Newcomer Cadiente powers Ford F-150 to SCORE Trophy-Truck,
Overall victory in Saturday’s 20th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
Herbst/Roeseler capture unlimited Class 1 in Smithbuilt-Ford,
Bell/Norman claim Class 22 & Overall motorcycle win
    SAN FELIPE, Mexico—Desert racing newcomer Garron Cadiente made a major statement Saturday, powering his Ford F-150 to the Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck victory in the record-setting celebration of the 20th Annual SCORE San Felipe 250. Competing in just his third SCORE race, Cadiente, of Mesa, Ariz., defeated a race-record field of 340 starters, covering the rugged 240.34-mile course in 3 hours, 52 minutes, 47 seconds, averaging an impressive 61.49 miles per hour.
     Overcoming the intermittent rain, the rugged race course, the fact that it was only his third ever SCORE desert race along with the fact that he has only been racing since last April, Cadiente, 30, started near the back in the elapsed-time race but was in or near the lead within the first 100 miles. On top of that, he defeated race-record 24 starters in the marquee SCORE racing division for hi-tech, 800-horsepower unlimited production trucks, in front of over 100,000 spectators spread throughout the course.
     American Honda’s Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., won the Class 22 and overall motorcycle title on their four-stroke Honda CRF450X when apparent winners Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., the other factory Honda team, were disqualified after the race by SCORE officials for deviating from the course. The Bell/Norman team covered the course in 4:19:36, averaging 55.55mph.
     Honda also won the Class 25 and Overall ATV title as Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif./Chad Prull, Laveen, Ariz., defeated a field of 20 open ATVs in a time of 5:25:15, averaging 44.34mph on a Honda TRX450R.
     “We had a very good today, with no problems at all,” said Cadiente, who became the 11th different SCORE San Felipe 250 winner in the 13 year-history of SCORE Trophy-Truck. “The course was really, really rough. We knew where to go, but everybody was right after us the whole race. We knew where to go fast or slow--the real deal was on the new guy. There was speculation on the new guy. Today, we proved ourselves and we beat the good guys. It was only our third SCORE race, we only started racing in April of last year. We never let up and it’s great to taste a victory like this. We weren’t concerned about the overall, it’s just a great bonus.”
     Cadiente edged Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin, who won the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January. Baldwin, who had one flat tire and an oil leak, finished in 3:54:30, averaging 61.49mph in his new Chevy Silverado, just 1 minute, 43 seconds behind Cadiente and second in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Overall.
    Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif., teamed up to defeat 35 starters in the unlimited Class 1 and finish third Overall. Herbst, who drove the first half of the race to earn his second class win in the race, and Roeseler, who drive the second half and picked up his fifth class title, finished in 3:57:20 in their Ford-powered Smithbuilt open-wheel desert race car. They finished 4:33 behind Cadiente and 2:50 behind Baldwin in the Overall standings.
    Round 2 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, was held in the quaint fishing village of San Felipe, 120 miles South of the U.S. border at Calexico, Calif., on the eastern side of the peninsula, alongside the picturesque azure waters of the Sea of Cortez.
     The race-record field of 340 starters came from 20 States, Canada, Colombia, England and Mexico who competed in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.
     Three Jimco-Chevy open-wheelers finished next. Fourth Overall and second in Class 1 was Laughlin winner Gary Weyhrich and his brother Mark, Troutdale, Ore., with a time of 4:03:57, Mark McMillin/Brian Ewalt, El Cajon, Calif., were fifth overall and third in Class 1 in 4:06:10 and Las Vegas’ Danny Anderson was sixth overall and fourth in Class 1 in 4:07:34.     Seventh overall and fifth in Class 1 was Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif./Dave Mason, Valley Center, Calif., driving a Jimco-BMW to the finish line in 4:16:15.
     Two more SCORE Trophy-Trucks finished eighth and ninth overall. Reigning SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion Bob Shepard, Phoenix, was eighth overall and third in SCORE Trophy-Truck in 4:20:03 in a Chevy CK1500 while Ron Whitton, Mesa, Ariz., the father-in-law of race-winner Garron Cadiente, was ninth overall and fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck in a Ford F-150.
     Completing the top 10 overall finishers was Richard Boyle/Ridgecrest, Calif./Ron Brant Oak Hills, Calif., who were sixth in Class 1 in a Jefferies-Chevy in 4:30:51.
     Continuing his pinch-hitting success for his pregnant wife Bekki, Adam Wik, Las Vegas, kept the family streak alive, winning Class 10 and finishing 11th overall in a Jimco-Honda. Wik, a noted engine builder who had to rebuild his engine just four days before this race, nearly didn’t make it to the race. He won his second straight race of the year and third out of the last four. Wik has been the driver of record for his wife since September. Bekki Freeman, who is expecting the couple’s first child in May, won Class 10 in last year’s Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 prior to starting her expected short sabbatical from desert racing.
     Winning Class 1-2/1600 for the fourth time in San Felipe was Adam Pfankuch, who teamed this year with Rick St. John in an Amplified-VW. Both from Carlsbad, Calif., Pfankuch/St. John won the class with 41 starters, the largest starting field in the class.
     Mexico’s Gus Vildosola Jr., teamed with Bryan Freeman, Henderson, Nev., to win the Protruck class in a Toyota Tundra, remaining undefeated this season after two SCORE races.
     Ageless veteran motorcycle racer Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., won Class 40 on his Honda XR650R for his seventh class win in the last six years. O’Neal was attempting to pull off a double by winning Class 50 as well for the second straight year, but he and his team of talented co-riders finished second by 16-minutes, 10 seconds to the winning Honda XR650R of ridden by Doug Smith, Upland, Calif., and his teammates Gene and Sam Dempsey.
     O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., and his co-riders Tim Withers, Pepeekeo, Hawaii/Jeff Kaplan, Newbury Park, Calif./Tom Willis, Las Vegas, had a 18:23 victory margin in Class 40.
     Moving to Class 1-2/1600 for the next race, Mexico’s veteran champion Eric Solorzano won Class 11 in his stock VW sedan for the seventh time and sixth in the last seven years.
      In Class 9, Mexico’s Eric Fisher won for the sixth time, including the last three straight years, in his Garibay-VW.
     Brothers Donald and Kenneth Moss of Sacramento, Calif. won Class 3 for the fifth straight year in their Ford Bronco.
     Mike Horner, Mission Viejo, Calif., picked up his third career win in San Felipe, earning the Class 7S victory in a Toyota-Tacoma.
     After winning Class 7S in this race last year, John Holmes, Olivenhain, Calif., won Class 7SX this year in a Ford Ranger.
     In all, eight Mexican racers won their respective classes. Besides Vildosola Jr., Fisher and Solorzano, other Mexican racers who won their classes in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 were Pietro Brassea (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug), Ernesto Arambula (Class 5/1600, 1600cc VW Baja Bug), Victor Herrera (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Kenneth Lopez (Class 21, Yamaha YZF450F) and Rene de la Rocha (Sportsman ATV, Bombardier 650.
     Besides Hengeveld/Childress, three other entries received sanctions from SCORE officials following the race. Unofficial finishers Danny Prather in Class 25 and J. David Ruvalcaba in Class 30 were disqualified for deviations from the course while David McCarroll was penalized one position (from first to second) in Sportsman ATV for driving backwards through a checkpoint.
     A race-record total of 219 of the 340 official starters finished within the 10-hour time limit in the race.
     The SCORE Desert Series will return to Mexico for Round 3—the 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500, June 2-4 in Ensenada.
     The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point leaders.
     The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes the hunt for the annual Toyota Milestone and $12,000 Toyota True Grit Awards. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2006 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 several non-factory-backed classes.
     For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2006 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.