After nearly 40 years of stewardship, Las Vegas-based SCORE International CEO Sal Fish has turned over control of the premier desert racing series to businessman, Trophy Truck racer and race promoter Roger Norman.
“It has been an incredible experience and lifestyle for all these years,” said Fish. “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 off-road racing to the next level. Roger has some incredible plans; I am very excited for the future of our sport.”
SCORE International, originally founded by the late Mickey Thompson in 1973, is known for its off-road races like the Baja 1000. The acquisition by Norman allows the unification of the rules, technical inspection, class formats, car numbering and scoring systems between SCORE and the High Desert Racing Association-”a change many racers have wanted for years, according to a press release.
SCORE will operate under Hacienda Baja Racing, a Mexican company, and SCORE and HDRA will remain independent but will share the same structure. Any car that passes SCORE technical inspection will be HDRA legal and vice versa. Also, 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.”
Co-technical directors Jake Velasco and Art Savedra will operate out of their own regions (Savedra in Las Vegas and Velasco in San Diego) to make it easier for racers going through the inspection process. Mark Bass will continue as race director for HDRA and Oscar Ramos will continue his role as attorney for SCORE, while SCORE race operations will be under the direction of Jose Grijalva, the release stated.
In addition, 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. Although things are still in the planning stages, Norman’s goal is to race the bikes on a separate day at the 500 and 1,000.