Imperial Valley 250 Revs Up Local Fans

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Steven Eugenio of El Centro catches air in his trophy truck during the Rigid Industries SCORE International Imperial Valley 250 race at Plaster City on Saturday. Photo by: Johnathan Butler
Steven Eugenio of El Centro catches air in his trophy truck during the Rigid Industries SCORE International Imperial Valley 250 race at Plaster City on Saturday. Photo by: Johnathan Butler

Plaster City was home to the annual Imperial Valley 250 SCORE International Off-Road race last weekend as events kicked off Friday.

Racers from five different countries and seventeen states gathered to compete. With a total of 288 miles to cover, the first class began (motorcycles and quads) at 4:30 in the morning.

The event was divided into three sections with multiple classes in each: Pro Cars, Trucks, and UTV’s (Pro Motorcycles and Pro Quads). In the Pro Cars, Trucks, and UTV’s section was an El Centro Native, Steven Eugenio driving the number 1 Galindo Motorsports Trophy Truck.

Eugenio was the front runner for most of the race. Having been the winner of the race last year, and being the returning SCORE 2014 Champion, he was a racer to watch. But a blown engine six miles out from the finish allowed for Gus Vildosola Jr. to pass a stagnant Eugenio on the side of the track and take the overall first place finish.

“The course was really fun. It’s challenging, rough, and one of the nastiest courses out there. You’re dealing with weather conditions … the high temperatures, often overheats the truck” Eugenio said.

And with a fifteen minute lead over Vildosola Jr. a DNF (did not finish) is frustrating to say the least. But Eugenio was a part of the high percentage of DNF’s, 70 percent of the competitors that started did not see the finish line.

“It was a less than perfect race because we had a lot of navigational mistakes, it was one of those wins that just falls into your lap,” Vildosola Jr. said. “It is about perseverance and continuing to chip away.”

Seeing Eugenio pass him as soon as they got out of the infield, Vildosola said he figured it would be Eugenio and Andy Mcmillin battling for first, but as they got back on the track from a second lap pit stop McMillin was on the side of the road.

Winner, Vildosola drove the number 21 truck and managed to earn a fair amount of points in the SCORE race league, and will return back to Plaster City next year with bragging rights.

In the pro motorcycles and quads section were Jano Montoya, from Winter Garden Florida, racing a KTM 450XCW who finished in six hours and thirty-six minutes to take first of all of the motorcycles. But not first in the section, however, as it was a quad out of Guadalupe Victoria, Mexico in a TRX450, Javier Robles. Also giving respect to the course, he added “The silt was bad in places, there were a bunch of cars stuck in there.”

The Imperial Valley 250 is an opportunity for off-road enthusiasts to see the most elite racers and race trucks being pushed to their limits, with a great production level from SCORE International, the event was largely a success.

Hundreds of families gathered in the desert on a 100 degree plus day, to see fast vehicles flying on dirt, and across the sky.

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