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SCORE Baja 500 - Ragland Rips At Baja 500 - Off-Road Racing

Posted in Features on October 1, 2000 Comment (0)
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SCORE Baja 500 - Ragland Rips At Baja 500 - Off-Road Racing
Photographers: Centerline
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Ensenada, Mexico - Larry Ragland enjoys racing in Mexico, which was clearly evident Saturday as he captured the overall four-wheel vehicle and Trophy Truck titles in the 32nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Desert Race. With a successful debut of a Chevy TrailBlazer Trophy Truck, Ragland covered the 440.6-mile rugged desert course around the northern part of the Baja, California, peninsula in a time of 8 hours, 56 minutes, and 43 seconds, averaging 49.26 mph.

Ragland, from Phoenix, drove solo in the sun-scorched desert, earning his third overall and fourth class title in the 32-year history of the race. Winning Round 3 of the five-race 2000 SCORE Desert Series, Ragland picked up his first overall victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 since 1984, and his first class win since 1991. Ragland has also won the overall title in four of the last five Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.

"The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the very roughest, toughest of all desert races, putting a driver to a brutal test of stamina and strength," the weary Ragland said after his rugged victory ride in a race that saw 219 vehicles take the green flag. "What an awesome way to debut our new Chevy TrailBlazer Trophy Truck. It was the first time out for this truck and [the] first test for this new engine, and Herzog Motorsports has done a wonderful job in putting together a winning package for GM Racing."

Second overall to Ragland was Las Vegas' Troy Herbst, who won the unlimited Class 1 in a Ford-powered Smithbuilt open-wheel desert race car in 9:13:31. Second in the featured Trophy Truck division and Third overall were Troy's older brothers Tim and Ed Herbst, who covered the challenging course in 9:18:59 in their Ford F-150.

Finishing Fourth overall and Second in Class 1 was the amazing Corky McMillin, of Bonita, California, the 71-year-old grandfather and San Diego developer whose Chenowth race car was timed in 9:35:01. Completing the top five overall finishers was Damen Jefferies, of Temecula, California, in a Porter with a time of 9:36:28.

Troy Herbst, the three-time defending SCORE Class 1 point champion, picked up his third Class win in this event, adding to his wins in 1996 and 1998. Tim and Ed Herbst were going for their third straight victory of the season, but did keep the point lead in Trophy Trucks.

Mexico's Gus Vildosola of Mexicali finished Sixth overall and Fourth in Class 1 in a Jimco, with a time of 9:38:42, just 1 second ahead of Seventh Place Pat Dean of Las Vegas, Fifth in Class 1 in a Chenowth.

Corky McMillin's oldest son Mark, 43, of El Cajon, California, finished Sixth in Class 1 and Eighth overall in 9:58:34. Class 1 featured a race-high of 28 starters.

A total of 232 racers, competing in 23 classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs entered the race, and of the 219 that officially started the grueling journey, 107 of them made it to the finish line within the 18-hour time limit in the elapsed-time race. The green flag dropped at 6 a.m. Saturday under crystal-clear, blue, sunny skies and temperatures that soared to 89 degrees. Racing continued until early Sunday morning.

Enduring numerous mechanical maladies, Las Vegas' Billy Goerke, driving solo for the first time in a SCORE race, won for the third time this year, remaining undefeated in Class 8 in his Collins' Motorsports Chevy C1500 truck.

Winning for the second straight year at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 were Steve Greinke of Orange, California, in SCORE LITE (Porter); George Seeley Jr. of Glendale, California, in Class 5 (VW Baja Bug); and Rick Ellison of Selma, California, in Class 10 (Chenowth).

Winning for the first time in SCORE Class 7 was the tandem of Craig Turner of Yorba Linda, California, and former SCORE Trophy Truck point champion Curt LeDuc of Cherry Valley, California, in a Ford Ranger.

Las Vegas' Sammy Ehrenberg won his first race in Class 1-2/1600 as he teamed with Ronny Wilson of Long Beach, California, in a Jimco. With the win, Ehrenberg, a bell captain at the Treasure Island Resort, moved into the season point lead for his class.

Other class winners on Saturday included: Eric Hardin of Anaheim, California, in Class 7S (GMC Sonoma); Jeremy Spirkoff of La Mesa, California, in Stock Full (Ford F-150); Darren Skilton of Long Beach, California, in Class 3 (Kia Sportage); and the team of Bob Shepard and Dan Ragland of Phoenix in Protruck (Chevy C1500). Ragland, 47, is the younger brother of overall race winner Larry Ragland.

For many, the race was also a pre-run of sorts for the season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 2000, A Race for the Ages, to be held November 10-17. Starting in Ensenada on November 12, and finishing in Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, the first 293 miles of Saturday's race will be the exact first 293 miles of November's once-in-a-lifetime race.32nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Desert Race

Round 3 of five-race 2000 SCORE Desert Series440.6 miles, June 3-4, 2000 Ensenada, Baja California, MexicoTotal Entries: 232 Total Starters: 219 Total Finishers: 107

The Finishers
Pro Cars and Trucks

Trophy Truck
(Unlimited production trucks) - 7 starters, 6 finishers
1. Larry Ragland, PhoenixChevy TrailBlazer, 8 hours, 56 minutes, 43 seconds(49.26 mph) (First overall four-wheel-drive vehicle)
2. Tim and Ed Herbst, Las VegasFord F-150, 9:18:59
3. Dan Smith/David Ashley, Riverside, California Ford F-150, 10:33:38
4. Ricky Johnson, Encinitas, California; Brian Stewart, Long Beach, California Chevy TrailBlazer, 10:41:54
5. Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, California; Jerry Whelchel, Laguna Hills, CaliforniaFord F-150, 11:40:45
6. Brian Collins, Las Vegas Chevrolet C1500, 13:01:44

Class 1
(Unlimited single or two-seaters) - 28 starters, 14 finishers
1. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas Smithbuilt, 9:13:31 (47.76)
2. Corky McMillin, Bonita, California Chenowth, 9:35:01
3. Damen Jefferies, Temecula, California Porter, 9:36:28
4. Gus Vildosola, Mexicali, Mexico Jimco, 9:38:42
5. Pat Dean, Las Vegas Chenowth, 9:38:43
6. Mark McMillin, El Cajon, California Chenowth, 9:58:34
7. Michael Grabowski, Upland, California Smithbuilt, 10:26:42
8. Tim Rockenbach, Glendora, California Jimco, 11:04:27
9. Ron Brant, Torrance, California Aceco, 11:14:26
10. Rod Muller, Riverside, California Porter, 11:50:28
11. Randy Wilson, Long Beach, California Jimco, 12:02:52
12. Gary Weyhrich, Gresham, Oregon Chenowth, 12:19:13
13. Kory Scheeler, Las VegasJimco, 14:34:28
14. Chuck Hovey, Escondido, California Aceco, 16:17:43

Class 1-2/1600
(Single or two-seaters to 1600cc) - 21 starters, 9 finishers
1. Sammy Ehrenberg, Las Vegas; Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, CaliforniaJimco, 11:23:19 (38.69mph)
2. Lorenzo Rodriguez, Covina, California Lothringer, 11:25:58
3. Joe Jeffery, Oceanside, California Jimco, 11:37:21
4. Mark Fleisher, La Mesa, Californi Chenowth, 11:48:26
5. Ramiro Escobedo, San Ysidro, California Mirage, 12:43:47
6. Clay Crealle, Prospect, Kentucky Jimco, 13:54:31
7. Kash Vessels, Oceanside, California Chenowth, 14:14:51
8. Bekki Freeman, Henderson, Nevada Jimco, 15:44:24
9. Brent Parkhouse, Huntington Beach, California Mirage, 15:48:39

Class 3
(Short-wheelbase 4x4s) - 5 starters, 2 finishers
1. Darren Skilton, Long Beach, California, Kia Sportage, 13:13:11 (33.33 mph)
2. Clive Skilton, Orange, California, Jeep Cherokee, 15:22:59

Class 5
(Unlimited Baja Bugs) - 4 starters, 2 finishers
1. George Seeley Jr., Glendale, California10:40:20 (41.28 mph)
2. Michael James, Alpine, California11:37:18

Class 5/1600(1,600cc Baja Bugs) - 21 starters, 8 finishers
1. Marcos Nunez, Ensenada, Mexico 12:15:45 (35.93 mph)
2. Jose Lopez, Chula Vista, California 12:29:03
3. Edmundo Fernandez, Ensenada, Mexico 13:06:12
4. Dave Gasper, Chino Hills, California 13:25:04
5. Sammy Martinez, San Diego, California 13:26:21
6. Arnulfo Valenzuela, Ensenada, Mexico 14:36:08
7. Victor Orellana, Chula Vista, California 15:48:49
8. Ruben Gutierrez, Hemet, California16:10:18

Class 7
(Open mini-trucks) - 4 starters, 2 finishers
1.Craig Turner, Yorba Linda, California; Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, California Ford Ranger, 11:12:26 (39.31 mph)
2. Jeff Lewis, San Clemente, California Chevy S-10, 15:05:40

Class 7S
(Stock mini-trucks) - 10 starters, 3 finishers
1. Eric Hardin, Anaheim, California GMC Sonoma, 14:21:27 (30.68 mph)
2. Doug Siewert, Oceanside, California Toyota Tacoma, 16:46:17
3. Eduardo Gonzalez, Santa Ana, California Ford Ranger, 17:48:55

Class 8
(Fullsized two-wheel-drive trucks) - 4 starters, 1 finisher
1. Billy Goerke, Las Vegas Chevy C1500, 13:41:50 (32.17 mph)

Class 9
(Short-wheelbase, single or two-seaters) - 9 starters, 2 finishers
1. Hector Sarabia, Ensenada, Mexico Chenowth, 14:49:57 (29.71 mph)
2. Dave Caspino, Woodland Hills, California ORD, 16:44:31

Class 10
(Single or two-seaters to 1,650 cc) - 13 starters, 8 finishers
1. Rick Ellison, Selma, California Chenowth, 10:06:23 (43.60 mph)
2. Mark Hutchins, Henderson, Nevada Jimco, 10:42:28
3. Don Hatch, Anaheim, California Jimco, 11:08:26
4. Steve Myers, Newport Beach, California Jimco, 11:11:01
5. Martin Christensen, Escondido, California Jimco, 12:03:58
6. Jim Dizney, Alpine, California Jimco, 12:26:25
7. Chris Harrold, Chula Vista, California Jimco, 15:33:04
8. Whit Courtenay, Prospect, Kentucky Jimco, 16:21:31

Score Lite
(Limited single, 1,776 cc or two-seaters, 1,835 cc) - 18 starters, 10 finishers
1. Steve Greinke, Orange, California Porter, 10:31:04 (41.89 mph)
2. Arturo Honold, Mexicali, Mexico Jimco, 10:45:44
3. Mark Fodor, San Juan Capistrano, California Chenowth, 11:08:26
4. Jose Flores, Culican, Mexico Chenowth, 11:15:24
5. Jerry Penhall, Costa Mesa, California Penhall, 11:38:45
6. Dan Worley, Encinitas, California Jimco, 11:40:41
7. Ty Goode, Lancaster, California Moulton, 12:01:46
8. Ron Dalke, Tucson, Arizona Tatum, 12:49:28
9. Dennis Hunter, Santa Rosa, California Chenowth, 13:02:02
10. Dennis Nuckles, Leona Valley, California Funco, 17:04:46

Class 11(Stock VW sedans) - 5 starters, no finishers

Stock Mini
(Stock mini-trucks) - 3 starters, no finishers

Stock Full
(Stock fullsized trucks) - 4 starters, 1 finisher
1. Jeremy Spirk off, La Mesa, California Ford F-150, 14:41:59 (29.97 mph)

Protruck
(Limited production trucks) - 6 starters, 2 finishers
1. Bob Shepard, Dan Ragland, Phoenix Chevy C1500, 11:29:04 (38.36 mph)
2. Ryan Herzog, Long Beach, California Ford F-150, 17:28:48

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