ensenada, Mexico, June 9, 2015 - In one of the closest finishes in recent memory, Mexican native Carlos Apdaly Lopez claimed the overall win at the 47th running of the Bud Light SCORe Baja 500 by just 50 seconds over BFGoodrich Performance Team member Rob MacCachren.
The win marks the 31st overall SCORe Baja 500 win and the 84th overall win on the Baja peninsula for BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich Tires not only took the overall win, but its race tires ran on the top 11 overall finishers and included 11 class wins.
"We have worked tirelessly to put our brand back where we feel it belongs - as the dominant brand in desert racing and one that more Baja racers trust," said Chris Baker, motorsports director for BFGoodrich Tires. "Despite our long history of success in the desert, only a few years ago we were shut out of the top spots at the two biggest desert races of the year. The Dirt Nation began to wonder. Since then, we went to work and developed a tire, the Baja T/A KR2, which has proven itself in multiple classes. This year at the 500 went beyond that as our race program covered over 60 percent of the field and included a new tire for the growing UTV class. It was tremendous to witness one after another finisher roll across the finish line on our BFGoodrich Tires."
Storylines from the Bud Light SCORe Baja 500:
• BFGoodrich has now collected the overall win in the last eight SCORe Desert races and also collected 17 of the last 18 major North American desert races, including the Best In The Desert series.
• In 2015, BFGoodrich has been the tire of choice for every overall winner for these major races - BITD MINT, BITD Parker, BITD Silver State, Bud Light SCORe Baja Sur, and Bud Light SCORe San Felipe 250 and now the SCORe Baja 500
• In the Baja peninsula, BFGoodrich Tires dominates, collecting a total of 84 overall victories.
• Taking into account the last two years of races in Baja, BFGoodrich Tires has claimed 77 percent of the overall top finishers (62 of 80).
• Over the past four years, BFGoodrich has been on 33 of the top 40 overall finishers.
• The BFGoodrich Tires Baja T/A® KR2 race tire has 12 overall desert race wins. At the SCORe Baja 500, 10 of the top 11 finishers were running KR2 on their vehicle and the tire helped claim four class titles.
• 62 percent of the four-wheel race field strapped BFGoodrich Tires on their race vehicle, including 48 on the Baja T/A KR2.
Lopez, whose best finish at this race was last year when he placed ninth overall running with father Juan Carlos Lopez. Lopez finished second at the SCORe San Felipe 250 and fourth at the SCORe Baja Sur this season and continued his climb up the SCORe World Desert Championship points race.
"We had a good day but at race mile 100 we lost our brakes and we lost five to 10 minutes," said Lopez after the race. "After that everything went pretty well and we regained the time we lost. This is the first 500-mile race that I've driven solo. The toughest part was the endurance. When I was 10 years old it was my goal to someday win in Baja."
Runner-up MacCachren had his work cut out for him from the start as he began 11th in line on the day after qualifying. MacCachren stuck to his strategy to remain fast but safe and found himself in the lead pack by mid-race. He continued to make up time as the miles ticked by. Lopez crossed the line first, then the drama began to see if MacCachren could come in within six minutes of Lopez, since he started six spots behind him on the one minute interval between green flags. He came across the line in six minutes and fifty seconds behind Lopez.
Jesse Jones (No. 76 Fox Shocks/BFGoodrich Tires Ford) placed third while Gustavo Vildosola, Jr. brought the No. 21 Branix Mexicana Logistics Ford Raptor in fourth overall.
Defending champion Bryce Menzies, who was looking for not only consecutive wins but also his fourth overall SCORe Baja 500 win, ran into vehicle trouble around race mile 300 and had to give up his chance to make history.
Overall, five BFGoodrich Performance Team members competed in the 2015 Bud Light SCORe Baja 500. Beyond MacCachren and Menzies, Ryan Arciero partnered with Troy Herbst and finished ninth; Justin Bean Smith co-drove with Tracy Graf and placed 11th. Casey Currie also brought a rock crawling race vehicle, a unique entry against the 900-horsepower Trophy Trucks.
KR2 Stands On Top Again
BFGoodrich Tires introduced the latest in desert race tire technology in 2013 with the BFGoodrich Tires Baja T/A® KR2. Since then, the tire has been adopted by race teams in various classes and now has amassed 12 overall desert race wins. It has been run on the vehicles that won seven of nine desert races in 2014 and all five desert races in 2015.
The KR2 tire, originally designed for the Trophy Truck class, has become so renowned that it has been developed, with subtle adjustments, for several classes. Racers in Class 1, Class 7 and Class 10, as well as the UTV class, new this year, was running KR2 tires and joining those in the Trophy Truck and Trophy Truck spec classes.
For this year's SCORe Baja 500, 48 race trucks hitched Baja T/A KR2 tires to their trucks, including 20 in the premier Trophy Trucks class in which nine of the top 10 were running the tire. Additionally the KR2 won four class titles at this year's race. Additionally, BFGoodrich swept the Class 10 podium spots.
2014 Was The Year of BFG; 2015 Sizing up to be the same
BFGoodrich Tires saw considerable success last year and continues to do so this season. With overall victories in races supported by both major desert racing bodies - SCORe International and Best In the Desert, BFGoodrich Tires is leading the way for success in the desert. Overall BFGoodrich Race wins in the last two years.
BITD Parker 425 Jason Voss
SCORe San Felipe 250 Gus Vildosola Jr
BITD Mint 400 Andy McMillin
SCORe Imperial Valley 250 Andy McMillin
BITD Silver State 300 Jason Voss
SCORe Baja 500 Bryce Menzies
BITD Vegas To Reno Jason Voss
SCORe Desert Challenge Steven eugenio
BITD Henderson 250 Jason Voss
SCORe Baja 1000 Rob MacCachren/Andy McMillin/Jason Voss
BITD Parker 425 Gary Weyhrich
SCORe San Felipe 250 Gus Vildosola Jr
BITD Mint 400 Justin Lofton
SCORe Baja Sur eduardo Laguna
BITD Silver State 300 Jason Voss
SCORe Baja 500 Carlos Apdaly Lopez
New BFGoodrich UTV Tire Withstands Baja Punishment
Bringing a new product to the grueling terrain that accompanies Baja desert racing often causes heartache. But just as the brand did in 2013 with the original KR2 for Trophy Trucks, BFGoodrich introduced its new Baja T/A KR2 UTV tire which was lauded as a "game changer" by the two teams that ran on them in the UTV class.
"It's very clear that this tire was designed for a UTV," said Brandon Shcueler, driver for Jagged X Racing, which crossed the line in 15 hours and 47 minutes and rolled across second in class, but placed fourth on corrected time. "It's not a rigid truck tire, and it's not a quad tire in a bigger size. This tire has all of the characteristics - outstanding traction, great handling and extreme durability - to make it the best UTV tire period. We pounded this tire relentlessly for the 510 mile race, and there was almost no wear on them."
The BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2 UTV is the first UTV-specific tire produced by BFGoodrich, offering increased mobility in soft soils, enhanced traction in mud and improved braking in loose and rocky soil.
Currie Finishes And Makes History
BFGoodrich Performance Team member Casey Currie had a record-setting week. After claiming the first podium spot ever for the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A® KO2 tire in a short course race in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, Currie became the first person in 10 years to finish a SCORe Baja 500 with a straight axle trophy truck.
Currie entered the race using his King of the Hammers rock crawling race vehicle. He finished 18th in the Trophy Truck class in a time of 12:56:39.
"We pre-ran over 2,500 miles on the All-Terrain KO2 tire and didn't have one flat," said Currie. "We also pre-ran at a nice pace because the new tread pattern and compound really made for a nice ride with lots of traction. The race was another great adventure. Running a Hammers type vehicle in trophy truck made for a long day but when we reached the finish line we knew that we accomplished a lot. We ran the 39-inch KR2 race tires on the Jeep, which gave us great traction and strength to bounce off the rocks."
race tires on the Jeep which gave us great traction and strength to bounce off the rocks."
2015 Tecate SCORe Baja 500 Top 10 Overall Truck and Car Finishers (BFGoodrich Tires drivers in BOLD)
1. Carlos Apdaly Lopez, Tecate, Mexico/Clyde Stacey, Bristol, Va. Chevy 8:48:38
2. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 8:49:28
3. Jesse Jones, Phoenix, Ariz, Ford F-150 8:54:08
4. Gustavo Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Raptor 8:55:03
5. Jason Voss, Cupertino, Calif, Ford F-150 8:55:26
6. Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Ford F-150 9:04:04
7. Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif. Ford F-150 9:12:20
8. Steven eugenio, el Centro, Calif.,/Armin Schwartz, Germany Chevy Silverado 9:13:55
9. Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. Ford F-150 9:16:23
10. Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy 9:32:73 (Class 1)
2015 Class Wins
SCORe Trophy Truck Carlos Apdaly Lopez (Tecate, Mexico)
Class 1 Cody Parkhouse (Long Beach, Calif.)
Trophy Truck Spec Larry Connor (Miamisburg, Ohio)
Class ½-1600 Aaron Ampudia (ensenada, Mexico)
Class 3 Donald Ross (Sacramento, Calif.)
Class 5 Victor Cesena (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)
Class 7 Carlos Diaz (Mexicali, Mexico)
Class 7s Alonzo Gonzales (ensenada, Mexico)
Class 8 James Burman (Heber City, Utah)
Class 10 Peter Hajas (Wayzata, Minn.)
SCORe Lites Rafael Navarro III (Temecula, Calif.)
Stock Full John Gonzales (edgewater, Md.)
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 40 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in nearly every type of racing, including sports car, drag, desert, dirt, short course and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Motorsports site at http://www.bfgoodrichracing.com or BFGoodrich Tires on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BFGoodrichTires or on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BFGoodrichTires.
BFGoodrich Tires is dedicated to providing high performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 50 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, www.BFGoodrichRacing.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BFGoodrichTires.