LAUGHLIN, Nevada–NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon earned the pole position for the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Friday as he powered his No. 77 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500 to a fast time of 6 minutes, 43.72 seconds during qualifying for SCORE Trophy-Trucks averaging 64.6 miles per hour around the abbreviated 6.25-mile loop.
The season opener of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series, is being held near the banks of the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nev.
The unique race, split into two parts, will start Saturday and finish Sunday, running from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the 17 classes divided into five race groups running multiple laps each day. The featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division will race at 1 p.m. each day followed by the unlimited Class 1 cars at 3 p.m. Both classes will run eight laps each day.
Gordon, who ran nine seconds faster than his 2008 Laughlin qualifying time, will lead a field of 113 official entries, which includes 22 vehicles in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800 horsepower, unlimited production trucks.
With plans to run the entire 2009 SCORE Desert Series while continuing to run his full NASCAR season, Gordon, of Charlotte, N.C., easily outdistanced the 17 SCORE Trophy-Trucks that started in the special one-lap qualifying session.
Defending SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion B.J. Baldwin of Las Vegas was the second-fastest qualifier, covering the single lap in 6:56:41 in his No. 1 Baldwin Motorsports Chevy Silverado.
“I knew we were running fast, but this was even better than I had anticipated,” said Gordon afterwards. “We are looking forward to this weekend. We have plans to run the entire 2009 SCORE Desert Series and our truck appears ready to dominate on this race course.”
The five trucks that elected not to qualify, will start Saturday’s portion of the race behind the other 17 SCORE Trophy-Trucks.
Ticket information is available at www.visitlaughlin.com.
15th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Round 1 of five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series
Jan. 22-25 Laughlin, Nevada
Friday’s SCORE Trophy-Truck Qualifying Results
(With starting positions for Saturday’s first half of race. Sunday’s start order will be based on Saturday’s finishing order.)
Position, Vehicle Number, Driver of Record, Hometown, Vehicle, time
TOP QUALIFER: 77 Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 6 minutes, 43.72 seconds (64.6 miles per hour)
2. 1 B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 6:56.41
3. 20 Justin Lofton, Westmorland, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:03.27
4. 5 Travis Coyne, El Centro, Calif., Ford F-150, 7:03.37
5. 12 Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Dodge Ram1500, 7:04.78
6. 16 Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Rick Geiser, Desert Hills, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:05.86
7. 8 Roger Norman, Reno, Nev., Ford F-150, 7:06.45
8. 4 Gus Vildosola Jr. /Gus Vildosola Sr., Ford F-150, 7:06.90
9. 88 Larry Roeseler, Huntington Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 7:12.66
10. 54 Jesse James, Sunset Beach, Calif., Chevy C1500, 7:21.08
11. 22 Damen Jefferies, Apple Valley, Calif./Luis Ramirez Jr., Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Chevy Silverado, 7:28.08
12. 35 Robbie Pierce/Mike Julson, Santee, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:28.24
13. 13 Ed Stout, Santa Ana, Calif./Trigger Gumm, Mission Viejo, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 7:34.70
14. 96 Bobby Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 7:38.52
15. 11 Greg Nunley, Tulare, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 8:04.61
16. 89 Rusty Stevens/Chad Quarrells, Pampa, Texas, Ford F-150, Did Not Finish
17. 91 Bill McBeath, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, DNF
18. 19 Tim Herbst/Ed Herbst, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, Did Not Qualify
19. 44 Robert Ross, Chula Vista, Calif., Ford F-150, DNQ
20. 3 Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, DNQ
21. 51 Kory Sheeler, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, DNQ
22. 24 Adam Householder, Orange, Calif., Chevy Silverado, DNq