by NSSN StaffLAUGHLIN, Nev. — Six-time All-America racer Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas bounced back from a flat tire Saturday to patiently master the field of challengers and the rugged Southern Nevada desert Sunday to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory in Round 2 of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
In earning his 10th career SCORE Trophy Truck race win, MacCachren carefully cruised to a winning time Sunday of 54 minutes, 16 seconds averaging 55.28 miles per hour over eight laps of the rugged 6.25-mile desert race course.
The classes were divided into groups for five multi-lap races as this year’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge featured individual races on both Saturday and Sunday. With the start/finish line area and main pits once again located at the Laughlin Events Park, Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin was the overall winner Saturday, earning his third SCORE Trophy Truck race win in Laughlin and the fourth career race win in SCORE’s premier racing division for high-tech unlimited production trucks.
Finishing second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck for the second consecutive day was RPM Off Road driver Juan Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, who crossed the finish line1:12 behind MacCachren in 55:28, averaging 54.09 mph in the No. 18 Chevy Silverado while third, 12 seconds behind Lopez and 1:24 behind MacCachren was Steven Strobel, Clarks, Nebraska, who finished third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in the No. 94 Strobel Motorsports Ford F-150 in 55:40 with an average speed for the eight laps of 53.89 mph.
After a flat tire cost him a chance for the win on Saturday when he ended up in ninth place, MacCachren took charge on Sunday during the first lap when he ran a race-best of 6:39 to take the lead on corrected time although he was still sixth physically on the road after starting ninth. MacCachren continued to pick off racers running third until the last lap when he past Strobel and finishing physically shortly after Lopez who had started second in the 24-truck field.
“Last year we were close and we ended up second but this year is going to be a great year,” said MacCachren, an eight-time SCORE season class point champion who now has eight class win in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. “Last year we swept both rounds in San Felipe and the shocks have really come a long way over the years and these little shock coolers up on top, that’s our secret weapon for San Felipe. The whoops down there are super rough, a lot like here in Laughlin.”
“It was great racing going on today. I can’t wait to do it some more. I went out of here and I knew we had the lead and I was just getting roosted by his (Steven Strobel) rocks. About the time I decided to back off he checked up and moved over for me because we were in his mirror. We got by him at about mile two on the last lap. We got in front of him and then I just wanted to keep him right behind me. He started pressuring me. The truck was flawless. Yesterday was teeing up to be a great battle with B.J. (Baldwin) and I don’t know what happened I just probably threw it into a berm too hard and debeaded the tire. Today we made a little adjustment to that to make sure it didn’t happen so we came away with some success.”
With SCORE Trophy Trucks earning seven of the top 10 overall finishing positions, winning the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars and finishing sixth overall was Cody Parkhouse, Calif., who drove a Chevy-powered Jimco to the class win in 57:10 while averaging 52.48 mph. While earning his first career SCORE Class 1 victory, Cody Parkhouse, 24, was shadowed to the finish line by his father Brian Parkhouse, who finished fourth in Class 1, 2:03 behind his son in another Jimco-Chevy.
Finishing fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Las Vegas’ Brendan Gaughan, a NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Truck Series driver who improved two positions from Saturday’s race with a time of 55:58 while averaging 53.60 mph in Collins Motorsports No. 12 South Point Racing Dodge Ram1500.
With nine entries in this year’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, RPM Off Road of Bristol, Tenn. won five classes in addition to Lopez’s second place in SCORE Trophy Truck. With six class wins on Saturday, RPM Off Road leaves Laughlin with 11 class wins and two second places in SCORE Trophy Truck to start the 2012 SCORE Desert Series.
Mexico’s Eduardo Laguna and Rodolfo Iribe won Class 6 (Chevy Colorado) and Class 8 (Chevy Silverado) respectively for RPM Off Road for the second consecutive day. Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. won again in Class 2 (PSD-Chevy) and was second in Class 5-1600 (VW Baja Bug). Also on Sunday, Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va., won in Class 4 in another PSD-Chevy for the second straight day while RPM’s fifth class win Sunday was recorded by Jim Bunn, Bristol, Va., RGBuggy-Chevy who won for the second straight day in the Sportsman Buggy class.
“I did one lap in the 5-1600 car and one in the Class 2 car today,” said Stacy, 66. “I’m so sore. Overall we had a great day yesterday with six class wins. We backed that up with five wins today so that gives us a great start to the 2012 SCORE Desert Series. All the guys did well. We had several new cars here. The Class 6 performed great and Eduardo (Laguna) did a good job. Juan (Carlos Lopez) did a super job with the SCORE Trophy Truck. We had to put a new motor in the SCORE Trophy Truck Friday night. It was giving out right at the end of the race. We are having so much fun, especially being from the South were desert racing isn’t as big and we can’t wait until the next SCORE race in March in San Felipe.
Adding to his race record of most class wins was Donald Moss of Sacramento, Calif. who capped off a twin-win weekend by wing Class 3 for the 10th time in in Laughlin in his Moss Brothers Racing Ford Bronco.
Earning his sixth class win and second of the weekend in Laughlin was San Diego’s Kevin Carr (Class 5, unlimited VW Baja Bug).
Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7) won his class in Laughlin for the fourth time and second straight day.
Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, won for the third time in Class 7SX in Laughlin in his Ford Ranger and Otoneil Huerta, San Luis, Ariz., racing in a Curry-VW, captured SCORE Lites with a 19-second win over the Moulton-VW of Brent Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif. and 55 seconds over Saturday’s winning team of Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif./Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif. Navarro defeated Huerta by just two seconds on Saturday and Bruckmann drove the team’s Jimco-VW on Sunday.
After a third-place finish in Saturday’s race in his class, driver of record Robert S. Archibald, El Cajon, Calif., earned a narrow two-second victory in a Mirage-VW over Saturday’s race winner Cody Robinson, El Centro Calif., who drove a Romo-VW to a 1-2 finish for the weekend’s two races. It was the closest finish of the race.
Earning his first SCORE race win, capturing Class 5-1600 Sunday was Canada’s Erich Reisen in a 1600cc VW Baja Bug.
Other class winners Sunday included Michael La Paglia, Murrieta, Calif. (Class 10, Racer-Chevy), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), Andy Bell, Long Beach, Calif. (Stock Min, Toyota Tacoma) and Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas (Class 7-2, BajaLite Chevy). Bell and Wilson won both races in Laughlin this weekend.
Winning for the second straight day in Sportsman Truck was Nick Tonelli, Huntington Beach, Calif. in a Ford Ranger.