Saturday, June 03, 2006
SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (41)
62 Mike Voyles
39 Ron Whitton
27 David Scaroni
7 Scott Steinberger
76 Jesse Jones
86 Josh Baldwin
88 Ryan Arciero
83 Andy McMillin
2 Pete Sohren
38 Garron Cadiente
53 Jeff Stowers
3 Mark Post
26 Chris Robinson
17 Carl Renezeder
20 Mike Julson
30 Roger Norman
97 B.J. Baldwin
1 Bob Shepard
32 Juan C. Ibarra
80 Chad Ragland
4 Gus Vildosola
52 John Herder
25 Enrique Legaspy
58 Frank Thing
28 Alan Pflueger
12 Brian Collins
89 Robby Gordon
11 Dale Dondel
16 Cameron Steele
5 Marty Coyne
40 Chet Huffman
55 Luis Wallace
96 Bobby Baldwin
51 Kory Scheeler
15 Jim Beaver
19 Ed Herbst
31 Scott McMillin
50 Jerry Larimore
10 Michael Jacobson
69 Francisco Cervantes
75 Jerry Zaiden
CLASS 1 (41)
101 Damen Jefferies
102 Luis Ramirez Jr.
103 Josh Rigsby
104 Dale Ebberts
105 Jim Birmingham
106 Rick Wilson
107 Pat Dean
108 Richard Boyle
109 Danny Anderson
110 Lee Patten
111 Dan Myers
112 Troy Herbst
100 Mark McMillin
114 Kash Vessels
115 Brian Kirby
116 John Herder
117 Vincent DeJong
119 Buddy Feldkamp
121 Gary Weyhrich
122 Erick Murillo
123 Steve Sullivan
124 Dino Marquez
125 Joe Myers
126 Brian Parkhouse
127 Martin Christensen
129 Raymond Potter
131 Billy Robertson
132 Harley Letner
133 Cam Thieriot
134 Danny Ebberts
135 Randy Wilson
136 Chuck Hovey
137 Jamie Campbell
138 Rick Thomas
139 John Harrah
140 Scott Sellers
141 Eric Hamann
146 Gonzalo Pirron
147 Jarrett Lemley
148 Todd Romano
149 Daniel Moore
CLASS 1-2/1600 (32)
1601 Mario Gastelum
1603 Brian Burgess
1604 Max Hanberg
1605 Sammy Ehrenberg
1606 Carlos Bernaldez
1607 Adam Pfankuch
1608 Max Thieriot
1609 Craig Forrest
1610 Mike Sandoval
1611 Joe Barboa
1612 Ed Bonanni
1614 Rodrigo Ampudia Jr.
1615 Ray Files
1616 Daniel McMillin
1617 Brent Parkhouse
1618 Arturo Velazco
1619 David Caspino
1600 Caleb Gaddis
1622 Carlos Escobedo
1623 David Hendrickson
1624 John Manring
1625 Arnoldo Ramirez
1626 Daniel Garcia
1627 Brett Frederickson
1628 Alberto Medina
1643 William Lawrence
1644 John Krempp Jr.
1645 Gerardo Iribe
1646 Edgar Alvarez
1647 Daniel Lopez
1648 Eric Duran
1649 Rick Battey
CLASS 3 (3)
300 Donald Moss
301 Alejandro Cancino
302 Ken Leavitt
CLASS 5 (5)
501 David Bonner
502 George Seeley
504 Scott Hewitt
518 Luivan Voelker
519 Kevin Carr
CLASS 5/1600 (16)
551 Chad Mayernick
552 Danny Ledezma
553 James Tedford
554 Brent Shermak
555 Richard Garavito
556 Ruben Garcia
557 Rogelio Valenzuela
558 Gregorio Villarino
559 John Hsu
560 Alonso Angullo
573 Jesse Lopez
574 Hector Sarabia
575 Chris Andrus
576 Pedro Athie
577 Ernesto Arambula
550 Marcos Nunez
CLASS 7 (9)
701 Dan Chamlee
703 Victor Herrera Jr.
704 Scott Brady
705 Geoff Milke
706 Joshua Lynn
716 Alex Almaraz
717 A.J. Rodriguez
718 David Binns
719 Dennis Standrod
CLASS 7S (4)
721 Javier Avila
722 Mike Horner
724 Tyler Fox
739 Nick Moncure
CLASS 7SX (10)
741 Dan Street Jr.
742 Heidi Steele
743 Jesse Rodriguez
745 Doug Siewert
746 Ricardo Castanon
747 Eli Yee
757 John Holmes
758 Noe Sierra
759 Jeff Lloyd
CLASS 8 (9)
801 Nick Vanderwey
802 Glen Greer
803 Dave Raimonde
800 Todd Wyllie
805 Jamie Galles
806 Juan Carlos Lopez
807 Lowell Arnold
838 Noah Ostanik
839 Kurtis Kupiec
CLASS 9 (8)
901 David Boss
902 Sigal Greenberg
903 Forest Creasy
945 Tony Modica
946 Joe Castrey
900 Eric Fisher
948 Ramon Castro
949 John Scharf
CLASS 10 (20)
1001 Brian Etter
1002 Mark Weger
1003 Mark Hutchins
1004 Ron Dalke
1005 Todd Elam
1006 Carlos Cortez
1007 Will Higman
1008 Darren Hardesty
1009 Trevor Scherrer
1010 Lobsam Yee
1000 John Cooley
1012 Andy Grider
1013 Edgar Avalos
1014 Rick Ellison
1015 Jose Lopez
1016 Eduardo Gonzales
1017 Javier Robles
1018 Alex Crostwaithe
1019 Alejandro Mendez
1049 Billy Gasper
SCORE LITE (35)
1201 Jason Batulis
1202 Mike Belk
1203 Matt Drever
1204 Red Burgin
1205 Rich Roberts
1206 Craig Brabant
1207 Vic Bruckmann
1208 David Callaway
1209 Hector Garcia
1210 Ken Stroud
1211 John Kawell
1212 Rick St. John
1213 Mitch Mitchell
1214 Jim Greenway
1215 Greg Gustin
1216 David Willey
1217 Dwayne Reinert
1218 Bob Bingham
1219 Stan Potter
1220 Greg Foster
1221 Chuck Sacks
1222 Richard Cassey
1223 Mike Halliday
1224 Tito Tapia
1225 Matt Cullen
1200 Tim Noe
1227 Cameron Steele
1228 Randy Ross
1229 Ricardo Malo
1230 Victor Cesena
1231 Bob Hummel
1232 Luis Barragan
1247 Ruben Gutierrez
1248 Michael Deardoff
1249 James Marquez
CLASS 11 (7)
1101 Raul Ojeda
1102 Jake Muellen
1103 Raul Ortiz
1146 Rene Rodriguez
1100 Eric Solorzano
1148 Shelby Stahler
1149 Jason Gutzmer
STOCK FULL (6)
861 Josh Hall
860 John Griffin
863 Bob Graham
864 Chris Kasper
865 Terry Henn
879 Mark Handley
STOCK MINI (3)
761 Steve Kovach
778 Gavin Skilton
779 Rod Hall
245 Chris Lucas
203 James Wasson
222 J.R. Stanley
230 Robbie Pierce
234 Rob Reinertson
215 Cody Swanty
235 Jason Voss
226 Al Hogan
240 Rob Kittleson
204 Gus Vildosola Jr.
299 Joe Bednar
229 Tom Koch
221 Charley McDowell
236 Rick L. Johnson
250 Gary Magness
CLASS 17 (2)
1701 Bob Land
1702 Bill Zolg
CLASS 22 (16)
2x Johnny Jensen
3x Chris Gunnett
4x Robert Barnum
5x Rick Williams
6x Robby Bell
8x Gary Cluff
9x Scott Thompson
10x Jesse Sharpe
11x Jon Ortner
12x Nate Scott
13x Logan Holladay
15x Jimmy Lewis
16x Nathan Verdugo
17x Rex Steerman
48x Cameron Steele
1x Steve Hengeveld
CLASS 20 (3)
151x Chad Erl
152x Karen Gagstetter
153x Alejandro Alcantara
CLASS 21 (13)
101x Brett Helms
102x Kevin Johnson
103x Octavio Ascolani
104x Marco Bernaldez
105x Chris Parker
106x Shaun Hanson
100x Jason Trubey
108x Ernesto Inowe
109x Ryan Baillargeon
110x Martin Bejarano
111x Kenneth Lopez
112x Alfredo Contreras
149x Ruben Hale
CLASS 30 (19)
301x Brian Pinard
302x Robert Barnum
303x Scott Johnson
304x Kevin Smith
305x George Hecker
307x Matt Engstler
309x Dale Mcue
310x Corey Keysar
311x Baron Pickett
312x Robert Gustine
313x Ron Wilson
315x Darin Hecker
316x Alan Casner
317x J. David Ruvalcaba
318x Gary Sparks
319x Sergio Vega
320x Robert Laughlin
348x Adam Dia
300x Gerardo Rojas
CLASS 40 (12)
401x Jim Buckingham
402x Brian Schmuckle
403x Michael Laenger
404x Larry Gross
405x David Rentfro
406x Gwin Vaughn
407x Kevin Gould
408x David McKay
400x Jim O’Neal
410x Brett Helm
411x Daryl Hambleton
412x Steve Luly
CLASS 50 (4)
501x Doug Smith
500x Jim O’Neal
503x Tim Savin
504x Eizaburo Karasawa
CLASS 25 (18)
2a John Padgett
3a Alex Camanini
1a Josh Frederick
5a Wayne Matlock
6a Francisco Ruano
7a Robert Ulloa
8a Dean Sundahl
9a Jeff Hancock
10a Danny Prather
11a Nick Nelson
12a Josh Fink
14a Adolfo Arellano
15a Arnie Pruneda Jr.
16a Miguel Batisdas
17a Ike Bruckmnn
18a Carlos Juarez
48a Randy Dyer
49a Kyle Needham
SPT CAR (6)
1401 Heather Bonanni
1402 Peter Lang
1403 Rob Caveney
1404 Adolfo Aguilar
1405 Jesus Jimenez
1449 William Akrawi
SPT TRUCK (10)
1500 Mark Growe
1501 Ray Schooley
1502 Marshall Madruga
1503 Luke Gibson
1504 Steven Looney
1545 Nick Tonelli
1546 Brandon Walsh
1547 Scott Tannahill
1548 Karl Wong
1549 Matt Torian
SPT UTV (4)
1801 Lonnie Banks
1802 Francisco Quiroz
1803 Jeffrey Sonn
1804 Cory Sappington
SPT M/C< (7)
201x Cody Ard
202x Kurt Steffien
203x Kitahiro Omuro
204x Kenji Oikawa
205x Eloy Meza
206x Alberto Gonzales
207x Tony Gurule
SPT M/C> (55)
251x Morgan Harris
252x Mike Kunz
253x Mike Crawford
254x Carlos Gonzalez
255x Eugene Lane
256x Ed Bowen
257x Kris McDonald
258x Thomas Cushman
259x Jeff Leonard
260x Scott Mills
261x Tom LaJoie
262x Greg Stevenson
263x Jeffrey Crochiere
264x Adam McCamish
265x Robert Corder
266x Charlie Wilson
267x Kevin Krasner
268x James Kabisch
269x Alastair Hilson
270x Thierry Mas
272x Robert Gumser
273x Luis Manzano
275x Lance Kane
276x Yoshiori Sato
277x Michael Mannsberger
278x John Jamison
279x Dan Roush
281x Dave Donaldson
282x Aaron Dodson
283x Steve Soto
285x Bill Gilbert
286x Todd Winslow
287x Michael Nielsen
288x Colie Potter
290x Michael Stain
291x Terry Curtis
601x Luis Napoles
602x Sunny Irvine
603x John Vizmeg
604x Edy Cuesta
605x Paul Traegde
606x Brady Eaves
607x Carlos Quel
608x Mike Schelin
609x Jose Saldana
610x Steve Garver
691x Ivan Rivera
292x Marc Ebdrup
293x Simon Edwards
294x Mark Hellwig
295x Glen McGuire
296x Matt Watson
297x Brady Van Matre
298x David Edwards
299x Brian Matthews
SPT ATV (30)
51a Stefano Caputo
52a Stephen Babiarz
53a Jason Stratton
54a Brian Meurs
55a Oswaldo Walle
56a Craig Christy
57a John Nores
58a Jose Escudero
59a Joseph Field
60a Rene de la Rocha
61a David McCarroll
62a Heriberto Martinez
63a Luis Salgado
64a Jessica McCreary
65a Carlos Sanchez
66a Carlos Chong
67a Esequlel Lopez
68a Brianna Mancillas
69a J.A. Covas
70a Jorge Suarez
71a Salvador Carrillo
72a Daniel Salazar
73a Jorge Cosio
92a Soren Melin
93a Javier Beltran
94a Gustavo Figueroa
95a Miguel Arellano
96a Juan Leyva
98a Scott Ferguson
99a Jason Wade
Another CODE RED : OVER
1225 Hits Rock, co-driver broke back at RM 121 needs airlift!
SCORE OPS says choppers getting airborne now.
Chopper says he is 15 miles out, but, a report says there is no good landing zone(LZ) near the race vehicle, 1225. co-Driver on a backboard and the racing effort, "we've pulled the plug!".
La Chica Loca Jessica McCreary 64a just came through RM145 shaking her left hand
Class 8 leader Nick Vanderwey through RM145 with 806 chasing him down.
First ProTuck through RM145 was Vildosola at 2:35PM with missing body panels and damaged hood.
Following Vildosola is #235 Jason Voss thru RM145 at 2:37PM
Third is 221 Charley McDowell at 2:41PM
Robbie Pierce in the Mastercraft ProTruck through RM145 at 2:44PM
27, 86, 83 leading at RM 148 , Gordon Truck blasting through the pit area.
SMD under the knife at the pits, in for long stay over ten minutes, left rear side problems. Mex-Logistics TT goes into pit for fuel.
Flueger rolls in for tire changes hauls out fast, Collins-Ragland clean stop, now in Shepard. Todd Clement TT in, Arciero truck in, BJ Baldwin in, Pistol Pete in, Mark Post in, Chad Ragland in,
Lots of tires being swapped out.
Leaders are Ebberts in the Inland Truss Class 1 followed by Danny Anderson/John Marking in the Viejas Casino car and in third position is Damen Jeffries.
1. Dale Ebberts / Ernie Castro
2. Danny Anderson / John Marking
3. Damen Jeffries
Bob Gordon driving the Hummer H3 through El Rayo preparing to give the H3 to his son, NASCAR driver / SCORE Champion - Robby Gordon at El Coyote.
SCORE OPS and Federal Highway Cops being notified!
Pontiac Bonneville Barrelrolls and flips over, one out, one still in vehicle.
The driver reportedly is severly injured, bleeding. Needs transport, head laceration, possible concusion...stable. Red Cross Ambulance arrives at 12:50 PM local time
SCORE RESCUE 3 reportedly at RM 143, forcing BFG 6 to call on SCORE 3, chopper. Baldwin Air reaches to Weatherman...MEDIVAC air out...Baldwin Air reports APU (start battery) on the Baldwin boat in Ensenada harbor.
SCORE Chopper 3 on the way, in Ojos now heading to RM 90.
More details as they come in...
Yup, rolled it minutes after starting! [INSIDE WORD: A farmer flooded a field and Mark hydroplaned the truck and it rolled.]
He later would barrel roll it, [INSIDE WORD: Mark was rolling for over 150 miles with no brakes! The Big Crash occurred at RM 248, at the next pit, the truck required over an hour and a half of repairs] spit shine and all and give it to Ryan with a kiss, to get it ultimately to the finish line.
On Thursday Night in Ensenada, it was announced that Hollywood is in production of a new film, "GEARHEAD", the Mickey Thompson story.
Mickey Thompson was a renowned race-car driver and promoter. Mike Goodwin was the brash, egocentric creator of motocross. They became business partners. Then all hell broke loose.
(Photo by Rena Kosnett | Set direction by Mark Peterson)
First there were the threats. “I’m going to kill that son of a bitch. I’m going to kill that motherfucker. I’m going to take out Mickey. I’m too smart to get caught. I’ll have him wasted. He’ll never see a nickel. I’ll kill him first. Mickey doesn’t know who he is fucking with. He is fucking dead.”
“Mickey” was Mickey Thompson, a dynamic, charismatic and much-admired former off-road racer and promoter. Fearless on his own behalf, he was “scared to death,” he told his sister, that someone was going to hurt his “baby” — his beloved wife, Trudy. He hired a guard to watch his house, asked the sheriff for extra patrols, wore a bulletproof vest, loaded his shotgun with buckshot, avoided standing in front of lighted windows, varied his work routine, but none of it made any difference in the end.
At 6 a.m. on March 16, 1988, as Trudy backed the van out of the garage of their home in Bradbury, a small gated community in the San Gabriel foothills just east of Monrovia, two black males in their 20s, wearing dark, hooded jogging suits, suddenly materialized out of the shrubbery. One fired a 9 mm bullet that shattered the side window and penetrated the windshield. The van rolled back and hit a wall. Trudy jumped out, lost her balance and tried to crawl away, breaking her acrylic fingernails on the concrete drive. At the same time, Mickey apparently ran out around the side of the garage screaming, “Don’t shoot my wife.” One shooter crippled Mickey with a volley to the legs and abdomen. Even as Mickey begged the gunmen to at least spare Trudy, the second shooter killed her with a shot to the back of the head. Then, to complete the job, the first gunman administered the coup de grâce to Mickey as well.
As the screams and gunshots brought early-rising neighbors rushing to their windows and decks, the killers jumped on two 10-speed recurve-handlebar bikes and fled downhill at top speed. Narrowly avoiding being hit by a woman driving her dog to canine-assertiveness training, the men pushed their bikes across North Royal Oaks Avenue, went through a break in a grape-stake fence, down an embankment, and disappeared along a jogging path, which had once been an old railroad right of way.
News of the killings flashed like summer lightning through the Thompsons’ family and friends. One of the neighbors called the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group offices at Anaheim Stadium to say that he didn’t know what had happened, but shots were fired and “someone is lying in the driveway.” By the time Thompson’s vice president for operations, Bill Marcel, got there, the Thompson compound was cordoned off with yellow tape, behind which he could see the bodies of Mickey and Trudy lying in the drive “50 feet apart.”
Marcel spent the rest of the morning waiting to be interviewed by Sheriff’s investigators. When they finally got around to him, they asked, “Do you know anyone who would want to do this?”
Yes, said Marcel. As a matter of fact, he did.
Next week, after 18 years of investigation, 40,000 pages of discovery, 1,000 interviews, four different lead investigators and a 61-volume murder book that took the defense attorney seven months to read, another dynamic and charismatic — though far less admired — race promoter, Michael Goodwin, will go on trial in Pasadena Superior Court for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson.
It is a case that has engendered deep and bitter hatreds on both sides. For the prosecution and Thompson’s family members, it is the chance (finally) to make Goodwin pay for his vicious crimes. But for Goodwin and his supporters, it’s just the latest chapter in a wrong-headed vendetta.
As his longtime friend John Bradley tells it, Goodwin is not only innocent but a deeply wronged man, hounded by corrupt prosecutors and criminally out-of-control investigators who essentially made up evidence without which Goodwin never would have been arrested, let alone indicted for murder. And the person Goodwin most blames for all of this is the woman he sees as the power behind the throne, Orange County victims’ activist and politician Collene Campbell, who is also Mickey Thompson’s sister.
Goodwin’s defense attorney, Los Angeles public defender Elena Saris, readily admits that the fact that her client is innocent doesn’t mean he’s an admirable guy in every way. (Even Goodwin’s friends call him an “asshole.”) But just because someone is a complete jerk doesn’t mean he’s a murderer too. And she’s not saying that just because Goodwin is her client and it’s her job to defend him. “He has never wavered on his innocence,” she says. “He’s never asked for a deal or a plea bargain.”
For one thing, says Saris, he doesn’t have to. The prosecution essentially has no case. It can’t put Goodwin at the scene of the crime. It has no murder weapon, DNA evidence, tape recordings, letters, documents, phone records or photographs to prove that he hired the men who shot the Thompsons (or did anything else to help, assist or further their deaths). Sheriff’s deputies have never caught the hit men nor do they even know who they are (though they suspect they live in the Caribbean). Other than a “couple of people” who claim to have heard Goodwin threaten Thompson 18 years ago, says Saris, “they have no evidence whatsoever tying Goodwin to the crime.”
If the prosecution has no evidence, then why wasn’t Goodwin acquitted long ago? That’s a good question, says Saris. Deputy district attorneys stop her in the halls of the Criminal Courts Building to ask her the same thing all the time.
At the other end of the spectrum are people like Campbell and the lead investigator, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Mark Lillienfeld, who feel in their bones that Mike Goodwin plotted, directed and paid for the Thompson hits, but worry that because all the evidence against him is circumstantial, it is entirely possible that a jury might not convict him. “I’ve had stronger cases, that’s for sure,” says Lillienfeld.
That said, Lillienfeld adds, all the circumstantial evidence that he does have points to no one else but Mike Goodwin. “Ray Charles or Helen Keller could figure this one out. This is not a difficult case.”
Mickey Thompson at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1959, where he would
set the land-speed record of 406.6 mph. (Courtesy Collene Campbell)
I first began investigating Mike Goodwin in May 1988, when I wrote a story about the Thompson murders for the Los Angeles Times. But I never got a chance to meet him, because he and his wife had recently left the country to sail the Caribbean on their $400,000, 57-foot, single-mast yacht, the Believe. In 1992, after two years spearfishing and doing underwater photography, and another two years skiing in Aspen, Goodwin finally returned to Southern California, where, on his way out of court after filing a lawsuit, he was arrested on secret bank-fraud charges. When his trial started, I drove down to Orange County to watch the action in court.
Goodwin, I discovered, was a big, commanding presence in a nicely tailored sports coat. But he seemed, I thought, to know nothing of how a jury might perceive him. Everything he did was oversize and over-dramatic. He acted as if he were less a defendant on trial than an actor onstage. When his attorney handed him a document, he would hold it at arm’s length, furrow his brow and study it in the most transparent manner. If someone made even a feeble attempt at humor, Goodwin would chuckle longer and louder than anyone, in his confident, masculine way.
There was nothing in Goodwin’s early childhood to suggest that he might one day find himself accused of double murder. By his own (and sometimes shifting) accounts, he was a Navy brat from Pensacola, Florida, and a chronic overachiever who claimed to make Eagle Scout in record time. After high school, he says, he ruptured a lung scuba-diving off Catalina, floated to the surface unconscious and was choppered to USC University Hospital, where an orderly put a dead-on-arrival tag on his toe before he regained consciousness. After taking off a year to recover, he enrolled at San Diego State, where he started out in mechanical engineering and ended up in marketing. He also began holding TGIF parties, charging girls 50 cents, he says, and boys $1.50. According to Goodwin, he dropped out of college six credits shy of graduation to take a job in sales for Procter & Gamble. He soon left to join a small promotion firm in San Diego. Bradley, who was the junior member of the company at the time, initially didn’t like him. “He was too loud and too brash,” says Bradley. And he had an explosive temper.
On the other hand, there was no denying Goodwin’s quick intelligence and relentless enthusiasm. No matter what they asked him to do, says Bradley, he always answered, “Super!” He actually seemed to like dealing with avaricious agents and their drug-addled stars. He was good with money. Unlike their clients, he apparently didn’t do drugs, and, because he was such a big guy — 6 feet 3 inches, 200 pounds — with self-confidence to spare, he could serve as his own bouncer. After it became clear that he was a better promoter than his bosses, he struck out on his own, eventually promoting concerts, Bradley says, with stars like Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Stones, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Sonny & Cher and Petula Clark.
The glamour notwithstanding, concert promotion was such a stressful, financially precarious business that, after what Goodwin once called the “traumatic experience” of Janis Joplin’s final tour, he decided he’d had enough. He bought a beat-up VW van and decided to spend a couple of years traveling around North and South America with his then-wife, Diane Seidel.
One day, Goodwin found himself in a men’s room in a Belize hotel reading a motorcycle-magazine story about a Madison Square Garden race that, despite poor sightlines and little in the way of professional production, still managed to attract 17,000 fans. This, says Bradley, gave Goodwin the idea of putting on a motorcycle show in a stadium with comfortable seats, clean toilets, hot dogs that were actually hot, and cold beer. When Goodwin got back to the States in 1972, he persuaded the manager of the Los Angeles Coliseum to rent the stadium to him for an event Goodwin called “the Superbowl of Motocross.”
Goodwin trucked in hundreds of tons of dirt, built all kinds of jumps and turns, and advertised it heavily. Celebrities like Steve McQueen came to watch. There were scantily dressed women, and prizes for the fans. But the big attraction was the famous peristyle jump. The riders rode a dirt ramp up through the stands and disappeared into one of the smaller side peristyle arches. Then, a moment later, they’d come flying back into the stadium through the big central arch, sailing 100 feet through the air before hitting the downhill ramp. It was “fantastically suspenseful,” an Internet motor-sports historian would later write. “The fans went wild.”
Goodwin’s shows made money virtually from Day One. He was soon running what are now known as Supercross events not only in the Coliseum but at the Rose Bowl, San Diego, Anaheim and other places around the country. But Anaheim was the big cash cow, and every year, the show got bigger. Goodwin put more people in the seats than the NFL; the only person to outdo him was Billy Graham. Goodwin once claimed to have made $600,000 in a single day.
In short order, Goodwin was driving a Clenet (an expensive hand-built reproduction of a ’30s touring car), wearing full-length fur coats, dining on pâté de foie gras and sipping champagne. He bought a 17th-century tapestry, an antique billiard table, a Frederic Remington sculpture and a Rolls-Royce supposedly once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco.
He traveled around the world on big-game expeditions, spearing a 185-pound wild boar in Tennessee and killing a Kodiak bear in the Aleutians with a .44 Magnum handgun (albeit, according to a fellow hunter, after first breaking the bear’s spine with a rifle shot). He fell off a motorcycle at 132 mph and, wrote Shav Glick of the L.A. Times, ground off “one cheek of his butt.” He won a contest to spend a “wild wicked weekend” with “lusty Gloria Leonard, the queen of porn.” The opening line of his winning entry: “I enjoy successful attractive ladies who share my zeal for exotic sex.”
Besides sex, he loved dogs and hummingbirds. He cried bitterly when his black Lab Jocko died. He spoke to his mother a minimum of twice a day, and when she suddenly died of a heart attack, says the friend who broke the news, “he began screaming, ‘My mommy! My mommy!’ He was sobbing uncontrollably.”
To display his animal trophies and artwork in high style, he built a three-story cedar-wood-and-white-stucco hillside home with an ocean view in Laguna Beach. The house featured a spiral staircase, an indoor waterfall, a bear rug, an elk’s head on the wall, and a roll-top desk that he says once belonged to the infamously sharp-dealing Gilded Age financier Jay Gould. According to Sports Illustrated, Goodwin kept two tape recorders with him at all times, one for incandescently creative thoughts and one for merely important ones. He had a main office in downtown Laguna Beach and, for his inner circle, a smaller office in his home, albeit one with 12 phone lines. He was driven, dominating, and terrifying to new employees. Most of his secretaries left in tears after two or three days. Goodwin didn’t care. “I’m not a people person,” he told Thompson’s lawyers in a deposition. “All I care about is results. If someone has a contract with me and they don’t perform, I’ll take their legs off.”
Unlike Goodwin, who blazed a trail through school, Mickey Thompson was lucky to graduate at all. Recognizing that he was not learning anything in class, his high school English teacher would let him work on her car instead. Mickey never learned to spell. Today he’d be labeled ADD, “but,” says Sheriff’s Detective Lillienfeld, “he was a genius with his hands.”
Thompson built his first car at age 7 using the engine from a washing machine. He went on to race cars, trucks, buggies, boats and planes. At the time of his death, he was the owner of or a partner in some 27 companies and held upward of 100 major patents. His companies manufactured high-performance precision parts for race cars, and heavy-duty tires used by both the Israeli army and the shah of Iran. He invented an early hydraulic version of the Jaws of Life (to cut him out of his own vehicle in case he wrecked it during an assault on the land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah). He manufactured a water-filled plastic vehicle barrier, which police used around St. Vibiana’s Cathedral when the pope visited Los Angeles. He designed the wide-oval, low-profile tires that later became standard at Indianapolis.
But his first and last love was racing.
“He crashed cars and sunk boats in two continents,” the L.A. Times said about Thompson in 1973. He entered more than 10,000 races in his lifetime and won 500 of them. Feature writer Jan Golab once described his racing strategy as “stand on the gas,” which is to say, driving as fast as he could until he wrecked his car or won the race. In the process, he was hospitalized 27 times, four times with a broken back, once for six months.
While such competitiveness (if not recklessness) made Thompson a dominant force in off-road racing, it also “pissed off, alienated and offended many people,” said Sal Fish, president of Score International, a sanctioning body for off-road races, shortly after Thompson’s death. “In his negotiations, Mickey got the job done, but in getting it done, he left a lot of carnage around. Mickey was the kind of guy who would pound on you and pound on you till he won.” You could spend all day negotiating with him, and then, by 10 p.m., when everyone would be exhausted, “Mickey would say, ‘We’re going to settle it right now. Let’s do it. Let’s do it right now.’ And 99 percent of the time,” said Fish, “the people would fold. I’d put him up against any graduate of Harvard, Yale or MIT, and Mickey would consume him. He was a street fighter.”
Thompson was so incredibly competitive that when he couldn’t find an even match, he’d challenge people to competitions he knew he couldn’t win: tennis, badminton, bowling. He’d challenge kids to races in swimming pools. “If you were flicking peanuts,” his son Danny Thompson once said, “he wanted to win that too.”
With Thompson, the term “Fightin’ Irish” wasn’t just a football metaphor. Once when he was still a teen, five kids in a car shouted obscenities at him. He jumped in his car, ran them off the road, knocked out two and scared off the others. On another occasion, a former concessionaire said, Thompson punched out a security guard who ventured one word too many about his wife. “I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with him,” said former Coliseum general manager Jim Hardy. “You wouldn’t beat him on points.”
On the other hand, says Fish, “Once you had a deal, Mickey kept his word. If he said you were going to get [paid a certain amount], you would get it and you would get it on time — no hanky-panky, no ‘Can you wait 20 days?,’ no ‘Can you take it on installment?’ But when you negotiated, you better get what you wanted, because what you got was what you agreed on.”
“I really liked him,” said another former Coliseum general manager, Joel Ralph. “He was a very imaginative guy. He was enthusiastic, exciting. He wasn’t afraid to take a chance.” And it wasn’t just Thompson himself. Both he and his second wife, Trudy, were warm, outgoing people who would attend any social event, even a retirement affair for an accountant. “They didn’t just pop in and shake your hand either,” Ralph said. “They would stay and talk. He would talk to the maintenance guy. Even the guy who handles the gate came to his funeral.”
Thompson didn’t just adore Trudy. He depended on her. She protected him from himself. He was a wild man. She was a systems person who made everyone feel a part of the plan. She wrote the checks. Mickey never made a decision without running it by her first. “She was his bullshit detector, his eyes and ears,” says Thompson’s attorney, Phil Bartenetti. “She kept him grounded.”
In 1984, Trudy had orthoscopic surgery for a problem with her knee. Her doctors said there was a good chance she might end up in a wheelchair or lose her leg altogether. For Mickey, that was the last straw. “That’s it,” he said. “I’m going to spend more time with Trudy.”
The problem was what to do with his business. Ever since Thompson quit racing himself (Trudy told him she’d divorce him if he entered another off-road Baja race), he’d been putting on races in stadiums with pickup trucks and Baja buggies, much as Goodwin had been doing with motorcycles. “He took a hunk of Baja and put it in [a stadium],” Danny Thompson said at the time. “He would lay down 1,100 sheets of plywood to protect the field and cover that with 25 million pounds of dirt.” Then, to keep the spectators from being bored, he ran off something like 18 off-road truck and buggy races in three hours.
But even though the shows ran like clockwork, they still didn’t make any money. Sometimes, Thompson lost hundreds of thousands in a single night. It wasn’t until 1984 (and the cumulative loss of $3 million) that Thompson’s races began to break even. That was also the time when he learned that Trudy might never walk again. “All I could think of was, the heck with everything,” Thompson would later say in a deposition. “I just got to take care of her. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then the idea came up to merge the companies. I would get paid a good salary and I wouldn’t have to work.”
Although Thompson considered himself a pretty shrewd negotiator, Goodwin was in another league entirely. In their merger talks, Goodwin held himself out to be a “promotional genius” who understood accounting better than a CPA and who had created a “proven product with Supercross that [threw] off gross and net profit” like a golden retriever shaking itself dry. Goodwin told Thompson he had the experience to take Thompson’s company bigtime, put people in the stands and increase profits in everything from the gate to the T-shirt concession.
But the thing that really sold Thompson, Mickey said, was Goodwin’s contention that he could protect Thompson from Pace International, a big Houston-based motor-sports entertainment company, which, Goodwin suggested, had imminent plans to move into Southern California, start running truck and Baja buggy events, and drive Thompson out of business.
On April 1, 1984, Thompson and Goodwin signed the merger agreement, which called for what Goodwin would later describe as an 18-month “engagement” period, followed by a full merger after that.
Unfortunately, their first combined production, a race in Indianapolis in the summer of 1984, lost money, and their second event, at the Pontiac, Michigan, Silverdome, went broke before it started. When Thompson made a conference call to Goodwin and his company’s president, Jeannie Bear Sleeper, to find out what was going on, Thompson said in the deposition, Sleeper was crying so hard she was incoherent. “She said she didn’t know what she was going to do,” Thompson said. “We had to write checks. There was no money. And they were going to yank the advertising. We needed over $100,000 to put on the event.”
Thompson couldn’t understand why the event needed money. As he understood his contract with Goodwin, he was supposed to put in 30 percent, Goodwin would put in 70 percent, and they’d share the profits and losses accordingly. “Then,” according to Thompson, “Jeannie Sleeper said, ‘Mike, you know, we don’t have any money back here. You have got to put money in this thing.’ ” Thompson was stunned. “I said [to Mike], ‘What do you mean you’ve not put any money in?’ Mike said, ‘I have never put any money in, and I am not going to put any money in now.’ ” (In Goodwin's version of this conversation, Sleeper was upset all right, but because Thompson wouldn't put up any cash.) When Thompson subsequently called Goodwin’s office to ask for a financial statement, he was told, he said, that Goodwin had issued orders not to give him one.
Realizing now that he’d made a terrible mistake, Thompson demanded his company back. But Goodwin, says Bartenetti, simply told him, “No, I’m going to keep it.” At this point, Thompson sued Goodwin to return both his company and all the money he’d lost during the 1984 racing season. Goodwin responded with a $2 million countersuit, charging that Thompson had never made good on his promise to develop an artificial racetrack. Soon enough, 14 lawsuits were flying back and forth like misguided missiles.
Goodwin had never been a stranger to lawsuits. The difference this time around was that he was losing them. In October 1984, a judge ordered the return of Thompson’s company. And in May 1986, Thompson won his original lawsuit, with Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Lester Olsen ruling that Goodwin’s failure to provide Thompson with financial statements was “an intentional or recklessly careless act designed to mislead Thompson into continuing to advance cash.” Olsen awarded Thompson half a million dollars. When interest and attorney’s fees were added, the total came to $768,000.
Although Goodwin’s friends urged him to settle — “You lost the judgment, pay it off” — Goodwin adamantly refused, saying that Thompson won only because he “lied” in court.
When Thompson realized Goodwin had no intention of paying him, an L.A. County marshal, John Williams, was dispatched to seize Goodwin’s Mercedes 380 SEC luxury sedan. But Goodwin and his wife, Diane, cursed out Williams, he would later testify, in such vehement and profane language that he had to threaten first to have the pair arrested, and then to seize the car anyway. At this point, Goodwin transferred his rage from Williams to his business partner: “Mickey Thompson is fucking dead. He doesn’t know who he is fucking with.”
The first time Mickey Thompson was threatened by Mike Goodwin, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had been an off-road racer, a businessman, a promoter, a world land-speed record holder, a man who had been invited to the White House by John F. Kennedy. In all that time, not once had anyone threatened his life over a business deal. “Can you believe this?” Thompson told a friend. “This guy threatened to kill me if he lost the civil suit.”
It wasn’t only Thompson who was getting threats. Phil Bartenetti says that Goodwin hired a “defrocked Sheriff’s deputy” to follow him. Jeff Coyne, a court-appointed trustee whose job it was to collect money from Goodwin’s bankruptcy estate, said that on one occasion, when Goodwin was popping pills from a little pillbox, he warned Coyne, “If you don’t lighten up, bad things will happen.” Mike DeStefano, a former top motorcycle racer who worked for Goodwin before teaming up with Thompson, says that Goodwin called late one night yelling and swearing. “He must have been on drugs,” DeStefano says. “He went into a tirade. I hung up on him. He called right back. ‘You’re a dead man. You’re gone.’ I hung up on him again and made a Sheriff’s report.”
Goodwin was apparently so furious at what he considered Thompson’s outrageous insistence on collecting the judgment that once, when Bill Wilson, the manager of what was then Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, asked him how things were going, Goodwin said, “Terrible. Fucking Thompson is killing me. He’s destroying me. He’s taking everything I’ve got. I’m going to take him out.”
“He was agitated,” Wilson would later testify. “His voice was loud. He was irritated. I said, ‘Mike, that doesn’t make any sense. Mickey’s dead. You’re in prison. There’s no winner to that scenario.’
“He said, ‘Oh no. They’ll never catch me. I’m too smart.’”
In January, Trudy called her sister-in-law Collene to say she had “good news and bad news.” The good news was that the California Supreme Court had declined to hear Goodwin’s appeal of the Appeals Court ruling that upheld the trial court’s judgment for Thompson. The bad news was “I’m afraid we’re going to get killed.”
Although Thompson was so distraught at the thought of Trudy being harmed that he sometimes broke into tears, he had no intention of letting Goodwin off the hook. Even when Goodwin declared bankruptcy to prevent the seizure of his house furnishings, Thompson not only didn’t quit pushing, he went after him even harder. One by one, he took away the stadium contracts where Goodwin had once held the franchise. Then, in July 1987, Thompson drove a stake through the heart of what remained of Goodwin’s former racing empire. Anaheim Stadium, the crown jewel (and cash cow) of the motor-sports racing circuit, awarded Thompson the exclusive right to run motor-sports shows in the stadium for the following year.
Goodwin couldn’t believe it. He was the one who invented motorcycle stadium racing, was a tenant at Anaheim for 13 years, sold out 10 events in a row and held the attendance record for a stadium sporting event. Anaheim was where he made the money to put on a complete race schedule for the rest of the year. Now, thanks to Thompson’s bullheaded determination, he was locked out of the stadium.
Goodwin filed a lawsuit to prevent Thompson from staging events in Anaheim, but in January 1988, a judge ruled for Thompson. In the same month, the California Supreme Court refused to hear Goodwin’s appeal of the original judgment. And on March 2, just two weeks before the murders, Thompson won yet another lawsuit, this time stopping Goodwin from running ads untruthfully implying that Thompson’s shows had been canceled.
Goodwin wanted badly to get out of this mess. Every time he hired a new lawyer, he’d send Thompson a new proposal offering him various supposedly valuable rights if he would only forget about the judgment.
But Thompson’s lawyer, Phil Bartenetti, didn’t trust Goodwin. “Mike had this condescending manner,” says Bartenetti. “He always thought he was the smartest guy in the room. He was determined to prove it too, [saying,] ‘You want me to explain that to you?’ In negotiations he never gave an inch. He could rationalize any position. [He] had an ability to interpret words in a way totally contrary to their apparent meaning. He would try to convince you that black was white. Furthermore, he thought he could.”
He considered himself a character out of a Tom Wolfe novel, a “Master of the Universe,” albeit one so overflowing with paranoia, says Bartenetti, he didn’t even trust Bartenetti’s people to provide soft drinks when he came to their office for negotiations. And then there was the drug issue. Goodwin would bring a little ice cooler with diet soda inside. Although Bartenetti would later say he never saw Goodwin use any, he did note that after long hours of negotiations, when everyone was dragging badly, Goodwin would excuse himself to use the bathroom, and when he came back, he’d be “refreshed, confident and ready to go.”
In November 1987, Goodwin sent a series of memos to his latest attorney, Bill Lobel, laying out talking points for a settlement.
If Thompson would cancel the judgment, Goodwin wrote, he and his wife would give Thompson “all our Supercross events, not contest Anaheim and waive all our claims against him.” And finally, they’d send out a new “approved-by-Thompson” news release “retracting/apologizing for past releases.”
“We were very close to settling it,” says Bartenetti. Then Goodwin insisted on the right to draw down an additional $300,000 from some Palm Desert property belonging to his wife. Thompson, who had been through this sort of last-minute drill with Goodwin before, answered, “No way.” Forty-eight hours later, Thompson was dead. And in his place was Collene Campbell, a woman as determined in the courts as her brother was on the racetrack.
Collene Campbell lives in an exclusive gated community in San Juan Capistrano. Her house is a sprawling and secluded multilevel hillside affair surrounded by towering trees, redwood decks, a sweeping set of stairs, a flagstone patio with a swimming pool, and a small, circulating stream splashing over the rocks and ferns. Her Irish father might have been a modestly paid police captain from Alhambra, but at 74, Campbell has the classy look of old money. She’s a conservatively dressed, well-coifed matron who gives off an air of competence, dignity and gravitas, along with good manners, a hot temper and surprising warmth. Even at a first meeting, she makes you feel as if she has looked into your soul, likes what she sees and now regards you as her new best friend. When I step out of my car, she greets me with a hug, and when we meet in court a week later, she introduces me like a member of the family. Although I am an hour late getting to her house for our interview, she holds off lunch (egg-salad sandwiches and a gelatin mold) so I can join her and her husband, Gary. When I leave four hours later, she gives me a glass of iced tea for the long drive home.
Campbell is a busy person. Her phone rings all day long, and her Christmas-card list runs to 900 names. As a former mayor of San Juan Capistrano (and confidant of everyone), she regularly serves on state and federal commissions or testifies before Congress. She’s been honored for her advocacy on behalf of victims by former president George Bush, former governor Pete Wilson, federal and state attorneys general, and the California Legislature. She was part of the successful campaign to defeat former California Supreme Court justice Rose Bird, an advocate for former attorney general John Ashcroft at his Senate confirmation hearing and a driving force behind Proposition 115, the 1990 court-reform initiative that dramatically reduced the time between arrest and trial in the state. The walls of her utilitarian paper-strewn downstairs office are decorated with dozens of photos, plaques and awards from police, sheriffs and district-attorney associations. She knows so many prominent people, says Elena Saris, that “there are times we can’t meet with the judge to argue a motion, because she is meeting with George W. Bush.”
Campbell has been fighting for victims’ rights ever since the ’80s, when two men killed her 27-year-old son, Scott, for a pound of cocaine. Scott was apparently trying to sell the cocaine to a buyer in North Dakota. Since he couldn’t risk carrying drugs on a commercial airliner, he accepted an offer from a childhood friend, Larry Cowell, to fly him to the Midwest in a single-engine plane. Instead, Cowell flew him out over the Pacific west of Catalina Island, where an accomplice in the back seat, Donald DiMascio, broke Scott’s neck and threw him into the ocean from a height of 2,000 feet.
Collene Campbell normally talked to her son several times a day, so when she didn’t hear from him she knew immediately that he was dead. But when she and her husband, Gary, went to the police, they dismissed her fears, suggesting instead that Scott was just “shacked up somewhere with somebody’s wife.”
At this point, the Campbells launched their own investigation, renting off-road motorcycles to search remote mountain canyons, wading through fetid swamps, crawling into caves to look for his body. When Scott’s girlfriend told them he had talked about taking an airplane trip, they searched the parking lots of one airfield after another until, after two weeks, they found his car at the Fullerton airport. From airport logs they determined that Larry Cowell had rented a plane there, and when they looked inside, they found Scott’s blood on a curtain.
The Anaheim police then arranged to have investigators pretend to be bigtime drug dealers to whom Scott supposedly owed big money. Thinking that they were dealing with the Mob, Cowell and DiMascio separately confessed to killing Scott. DiMascio was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, and Cowell got 25 years to life.
Despite their convictions, Campbell was far from pleased. Cowell had to be tried a second time because his confession had been obtained under duress. Murder to final sentencing took seven and a half stressful years, a time during which Collene came down with ulcers and Gary developed high blood pressure. Collene felt so badly treated by the justice system, she decided to spend the rest of her life fighting to reform it. “Because we were only the mom and dad, we had no rights,” Campbell later said. “We were forced to sit outside the courtroom on a bench in the hall, like dogs with fleas . . . while the defendants’ families were allowed to be inside and follow the trial and give support to the killers.”
She and Gary subsequently lobbied hard — but unsuccessfully — for a constitutional amendment to give crime victims (and their families) some of the same rights given to defendants. President Bush later signed a new federal law, named in part after Scott Campbell, that gives victims or their surviving family members the right to testify at the sentencing phase of federal trials. (The law does not apply in Goodwin’s state trial.)
When I first interviewed Campbell for the L.A. Times a few months after Mickey and Trudy’s deaths, she was angry about any suggestion the killers might somehow get away with their crimes. “I’ll tell you,” she said at the time, “they got one more Thompson to take out if they think they’re going to walk.”
Now, 18 years later, I realize, she is just as determined as she ever was to put Goodwin away. And it’s not just because she still feels that Goodwin had her brother and sister-in-law killed. It’s what Campbell regards as the cruel and baseless assault Goodwin has made on her and her brother’s honesty and integrity, not only in court but also on JusticeOnTrial.org, a Web site maintained by Goodwin’s friend John Bradley.
“The Bradley site just upsets me,” she says when I begin to ask her about it. “I called the attorney general’s office and asked how I could make them be more responsible. He said, ‘You can’t. There’s nothing you can do.’ So there is no sense to me reading them because they only make me mad.’”
Which perhaps is understandable, given that among Goodwin’s many allegations is the charge that Campbell has pursued him with unwarranted but relentless, single-minded determination for more than 18 years, pulling every string, pressuring every friend and colleague, and calling in every IOU to put him behind bars for a crime there is no proof he ever committed. Furthermore, he also claims, she used her position as executrix of her brother’s estate to raid Goodwin’s pension fund.
“They’re doing everything they possibly can [to sully our family’s name],” Campbell later tells me. “Our brother is dirty. Our son is dirty. Everybody is dirty except Goodwin.
“Well, there’s nothing there,” says Campbell. “I’ve kept all my checks going back 25 years. And if they want to call me to the stand and claim I robbed Goodwin, there’s nothing I’d like better. They can say that Mickey was involved with the Mafia drug lords and Trudy was a prostitute and Mickey was seeing other women,” but if that’s all they’ve got, she says, Goodwin is going down.
Given that so many people had named Mike Goodwin as someone who had reason to kill Mickey Thompson, Sheriff’s investigators had the keenest interest in talking to him. It wasn’t just the threats or his acrimonious dispute with Thompson. Although Goodwin was supposedly bankrupt, he and his wife still had enough cash on hand to buy $275,000 worth of gold coins two months before Thompson’s death and, says Lillienfeld, put them aboard his boat. In the meantime, his wife had wired $400,000 to banks on the Caribbean islands of Grand Turk and Caicos. Two or three months after the murders, they left the United States to cruise the Caribbean in the Believe for the next two years.
Following the murders, Sheriff’s investigators made heroic efforts to solve the crime. But despite interviewing more than 700 people in the first nine months, detectives essentially found nothing tying Goodwin to the murders. Most of the threats were hearsay (Mickey telling someone that Mike has threatened him) and thus inadmissible in court. It was undeniable that Goodwin had a strong motive — Thompson had, after all, forced Goodwin into bankruptcy and taken away his business. But motive still wasn’t proof. What was needed was a confession, the arrest of the gunmen, an eyewitness of some sort, or a wife or girlfriend willing to repeat any incriminating pillow talk. But detectives could never put together a case. And as years passed and lead investigators retired or moved on, the investigation slowly ground to a halt.
Then, in May 1997, Mark Lillienfeld, a highly rated and experienced homicide detective, was designated lead investigator on the case. It was quickly apparent to Lillienfeld that Goodwin was “brilliant,” “cunning” and “the smartest guy I ever met as a cop.” But, he says, he also soon discovered that Goodwin was a “bipolar,” “narcissistic sociopath” who liked “to intimidate people.” In 14 years as a homicide detective, Lillienfeld, a mild-mannered and self-deprecating Midwesterner, had never gotten a single threat. But once he started investigating Goodwin, he said, he began getting anonymous messages on his answering machine (“You motherfucking piece of shit”) and the number “187” on his pager (the state Penal Code section for murder).
If such tactics were intended to intimidate Lillienfeld, they didn’t work. In short order, the detective made what he regarded as a major breakthrough. From studying the bullet fragments found in Mickey’s and Trudy’s bodies, Lillienfeld concluded that the bullets that killed them could have come from a 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 469, just like the one that gun-registration records showed Goodwin had purchased in 1984, four years before the murders. Lillienfeld also learned that a few days after the murders, in March 1988, Goodwin bought another Smith & Wesson “identical” to the first.
To Lillienfeld the inference was clear. Goodwin had given his first gun to the killers, and then, after the murders, bought a new gun to replace it. This wasn’t exactly proof of anything, but to Lillienfeld it was at the very least suggestive of criminal intent.
Then fate stepped in to lend a helping hand.
In 1998, at the end of one of many TV shows about the killings, viewers were invited to contact authorities if they had any leads. A tip led Lillienfeld to one of Mickey Thompson’s neighbors, Ronald Stevens, who had seen suspicious strangers in the area not long before the Thompsons were killed.
Stevens told Lillienfeld that around noon a week before the murders, he and his wife had seen two men in an old, badly oxidized light-green 1970s Malibu station wagon parked in front of his house on the wrong side of the street. One of the men was wearing a dark watch cap and peering through binoculars. As there was an elementary school just down the street, Stevens approached the car to ask what was going on, but when the driver noticed him, he looked startled and sped away. Lillienfeld later showed Stevens a photo lineup of six men, and, despite some hesitation, Stevens eventually picked out Goodwin.
With this tentative identification, Lillienfeld arrested Goodwin, who at the time was living in a house trailer with his elderly father in Dana Point, and put him in a police lineup, where both Stevens and his wife agreed that Goodwin was the man they’d seen in front of their house 13 years previously.
By December 2001, Lillienfeld believed he had enough evidence to arrest Goodwin on two counts of murder in the first degree, a development Collene Campbell’s family and friends celebrated with Mumm champagne and a toast.
In preparation for the preliminary hearing, the prosecution handed over some 40,000 pages of discovery in 114 boxes to Goodwin’s attorneys. Thanks to Goodwin’s being confined at the time to a 3-by-7-foot cell 23 and a half hours a day, he had plenty of time to pore over the documents uninterrupted. And what Goodwin discovered was that the evidence allegedly tying his gun to the murders was seriously mistaken.
Investigators had long ago established that the gun used to kill the Thompsons had six lands and grooves (the rifling machined into the barrels to make the bullets spin). But, as the FBI ballistics handbook clearly showed, 9 mm Smith & Wesson Model 469s like Goodwin’s had five lands and grooves. In short, pointed out Goodwin, by the Sheriff Department’s own analysis there was no way his gun could be the murder weapon.
When confronted with the evidence, the prosecution wrote a letter to the court noting, “Forensic evidence appears to exclude an inference that either of the murder weapons was the 9 mm Smith and Wesson purchased by the defendant in the charged case.”
At the time, Lillienfeld said he’d erred about the gun misidentification, and he was taking full responsibility, but it was also, he insisted, an “honest mistake.”
John Bradley, who began calling Lillienfeld “Mr. Ballistics” after that, ridiculed the notion that such an experienced detective could have made such an obvious mistake. And that false testimony regarding Goodwin’s gun, along with a highly dubious 13-year-old eyewitness identification that no one had ever even thought to mention to the cops before, irreparably harmed Goodwin’s life. Without the mistaken gun evidence, no judge, said Bradley, would have issued an arrest warrant to put Goodwin in a lineup in the first place. Without the lineup, Stevens would never have had the opportunity to (mis)identify Goodwin as the man he’d seen in front of his house 13 years previous. Without Stevens’ eyewitness identification, no judge would have ordered him held without bail for nearly five years, and he wouldn’t be awaiting trial for murder in Los Angeles County today.
The supposed identification of Goodwin in the badly oxidized Malibu station wagon, defense attorney Elena Saris later argued in a 2004 preliminary hearing, simply made no sense. The car was parked on the wrong side of the street, facing away from the Thompsons’ house, which wasn’t visible from that location anyway — it was three-quarters of a mile away, with a hill in between. “You couldn’t see them both simultaneously from a helicopter,” Saris later said. As for the two men in the car, given that they were looking though binoculars in the direction of a grammar school, they were far more likely pedophiles than someone casing Goodwin’s house.
Saris also tried at the preliminary hearing to dispose of the motive issue by asserting that Goodwin had no reason to want Thompson dead. Despite appearances, it was Goodwin who came out ahead of Thompson in their dispute, not the other way around. Goodwin, claimed Saris, wasn’t the slightest bit mad. He had done such a “decent job of hiding and protecting his assets” that all Thompson ever collected out of his $768,000 judgment was perhaps $1,800 worth of old engine parts and a few hundred from forgotten bank accounts.
To Alan Jackson, one of the deputy D.A.s prosecuting Goodwin, the notion that Goodwin wasn’t mad at Thompson was absurd on its face. “Mike Goodwin’s multimillion-dollar lifestyle had the knees knocked out from under it,” he replied. “His business was taken away. His livelihood was taken away. He had to declare personal bankruptcy. His very home, car, his personal bank accounts, they were all becoming subject to the whims, if you will... of Mickey Thompson. If Mike Goodwin was winning, he certainly didn’t say so. [Instead, he said:] ‘I’m going to kill that son of a bitch. I’m going to kill that motherfucker.’ ”
Not surprisingly, at the end of the preliminary hearing, Judge Teri Schwartz ordered Goodwin held for trial, saying, “Of all the evidence presented in this case, there is simply no one else the court can say committed this crime.”
“Of course, she doesn’t know anyone else,” defense attorney Elena Saris would later say. “The defense didn’t get the opportunity to present our side of the case.”
After 18 years, the case has taken an enormous toll on everyone concerned. Goodwin has been in jail without bail for five years, awaiting trial. He’s got high blood pressure, impaired vision in one eye, toe problems that make it difficult to walk and such severe back pain that he can’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Still, he keeps working. Writing with a 3½-inch stubby yellow pencil, he turns out complicated, cited, footnoted legal documents, memoranda and media briefing books with titles like “Government Fraud in the Thompson Murder Investigation,” “Elaborate Malevolent Conspiracy” and “There Is Evidence Thompson May Have Been Killed by Loan Sharks or Money Launderers.”
Because in jury trials it’s just not enough to declare one’s innocence, you have to suggest other credible suspects who might have committed the crime instead of you. Goodwin, therefore, along with John Bradley, has at times offered up six other possible suspects: (1) Saudis to whom Thompson’s tire company supposedly sold defective tires; (2) members of the Vagos motorcycle gang, against which Thompson once testified in Scott Campbell’s murder trial; (3) drug lords for whom Thompson supposedly transported product during all those off-road races in Mexico; (4) supposedly disgruntled business partners of Thompson; (5) Las Vegas mobsters and/or “freelance bankers” from whom Thompson had supposedly borrowed money that he couldn’t repay; and (6) Joey Hunter, a smalltime street hustler with alcohol and drug abuse problems who supposedly confessed to killing the Thompsons to his sister-in-law and failed two lie-detector tests.
Despite appearances, says Lillienfeld, Joey Hunter was never a serious suspect. “His alibi rang true.” His alleged confession was merely a joke. It was true he failed a lie-detector test. But that’s why, says Lillienfeld, lie detectors “are inadmissible in a court of law.”
As for the notion that Mickey Thompson hauled product for drug lords, Detective Lillienfeld didn't buy it. This was a man who didn’t smoke, rarely drank and didn’t even use coffee. In any case, says Lillienfeld, he checked Thompson when he took over the case. “He came out clean. There’s nothing there. Mickey grew up in the ’40s and ’50s. He didn’t know drugs from dog shit.”
As for the notion that Thompson owed money to Las Vegas mobsters, his former colleague, Mike DeStefano, said it never happened. “I was with Mickey all the time, seven days a week, day and night,” he says. “I went with him to Las Vegas. I never saw anybody who was shady. I’m Italian. I would know. In any case, Trudy never would have stood for it.”
Goodwin has always blamed Collene Campbell for his problems, and his attorney, Elena Saris, it seems, has fully adopted his point of view. Over lunch with Saris, I found her smart, engaging and candid but also surprisingly hostile to Campbell. “Show me a family that lives in a well-off gated community with two deaths in the family,” she said, “and I’ll show you someone involved in drugs.”
Saris further alleged, at the 2004 preliminary hearing, that Campbell paid witnesses for information, taped witnesses without their knowledge, hired private detectives, pressured Sheriff’s investigators who she thought weren’t taking her leads seriously enough, interviewed witnesses who subsequently changed their stories, and otherwise pushed investigators to find evidence against Goodwin while largely ignoring everyone else.
Well, what of it? responded lead prosecutor Pat Dixon at the 2004 preliminary hearing. It is the most natural thing in the world for someone in her position to want to act as an “investigator” in her brother’s murder. It wasn’t as if investigators were setting the world on fire. Goodwin wasn’t arrested for 13 years after the murders. Under the circumstances, he said, why wouldn’t she try to find out “who killed her brother”?
In any case, the prosecution suggested, there was nothing either illegal or unethical about her conducting her own investigation. Shortly after the murders, the Campbells had offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people who killed the Thompsons. Over the years they kept increasing it till it finally reached a million dollars. Whenever this reward was mentioned on TV, hundreds of tips would pour in, including one from a man who claimed to have accidentally recorded the two killers quietly admitting the Thompson murders while he was recording music at a bar. In another equally bizarre attempt to pump Campbell for money, convicted private-investigator-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano reportedly offered her information on the gunmen in exchange for $350,000 and the movie rights. (She turned him down.)
Recently, a jailhouse snitch, apparently trying to help his own case, told authorities that he heard Goodwin confess to having hired “Jack Ruby’s boys” to kill Mickey and Trudy. In the ensuing hubbub, most of Goodwin’s files were taken away from his cell, and, to keep him and the snitch separated, Goodwin was moved to solitary confinement, a development that caused him to break into tears. (He has since been moved elsewhere.) Although one old girlfriend of Goodwin’s claims that at this point he’s a “broken man,” he still seems to have enough fire in his belly to file lawsuits. His old friend John Bradley says that if Goodwin ever gets out of jail, the first thing he’s going to do is sue Collene Campbell for trying to put him in jail all these years, Orange County for jailing him even though it never had any evidence that any crimes were ever committed in that county, and L.A. County for having the chutzpah to employ what he regards as an evidence-fabricating detective like Mark Lillienfeld.
If anything, Campbell’s nerves are even more shot than Goodwin’s. She’s attended all 70 court appearances Goodwin has made over the five years of waiting for his trial to start, rising to leave her house in San Juan Capistrano by 5:30 a.m. to get to court in Pasadena by 8:30. “Friends sometimes ask,” she says, “how can there be a God who would do this to you? We think that God gave us a task to do. When we get to heaven, Mickey and Trudy will be waiting. I want to be proud of how I spent my life. I want to be able to say we did everything we could.”
Trials based primarily on circumstantial evidence are notoriously hard to figure. Lillienfeld says he naturally hopes for a conviction, but he can live with an acquittal. The one thing he won’t be able to stand, though, is, after nine years on this case, seeing it end with a hung jury. Saris, on the other hand, tells me she’s quite confident that Goodwin’s acquittal is everything but a foregone conclusion.
And if he were convicted anyway?
“I would be mortified.”
When I repeat this conversation later to one court observer, who prefers to remain anonymous, he tells me he feels Saris is completely sincere in believing that Goodwin is a deeply wronged and innocent man, but you have to consider, he says, just how completely she’s succumbed, like so many others before her, to Goodwin’s alpha aura and history of telling lies; he’s manipulating her in the same way he’s manipulated everyone else in his life.
“Have you ever seen them in court together?” he asks. “Goodwin whispers in her ear, and she jumps up and asks whatever he wants her to without even laying a proper foundation.”
So what, I ask, are you saying?
“Saris is a smart woman,” he says. “But she’s not as smart as Mike Goodwin.”
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Friday, June 02, 2006
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Here are the ODDS!
1 62 Mike Voyles An "Ivan" draw? 5 to 1
2 39 Ron Whitton Not this time 5 to 1
3 27 David Scaroni Pits trained? 6 to 1
4 7 Scott Steinberger Unimpressive lately 6 to 1
5 76 Jesse Jones Needs a "manual"! 5 to 1
6 86 Josh Baldwin Ever-strong 4 to 1
7 88 Ryan Arciero Dakar mental advantage 2 to 1
8 83 Andy McMillin See car #31 4 to 1
9 2 Pete Sohren Looked great in "5" =;oD 99 to 1
10 38 Garron Cadiente Threepeats rare 5 to 1
11 53 Jeff Stowers TRIPLE "D" rings! 99 to 1
12 3 Mark Post Due; way overdue 3 to 1
13 26 Chris Robinson A clean run a goal 7 to 1
14 17 Carl Renezeder Car control counts 3 to 1
15 20 Mike Julson Promises 6 to 1
16 41 Roger Norman Not the SuperHummer, I hope! 99 to 1
17 97 B.J. Baldwin Racing for win or points? 3 to 1
18 1 Bob Shepard Bob doesn't do "jack" 3 to 1
19 32 Juan C. Ibarra Not the Juan 99 to 1
20 80 Chad Ragland Can run clean 6 to 1
81 Mark Miller W/D W/D
21 21 Roger Gray Still in the ashes 99 to 1
22 4 Gus Vildosola Team lost flash? 5 to 1
23 52 John Herder Tucson Juan too fast 4 to 1
24 25 Enrique Legaspy Will break 99 to 1
25 58 Frank Thing Aloha, Alan! 181 to 1
26 28 Alan Pflueger Hawaii 5-Oh-No! 5 to 1
27 12 Brian Collins TOP TIP 5 to 1
28 31 Robby Gordon Overall or not at all 5 to 1
29 11 Dale Dondel Unfulfilled 9 to 1
30 16 Cameron Steele Needs to back off 7 to 1
31 5 Marty Coyne In the hunt 4 to 1
72 Matt Scaroni W/D W/D
32 40 Chet Huffman TOO fast? 6 to 1
33 55 Luis Wallace Last ten 99 to 1
34 96 Bobby Baldwin Top Ten 5 to 1
35 51 Kory Scheeler DARK HORSE 4 to 1
36 15 Jim Beaver Gunnin' for a finish 99 to 1
37 19 Ed Herbst AWD a key to success 3 to 1
38 31 Scott McMillin Abdicating open-wheel? 5 to 1
39 50 Jerry Larimore Needs luck 13 to 1
40 10 Mike Jakobson "Break a leg!" 6 to 1
41 75 Jerry Zaiden-1st RS Rodd Fantelli revisited 1450 to 1
CLASS 1 (42)
1 101 Damen Jefferies Does'nt have to chase Herder … but "#75 to 1"
2 102 Luis Ramirez, Jr. Not today -- nor tomorrow 99 to 1
3 103 Josh Rigsby No joshin' 6 to 1
4 104 Dale Ebberts Man, it's either this or that 6 to 1
5 105 Jim Birmingham Needs an angel 7 to 1
6 106 Rick Wilson Resurgent 3 to 1
7 107 Pat Dean TOP TIP 4 to 1
8 108 Richard Boyle May "Ron" fast 4 to 1
9 109 Danny Anderson King o Cabo! 4 to 1
10 110 Lee Patten Needs to smooth out 6 to 1
11 111 Dan Myers Will surprise 4 to 1
12 112 Troy Herbst Well, who else? 2 to 1
13 100 Mark McMillin Obvious choice 2 to 1
14 114 Kash Vessels "Alpha Dog" 4 to 1
15 115 Brian Kirby Will not clean up 9 to 1
16 116 John Herder Makes for a great race 3 to 1
17 117 Vincent DeJong Will not Dominate 99 to 1
118 Eli Yee W/D W/D
18 119 Buddy Feldkamp Cholla harvester! 5 to 1
19 120 Steve Melton The Man Who Made Herder Famous! 4 to 1
20 121 Gary Weyhrich Overall 2 to 1
21 122 Erick Murillo Back-marker 99 to 1
22 123 Steve Sullivan Lastrack? 99 to 1
23 124 Dino Marquez In the dust 99 to 1
24 125 Joe Myers No Manx! 6 to 1
25 126 Brian Parkhouse Improving 4 to 1
26 127 Martin Christensen Ach, du Lieber 7 to 2
128 Steve Sourapas W/D W/D
27 129 Raymond Potter Could sneak it, if careful 6 to 1
28 130 B.J. Richardson I always expect more! 6 to 1
29 131 Billy Robertson Finish-minded 5 to 1
30 132 Harley Letner Glory days gone? 5 to 1
31 133 Cam Thieriot Solid finisher 5 to 1
32 134 Danny Ebberts Not enough asphalt 6 to 1
33 135 Randy Wilson New esprit de corps? 3 to 1
34 136 Chuck Hovey Needs that new car! 5 to 1
35 137 Jamie Campbell Knows the car! 5 to 1
36 138 Rick Thomas No "Moore"? 6 to 1
37 139 John Harrah Cheers! 8 to 1
38 140 Scott Sellers The lone Chenowth! 7 to 1
145 William Akrawi-5th RS W/D W/D
39 146 Gonzalo Pirron-4th RS Too gonzo 99 to 1
40 147 Jarrett Lemley-3rd RS Benefit of the doubt 73 to 1
41 148 Todd Romano-2nd RS Cheesy effort? 99 to 1
42 149 Dan Moore-1st RS Or less 99 to 1
CLASS 10 (17)
1 1001 Brian Etter Etter better get better 9 to 2
2 1002 Mark Weger RPS working well 4 to 1
3 1003 Mark Hutchins Will run hard 4 to 1
4 1004 Ron Dalke "Donkey" stubborn 3 to 1
5 1005 Todd Elam Elam spelled backwards is ... 7 to 1
6 1006 Carlos Cortez Wants the upper hand 4 to 1
7 1007 Will Higman Needs a win1 4 to 1
8 1008 Darren Hardesty Bounces back 3 to 1
9 1009 Trevor Scherrer School Daze 9 to 1
10 1010 Lobsam Yee Top Twenty OA 3 to 1
11 1000 John Cooley Ah so! Ah yes! 3 to 1
12 1012 Andy Grider Riders get my vote 6 to 1
13 1013 Edgar Avalos Journeyman 6 to 1
14 1014 Rick Ellison "Moves" 3 to 1
15 1015 Jose Lopez A. Experienced 6 to 1
16 1048 Eli Yee-2nd RS Wild man 3 to 1
17 1049 Billy Gasper Porter might "bag" it! 4 to 1
SCORE LITE (33)
1 1201 Jason Batulis Well-prepped! 2 to 1
2 1202 Mike Belk Waiting his chance 5 to 1
3 1203 Matt Drever Drever a driver 5 to 1
4 1204 Red Burgin Advantage: No Skippy! 5 to 1
5 1205 Rich Roberts Rich in experience 4 to 1
6 1206 Craig Brabant Uneven 5 to 1
7 1207 Vic Bruckmann Off pace lately 4 to 1
8 1208 David Callaway Will place 4 to 1
9 1209 Hector Garcia Middle runner 6 to 1
10 1210 Ken Stroud Revved up 3 to 1
11 1211 John Kawell Always a factor 4 to 1
12 1212 Rick St. John Geared up 3 to 1
13 1213 Mitch Mitchell No "Singalong" 99 to 1
14 1214 Jim Greenway Ty up those loose ends! 5 to 1
15 1215 Greg Gustin "Con mucho Gustin!" 99 to 1
16 1216 David Willey No coyote 99 to 1
17 1217 Dwayne Reinert Often ragged 11 to 1
18 1218 Bob Bingham Better Off Bowling? 99 to 1
19 1219 Stan Potter Stan n Dan Dah Men 3 to 1
20 1220 Greg Foster "Oil Can" man? 5 to 1
21 1221 Chuck Sacks Good bet 4 to 1
22 1222 Richard Cassey A "Pro", now 4 to 1
23 1223 Mike Halliday Avoiding Sportsmen? 5 to 1
24 1224 Tito Tapia Does well - sometimes 5 to 1
25 1225 Matt Cullen On the (F&L) gas 4 to 1
26 1200 Tim Noe Tim 'n' Tom Road Show rolls on 2 to 1
27 1227 Cameron Steele Demasiado hierros 4 to 1
28 1228 Randy Ross Needs to "Oso" down! 5 to 1
29 1229 Ricardo Malo Bad enough 3 to 1
30 1230 Victor Cesena A. Busy guy 5 to 1
31 1247 Ruben Gutierrez Strong local 5 to 1
32 1248 Michael Deardoff Oh, dear! Oh, no! 99 to 1
33 1249 James Marquez Getting better 7 to 1
CLASS 8 (8)
1 801 Nick Vanderwey No Buckeye bull 3 to 1
2 802 Glen Greer Waiting for Porter T-T 4 to 1
3 803 Dave Raimonde Can find starter, not finish 5 to 1
4 800 Todd Wyllie Should win 3 to 1
805 Jamie Galles W/D W/D
5 806 Juan Carlos Lopez Will PIN it! 3 to 1
6 807 Lowell Arnold Odds improving 5 to 1
7 838 Noah Ostanik Has an ark welder 5 to 1
8 839 Kurtis Kupiec-1st RS Rough field 5 to 1
1 245 Chris Lucas Not a course for newbies 5 to 1
2 203 James Wasson " A bipolar person has racing thoughts" 6 to 1
3 222 J.R. Stanley Coming along 3 to 1
260 Darren York W/D W/D
4 230 Robbie Pierce Field too tough 9 to 1
5 234 Rob Reinertson One to beat 3 to 1
6 215 Cody Swanty Well-versed in trucks 4 to 1
7 235 Jason Voss Plenty of stick time 4 to 1
8 226 Al Hogan On a good day, look out! 3 to 1
9 240 Rob Kittleson Tres Robos?! 5 to 1
236 Rick L. Johnson W/D W/D
10 204 Gus Vildosola, Jr. Superior logisstics 2 to 1
11 299 Joe Bednar Class 12 will look better 7 to 1
12 229 Tom Koch Won’t get tuckered out! 4 to 1
12 221 Charley McDowell Digs winning 3 to 1
14 236 Rick L. Johnson Toying with class 3 to 1
15 250 Gary Magness-1st RS "Mango" peachy 5 to 1
CLASS 1-2/1600 (26)
1 1601 Mario Gastelum Does "OK" 4 to 1
1602 Brett Maurer W/D W/D
2 1603 Brian Burgess On a mission 2 to 1
3 1604 Max Hanberg Unclogged 4 to 1
4 1605 Sammy Ehrenberg Blythe spirit 3 to 1
5 1606 Carlos Bernaldez Underfoot 99 to 1
6 1607 Adam Pfankuch Who else? 2 to 1
7 1608 Max Thieriot "Min" 5 to 1
8 1609 Craig Forrest Up a tree? 4 to 1
9 1610 Mike Sandoval Always "close" 5 to 1
10 1611 Joe Barboa ------ 69 to 1
11 1612 Ed Bonanni Class too tough? 6 to 1
1613 John Manring W/D W/D
12 1614 Rodrigo Ampudia, Jr. Papa's Boy 3 to 1
13 1615 Ray Files SHORT SHOT 4 to 1
14 1616 Daniel McMillin Look for break-through 3 to 1
15 1617 Brent Parkhouse Perhaps … 6 to 1
16 1618 Arturo Velazco Riders rough 4 to 1
17 1619 David Caspino L O N G SHOT 3 to 1
18 1600 Caleb Gaddis Racing for points 3 to 1
1621 Art Navarro W/D W/D
19 1622 Carlos Escobedo Top 50% 5 to 1
1623 David Hendrickson W/D W/D
20 John Krempp 5 to 1
21 1645 Gerardo Iribe Nudillos de la Piedra 3 to 1
22 1646 Edgar Alvarez Accomplished, at times 6 to 1
23 1647 Daniel Lopez Caballo Oscuro 4 to 1
24 1648 Eric Duran Always in the hunt 4 to 1
25 1649 Rick Battey Not giving up 8 to 1
CLASS 5 (5)
1 501 David Bonner "Halcón"-ish 3 to 1
2 502 George Seeley "Chicken NOT Eating Ice Cream" 5 to 1
503 Drew Belk W/D W/D
3 504 Scott Hewitt Cuts brush? 4 to 1
4 518 Luivan Volker-2nd RS Low buckers produces 4 to 1
5 519 Kevin Carr-1st RS Will keep Geo honest 3 to 1
CLASS 7 (6)
1 701 Dan Chamlee Unheralded 3 to 1
702 Andy Grider W/D W/D
2 703 Victor Herrera, Jr. Strong "equipo" 3 to 1
3 704 Scott Brady Cool as an"echinoderm" 3 to 1
4 705 Geoff Milke Might get creamed 7 to 1
5 706 Joshua Lynn Dixonian Instituted 1 to 1
6 717 A.J. Rodriguez-3rd RS
7 718 David Binns
8 719 Dennis Standrod-1st RS Bent tierod, maybe 7 to 1
CLASS 7S (4)
1 721 Javier Avila Hoping for 2nd 99 to 1
2 722 Mike Horner Good season 3 to 1
723 Steve Kovach W/D W/D
3 724 Tyler Fox 5 to 1
4 739 Nick Moncure-1st RS EZ day? 3 to 1
CLASS 7SX (8)
1 741 Danny Street, Jr. Needs perfect day 4 to 1
2 742 Heidi Steele Might beat mate! 5 to 1
3 743 Jesse Rodriguez Might do it 4 to 1
744 Eduardo Gonzalez W/D W/D
4 745 Doug Siewert
5 746 Ricardo Castanon R.
6 757 John Holmes-3rd RS Ruining it for eveyone 3 to 1
7 758 Noe Sierra-2nd RS Ready -- enough? 4 to 1
8 759 Jeff Lloyd-1st RS Over the horizon 5 to 1
CLASS 5/1600 (15)
1 551 Chad Mayernick Might be his day … & night 4 to 1
2 552 Danny Ledezma Will muffle competitors 2 to 1
3 553 James Tedford Can finish 6 to 1
4 554 Brent Shermak Fast but overshadowed 3 to 1
5 555 Richard Garavito Has credentials 6 to 1
6 556 Ruben Garcia Sandwiched in Bosque? 7 to 1
7 557 Rogelio Valenzuela C. Local might have advantage 7 to 1
8 558 Gregorio Villarino Villari-NO 9 to 1
9 559 John Hsu On his own? 15 to 1
10 573 Jesse Lopez 7 to 1
11 574 Hector Sarabia-6th RS Not "Fishing"!! 4 to 1
12 575 Chris Andrus-5th RS Will need "Associates" 11 to 1
13 576 Pedro Athie-4th RS Support is everything 9 to 1
14 577 Ernesto Arambula-3rd RS Tito too tough 2 to 1
15 550 Marcos Nunez-2nd RS Hard to beat 2 to 1
579 Mark McAnelly-1st RS W/D W/D
STOCK FULL (4)
1 861 Josh Hall Almost unfair! Even
2 860 John Griffin Steady 4 to 1
3 863 Bob Graham Picking up crumbs 4 to 1
4 864 Chris Kasper Not a ghost of a chance? 4 to 1
STOCK MINI (3)
1 761 Steve Kovach Changed his mind! 4 to 1
2 778 Gavin Skilton Debugging 5 to 1
3 779 Rod Hall Debugged Even
CLASS 9 (7)
1 901 David Boss Employee, actually 99 to 1
2 902 Sigal Greenberg Ever-improving 3 to 1
3 945 Tony Modica-5th RS Game competitor 4 to 1
4 946 Joe Castrey-4th RS Joe? No! 99 to 1
5 900 Eric Fisher-3rd RS A shoe-in Even
6 948 Ramon Castro-2nd RS Experienced 3 to 1
7 949 John Scharf-1st RS Sharp enough? 5 to 1
CLASS 3 (2)
1 300 Donald Moss Unbeatable Even
2 30X "All Others" Self-abuse 99 to 1
CLASS 17 (2)
1 1701 Bob Land Sentimental fav 53 to 1
2 1702 Bill Zolg Tough slog 99 to 1
CLASS 11 (5)
1 1101 Raul Ojeda Oh, MAN! 99 to 1
2 1102 Jake Mueller Game, I guess 99 to 1
3 1103 David Hendrickson Wants to be crowned 4 to 1
4 1100 Eric Solorzano Unbeatable Even
5 1148 Shelby Stahler Long day 99 to 1
6 1149 Jason Gutzmer Short day 99 to 1
SPT CAR (5)
1 1401 Heather Bonnani Lady's Day 9 to 1
2 1402 Peter Lang May languish 99 to 1
3 1403 Rob Caveney Chewed up course 99 to 1
4 1404 Aldolfo Aguilar Will not soar! 99 to 1
5 1449 William Akrawi Changed his mind! 9 to 1
1 1500 Mark Growe Had tough luck 6 to 1
2 1501 Ray Schooley Educated 99 to 1
3 1502 Marshall Madruga "8 Mile" 99 to 1
4 1503 Luke Gibson Needs to be cool 99 to 1
5 1504 Steven Looney Will beat #75! 6 to 1
6 1546 Brandon Walsh-4th RS Not MDR! 99 to 1
7 1547 Scott Tannahill-3rd RS Bring a winch 99 to 1
8 1548 Karl Wong-2nd RS Not " Wight" 99 to 1
9 1549 Matt Torian-1st RS Bring a wench 6 to 1
1 1801 Lonnie Banks Rhi-NO! 1801 to 1
2 1802 Francisco Quiroz Rhi-NOT! !!!!
2 1803 Jeffrey Sonn A cruel trick ????
::So Carl wants the 500?
From the press release: ""Team Renezeder hopes to bring it all together for a win a the first big endurance test of the season: the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Starting and finishing in Ensenada, Mexico, its 500 miles consist of everything the unforgiving Baja desert can throw at you. Teams will be tested with tight, rocky climbs, sand washes, forested passes, high speed sections and shock pounding whoops.
“The team that sticks to a good game plan, stays focused, endures the heat and has a little bit of luck will come out on top this year,” explained Carl Renezeder, solo pilot of the #17 BFGoodrich Trophy Truck.
Carl and his navigator and lead mechanic, Mike Seat, have been prerunning the course all week, finding the best lines through tough sections, marking hazards on the GPS, and memorizing as much as they can before Saturday’s event. One of the chase team and full time crew members, Shawn Walters, has been doing the same thing on his chase routes. If there’s a problem during the event, it’s pertinent that the crew be able to get to the race truck as quick as possible if needed. “Endless hours of preparation go into a race of this magnitude,” concluded Renezeder. “We want all the obstacles we can control out of the way before we get to the start line. That way it’s up to Baja as to whether or not this is our year.”"
At approx. race mile 131 of the 2006 SCORE Baja 500 course a black Stewart's Raceworks Truggy was found in bad shape after an apparent accident of some sort probably having taken place Monday May 29, 2006. Gino Camarena, his Co-Driver Gil and Gil's younger Son were all occupants in the vehicle. At this point, no one has confirmation of their whereabouts and or condition. No one is certain if they were injured in an accident and or where they are at this time. If you have any knowledge of the drivers of the vehicle, condition their in, and or any information regarding the accident you're urged to call
This Just In!!! Just got word that Gino, Gil and son are home in El Centro and fine. A little bruised and had to spend the night in the desert but will live. Car still in Mexico.
::MEMORIAL DAY TRAFFIC, GONE! PRE-RUNS!
2006 SCORE “Baja 500” Pine Forest Prerun
Well, just finding the course from downtown Ojos was “fun”: farm roads, Sanborn’s Packing, onion fields, schools, alambre de pau, dead ends … etc.
We shoulda run west at the old turnoff and picked the course up west o’ town.
Like next Thursday coming over to Ensenada.
I used my hand-held Lowrance “iFinder” with an external antenna and a 12-vdc-power jumper to the car’s battery’s terminal. (iFinders are battery hogs … probably sponsored by DuraCell!) Worked great, although I was cross-eyed by the end-o-the-day.
We could “see” the course but not the route to reach it; shades of “Dakar”!
Dean Watkins generously provided one of his “San Felipe Off Road” buggies for this venture: a venerable Chenowth two-seater “9” car once owned by the McMillins and Martin Gill! Amazing as it might seem to the rank-and-filers, it turned out to be a perfect unit: comfortable at prerun speeds, reliable, intercom head sets, stowage space, tractable, and easily able to traverse any part of the course that we ran – Ojos to Catarina -- with ease and grace. Any day I’ll be “All Ways” racing “Dunaway” with Trey and Wally!
We had my “Z” along the highway with “Mean Dean” Moore who caught some Zzzs and some toothsome tamales from an itinerant vendor.
We left Ojos at noon and were at the Independencia Pemex at 1830 – only one real stop: a “pee” break above the Independencia plain.
Much of the course was familiar to me from the early ‘90s: ridgelines and canyons, up and down, left and right, one after another. We reached well over 5,000 feet by SCORE’s Checkpoint 1.
The new section, trumpeted with much hand-wringing and tooth-gnashing, was, OK, “tight” and “close” but would require care, patience, and wisdom. The turn by the granite boulder (WHICH one?) needed the painted arrow pointed “up”: now there is a well-burned-in turn-around at the rock wall dead end past it!
Running move over 15 mph would be on the ragged edge though much of it; if one wished to continue on four aligned, round wheels. Rocks n roots. Who YOU gonna root for on the route?
We heard Cameron Steele’s trouble radio calls and saw the ”97” prerun “Geiser”, also troubled: fuel pump issues = hood up. They did not ask us for assistance. Good call, as I was certain that we did not have any high-pressure, in-tank electric fuel pumps stowed in the buggy.
We found a stranded sweep “Wide Open Baja” car with two guys who were going to spend the night in the Los Barrancas wash. Obviously a long day lay ahead of them: “Our ‘Baja” guys have an EZ-Up (at El Rayo?) with food”. Uh, huh. Maybe three hours ago, amigo. They said that the (Subaru) “blew a head”. “Hmmm”, I thought, wisely to myself.
The course is very technical, easy to overload your ass, blind hills, LOTS of foliage, so scenic that it makes your teeth hurt. And mucho big trees, cut logs, stumps, and leftover planks nudging the course. And Peter Peter punkin eaters for the truck class.
Baja Prerunnerz Prerun
The Prerunnerz Crew arrived to the seaside city of Ensenada, Baja California under the cover of darkness mid-evening Tuesday night and immediately found race fiestas in full swing in downtown Ensenada. We caught up with the Jimco Race Team roaming the streets in search of wild fun and that was only the beginning. Leading the charge was “Hammer,” who was in full stride upon our arrival and sporting the latest Prerunnerz apparel. He was subsequently rewarded the following day when he found us with the Prerunnerz at Hwy 3 & KM 54.
However, the prerun stories continue to develop here on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Turbo Tom Geviss reported a fatal tractor-trailer accident on Hwy 3 at the Goat Trail late Sunday night that involved some 3000 gallons of fish guts laden for fertilizer supplied to the Valle Trinidad farming community. The fish guts were over 8’ inches deep at the Goat Trail exit to Hwy 3 providing enough stench that Caleb Gaddis and his crew at the Valle Trinidad taco stand called out on the radio to inquire where the smell was coming from. Geviss reported the day after that the truck he was driving was a problem in his Alpine, California neighborhood cuz the stench was sickening.
Nonetheless, Round 3 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, featuring a race-record lineup of over 440 entries competing in 25 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held this weekend in Ensenada, Mexico.
An entire contingent of officials has arrived here to Ensenada as they ready for this epic event. A variety of celebrations is already underway including the incredible Baja Safari Race Party.
Early this morning a fleet of official trucks were readying the area for what is expected to be an incredible event featuring a RECORD amount of racers ever entered in the Baja 500. It’s been reported that will reach the 440 entry mark by Thursday afternoon once late entries arrive to Ensenada. Already, the official entry is listed at 437 racers.
“I just can’t properly put into words how huge this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 race is going to be this week,” said Sal Fish, who has been since it produced its first 500 on June 26, 1974. “It is mind blowing to think that we already have 53 more entries than the race record and 92 more than last year’s race that had 345 starters.”
“We have a field this year full of talented veterans as well as a large number of rookies, many of whom haven’t even been to Mexico prior to this event, let alone compete in a Baja race. While the race itself promises to be one for the ages, we exhort all the racers, chase crews and the more than 150,000 spectators we are expecting to be patient, cautious, and safe. We all want to return from Mexico with nothing but wonderful stories from an incredible racing extravaganza.”
Starting and finishing in Ensenada on the majestic Baja California peninsula, this year’s tight and technical 424.29-mile course will run in a clockwise direction, running East into the middle of the peninsula, then South, followed by a West travel section, turning north, then East, North and back West to the finish in Ensenada.
Wednesday’s prerun activities included the Prerunnerz prerunner crew in two different prerunners running the first 150 miles, which some have said will make or break the race. And although it was earlier reported very tight and technical, there is no doubt that the infamous Las Vegas racers have arrived to “burn” in the course.
That includes one of the nation’s top teams, Danny Anderson, who for this race has teamed up with 2004 SCORE Class 1 Champion – John Marking, for a run to victory in Anderson’s single-seat Class 1. Anderson won the CABO 500, just last month!
Although, a late-breaking news story comes from the SMD Motorsports camp, as it was told to Prerunnerz that the #27 Trophy Truck suffered a blown-motor in testing at Plaster City, California only yesterday. Word is that Team Owner Steve Scaroni and the his crew are seeking out a replacement motor and will be ready for Saturday’s epic race.
The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 9 a.m. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race, and while the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in approximately nine hours, all will have an 18-hour time limit to become official finishers in the summer classic.
Today’s prerun action saw the #230 Pro Truck, to be piloted by MasterCraft CEO Robbie Pierce, prerunning in his MasterCraft Bronco with young gun co-driver, Joey Westhoff. Of course, Westhoff is the owner of Zip-Tie Productions, an innovative leading edge film production company specializing in desert racing, CORR racing and professional rockcrawling.
Also seeing action today was the cagey VORRA veteran, Steve Sullivan, in his new Class 1 led by crew chief, Bob Wiederhold. Their crew is here prerunning the first section and as they say in Nascar, “Gettin’ R’ Dun.”
The Prerunnerz has set up Satellite Communications at Hwy 3 and KM 54 where a small city of race support teams has formed. Temperatures are 96 degrees as most everyone is hiding in the slim shade.
Just arriving at 3:00 p.m. to Hwy 3 @ KM 54 is Mike Sixbery and Andy Kirker prerunning for their Baja 500 race on the 500X bike. Sixbery said, “The course is great and challenging, we’re looking forward to the race. Special thanks to Jim Oneil of Oneil Racing for his continued support.” Their chase crew consisted of Dawn Sixbery, of Bullhead City, Arizona, who entertained the crowd of prerunner crews in her bikini.
Waiting for Big Chuck riding the 266X motorcycle from Houston, Texas was Princess Deana and Chris. Big Chuck is the team owner of Looters Desert Racing Team.Over 25 teams are assembled here at Hwy 3 and KM 54 awaiting their drivers to arrive to this access road. Prerunnerzz is on the scene and will continue to bring you the action from the Baja 500 prerun and evening parties from Ensenada.
::OFFICIAL BAJA 500 BRIEFING:
1) The Driver/Rider Meeting will be held Friday, June 2 at 7:00pm in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera Convention Center.
2) All competitors are reminded that off road racing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or even death. YOU MUST BEAR THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PERSONAL SAFETY.
3) It is important to remember that SCORE cannot regulate the conduct of spectators. Be advised that spectators may engage in malicious activity by building ramps, digging ditches and placing objects onto the course. When approaching a group of spectators - SLOW DOWN & BE ALERT!!
4) The roads used for this race course are open to the public. You must expect at all times to encounter oncoming traffic. You must also expect to encounter cattle roaming freely on and around the race course.
5) All racers MUST possess a valid driver license while operating the race vehicle.
6) The speed limit for all race vehicles on all highway sections is 60 mph. This speed limit will be enforced with the rally logger device. The Mexican Federal Preventative Police continue to have jurisdiction to enforce the 60 mph speed limit at their sole discretion independent of SCORE's post-race analysis of the rally logger data.
7) Passing on the highway sections must be made on the left-hand side only, within the 60 MPH speed limit, and by obeying the highway markings. The Mexican Federal Preventative Police will enforce the highway passing laws at their sole discretion.
8) There are six paved highway sections subject to the 60 mph speed limit:
ON HWY 3 @ KM 12 MILE 15.1 to OFF HWY 3 @ KM 19 MILE 19.4
ON HWY 3 @ KM 118 MILE 161.5 to OFF HWY 3 @ KM 138 MILE 173.8
ON HWY 1 @ KM 102 MILE 285.7 to OFF HWY 1 @ KM 96 MILE 289.8
ON HWY 1 @ KM 51 MILE 344.4 to OFF HWY 1 @ KM 42 MILE 350.3
CROSS HWY 3 @ KM 39 MILE 391.0 to OFF OJOS PAVEMENT MILE 392.0
ON HWY 3 @ KM 19 MILE 406.2 to OFF HWY 3 @ KM 12 MILE 410.4
9) The speed limit for pit support vehicles on pavement is the posted limit.
The speed limit on dirt access roads is 35 mph.
10) All competitors must do their part to protect and preserve the Baja ecological environment. Please instruct your team that it is very important to properly dispose of all solid and liquid waste. Do not litter, start fires, or deviate from the marked course.
11) The race course is marked with orange/white ribbon, yellow reflective tape, orange arrows, green wrong ways, and mile markers every five miles. SCORE cannot guarantee that course markings will be in place on race day. It is the responsibility of each driver/rider to race in a controlled manner and be able to slow down to avoid danger spots.
12) Four-Wheel vehicles that are in a position to pass a motorcycle or atv MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO PASS UNTIL THE RIDER HAS MOVED TO THE SIDE OF THE COURSE. Motorcycles and ATVs must remain aware of approaching traffic and move over as quickly as possible. Four-Wheel vehicles are ultimately responsible for the safety of passing. USE YOUR HORN!!!
13) SCORE will use 151.625 (Weatherman Relay) for the main race operations radio frequency. Please use this frequency to report an emergency or ask for help.
14) Stub Cans will be used at this race. You are required to enter all checkpoints in a single file manner and come to a complete stop at the stop sign. The checkpoint corridor is not considered part of the race. Entering and exiting all checkpoints must be done in a safe and prudent manner in order to guarantee the safety of all checkpoint workers. Checkpoint signage will be placed on the right side of the course as follows - CHCKPNT 1/4 MILE / CHCKPNT 200 YARDS / CHCKPNT.
15) Passing is not permitted 300 feet before a checkpoint. Pitting is not permitted within 300 feet before and 100 feet after a checkpoint. Pitting is not permitted within 100 feet before or 100 feet after a paved highway crossing. No towing, pushing or pulling through a checkpoint or greater than 1% of the course, which is 4.3 miles.
16) No towing, pushing or pulling of Four-Wheel vehicles within 1 mile of the finish line. SCORE has created an exception to this rule in the past and allowed pushing by wristbanded vehicle occupants only. Vehicle occupants will be allowed to push a disabled race vehicle across the finish line, but only if the vehicle becomes disabled after exiting the wash and is situated on the pavement or dirt hardpack which exists just prior to the finish line area. No towing, pushing or pulling in the Ensenada wash.
17) The race will start in front of the Riviera Convention Center on Boulevard Costero and finish at the Campo de Softball Jose Negro Soto Stadium, which is located at the intersection of 11th Street and Espinoza Avenue. The Softball Stadium is adjacent to the traditional finish at the baseball stadium.
18) A competitor who is late for his assigned start time will start at the back of the class that is currently starting. The elapsed time of a late starter begins with his DESIGNATED START TIME, not the late start time.
19) All classes have 18 hours to complete the race provided that each checkpoint is cleared within the scheduled closing time.
20) Checkpoint locations and closing times are as follows:
- CHECKPOINT 1 - ABOVE CASA VERDE - MILE 88.3 / SATURDAY @ 8:00PM
- CHECKPOINT 2 - SANTA CATARINA - MILE 141.2 / SATURDAY @ 10:00PM
- CHECKPOINT 3 - RANCHO COYOTE - MILE 210.8 / SUNDAY @ 1:00AM
- CHECKPOINT 4 - SAN VICENTE - MILE 290.7 / SUNDAY @ 3:00AM
- CHECKPOINT 5 - OJOS NEGROS - MILE 397.2 / SUNDAY @ 5:00AM
- FINISH LINE - SOFTBALL STADIUM - MILE 425.0 / SUNDAY 5:30AM (APPROX)
21) Motorcycles and ATV classes will report to staging at 5:30AM for a 6:00AM start. These classes will start one every 30 seconds in the following order:
22, 30, 40, 21, 20, 50, SptMoto>, SptMoto<, 25, 24, SptAtv. 22) There will be a full two-hour gap between the last ATV starter and the first Trophy Truck starter. 23) Four-Wheel vehicles will start at approximately 9:15AM start. The exact start time of the first Trophy Truck is two hours after the last ATV starter. 24) Four-Wheel vehicles will start one every 30 seconds in the following order: TT, 1, 10, 8, PT, SL, 1/2-1600, 5, 7, 5-1600, 7S, 7SX, SF, SM, 9, 3, 17, SptTrk, SptBug, 11, SptUtv. 25) FOUR WHEEL CLASS STAGING TIMES - TT(8:30AM), 1(8:45AM), 10(9:15AM), 8(9:20AM), PT(9:30AM), SL(9:40AM), 1/2-1600(9:50AM), 5(10:05AM), 7(10:10AM), 5-1600(10:15AM), 7S(10:20AM), 7SX(10:25AM), SF(10:30AM), SM(10:35AM), 9(10:40AM), 3(10:45AM), 17(10:50AM), SPTRK(10:55AM), SPTBUG(11:00AM), 11(11:05AM), SPUTV(11:10AM). 26) Late registration will open on Saturday morning at 5:00AM at the Start Line in front of the Riviera Convention Center. 27) A technical protest MUST be filed no later than 30 minutes after the first finisher out of the money in your class. 28) The posting of Unofficial Results will be at 8:00AM Sunday in the lobby of the San Nicolas Hotel. 29) The Competition Review Board will meet at 9:00AM Sunday at the San Nicolas Hotel. 30) The Awards Presentation will be held 10:00AM Sunday at the San Nicolas Hotel. RACE REGISTRATION AT SAN NICOLAS HOTEL - EXPANDED HOURS
Race Registration at the San Nicolas Hotel has been expanded and will be open on Thursday, June 1 from 2:00PM to 6:00PM. Registration will also be open on Friday, June 2 from 9:00AM to 4:30PM.
BAJA PITS & BAJA HUSKYS
PIT 1 Between RM 33-35
PIT 2 Between RM 60-62
PIT 3 RM 99
PIT 4 RM 142
PIT 5 RM 172
PIT 6 RM 212
PIT 7 RM 257
PIT 8 RM 303 LOCOS MOCOS
PIT 9 RM 352 (IN TOWN)
PIT 10 RM 392
With Baja Pits in mind, you can buy 1 pit, 2 pits, 3 pits or all 10 pits. Go to www.bajapits.com and click on Baja 500 race application for pit prices. Baja Pits and Baja Huskys will be operating a Pre Runners Pit Stop two weekends in a row at RM 162, across from the Valle T Pemex Station. Dates are May 20-21 and May 27-28 from approx. 9 am to 5 pm both weekends. Park your trucks/trailers and pre run from there. Stephen "Steny" Stenberg will be running the pit on May 20-21st. Carlos Orozco will be running the pit on May 27-28. See you there. Baja Pits, in association with Baja Huskys, is operating their free pre-run location around race mile 162-164 on Hwy. 3 in the Valle de Trinidad area of Baja California. The pit stop will be on the Highway and will open from approximately 11:00 am to 6 pm Saturday the 21st and from 9 am to 5 pm Sunday the 22nd. It will open again from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28 th as well.
All Racers, members and non members alike of Baja Pits/Baja Huskys are welcome to stop by. Look for the Orange and black Baja Pits triangle pit signs, Husqvarna Race Banners and Husqvarna EZ-Up to mark the pit location each day. We will have limited tools, jacks, water, some food, race radio set to Baja Pits freq, emergency motorcycle tires and tubes, lubricants and a place to stop and unload your vehicles and hub out of during your pre running the lower section of the course.
Contact Stephen Stenberg at Stenberg@Bajapits.com or Stenberg@Bajahuskys.com for any further information. See you there!
Locos Mocos Pit News:
Locos Mocos pit has changed from RM 303 to Just before El Rayo Jct. RM 99. Baja Pits Pit # 3.
ENTRY LIST & RACE DETAILS
Not only is the entry list of nearly 440 vehicles the largest in the long and storied three-decade-plus history of this weekend’s 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, it is also filled with the most former class winners ever in a SCORE race with 88 competitors who have combined for 227 class wins.Included in that illustrious group of former class winners are nine SCORE desert racing daredevils who have combined for 22 Overall 4-wheel vehicle titles and five riders who have combined for 21 Overall motorcycle crowns in the world’s second oldest desert race. The pacemakers in the huge field are Rod Hall and Larry Roeseler, who each have 15 career class wins in this race--the most among active racers.Round 3 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, featuring a race-record lineup of over 440 entries competing in 25 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held this weekend in Ensenada, Mexico.
While the race itself promises to be one for the ages, we exhort all the racers, chase crews and the more than 150,000 spectators we are expecting to be patient, cautious, and safe. We all want to return from Mexico with nothing but wonderful stories from an incredible racing extravaganza.”Starting and finishing in Ensenada on the majestic Baja California peninsula, this year’s tight and technical 424.29-mile course will run in a clockwise direction, running East into the middle of the peninsula, then South, followed by a West travel section, turning north, then East, North and back West to the finish in Ensenada. The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 9 a.m. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race, and while the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in approximately nine hours, all will have an 18-hour time limit to become official finishers in the summer classic.The starting line area will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in downtown Ensenada, Mexico. For the first time, the finish line will be at the Campo de Softball Jose Negro Soto Stadium at 11th Street (Calle Once) and Espinoza Avenue in Ensenada. It is located approximately 1.7 miles east of the start line area. NASCAR team owner/driver Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., will defend his overall 4-wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy-Truck crown as will last year’s overall motorcycle and Class 22 winner Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., who is racing this year on the American Honda A team with Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., and Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev., the defending Overall ATV champion. Gordon, the 1996 SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion with five career race wins in the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower unlimited production trucks, has announced his plans for his triple-duty week of NASCAR and SCORE racing. Gordon will be commuting this week to and from Dover, Dela., where he will be competing in this week’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race.Gordon, who has four class wins and three overall titles in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, has finalized his plans for the two SCORE Trophy-Trucks he has entered.
Third generation SCORE desert racer Andy McMillin, Poway, Calif., is driver of record this season in the No. 83 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500 that Gordon drove solo in last year to victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and Gordon himself is driver of record in the No. 89 Team Gordon Hummer H3. Gordon announced plans last week to drive the No. 83 SCORE Trophy-Truck for the first half of the race before turning the vehicle over to McMillin, who will ride shotgun during the first half. Robby Gordon’s dad Bob Gordon, Orange, Calif., who himself has three class wins and two overalls in this race, will drive the first half, before turning the wheel over to his son to drive the second half. The No. 83 SCORE Trophy-Truck will be the eighth vehicle to leave the line while the No. 89 will start in the 28th slot, 10 minutes later.A total of 16 of the 18 defending 2005 Pro class winners (six classes had no finishers) are entered, although four of them have switched classes. Besides Gordon, Childress and Frederick, other racers who will be back to defend their class titles are George Seeley, Glendale, Calif. (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug), Danny Ledezma, Chula Vista, Calif. (Class 5/1600, 1600cc VW Baja Bug), Todd Wyllie, New River, Ariz. (Class 8, Chevy C1500), Eric Fisher, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 9, Garibay-VW) Lobsam Yee, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 10, Jimco-Honda), Ricardo Malo, Mexicali, Mexico/Arturo Honold, Calexico, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Curry-VW), Gerardo Rojas, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico (Class 30, Honda XR650R), Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif. (Class 40, Honda XR650R) and Eizaburo Karasawa, Japan (Class 50, Honda XR650R).The four class winners from last year who have switched classes are: Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, Poway, Calif. (from Class 1 to separate SCORE Trophy-Trucks), Rob MacCachren/Bryan Freeman (MacCachren from Class 1-2/1600 to SCORE Trophy-Truck and Freeman to Protruck), John Holmes, Olivenhain, Calif. (from Class 7S to Class 7SX) and Kirk Schreier, Phoenix (from Class 24 to Class 25).The venerable Hall, 67, Reno, Nev., who earned his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500 class win in 1970 and his most recent in 1994, returns after a 12-year absence as a favorite in the Stock Mini class in his Hummer H3. Hall is the only person who has raced in all 38 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races, where he has the most class wins of anyone with 18.Roeseler, 49, Canyon Lake, Calif., has 11 overall wins in this race including nine on a motorcycle, earning his frist class win 1972 and his most recent in 2004. This year Roeseler will again be the co-driver for Troy Herbst, Las Vegas, in the unlimited Class 1 in a Smithbuilt-Ford open wheel desert race car. Together Herbst and Roeseler earned three straight Class 1 wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004.Two of the other former Overall winners who are entered again this year in Class 1 are SCORE veterans Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp. The two classic desert racers won the overall together in 1978 and 1979, Smith won it again in 1981 with Bill Newbury and Feldkamp won again in 1985 with Ron Gardner.This year, Smith, 65, will be a second driver for Cam Thieriot in the No. 133 RPS-Chevy while Feldkamp, 61, will be the second driver for his son Buddy Feldkamp, 28, in the No. 119 Penhall-Chevy.Marcos Nunez, Ensenada, Mexico, has seven class wins in this race and is entered in Class 5/1600 in a 1600cc VW Baja Bug while racers entered this year with six career class wins are George Erl, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Class 20), Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif. (Class 22), Troy Herbst (Class 1), Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif. (Class 40) and Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11).Racers entered with five class wins are Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif. (Class 22), Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 1), Scott McMillin, Poway, Calif. (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz. (SCORE Trophy-Truck), George Seeley, Glendale, Calif. (Class 5) and Malcolm Smith.With four class wins each are: Eric Fisher, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 9), Robby Gordon (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Rick D. Johnson (Protruck), Jerry Penhall, Costa Mesa, Calif. (Class 1), Dean Sundahl, Santee, Calif. (Class 25) and Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix (Class 8).The eight racers with three class wins entered this year are: Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif. (Class 25), Bud Feldkamp (Class 1), Bob Gordon (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Eizaburo Karasawa, Japan (Class 50), Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3), J. David Ruvalcaba, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 30), Hector Sarabia, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600) and Kirk Schreier, Phoenix (Class 25).
BAJARACINGNEWS.COM will be webcasting formatted audio webcasts from the event, starting on Thursday. Additionally, they will have a live webcast from Friday’s pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway from Noon to 2 p.m. PDT.Entries have come from every state in the Western U.S., Hawaii, and Texas, from across the Midwest including South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as New York, Ohio and Massachusetts in the East and Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama in the South. Late registration will be accepted up until race morning, and the current total of 437 entries guarantees a final starting grid of over 400 for this first time in the 38-year history of the race. The current record for number of starters is 384, set in 1976 and tied in 1977. The current record for number of finishers is 202, set in 1988 (332 starters), when the race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas. Both marks are expected to be eclipsed by this year’s totals. Amazingly, there is actually one 1976 class winner entered this year and two class winners from 1977. Larry Roeseler won Class 21 in 1976 and Class 22 in 1977 while Rod Hall won Class 4 in 1977.To date, entries have been received from 28 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan and New Zealand.
The Pro classes with the most entries are: Class 1 (42), SCORE Trophy-Truck, with a class-record 41, SCORE Lite, with a class-record 33, Class 1-2/1600 (30) and Class 22 and Class 30 (each with 17). Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT Motorcycles over 250cc with a class-record 51 for the relatively new class and SPT ATV with a class-record 28 all-terrain vehicles entered.Pre-race festivities for the 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be held in Ensenada on Friday. Traditionally drawing nearly 50,000 spectators, the pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and display of every race vehicle will be held behind the San Nicolas Hotel, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The post-race awards celebration will be held at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday at 10 a.m. Racer and media registration will be held on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Nicolas Hotel. The 2006 SCORE Desert Series includes the chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point champions.The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes the hunt for the annual Toyota Milestone and $12,000 Toyota True Grit Awards. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2006 SCORE Desert Series. The $12,000 Toyota True Grit purse is split among the SCORE season point champions who are also Toyota Milestone award winners in several non-factory-backed classes.
Tecate SCORE Baja 500A l l - T i m e O v e r a l l C h a m p i o n sYear, Cars & Trucks/Motorcycles (second line)1969--Bud Ekins/Guy JonesDoug Douglas/Jim McClurg1970--Parnelli JonesBill Silverthorn/Gene Fetty1971--Bobby FerroMalcolm Smith/J.N. Roberts1972--Bobby FerroGene Fetty/Bill Silverthorn1973--Parnelli JonesHoward Utsey/Mickey Quade1974--Ivan Stewart/Bill HrynkoAl Baker/Steve Holladay1975--Ivan StewartLarry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie1976--Bobby Ferro/Ivan StewartLarry Roeseler/A.C. Bakken1977--Ivan StewartLarry Roeseler/Jack Johnson1978--Bud Feldkamp/Malcolm SmithBrent Wallingsford/Scot Harden1979--Malcolm Smith/Bud FeldkampJack Johnson1980--Bob GordonBruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller1981--Malcolm Smith/Bill NewburyLarry Roeseler/Bruce Ogilvie1982--Larry RaglandLarry Roeseler/Chuck Miller1983--Corky & Scott McMillinDan Ashcraft1984--Larry RaglandDan Smith/Dan Ashcraft1985--Ron Gardner/Bud FeldkampKurt Pfeiffer/Scot Harden1986--Corky & Scott McMillinGarth Sweetland/Scot Harden1987--Bob Gordon/Tim CrabtreeLarry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr.1988--Mark McMillinDan Ashcraft/Kurt Pfeiffer1989--Robby Gordon(no motorcycles)1990--Robby GordonLarry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte1991--Ivan StewartGarth Sweetland/Paul Krause1992--Ivan StewartLarry Roeseler/T. Hunnicutt Jr./P. Krause1993--Ivan StewartDanny Hamel/L. Roeseler/T. Hunnicutt Jr.1994--Ivan StewartPaul Krause/Ted Hunnicutt Jr.1995--Curt LeDucPaul Krause/Craig Smith1996--Rob MacCachrenPaul Krause/Ty Davis1997--Ivan StewartJohnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie1998--Ivan StewartJohnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie1999--Ivan StewartJonah Street/Torsten Borstrom2000--Larry RaglandJonah Street/Steve Hengeveld2001--Mark McMillinSteve Hengeveld/Jonah Street2002--Troy Herbst/Larry RoeselerSteve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell2003--Troy Herbst/Larry RoeselerSteve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell 2004--Alan PfluegerSteve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell2005—Robby GordonMike Childress/Mouse McCoyTecate SCORE Baja 500----- Multiple Overall Champions -----Cars & Trucks11 Ivan StewartLarry Roeseler*4 Malcolm Smith**3 Larry RaglandBud FeldkampBobby FerroRobby Gordon2 Bob GordonTroy HerbstParnelli JonesCorky McMillinMark McMillinScott McMillin*Nine on motorcycle**One on motorcycleMotorcycles5 Paul KrauseBruce OgilvieSteve HengeveldJohnny Campbell4 Ted Hunnicutt Jr.3 Jonah StreetScot Harden2 Gene FettyJack JohnsonChuck MillerKurt PfeifferBil Silverthorn
Here is the current story:
2006 is a big-offroad year, with over 400 entries already listed, the Baja 500 is on its way to being the biggest Baja race ever seen. Although it often has more entry than the more infamous Baja 1000, the mere mention of its name doesn’t generate the excitement that the Baja 1000 does. This year may change that.
With the huge starting field, including 44 unlimited Class 1 cars and 40 thundering Trophy Trucks, the competition for the overall win will be hot and heavy. Actually, just getting to the finish line is always tough at a Baja race, and in the 37 year history of the Baja 500, the finish rate has been less than 50% in 19 of the races. It reached its lowest point in 1978, when only 34% of the 282 entrants got back around to the finish line. Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp were the winners that year, and as it happens, both are entered in this year’s race. The best finish rate ever at a 500 was in 1995, when the race started in Ensenada but finished in Santo Tomas. 68% of the 251 starters made it all the way.
This year some of the sport’s most experienced and talented drivers will be racing in the two premier classes, and topping the list is Robby Gordon, who, teamed with Andy McMillin in his number 83 Chevrolet, is scheduled to be the eighth truck to take the green flag. Gordon was last year’s overall winner at the 500, and he’ll be trying for a repeat win.
Ryan Arciero and Mark Miller, in the #88 Chevrolet, and Trophy Truck winners here in the recent past, will also be charging hard, and Trophy Truck fans should also keep an eye on some teams that have had recent wins, like the #2 Ford of Pete Sohren, and the #38 Ford of Garron Cadiente. They’re starting close enough to the front of the class that they’ll be battling hard to get the dust-free point position.
In the Class 1 ranks you can expect to see Damen Jefferies, in his #101 Herman Motorsports chassis, up near the front at the finish, but he has Dale Ebberts and Ernie Castro Jr. starting just a few positions back in their #104 Jimco Toyota. Rick Wilson, #106, has also been running right up front recently in his Chevy Jimco, and Troy Herbst and Larry Roeseler, #112, will be the 12 th Class 1 car off the line in their Truggy and working hard to get through the traffic. Hot on their heels will be Mark McMillin and Brian Ewalt, #100, and Kash Vessels, #114, starts right behind them in his very fast new Alpha-Chevy. But you can’t count out any of the others starting near the front of the Class 1 pack. There’s a ton of talent and good equipment. Anyone who travels out to Ojos Negros to watch the early leaders would certainly get a good show.
Another aspect of this race that may make a difference is the course. Once past the little town of Ojos, the course will turn northward, and head into the trees on a trail never before raced in a SCORE event. It’s tight and technical, and some of the racers who’ve been pre-running think it could possibly turn into a jam-up. SCORE has tried to prevent a recurrence of the race-stopping traffic jams that happened at this race last year over near Simpson’s and in the vicinity of El Coyote. This year the course has been turned back to its “normal” direction in the neighborhood of Simpson’s, and since they’ll be traveling down hill at that point, there’s less likelihood of a traffic jam. Things can still happen in the river crossing, and cars have been known to float down stream, so there’s always a chance for disaster.
Once the cars have made it past the difficult terrain near Mike’s Sky Rancho, El Coyote, and Simpson’s, there’s a long familiar run down past the outskirts of Valle de Trinidad and then out to the shore. Once across Highway 1 the racers will be treated to sea breezes, ocean views and an old familiar trail.
Weary drivers tend to hit the twisty road near Santo Tomas too fast and they slide off the embankments, overshoot the turns, or tangle with the fences. Once past that point they get a short stretch of highway, where they have to watch their speed, or risk disqualification. Then there’s a right turn off the pavement and into Uruapan, where the unwary have been known to run into the inhabitants’ walls. A narrow, winding road beyond Uruapan is often the end of the drive. There are washouts to fall into and embankments to slide off, as well as big rocks and boulders to avoid.
For some racers the hardest part of the trip comes in the 30 miles west of Ojos on the return trip. Even though the same road is used for both the out and inbound ends of the race, many racers get lost when they’re coming in. The markers are usually gone, taken home as souvenirs, and often a damp fog settles into that area and makes it hard to see the road. Tight races are often won or lost in the final few miles.
The exciting races won’t all be in the Trophy Trucks or Class 1 ranks. The tightest battles are often in the 1-2/1600 class, where limited motors and suspension make the cars so equal that smarts, talent and luck play a huge part in determining the finish position. There are nearly 30 of the 1600s in this event, and in the SCORE Lite class, which is also limited, there will be another 30, fighting a tight battle for the win.
Some interesting people will be driving in this race, including Indy 500 “spin and win” racer, Danny Sullivan, who’s entered in the #96 Chevrolet Trophy Truck as co-driver with Bobby Baldwin. Roberto Guerrero, 1984 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, will also be driving, in the #245 Ford Protruck of Eric Place and Chris Lucas. Rhys Millen, champion “drifter” as well as a winning rally driver, will share the driving with Chet Huffman in the #40 Chevy Trophy Truck. Cameron Steele, long time off-road racer, and also Pit Reporter for the Champ Car series on TV, will be trying to be the first driver ever to race (and finish) in three classes. He’s entered in Class 22 on a motorcycle, in the SCORE Lite class, and in his #16 Ford Trophy Truck.
Spectators who go out of town to watch the race will find good viewing near Santa Catarina, and Jamau, each a short distance off Highway 3, near Independencia. There’s also some good spectating down around San Vicente on Highway 1, and at Uruapan, or where the course crosses Highway 3 as it nears the finish, in the neighborhood of Ojos Negros.
While it's likely that the race-record 41 SCORE Trophy-Trucks will grab much of the spotlight, the unlimited Class 1 cars and Class 22 motorcycle division will provide their own special fireworks during next weekend's 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the second-oldest desert race in the world.Round 3 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, featuring a race-record lineup of over 420 entries competing in 25 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 2-4 in Ensenada, Mexico. The race will be filmed for television by Aura360, SCORE'S TV production partner, to air in December as a one-hour special on NBC.With a race-record field of over 420 already guaranteed, 42 unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars will attempt to capture the overall 4-wheel vehicle title, unseating the marquee SCORE Trophy-Trucks, those high-tech, high-budget, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks who have won the overall in nine times in their 12-year history.And while the thundering herd of SCORE Trophy-Trucks and Class 1 race cars blast their way around the Northern part of the Baja peninsula, the growing field of motorcycles and ATVs, now at 159, will be waging their own special challenge against the elements, the competitors and their own mental and physical strength and stamina.Led by last year's overall motorcycle winner Mike Childress and his new co-rider Steve Hengeveld, who has won five of the last six years with different co-riders, Team Honda is nearly invincible, having won nine consecutive Class 22 and Overall motorcycle titles in this race. Class 22 has 16 entries so far this year.
Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 150,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world's best desert racers in action around the foreboding deserts, rugged mountains, pristine beaches and inspiring forests of Baja California at this year's Tecate SCORE Baja 500.And, if anyone is able to cover the rough and tumble, serenely majestic 429.24-mile course faster than one of the galaxy of SCORE Trophy-Trucks, their family name will probably be Herbst or McMillin, two of the winningest Class 1 families in all of SCORE Baja racing.Both with SCORE Baja racing histories dating back to the 1970, the Herbst family, of Las Vegas, has compiled eight class wins in this race since family patriarch Jerry Herbst won Category 3 in 1970 while the McMillin family, SCORE's first three-generation race team based in San Diego, has notched 13 class wins since second-generation racer Scott McMillin picked the first for his family in 1981 in Class 10.In the hunt for the coveted Overall 4-wheel vehicle title, the Herbsts have two (Troy Herbst-2002, 2003) and the McMillins have four (family patriarch Corky McMillin and his second son Scott-1983, 1986 and Corky's oldest son Mark McMillin-1988-2001)."I guess you could say that both the Herbst family and the McMillin family know a thing or two about SCORE racing in Baja," said Troy Herbst, a six-time SCORE Class 1 season point champ who has 18 Class 1 race wins since 1997. "I can say without a doubt that the key word here is family. Both the Herbsts and the McMillins have been at this for 30 years or more and we both have great family support, dads who brought us out to the desert when we were still in diapers and dedicated crews that give us great equipment to drive. "As many great racers as there are in SCORE racing, anyone can win at any time, but the Herbsts and McMillins have sure had our share. As for beating the SCORE Trophy-Trucks, who cares? Seriously, you can't beat them unless you beat all the Class 1 cars first and with 42 Class 1s in Mexico that is a huge tamale to consider before even looking at the trucks. Either way, I'm sure the Herbsts and the McMillins will go out and give it our all, have a whole lot of fun, and you we'll just have to stay tuned and see what happens.
"When it comes to Class 1 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, either a Herbst or a McMillin has won it in 10 of the last 12 years, and nine of the last 10.In that incredible string of Class 1 victories, Troy Herbst has captured the checkered flag six times (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004).Starting this stretch for the McMillins was Corky McMillin, who passed away last September 22 at age 76 still a SCORE regular, and his son Mark in 1994. Mark McMillin picked up two more Class 1 wins in 1997 and 2001. Last year, Scott McMillin and his son Andy McMillin won Class 1.This year, both Scott McMillin and Andy McMillin will be driving separate vehicles in the SCORE Trophy-Truck division, but Mark McMillin, the defending SCORE point series Class 1 season champion, will carry the McMillin colors in the No. 100 McMillin Racing Chevy-powered Jimco.Daniel McMillin, 18, Mark's son, will be the fourth McMillin competing this year, racing in Class 1-2/1600.For the Herbst family, Troy Herbst and his older brothers Ed and Tim, will all be competing. Troy, the youngest at 39, will split driving with Larry Roeseler, who has an amazing 15 class wins including 11 overall titles in this race. Herbst and Roeseler have teamed up for a rare triple, winning Class 1 in 2002, 2003 and 2004, including the overall the first two years. The will drive the No. 112 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford.Ed Herbst, 45, and Tim Herbst, 43, the winningest team in SCORE Trophy-Truck history with 11 class wins and four season point crowns, will split driving in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck. Ironically, they are still looking for their first win in SCORE Trophy-Truck in this race.At the top of the list of talented challengers to knock off Troy Herbst and Mark McMillin are brothers Gary and Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. After racing in separate vehicles the first two races, they have joined forces to drive the No. 121 Jimco-Chevy. Gary Weyhrich, 38, is the current Class 1 and overall point leader in the SCORE Desert Series, starting the year with a victory at the season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and following that up with a second to Troy Herbst/Larry Roeseler in the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in March.Two other former Overall winners from Class 1 who are entered again this year in Class 1 are SCORE veterans Malcolm Smith and Bud Feldkamp.
The two classic desert racers won the overall together in 1978 and 1979, Smith won it again in 1981 with Bill Newbury and Feldkamp won again in 1985 with Ron Gardner.This year, Smith, 65, will be a second driver for Cam Thieriot in the No. 133 RPS-Chevy while Feldkamp, 61, will be the second driver for his son Buddy Feldkamp, 28, in the No. 119 Penhall-Chevy.Including Childress, defending class champions in four of the five motorcycle classes are back this year as well as Josh Frederick, Moapa, Nev., the returning Class 25 open ATV overall champion. Returning motorcycle class winners are Gerardo Rojas, Class 30, Jim O'Neal, Class 40, and Eizaburo Karasawa, Class 50. Rojas, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, has two straight wins in Class 30, for riders over 30 years old. O'Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., has put together talented teams to win Class 40 for five consecutive years and his Class 30 win in 2002 give him six class wins for his career in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Japan's Karasawa has three class wins, two in Class 40 prior to Class 50 last year.Starting and finishing in Ensenada on the majestic Baja California peninsula, this year's tight and technical course will run in a clockwise direction, running East into the middle of the peninsula, then South, followed by a West travel section, turning north, then East, North and back West for the final charge back into Ensenada.
The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 3) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 9 a.m. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race, with an 18-hour time limit to become official finishers.Entries have come from every state in the Western U.S., Hawaii, and Texas, from across the Midwest including South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as New York, Ohio and Massachusetts in the East and Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama in the South. A race-record total of 420 official entries have been received to date, an increase of 93 more entries since the April 22 drawing for start positions.With late entries accepted up until race morning, entries have been received from 28 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan and New Zealand, all preparing to challenge the very technical and rugged 424.29-mile course. As of today, the Pro classes with the most entries are: Class 1 (42), SCORE Trophy-Truck, with a class-record 41, SCORE Lite, with a class-record 33, Class 1-2/1600 (27) and Class 22 and Class 30 (each with 16). Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT Motorcycles over 250cc with a class-record 50 for the relatively new class and SPT ATV with a class-record 25 all-terrain vehicles entered.The starting line area will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in downtown Ensenada, Mexico. The finish line will be at the softball and soccer field complex at 11th Street near Guadalupe Avenue in Ensenada.
It is located approximately 1.7 miles east of the start line area. Pre-race festivities for the 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be held in Ensenada on Friday (June 2). Traditionally drawing approximately 50,000 spectators, the pre-race Manufacturer's Midway and display of every race vehicle will be held adjacent to the San Nicolas Hotel, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday (June 2). The post-race awards celebration will be held at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday (June 4) at 10 a.m. Racer and media registration will be held on Thursday (June 1) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday (June 2) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Nicolas Hotel.The 2006 SCORE Desert Series includes the chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point champions.The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes the hunt for the annual Toyota Milestone and $12,000 Toyota True Grit Awards. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2006 SCORE Desert Series. The $12,000 Toyota True Grit purse is split among the SCORE season point champions who are also Toyota Milestone award winners in several non-factory-backed classes.
2006 “Baja 500” Real-Time Status Test ProgramUpdate from The Weatherman
Great idea. The bane of the Weatherman Relay is the requests for status. Status wouldn't be a problem if that were all I had to do. With your volunteers calling the relay on another channel we already monitor, we could keep our records up to date and keep the Weatherman channel open for emergencies, SCORE business, and relays. We monitor the following channels: 151.625 Weatherman, 154.515 PCI customer relay, and from time- to- time the SCORE private channel … and channels we are accomplishing relays on. I would make the following suggestions: 1) Use a standardized form to log the passing vehicles and their times (e.g., TOP TIPS). It may not be possible, time wise, for the Weatherman Relay to take times, however, it would be helpful if we could go back to the reporter and subsequently get the time. 2) Instead of the Pete’s Camp frequency, use 154.515. This is because no race team or the Weatherman Relay can realistically monitor another frequency. Let me know what your thoughts are so I have time to implement them if possible.
Bob “Weatherman” Steinberger
At the 2006 “San Felipe 250” Bob Steinberger, aka “The Weatherman”, was totally swamped by “Code Red” calls, on-course issues, and, most important, a never-ceasing onslaught from crew members and spectators asking about “their car”. The workload quickly became an overload, so much so that an increasingly-irritated Bob had to curtail all “status” calls. As Bob noted, everyone has a radio now and many use The Weatherman channel for chit-chat!
In an effort to provide useful, real-time “status” a group of San Felipe-ians have been given permission by Sr. Rafael Navarro – the owner of “Pete’s Campo” -- to use his frequency to broadcast car status during the “500”.
The current thinking is to place multi-person crews at appropriate high spots on the race course – “Ojos” or “Jamau”, for example? -- logging the car numbers as they pass. Periodically – 30-minute intervals, maybe (TBD) – the sites, in order of increasing race distance, will each take turns transmitting the numbers; when a car passes the NEXT status location that number will be struck from the previous status site’s list – to avoid sensory overload and redundancy. (The first location will be very busy, indeed, right?)
Each status report will be prefaced by their “RACE MILE” location followed by the cars in their passing order. The sites will have towering radio masts to, hopefully, clear the rugged terrain. In general, no calls TO radio frequency 154.515 will be answered and it is not planned to call out passing times. IF an instance occurs that is deemed for importance extra help will be offered but there will be no details – just cars numbers. Tune in, scan it … it is hoped that this alleviates some hassles from Bob’s busy day and provides desired information.