The start/finish line for the race was once again adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Blvd. Costero in the heart of Ensenada.
After qualifying in the fifth starting position in the elapsed-time race, Lopez stayed the course against the heavyweights of the sports like Robby Gordon, Rob MacCachren, Gus Vildosola Jr, Bryce Menzies and fellow SCORE young gun Luke McMillin to take the lead three-fourths of the way through the grueling 510.58-mile race. Lopez powered his way to the finish line with a time of 8 hours, 48 minutes and 38 seconds, averaging 57.95 miles per hour in the No. 5 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck over the colorful course around the northern part of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
For the youthful Lopez, it was his first career SCORE race win as well as first in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. He defeated a talented field of 210 starters, including 30 SCORE Trophy Trucks, from 26 U.S. States, and 10 countries competing in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Lopez, a second-generation desert racer, drives for the powerful RPM Racing team, based in Bristol, Tenn., which has now won two SCORE races in a row following Eduardo Laguna’s overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory in April’s inaugural Baja Sur 500 from Cabo San Lucas to Loreto. The duo entered the race second and third in the 2015 SCORE season point standings.
The victory also marked another milestone as BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for over three decades. BFGoodrich Tires celebrated its amazing 31st overall 4-wheel victory in 36 years of competing in the Bud Light SCORE Baja 500. The victory also represented the 84th overall win in SCORE Baja racing for prominent BFGoodrich Tires.
Following complete data tracking review of the vehicles, BFGoodrich Tires not only officially swept the podium but also were the tires of choice for all of the top 11 overall finishers in the race.Second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Las Vegas’ MacCachren, 50, who finished second, just 51 seconds behind Lopez in 8:49:29 in the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 and third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck for the second straight year was Jesse Jones, 49, of Phoenix in 8:54:08 in the No. 76 Ford F-150.
With no time to enjoy his victory celebration, Lopez went immediately after the race to catch a plane in San Diego to fly to Austin, Texas to compete in the XGames Sunday where he is the defending champion in Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks series.
When the race course officially closed on Sunday morning at 10:42 a.m., 136 of 210 starters (64.76 percent) completed the course within the 22-hour time limit to become official finishers. Both the start and finish line were located in the heart of Ensenada on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
The closing time on the course was delayed by nearly one hour as SCORE and local officials worked on the aftermath of an accident involving a race car within one-quarter mile of the start. Racer Arnoldo Gutierrez Jr of Mexicali, Mexico apparently lost full control of his vehicle negotiating a turn, sliding into two utility poles, causing minor injuries to several spectators.