By Brian Hilderbrand
It all comes down to one race for Las Vegas residents Bryce Menzies and Rob MacCachren.
Like heavyweight fighters, the two local drivers have traded punches all season long in the SCORE Desert Series and are separated by only six points in the Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck points standings heading into the season-ending 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, to be held Friday and Saturday in Ensenada, Mexico.
Menzies, 23 and a rookie in the off-road racing series, has won two of the four Trophy Truck races in 2011. MacCachren, 46 and an eight-time SCORE season points champion, also has won two races.
Menzies opened the season with a victory in January at the Laughlin Desert Challenge and took the Overall and Trophy Truck lead. MacCachren countered with a win in the San Felipe 250 in March in San Felipe, Mexico, and trimmed Menzies’ lead to a single point in the Trophy Truck standings.
Menzies answered with a victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada in June and increased his lead over MacCachren to 16 points in Trophy Truck. MacCachren earned his ninth career Trophy Truck victory at the Tecate SCORE Challenge of Champions in San Felipe in September and cut Menzies’ lead in both the Overall and class standings to six.
“We got a great jump on the rest of the field starting in Laughlin, kept it close in San Felipe in March, pulled further out front in Ensenada and after our third place in the recent San Felipe race, it’s still several racers’ title to win, but we do have a slight edge,” said Menzies, who also won a class championship this season in the Traxxas TORC short-course series.
“We have an amazing team and together we are on the verge of making some serious history. The challenge ahead is formidable to say the least, between the great competition and the rugged Baja race course. I will make no predictions except that I know we will be prepared for the race of our lives. There is no bigger prize in desert racing than to win the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck season championship and of course we can secure that title by winning the most legendary desert race in the world — the SCORE Baja 1000.”
But MacCachren, considered by many to be the greatest off-road racer to come out of Las Vegas and a five-time winner of the prestigious Baja 1000, knows there is a lot of racing remaining before the championship is handed out.
“It’s not over until it’s over — and I’ve learned that many times before,” said MacCachren, who recently was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. “It’s going to be close going into the Baja 1000 and that’s great.”