GREENVILLE, S.C. – Nov. 23, 2009 – BFGoodrich® Tires, the official tire of the SCORE Desert Racing Series, won the overall four-wheel victory at the 42nd Annual SCORE Baja 1000 and claimed eight of the 10 overall spots. Earning his second overall four-wheel Baja 1000 victory, 22-year-old BFGoodrich Tires driver Andy McMillin along with his father Scott McMillin completed the 672.85 mile loop that began in Ensenada in the time of 14 hours 19 minutes 50 seconds, logging an average speed of 46.95 miles per hour. The victory signified Scott McMillin’s third class win and first overall crown. BFGoodrich Tires has won the overall four-wheel title at the SCORE Baja 1000 23 times over the last 24 years.
Andy McMillin started the race in the 17th position and drove the No. 31 McMillin Racing Chevy Silverado trophy truck equipped with BFGoodrich Tires 206 miles positioning the team seventh overall. At race mile 206, Andy handed the wheel off to his father Scott who fought hard for 294 miles through the San Felipe loop and Mike’s loop and took the overall lead. Andy navigated the remaining 173 miles of the Baja desert to the finish line in the heart of Ensenada.
“The plan was just to kind of take it easy and kind of let the race come to us,” said Andy McMillin. “Sal (Fish) laid out a really rough, tough course this year. We knew that it was going to take one trip that didn’t have any problems to get the win. That was our plan all day – stay smooth and not have any downtime, no flat (BFGoodrich) tires.”
Second overall were last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 winners and BFGoodrich Tires drivers Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler. Norman and Roeseler pressured the McMillins the entire race and finished their BFGoodrich Tires shod Norman Motorsports Ford F-150 32 minutes behind the overall winners in the time of 14 hours 52 minutes 27 seconds. No strangers to the Baja podium, Norman (1) and Roeseler (13) have combined for 14 overall four-wheel titles.
“BFGoodrich Tires races the SCORE Baja 1000 to prove the extreme capability of our tires in the most demanding off-road race on the planet,” said Roberts Kukainins, Motorsports Manager, BFGoodrich Tires. “We’ve built a solid record of performance with 23 overall victories in 24 years. This domination is the story of both our tires and the skill of the drivers who choose BFGoodrich. Eight additional class victories further prove that drivers choose BFGoodrich for the extreme terrain of the toughest off-road race. A heart congratulations to our teams for their achievements.”
After being honored by BFGoodrich Tires at Thursday’s SCORE Baja 1000 press conference for competing in every SCORE Baja 1000 race, veteran desert racer and BFGoodrich Tires driver Rod Hall captured two more class wins in the Stock Full and Stock Mini class to give him a total of 21 class wins over his incredible career. With the help of his sons and friends, Hall continued his streak as the only person in the history of the event to have raced all 42 years since it began in 1967.
For the third time at the SCORE Baja 1000, BFGoodrich Tires supported the entire Baja Challenge Class with Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tires, which brought home the entire seven-car field.
In addition to supplying its renowned Baja T/AKR tire, Baja T/AKRT tire and Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tire for the race, BFGoodrich Tires was on-site, providing extensive pit and communications support to more than 100 teams through its fleet of off-road motorsports support vehicles. More than 150 off-road enthusiasts/volunteers donated their time to help make the race happen.
BFGoodrich Tires, SCORE International and the Baja California State Secretary of Tourism also hosted an on-site media center during the event. Located next to the start/finish line, the media center served as a fully functioning newsroom including computers, a multi-function copier, work areas, wireless internet, bag check storage, along with meals throughout the race. Real-time video from the start/finish line, live tracking and race updates were also available courtesy of BFGoodrich Tires and International Racing Consultants (IRC)/Tracking International while SCORE International and supporting sponsors posted press information and results for use in developing stories during the race.
“Our overall victory and class wins at the 42nd running of the SCORE Baja 1000 wouldn’t be possible without the support of our volunteers and pit support specialists,” added Kukainis. “We thank each of these volunteers as they are the backbone of off-road racing. We also thank SCORE International, the Baja California State Secretary of Tourism and the wonderful people of Baja for welcoming BFGoodrich to the beautiful Baja peninsula.”
The following is a complete list of BFGoodrich Tires 2009 SCORE Baja 1000 class winners:
· SCORE Trophy Truck – Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin
· Class 1 – Jerry Penhall/Dan Martin
· Class 3 – Darren Skilton/Jon Krellwitz/Clive Skilton
· Class 5 – Kevin Carr/Perry McNeil
· Class 7 – Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee
· Stock Full – Chad Hall/Rod Hall
· Stock Mini – Rod Hall/Emily Miller/Mike Winkel
· Baja Challenge – Nick Baldwin/Brian Nix/MattCruson/Nick Johnson/Tom Cook
BFGoodrich Tires drivers earned eight of the top 10 overall four-wheel spots:
1. SCORE Trophy Truck – Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin (Trophy Truck class winner)
2. SCORE Trophy Truck – Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler
4. SCORE Trophy Truck – Gus Vildosola Jr./Gus Vildosola Sr.
6. SCORE Trophy Truck – Robby Pierce/Mike Julson
7. Class 1 – Jerry Penhall/Dan Martin (Class 1 winner)
8. Class 1 – Armin Schwarz/Martin Christensen
9. Class 1 – Randy Wilson/Ronny Wilson/Jeff Quinn
10. SCORE Trophy Truck – Mark McMillin/Brian Ewalt
The 672.85-mile course was completed by 185 vehicles, the sixth most in event history. This year’s race started for the 35th time and finished for the 20th time in Ensenada, 65 miles south of the U.S border from San Diego. The 328 starters is seventh most in the 42 years of the legendary Baja 1000. The most starters ever for the event was 431 in 2006. The Baja 1000 is the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula every year except 1974 when the international fuel crisis forced a cancellation. This year’s Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the sixth consecutive year, scheduled to air at 2 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 19 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 30 years, BFGoodrich Tires is involved in every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drifting, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock-crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com.