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Terrible's Cup Stadium Race - Something Terrible This Way Comes

Posted in Events on November 17, 2006
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Photographers: Collette Blumer

It's been said that the Baja 1000 is the best race that's never been seen. While the Baja locals would certainly take exception to that statement, it is true that the average American fan hasn't been on-site in Baja during the granddaddy of all desert races. For the second year in a row, the Best Bad Guy in the West, Terrible Herbst, decided to bring "a chunk of Baja" to the fans in Las Vegas.

"Scorching" is the most fitting description for the temperatures. It's easy to see why the advent of air conditioning made life possible in places like Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Built on the dirt track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible's Cup II course was filled with jumps, turns, high-speed straightaways, and even a bit of high-speed pavement. The terrain was a true test of vehicle ability, but some quintessential Baja features were notably absent. Then again, how would you go about importing a bottomless silt bed, a steep, long, rocky uphill, or a booby trap? Terrible's Cup II was more like a happening than a mere race: Thursday night kicked off with a Pit Crew Challenge under the Viva Vision canopy at Fremont Street, and fans had the chance to meet their favorite drivers before the racing began on both Friday and Saturday nights. After each evening's racing was done, Terrible Herbst treated everyone to a spectacular fireworks show.

A typical SCORE event in the United States or Mexico has well over 20 Pro and Sportsman classes to offer; Terrible's Cup showcased a sample of those classes and put the buggies of Class 1, Class 10, SCORE Lite, and Class 1-2 1600 on the track. Representing the truck classes were Class 7, 7S, 7SX, and the marquee Trophy Trucks. The weather seemed directly imported from Baja, although not from the Baja 1000. During the 1000, which is held in November, the mercury huddles in the lower reaches of the thermometer. During Terrible's Cup, the sun scorched fans, photographers, and racers alike with daytime temperatures soaring over 120. After the sun set, the temperatures retreated a few notches to 110. A far cry from the fabled "dry heat" of the desert Southwest, the hot temperatures combined with dripping humidity. Sunblock, shade, and gallons of Gatorade went from amenities to essentials.

A winning race effort would require charging hard from the green flag and not letting up until the checkers flew six laps later. The tight quarters and short race lengths meant that "settling in" and pacing oneself in the race would be a sure way to lose. The time to hit the gas was NOW.

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So, who won? After conceding to friend and fellow competitor Marty Coyne on Friday night, Robby Gordon came back with a vengeance during Saturday's main event to take the Trophy Truck win. Rounding out the truck class winners were: Broc Ross of Deer Island, Oregon, who held off a hard-charging Larry Roeseler for the Class 7 crown; Perry McNeil Jr. of La Mesa, California, who won Class 7SX; and Ramona, California's Tyler Fox, who took home top honors in Class 7S.

Big thanks are in order for the Best Bad Guy in the West. The Herbst family has been venturing into the deserts of Baja since family patriarch Jerry Herbst took to the Baja 500 in 1970. With an oil and gaming empire funding their racing efforts, the Terrible team has the resources to spend as much time in Baja as they desire. The Red Team is familiar not only with Baja's terrain, but also with the adventure and fun that come with a visit south of the border. Instead of remaining content with their own Baja exploits, Team Herbst chose to bring Baja stateside and share the action with fans who might not otherwise witness the excitement firsthand. We're looking forward to a Terrible future.

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