Baja 500: 438 Mile Desert Pre-Run

Baja 500 Preview

With the release of the official course map, GPS files and course notes this week, pre-race activity increases significantly starting Friday when the world’s best desert racers officially begin their pre-running and course logistics activities for next month’s 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the second-oldest desert race in the world.

Round 3 of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature nearly 300 entries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 3-6 in Ensenada, Mexico.

Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world’s best desert racers in action at this year’s 42nd anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.

With late entries accepted up to race morning, entries are expected from 26 U.S. States from Hawaii to Connecticut, and along with the additional countries of Mexico, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Japan.

The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 5) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 10 a.m.

The elapsed-time race will start and finish in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in the heart of Ensenada, leaving and returning into the city through the spectator-laden Arroyo Wash.

The talented field of veteran desert racers heading to Baja includes 15 defending class winners out of the 25 Pro classes that had finishers in last year’s race, including last year’s overall 4-wheel vehicle winners Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner of Orange, Calif. (unlimited Class 1) and SCORE Trophy-Truck champion Rick D. Johnson/Brian Sallee, of Barstow, Calif.

The rugged course 438.81-mile course is a very similar to the last two years, although it is about eight miles longer and the terrain has changed significantly due to torrential rains that impacted both sides of the race course on the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez and in the middle in the summit section.

The course, which runs in a clockwise direction, resembles a deflating balloon, winding east to Ojos Negros, down to near San Felipe, back West to the Pacific Ocean below San Vicente and back north east through Santo Tomas on the way back to Ojos Negros and then Ensenada.

"Without all of the immense and considerable help we have received from Ensenada Mayor Pablo Lopez in terms of rapid support, personnel and heavy equipment to repair significant rain damage on much of the course, we would be significantly challenged to finalize a course for this year’s race," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since soon after it was founded in 1974. "We just can’t thank Mayor Lopez and all of his people enough for all they have done to support SCORE and our SCORE Baja races."

The only pre-running that will be allowed on the first 35.18 miles of the course will be outbound only and only on Thursday and Friday, June 3 and 4. No inbound pre-running on the last 35.18 miles of the course will be allowed. Pre-running of the rest of the course will start and finish in the Ojos Negros area.

The four official race checkpoints, where all vehicles are required to make a quick stop, will be located at race mile 84.03 (Santa Catarina), rm196.17 (Borrego), rm 307.30 (Pacific Ocean) and rm397.53 (Rancho San Antonio).

The course will also have a number of virtual checkpoints. All vehicles are also required to run International Rally Consultants tracking devices and live vehicle tracking will be available during the race at

The featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks has a SCORE-record 42 entries in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Prominent Southern California industrialist and desert racer Ed Stout, who finished third in season points last year in his marquee class and earned a SCORE Toyota Milestone Award, received the first starting positions for 4-wheel vehicles in his No. 31 Stout Industries Chevy Silverado.

While late entries will be accepted up to race morning, as of today, the Pro 4-Wheel vehicles classes with the most entries are: SCORE Trophy-Truck (42), Class 1 (23). Class 1-2/1600 (13) and SCORE Lite (11).

Leading the Pro Motorcycle classes in entries so far are Class 22 (13) and Class 30 (10). Class 24 leads the Pro ATV classes with 15 entries to date.

Among the Sportsman classes, SPT Motorcycles over 250cc has 24 entries and there are also 10 SPT ATVs to date.

Besides the Halopoff/Letner and Johnson/Sallee teams, other defending Pro class champions in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 entered this year to date are: Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug); Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger); Mike Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif. (Class 10, Lothringer-VW); Brent Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif./Brian Burgess, Riverside, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Moulton-VW); Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz., (Stock Full, Lexus LX570); Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas/Rex Cameron, Albuquerque, N.M. (Class 30, Honda CRF450X); Eizaburo Karasawa, Japan (Class 50, Honda CRF450X); Nick Nelson, Tehachapi, Calif./Brandon Brown, Eumantilla, Ore. (Class 25, Suzuki LTR450); Craig Christy, Burbank, Calif. (Class 24, Honda TRX450R) and Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 26, Arctic Cat).

This popular SCORE early summer race began in 1969 under the auspices of the old NORRA organization and SCORE began its enduring run with it on July 26, 1974. This year will be the 37th anniversary of the first SCORE race in Baja.

For the third straight year and just the third time in the 42-year history of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, the colorful pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and Contingency, the start and finish line will all be located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.

It will be the second time in race history that both the pre-race activities and the finish will be held on this historic boulevard.

The SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 4 on Blvd Costero. Racer registration will again be held in the Grand Ballroom of the San Nicolas Hotel.

Registration hours will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 3 and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday June 4.

The awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday, June 6 at 11 a.m.

In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing to earn prestigious SCORE 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 25th consecutive year, a total of 25 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.

Included in the nearly $30,000 in contingency posting and cash purse for the race is the special $10,000 MasterCraft Safety cash contingency bonus for qualified racers in the car and truck classes.

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, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull-official energy drink.

Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, MasterCraft Safety, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.

Additional sponsors in Baja are the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.

For more information regarding the series, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402

42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500
June 3-6, 2010-Entries, Baja California, Mexico Total Entries: 256 (as of 5/19/10)
Pro Cars & Trucks
13 Ed Stout
20 Rob MacCachren
30 Robbie Pierce
74 Rob Bruce
76 Jesse Jones
40 Chet Huffman
1 Robby Gordon
31 Andy McMillin
42 Will Staats
97 B.J. Baldwin
24 Adam Householder
22 Damen Jefferies
25 Al Hogan
19 Tim Herbst
23 Mark McMillin
7 Scott Steinberger
78 Jesse Ashcraft
50 Jason McNeil
35 Jason Voss
59 Craig Potts
10 Greg Nunley
95 Scott Whipple
47 James Bult
21 Gus Vildosola Jr.
70 Bryce Menzies
49 Troy Herbst
94 Steve Strobel
39 Ron Whitton
16 Cameron Steele
51 Kory Scheeler
53 Rick Thomas
96 Bobby Baldwin
2 Pete Sohren
84 Nick Vanderwey
9 Gary Weyhrich
71 Rick D. Johnson
8 Roger Norman
48 Jimmy Nuckles
67 Ruben Ledezma
46 John Koltura
88 Brian Hess
41 Dan Fresh
CLASS 1 (23)
101 Daniel McMillin
102 Eric Chase
103 Armin Schwarz
104 Paul Keller
105 Dan Martin
106 Conan Barker
107 Cody Parkhouse
108 Kory Halopoff
100 Randy Wilson
111 Sean Mecham
112 Ryan Sharman
113 Dennis Boyle
114 William Eriksen
115 Josh Rigsby
116 Richard Boyle
117 Ronny Wilson
118 Chris Kemp
119 Steve Garcia
120 Steve Appleton
121 Rudy Cortez
122 Brett Lenk
123 Armin Kremer
149 Adam Ashcraft
CLASS 1-2/1600 (13)
1601 Arturo Velazco
1602 Brad Wilson
1603 Luke McMillin
1604 Eliseo Garcia
1605 Cody Robinson
1606 Brian Wilson
1607 Kyle Conlon
1608 Wes McKenzie
1645 Francisco Mejorado
1646 Arnoldo Gutierrez
1600 Hiram Duran
1648 Carlo Montalvan
1649 Arnoldo Ramirez
CLASS 3 (0)
CLASS 5 (2)
500 Kevin Carr
501 Cody Kellogg
CLASS 5/1600 (5)
551 Trevor Anderson
552 Victor Celis
576 Armando Garcia
577 Mike Boone
579 Marcos Nunez
CLASS 6 (4)
601 Marc Burnett
602 Steve Kovach
618 Gregg Hempel
600 Heidi Steele
CLASS 7 (4)
700 Dan Chamlee
701 Greg Jones
702 Aaron Celiceo
703 Brandon Walsh
741 Elias Hanna
758 Eduardo Gonzalez
759 Norman Turley
CLASS 8 (6)
801 Dave Crinklaw
802 Kent Kroeker
803 Noah Ostanik
804 Juan C. Lopez
805 Rick Sanchez
800 Clyde Stacy
CLASS 9 (0)
CLASS 10 (6)
1001 Jesus Gonzalez
1002 Alejandro Navarette
1003 Sergio Salgado
1000 Mike Lawrence
1005 Alex Crosthwaite
1006 Jon Walker
1201 Justin Davis
1202 Zak Langley
1203 Steve Eugenio
1204 Dave Calloway
1205 Cody Freeman
1206 Matt Kupiec
1207 Greg Gustin
1208 Perry McNeil
1209 Lee Banning
1200 Brent Parkhouse
1211 Samuel Araiza
CLASS 11 (4)
1101 Ernesto Martinez
1147 Alejandro Rivas
1148 Gustavo Garayzar
1100 Eric Solorzano
861 Tim Casey
879 Joe Bacal
1350 Gary Magness
1340 Chelsea Magness
CLASS 7-2 (1)
721 Reid Rutherford
CLASS 4 (2)
401 Eddie Zimmerman
402 John Langley
CLASS 2 (1)
201 Mark Stevens
CLASS 22 (13)
2x Kyle Abney
3x Ryan Penhall
4x Keith Webster
1x Kendall Norman
6x Jamie Aguilar
7x Robbie Bell
8x Chad Thornton
9x A.J. Stewart
10x Robert Underwood
11x Cory Evenson
12x Colton Udall
13x Chuck Neugebauer
14x Mark Bradford
CLASS 21 (9)
101x Sol Saltzman
102x Jesus Gonzalez M.
103x Steven Achey
104x Ruben Dabdoub
105x David Gonzalez Jr.
106x Adam Neuwirth
107x Gerardo Huerta
108x Francisco Aldrete
109x Mark Fillebrown
CLASS 20 (4)
151x Jason Trubey
152x Anna Cody
153x Olivia Rich
150x Jesus Rios
CLASS 30 (10)
301x Bill Eddings
303x Javier Hernandez
304x Tim Abshire
305x Francisco Septien
306x Mark Levrett
307x Jim O’Neal
308x Jon Jessy
300x Mike Johnson
310x Dan Troy
311x Talya Dodson
CLASS 40 (8)
401x Mark Fishburn
400x Brian Campbell
403x Duane Dickinson
404x Henrik Andersen
405x Mike Prunty
406x Tom Vogt
407x Louie Franco
449x Terry Peregoodoff
CLASS 50 (5)
501x David Rutherford
500x Jim O’Neal
503x Ryan Armitage
504x Eizaburo Karasawa
505x Koichi Takei
CLASS 60 (2)
601x Susumi Ishii
609x Donald Lewis
CLASS 25 (6)
2a Craig Christy
1a Wayne Matlock
4a Miguel Olivas
5a Javier Robles
6a Josh Edwards
7a Roberto Villalobos
CLASS 24 (15)
101a Daniel Montano
102a Heribert Marquez
103a Brandon Brown
104a Adrian Valdez
105a Christian Vargas
106a Shane Strunk
107a Luis Berumen
100a Craig Christy
109a Alonzo Ruiz
110a Juan Sanchez
111a Marco Marrujo
112a Oscar Arce
113a Joselito Muro
114a Manuel Jimenez
115a Efren Carrasco
CLASS 26 (3)
200a Reid Rutherford
202a Chuck Neugebauer
219a Rob Ransford
1400 Peter Lang
1449 Viry Felix
1501 Ken Fraizer
1502 Randy Swink
1549 Nick Tonelli
1801 Sergio Castillo
1800 Thomas Graves
1803 Peter Hajas
1819 John Crowley
SPT M/C< (8)
201x Greg Willitts
202x Gary Gonzales
203x Patrick Williams
204x Matt Ladendorf
205x Ricardo De La Pena
206x Fred Sobke
207x Ron Tolman
208x Brody Kunz
SPT M/C> (24)
251x Nicholas Martin
253x Timothy Nugent
254x Jeff Byers
255x Oscar Fazz
256x Carlos Valdez
257x Jason Trimarchi
258x Craig Anstine
259x Andreas Hoyler
260x Tibi Imbuzan
261x Cade Courtley
262x Jeffrey Moore
263x Paul Lopez
264x Salvador Sainz
265x Darren Lowrey
266x Rick Matteson
267x Tony Navarro
268x Dan Dooling
269x Shinichiro Hagiwara
270x Akihiri Saito
271x Christopher Jones
272x Ulises Fierro
273x Michael Rasp
298x Ken Kosiorek
299x Louie Montano
SPT ATV (10)
51a Antonio Herrera
52a Christopher Wilson
53a Moises Saiza
54a Brad McLean
55a John Nores Jr.
56a Juan Gonzalez
57a Samuel Garcia
58a Guillermo Berenguer
59a Juan Dominguez
99a Gustavo Ameca