SAN DIEGO — BFGoodrich Tires, Wayne Matlock, Nico Saad, Rob MacCachren and MacCachren Motorsports were among the major winners Saturday night as SCORE International officially concluded the 2018 SCORE World Desert Champioship with the annual SCORE Awards Night gala held for the second straight year at the popular San Diego Air & Space Museum at historic Balboa Park.
SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards were presented in 14 categories along with the 43 winners of the SCORE Milestone Awards as well as the overall and class point champions of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 600 racers, crews, families, sponsors, VIPs and news media, the evening was also a celebration of 45 years of SCORE championship desert racing.
Jerry E. Herbst, the family patriarch of Terrible Herbst Motorsports and founder of the prominent Terrible Herbst Inc. in Las Vegas was honored posthumously with the inaugural SCORE Legacy Award presented by SCORE.
Herbst, who passed away on Nov. 27, 2018 at the age of 80, was not only one of the pillars in the foundation of the growing of Las Vegas he was also one of the pioneers of desert racing, especially in Southern Nevada.
His impact as a philanthropist, as a businessman and as a sportsman has left an indelible mark on Southern Nevada and all of desert racing. But most of all, his lasting legacy will be the eternal mark he has left as a husband, father and grandfather as the family patriarch of the Herbst family.
A racer himself for many years both in the desert and on the water, Herbst won his class with another Las Vegas business pioneer and good friend Mart Collins in the 1970 Baja 500 desert race in Ensenada.
As a mentor for his three sons — Ed, Tim and Troy, Jerry Herbst taught them the principals of strong business as well as the intricacies of desert racing and high-speed water skiing. Ed Herbst and Tim Herbst accepted the award on behalf of Mr. Herbst and their family.
Mexico’s popular hotelier and renowned Ensenada tourism official Nico Saad was selected as the 2018 SCORE Person of the Year for his entire lifetime of work for 51 years since introducing the late Mickey Thompson to the then Baja California governor to name SCORE as the official US desert-racing promoter for Baja California.
The owner of the prominent San Nicolas Hotel in Ensenada, Saad, a member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame who was the Grand Marshal for this year’s epic 51st SCORE Baja 1000, is also in his second tenure as the President of ProTurismo de Ensenada.
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 43 years, received two awards. BFGoodrich Tires was honored as the SCORE Contingency Company of the year for the 27th time as well as being voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year for the 29th time.
Helping SCORE celebrate the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship including the 50th anniversary year of the legendary SCORE Baja 500 in June, BFGoodrich Tires presented special contingency bonus prizes for two SCORE races in 2018. In addition to the normal contingency prizes, Rob MacCachren received a BFGoodrich Tires $25,000 bonus purse for winning the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 and Cameron Steele received a $25,000 bonus purse for winning the 51st SCORE Baja 1000.
The SCORE Off-Roadsman awards were determined by online vote of SCORE members as well as the general public. Among the other honorees were the class point champions and top class point leaders from the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series.
Liz Karcz, aka Iron(wo)man, was voted as the 2018 SCORE Rookie of the Year after finishing third in season points in her Pro Moto class for motorcycle racers competing solo.
Karcz joins Bekki Freeman Wik (1998) as the only female racers to receive this prestigious award in the 45-year history of SCORE.
Karcz, 34, a New Jersey transplant, is an ICU nurse in the Trauma department at the University of New Mexico Medical Center in Albuquerque.
She competed relentlessly with sheer dedication, determination, perseverance and an indefatigable spirit to survive for a podium finish for the year on her No. 722x Monkey Business Racing Honda CRF450X. She finished the year with a fifth-place finish out of 10 starters in her solo-rider class in the grueling SCORE Baja 1000.
Hall of Famer Rob MacCachren and his MacCachren Motorsports team pulled off a rare hat-trick in the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship. MacCachren has nearly 315 career desert, stadium and short-course off-road race wins in his sterling career.
In 2018, MacCachren was the SCORE Overall Truck and the SCORE Trophy Truck point champion as he won two races, finished second and third in the other two while increasing his SCORE-record SCORE Trophy Truck race wins to 17.
Two of his MacCachren Motorsports teammates won a pair of SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards. Andreas ‘Lechero’ Rodriguez was voted the 2018 SCORE Mechanic of the Year and Jim Blackmore was voted the 2018 SCORE Team Manager of the Year.
It was the first SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year award for Rodriguez and the second for Blackmore who was voted the 2007 SCORE Mechanic of the Year.
Leading the parade of 2018 SCORE Desert Series point champions were the four overall titlists—Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (SCORE Overall, SCORE Overall UTV and Pro UTV FI in the No. 2971 Matlock Racing Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo), Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas (SCORE Overall Truck and SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 11 Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150), Todd Winslow, Clovis, Calif. (SCORE Overall Open Wheel and Class 10 in the No. 1081 559 Racing Alumi Craft-Chevy) and Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. (SCORE Overall motorcycle and Pro Moto Unlimited in the No. 7x Monster Energy Honda CRF450X).
Manufacturer point titles won were led Alumi Craft Race Cars, winners of the 2018 SCORE Original Open-Wheel Chassis Manufacturer point championship. Based in Santee, Calif., Alumi Craft vehicles were among the top finishers in several SCORE classes in 2018 including the top spot in Class 10. It was the second manufacturer’s point title for the company that opened in 2004.
Geiser Brothers of Phoenix won the SCORE Original Truck Chassis Manufacturer season point title for the fourth straight year.
After another banner year in the SCORE World Desert Championship in 2018, Kevin Kroyer’s Kroyer Race Engines of Las Vegas captured the 2018 SCORE Engine Builder point championship for the sixith time.
KTM won the SCORE Motorcyle Manufacturer of the Year point title for the third time.
the fourth year decided by points, Polaris Industries won the 2018 SCORE UTV Manufacturer of the Year points for the fourth straight year.
Another element of the diverse awards program was the presentation of the 2018 SCORE Milestone Awards. As it has for 33 years, the coveted SCORE Milestone Awards were presented to those drivers in who finished all required miles of the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship. A record total of 43 racers completed all 1,802.68 required miles in the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Another showcase element of the evening was a special salute to the first 25 years of the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 950-horsepower unlimited custom trucks. The featured racing division in the sport was created by then SCORE owner Sal Fish and launched in 1994. A total of 16 different racers have combined to earn the season point championship of the class in its first 25 years. A total of 45 racers have combined to win the 131 total SCORE Trophy Truck racers from 1994-2018 and 22 of them are active today.
MacCachren won the first season title in 1994 persevered to win it again in 2018 and also was the second driver for Mark Post in their 2007 championship season. MacCachren also is the winningest all-time SCORE Trophy Truck driver with a SCORE-record 17 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins.
Besides MacCachren, other active SCORE Trophy Truck race wins who enjoyed the special tribute in person were Ed Herbst, Tim Herbst, Jesse Jones, Cameron Steele and Gustavo Vildosola Sr.
Dan Sanchez, Editor of the popular SCORE Journal digital magazine during its four-year existence and SCORE race programs for the last four years, was voted for the second time as the SCORE Journalist of the Year, while My Baja Photo (Alex Ponce) earned the SCORE Photographer of the Year honors for the third time.
Winning the SCORE Videographer of the Year award for the second time was Cactus Films (Esteban Flores).