July 26, 1974 – iconic date that began the legacy of SCORE—
the legendary SCORE Baja 500 celebrating its 51st year
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;
May 29 to June 2; Racer registration, event info available at
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—To everything there is a beginning and the launch of SCORE International’s remarkable history in Mexico came on July 26, 1974 when what has become the World’s Foremost Desert Racing organization took over and officially produced its first SCORE Baja race – the SCORE Baja Internacional in Ensenada.
The Baja 500 was actually started in 1969 by the NORRA organization but because of legal challenges regarding the use of the name after NORRA was removed as the official U.S desert racing promoter in Mexico by the government at the end of 1972, SCORE had to use the name SCORE Baja Internacional for nearly two decades.
Eventually then-SCORE owner Sal Fish was able to negotiate the use of the original name of the race and it became duly registered as the SCORE Baja 500. In 1973, the Baja 500 was organized and produced by a local tourism group called the Baja Sports Committee.
This month’s internationally-televised 51st SCORE Baja 500 will be Round 2 of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship. It will be held May 29-June 2 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
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 3:30 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 at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada.
Over 300 vehicles are expected at the start line with racers from over 30 U.S. 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.
ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration, by class, for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, is ongoing through the SCORE website at http://score-international.com/raceinfo/2019-baja-500/.
Following the 2017 epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship spotlighted the special tribute to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500.
The 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 was held on May 28-June 3, 2018. Round 2 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship was held once again in Ensenada. With 321 official starters and 187 official finishers, the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck winner was Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, who raised his class record to 17 career race wins in the marquee racing division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks.
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization.
With tremendous assistance from Ensenada tourism advocate Nico Saad, Mickey Thompson and his fledgling 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 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 all-time SCORE Baja races. Because of legal issues with original race promoter NORRA (1969-1972), SCORE had to call the race the SCORE Baja International for over a decade. Sal Fish negotiated the ownership of the name and starting in 1991 it has been called the SCORE Baja 500, even though it was always called the Baja 500 by racers and fans alike.
Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as this year the popular summertime race will start for the 46th time there and finish for the 42nd time there.
Only four times has the race not been held in Ensenada at all. Because of continuing friction between the government and landowners, Sal Fish moved 1984 to the desert near Barstow, Calif., USA and again in 1989 for the same reason Fish moved the race to San Felipe.
Because of the growth of the population in Ensenada, Fish started and finished the race in Ojos Negros in both 1991 and 1992.
Again because the city couldn’t identify an appropriate route back into Ensenada, the race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas four times (1988, 1990, 1994 and 1995). In 1993, SCORE was forced to start the race in Ojos Negros and finish in Santo Tomas.
Without exception starting in 1996, the SCORE Baja 500 has started and finished in Ensenada. The race started and finished for nearly two decades in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and left town and returned to the city by running up and the Ensenada Arroyo (wash) for nearly two miles each way in front of upwards of 50,000 spectators to the outskirts of town and on to the Ojos Negros area. This year it will start and finish in the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium at the Estero Beach Resort and Hotel, 12.2 miles south of the center of Ensenada.
The most starters and finishers in the history of this great race happened in 2007 when 492 total vehicles officially started the race and 283 of them were official finishers.
Overall winners in the SCORE Baja 500 are a virtual who’s who in the world of desert racing motorsports. And most of them made their names synonymous with the sport with their exploits in this popular race. Their accomplishments in this race have made them famous and their notoriety has made this race even more popular for five decades.
A book is being written about the 50th-anniversary race and all of the multi-time overall winners of this magnificent SCORE desert race but suffice it to say for now that these heroes of SCORE Baja racing will never be forgotten. And more than a few of them are still competing vigorously for more etchings in the granite blocks of all-time champs of the SCORE Baja 500.
Desert racers like Ivan Stewart, Larry Roeseler, Bobby Ferro, Parnelli Jones, Larry Ragland, Robby Gordon, Malcolm Smith, Dr. Bud Feldkamp, Troy Herbst, Bryce Menzies, Steve Hengeveld, Johnny Campbell, Rob MacCachren and McMillin family racers—Corky, Scott, Mark, and Andy—are all part of the eternal legacy of all-time overall winners of the legendary SCORE Baja 500.
Overall champions of the SCORE Baja 500 are led by Larry Roeseler, still racing in the SCORE TT Legend class, with a race-record 11 overall wins, including a race-record nine on motorcycles. Ivan Stewart is one behind with a race-record 10 overall 4-wheel vehicle wins including the 1994 race which was the debut of the Sal Fish-created marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division.
Hollywood stunt driver supreme Bobby Ferro and former NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon each have four overalls in the SCORE Baja 500 as does ‘On Any Sunday’ film star Malcolm Smith (including one on a motorcycle). Gordon is still an active racer in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Lightning Larry Ragland has five overall victories and Dr. Feldkamp, Troy Herbst, the youngest of the three Herbst racing brothers and Bryce Menzies, a Red Bull international racer, each has three overall SCORE Baja 500 wins. Herbst and Menzies are both still racing in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck class.
Parnelli Jones was the 1963 Indy 500 winner who won the overall in the SCORE Baja 500 in 1970 and 1973 in the iconic purpose-built ‘Big Oly’ Ford Bronco.
Besides Roeseler’s nine overall motorcycle victories, Steve Hengeveld has seven overall two-wheel wins and Johnny Campbell has five. While Campbell is now a team owner and retired from SCORE Baja racing on a motorcycle, Hengeveld has switched to four wheels and is a second-driver this year for COPSs Racing owner/driver John Langley in the Trophy Truck Spec class.
Starting with the family patriarch, the late Corky McMillin, the McMillin family has combined for 10 overall victories in the SCORE Baja 500. Corky had two wins, his son Scott and Mark each had three and Scott’s son Andy has two overall SCORE Baja 500 titles including 2017.
Three other very capable McMillin family racers on the horizon looking for their first overall are Scott’s daughter Jessica and Mark’s sons, Dan and Luke.
A trio of racers from Las Vegas has multiple overall wins in this race. Troy Herbst has three (1996, 2002 and 2003) as does Bryce Menzies who has three overall wins (2011, 2012 and 2014) and Rob MacCachren has six class wins, several top-five finishes and two overall victories in this race (1996, 2018).
Also on the overall winner’s list with one 4-wheel victory each are active racers B.J. Baldwin (2008), Kory Halopoff (2009), Mike Julson (1995), Curt LeDuc (1995), Harley Letner (2009), Bryce Menzies (2011, 2012, 2014)(, Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (2015) and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr (2016).
ESTERO BEACH S/F
Start/finish line area for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 to the Lucas Oil Off-Road Stadium on the grounds of the Estero Beach Hotel & Resort, 12.2 miles south of downtown Ensenada. This will mark the first time the race has started at the popular luxury resort.
SCORE has also announced that 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.
Colorful race week festivities will be expanded to help celebrate another big anniversary of SCORE’s first Baja race.
Chassis inspections will be held on Thursday (May 30) 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 7 p.m. to 12 midnight.
On-site Racer Registration and Media Registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (May 29-31) at the Mayapan Conference Center at the Estero Beach Resort.
Racer registration will be held on Wednesday (May 29) from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT, on Thursday (May 30) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday (May 31) 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 (May 29) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday (May 30-31).
Friday (May 31) 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 8 a.m. contingency row will be held all classes. Tech inspection on that day will also start at 8 a.m. at the end of the manufacturer’s row.
During the race on Saturday, June 1 until the course closes on Sunday morning, June 2, 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.
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.
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official race course for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will begin at 8 a.m. PDT on Saturday, May 18 starting at race mile 30 and finishing at race mile 470. The 30-mile section from the start and back to the finish will be available for pre-running starting at 8 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31.
The official SCORE Racer Brief, course map, and GPS files will be available by 8 p.m. PDT on Thursday, May 16.
Today, the SCORE Baja 500 continues the tradition each year adding to its lasting legacy while building an even more memorable future of SCORE Baja racing.
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
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 a 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 sponsor 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 inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 next September will air as a one-hour special on ESPN.
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.
SCORE Baja 500 All-Time Overall Champions (1969 thru 2018)
1969—Bud Ekins/Guy Jones, Baja Boot-Olds
Doug Douglas/Jim McClurg, Ducati
1970—Parnelli Jones, Ford
Bill Silverthorn/Gene Fetty, Husqvarna
1971—Bobby Ferro, Funco-VW
Malcolm Smith/J.N. Roberts, Husqvarna
1972—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Gene Fetty/Bill Silverthorn, Honda
1973—Parnelli Jones, Ford
Howard Utsey/Mickey Quade, Husqvarna
1974—Bobby Ferro, Sandmaster-VW
Mitch Mayes/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna
1975—Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Harley-Davidson
1976—Bobby Ferro/Ivan Stewart, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/A.C. Bakken, Husqvarna
1977—Ivan Stewart, Chenowth-VW
Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson, Husqvarna
1978—Bud Feldkamp/Malcolm Smith, Funco-VW
Brent Wallingsford/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1979—Malcolm Smith/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Jack Johnson, Husqvarna
1980—Bob Gordon, Chenowth-Chevy
Bruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller, Yamaha
1981—Malcolm Smith/Bill Newbury, Chenowth-Chevy
Larry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie, Yamaha
1982—Larry Ragland, Funco-VW
Larry Roeseler/Chuck Miller, Yamaha
1983—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-VW
Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna
1984—Larry Ragland, Chaparral-VW
Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft, Husqvarna
1985—Ron Gardner/Bud Feldkamp, Funco-VW
Kurt Pfeiffer/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1986—Corky & Scott McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Garth Sweetland/Scot Harden, Husqvarna
1987—Bob Gordon/Tim Crabtree, Chenowth-Porsche
Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki
1988—Mark McMillin, Chenowth-Porsche
Dan Ashcraft/Kurt Pfeiffer, Yamaha
1989—Robby Gordon, Ford
1990—Robby Gordon, Ford
Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte, Kawasaki
1991—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Garth Sweetland/Paul Krause, Kawasaki
1992—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr/Paul Krause, Kawasaki
1993—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Danny Hamel/Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki
1994—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Dave Ashley/Dan Smith, Ford
Paul Krause/Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Kawasaki
1995—Curt LeDuc, Jeep (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Mike Julson/Bob Lofton, Jimco-VW
Paul Krause/Craig Smith, Kawasaki
1996—Rob MacCachren, Ford (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Troy Herbst, Smithbuilt, Smithbuilt-Porsche
Paul Krause/Ty Davis, Kawasaki
1997—Ivan Stewart, Toyota (SCORE Trophy Truck)
Mark McMillin, Jimco-Porsche
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda
1998—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie, Honda
1999—Ivan Stewart, Toyota
Jonah Street/Torsten Borstrom, Honda
2000—Larry Ragland, Chevy
Jonah Street/Steve Hengeveld, Honda
2001—Mark McMillin, Jimco-Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Jonah Street, Honda
2002—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2003—Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler, Smithbuilt-Ford
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2004—Alan Pflueger, Chevy
Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell, Honda
2005—Robby Gordon, Chevy
Mike Childress/Mouse McCoy, Honda
2006—Brian Collins/Larry Ragland, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda
2007—Larry Ragland/Brian Collins, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Steve Hengeveld, Honda
2008—B.J. Baldwin, Chevy
Robby Bell/Kendall Norman, Honda
2009—Harley Letner/Kory Halopoff, Tatum-Chevy
Bill Boyer/Donnie De Arman/Nicholas Blais/Rudy Iribe, Honda
2010—Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Ford
Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda
2011—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody, Honda
2012—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Robby Bell/David Pearson/Steve Hengeveld, Kawasaki
2013—Robby Gordon, Chevy
Timmy Weigand/Colton Udall/David Kamo, Honda
2014—Bryce Menzies, Ford
Ricky Brabec/David Pearson/Max Eddy Jr, Kawasaki
2015—Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez, Chevy
Ricky Brabec/Max Eddy Jr/Justin Morgan/Ian Young, Kawasaki
2016—Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, Ford
Colton Udall, Mark Samuels, Honda
2017—Andy McMillin, Ford
Francisco Arredondo/Shane Esposito/Justin Morgan/Roberto Villalobos, Honda
2018—Rob MacCachren, Ford
Justin Morgan/Mark Samuels/Justin Jones, Honda
NOTE: From 1994 through 1997 SCORE Trophy Truck ran as its own series
SCORE Baja 500 Overall Champions
Cars & Trucks
Gus Vildosola Jr
*9 on a motorcycle
**1 on a motorcycle
Ted Hunnicutt Jr
Max Eddy Jr
Overall 4wheel Vehicle Trucks/SUVs*
*Includes 1994-97 (54 Total)
Overall Engine Winners
Cars & Trucks*
*Includes 1994-97 (54 total)
(missing 4 years)
Western Auto Tires