January 14, 2012
Round 2 on Sunday
B.J. Baldwin wins overall, SCORE Trophy Truck, Pfankuch Class 1
During Saturday’s Rd 1 at 18th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
RPM Off Road wins five classes; other class winners include Robinson, Moss, Chamlee, Bevley III
Entries from 15 U.S. states and six countries in Laughlin Rounds 1 & 2 of 2012 SCORE Desert Series
LAUGHLIN, Nev.—With fire in his eyes, hunger in his belly and new tires on his race truck, Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin was able to keep his new year’s resolution by winning the overall and SCORE Trophy victory at Saturday’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge by diligently racing his No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado to a winning time of 53 minutes, 45 seconds averaging 55.81 miles hour over eight laps of the rugged 6.25-mile desert race course.
With entries from 15 U.S states along with Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Mexico, Round 2 of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series will be held Sunday along the banks of the Colorado River in the Southern Nevada resort destination of Laughlin. Competition is being held for 20 Pro and three Sportsman classes for race buggies and trucks.
The classes are divided into groups for five multi-lap races each day. The start/finish line area and main pits will once again be located at the Laughlin Events Park just off of Casino Drive in Laughlin. The day-long second race of the weekend will start Sunday at 7 a.m.
Launching its 39th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization in 2012, Sal Fish’s SCORE International is holding the first major motorsports events of the year in the United States in Laughlin, 90 miles Southeast of Las Vegas.
For the first time in the history of the event, each day of the two-day Laughlin gathering has separate race events for purposes of championship points, prize money and trophies.
Baldwin, who won both the 2006 and 2008 SCORE Trophy Truck season point titles, survived a tight battle for the five laps with fellow Las Vegas Rob MacCachren, finally pulling away on the sixth lap when MacCachren was had to stop to change a flat tire. Baldwin, who was also the fast qualifier for the race and started first Saturday, led physically the entire race although on corrected time he was in a dead heat with MacCachren after three laps and had a 10-second lead after five laps before MacCachren had to stop to change a tire.
Winning the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge for the third time in the last seven years, Baldwin did not finish any of the four races he ran in last year’s SCORE Desert Series and made a strong commitment to himself and his team to changes things in 2012.
“I made a personal commitment to myself and my team at the end of 2011 to never let anything get in the way of pursuit of a victory,” said Baldwin 32. “Running our race team like a business has sometimes gotten in the way of that and I’m over it, my team’s over it and we are done losing. 2012 is going to be our best year. I’d like to thank everybody that lives here in Laughlin and everybody that lets us race down here. This is a wonderful place to put on an event.”
“We were going to try and go slow for the first three laps because it is so hard on equipment but Rob MacCachren just wouldn’t let us do that. He was pushing the pace and I was trying to go as slow as I can but still go fast. He was catching me a second a lap and then on one of the laps I put three seconds on him and then the next lap he got a flat. To lose to Rob would be awesome but to beat him is even better.”
With SCORE Trophy Trucks, the premier SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks earning eight of the top 10 overall finishing positions, winning the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars and finishing fifth overall was Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., teammate of driver of record Steven Eugenio, El Centro, Calif., drove a Chevy-powered Jimco to the class win in 56:12 while averaging 53.38mph.
Finishing second over and in SCORE Trophy-Truck was RPM Off Road driver Juan Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, who crossed the finish line1:06 behind Baldwin in 54:51, averaging 54.69 in the No. 18 Chevy Silverado while third, 25 seconds behind Lopez and 1:31 behind Baldwin was Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale in the No. 98 TSCO Racing Ford F-150.
Steven Strobel, Clarks, Nebraska, finished fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 94 Strobel Motorsports Ford F-150 in 55:38 with an average speed for the eight laps of 53.92mph.
Gary Weyhrich’s younger brother Mark Weyhrich finished sixth overall and fifth in SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 9 TSCO Racing Ford F-150 with a time of 56:18 and an average speed of 53.29mph.
With nine entries in this year’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, RPM Off Road of Bristol, Tenn. won five classes in addition to Lopez’s second in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Mexico’s Eduardo Laguna and Rodolfo Iribe won Class 6 (Chevy Colorado) and Class 8 (Chevy Silverado) respectively for RPM Off Road while driver of record Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. was credited with two class wins (Class 2-PSD-Chevy and Class 5-1600-VW Baja Bug) although Steve Arlia, Phoenix and Thomas Fernandez, Ensenada, Mexico, both drive Saturday and Stacy will drive both on Sunday to remain eligible for season points. RPM’s fifth class win Saturday was earned by Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va., in Class 4 in another PSD-Chevy.
In the closest class race of the race, Clemson University freshman Rafael Navarro IV, the defending season class champ in his class defeated Otoniel Huerta, San Luis, Ariz., in SCORE Lites by just two seconds in his Jimco-VW.
Adding to his record of most class winners in the this race was Donald Moss of Sacramento, Calif. who won Class 3 for the ninth time in a Ford Bronco.
Earning his fifth class win in Laughlin was San Diego’s Kevin Carr (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug).
Besides Baldwin, also winning his class for a third time in Laughlin was Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7).
A total of 78 vehicles of the 99 starters in the race finished their required laps, a finishing rate of an astonishing 78.8 percent.
The featured SCORE Trophy Trucks and the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars will both race eight laps Sunday with SCORE Trophy Trucks starting at 1 p.m. followed by Class 1 at 3 p.m. With vehicles starting one every 15 seconds in the elapsed-time race, all vehicles will have 85 minutes each day to complete their required laps to become an official finisher in the race.
General admission tickets available at the event for the three spectator areas–the start/finish line area at the Laughlin Events Park, the SCORE Hill overlooking the infield area of the start/finish line area, and the ‘Cougar Corral’ located adjacent to the west end of the course by Laughlin High School.
General admission, per person, per day, IS $10 for the start/finish and infield area, $5 for the SCORE Hill and $5 for the ‘Cougar Corral’.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of November’s 45th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 which will be a peninsula run starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Desert Series are:
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Baja 1000 are:
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Las Vegas Events, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
All-Time Overall Winners
1995—Ivan Stewart, SCORE Trophy Truck
Ed/Tim Herbst, Class 1
1996—Rob MacCachren, SCORE Trophy Truck
Ryan Thomas, Class 1
1997—Ed/Tim Herbst, SCORE Trophy Truck
Mark Post, Class 1
1998—David Ashley/Dan Smith, SCORE Trophy Truck
1999—Troy Herbst, Class 1
2000—Gary/Mark Weyhrich, Class 1
2001—Steve Sourapas, Class 1
2002—Dale/Mike Dondel, Class 1
2003—Dale Ebberts, Class 1
2004—Gary Dircks, SCORE Trophy Truck
2005—Dale Ebberts, Class 1
2006—B.J. Baldwin, SCORE Trophy Truck
2007—B.J. Baldwin, SCORE Trophy Truck
2008—Pat Dean, Class 1
2009—Robby Gordon, SCORE Trophy Truck
2010—Andy McMillin, SCORE Trophy Truck
2011—Bryce Menzies, SCORE Trophy Truck
2012, Round 1—B.J. Baldwin, SCORE Trophy Truck
2012, Round 2 (Sunday, Jan. 15)—TBD