ENSENADA – Rob MacCachren and Luke McMillin captured the overall and Trophy Truck victory during the 54th SCORE Baja 1,000.
Starting second on the road in the elapsed time race and splitting the driving in McMillin’s No. 11 Chevy Silverado, the dynamic duo patiently worked their way to the front of the pack and finished the 1,226.35-mile race down Mexico’s majestic Baja peninsula in 20 hours, 45 minutes and 59 seconds with an average speed of 59.05 mph.
MacCachren, 56, stabled his aging two-wheel drive thoroughbred when he was invited to join the Big Blue M race team to drive McMillin’s AWD Chevy Silverado built by Mason Motorsports.
Using McMillin’s No. 1 SCORE Trophy Truck, the McMillin family decided to give MacCachren a shot at winning another SCORE Trophy Truck season point championship. MacCachren entered the race two points behind Larry Roesele,r so the McMillins allowed MacCachren to be the driver of record and run MacCachren’s No. 11 on the No. 1 truck of the McMillins.
MacCachren and McMillin spent a good portion of the race chasing Andy McMillin and Bryce Menzies before the engine in the No. 7 Trophy Truck failed just before the 700 mile mark. MacCahren handed the No. 11 to Luke McMillin around the 700-mile mark, which is when they took the lead. They never gave up the top spot again and led the remainder of the distance.
“The race was incredible,” said MacCachren. “It’s an honor to be asked by Luke McMillin and the McMillin race team to drive with them. I didn’t have any issues at all, just wanted to take care of the truck and give Luke a good truck. Luke did a heck of a job. Everything went as planned. When the previous SCORE Baja 1,000 ends you started planning for the next one. This is the one we all want to win.”
“It was a great day. Rob (MacCachren) brought me a great truck in second place,” Luke McMillin said. “He got on the radio and told me it was a perfect truck so that put the pressure on me that it’s go time. We did our homework, we did our pre-running. We hit our marks. Zero flat tires, zero close calls. The BFGoodrich Tires were unbelievable. We just stayed on the course and did our thing. That made it fun.”
Gustavo Vildosola Jr. finished second after splitting driving time in the No. 21 Ford Raptor with his father, Gustavo Vildosola, and Hall of Famer Ricky Johnson. Cameron STeele, Ryan Arciero and Rhys Millen were third overall in the No. 16 Desert Assassins Monster Energy Ford Raptor.
Among the class winners was Jeff Proctor, who was joined in the No. 709 Honda Ridgeline by Richard Glaszczak and 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi. They teamed to claim a victory in Class 7.
Continuing their winning ways individually and as a team, Mark Samuels, Justin Morgan, Kendall Norman and Brandon Prieto won their 12th consecutive overall motorcycle title in a SCORE race on their No. 1x Slam Life Racing Honda CRF450X.
After post-race penalty review, Brad Wilson, Kyle Quinn and Rony Wilson were declared winners in the unlimited Class 1 in the Wilson Motorsports No. 153 Jimco-Chevy.
Phil Blurton was the driver of record in winning his first SCORE Baja 1,000 title and his first overall UTV title ahead of 62 starters in four classes while winning the Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class. Also driving with Blurton were Beau Judge and Wayne Israelson. Winning the Pro UTV NA (Naturally Aspirated) class was Ensenada’s Elias Hanna. Hanna led a five-driver team.
In all, 299 teams made the call for the start of the Baja 1,000, with 205 teams crossing the finish line by the time the course closed.