April 24, 2020
SCORE Desert Diaries–
BIDING TIME, Parte Cinco
SCORE champions Bryce Menzies, Ryan Arciero
very focused while waiting for end of COVID-19
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – (While the world continues its ferocious fight against the vicious virus called COVID-19, SCORE is checking in on several of its racers during this shutdown to see how they are doing and how are they are preparing for when life returns to the new normal in a special series called SCORE Desert Diaries—Biding Time.)
Two of the superlative superstars in the SCORE World Desert Championship who both race in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division, Nevada’s Bryce Menzies and SoCal’s Ryan Arciero are both tactfully waiting to be able to get the 2020 SCORE Baja racing season started.
With the 2020 season reduced to three races while the battle rages against Coronavirus (COVID-19), desert racers around the world are hoping to start the 2020 SCORE season at the 52nd annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4Wheel Parts, in Baja California.
Launching its 47th season as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, the season-opening event of the three-race internationally-televised 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship has been moved to June 17-21 in Ensenada. Ensenada is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. All three 2020 SCORE races will be run on the northern part of Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Developing into an internationally-recognized off-road racer, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies, 32, is a stalwart in the SCORE Trophy Truck division in the SCORE World Desert Championship. His driving skills have been evident in not only desert racing, but also in short-course racing, rally racing, rally cross racing, snow racing and long-distance jumping contests.
Menzies burst onto the motorsports scene in 2011 at the tender age of 24 years old. He won the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship that year, winning two races along the way as well as being voted the 2011 SCORE Rookie of the Year.
Also in 2011 he won his first of three Pro 2 titles in the TORC short-course series.
Menzies drives the No. 7 all-wheel drive Menzies Motorsports Ford Raptor built by Mason Motorsports in the SCORE World Desert Championship. He has five career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins including three in four years in the SCORE Baja 500 (2011, 2012 and 2014).
He has also won the Mint 400 desert race twice, raced in the Dakar Rally and the Silk Way rally and is a two-time winner of the Red Bull Frozen Rush snow match race (2015, 2016).
Menzies also set the record for the world’s longest jump in a truck when he sent his Pro 2 short-course truck 379.2 feet over a ghost town in 2016.
Part of the third generation of the Arciero racing family with nearly 70 years of history in motorsports, Ryan Arciero, 46, Foothill Ranch, Calif., is the grandson of the legendary late IndyCar team owner Frank Arciero Sr. and son of Frank ‘Butch’ Arciero Jr., a 2019 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
His uncle Al Arciero was also a successful open-wheel, short course off-road racer and desert racer.
When he isn’t testing or racing, Ryan Arciero is currently the general manager of the prominent SoCal Arciero & Sons Company which has focused on the construction industry for nearly 50 years and more recently in government procurement as well.
Also CEO/President of Arciero Racing, Ryan Arciero drives the No. 32 Levi’s Ford F-150 built by Herbst/Smith Fabrication. He has four career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. Teamed with Mark Miller in a VW factory team competing in SCORE Trophy Truck, Arciero won the 2003 SCORE Baja 500, 2003 SCORE Baja 1000 and the 2004 SCORE Baja 1000.
More recently, Arciero captured the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race win in 2019 at the inaugural SCORE Baja 400 in Ensenada.
When he was just 25 years old, he teamed with the late Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Bob Gordon (who used to race with Ryan’s dad in the desert) to win the unlimited Class 1 in the 1998 SCORE Baja 1000.
Bryce Menzies shares some responses for Menzies Motorsports while Ryan Arciero comments for Arciero Racing responding to some questions from SCORE regarding this down time from life as we have known it.
SCORE: How are you and your family coping overall with this virus situation?
BM: I am healthy and so is my family right now. We are doing our best to social distance and listen to the CDC during these times on what the best options are for my family to stay healthy and safe.
RA: This is not an easy situation for anyone around the world to handle but for me and my family, we try to stay calm, stay isolated which for sure is not fun at all since we are a very outdoor family and always on the move, listen to our President and Commander and Chief, and just enjoy this time we have together as a family. I have my wife and our boy/girl twin three year old kids, so it has been a challenge, more so for my wife as I have been doing my best to stay busy with work.
SCORE: Is everybody healthy at home?
BM: Yes everyone is healthy at home. We are taking extra vitamins and doing our part to social distance ourselves from everyone.
RA: My entire family including my Mom, Dad, brother, sister and uncles and cousins are all healthy and we thank God for that every day and pray it stays that way. My Dad is still trying to do everything he can to work. He is very healthy and pray it stays that way. My Mom who lives in Las Vegas is healthy as well, thank God and she has told me what a strange thing Las Vegas is on the strip with it being a ghost town. Something in her 30+ years living in Las Vegas she has never seen.
SCORE: How is your business handling this situation?
BM: It definitely adds some stress not being able to work on the truck everyday with a full shop. But we are trying to make sure our employees are staying safe and also taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
RA: My work has slowed dramatically and we are trying to survive. There are a couple of projects that I just started a couple weeks ago that are not affected negatively by the virus that could turn into a saving grace in the short term. We need to be as creative as we can in times like this, keep our heads up and keep pushing. I am not the guy that curls up in a ball and gives up. Bring it on and through the will of God, this too shall pass and we will be strong on the other side as individuals and as a society.
SCORE: What are you doing with your race team during this time?
BM: Our race team is doing part time right now. We have a large shop and are able to separate some of the guys to work part time right now to still provide for their families.
RA: The race team is eagerly waiting for our next event and focusing on that. Since it was a quick turn around between our last race at the Mint 400, the race truck is pretty much done and waiting. Our guys at Herbst/Smith Fabrication and Terrible Herbst Motorsports are so dedicated and incredible guys and it is such a joy to be a part of this program and I can’t wait for us to get that truck back in the dirt again and for us all to be back together as a team. Most of our guys are taking care of their families and making sure they are staying healthy. We started on an abbreviated schedule but now are totally shut down to wait this thing out.
SCORE: What are some things you and your shop team are working on to keep ready to race?
BM: Our team not being able to race right now gives us the opportunity to put more focus on the Chase Trucks and Pit Support during the races. But at the same time these trucks take time to prep and get ready so we are still focused on getting our truck prepped for our next race and testing in the Huseman truck.
RA: Our shop is working on a limited basis with limited personnel and more spread out than ever before.
SCORE: Is your race shop still working?
RA: The biggest is for all of us to stay healthy. None of this matters if we don’t have a healthy team and our guys ready to hit the ground running once the dust settles on this virus. Staying focused and keep close to your families.
SCORE: How are you keeping in touch with your race team?
BM: We communicate through cell phone and email and talk about the new items and pieces we are making in house.
RA: We chat via text mostly and of course utilizing social media.
SCORE: Have you done or are planning to do any form of vehicle testing in the near future?
BM: Yes we plan on testing my Huseman truck in the coming weeks. We are constantly trying to improve both of our trucks to be as competitive as possible.
RA: I can’t wait to get back into the race truck. It is for sure calling me, but at this point, there is not a planned test until we know for sure that we can get back out into the desert safely and in a healthy manner and that is when our President gives us all the green light.
SCORE: Have you had a chance to play the new SCORE Baja Big Air Game yet on Apple Apps or Google Play? If so, how did you do?
BM: No I have not. I haven’t heard of this, I’ll have to check it out.
RA: Yes, I have downloaded it and have been playing it for a while now. It is fun. I wish I could be the Levi’s Trophy Truck though. Hahah. My little boy, Ryan loves to try and play it on my phone as well and he is only three. Getting him started young. lol. I love that SCORE did this as it is big for the younger generation. This is the language they speak. Now we need to build a real life version of this game so people and experience via simulator what it is like to race a SCORE Trophy Truck. Maybe that is version 2 for SCORE???
SCORE: Will you be submitting the application with the SBA for the stimulus payroll subsidy?
RA: I feel this is an incredible thing to be able to take advantage of for so many business’s and employees. This is huge and I am fully behind it. Since we are at a standstill on my company, we want to make sure we can be in a position to take care of our people and make sure they will have a home so we are looking into it very closely and feel it is a good solution for us in the short term.
SCORE: How hard has the adjustment been for you to just sit and wait while the virus is eradicated?
BM: It definitely took some time to get used to but overall I’m with my newborn and my wife and we’re just trying to be as positive as possible and enjoy our time together as new parents. It’s been an awesome experience with our little girl so far!
RA: I am a very impatient person by nature so this sitting around and waiting has been really hard but I know it is very necessary. I just keep focused on the long term and know soon enough I will be back in my happy place behind the wheel of the No. 32 Levi’s SCORE Trophy Truck.
SCORE: What are you doing to get some physical and mental exercise and stay physically sharp during this challenging time?
BM: I’ve gone out in my Polaris RZR a few times. I also work out with my wife at our home gym. As for mental exercise, breathing workouts, meditation, and reading.
RA: I take my fitness very serious as I believe this is a very important part to being a successful race car driver. It is not just the physical side of training by the mental side as well. I ride my road bike and put in about 100 miles a week into my training and have been concentrating on interval workouts to keep me in good shape for endurance racing which is what we do.
SCORE: What is your best race memory of the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship?
BM: My best memory from the 2019 SCORE season was making up some valuable time on the coast during the SCORE Baja 500. It was the fastest I’ve driven the truck in a race and we were able to make up almost 15 minutes of time on the competition. (Finished sixth in SCORE Trophy Truck out of 38 starters),
RA: By far the most memorable was winning the inaugural Lucerna Baja 400 overall. was such an incredible race and one of the closest races with so many TT’s at the end capable of winning.
SCORE: Which SCORE Baja race is your most favorite and why?
BM: I enjoy racing the SCORE Baja 500 the most for a few reasons. I feel like the mileage is perfect for a sprint race in Baja. We also get to drive across the pacific coast and see so many different types of terrain in a short distance. Pre-running is also one of my favorite activities that we are able to do in Baja. Knowing the race course gives us an advantage to push our truck to the most of its potential.
RA: Without a doubt the SCORE Baja 1000 is my favorite and the one I look forward to every year. I have been very fortunate to have won this race three times, once in Class 1 with Bob Gordon and twice in 2003 and 2004 with Mark Miller in SCORE Trophy Truck and so so so many close seconds, thirds, fourths and not to mention the DNF’s and heart breaks. This race has a big way of humbling you and one of the toughest races in the world to try and win. This is a race that the world takes notice of and one of few races in the world that a win in it overshadows a lot of championships.
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the event starting in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE in December of 2012.
The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 26, 1974 as the first of over 150 SCORE Baja races.
Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 47th time there and finish for the 43rd time there.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
As part of their massive SCORE Contingency program for 2020, long-time SCORE sponsor partner BFGoodrich Tires is offering a large contingency bonus for each overall winner in the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. For the 52nd annual SCORE Baja 500, the contingency bonus is US$25,000. BFGoodrich Tires is entering its 44th year as the Official Tire of SCORE and in 2020 the company will also be the title sponsor of both the 52nd SCORE Baja 500 and the 53rd SCORE Baja 1000.
Presenting sponsor of both of those iconic races will be 4 Wheel Parts.
BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating over four decades as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for over four decades, BFGoodrich Tires has now produced the tire of choice for 30 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the SCORE Baja 1000, including 30 of the last 34 years along with a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005. In total, BFGoodrich Tires has now be the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winner in 92 SCORE Baja races including 32 in the SCORE Baja 500.
Here is the REVISED three-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship (as of April 3, 2020) schedule of events, for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
- BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 17-21, Ensenada, Mexico
- 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, Sept. 16-20, San Felipe, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.17-22, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California
ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will air on the ABC family of networks. The three-races air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays on ESPN2.
ABC first covered the 1967 and 1968 Baja 1000 races on the old ABC Wide World of Sports show with Jim McKay and again in the late 1980s with veteran motorsports journalist Sam Posey.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows also continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International. The shows are co-produced by SCORE International and SoCal’s award-winning BCII TV.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Lucerna Hotel.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.