 points separate the top seven point leaders.
     “I am in awe, and I have seen and done a lot in over 30 years with SCORE International,” said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO, on the eve of the world’s most famous desert race. “To think that after 37 previous classics, this year’s race has the most entries in history almost puts a lump in my throat. The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is the Super Bowl of motorsports and I can’t wait to watch the world’s greatest desert racers and their amazing crews make some more SCORE Baja history this weekend. We also welcome all of our crossover and celebrity racers who will experience something that they will remember forever.”
     BFGoodrich Tires, a SCORE desert racing staple, is completing its celebration of 30 years of SCORE Baja racing as well as pursuing its quest of 20 consecutive Overall 4-wheel victories in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
      Pre-race festivities on Thursday for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including tech and contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. across from the San Nicolas Hotel.  The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Riviera del Pacifico Convention Center. Racer registration will be held at the Riviera CC from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
     The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor’s Celebration will be held on Sunday, at 10 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the San Nicolas Hotel.
     This race always has a few ‘bravehearts’ who enter in two classes, hoping for double wins and quadruple the fun. The most notable one’s this year are: Rob MacCachren (SCORE Trophy-Truck and Class 1-2/1600), Cameron Steele, Buddy Rice and Pete Sohren (two in SCORE Trophy-Truck), Travis Pastrana (ProTruck and Class 22), Kreg Donahoe (Class 7 and Stock Full), Jim O’Neal (motorcycle—Class 40 and Class 50), and Kevin Ward (Class 40 and Class 1).
     MacCachren, a seven-time SCORE class point champion, who is leading the SCORE Overall and Class 1-2/1600 point standings with three wins with teammate Bryan Freeman, was just voted for the second time to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-America First Team. MacCachren was also picked to the first time in the At-Large category in 2001 and to the second team last year.
     A SCORE record of 33 SCORE Trophy-Trucks are entered to date. The marquee SCORE racing division featuring 800-horsepower unlimited production trucks includes cross-over drivers Rice, Gordon and James, in addition to the talented field of regulars and a very close point’s race for the season championship. Eight of 11 previous season point champions are entered and 54 of 71 SCORE Trophy-Truck race winners are represented as well along with eight of the previous 11 SCORE Trophy-Truck winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
     Las Vegas brothers Ed and Tim Herbst are the winningest team in the history of the class with 11 race wins in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150, while third is Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., with eight. Ragland is racing this year with veteran Brian Collins of Las Vegas, who has two wins in the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Top challengers to become the new ‘gran ganador de Mexico’ in SCORE Trophy-Truck include the Herbst brothers, NASCAR’s R. Gordon, winners the last two years-Ryan Arciero and Mark Miller, last year’s season point champion Jason Baldwin and current class point leader Bob Shepard.
     Bob Shepard is leading the closest point race in the history of the class that began in 1994, with just 22 points separating the top seven. Shepard has 229, followed by brothers Tim and Ed Herbst (227), Josh Baldwin (222), Mark Post/Curt Le Duc (219), Brian Collins/Larry Ragland (213), Marty Coyne and his son Travis (211) and Jason Baldwin (207.
     Since 1997, the motorcycle battle in the most fabled desert race of all time has been all about Honda’s Johnny Campbell. Five of this year’s riders have combined for 12 overall motorcycle victories in this race.
     Leading the motorcycle field again this year is the legendary American Honda racing team of Steve Hengeveld, 30. Oak Hills, Calif., and Campbell, 34, San Clemente, Calif. Campbell has eight consecutive overall motorcycle victories in this race, including four with the Hengeveld, who has earned his Baja legend status as well.
     Sharing seat time on the No. 1x Honda XR650R, Hengeveld also has one other motorcycle class win in this race. In 2002, Hengeveld/Campbell set an average speed record in this race for a motorcycle, averaging an incredible 62.45mph.  The third team member this year will be talented newcomer Mike Childress, 20, of Wrightwood, Calif. Childress joins Honda’s ‘A’ team after teaming with Hollywood stuntman Mouse McCoy to win the overall title in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in June. Each rider is expected to ride about one-third of the race.
     Making his SCORE racing debut, Pastrana, 22, of Davidsonville, Md., will lead a formidable multi-rider team into the Baja desert on the No. 6x Suzuki 450. Andy Grider, 31, of Los Olivos, Calif., is scheduled to be the team’s primary co-rider and the pair will be joined by Supercross legend Ricky Johnson, Encinitas, Calif., and Nitro Circus Producer Greg Godfrey, Draper, Utah.
     Pastrana, a Freestyle Moto X gold medalist and Supercross star, had originally entered three classes, but after pre-running the difficult race course, decided to concentrate on the Class 22 open motorcycle division.
     The unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars has one of its closest point races as well with just 34 points separating its top seven leaders. Mark McMillin is first with 235, followed by Damen Jefferies (230), Andy McMillin and his father Scott McMillin (228), Troy Herbst/Roeseler (219), B.J. Richardson/John Gaughan (218) and brothers Gary and Mark Weyhrich (207). Fourth is actually Corky McMillin, who passed away at 76 on Sept. 22. Corky was the family patriarch of the three-generation McMillin Racing Team. In his memory, the McMillin family has entered the No. 128 Chenowth-Chevy in Corky McMillin’s name, with longtime teammate Gary Arnold as the primary driver. While not racing for points by SCORE rules, the gesture is a fitting tribute to a pioneer of SCORE desert racing.
     Entered in this year’s event are 21 racers who have combined for 62 overall wins in either the 4-wheel or motorycle divisions. The leaders are: Larry Roeseler, 11, (10 on a motorcycle); Johnny Campbell has won eight straight (all on a motorcycle), Malcolm Smith has five overalls (two in m/c and three in 4-wheel) and with five overall wins each in the 4-wheel division are Mark McMillin and Larry Ragland.
     Entered in this year’s event are 135 racers who have combined for incredible 320 class wins. The leaders in multiple class wins entered this year are: Rod Hall with 17 (first overall), Larry Roeseler with 13 (third overall), Chris Haines with 11 (fourth overall) and Mark McMillin, Johnny Campbell, Malcolm Smith and Eric Solorzano with 8 each.
     The Ross family, including 70-year old family matriarch Clare Ross, will be racing together in the No. 1206 Desert Dynamics-VW in SCORE Lite. Driver of Record is her son Randy Ross, who split driving time with his mom Clare, brothers Kelly and Byron, and his son Ryann. Randy, a SCORE regular, is currently 15th in SCORE Lite points, but this is the first SCORE race for the three Ross generations. Clare Ross is a regular racer with her grandson Ryann in a smaller U.S. series where they are second in class points.
     While there are undoubtedly others, this year’s race features five primary female driver/riders. Besides Clare Ross (SCORE Lite), in Class 9, Sigal Greenberg is driver of record, in Sportsman Truck, Sabine Steinberecner is driver of record, in Class 25 for open ATVs, Jessica McCreary will be attempting to ‘Ironwoman’, or ride solo, the entire race, and in Sportsman Car, Heidi Steele (wife of SCORE Trophy-Truck racer Cameron Steele) is driver of record and won her class in June’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
     This year’s memorable adventure will cover 709 miles of the rugged and tortuous Baja California peninsula, starting on the Pacific Ocean side and stretching across and down the Sea of Cortez side of the majestic peninsula past San Felipe before winding its way back up to the Pacific Ocean and back to Ensenada.
     While entries will be accepted up to Friday morning, late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.
      The classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck with a SCORE and race-record 33, Class 1 and Class 1-2/1600 (31 each), SCORE Lite (21), Class 5/1600 (19), Baja Challenge, Class 30, Class 25 (16 each) Class 10 (13) and Protruck and Class 22 (11 each).
     Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 31 entries to date.
     This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the second consecutive year on Dec. 10 on the NBC Network. A different one-hour special will premier on the Outdoor Life Network on Sunday, Dec. 18 and another different special will air in January on the Discovery HD Network. In association with SCORE International, Aura360 of Maine is co-producing all three shows.
     Discovery Channel’s Monster Garage is also producing two episodes, one on the building of Jesse James’ SCORE Trophy-Truck, the other on his Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race adventure.
     The race will also culminate the chase for both the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road bonus and the $12,000 Toyota True-Grit and Toyota Milestone Awards. The Kartek Off-Road bonus will be split among the top 2005 three SCORE Overall point leaders.
     This year’s race will also include a $10,000 special bonus purse sponsored by UPRacing.com, DIRTsports, Fabtech and Desert Rat Truck Centers.
     SCORE official sponsors for 2005 are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, C.L. Bryant-VP Racing Fuels-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Las Vegas Events, Terrible Herbst Inc., Kartek Off-Road, Centrix Financial, Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Suzuki, SignPros, Cotuco, Fideicomiso Publico para la Promocion Turistica de Ensenada, McGraw Insurance Services, Lucas Oil Products, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products, and Advanced Color Graphics.
     For more information on the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2005 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.