LAS VEGAS, NV - Exactly seven days from now, The SCORE Las Vegas Primm ‘300’ race will liven up the western side of the McCullough Mountain range just 35 miles south of Las Vegas, NV. It will mark the one year anniversary of one of the closest finishes in desert racing history as Mike Julson and Bob Lofton veered their Chevy powered Jimco class 1 buggy across the finish line exactly one second before the Mike Smith built Trophy Truck piloted by Herbst brothers Tim and Ed. Since desert racing is timed against the clock as starters start, by class, every 30 seconds, there was no ‘photo finish’ like there is in horse racing. But to the desert racing enthusiast, one knew there was a battle going on in Primm, one of many that is fought every race in the war for the coveted ‘overall’ victory.
Primm is a special breed of a race, it’s not the famed marathon that is the Baja ‘1000’, it’s not the action packed, side by side racing that engulfs Laughlin every January, nor is it the inferno that they like to call the Henderson Terrible’s ‘250’. Primm is Primm, its held during what’s supposed to be the moderately temperate month of September, which we all know Septembers in Southern Nevada can easy reach the century mark on the thermometer. The course has a little of everything, long dry lake runs, never ending whooped out sections where every team in Southern Nevada tests their vehicle, 1st gear rocky sections where you will be lucky to get out without a flat, and all out fast power line sections. It is also the second to last race before the SCORE season ends, that means the points race is a big factor in how a driver will tackle the terrain.
This years Primm ‘300’ is shaping up to be yet another deciding race for those vying for their classes championship title. In class 1 Dale Ebberts and Ernie Castro are leading with their, Inland Truss backed, Toyota powered Jimco. In close second is Mark and Gary Weyhrich, followed very closely in third by Troy Herbst. Atop the Trophy Truck ranks is Gus Vildosolas Mexicana Logistics team, who counts on veteran off-road racer and local Las Vegan, Rob MacCachran, to man the wheel in most races. Only 8 points behind Vildosola is Tim and Ed Herbst. Class 10 is currently commanded by the Honda powered Jimco driven by Tijuana native Eli Yee, with Steve Meyers in close second. Only 3 points separate the first and second places in class 5 with Joe Heger leading over George Seeley. Class 7 is headed by Craig Turner in his Fabtech backed Ford Ranger with Hector Salazar chasing him in his ESPN sponsored Ford Ranger. Robert Land leads class 7s by only 3 points over Bob Graham. In the 5-1600 class, Jason Lakin is in the top position, with Mario Reynoso not to far behind in second place. Daniel Fresh has a commanding lead in the new 7sx class. Class 8 is a battle between first place Dave Sykes in his full size Chevrolet truck, and second place Nick Vanderway in his unmistakable ‘Got Milk?’ truck. The SCORE Lites division is led by Brian Ickler, class 3 is commanded by Donald Moss, while Alan ‘Fearless’ Pflueger dominates the Protruck ranks. And class 11 is a two-man fight between first place Fernando Flores, and second place Eric Solorzano.
What should be the most interesting class to watch this race will be the ½-1600 class. K.I.T. (Keep It Together) Racing’s young phenoms, Eric Allen and Adam Pfankuch have surprised the entire off-road community by winning the first 3 races of the SCORE 2003 season, and finishing third in the grueling heat at the Henderson Terrible’s ‘250’. Henderson locals, and SNORE racers, Bryan Freeman and Courtney Whipple, both racing separate cars, beat Allen by over 14 minutes. Reviving the question, ‘who’s faster in ½-1600, SNORE or SCORE racers?’. While some may say Allen would have won if he wasn’t leading the points race, some flat out say the SNORE ½-1600 racers are quicker than the SCORE regulars. Either side can go back and forth forever, but putting that aside, this should be a great battle to watch.
This year will be the second year that SCORE has decided to run a split starting time for the race. While this has brought up a debate on both sides as to which vehicles belong in which starting group, SCORE maintains that it is for the safety of the racers. At 6:00am on Saturday, September 13th group A will take the starting line, which consists of classes; 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, ½-1600, 5-1600, SCORE Lites, and the sportsman’s trucks and buggies. Group B will start at 1:00pm with classes; 1, 7, 7s, 7sx, 8, Trophy Truck, Protrucks, and the stock full and mini trucks. The day before the race is the ever so popular desert racing social gathering, also known as the SCORE Manufactures Midway and Technical Inspection, where race vehicles and teams will have their vehicle out for the public to see while they go through the process of getting the green light to race. It is also a great opportunity to meet and talk to the people involved in desert racing. Pre-race and race festivities will be held behind the World famous Buffalo Bills Hotel and Casino. Spectators can watch racers in grandstands that overlook the specially designed ‘infield’ section of the race that includes a four foot jump. If that doesn’t quench your thirst for desert racing media, visit our site, for a full post-race report, pictures, and video from multiple locations on the course. For more race information please visit SCORE’s website at http://www.score-international.com.
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