What’s being called the toughest SCORE San Felipe 250 in its 33 year history lived up to the hype. As racers crossed the finish line their faces showed the beating their bodies took trying to battle 349 miles of Bajas best.
The big question of the race was how Matomi Wash would effect the race. All week during prerunning we saw videos of people getting stuck in the sand and rocks in the narrow section. On Friday SCORE sent a crew out to clear a lot of the bad sections to help ease the connection. Despite SCORE’s efforts though Matomi Wash still caused a bottleneck early in the race for some of the Trophy Trucks but it was cleared up pretty quickly. Later on a few more bottlenecks happened with some of the slower classes as well.
In the bikes Justin Morgan and the 1X team won the Pro Unlimited bike class 25 minutes ahead of the 4X team of Ray Dal Soglio. “I like this type of riding. Matomi Wash was good for me so it worked out really well for me and this new bike is awesome; it has six gears. The first gear is nice and low to get through the rocks. The beginning of the race was interesting, we had a little bit of traffic ahead of us and the sun was coming up so it was difficult to see so I was glad we were able to get it out front. It makes it safer when you are in the clean air.”
In Trophy Truck the race was a lot more exciting with many lead changes throughout the day. Rob MacCachren got the luck of the draw and started first off the line, but unfortunately they had to change out a transmission and converter at mile 138 putting them way back. That let Ryan Arciero (who started second) get by on Diablo dry lakebed.
Arciero led the race physically the rest of the day and was putting down a great pace but there were some heavy hitters waiting in the dust charging fast to catch him. He would eventually finish first physically but on correct time and with penalties have to settle for second. “Probably the hardest race I’ve done. I have to dedicate this finish to Chris Crampton who is back at home. Chris got hurt at the Mint 400 a couple weeks ago and hurt his back really bad but we miss him a lot. He was the crew chief on this truck.”
Bryce Menzies had some bad luck drawing number 42 for his starting position but it didn’t that phase him. From the start he started picking people off gaining some much needed time, but unfortunately had an issue with the front transfer case losing 4wd. He pressed on and was leading the race on corrected time before he lost a drive shaft only 6 miles from the finish. His co-driver was able to get the new driveshaft in quickly but with how close everyone was together would have to settle for 11th place.
Dan McMillin feared the fourth place curse would follow him to the finish line in his podium interview, but would actually finish a career best second place. Unfortunately a speeding penalty bumped him back to third place behind Ryan Arciero. “I started 37th so I know I finished better than that. I never got a flat tire, I never got out of the truck, I never had an issue all day. My BFGoodrich Tires were awesome, Fox Shox were great, I’m exhausted.”
Andy McMillin who started mid pack and made up a ton of time headed into the last half of the race. Coming down the famous summit at about 50-60mph McMillin hit a ditch causing him to hit the nose, barrel roll, and land back on his tires. He was able to continue losing very little time in the process.
Andy McMillin finished with a time of 6 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds, and with Menzies having his mechanical issues near the finish would be crowned the 2019 SCORE San Felipe 250/350 champion. This is one of the few races thats eluded McMillin in the Trophy Truck ranks, last winning this race with his dad in Class 1 back in 2005. 1X Justin Morgan finished in 6 hours, 50 minutes and 32 seconds. That big of a time difference between the TT’s and pro bikes shows how brutal this race course was.
AJ Jones and his dad Jesse Jones (co-driver) led the TT Spec class all day for the win. Sara Price was right behind AJ most of the day and finished an impressive second place in her RPM Geiser truck. They both checked out early in the race from the rest of the TT spec field and had a big lead most of the race. After SCORE reviewed all the tracking data AJ was given a penalty for missing a VCP and speeding penalty. This gave the win to Sara Price…temporarily. Earlier today SCORE was presented with some evidence of Jones hitting the suspected VCP so SCORE reversed their initial decision and gave the win back to Jones.
AJ said, “We had a good day. Today was flawless. We didn’t have any flats, my BFG tires were hooking up all day, my Vision wheels were absolutely flawless. TSCO Racing puts together a hell of a truck. We started out fourth, we got in first position around mile marker 20 and we never looked back. No flats, no problems, no nothing. Now we are here. First place!”
Shelby Reid led the Class 1 field all day and was crowned the unofficial winner at the finish line but after further review was given a 20 minute penalty for missing two VCPs. Next in line was defending class champions Brad Wilson and Justin Munyon of Wilson Motorsports. With the penalty the #100 car was given the win starting out the season for them leading in points where they left off last year.
Kristen Matlock won the Pro UTV naturally aspirated class. She lost power steering 100 miles in and muscled it the remaining 250 miles. Her husband Wayne Matlock won the Pro UTV Forced induction class adding more wins to the husband and wife UTV team.
Other class winners were Cesar Cuevas in Class 10, Scott Bailey in TT Legends, and Arthur Penner in Class 11. Eric Pavolka won Class 16, Freddie Willert Score Lites and Hector Hurtado in 5/1600.