Series San Felipe event report
San Felipe 250
Masterful MacCachren rolls to Overall, SCORE Trophy-Truck victory At 25th anniversary MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
Davis captures unlimited Class 1, Udall/Kargola ride Honda to Overall Motorcycle & Class 22 win; Race honored memory of long-time SCORE Mexican liaison Jose ‘Pepe’ Limon
We took off with just a real conservative pace and they started dropping one by one.
SAN FELIPE, Mexico—Adding yet another jewel to his illustrious desert racing crown, Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren overpowered a talent-laden field of 220 starters to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck victory Saturday in the 25th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. SCORE released the official results today after completion of vehicle data tracking device review.
Setting a blistering pace right from the start in San Felipe in the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck, ‘Rockstar Rob’ covered the sandy, silty, rocky and dusty 252.09-mile course in just four hours, 17 minutes, 45 seconds, averaging an impressive 58.68 miles per hour.
Surging past a strong field of 24 SCORE Trophy-Trucks, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks, MacCachren earned his 45th career SCORE class win, his eighth career SCORE Trophy-Truck race win along with his seventh class win including his third SCORE Trophy-Truck and overall race victory in San Felipe.
The Las Vegas native who has also been selected to the AARWBA All-America motorsports team six times and has eight SCORE season class point championships on his racing resume, MacCachren, 45, beat not only the cars and trucks, but also the motorcycles and ATVs that competed in the popular ‘spring break’ event.
His hard-earned victory margin was just 44 seconds as defending San Felipe SCORE Trophy-Truck and reigning SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., who diced back and forth with MacCachren the entire race, averaging 58.52mph in the No. 1 Jones Motorsports Ford F-250. Jones also finished second overall as SCORE Trophy-Trucks lived up to their star billing by claiming the top 10 overall finishing positions in the race.
Finishing third overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck was the 2005 championship son/father team of Andy and Scott McMillin of National City, Calif., with a time of 4:18:53, averaging 58.43mph in the No. 31 McMillin Realty Ford F-150. The McMillins were also in the hunt all day, finishing just 24 seconds behind Jones and one minute, eight seconds behind MacCachren in an extremely close finish among the podium placements.
Fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck was the pole-sitting brother team of Nick, Larry and Mike Vanderwey of Phoenix who completed the course in 4:26:53 (56.67mph) in the No. 84 Flying Dutchmen Racing Chevy Silverado.
Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., finished fifth overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck with a time of 4:27:07 (56.63mph) in the No. 98 TSCO Motorsports Ford F-150.
Youthful Justin Davis, the 17-year old phenom from Chino Hills, Calif., won his second straight class win in the unlimited Class 1 in an ESM-Chevy. Davis, who won last year’s SCORE Lite season point championship, is in his first year in the unlimited open-wheel racing class and finished 11th overall in San Felipe.
The 220 starters from 22 States, nine countries competed in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, truck, motorcycles and ATVs. The dramatic 252.09-mile course covered three of the legendary, picturesque and treacherous Baja washes and canyons: Matomi, Huatomote and Chanate before heading back to the finish line in the shadow of the landmark San Felipe Arches. A total of 148 adventurers officially completed the rugged course within the 11-hour time limit for an amazing 67.3 finishing percentage.
Earning the overall motorcycle victory for the second straight year was the Johnny Campbell Racing team of Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola of San Clemente, Calif. They divided up the riding on the JCR/Honda CRF450X to a winning time of 4:36:51, averaging 54.63 mph over the brutally-tough course.
Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore., led hist team to the Overall ATV and his third SCORE Class 24 victory in the last four SCORE Baja races on a Honda TRX450R. Brown, the reigning SCORE Overall ATV and Class 24 season point champion, split the riding time fairly equally with co-riders Jorie Williams, Longview, Wash./Kenny Sanford, Tacoma, Wash./Robbie Mitchell, Price, Utah. They covered the course in 6:17:13, averaging 40.10mph to defeat a field of 27 Pro ATVs that started the race.
Riding a Kawasaki KX450F, Shane Esposito, Lake Elsinore, Calif./Bobby Garrison, Hesperia, Calif. and Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., finished second overall among motorcycles and in Class 22, a total of 21 minutes, 19 seconds behind the winning Udall/Kargola JCR/Honda team.
SCORE Trophy-Trucks have now won 15 overalls in San Felipe in the 18-year history of SCORE’s premier racing division.
In the first 25 years of this race, Honda has earned 16 overall motorcycle victories (including the last six years straight and 14 of the last 15 years), Kawasaki has six, KTM has two and Husqvarna has one.
“We struggled with the power steering since San Matias,” commented MacCachren, who won in SCORE Trophy-Truck for the first time since 2007. “Every bump you hit…you can’t go hard; you just cruise. We took off with just a real conservative pace and they started dropping one by one. When we dropped into Matomi Wash, Jesse (Jones) was first on the road, (Gary) Weyhrich was second and I was third. Jesse Jones had a flat tire right at the beginning of Matomi and we got by him.”
“He was getting stuck so we went by and right at the end of Matomi, we got by Weyhrich and then we had the physical lead all the way in. The power steering, we were really struggling with that and Jesse was pretty much on my bumper the whole way in. I knew he had to get by me and put 30 seconds on me to win and we were going to do everything we could to keep that from happening. There were absolutely no problems at all with the truck (other than the power steering) and we didn’t have any flats. I really needed this (win); it’s great.”
Winning Class 60 (motorcycle riders over 60 years old) for the fourth time in five years, Donald Lewis, Marlborough, Conn., had help from Jim O’Neal along with other co-riders Sam Dempsey, Lake Balboa, Calif./Bob Gates, Hesperia, Calif./Ron Dugan, Upland, Calif. For O’Neal he increased his winning streak in San Felipe to 13 class wins in the last 11 consecutive years. O’Neal also led a team in Class 50 which finished second to the team led by Jim Dizney, Alpine, Calif.
Winning for the second straight year in the 14-car field in Class 1-2/1600 was Cody Robinson, El Centro, Calif., who split driving with veteran Roberto Romo of Mexicali, Mexico in a Romo-VW.
Defeating a field of 15 starters in SCORE Lite was the team of Steven Eugenio, Alpine, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Oceanside, Calif., in a Prill-VW. It was the seventh career class win in San Felipe for Pfankuch.
Pulling off their second consecutive class wins to start off the 2011 SCORE Desert Series were Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 4, PSD-Chevy), Elias Hanna, San Diego (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), John Matney, Bristol, Va. (Stock Full, Dodge Ram2500) and Emilio Salcido, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug).
Among the other car and truck Class winners were: Heidi Steele, San Clemente, Calif. (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Noah Ostanik, Encinitas, Calif. (Class 8, Ford F-150), Matt Cullen, Long Beach, Calif. (Class 10, AlumiCraft-VW) and Bruce Finchum, Mesa, Ariz. (Class 7-2, TrophyLite-Chevy).
Among the other motorcycle class winners were teams led by Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas (Class 30, Honda CRF450X), Mike Prunty, Temecula, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) and David Gonzalez Jr, Chula, Vista, Calif. (Class 21, KTM 450XCW).
Winning the ATV Class 25 was the team led by Mike Cafro, Bonsall, Calif., on a Honda TRX450R. It was Cafro’s third career class win in this race.
Among the other SCORE Trophy-Truck finishers was Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies, a SCORE rookie who won this year’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January, who finished sixth in class and overall in the No. 70 Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150.
Television reality star Jesse James, Austin, Texas, had his highest finish ever in a SCORE race by finishing eighth overall and eighth in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the No. 54 James Motorsports Chevy Silverado.
The fastest overall Sportsman winners were: Ulises Fierro, Tijuana, Mexico (SPT M/C 450cc>, Honda CRF450X), Nick Tonelli, Huntington Beach, Calif. (SPT Truck, Ford Ranger) and Ivan Espinoza, Mexicali, Mexico (SPT ATV, Honda TRX450R).
Following January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series visited Mexico for the first of its three annual SCORE Baja races.
As part of the festivities of the Silver Anniversary of the popular SCORE ‘spring-break’ race, SCORE made it a memorial race to honor long-time SCORE Mexican liaison Jose ‘Pepe’ Limon, who passed away last November at age 73.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers were also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings in this event. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes were also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award, which includes a $2,000 MasterCraft bonus.
Round 2 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the popular six-week-long ‘Spring Break’.
This race began in 1982 and was not held between 1985 and 1989, the first five years of the seven-year combined High Desert Racing Association-HDRA/SCORE Desert Series of US and Baja races. It has been held consecutively each year since 1990.
Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels -official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance and Slime-official tire sealant. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
While MasterCraft Safety and Tecate are co-title sponsors of the 25th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, additional race sponsors are: the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe and Cotuco. Additional sponsors in Baja are the Office of the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.