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SCORE 2006: Live Start draw fiesta for 38th Baja 500 desert race.

Robby Gordon and his SCORE-Hummer

Motorcycle desert racing legend Malcolm Smith continues strong ties to the sport he has enjoyed for over 50 years, partly through adventure trips down the Baja California peninsula, partly through rare racing appearances and always through his Malcolm Smith Foundation, a charitable organization whose flagship is an orphanage near Valle de Trinidad, Mexico.

As his legacy continues to grow, the desert racing community in particulr embraces Smith’s philanthropic efforts and his Foundation will receive the proceeds from a raffle being held Saturday in conjunction with a special "live" drawing for start positions for June’s 38th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race.

The festivities, being hosted by Mike Voyles Racing, will be held at the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, will also include a display of some SCORE race vehicles anda preview of two soon-to-be-released desert racing films. The drawing festivities, open to the public at no charge, will start with a reception at 5 p.m. and conclude around 8 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Pechanga Resort, located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway in Temecula.

Round 3 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature nearly 400 entries, competing in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 2-4 in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 150,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world’s best desert racers in action at this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Grand prize for the Malcolm Smith Foundation raffle, being conducted by Mike Voyles Racing, will be a free entry into this year’s race. All proceeds from the special raffle, with tickets priced at $10 each, will be donated to the Malcolm Smith Foundation in the name of Chase Feldkamp, the 10-month old son of second-generation SCORE racer Buddy Feldkamp, who died tragically last month.

Among the other prizes will be vacation packages and products from several of the aftermarket companies involved with SCORE desert racing. The evening will also feature special showing of trailers for two upcoming films that showcase SCORE desert racing, "Dezert People DP4", and the new documentary film, ‘Chasing the Horizon’. The vehicle display at the main entrance to the Pechanga Resort will include the No. 62 SCORE Trophy-Truck driven by Mike Voyles and a desert racing motorcycle and ATV from Temecula Motorsports. Conducting the drawing will be SCORE International CEO/President Sal Fish, in his fourth decade leading the world’s foremost desert racing organization. SCORE was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports legend Mickey Thompson.

"The interest in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 is already at near-record levels and we’re still over a month away," said Fish, who began his SCORE career in 1974. "We are excited about bringing a little taste of SCORE to the Pechanga Resort & Casino on Saturday and we appreciate the hotel’s assistance and the effort by Mike Voyles Racing to put together this special event for SCORE."

With nearly 400 entries expected from over 20 U.S. States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan and New Zealand, the green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 3) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 9 a.m. Nearly 300 of the anticipated entries are expected to be entered in time for Saturday’s start draw.

Smith, who turned 65 in March and has five class wins in the SCORE Baja 500 and eight in the SCORE Baja 1000, starred with his old friend Steve McQueen in the 1972 classic film "On and Sunday". Smith, of Riverside, Calif., has entered this year’s race in the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars as a co-driver for his close friend Cam Theriot. Their two son’s, Alexander Smith and Max Theriot, will drive together in Class 1-2/1600 in this year’s race.

NASCAR team owner/driver Robby Gordon will defend his overall 4-wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy-Truck crown as will last year’s overall motorcycle and Class 22 winner Mike Childress, who is racing this year for the American Honda A team with Steve Hengeveld. Gordon, who drove solo last year, will be the second driver for Andy McMillin this year. McMillin, a third-generation SCORE desert racing, is running the entire 2006 SCORE Desert Series schedule in the No. 83 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500.

The highly-competitive SCORE Desert Series has 20 racers separated by just 39 points after the record-setting 2006 season-opening 12th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge and 20th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. Both races had race-record starting grids, with 233 leaving the line in Laughlin and 341 starting the race in San Felipe.

After driving solo for a pair of podium finishes, Gary Weyhrich has assumed the Overall SCORE Desert Series point lead while keeping the top spot in the unlimited Class 1 after two of six races. Weyhrich, 38, of Troutdale, Ore., has 139 points for the season in his TSCO Racing Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.

Planned before the season started that whoever was higher in the points would stay in the Class 1 point championship chase, Weyhrich’s younger brother Mark, 36, who drove solo in the team’s new Jimco-Chevy for the first two races, will join the class leader to form one team starting with the upcoming Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Second in overall points with 126 and leading the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800 horsepower unlimited production trucks is Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin in the Baldwin Motorsports No. 97 Chevy Silverado. Baldwin, 26, had his first SCORE class win in Laughlin in a race-record field of 33 SCORE Trophy-Truck starters in Laughlin and backed it up with a second place in San Felipe in a race-record field of 24 SCORE Trophy-Trucks. His Chevy Silverado is prepped and the race crew is provided by Collins Motorsports of Las Vegas.

After one of three SCORE Desert Series races for motorcycles, the overall motorcycle point leaders are the team of Brian Pinard/Taber Murphy, who lead Class 30 for riders over 30 years old, with 62 points on a Honda XR650R. Tied for second with 60 points each are Class 22 point leaders Robby Bell/Kendall Norman (Honda CRF450X) and Class 21 leaders Kenneth Lopez/Roberto Villalobos (Yamaha YZF450).

The overall ATV point leaders after their season-opening Class 25 victory at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 is the team of Wayne Matlock/Chad Prull, with 70 points on a Honda TRX450R. The 2006 SCORE Desert Series includes the chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point champions.

The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes the hunt for the annual Toyota Milestone and $12,000 Toyota True Grit Awards. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2006 SCORE Desert Series. The $12,000 Toyota True Grit purse is split among the SCORE season point champions who are also Toyota Milestone award winners in several non-factory-backed classes.

2006/04/24 I 10:08 CET I Editor:

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