BFGoodrich wins 41st annual SCORE Baja 1000
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of the SCORE Desert Racing Series, conquered Mexico's Baja peninsula by earning its 22nd overall four-wheel victory at the 41st annual SCORE Baja 1000.
Facing a talented and diverse field of 347 starting entrants, BFGoodrich Tires drivers Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler mastered the rugged terrain of Mexico's Baja peninsula to capture the overall four-wheel title. Their Norman Motorsports Ford F-150 Trophy-Truck outfitted with BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR off-road tires completed the 631.35-mile loop in 12 hours, 40 minutes and 33 seconds after logging an average speed of 49.81 miles per hour despite blinding dust and heavy fog near the end of the race.
The win was also the second straight win of the year for Roeseler and Norman, who won the SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300 in September. This was also Roeseler’s fifth straight class win in the SCORE Baja 1000, having won the last four years driving with Troy Herbst in Class 1, all five occurring on BFGoodrich tires.
"I can't say enough about BFG, what a wonderful, wonderful race," said Roeseler. "I went all the way to the 400-mile mark with no flats, and I'm pretty sure Roger went all the way to the finish with no flats, so we won the Baja 1000 with no flat tires. Winning Primm was a great race for us and gave great momentum for the team, so coming to the Baja 1000 with that momentum it got us going, and with our pre-running and preparation, it all paid off."
"I got in the driver's seat in the lead thanks to Larry and I just had to bring it home, but that is easier said than done," said Norman. "This is the toughest and greatest race in the world and we were racing against the greatest desert racers in the world. I knew we had to have a flawless day to win and we did. We had no flats; our BFGoodrich tires were tougher than the Baja rocks."
Roeseler's overall win gave him a race-record of 13 overall race wins, including three in the four-wheel division to add with his previous 10 motorcycle titles. It was also Roeseler's 17th career class win in this race.
Roeseler and Norman's overall victory led the charge of BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Trophy-Truck competitors, who claimed the top six finishing positions.
Second overall was off-road stalwart B.J. Baldwin, who finished in 12:45:26 in his Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado outfitted with BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR off-road tires. Baldwin crossed the finish line just over four minutes behind Norman and Roeseler. The finish also earned Baldwin his second SCORE Trophy-Truck season point championship in the last three years.
Third overall was the father and son duo of Larry and Chad Ragland, who finished in 13:26:19 in their BFGoodrich-shod TForce Motorsports Toyota Tundra. Fourth overall went to last year's race and season point champions Mark Post and Rob MacCachren. The pair came across with a time of 13:31:11 in their Riviera Racing Ford F-150 equipped with BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR off-road tires.
TForce Motorsports team owner Dan Friedkin and his prominent teammates Danny Sullivan and Steve Hengeveld finished fifth overall for BFGoodrich Tires in their "twin" TForce Toyota Tundra in 14:34:55. Sullivan won the 1985 Indy 500, and Hengeveld's resume includes 10 Baja 1000 class titles and seven overall motorcycle titles. The two-truck effort placed both TForce Motorsports SCORE Trophy-Trucks in the top five for the first time.
Justin Lofton along with his father Bob Lofton, brought home a sixth-place overall finish for BFGoodrich Tires in their Lofton Motorsports Chevy Silverado by crossing the finish in 14:51:08. Justin is pursuing a pavement-racing career and was a regular on the ARCA/Remax stock car series this year. Out of a field of 26 SCORE Trophy-Trucks, the top six overall finishers for the class and the race were equipped with BFGoodrich Tires.
"Taking home the top-six overall finishes in the SCORE Baja 1000 is no small feat," said Roberts Kukainis, sponsorship manager for BFGoodrich Tires. "This year's overall victory for Norman and Roeseler, plus the tremendous efforts from all the class winners at the 41st annual SCORE Baja 1000 is a testament to the great drivers, partners and the entire BFGoodrich Tires brand."
BFGoodrich Tires also supported the entire Baja Challenge Class with Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tires, which brought home the entire 13-car field. In addition to its BC Class support, BFGoodrich Tires also supported a Baja Challenge Class buggy driven by two-time Formula Drift champion, Samuel Hübinette, Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) phenom, Casey Currie, rock-crawling champion, Tracy Jordan, and retired Navy Seal, Bill Weber. The fearsome group was the foundation of the incredible BFGoodrich Tires BC-6 Team, which stepped up to the challenge of the Baja 1000, finishing fifth out of 13 starting entrants for the BC Class and 50th overall.
In addition to supplying its renowned Baja T/AKR tire, Baja T/AKRT tire and all-new Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tire for the race, BFGoodrich Tires was on-site, providing extensive pit and communications support to more than 100 teams through its fleet of off-road motorsports support vehicles. More than 150 off-road enthusiasts/volunteers donated their time to help make the race happen.
BFGoodrich Tires and Volkswagen of America also joined forces with partnerships through SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger, Aura 360, and DirtNewz.com, to host a new online experience, www.2008SCOREBaja1000.com, which included GPS tracking for all drivers in the SCORE Trophy-Truck, 1, 8, Stock Mini and 5/1600 classes, plus live and streaming video and a real-time leader board during the race."Congratulations to all of our teams and a special thank you once again to Volkswagen of America and all of our volunteers and pit support specialists that help make this race possible," said Kaz Holley, brand director for BFGoodrich Tires. "This race could not happen with out the dedication of all of those involved and this year was a prime example of why the Baja 1000 is the most amazing off-road race in history."
The SCORE Baja 1000 is one of the most demanding off-road races known to man and runs 631.35 miles through Mexico's rugged Baja peninsula over some of the worlds’ toughest terrain. This year's race started for the 34th time and finished for the 19th time in Ensenada, 65 miles south of the U.S. border from San Diego.
During the last several years, teams equipped with BFGoodrich Baja T/AKR off-road tires, a purpose-built racing tire designed for use in desert and off-road racing, have been near perfect in the worlds' most recognized off-road race.
The following is a complete list of BFGoodrich Tires 2008 SCORE Baja 1000 class winners:
* Trophy Truck -- Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler.
* Class 3 -- Darren Skilton.
* Class 5 -- Pedro Brassea.
* Class 10 -- Lobsom Yee.
* Class 11 -- Ramon Fernandez.
* Stock Mini -- Gavin Skilton.
* Stock Full -- Chad Hall.
* BC Class -- Chris Kemp.
* Sportsman Buggy -- Jerry Smith.
Nearly 347 entries from 29 states and 34 countries, competing in 28 Pro and six Sportsman classes for cars and trucks, plus additional classes for motorcycles and ATVs, took part in this year's SCORE Baja 1000.
This year's SCORE Baja 1000 will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the fifth consecutive year, airing on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. (EST) on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.