Class 1 stars searching for overall 4-wheel vehicle win; Class 22
Aces hunting for overall M/C win at 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500
Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler set to battle Mark McMillin
and Weyhrich bros among 42 Class 1 entries June 2-4 in Mexico
    LOS ANGELES—While it’s likely that the race-record 41 SCORE Trophy-Trucks will grab much of the spotlight, the unlimited Class 1 cars and Class 22 motorcycle division will provide their own special fireworks during next weekend’s 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the second-oldest desert race in the world.
     Round 3 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, featuring a race-record lineup of over 420 entries competing in 25 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 2-4 in Ensenada, Mexico. The race will be filmed for television by Aura360, SCORE’S TV production partner, to air in December as a one-hour special on NBC.
     With a race-record field of over 420 already guaranteed, 42 unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars will attempt to capture the overall 4-wheel vehicle title, unseating the marquee SCORE Trophy-Trucks, those high-tech, high-budget, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks who have won the overall in nine times in their 12-year history.
     And while the thundering herd of SCORE Trophy-Trucks and Class 1 race cars blast their way around the Northern part of the Baja peninsula, the growing field of motorcycles and ATVs, now at 159, will be waging their own special challenge against the elements, the competitors and their own mental and physical strength and stamina.
     Led by last year’s overall motorcycle winner Mike Childress and his new co-rider Steve Hengeveld, who has won five of the last six years with different co-riders, Team Honda is nearly invincible, having won nine consecutive Class 22 and Overall motorcycle titles in this race. Class 22 has 16 entries so far this year.
     Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 150,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world’s best desert racers in action around the foreboding deserts, rugged mountains, pristine beaches and inspiring forests of Baja California at this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
     And, if anyone is able to cover the rough and tumble, serenely majestic 429.24-mile course faster than one of the galaxy of SCORE Trophy-Trucks, their family name will probably be Herbst or McMillin, two of the winningest Class 1 families in all of SCORE Baja racing.
     Both with SCORE Baja racing histories dating back to the 1970, the Herbst family, of Las Vegas, has compiled eight class wins in this race since family patriarch Jerry Herbst won Category 3 in 1970 while the McMillin family, SCORE’s first three-generation race team based in San Diego, has notched 13 class wins since second-generation racer Scott McMillin picked the first for his family in 1981 in Class 10.
     In the hunt for the coveted Overall 4-wheel vehicle title, the Herbsts have two (Troy Herbst-2002, 2003) and the McMillins have four (family patriarch Corky McMillin and his second son Scott-1983, 1986 and Corky’s oldest son Mark McMillin-1988-2001).
     “I guess you could say that both the Herbst family and the McMillin family know a thing or two about SCORE racing in Baja,: said Troy Herbst, a six-time SCORE Class 1 season point champ who has 18 Class 1 race wins since 1997. “I can say without a doubt that the key word here is family. Both the Herbsts and the McMillins have been at this for 30 years or more and we both have great family support, dads who brought us out to the desert when we were still in diapers and dedicated crews that give us great equipment to drive.
     “As many great racers as there are in SCORE racing, anyone can win at any time, but the Herbsts and McMillins have sure had our share. As for beating the SCORE Trophy-Trucks, who cares? Seriously, you can’t beat them unless you beat all the Class 1 cars first and with 42 Class 1s in Mexico that is a huge tamale to consider before even looking at the trucks. Either way, I’m sure the Herbsts and the McMillins will go out and give it our all, have a whole lot of fun, and you we’ll just have to stay tuned and see what happens.”
     When it comes to Class 1 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, either a Herbst or a McMillin has won it in 10 of the last 12 years, and nine of the last 10.
     In that incredible string of Class 1 victories, Troy Herbst has captured the checkered flag six times (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004)
     Starting this stretch for the McMillins was Corky McMillin, who passed away last September 22 at age 76 still a SCORE regular, and his son Mark in 1994. Mark McMillin picked up two more Class 1 wins in 1997 and 2001. Last year, Scott McMillin and his son Andy McMillin won Class 1.
     This year, both Scott McMillin and Andy McMillin will be driving separate vehicles in the SCORE Trophy-Truck division, but Mark McMillin, the defending SCORE point series Class 1 season champion, will carry the McMillin colors in the No. 100 McMillin Racing Chevy-powered Jimco.
     Daniel McMillin, 18, Mark’s son, will be the fourth McMillin competing this year, racing in Class 1-2/1600.
     For the Herbst family, Troy Herbst and his older brothers Ed and Tim, will all be competing.
Troy, the youngest at 39, will split driving with Larry Roeseler, who has an amazing 15 class wins including 11 overall titles in this race. Herbst and Roeseler have teamed up for a rare triple, winning Class 1 in 2002, 2003 and 2004, including the overall the first two years. The will drive the No. 112 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford.
     Ed Herbst, 45, and Tim Herbst, 43, the winningest team in SCORE Trophy-Truck history with 11 class wins and four season point crowns, will split driving in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck. Ironically, they are still looking for their first win in SCORE Trophy-Truck in this race.
     At the top of the list of talented challengers to knock off Troy Herbst and Mark McMillin are brothers Gary and Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. After racing in separate vehicles the first two races, they have joined forces to drive the No. 121 Jimco-Chevy. Gary Weyhrich, 38, is the current Class 1 and overall point leader in the SCORE Desert Series, starting the year with a victory at the season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and following that up with a second to Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March.
     Two other former Overall winners from Class 1 who are entered again this year in Class 1 are SCORE veterans Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp. The two classic desert racers won the overall together in 1978 and 1979, Smith won it again in 1981 with Bill Newbury and Feldkamp won again in 1985 with Ron Gardner.
     This year, Smith, 65, will be a second driver for Cam Thieriot in the No. 133 RPS-Chevy while Feldkamp, 61, will be the second driver for his son Buddy Feldkamp, 28, in the No. 119 Penhall-Chevy.
     Including Childress, defending class champions in four of the five motorcycle classes are back this year as well as Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev., the returning Class 25 open ATV overall champion.
     Returning motorcycle class winners are Gerardo Rojas, Class 30, Jim O’Neal, Class 40, and Eizaburo Karasawa, Class 50. Rojas, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, has two straight wins in Class 30, for riders over 30 years old. O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., has put together talented teams to win Class 40 for five consecutive years and his Class 30 win in 2002 give him six class wins for his career in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Japan’s Karasawa has three class wins, two in Class 40 prior to Class 50 last year.
     Starting and finishing in Ensenada on the majestic Baja California peninsula, this year’s tight and technical course will run in a clockwise direction, running East into the middle of the peninsula, then South, followed by a West travel section, turning north, then East, North and back West for the final charge back into Ensenada.
     The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 3) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 9 a.m. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race, with an 18-hour time limit to become official finishers.
     Entries have come from every state in the Western U.S., Hawaii, and Texas, from across the Midwest including South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as New York, Ohio and Massachusetts in the East and Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama in the South. A race-record total of 420 official entries have been received to date, an increase of 93 more entries since the April 22 drawing for start positions.
     With late entries accepted up until race morning, entries have been received from 28 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan and New Zealand, all preparing to challenge the very technical and rugged 424.29-mile course.
     As of today, the Pro classes with the most entries are: Class 1 (42), SCORE Trophy-Truck, with a class-record 41, SCORE Lite, with a class-record 33, Class 1-2/1600 (27) and Class 22 and Class 30 (each with 16). Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT Motorcycles over 250cc with a class-record 50 for the relatively new class and SPT ATV with a class-record 25 all-terrain vehicles entered.
     The starting line area will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in downtown Ensenada, Mexico. The finish line will be at the softball and soccer field complex at 11th Street near Guadalupe Avenue in Ensenada. It is located approximately 1.7 miles east of the start line area.
     Pre-race festivities for the 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be held in Ensenada on Friday (June 2). Traditionally drawing approximately 50,000 spectators, the pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and display of every race vehicle will be held adjacent to the San Nicolas Hotel, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday (June 2). The post-race awards celebration will be held at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday (June 4) at 10 a.m. Racer and media registration will be held on Thursday (June 1) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday (June 2) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Nicolas Hotel.
     The 2006 SCORE Desert Series includes the chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point champions.
     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.
     Current SCORE official 2006 sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Sunoco Race Fuels/C.L. Bryant-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Airstar America-official space lighting provider. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Terrible Herbst Inc., Kartek Off-Road, Centrix Financial, NAPA Chassis, Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Suzuki, SignPros, Cotuco, Fideicomiso Publico para la Promocion Turistica de Ensenada, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
      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.