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Thursday, October 18, 2012

LIVE! BAJA 1000 2012 Baja Racing News.com Desert Off-Road Racing ONLINE EVENT RaceDay ONLINE Begins November 15th


MacCachren-Lopez-Baldwin Showdown At Forefront In Field Of 37 High-Powered desert Off-Road Racing Trophy Trucks For 45th Baja 1000
1,121.55 Mile Legendary Desert Off-Road Race LIVE! ONLINE at BajaRacingNews.com

8 of Last 9 Former SCORE Trophy Truck Race Champions Entered In This Year’s Battle Down Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula on Nov. 14-17
Prerunning Down Mexico’s Magnificent Baja California Peninsula Officially Opens Friday
37 of the world’s best desert racers entered in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck starting grid, dust will fly next month but none higher than the point championship duel between second-generation desert racer Rob MacCachren and Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez at the 45th Annual Baja 1000. This year’s iconic desert classic, will be held Nov. 14-17 on a the brutally-rugged 1,121.55-mile Sal Fish signature desert race course.
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With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 35 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes in the internationally televised race, entries have already come from 32 U.S. states and 19 countries. In addition to the 32 U.S. States, racers have entered from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the US Territory of Guam. With 30 days before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 15, late entries will be accepted up to race morning.
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With the rugged course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
This year will be the 38th time in the first 44 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 19th time in has finished in La Paz.
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious and majestic Baja California peninsula.
TROPHY TIME
Leading the car and truck classes into the Baja desert will be the featured High-Powered Trophy Trucks, the high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks that have been the showcase of SCORE since Sal Fish created the spectacular class in 1994.
WHAT’S THE POINTS
Coming back from adversity on the race course in June’s 44th Tecate SCORE Baja 500, his two race wins this season along with his 11th-place finish out of 36 starters in Ensenada, Las Vegas’ All-America racer Rob MacCachren continues to ride at the top of the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck point standings after four of five races in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
Starting the season with back to back overall wins in 2012 (Laughlin-Round 2 and San Felipe) after opening the season with a ninth-place finish in the first round in Laughlin, Nev., MacCachren, 47, has earned 271 championship points in the No. 20 Rockstar Energy/MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
‘Rockstar Rob’, who has eight SCORE season class point titles, earned his 48th career SCORE class win, his 11th career SCORE Trophy Truck race win in San Felipe in March. MacCachren is tied with Las Vegas brothers Ed and Tim Herbst with the most race win in the 18-plus year history of SCORE’s premier racing division. The Mac Attack also won the season title in the inaugural 1994 campaign of SCORE Trophy Trucks.
In San Felipe, MacCachren also earned the 75th all-time SCORE Baja overall race win for noted tire manufacturer BFGoodrich. BFG Tires have now been the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in 22 MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 races, 28 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and 25 in the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
“Our Rockstar/MasterCraft race team were the heroes of the SCORE Baja 500 race for us,” reflected MacCachren, who earned his 200th career win this summer in desert and short-course/stadium racing.
“They got us up and running and what could have been a disaster as far as the season points are concerned was turned into a respectable finish in a huge field of SCORE Trophy Trucks. Our BFG Tires are the best in the universe and it has been my honor and my confidence-builder to know that any race vehicle I am driving has the best desert racing tires in the world guiding us around the course, whether it is in the open desert or in short-course, stadium-style racing.”
“We want to win the 45th anniversary of the Baja 1000 but we also want to win the season point championship in Desert Off-Road Trophy Trucks so our race strategy will be designed to accomplish both.”
Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez, who finished second in both Laughlin races, sixth in San Felipe and eighth in Ensenada in the No. 18 RPM OffRoad Chevy Silverado is second in Overall and Trophy Truck points. RPM leads the point standings in six classes after the first four races of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series. Lopez, of Tecate, Mexico, has 265 points, a mere six behind MacCachren.
Baja Racing Season points are based on starting, finishing, placement and number of official starters within each class.
After winning Round 1 of the season-opening Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and finishing second in the last two races in San Felipe and Ensenada, Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin has moved up to third in overall and Trophy Truck points with 254 in the No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Baldwin has four career race wins in Trophy Truck Class. Baldwin has four career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins and also won the season championship in the class in both 2006 and 2008.
At this year’s Baja 500, Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies won the race for the second straight year in the No. 1 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 Trophy Truck, defeating Baldwin, who had crossed the finish line physically first, by just 11 seconds in the elapsed-time race.
NOT ALONE
Pre-race strategies have a way of disappearing like a mirage in the mysterious Baja desert and while MacCachren, Lopez and Baldwin are duking it out in the badlands south of the border, a host of other great racers, led by Menzies, may claim the crown jewel of desert racing by winning the legendary Baja 1000.
On the silt-laden, rock-strewn even quick-sand trails of Baja, it’s hard to imagine a more formidable field of contenders in the Trophy Truck Class than this year’s magnificent field of hopeful Baja champions. Statistically, 16 drivers in this year’s field have combined to win 77 of the 104 total races in the 18-plus year history of the class, including 12 of the 18 former season point championships and eight of the last nine race winners in the Baja 1000 in Trophy Trucks.
IT’S TERRIBLE GOOD
This year’s super-talented SCORE Trophy Truck field includes three of the top four winningest drivers in class history, led by Las Vegas’ Tim Herbst and MacCachren, also of Las Vegas, who are tied with a record 11 career Trophy Truck race wins. Tim Herbst, who earned all of Trophy Truck race wins with his older brother Ed Herbst, will be racing this time with SCORE Baja racing legend Larry Roeseler. Tim and Ed also won the season title in  Trophy Truck in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
Roeseler, who lives in El Cajon, Calif., has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler and Tim Herbst will split time behind the wheel of the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007) in this race while driving with the youngest of the three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’.
Troy Herbst, another Las Vegas Trophy Truck racer, will be the second driver this year for Ryan Arciero, Foothills Ranch, Calif. in the No. 49 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Arciero has three career  Trophy Truck race victories including two (2003, 2004) in this race.
MASTERFUL McMILLINS
Among the other favorites to win this race will again be San Diego’s son/father team of Andy McMillin, San Deigo and Scott McMillin, Coronado, Calif. Part of the legendary McMillin desert racing family that has been winning Baja races since 1976, Andy, 25, and Scott, 52, have won this race as a team two of the last three years in the No. 31 McMillin Homes Ford F-150. Andy, who also won this race in 2006 with NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, has five career Trophy Truck race wins while his father Scott has three, all with Andy.
Andy’s cousin, Dan McMillin and his father, Scott’s brother, Mark McMillin, are also top SCORE Trophy Truck challengers in the No. 23 McMillin Realty Ford F-150. They finished fourth in class in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
MEXICAN GANADORS
Another top contender for this year’s title will be the father-and-son team of Gus Vildosola Sr./Gus Vildosola Jr, who won the overall title in the 2010 race to La Paz in the No. 21 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford F-150.
Their huge win was the first in this race for a Mexican national team as they were not only the fastest four-wheel vehicle in the race, they had the fastest overall time on the course of all vehicles, including the usually-faster motorcycles. Gus Sr has two Trophy Truck career race wins while Tavo, who like has father has won in other classes as well, has one SCORE Trophy Truck career race win.
CALLING COLLINS
Another of the talented Las Vegas Trophy Truck teams is the three-driver team of Collins Motorsports. Kory Scheeler is the driver of record for this race and will split time behind the wheel of the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Dodge Ram1500 with NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan and six-time Trophy Truck race winner Brian Collins.
DOUBLE-DOWN
Trying to double his odds for a victory, television sports commentator/SCORE desert racer Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., is driver of record in two, yes two, SCORE Trophy Trucks as the SCORE Baja veteran has entered both the No. 14 and the No. 16 Desert Assassins GMC Sierra race trucks.
WAIT, THERE’S MORE
Several more of the numerous contenders in this race has to start with another double-downer. Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., is a second driver in to entries, the No. 84 Chevy Silverado of Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix, and the No. 62 Ford Raptor of Billy Bunch, La Quinta, Calif. LeDuc, who has won this featured class four times in his career was also the 1997 season point champion in Trophy Truck.
Robby Gordon is also a two-timer as he is listed as a second driver for both the No. 18 truck of Juan C. Lopez and in his own No. 77 Chevy CK1500. Gordon, who has nine career Trophy Truck race wins, has also won the season crown in both 1996 and 2009.
Jesse Jones, Phoenix, is also listed on two entries as the two-time Trophy Truck race winner and 2010 season point champion has entered his own No. 76 Ford F-150 and is listed as the second of three drivers, if needed, for Menzies in the No. 1 truck.
Rick D. Johnson, Barstow, Calif., has one career  Trophy Truck race win and is entered with former motorcycle champion Mike Childress, Wrightwood, Calif., in the No. 71 Ford F-150.
Another very competitive team racing their first full season in Trophy Truck, Steve Strobel, Clarks, Neb./Dale Ebberts, Wilton, Calif./Gay Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., are currently fourth in season points in the No. 94 Strobel Motorsports Ford F-150.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR
After the debut of their BMW XJ-6 last season, veteran World Rally Championship racer Armin Schwarz and US teammate Martin Christensen, who lives in Escondido, Calif. but is originally from Denmark, apper to be getting much closer to dialing in all the elements on their unique race truck to match the skill of its drivers.
LEST WE FORGET
While the winner of the race is truly next to impossible to predict, among the other contenders will be surely be brothers Mark Weyhrich/Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 9 Ford F-150), John Langley/Zak Langley/Morgan Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Dan Martin, El Segundo, Calif. (No. 50 Ford F-150), Ken Losch, Tempe, Ariz./Rob Martensen, Phoenix (No. 34 Chevy Silverado), Ed Stout, Staunton, Calif./Glenn Harris, Oxnard, Calif./Jamie Campbell, San Juan Capistranto, Calif. (No. 13 Chevy C1500), Greer brothers Tommy, Tucson, Ariz./Glen, Green Vallley, Ariz./Bruce Greer, Oro Valley, Ariz. (No. 37 Dodge Ram1500), Ron Whitton/Chas Dana, Mesa, Ariz. (No. 39 Ford F-150), Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz. (No. 2 Ford F-150), Chris Kemp, San Clemente, Calif./Dave Tounget, Murrieta, Calif./Alan Pflueger, Honolulu (No. 93 Ford Raptor) and the several other new teams including Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico/Matt Loidice/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., (No. 88 Chevy Silverado), Rob Reinertson, Woodside, Calif./Al Hogan, Columbus, Mont./Bobby Neth, Julian, Calif. (No. 73 Chevy Silverado), John Clark Gable, Malibu, Calif. (No. 92 Ford F-150) and Jay Reichert, Cottonwood Shores, Texas/Charles Dorrance, Austin, Texas (No. 26 Ford F-150).
BY THE NUMBERS
While entries will be accepted up to race morning, late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are Trophy Truck (37), Class 1 (22), and Class 10 (12).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 for open motorcycles has the most entries to date with 11.
Leading the entries in the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which had 34 entries so far.
PRERUNNING
Prerunning on the majority of the race course from Ojos Negros to La Paz begins Friday and pre-running from the start line in Ensenada to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Tuesday and Wednesday of race week, Nov. 13 and 14. Preliminary pre-running, without GPS files, from San Felipe to La Paz, opened on Oct. 6.
COURSE NOTES
This year’s historic 45th anniversary race will run down the length of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula. It will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The challenging race course for this year is somewhat similar to 2010, but longer than the last time the race finished in La Paz, although the terrain has obviously changed significantly because of weather conditions and natural use.
With eight mandatory checkpoints spread down the peninsula plus the finish line, the course starts on the Pacific Ocean-side of Baja California in Ensenada and heads southeast to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez before heading south through Coco’s Corner, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, back to the Pacific at San Juanico, then back to the Sea of Cortez just above Loreto, back to the Pacific near Ciudad Insurgentes heading down along the Pacific through Santa Rita before turning back east and down into La Paz for the finish.
All entries are provided with GPS programs defining the course and all are required to utilize special data recording devices that plot the actual route and speeds each vehicle takes during the mammoth race.

STRIVING FOR GOLD
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 27th consecutive year, a total of 24 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 Baja Desert Series after four rounds in the five-race series.
Racers are also competing for the annual Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the Safety Rookie of the Year award. All categories, except Engine Builder and Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer, will be determined by public on-line voting while Engine and Buggy awards are determined by season points.

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