84 racers with 249 combined wins among nearly 250 entries
for this week’s 51st anniversary of legendary SCORE Baja 500
Round 2 of four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship
to be televised on ABC World of X Games;
Contingency, start/finish to be held for the first time at Estero Beach Resort;
Saturday–motorcycles/quads start at 4 a.m. (PDT), cars/trucks/utvs at 8 a.m. (PDT)
LIVE streaming, vehicle tracking at www.score-international.com;
Rat Sult, Dave Arnold SCORE LIVE announcers
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Led by 84 racers with 249 combined class wins are among nearly 250 entries expected for this week’s 51st-anniversary celebration of the legendary SCORE Baja 500. Round 2 of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held Wednesday to Sunday.
The celebratory internationally-televised race on a characteristically challenging 485.02-mile course will start and finish at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
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 of 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. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on the ABC Network World of X Games programming. Los Angeles’ award-winning BCII TV will provide the production work of the telecast.
Like all SCORE races, it is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday (June 1) will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 4 a.m. (PDT) and approximately 8 a.m. (PDT) for the cars, trucks, and UTVs. The start/finish line area will be at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium in Ensenada.
Over 250 vehicles are expected at the start line with racers from nearly 30 States and as many as 15 countries anticipated. Long-time SCORE sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has also posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel winner to help commemorate this year’s race.
ESTERO BEACH S/F
Start/finish line area for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will be the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium on the grounds of the Estero Beach Hotel & Resort, south of downtown Ensenada. This will mark the first time the race has started at the popular luxury resort.
There will be no admission charge for spectators to view the start and finish of the race from several thousand grandstand seats at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at Estero Beach. The course will run on nearly one mile of the Lucas Oil track outbound and inbound.
Colorful race week festivities will be expanded to help celebrate another major anniversary of SCORE’s first Baja race.
Chassis inspections will be held on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT as well as pre-tech/Stella bracket check and installation on Avenida Lopez Mateos in Ensenada.
On Friday evening will be the Monster Energy Papas Y Beer Street Party on Avenida Ruiz from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.
On-site Racer Registration and Media Registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Mayapan Conference Center at the Estero Beach Resort.
Racer registration will be held on Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT, on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday with no new entries accepted after 3 p.m. PDT on that day.
Media registration will be held in the Mayapan Conference Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday.
Friday will see the day-long, pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and contingency festival at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at Estero Beach. Starting at 9 a.m. contingency row will be held for all classes. Tech inspection on that day will also start at 9 a.m. at the end of the manufacturer’s row.
On Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. after the start of the motorcycles and quads will be the traditional opening ceremonies for the race featuring Mexican dignitaries, special entertainment, honor guard a salute to the flag ceremony and presentations of both the Mexican and the American National Anthems.
During the race on Saturday, until the course closes around 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the start/finish line compound at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at Estero Beach will include the massive double-sided SCOREvision LED screen broadcasting race festivities and start and finish line interviews. Popular Rat Sult will again serve as the primary host of the SCORE live streaming along with co-host Dave Arnold.
All of the week’s festivities will be aired both live and same-day including the race, airing via the internet on the SCORE website.
LAST YEAR’S OVERALL CHAMPS BACK
Leading this year’s field will be the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race winner Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, in his No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150. MacCachren is the all-time winningest SCORE Trophy Truck racer with 17 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins in the 25-plus year history of the marquee racing division in the sport.
The two-wheel classes will be led by last year’s overall motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited class winning team of Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif./Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif./Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif. on the No. 1x Monster Energy Honda CRF450X.
MULTIPLE CLASS WINNERS RETURN
In the field are 84 racers who have 249 combined class wins in the storied history of this race.
Leading this prestigious group of returning multiple class winners are Jim O’Neal with 20 class wins and Larry Roeseler with 17.
The other racers with the most multiple class wins in this race who are back to attempt to add to their winning totals are: Steve Hengeveld (8), Troy Herbst, Rob MacCachen and Eric Solorzano (7 each), Cisco Bio, Mike Cafro and Nick Vanderwey (6 each), Dan Chamlee, Shane Esposito, Robby Gordon, Eizuburo Karasawa, Wayne Matlock, J. David Ruvalcaba, Francisco Septien and Clyde Stacy (5 each), Elias Hanna, Jeff Kawell, Jano Montoya, Kent Pfeifer, Earl Roberts, Felipe Velez and Fred Willert (4 each) and Marc Burnett, Max Eddy Jr, Rick Ellison, John Griffin, Chelsea Magness, Bryce Menzies,
Justin Matney, Andy McMillin, Wes Miller, Justin Morgan, Giovanni Spinali and Jason Trubey (3 each).
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 487.11-mile course for this year’s 51st SCORE Baja 500 continues until Friday. Pre-running has started at race mile 27.74 near Uruapan and finishes at the same location at race mile 453.76.
The section from the start to race mile 27.74 may only be run outbound and only on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. GPS files, course notes and Racer’s Briefing are available on the race page on the SCORE website under race info.
A total 10 former overall champs (who have combined for 27 overall wins in this race) are racing in this year’s race in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division, the marquee racing class for high-tech, 950-horsepower unlimited custom trucks. Included on the entry list are former SCORE Baja 500 overall winners Larry Roeseler, Imperial, Calif. (11 overalls, including 9 on a motorcycle), Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (1996, 2018), Troy Herbst, Las Vegas (1996, 2002, 2003), Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C. (1989, 1990, 2005, 2013), B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas (2008), Harley Letner, Corona, Calif. (2009), Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas (2011, 2012, 2014), Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Tecate, Mexico (2015), Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola, Mexicali, Mexico (2016) and Andy McMillin, San Diego (2010, 2017).
CLASS WINNERS RETURN:
Led by MacCachren and Morgan/Samuels/Jones, a total of 18 class winners from last year’s SCORE Baja 500 are entered this year with several of them in different classes this year. Other returning 2018 class winners are Gus Vildosola Sr, Mexicali, Mexico/Scott Bailey, Riverside, Calif. (SCORE TT Legend, Ford Raptor), Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif. (Class 1, Jimco-Chevy), Casey Currie, Norco, Calif. (Hammer Truck Unlimited, Jeep Wrangler), Vincent Munoz, Yucaipa, Calif. (Class 8, Ford Ranger), Oscar Alvarez, McAllen, Texas (Class 1/2-1600, Romo-VW), Jeff Proctor, Glendora, Calif. (Class 7, Honda Ridgeline), Kristen Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (Pro UTV NA, Polaris RZR XP4 1000), Jesus Mendez Jr, Mexicali, Mexico (Pro UTV UNLTD, Can-Am X3 XRS), David Heredia, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug), Brad Lovell, Colorado Springs, Colo. (SPT UTV Stock FI, Polaris RZR), Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif. (Pro Moto 30, Yamaha WR450F), Jano Montoya, Winter Garden, Fla. (Peru) (Class 40, KTM 450XCW), Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico, Calif. (Pro Moto Ironman, Honda CRF450X), Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, Honda CRF450X), Said Sanchez, Tijuana Mexico (Pro Quad, Honda TRX450R) and Oskar Espinoza, Ensenada, Mexico (SPT Quad, Honda TRX450R.
The 51st anniversary SCORE Baja 500 race course, designed and finalized by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva is rugged, challenging 487.11 miles. The course will run in a clockwise direction starting and finishing for approximately one mile in each direction on the off-road track at the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium. The first and last 30.41 miles up to Uruapan and back will be shared course outbound and inbound.
The historic racecourse is another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the Pacific Ocean seashore with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the mesmerizing, stark beauty of Baja California.
This year’s 51st-anniversary course will have four physical checkpoints, 146 virtual checkpoints and 11-speed zones (total of 41.72 race miles).
The four checkpoints will be located as follows: Checkpoint No. 1-Nuevo Junction (Race Mile 144.50), Checkpoint No. 2-San Matias (RM 256.32), Checkpoint No. 3-Vicente Guerrero (RM 343.47) and Checkpoint No. 4-Santo Tomas (RM 446.08).
Reflecting on the course, Grijalva commented, “This is going to be the one of the roughest and toughest as well as one of the most spectacular SCORE Baja 500 race course. There are numerous areas of the course that SCORE has never used before in its long and storied history in Baja.”
Among the other towns, areas, and landmarks the course goes through or near are San Carlos wash, Uruapan, Santa Catarina, the Summit, Borrego, Mike’s Sky Rancho, Rancho El Coyote, San Telmo, Rancho Montes, Santo Domingo wash, Camalu, Colonet, San Vicente and the wash at Erendira.
The total of 228 entries to date have come from 25 U.S. States and 12 total countries–host country Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, and Venezuela.
States among the field range so far from California, Washington and Oregon in the Pacific West, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico in the Mountain West, New York and Connecticut in the Northeast, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas in the Midwest and Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia in the South.
Leading the entries so far is the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks with 38 official entries entering race week.
SCORE Trophy Truck, in its 26th year as the featured racing division in the sport, has been the overall winners of the SCORE Baja 500 for the last nine consecutive years and 14 of the last 15.
Other classes with double-figure entries so far besides SCORE Trophy Truck with 38 are Trophy Truck Spec with 27 entries, Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) with 24, Class 10 with 16, the unlimited Class 1 with 13, SCORE Lites with 11 and SPT Quad with 10.
Leading the motorcycle classes so far with eight entries each is Pro Moto Unlimited and SPT Moto.
38 SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS AND COUNTING
Among the entries to date for this year’s SCORE Baja, 500 are 38 in SCORE Trophy Truck, including seven in SCORE TT Legend (SCORE Trophy Truck drivers 50 years old and over).
Besides the 10 former SCORE Baja 500 overall winners entered, other entries in this year’s race include Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif. (No. 16 Ford Raptor), Dan McMillin, San Diego (No. 23 Ford F-150), Luke McMillin, San Diego (No. 83 Ford F-150), Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. (No. 32 Ford F-150), Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn. (No. 4 Chevy Rally Truck), brothers Alan, Aaron and Rodrigo Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico (No. 10 Ford Raptor), Justin Lofton, Brawley, Calif. (No. 41 Ford Raptor), Scott Bailey, Riverside, Calif./Gustavo Vildosola Sr, Mexicali, Mexico (No. 1L Ford Raptor), Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, Las Vegas (No. 19 Ford F-150), Gary Magness, Denver (No. 45 Ford F-150), Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas (No. 15 Ford Raptor), Zak Langley, Manhattan Beach, Calif. (No. 50 Ford F-150), Kevin Thompson, New Braunfels, Texas/Harley Letner, Corona, Calif., (No. 70 Ford Raptor) and Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (No. 5L Chevy Rally Truck).
SAN FELIPE CLASS WINNERS IN
Besides this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 overall winner Andy McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck), other San Felipe class winners who have already entered the upcoming SCORE Baja 500 are Bailey (SCORE TT Legend), Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif. (Class 1—No. 100 Jimco-Chevy), Austin ‘A.J.’ Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz. (Trophy Truck Spec–No. 279 TSCO-Chevy), Hammond Meredith, Laramie, Wyoming (Class 2—No. 2022 ID-Chevy), Mike Hales, Rogers, Ark. (Hammer Truck Unlimited—No. 4421 Jeep Wrangler), Gerardo Ibarra, Calexico, Calif. (Class 5—No. 510 unlimited VW Baja Bug), Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (Pro UTV FI—No. 2971 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo), Freddie Willert, El Cajon, Calif. (SCORE Lite—No. 1206 Jimco-VW), Kristen Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (Pro UTV NA—No. 1954 Polaris RZR XP4 1000), Hector Hurtado, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 5-1600, No. 599 1600cc VW Baja Bug), Brandon Walsh, Encinitas, Calif. (Class 7F—No. 700 Toyota Tundra) and Mike Lesle, Wildomar, Calif. (Class 7SX—No. 751 Jeep Comanche).
Leading the San Felipe motorcycle winners who have entered this year’s SCORE Baja 500 is motorcycle overall winner Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto Unlimited—No. 1x Honda CRF450R).
Other San Felipe 2-wheel class winners entered in this race are Marco Pena, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico (Pro Moto Limited—No. 120x Husqvarna 350FE), Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev. (Pro Moto 40—No. 444x KTM 450XCF), Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif. (Pro Moto 30—No. 308x Yamaha WR450F) and Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50—No. 500x Yamaha YZ450FX).
Pro Quad San Felipe winner Said Sanchez, Tijuana (No. 1a Honda TRX450R) is also entered in this race.
The official 485.02-mile course map is available on the SCORE website at the following link… http://score-international.
Following last year’s epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship includes another special tribute to the iconic SCORE Baja 500 when it is held this year in Ensenada.
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 46th time there and finish for the 42nd time there.
In the history of the race, the start and finish line areas have been located in several areas of Ensenada and this year will be the first time the race has either started or finished at Estero Beach.
Here is the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fourth consecutive year all races are being held in Baja California, Mexico:
- 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 3-7, San Felipe, Mexico
- 51st SCORE Baja 500, May 29-June 2, Ensenada, Mexico
- Inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, Sept. 19-23, Ensenada, Mexico
- 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.19-24, Ensenada, Mexico
ABC TV IN 2019
The 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship will be televised on the ABC TV family of networks, marking the first time back on the ABC network since the 1967 and 1968 coverage of the Baja 1000 on ABC’s old Wide World of Sports show.
The one-hour shows on the 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250, 51st SCORE Baja 500 and the 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 will be televised as part of ABC’s World of X Games year-long programming. Presented by SCORE sponsors Monster Energy and BFGoodrich Tires, the ABC World of X Games series profiles iconic action sports figures and also highlights athletes, artists, event previews and recaps.
The show for the SCORE San Felipe 250 is scheduled to air on ABC on Saturday, June 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. PT. Check local listings for time in each area of the country.
The inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 next September will air as a one-hour special on ESPN TV.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows will continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel and official race title sponsor, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.