In what may have been the closest finish ever in a desert race, Southern California's Mike Julson and Bob Lofton edged Las Vegas' Ed and Tim Herbst by just 1 second for the overall victory Saturday in the 7th Annual SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300.
Driving a Chevy V-6-powered Jimco open-wheel desert racecar, Julson and Lofton covered the 284-mile race in four hours and 44 minutes for an average speed of 60 mph to beat a field of 114 starters for their overall victory. Racing four laps across a rugged 71-mile course, the pair won the unlimited Class 1 for the second time in this year's Optima SCORE Desert Series.
In finishing Second overall, the Herbst brothers won for the first time this season in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division and third time in this race in their Terrible Herbst Motorsports' Ford F-150.
Round 5 of the six-race 2002 Optima SCORE Desert Series was held in the desert north of Primm, Nevada, 35 miles south of Las Vegas. The race was the final segment of the inaugural SCORE Triple Crown of Southern Nevada bonus program. Entries came from 12 U.S. states, Israel, and Mexico.
"We had no flats, no problems. Mike Julson builds the best race cars in the world," said Lofton, who drove the final two laps after Julson, the noted chassis-builder of Jimco race cars, who drove the first two laps. "If you want to win, go see Mike. We came here to chase down the SCORE Trophy-Trucks and we did it."
"Dust was an issue at times and the setting sun was later, but overall it was just an awesome day in the desert."
Primarily because of safety concerns, SCORE split the race into two groups. Based on the type of vehicle, SCORE ran 10 classes starting Saturday morning and the truck classes and the unlimited Class 1 got the green flag late Saturday afternoon and ran until late Saturday night.
Finishing Third overall and second in Class 1 was Danny Anderson, a two-time SCORE Class 10 point champion, who made his debut in the unlimited class, finishing in 4:49:15 in his Jimco-Toyota.
Rob MacCachren, last year's SCORE Overall point champion, drove the second half of the race for John Marking to finish four overall and third in Class 1 in 5:04:32.
Brian Collins and Brian Stewart teamed up to drive the Collins Motorsports Chevy Silverado to Second in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Fifth overall with a time of 5:04:47.
In the SCORE Trophy-Truck race, the Herbst brothers overcame some early troubles to earn their hard-fought victory. With Tim Herbst driving, they were Third after Lap 1 and Second after Laps 2 and 3 before pulling away for the win.
Mark Post and Jerry Whechel led Lap 1 in their Ford F-150 and fell back in Lap 2 as defending SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champions Dan Smith and David Ashley led after the Second and Third laps in their Enduro Racing Ford F-150.
Behind by 4 minutes and 1 second after the first two laps, Ed Herbst closed the game to 1 minute behind Smith and Ashley after three laps. Ed Herbst took the lead for good in the infield section of the start/finish spectator area behind Buffalo Bill's Resort, when Ashley missed a turn and put his Ford F-150 on its side. Ashley was down for more than four minutes and eventually finished Fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck and 18 overall.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters (818) 225-8402 or visit the official Web site of the Optima SCORE Desert Series at www.score-nternational.com.
Top 25 Overall Finishers1.Mike Julson, Santee, CA/Bob Lofton, Westmorland, CA, Jimco-Chevy (Class 1), 4 hours, 44 minutes, 60.0 miles per hour
2. Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150 (SCORE Trophy-Truck), 4:44:01, 59.996
3. Danny Anderson, Las Vegas, Jimco-Toyota (Class 1), 4:49:15, 58.910
4. John Marking, El Cajon, CA/Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Jimco-Chevy (Class 1), 5:04:32, 55.954
5. Brian Collins, Las Vegas/Brian Stewart, Long Beach, Calif., Chevy Silverado (SCORE Trophy-Truck), 5:04.47, 55.908