‘godfather’ Sal Fish, iconic ‘Ironman’ Ivan Stewart are co-Grand Marshals for upcoming golden anniversary of BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500
Start/Finish line area in front of Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in heart of Ensenada;
Round 2 of four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship to be televised internationally
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Originally announced as a single person, SCORE has confirmed that legendary Hall of Fame former SCORE owner Sal Fish has agreed to join Hall of Fame retired racer Ivan Stewart as co-Grand Marshals for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.
Fish, the ‘godfather’ of desert racing who ran SCORE from its Baja start in 1974 for 38 years through the end of the 2012 season joins the Iconic ‘Ironman’ Stewart to share duties for the special golden anniversary race that they both have been such a major part of over the years.
Fish, who will turn 79 on May 2 and Stewart who will turn 73 on June 4, will both be active parts of the celebration of the popular early summer race when it is held this year from May 30-June 3 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The race will be Round 2 of the internationally-televised four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship.
All four 2018 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the third consecutive year.
ANOTHER GOLDEN YEAR
Following last year’s epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship includes the special tribute to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500. Like all SCORE races, there will be classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
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 in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 38 years until he sold SCORE to Roger and Elise Norman 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 45th time there and finish for the 41st time there.
BFGoodrich Tires, the SCORE official tire for over 40 years, has also posted a $25,000 contingency bonus for the overall winner of the golden anniversary race.
Gracious as always, Fish returns to SCORE for another celebration after being Grand Marshal of last November’s epic 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
Fish joined founder Mickey Thompson in 1974 and immediately began to make SCORE and the sport more visible, especially on the international stage.
Fish broadened the exposure of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 until it became the premiere desert race in the world, now covered by national and international television as well as journalists from a dozen countries.
Fish developed TV coverage of the old SCORE Off-Road World Championships at the old Riverside International Speedway and created a number of highlights that made it a unique spectator event including creating the concept of “heavy metal” and “mini metal” divisions.
The marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division, for high-tech unlimited production trucks with upwards of 900 horsepower, was another innovation when Fish introduced the division in 1994.
The rewards of the SCORE position were varied. Hanging in his Malibu home-office is the copy of a resolution introduced in the California State Assembly by Assemblyman Richard Katz of the 39th District. The assembly honored Fish for “contribution to the sport of international off-road racing” and commended him for “his exemplary record of public service.”
Another early decision that helped raise the stature of the sport came when SCORE joined with the late Walt Lott and Lott’s High Desert Racing Association (HDRA) to produce a combined championship series of races unparalleled in the world. Together, Fish and Lott organized the major manufacturers into an advisory committee, which served to recommend technical and safety rules to the organizers, assist with public relations and communicate to participants. The combined HDRA/SCORE series ran from 1985-1991.
SCORE purchased HDRA outright, forming one organization in 1993.
Ever the visionary, Fish secured the Laughlin (Nevada) Tourism Council, in association with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and Las Vegas Events, as the title sponsor of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, held from 1995 through 2012. He also brought the LVCVA and LVE to SCORE for the annual SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300, which started in 1996 and ran through 2009.
Fish also produced the monumental once-in-lifetime Tecate SCORE Baja 2000 to help commemorate the advent of the new millennium in the year 2000, running the legendary race down the length of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico–from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas.
In 2007, Fish produced the monumental 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Festivities began in Tijuana, the actual start was in Ensenada, Baja California, and it finished in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur.
Fish was honored in December 2003, receiving the inaugural BFGoodrich Tires Motorsports Person of the Year award for his many contributions to the world of motorsports.
Fish also brought SCORE to the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Government in 2004 and 2005. SCORE provided significant logistical and operational support for the ongoing DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous robotic ground vehicles, a massive DARPA research project designed to assist the U.S. Military.
In 2005, Fish was the first recipient of a new Off-Road Lifetime Achievement award presented by Advanstar Communications at the Off-Road Impact Show in January.
In 2006, Fish was voted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, headquartered in Reno, Nev., and in 2003 he was enshrined into the Baja Legacy Hall of Fame, located at Horsepower Ranch near Ensenada, Mexico.
In February of 2010, Fish was honored for the third consecutive year by the Mexican Federation of Motorsports. During an elaborate formal awards presentation in Mexico City, Fish received the prized Silver Helmet Award for the third time.
Fish was also honored with a special Community Achievement Award and Charter Life Membership in 2005 by the Laughlin, Nev., Chamber of Commerce.
Governments, Governors and Mayors from every area where SCORE has produced events have honored Fish with special commendations and keys to the city.
A feature-length documentary, directed by Dana Brown, called ‘Dust To Glory’, was produced in association with SCORE International. Released in April, 2005, it was a tribute to the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
SCORE is also honored to have Stewart, the legendary desert racer known by his legions of fans as the ‘Ironman’, as the co-Grand Marshal of this year’s race with Fish.
Racing since 1973, Stewart joined the Toyota factory team in 1983 for Cal Wells at Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI). He had a total of 84 career off-road race victories in stadium, short course and desert.
Stewart won a record 17 races in Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group’s (MTEG) stadium series, a record 17 SCORE Baja 500 class wins (including 10 SCORE Baja 500 overall wins), three SCORE Baja 1000s, and five SCORE season class point titles, including SCORE overall point championships in 1990 and 1993.
IRONMAN SCORE TROPHY TRUCK
Stewart is one of the original desert racing stars that moved into the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 900 horsepower, unlimited production trucks when SCORE debuted the featured racing division in 1994.
In his final six years of racing (94-99), the Ironman won his SCORE Trophy Truck class nine times. He still stands tied for fifth in all-time SCORE Trophy Truck race wins after 127 total races in the 24-year history of the spectacular racing class. Stewart was a pioneer in the high-profile racing class along with champion drivers like Rob MacCachren, Walker Evans, Roger Mears, Larry Ragland, brothers Paul and Dave Simon, Jimmy Smith and Curt LeDuc.
Ahead of Stewart on the all-time SCORE Trophy Truck win list are SCORE legends Rob MacCachren, first with 15 race wins, brothers Ed and Tim Herbst, Larry Ragland and Robby Gordon who each has 11 SCORE Trophy Truck race wins.
Stewart is tied for fifth with nine SCORE Trophy Truck race wins with Andy McMillin and the team of Dan Smith/Dave Ashley.
He also won four SCORE World Championships at the old Riverside International Raceway and three MTEG stadium racing titles.
Stewart was a 2006 inductee in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. In 2009, Stewart was also inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions Breitbard Hall of Fame.
Stewart retired from racing in 2000. He continued to be instrumental in off road racing, becoming a founder in the ProTruck Racing Organization.
Currently, Stewart continues to be a special spokesperson for Toyota. Since Stewart’s retirement from racing, Toyota introduced the Toyota Tundra truck and soon afterwards produced a very limited number of trucks as the Ivan Stewart Ironman edition. These trucks featured a special Ivan Stewart signature package with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) wheels, grille, interior, and supercharger.
Ivan Stewart also became known in the video game circuit, lending his name and his style of stadium racing to a series of games entitled “Super Off Road. He wrote a book, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Ultimate Off-Road Adventure Guide (Motorbooks, 2007). He also appeared in the live action video for kids/Real Wheels video, “There Goes a Race Car.”
Stewart is from San Diego and still resides in the San Diego area.
Below is the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule. For the third consecutive year all four races are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
- 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 4-April 8, San Felipe, Mexico
- 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, May 30-June 3, Ensenada Mexico
- Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 19-23, Tijuana, Mexico
- 51st SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, El Rey Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 4 Wheel Parts, The Satellite Phone Store, Satellite Del Norte, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, CETTO Vineyards.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Sur State Government, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.