SAN DIEGO — For Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, winning a desert race in San Felipe, Mexico comes down to one thing-homework.
Ever the student of his craft, MacCachren, a four-time winner in this race, leads a race-record 36 SCORE Trophy Trucks into next week’s 27th annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
While the Roger Norman era of SCORE Int’l officially began last Friday with pre-running over the challenging 254.0-mile course, MacCachren will begin his ‘homework’ in his No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 hoping to win his fourth consecutive race in San Felipe racing in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks introduced in 1994 by SCORE.
As new owner of the world’s foremost desert racing organization, Norman, who himself is a SCORE Baja 1000 overall champion, will start his legacy in 2013 as SCORE Int’l celebrates its 40th anniversary season. SCORE was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
The season opener of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series will be held next Thursday to Sunday (March 7-10) in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez. The race will herald the new chapter in SCORE history, starting the tenure of Roger Norman as the owner of the world’s foremost desert racing organization.
With entries accepted up to race morning, over 225 entries are expected to enter the 254.0-mile race. To date, entries have come from 21 US States and 10 countries as competition will be held in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in the popular race.
“The key for me in San Felipe has been doing my homework with repeated pre-running as well as developing a great suspension package,” said MacCachren, whose 11 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins ties him with fellow Las Vegan Tim Herbst for the most race SCORE Trophy Truck race wins in the SCORE history. “For the first time in over a decade we are running our own team entirely, but we have great people in place starting with our crew chief Jim Blackmore. We also have a brand new Geiser Bros Ford F-150 to get us around the course but in racing anything can happen just like here in Las Vegas there are no sure bets.”
MacCachren won in SCORE Trophy Truck in San Felipe in 2003 driving for Mexico’s Gus Vildosola and then again in 2007 driving with Mark Post’s Riviera Racing before winning the last two years as part of Robbie Pierce’s MasterCraft Racing team. MacCachren also won the September San Felipe race SCORE had in 2011 to give him three straight SCORE race wins in San Felipe.
With a field of 36 SCORE Trophy Trucks as well as the rugged terrain of the course and the durability of his own race truck all factors that will help determine the outcome, MacCachren will be a serious favorite, but the leader board will be filled with top racers from both sides of the border.
As success breeds success, other former winners in the SCORE Trophy Truck field this year who will challenge MacCachren’s reign are Las Vegas’ three-time winner Tim Herbst racing with Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif. (No. 19 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150), Mexico’s 2003 winner Gus Vildosola racing with his son Gus Vildosola Jr (No. 21 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor), 2007 winner Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif. (No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150) and 2010 winner Jesse Jones, Phoenix (No. 76 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150).
With a stellar all-star lineup of the premier desert racers in the world, leading the group of challengers against the former San Felipe race winners are two more Las Vegas racers, B. J. Baldwin (No. 1 Monster Energy Baldwin Motorsports Ford F-150) and Bryce Menzies (No. 70 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150). While neither has won a San Felipe race, Baldwin is a three-time SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion (2006, 2008 and 2012) and Menzies won the season title in 2011.
With several entries who have moved up from other classes, among the SCORE Trophy Truck regulars also expected in the hunt for the victory include Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez (No. 18 RPM Racing Chevy Silverado), who finished third in season points last year behind Baldwin and MacCachren, Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 9 TSCO Racing Ford F-150) who finished second in last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and drew the first start for this year’s San Felipe race, Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. (No. 49 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150) who finished third in last year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 and Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif. (No. 23 McMillin Homes Ford F-150) who was fourth in last year’s season-finale.
Among the other entries in SCORE Trophy Truck is reality TV star Jesse James, Austin, Texas (No. 54 Chevy Silverado) and Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif. (No. 30, MasterCraft Racing Chevy Silverado).