Image via Bryce Menzies
Bryce Menzies won the SCORE Baja 500 for the fourth time in his career after a clean run through this year’s 473.67-mile loop from Ensenada and back, posting a winning time of 9:06:38 in the 55th edition of the race when all was said and done. Menzies started third after his podium finish in the season-opening San Felipe 250 and made his way past both second-place starter Alan Ampudia and San Felipe winner Luke McMillin, both of whom encountered issues during the race, to defeat second place finisher Mike Walser by nearly seven minutes.
The legendary Larry Roeseler was third in the premier Trophy Truck division, just over half an hour off Menzies’ winning time, but Trophy Truck Spec winner Jason McNeil’s 9:33:37 was the third fastest overall time. Ryan Millen and Ryan Hancock completed the Spec division podium, while Cody Reid won Class 1 and Gustavo Vildosola—the only driver to go back-to-back from San Felipe among the unlimited classes—took the Trophy Truck Legends victory.
In the UTV divisions, it was Polaris Factory Racing atop the Open standings for the second event in a row, but this time it was Brock Heger experiencing the thrill of victory instead of team boss Craig Scanlon. Heger’s 10:45:28 was good enough to top all UTV finishers, and it gave him a 15-minute advantage on Branden Sims and 18 minutes on Kristen Matlock at race’s end.
The overall UTV top five was comprised of the top five Open finishers, all racing Polaris RZR Pro Rs, with Pro UTV Forced Induction race winner Phil Blurton coming sixth overall with a class-winning time of 11:18:55. Zach Sizelove successfully defended his Normally Aspirated victory from last year and Sara Price continued her torrid run of recent success in the Stock division to round out the list of Pro UTV race winners.
In Pro Moto Unlimited, Arturo Salas Jr. took his second straight race win, this time as rider of record instead of in support of Juan Carlos Salvatierra, after a closely fought day of racing with teams led by Connor Eddy and Ciaran Naran. That duo completed the podium as Salvatierra’s team finished fourth, just over six minutes behind Naran for third.
The 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship resumes on September 12-17 with the 4th SCORE Baja 400, also in Ensenada, before the season concludes on November 13-18 with the BFGoodrich Tires 5th SCORE Baja 1000 that will run from La Paz to Ensenada.