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BAJA 1000

40 Years to Glory Event Celebrates Baja
9/19/2007
Courtesy of SCORE-International

For fans of motorsports - particulary those who wish to honor this year's 40th annual running of Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 - next week's '40 Years to Glory' tribute evening has turned into "a night of 1000 stars."

To be held next Thursday evening (Sept. 27) at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, Calif., the evening's centerpiece will be a specially produced, Oscar's-style stage presentation honoring a long and distinguished list of past SCORE Baja 1000 champions, influential media, industry innovators and desert racing pioneers. The evening's festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. with the tribute show at 7:30 p.m. and special after-party at 9:30 p.m.

Co-hosted by motorsports television personalities Dave Despain and Paul Page, the evening's '40 Years to Glory' tribute will combine music, video, select on-stage introductions and a special tribute by famed motorcycle builder turned SCORE Trophy-Truck racer Jesse James to the late Hollywood actor and Baja 1000 veteran Steve McQueen.

Unlike Hollywood's Oscars, tickets to this special evening available are available to the public. However, both events will share a red carpet entrance for the evening's long list of honorees and the presentation of uniquely-created awards recognizing individual contributions to the SCORE Baja 1000's world-renowned status as a motorsports icon and the legendary granddaddy of all desert races.

Event organizers are putting the final touches on the '40 Years to Glory' presentation hoping to create an unparalleled tribute to nearly 100 of the most deserving personalities in race history with special on-stage presentations.

"Our hope is to at once both honor and entertain our guests in a highly unique manner," explained Marty Fiolka, executive producer for the event being presented in association with SCORE International. "This is once-in-a-lifetime homecoming for four generations that make up the Baja 1000 legacy, and doing that in one evening is a historic but inspiring challenge."

The evening's presentation will honor race celebrities in separate groups, with Baja icons like Parnelli Jones, Ivan Stewart, Walker Evans, Frank Vessels, Bob Gordon, Frank Arciero Jr. the McMillin family and Rod Hall all sharing a portion of the 90-minute program. Those valiant riders on two wheels will also share the spotlight, thanks to scheduled appearances by Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler, Eddie Mulder, Bruce Ogilvie, Ron Bishop, Johnny Campbell and Mitch Mayes. Additional star power will come in the form of many cross-over drivers that fill Baja's record books; including schedule appearances by sport car legends Bob Bondurant and Peter Brock, rising NASCAR star Boris Said, along with Indianapolis 500 veterans Danny Sullivan, Roberto Guerrero and brothers Mike and Robbie Groff.

"Marty (Fiolka) is doing an incredible job putting together a night of a 1000 memories for all of us to enjoy who have been so close to the SCORE Baja 1000 for all of these years," said Sal Fish, SCORE International CEO/President since shortly after the world's premier desert racing organization was founded in 1973. "This amazing evening will be like an all-school reunion where you know everybody from every class. Or at least you know their names. This will be one of the hallmark evenings in my life and I think many, many others will share in the same experience and emotions."

Making '40 Years to Glory' even more memorable will be an unprecedented gathering of Baja pioneers, including Dave Ekins, Spence Murray, Bruce Meyers, Andy DeVercelly, Dave Deal, Johnny Johnson, Pete Condos and Bobby Ferro.

And sprinkled into these tributes will be celebrations of various other groups and personalities that have made the SCORE Baja 1000 such a lasting institution.

'40 Years to Glory' will include the world's largest display of vintage and historic desert race vehicles and motorcycles, live music, cocktails and a huge buffet-style dinner. The night will be capped off with the "SCORE Baja After Party" back on the plaza.

The special gala is being made possible by the generous support of presenting partners Volkswagen of America, BFGoodrich Tires, Micron Technology and Blue C Enthusiast Advertising, in association with Dirt Sports Magazine, Hot Rod Magazine, Kartek Off-Road and Bandito Brothers Productions.

Tickets for this never-to-be-repeated event are on sale from the Long Beach Performing Arts Center box office or via Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000 or online at www.40yearstoglory.com.

Guest tickets include admission, dinner, and a commemorative event program. Like a concert or play, guests will also be provided with a reserved seat inside the Terrace Theater and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year's 40th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the season finale of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held Nov. 10-16 as a journey down Mexico's majestic Baja California peninsula. With pre-race activities in Tijuana, the race will start in Ensenada and finish some 1,300 miles later in Cabo San Lucas. With nearly 350 entries expected from 40 U.S. States and 15 countries, the historic race will be taped by NBC Sports.

 
Published Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:27 PM by Laura Tierney

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