On 50th year of epic desert race, $50,000 contingency prize to be awarded to father-son team racing on BFGoodrich Tires
LA PAZ, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MEXICO, Nov. 21, 2017 – The 50th SCORE Baja 1000 desert race brought stiff competition and one of the most grueling courses in race history. For BFGoodrich, title sponsor of the race for the first time, it also brought a 29th overall win. Teams racing on BFGoodrich tires secured the top 12 positions overall and secured 18 class wins.
Apdaly Lopez rolls into top spot on BFGoodrich tires
In a hard-fought second half, BFGoodrich racers Bryce Menzies, Luke McMillin and Apdaly Lopez were neck and neck. As the race edged toward the finish line, Cameron Steele was close behind the three leaders waiting to take the lead from anyone who tripped. But Apdaly Lopez never tripped, finishing first in the Trophy Truck category.
Teamed with his father, Juan Carlos Lopez, Apdaly raced on BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR3 tires and cited their performance as he held a ceremonial check for $50,000 on the podium minutes after his aggressive win.
“The traction on our tires was amazing. The direction they gave us was amazing,” Apdaly Lopez said. “I can’t ask for better performance from the tires. I’m very happy to be teamed up with BFGoodrich right now.”
The $50,000 contingency prize for the overall winner was a notable increase over previous years, said Chris Baker, motorsports director, BFGoodrich Tires and Michelin North America. The prize went to the overall winner if the vehicle ran exclusively on BFGoodrich tires.
“This was a big year for us at the SCORE Baja 1000. It was the 50th year of the race and the first year BFGoodrich has been the title sponsor,” Baker said. “We increased our contingency prize both as a meaningful reward to the winning race team, but also to highlight this milestone year for the race series and for our company.”
Decades of Desert Domination
The Lopez team’s victory was one of many stories capping off BFGoodrich’s theme this year: Decades of Desert Domination.
In addition to the Lopez team victory in the Trophy Truck category, BFGoodrich teams also won Class 1; Class 10; Trophy Truck Spec; Hammer Truck Unlimited; Class 12; Class 5; Class 8; Class 7; Heavy Metal; Class 3000; Pro UTV Turbo; Class 3; Baja Challenge; Class 7SX; Stock Full; Class 11; and Vintage Pre-82.
Class 10 BFGoodrich drivers make a statement
In the Class 10 category, which includes single- or two-seaters up to 1,650 cc, the BFGoodrich-equipped team including Cody Reid, Adam Pfankuch, Rick St. John, Sammy Ehrenberg and Brian Bowles took the top spot, averaging 49.9 miles per hour. Racing on BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2 tires, the team managed to pass all of the more powerful Class 1 vehicles for the overall buggy win.
COPS team returns to BFGoodrich, podium
In the Trophy Truck Spec category, John Langley and his COPS racing team returned to BFGoodrich Tires this event, racing on BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2 tires. The team finished first in the category, with a time of 23:34:54. The COPS team was not alone. At this year’s SCORE Baja 1000, eight teams racing in the Trophy Truck and Trophy Truck Spec categories chose to race on BFGoodrich tires after racing on other brands previously.
Currie brothers win Hammer Truck Unlimited category
Brothers Casey and Cody Currie’s team dominated the Hammer Truck Unlimited category. Racing on BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR3 tires, they performed no tire rear changes the entire race, a feat nearly unheard of in the Baja 1000. And they weren’t alone. Jon Walker, competing in the Class 1 Unlimited category, was racing on BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR2 tires and never changed his rear tires throughout the race, ending with a convincing win in his category.
A big win for BFGoodrich in the Pro UTV category
In the Pro UTV category, BFGoodrich racer Brandon Schueler’s team finished first, beating out the next UTV by more than an hour and a half. Schueler’s team included Miles Martin, Pat Stone, Mitch Guthrie Jr., Matt Park and Jason Spiess. The UTV raced on 32-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain KR2 tires.
Baja Challenge category victory
In the Baja Challenge category, the BFGoodrich Performance Team clinched first place. The team finished on the same four BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A® KM3 tires which were used to pre-run the course, never needing to stop to repair or replace a tire.
“This race is not for wimps,” said BFGoodrich Performance Team driver Lance Clifford, who raced in the Baja Challenge category. “Our team is tough, but our tires are tougher. We drove 1,134 miles with zero flat tires. I’m proud to be a part of this team and to help develop the next generation of BFGoodrich tires.”
The BFGoodrich team racing in the Baja Challenge category included Brian Finch, Bill Weber, Bob Bower, Lance Clifford, Kyle Tucker, Larry McRae and Brad Lovell.
A living legend rides again
One of the most storied off-road racers ever ran the Baja 1000 for the 50th time. Rod Hall, who has not missed a race since the beginning of the 1000 series, rode in the Stock Full-Sized Truck category on BFGoodrich Tires. Hall, who celebrated his 80th birthday just days after the race, was racing with teammates Chad Hall, Frank DeAngelo, Austin Hall and Chris Woo.
Using the Baja 1000 race as a laboratory
BFGoodrich teams are always developing the next generation of tires in Baja. Teams competing on BFGoodrich tires this year were riding on the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A® KO2, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A® KM2, BFGoodrich Baja T/A® KR, and Baja T/A® KR2 and KR3, among other tires. The performance of these tires in the grueling Baja desert has been a real-world research and development laboratory for more than 40 years.
In 1975, BFGoodrich engineers travelled to Baja to test a radial light-truck tire for off- and on-road use. They knew if the tires could perform on the unforgiving stage of Baja, they could perform just about anywhere.
The rest is history. BFGoodrich has been a part of the off-road racing community since that first trip in 1975. As SCORE celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 at this year’s race, BFGoodrich celebrated being the race’s title sponsor for the first time. This year’s race was a significant milestone for the brand, and wouldn’t have been possible without the compounding milestones over the last four decades:
- 1976: BFGoodrich races first radial All-Terrain T/A® tire in the desert
- 1977: First major off-road victory for the Radial All-Terrain T/A® tire
- 1980: First overall Baja 500 victory
- 1986: First overall Baja 1000 victory
- 1991: BFGoodrich introduces the Baja T/A® tire
- 1995: BFGoodrich wins Baja 1000 for 10th consecutive year
- 2002: 20th overall Baja 500 win
- 2005: BFGoodrich wins Baja 1000 for 20th consecutive year
- 2012: 75th overall SCORE Baja victory
- 2013: Prototype All-Terrain T/A® KO2 races in Baja 1000
- 2014: BFGoodrich introduces All Terrain T/A® KO2 in Baja, Mexico
- 2016: BFGoodrich tires help Rob MacCachren claim third consecutive Baja 1000 win
- 2017: BFGoodrich becomes title sponsor for the SCORE Baja 1000 and sweeps top 12 overall spots
About BFGoodrich® Tires
With more than 100 years of heritage, 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 45 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, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BFGoodrichTires or on Twitter or Instagram at @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.