Larry Ragland Debuts New Chevy Trailblazer With Overall Win In 32nd Tecate Score Baja 500
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.