PLASTER CITY, Calif. — Plastering his way through a double-dusty, silt-laden, wind-blown and rutted out 249.3-mile race course with reckless abandon, third generation desert racer Andy McMillin powered his way to the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck race victory Saturday during the inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250.
Round two of the five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship was held in Plaster City, Calif., located 17 miles west of El Centro and 100 miles east of San Diego.
Starting second out of 14 vehicles in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck racing division for hi-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks, McMillin, of San Diego, pinch hit a home run for absent team owner/driver Rob MacCachren in the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150. McMillin had a winning time of four hours, 31 minutes and one second while averaging a solid average speed of 55.19 miles per hour. The 249.3-mile race was run as three laps over a rugged 83.1-mile course.
Finishing second behind McMillin in SCORE Trophy Truck was veteran racer Steve Sourapas of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. in the No. 6 Ford F-150 in 4:37:16 while the in SCORE Trophy Truck was Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico in the No 18 Ford Raptor.
With near gale-force high winds and a desert sandstorm pummeling the area of the race course for much of day causing technical issues with the official timing of the race in progress, SCORE was forced to release only partial results in time for Sunday’s award ceremony at the Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro.
Following data tracking review of the participating vehicles, SCORE announced the podium finishers in every class except Class 1/2-1600 and Trophy Truck Spec. SCORE will review the data loggers for those two classes and for the remaining vehicles to officially finalize the times and complete finishing order within each class over the next 24 hours.
“SCORE had a superb first race in the Imperial Valley area, but we could not have done it without the major assistance of the IV area, from government and policy agencies to hundreds of volunteers who embraced this major event in a huge way,” commented Roger Norman, SCORE CEO/President. “The sandstorm literally contributed to some timing challenges and technical difficulties but fortunately we have the data loggers in each race vehicle that will assist us in producing complete and final race results.
“All of us with SCORE are extremely grateful and thankful for all of the assistance that the dedicated people of Imperial Valley gave to us not just race day but for the last two years in putting this race all together. We look forward to returning here in future years to help create a lasting legacy for SCORE desert racing in the Imperial Valley.”
In earning his sixth career SCORE Trophy Truck race win, McMillin who has only raced part-time the past three years, pinch hitting for MacCachren who is competing in a short-course series event this weekend, praised a great-running truck and some aggressive driving for his home-desert victory. McMillin whose grandfather (Corky), father (Scott), uncle (Mark), sister (Jessica) and cousins (Dan and Luke) have all won SCORE races, was elated at the finish line south of Superstition Mountain.
Driving like a reserve getting a shot in the starting lineup, McMillin pounded the swirling desert dirt into submission as he hammered the competition in the desert he knows so well.
“I grew up in this desert,” commented McMillin who finished second in his first race with MacCachren at last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Mexico. “I felt really relaxed and comfortable knowing the terrain and the feel of the desert around Superstition (mountain).
“It was a lot of fun out there today and SCORE put on a great Inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250. I was pumped to get on top of the podium and I’ve got thank Rob MacCachren for giving me the keys to his truck for the weekend. It means a lot to have a guy who is so good at desert racing and such a legend to have the trust and faith in me to race his truck for him.
“Rob’s truck ran flawlessly all day and never stopped. This truck is similar to mine and it is setup really good for this race. Normally when I test my truck out here it runs well and then I take it down to Mexico and it doesn’t run well. This one worked well in qualifying and it worked well in the race. It means a lot to win this race in my own backyard. Being familiar with the terrain and the course really helped. It was a really fun course. It was really fast and it had some silt and really deep holes.”
The overall and Open motorcycle winner was the team of Ian Young, San Clemente, Calif./Mark Samuels, Yucaipa, Calif., who split the riding on the No. 1x Honda CRF450X. The duo overcame another battle for much of the race with Ricky Brabec, Oak Hills, Calif./Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif., on the No. 4x Kawasaki KX450F, finishing in 5:14:55 (47.50 mph). Young was pinch hitting for his brother Colton Udall who is injured after suffering a broken left leg in another race.
Winning the overall ATV and Class 25 title in Plaster City for the second straight SCORE race was the team of Javier Robles Jr, Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico/Mike Cafro, Fallbrook, Calif./Jorie Williams, Longview, Wash./Robbie Mitchell, Price, Utah, on the No. 10a Honda TRX450R in a time of 6:09.01 (40.53 mph).
Winning their classes for the second straight race to start the 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship season at the SCORE Imperial Valley 250 were Matney, Brabec, Robles Jr, Giovanni Spinali, Julian, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X), James Burman, Heber City, Utah (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger and Earl Roberts, Calexico, Calif. (Class 50, Honda CRF450X).
Other class winners included female racer Paige Sohren, Phoenix (Class 3000, BajaLite-Chevy), Dan Chamlee, Summerland, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Donald Harper, Palmdale, Calif/Guy Savedra, Henderson, Nev., (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug), Steven Hall, Imperial, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Noah Ostanik, San Diego (Class 8, Ford F-150) and Wes Bevly, Corpus Christi, Texas (Stock Full, Ford F-150).