Off-road enthusiasts who follow competitive series racing will see a few changes in the coming season as the famed off-road racing body, SCORE, was recently sold. SCORE, the nation’s major sanctioning body for desert racing, has been run under the leadership of legendary race organizer Sal Fish, who at the age of 73, has spent decades managing SCORE International while constantly raising the standard and expanding opportunity for those in love with the chasing glory through the dust.
Originally formed by Mickey Thompson in 1973, the Los Angeles-based SCORE International is the sanctioning body responsible for nearly every major desert race, including their claim to major fame: the indisputably legendary Baja 1000. While SCORE has been successful in building a stellar race circuit, the new owner – Roger Norman – has already hinted to plans to expand the visibility of SCORE sponsored events, including increased television presence, in an effort to make spectatorship easier for current fans while potentially drawing in a new base of enthusiastic viewers. Because let’s face it; trophy trucks are just plain cool.
New owner, Roger Norman, is an acclaimed off road racer himself in addition to being a casino owner and land developer in Northern Nevada. In 2011, Norman took on a challenge in its own right by resurrecting the defunct High Desert Racing Association. With the combination of the HDRA and SCORE under Norman’s leadership, racers will have the opportunity to compete for three separate championships: a separate title within SCORE and HDRA respectively, and the World Championship, which will be based on a points system from HDRA races and SCORE events held in Baja – culminating with the Baja 1000, which will offer racers double points as a deciding factor in the race for the overall win.
Surely, Sal Fish’s contributions to the sport of off-road racing have laid the groundwork for another 40 years of race innovation and enthusiasm. And as a fan, I can’t wait to see what Norman and his team have to bring to the table in the ever-evolving world of desert racing.