Off Road Racing Features

Terrible’s 300 SCORE 2009 Coverage

Keeping SCORE Trophy-Trucks from sweeping the podium for the second straight year was the All German Motorsports unlimited Class 1 BMW-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car driven by Germany’s Armin Schwarz and Martin Christensen of Escondido, Calif.  With Schwarz starting and driving the first half of the race and Christensen bringing their car across the finish line in third place overall with an adjusted time of 5:00:08, averaging 55.18 mph.

It was the first Class 1 win of the year for Schwarz, a former World Rally Championship series star, and Christensen, a veteran SCORE desert racer.

SCORE’s 36th anniversary season continued with 72 survivors out of 109 starters, competing in 18 Pro and 2 Sportsman classes for cars and trucks finishing within the seven-hour time limit in the elapsed-time race.

Round 4 of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series, the world’s foremost desert racing series, featured racers from 15 States and six countries racing on a typically rugged Southern Nevada race course under brilliantly sunny skies with a light northerly wind and temperatures in the low 100s.

“It was rough,” said Gordon, who turned his NASCAR Cup ride for Saturday night’s race in Richmond, Va. to David Gililand said afterwards. “Every time I would G-out hard, I would hurt my neck so I kind of cruised all day. I was sure we were going to get beat here but the big picture is I think the SCORE Overall season point championship is about done. When it was all said and done, though, we got the win and added to our overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck season point lead. We made one fuel stop and (changed) two tires but no flat tires – never got out of the car. We just changed the tires because we were in the pit and those are our most vulnerable (tires). I couldn’t afford to hurt myself so I had to cruise all day. We ran about 75 percent. We just didn’t G-out – anytime there were bumps we just slowed down to almost crawl speed. We tested a lot faster than we raced here. It didn’t hurt my vision any; it was all my left top shoulder and neck.”

Gordon returned to the SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 for the first time since the inaugural event in 1996, where he also won the overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck title.

Using his home-desert knowledge to his benefit, MacCachren nearly pulled off the victory Saturday. MacCachren started 21st in SCORE Trophy-Truck, and finished second physically behind Gordon and after the data tracking review fell just over a minute short of the win.

Behind Schwarz/Christensen, fourth overall and second in Class 1 was Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., with a penalty-free time of 5:10:49 in a Alpha-Chevy while fifth overall and third in Class 1 was the Las Vegas team of Pat Dean/Danny Anderson, who finished with an adjusted time of 5:18:02 in a Bunderson Chevy.

SCORE Trophy-Trucks, the marquee SCORE racing division captured five of the top 10 finishing positions with Class 1 claiming three and Class 10 the other two spots. SCORE Trophy-Trucks have now won 10 overall titles in this race, including the last seven straight. Class 1 has won the other four overalls.

The sixth through 10th place overall finishers in Primm were: Roger Norman, Reno, Nev. (third in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ford F-150), Jesse Aschcraft, San Marcos, Calif. (fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ford F-150), Mike Lawrence, Banning, Calif. (first in Class 10, Lothringer-VW), Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Brian Ewalt, Bonita, Calif., (fifth in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Ford F-150) and Corey Keysar, Colorado Springs, Colo. (second in Class 10, Jimco-Honda).

For the eighth consecutive year, the race was split into two groups with the limited classes running in the morning. SCORE Trophy-Truck division along with the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel class, raced in the afternoon.

Lawrence, the reigning SCORE Class 10 season point champion, won for the third time this season, and was the fastest during the morning section of the race, winning Class 10 in a penalty-free 5:30:09, for an 11-second win over Keysar’s adjusted time of 5:30:20.

Brothers Gavin and Darren Skilton each won their respective classes on Saturday. Both pulling a family double for the second straight race, Gavin, of Anaheim, Calif., drove a Honda Ridgeline to remain undefeated in 2009 with his fourth win in Stock Mini while Darren, of Orange, Calif., won Class 3 piloting a Jeep Wrangler. Darren won his class in this race for the fifth time and first since 2000, while Gavin won for the second straight year. Both had penalty-free races.

Justin Smith, of Capistrano Beach, Calif., started last, defeated a 16-car field in a Fraley-VW in Class 1-2/1600.  Drivng solo, Smith also finished 16th overall with his penalty-free race.

In the nine-car SCORE Lite class, Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., drove the first lap and L.J. Kennedy, Orange, Calif., the final three to a class win and 19th overall in a Jimco-VW.   Wilson also raced in Class 1 as did his brother Randy and Wilson Motorsports overall had five vehicles competing in the event.  Randy finished sixth in Class 1 and Ronny completed three of the four laps and was officially a did-not-finish.

Third generation desert racers, cousins Brad and Brian Wilson raced in Class 1-2/1600, finishing third and fourth respectively in the very competitive Class 1-2/1600.

Brad, Randy and Brian Wilson finished 25th, 26th and 27th overall respectively in the race.

Norman Turley, Long Beach, Calif., won Class 7SX in a Ford Ranger for his second win in the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.

Other class winners included Carlos Albanez, El Centro, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Alonso Angulo/Mario Reynoso, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 8, Chevy Silverado), Justin Matney, Briston, Tenn., (Stock Full, Dodge Ram 2500), Rob Reinertson, Woodside, Calif. (Protruck, Ford F-150) and Mike Shaffer, Dayton, Nev. (Class 17, Jeep Cherokee).

The win for Chamlee, who also raced penalty-free, was his third of the season.

The fastest Sportsman class vehicle in the race was the Homebuilty-Chevy driven by Peter Lang, Santa Rosa, Calif.

The stage is now set for the season-ending 42nd anniversary of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race to be held November 18-22 in Baja California, Mexico.  The world’s most popular desert race will start and finish in Ensenada.

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