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 – Seems definitely fitting for a golden celebration of a major desert race that launched the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, the Grand Marshal for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 would be a racer who won his class a record 17 times.
Iconic Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart has gladly accepted the invitation to be the Grand Marshal of the race that earned him the most admired nickname in all of desert racing while celebrating his birthday week each year.
The man, the myth and the legend, whose birthday is on June 4, will be an active part 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 as 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 when it is held this year in Ensenada on May 30-June 3. 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 39 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 posted a $25,000 contingency bonus for the overall winner of the golden anniversary race.
SCORE is honored to have the legendary desert racer known by his legions of fans as the ‘Ironman’, who turns 73 on June 4 as the Grand Marshal of this year’s race.
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 500s (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.
MacCachren, the Herbst brothers, Gordon and Andy McMillin are all still racing in SCORE Trophy Truck. Ragland races at time in the Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class and both Smith and Ashley are retired from desert racing.
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.
Ivan Stewart’s SCORE Baja 500 class wins
Ivan Stewart — 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999
Ivan Stewart’s SCORE Baja 500 Overall wins
1975—Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
1976—Bobby Ferro/Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
1977—Ivan Stewart, Chenowth-VW
1991—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
1992—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
1993—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
1994—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
1997—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
1998—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
1999—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
NOTE: From 1994 through 1997 SCORE Trophy Truck ran as its own series