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SCORE: Johnson earns Trophy Truck top starting spot for Baja 1000

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Ricky Johnson has earned the first starting position for Larry Connor’s Team C Racing in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for next month’s 51st annual SCORE Baja 1000.

The special SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying, presented by BFGoodrich Tires was held on a purpose built, 0.6-mile course that started and finished on the off-road track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The iconic race itself will start and finish in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. This year’s SCORE Baja 1000 race-week festivities and race will be held Nov. 12-18.

In front of a capacity crowd at the LVMS Off-Road Track on Tuesday night, Johnson, who won 38 Supercross races and seven AMA season championships in his Hall of Fame motorcycle career, blistered the dirt and asphalt covering two laps in 1m51.92s with an average speed of 38.57 mph in Connor’s No. t Team C Racing Chevy Silverado. He ran laps of 58.69 seconds and 43.23 seconds. His second lap was the fastest of the night.

Johnson was quickest among the 30 trucks out of the 37 entered in the race that elected to participate in the optional qualifying event.

The 5,000-pound race trucks are designed for the pounding of open desert racing resulting in average speeds in qualifying 15-20 miles per hour less than they will average during the actual race.

Johnson, driving Connor’s SCORE Trophy Truck, finished 1.14 seconds faster than the runner-up qualifier as all of the top 14 qualifiers finished the course in less than two minutes.

A total of 30 of the 37 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered in the race including three SCORE TT Legend race trucks participated in the optional qualifying for starting positions within their respective classes, which are combined for starting positions but scored separately at the conclusion of the race.

SCORE Trophy Truck, developed and launched by former SCORE owner Sal Fish in 1994, is the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950 horsepower unlimited custom trucks and SCORE TT Legend, which debuted in 2017, is the SCORE Trophy Truck class-within-a-class with drivers at least 50 years old.

TOP 5 QUALIFIERS

Behind Johnson, second in qualifying was Luke McMillin with a time of 1:53.05 in the No. 83 Mark Racing Ford F-150, and third was last year’s top qualifier Robby Gordon, with a time of 1:53.52 in the No. 77 Team Gordon Chevy Silverado.

Completing the top-five qualifier list was Cole Potts, fourth in a time of 1:53.84 in the No. 60 Chevy Silverado, and fifth was Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies with a time of 1:53.97 in his new No. 7 Menzies Motorsports Ford Raptor.

This year’s SCORE Baja 1000 will be a loop race of 806.76 miles in the northern state of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula. It will start for the 44th time and finish for the 25th time in Ensenada. The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, which has been held exclusively for the past three years in Baja California. The start/finish line compound will once again be adjacent to the Bahia de Todos Santos one one side and to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.

With a total time limit of 36 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 4 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Nov. 16 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with their start on at 10:30 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Nov. 16. The fastest finishers are expected to complete the race in approximately 16 hours.

Online racer registration continues until Nov. 7 and this year’s course map, course notes and GPS files are available on the SCORE website under race info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page at http://www.SCOREInternational.com.

WHERE THEY’RE FROM

To date, there are 235 total entries with racers from 36 U.S. states and 18 countries officially signed up to compete. In addition to the United States, the U.S. territory of Guam and host country Mexico, the other countries with racers entered are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Spain and Sweden.

Including SCORE Trophy Truck (37 entries), seven classes have double figures in terms of entries. While several classes have reached at least 10 entries, the other classes with double figure entries to date are: Trophy Truck Spec (26), Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) (25), Class 10 (16), unlimited Class 1 (14), Pro UTV NA (Naturally Aspirated) (12) and leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C with 13 entries so far.

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