No. 77 Gordon, No. 7 Menzies, No. 1 Lopez top qualifiers
in SCORE Trophy Truck for 48th annual SCORE Baja 500
C. Parkhouse, Davis, Huerta Jr top three qualifiers in unlimited Class 1
Round 2 of 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship on 477.52-mile course;
Entries from 24 U.S. states 11 countries in Ensenada, Mexico;
Tecnovision producing LIVE streaming; vehicle tracking at www.SCORE-international.com
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico –Former NASCAR team owner Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., returned to his desert-racing roots posting the fastest qualifying time Thursday to earn the first 4-wheel vehicle starting position in Saturday’s internationally-televised 48th annual SCORE Baja 500. Entries from around the world are officially entered in Round 2 of the 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship, being held this week in Mexico’s Baja California Norte, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 85 miles south of San Diego.
Driving his durable and dependable No. 77 Speed Energy Chevy Silverado, Gordon, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., and has five class wins including four overall titles in this race, covered the 5.3-mile desert test course near Uruapan, 25 miles south of Ensenada, in seven minutes, 26.59 seconds, averaging 42.71 miles per hour. Gordon has now qualified fastest in this race for three straight years.
This is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday as the green flag on Saturday drops first for the motorcycles and quads at 5:30 a.m. and approximately 10 a.m. for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to complete the rugged 477.52-mile course in over nine hours, all vehicles will have a 21-hour time limit to become an official finisher in the grueling race.
With late entries accepted on-site until the close of registration on Friday, over 50 entries are expected at the start line with entries from 24 U.S. States and 11 countries already in the field. Besides the USA and host country Mexico, other countries represented on the starting grid so far are Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala Japan and the Netherlands.
Among the entries are 91 racers who have combined for 245 class wins in this historic race.
SCORE BAJA FIESTA
This year is the 48th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
Colorful race week festivities started with qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck and Class 1 followed by the Monster Energy SCORE Kick Off Party on Thursday from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the start/finish line area in the heart of Ensenada. With donations for La Cruz Roja Mexicana (Mexico’s Red Cross), the event will be include a racer’s autograph party and vehicle display.
Friday will see the day-long, pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and contingency festival in the start finish line area in Ensenada.
On Friday evening, the Monster Energy Papas Y Beer SCORE Street Party will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight on Avenida Ruiz in downtown Ensenada.
During the race on Saturday the Monster Energy SCORE VIP hospitality area, will be part of the start/finish line compound. The area will also include the massive Tecnovision LED screens broadcasting race festivities and start and finish line interviews.
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.
With qualifying for the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks and the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars, 30 of 31 entries in SCORE Trophy Truck and nine of 20 entries in Class 1 ran in the qualifying session. The vehicles that didn’t qualify will start at the back of their respective classes.
Second-fastest qualifier was Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies, in the No. 7 Menzies Motorsports Ford Raptor in 7:32.65, just under six seconds behind leader Gordon. Third was Mexico’s defending season point champion Carlos Lopez, of Tecate, Mexico, in the RPM Racing No. 1 Ford F-150, while fourth was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, with a time of 7:40.80 in the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 while fifth was Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., in the No. 4 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck in 7:41.00.
The top three qualifiers in Class 1 were No. 127 Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., in 7:49.57 in a Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. Second was Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., in 7:53.86 in the No. 185 Porter-Chevy and third was Jaime Huerta Jr, Calexico, Calif. in 7:59.99 in the No. 175 Racer-Chevy, fourth was Paul Keller in 8:24.61 in a Jimco-Chevy and fifth was Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif., in 8:34.50 in a Jefferies-Chevy.
AT THE RIVIERA
The Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, in the heart of Ensenada, will again be the site of many of the activities surrounding the SCORE Baja 500. Racer registration and Media registration will be held in the Red room at the Riviera on Thursday and Friday and the SCORE Media Center will be in the Red room during the race with internet access and live race updates, vehicle tracking displays including unofficial elapsed times.
In the Cathedral Room at the Riviera will be pre-race media conference as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting on Friday. The post-race awards celebration will be in the Cathedral Room at noon on Sunday.
The start/finish line for the race will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Blvd. Costero.
Here are Thursday’s official qualifying results…
48th SCORE Baja 500
Round 2 of four-race 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship
June 2-5, 2016—477.52 miles
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
Total Entries: 225 (as of 6/2/16)
(from 24 U.S. States, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands)
Thursday’s Qualifying Results
(Qualifying determined class starting order)
Position, Vehicle Number, Driver of Record, Hometown, Vehicle, time, average speed for one lap of special 5.3-mile course
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)–
TOP QUALIFIER: 77 Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy Silverado, 7:26.59 (42.71miles per hour)
2. 7 Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas, Ford Raptor, 7:32.65 (42.15mph)
3. 1 Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck, 7:36.47 (41.80mph)
4. 11 Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 7:40.80 (41.41mph)
5. 4 Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., Chevy Rally Truck, 7:41.00 (41.39mph)
6. 83 Luke McMillin, San Diego, Ford F-150, 7:44.33 (41.10mph)
7. 31 Andy McMillin, San Diego, Ford Raptor, 7:46.01 (40.94mph)
8. 2 Jason McNeil, El Cajon, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:52.63 (40.40mph)
9. 44 Kyle Jergensen, Oak Hills, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:52.90 (40.34mph)
10. 23 Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif., Ford F-150, 7:55.18 (40.15mph)
11. 48 Jimmy Nuckles, Brawley, Calif./Armin Schwarz, Austria (Germany), Ford F-150, 8:02.00 (39.59mph)
12. 80 Todd Romano, Park City, Utah/T.J. Flores, Las Vegas, Nev., Chevy Silverado, 8:07.32 (39.15mph)
13. 21 Gus Vildosola Jr, Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Raptor, 8:10.17 (38.93mph)
14. 17 Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico, Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va., Chevy Silverado, 8:10.30 (38.92mph)
15. 97 B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Toyota Tundra, 8:11.47 (38.82mph)
16. 50 Zak Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Dale Dondel, Hemet, Calif., Ford F-150, 8:11.78 (38.80mph)
17. 20 Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif./Tyler McQuarrie, Martinez, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 8:17.21 (38.37mph)
18. 19 Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Brett Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Ford F-150, 8:20.06 (38.16mph)
19. 57 Mike Palmer, Denver, Chevy Silverado, 8:24.88 (37.79mph)
20. 84 Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif./Mike Vanderwey, Phoenix, Chevy Silverado, 8:25.54 (37.74mph)
21. 93 Chris Kemp, San Clemente, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 8:28.91 (37.49mph)
22. 58 Tracy Graf, Canada/Justin Smith, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 8:31.12 (37.33mph)
23. 75 Mike Cook, Provo, Utah/Todd Pederson, Orem, Utah, Chevy Silverado, 8:31.46 (37.31mph)
24. 13 Damen Jefferies, Apple Valley, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 8:39.68 (36.72mph)
25. 15 Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevy Silverado, 8:40.94 (36.63mph)
26. 3 Mark Post, Las Vegas/Ed Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 8:42.29 (36.53mph)
27. 30 Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif./Barry Karakas, Oak Hills, Calif., Ford F-150, 8:42.51 (36.52mph)
28. 91 Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif., Ford F-150, 8:43.69 (36.43mph)
29. 38 Eric Hustead, St. George, Utah/TJ Flores, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 8:47.71 (36.16mph)
30. 47 James Bult, Monee, Illinois, Dodge Ram 2500, 9:20.08 (34.07mph)
(Remaining start order for non-qualifiers)
45 Gary Magness, Denver/Devin Housh, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150
CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)–
1. 127 Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif./Brian Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 7:49.57 (40.63mph)
2. 185 Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., Porter-Chevy, 7:53.86 (40.27mph)
3. 175 Jaime Huerta Jr, Calexico, Calif./Jesus Martin, San Luis Rio Colorado, Calif., Racer-Chevy, 7:59.99 (39.75mph)
4. 111 Paul Keller, LaJolla, Calif./Steve Yoder, Jimco-Chevy, 8:24.61 (37.81mph)
5. 100 Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif./Danny Ebberts, Menifee, Calif., Jefferies-Chevy, 8:34.50 (37.08mph)
6. 110 Eric Chase, Sun Valley, Calif./Stuart Chase, Burbank, Calif., Penhall-Chevy, 8:48.32 (36.12mph)
7. 125 Scott Rueschenberg, Phoenix/Andy Grider, Los Olivos, Calif., Tatum-Chevy, 8:48.69 (36.09)
8. 195 Travis Chase, La Crecsenta, Calif., Don Chase, La Crecsenta, Calif., Porter/ESM-Chevy, 9:06.39 (34.92mph)
9. 147 Pat McCarthy, Hermosa Beach, Calif./Langley Kersenboom, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Nick de Avila, Hermosa Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 9:29.33 (33.51mph)
(Remaining start order for non-qualifiers)
10. 128 Brent Parkhouse, Bell Gardens, Calif./John Kohut, Jimco-Chevy
11. 153 Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif./John Herder, Tucson, Jimco-Chevy
12. 145 Mike Boone, Garden Grove, Calif./Pat Bell, Anchorage, Alaska, WickedCreations-Chevy
13. 187 Ryan Sharman, Phoenix/Paul Sharman, Phoenix, Tatum-Chevy
14. 105 Matt Cullen, Long Beach, Calif./Gregg Ryan, Temecula, Calif./Mike Lombardi, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy
15. 138 Brad Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./Kyle Quinn, Irvine, Calif./Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., Jimco-Chevy
16. 142 Steven Sells, Ketchum, Idaho, Champion-Chevy
17. 104 Rob Archibald, Lakeside, Calif., Jimco-Chevy
18. 131 George Peters, Newbury Park, Calif./Steve Barry/Brad Vicic, Racer-Chevy
19. 101 David Hunter, Orem, Utah/Jim Hunter, Orem, Utah, Jefferies-Chevy
20. 106 Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va./Christyan Samano, Ensenada, Mexico, Tatum-Chevy