After nearly 40 years of stewardship, iconic race producer and SCORE International CEO Sal Fish has turned over control of the premiere desert racing series to businessman, Trophy Truck racer and race promoter Roger Norman, owner of the Crystal Bay Casino.
SCORE International, originally founded by the late Mickey Thompson in 1973, is world renowned for its legendary races like the Baja 1000 in Mexico.
"It has been an incredible experience and lifestyle for all these years," Fish said. "It's not often you have a chance to pass on your life's work to someone who shares the same dedication and passion for the sport. It's an emotional time for me and I would have never considered this if it were not for Roger, his wife and the team he has around him. I don't know anyone who is better equipped to take offroad racing to the next level. Roger has some incredible plans; I am very excited for the future of our sport."
The acquisition by Roger Norman allows the unification of the rules, technical inspection, class formats, car numbering and scoring systems between HDRA and SCORE that many racers have wished about for years.
SCORE will operate under Hacienda Baja Racing, a Mexican company. SCORE and HDRA will remain independent but will share the same structure. Any car that passes SCORE technical inspection will also be HDRA legal and vice versa. Popular HDRA Classes like Heavy Metal will be added to the SCORE rulebook and every HDRA member will receive a SCORE rulebook.
"HDRA's mantra, 'For racers, By racers' will also guide the SCORE series," said HDRA's Robert Gross. "Sal passes on a huge legacy of excellence that we have to maintain and build upon in the future. We are hoping all the dedicated volunteers, course workers and fans will continue to give their support; they are a huge part of SCORE's success."
To win a SCORE Championship competitors will need to run all three races. The Baja 1000 will remain a double points race. HDRA will have a mandatory three of four races run, with the Reno 500 being a double-points race and mandatory for the championship.
Now that the two series have identical rules and structure, it opens the way for "The World Championship of Desert Racing." To win the World Championship, a team must run three HDRA races, including the mandatory Reno 500, and the three SCORE races for a total of six races.
It will all boil down to the Baja 1000, which also is a double-points race. The double-points race format ensures that everyone who qualifies can be in the running for the title until the last race of the year.
Norman has been in contact with Johnny Campbell and others in the motorcycle industry to increase coverage of the bikes and expand the sport for them as well.
Things are still in the planning stages and the outcome will be determined by support from the industry, but the goal would be to race the bikes on a separate day at the 500 and 1000. It will take many additional hours of labor and financial support, but the bikes deserve their own race. Bike races would be streamed live to the Internet and televised on national sports networks.
The World Championship title would be earned by racing all three SCORE events and the National Hare and Hound held during the Reno 500 from July 12-14.
Both SCORE and HDRA will have full exposure in 2013. There will be live Internet streaming and nationally televised, one-hour shows. New websites will be up shortly that will contain all the latest information. It may take some patience in the beginning but after this takes shape, the future of offroad racing will be set for years to come.
- This story was used from Bower Motorsports Media.