MacCachren Conquers San Felipe

Rob MacCachren won the SCORE Off-Road event in San Felipe. (Art Eugenio photo)

SAN FELIPE, Mexico — Picking up where he left off last season with his third consecutive victory in San Felipe, Rob MacCachren overpowered a talent-laden field of 207 starters to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory Saturday in the 26th annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

After starting first and slipping behind early in the elapsed-time race MacCachren worked his way back up to the front to re-take the lead at race-mile 172 in the No. 20 Rockstar Energy/MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck, ‘Rockstar Rob’ roared over and through the sandy, silty, rocky and dusty 248.64-mile course in four hours, 25 minutes, three seconds at an average speed of 56.29 miles per hour.

Surging past a strong field of 23 SCORE Trophy Trucks, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks, MacCachren earned his 48th career SCORE class win, his 11th career SCORE Trophy Truck race win along with his eighth class win including fourth SCORE Trophy Truck and overall race victory in the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

“We started first on the road, which means we were cleaning the trail,” reflected the winning MacCachren at the finish line. “At mile four, there was something buried in the ground. We were going 80 miles an hour or so and once I saw it there was no way to miss it. It popped the left front tire immediately. We had to pull over to the side of the road. (Co-rider) Cisco Bio changed the tire. We lost a few positions but once we got going again we started picking them off one at a time. I think we were second behind Andy McMillin.”

Round three of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series was held this past weekend 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.

After trailing Andy McMillin for much of the race until McMillin broke down at race mile 172 at the start of Azufre Wash, MacCachren sailed home for the victory with a four-minute margin over B.J. Baldwin. Baldwin, who won this year’s first round of the series in Laughlin, drove the No. 97 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado to a time of 4:29:08 with an average speed of 55.43mph.

Finishing third overall was award-winning chassis builder Mike Julson in the No. 17 Jimco/Bad Apple Racing Ford F-150 with a time of 4:34:38 and an average speed of 54.32mph.

Moving up in class after winning the season point championship the last two years in Class 1/2-1600, young lion Luke McMillin, the 19-year old third-generation desert racer made his debut in the unlimited Class 1 with a stunning class win and in impressive fourth place overall finish in a Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. McMillin covered the course in 4:35:56 to earn the victory.

Earning his first SCORE overall motorcycle victory and third for KTM in this race was the team of Kurt Caselli and Ivan Ramirez. They divided up the riding in Class 22 on the Bonanza Plumbing KTM 450SX-F to snap the six-race San Felipe winning streak by Honda with a winning of time of 4:40:03, averaging 53.28mph.

Josh Frederick led his team to the Overall ATV and the Class 25 title on a Can-Am DS-450. Frederick, the 2005 SCORE season point champion in the class, split the riding time with Dillon Zimmerman and Cesar Lopez.

Reigning series and race Class 22 point champion Colton Udall and his co-rider Timmy Weigand, were locked in a tight battle with Caselli/Ramirez and led by seconds on corrected time on their JCR/Honda CRF450X when Weigand crashed around race mile 160 and Udall took over and brought the bike to the finish 16:39 behind Caselli/Ramirez.

In the first 26 years of this race, Honda still has earned 16 overall motorcycle victories (including the 14 of the last 16 years), Kawasaki has six, KTM now has three and Husqvarna has one.

Leading the parade of other class winners was Donald Moss, who won Class 3 in his sturdy Ford Bronco for the eighth time. Moss has also won all three races so far in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.

Earning his sixth class win in San Felipe was Jeff Kaplan, who led a team to victory in Class 40 for riders over 40 years old on a Honda CRF450X

Also winning his third straight race this season in Class 5 as well as picking up his fourth straight class win in San Felipe was Kevin Carr in an unlimited VW Baja Bug.

Three racers who won their respective classes in San Felipe for the third time were Cody Robinson (Class 1-2/1600, Romo-VW), Mike Johnson, (Class 30, Honda CRF450X) and Joe Rice (Class 26, Can-Am Outlander800).

Among the other car and truck class winners were Mike Lawrence and Harley Letner (Chenowth-Honda), Arnoldo Ramirez and Richardo Malo (SCORE Lites, Jimco-VW), Elias Hanna (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Erich Reisen and Ross Burden (Class 5-1600, VW Baja Bug) and Reid Rutherford (Class 7-2, Mason-Chevy).

Among the other motorcycle class winners was Francisco Septien (Class 21, Honda CRF450X).

Justin Matney’s RPM Off-Road, which opened the season with 11 total class wins in the two rounds in Laughlin in January, had a race-record eight entries in this year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 and added two more class wins to their season total.

Staying undefeated in their respective classes in 2012 for RPM with their victories in San Felipe were Eduardo Laguna (Class 6, Ford Ranger) and Rodolfo Iribe (Class 8, Chevy Silverado). In all, seven of the eight RPM vehicles finished with Juan C. Lopez sixth in SCORE Trophy Truck (Chevy Silverado), Clyde Stacy, second in Class 5-1600, Derek Fletcher, second in Class 4 (PSD-Chevy) and Jim Bunn/John Matney, seventh in Sportsman Buggy (Geiser-Chevy).

Besides Lopez in SCORE Trophy Truck, Stacy, Bristol, Va., leads both Class 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bug) and Class 2 (PSD-Chevy). The other RPM class point leaders are Eduardo Laguna, (Class 6, Chevy Colorado), Rodolfo Iribe (Class 8, Chevy Silverado), Derek Fletcher (Class 4, PSD-Chevy) and Jim Bunn (Sportsman Buggy, Geiser-Chevy). Stacy, Laguna, Iribe, Fletcher and Bunn each won their respective classes in both of the Laughlin races.

The fasted overall Sportsman winners were: Randy Swink, Ford Ranger (SPT Truck) and Mark Winkelman, Honda CRF450X.

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