In a race full of ‘SCORE Super Teams’ that turned into a true ‘survival’ test, San Diego’s youthful superstar Luke McMillin and the admired G.O.A.T. in desert racing, Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren teamed to rise above the rest in a field of 276 starters early Saturday morning to win the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck title in the legendary season-ending BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The international event was the season-finale of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Starting second physically on the road in the elapsed time race and splitting the driving in McMillin’s Big Blue M racing machine all-wheel drive 4 Wheel Parts/BFGoodrich Tires No. 83 Chevy 1500, the dynamic duo patiently worked their way to the front of the pack and finished the beautifully bodacious 828.25-mile race around the Northern Part of Mexico’s majestic Baja peninsula in a sterling penalty-free time of 16 hours, 37 minutes and 46 seconds with an average speed of 49.81 miles per hour.
The SCORE Baja 1000 is at the pinnacle of motorsports as the oldest, most iconic, most prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world. SCORE International is well known around the globe as the ‘World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization.’ Celebrating its 49th season in 2022, this race is the flagship event of the SCORE World Desert Championship.
One of several ‘Super Teams’ competing in this race primarily because of the length of the course, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee MacCachren, 57, stabled his aging two-wheel drive thoroughbred when invited to join the Big Blue M race team again for this historic race and be Luke McMillin’s second driver in the McMillin’s No. 83 McMilling Racing AWD Chevy 1500 built by Mason Motorsports.
Using Luke McMillin’s No. 83 SCORE Trophy Truck, McMillin entered the race as the SCORE Trophy Truck overall point leader for 2022 and second in the SCORE Overall points. A third-generation desert racer, Luke McMillin, 29, and venerable Hall of Famer ‘Rob Mac’ started second behind another ‘Super Team’ of Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies and Luke McMillin’s cousin Andy McMillin, also of San Diego.
“This year’s Baja 1000 is really, really special for the entire team for quite a few reasons,” Luke McMillin said. “It is our third SCORE Baja 1000 in a row in the No. 83 SCORE Trophy Truck. That’s unbelievable. Only two other people in the history of the SCORE Baja 1000 have done that – Rob MacCachren and Larry Ragland – two legends I have looked up to my entire life. Another reason it is a special day is the big blue M.”
“This SCORE Baja 1000 probably had the most highs and lows I have ever had in a SCORE Baja 1000. At the end, it was probably the most calm I have ever had in a SCORE Baja 1000.”
Last year, the McMillin family allowed MacCachren to be driver of record while driving in Luke’s truck and the pair won that race as well and MacCachren earned the SCORE Trophy Truck season point-championship. Stalking their prey again this year like a hungry Cheetah, MacCachren started and stayed the course, with L. McMillin taking over the wheel at race mile 394, they then battled Luke’s older brother Dan McMillin and Josh Daniel, passing Josh when he had a flat tire, never looking back the rest of the way to the checkered flag. Dan McMillin and Daniel finished second to give the iconic McMillin Racing family their first one-two overall finish in a SCORE race.
“What an honor to be invited to race with the McMillin family two years in a row now,” Rob MacCachren said. “It is Luke’s third overall win in a row. I’m not counting for me. It is good to get another SCORE Baja 1000 victory under my belt. It is great to have the McMillin’s one and two, it is a testament to the McMillin team and mechanics and team strategy. It is awesome to be here. I want to thank SCORE for allowing us to race across this desert and do what we do. And thank you to all the fans.”
This wraps up the 2022 SCORE season, for more information on next year, check out SCORE’s website.