2002 Optima SCORE Desert Series - Desert Slugfest - Off-RoadPosted in Features on October 1, 2002
Troy Herbst teamed up with Larry Roeseler to capture the overall 4WD vehicle title on the rugged terrain of the northern part of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico.
Racing in the Unlimited Class 1, Herbst, 35, and Roeseler, 41, powered their Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford-powered Smithbuilt open-wheel desert race car to a time of 10 hours, 24 minutes, 54 seconds, averaging 45.47 mph over the sun-drenched 473.62-mile course.
There were 264 racers in Round 3 of the six-race 2002 Optima SCORE Desert Series, America's Foremost Desert Racing Series. Racers came from 16 states and six countries as the SCORE series reached the midway point of the 2002 season.
For Herbst, the five-time defending Class 1 SCORE point Champion, it was his first victory of the season and his fourth class win in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. The third all-time winningest racer in the event's history, Roeseler now has 12 career class wins in the race.
"Larry Roeseler is a great racer who knows Baja so well; it would be tough to lose with him on your team," said Herbst, who finished Third and Second in the first SCORE races of the season, driving solo. "Larry drove flawlessly, and we were still in Third Place when I took over at race mile 209. I drove hard but at a good pace and I didn't physically get the lead until I passed the 105 car (John Marking/Rob MacCachren), since it was off to the side of the course with problems."
In the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division, Mark Miller, 39, of Carefree, Arizona, used some timely codriving from desert-racing veteran Larry Ragland, 59, of Phoenix to break the five-race class winning streak of Dan Smith and David Ashley of Riverside, California. In earning his first SCORE race win, Miller's Chevy Silverado finished fourth overall beating the Ford F-150 of Troy Herbst's older brothers Ed and Tim Herbst by a little more than 26 minutes. For Ragland, who was available because the primary vehicle he was entered in - Las Vegas' Brian Collins - broke early in the race, the victory was his fifth class win in the race and his first since 2000. The Herbst brothers finished second in SCORE Trophy Truck and seventh overall.
The Smith/Ashley team lost the motor early in the race in their Enduro Racing Ford F-150, marking the team's first DNF in nearly three years. Brothers Gary, 34, and Mark Weyhrich, 32, of Troutdale, Oregon, fought brake problems and slower race traffic all day, yet still finished second overall among 4WD vehicles and second in Class 1 in their Chevy-powered Chenowth, 7 minutes, 5 seconds behind Herbst/Roeseler.
ResultsTrophy Truck (Unlimited Production Trucks)1. Mark Miller, Carefree, Arizona/Larry Ragland, Chevrolet Silverado, 10:48:42 (43:81 mph, fourth overall 4WD vehicle)2. Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 11:15:02 (seventh overall)3. Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, California/Jerry Whelchel, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Ford F-150, 11:59:444. Scott Steinberger, Cypress, California/Dane Cardone, Huntington Beach, California, Ford F-150, 13:23:225. Richard Hoffman, Lake Forest, California/Craig Stewart, Santee, California, Chevrolet Silverado, 13:40:55(14 starters, 5 finishers)
Class 1 (Unlimited Single- Or Two-Seaters)1. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, California, Smithbuilt Ford, 10:24:58 (45.47 mph, first overall)2. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Oregon, Chenowth Chevrolet, 10:32:03 (second overall)3. Andrew Myers, Newport Beach, California, Costa Mesa, California, Jimco Toyota, 10:38:11 (third overall)4. Chuck Hovey, Escondido, California, Jimco Chevrolet, 10:49:01 (fifth overall)5. Alberto Coppolo, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Chenowth Toyota, 11:25:10 (ninth overall)6. Ron Brant, Torrance, California, Jimco Chevrolet, 11:30:49 (tenth overall)7. Scott McMillin, Poway, California, Porter Chevrolet, 12:03:568. Michael James, Alpine, California, Scat Chevrolet, 12:04:549. Stuart Chase, Burbank, California, Chenowth Porsche, 12:24:5310. Marty Melendrez, Rancho Cucamonga, California, Jimco VW, 13:02:3011. Dan Meyers, Newport Beach, California, Jimco Chevrolet, 15:43:1712. Dale Ebberts, Canyon Lake, California, Jimco Toyota, 17:37:34 (23 starters, 12 finishers)
Pro Truck (Limited Production Trucks)1. Al Hogan, Columbus, Montana/Steve Cooper, Missoula, Montana, Ford, 11:59:10 (39.51 mph)2. Steve Barlow, Temecula, California, Ford F-150, 12:13:003. Dave Sykes, Del Mar, California, Ford F-150, 14:03:054. Jim Stiles, Oxnard, California, Ford F-150, 14:15:505. Wally Hrdlicka, 47, Palm Desert, California/Steve Abernathy, Palm Springs, California, Ford F-150, 14:32:226. Gary Magness, Palm Springs, California, Ford F-150, 14:44:207. John Becker, Newhall, California, Ford F-150, 15:13:54 (11 starters, 7 finishers)
Class 7 (Open Mini Trucks)1.Willie Valdez, Chula Vista, California/Rob Gomez, Ensenada, Ford Ranger, 14:18:33 (33.10 mph)2.Craig Turner, Yorba Linda, California, Ford Ranger, 19:48:43 (9 starters, 2 finishers)
Class 7s (Stock Mini-Trucks)1. Doug Siewert, Oceanside, California,/Cory Susag, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Chevy S-10, 12:45:22 (37.13 mph)2. Eric Hardin, Anaheim, California, GMC Sonoma, 13:21:303. Daniel Fresh, San Juan Capistrano, California, Jeep Comanche, 15:24:574. Mike Horner, Mission Viejo, California, Toyota Tacoma, 16:18:48 (7 starters, 4 finishers)
Class 8 (Fullsize 2WD Trucks)1. Nick Vanderwey, Buckeye, Arizona/Larry Vanderway, Litchfield Park, Arizona, GMC Sierra, 12:09:20 (38.96) (7 starters, 1 finishers)
Class 9 (Short Wheelbase, Single- Or Two-Seaters)1. ose Luis Arce/Daniel Mora, Ensenada, Mexico, Challenger, 14:21:11 (33.00 mph)2. Arturo Velasco, Beaumont, California, Chenowth, 15:00:273. Raul Aguiar, Ensenada, Mexico, Baja West, 15:44:554. Eliseo Garcia, Ensenada, Mexico, Chenowth, 17:08:125. Ed McClean, Severna Park, Maryland, Jimco, 18:11:186. Francisco Fernandez, Calexico, California, Raceco, 19:07:35 (14 starters, 6 finishers)