Sunday, May 19, 2024

Andy McMillin to make SCORE return at Baja 400

Andy McMillin is back in a Trophy Truck. Despite stepping back from full-time racing after the 2022 SCORE International season, he will return to the driver’s seat in September for the Baja 400, once again donning his familiar #31 in a Mason Ford Raptor Trophy Truck owned by his friend and fellow Red Bull athlete Bryce Menzies.

McMillin sold his old Mason truck to Team Australia‘s Paul Weel and Toby Price and his team’s shop to Polaris Factory Racing after 2022, explaining that he wanted to focus on family and business that were otherwise difficult to manage while racing on a regular basis. Still, he stressed it was not a retirement as he kept his pre-running vehicles in the event that he wanted to run larger events such as the premier Baja 1000. He won the SCORE Trophy Truck championship in 2019.

Some of McMillin’s former employees joined the Polaris factory team, a new programme for 2023 that races in the Pro UTV Open category. Meanwhile, his old Trophy Truck has endured a rather difficult 2023 campaign as Team Australia retired from both the San Felipe 250 and Baja 500 with mechanical issues but has otherwise been fast, as evidenced by topping qualifying for San Felipe.

A five-time Baja 1000 champion, McMillin is expected to share a truck with Menzies for the 2023 edition as he has for the past few years; the two hope to rebound after retiring from the 2021 and 2022 races with truck problems. Since the finishing order of the Baja 400 is used to set the starting lineup for the 1000, the truck that the duo will use at the latter will be determined by whoever finishes ahead of the other in the 400.

Menzies won the 2022 Baja 400 in his #7 truck, meaning that was the vehicle he and McMillin raced together in the 1000. The former also arrives with momentum as the Baja 500 winner, while McMillin’s cousin Luke won in San Felipe and is the twice reigning Baja 1000 victor.

As of this article’s publication, twenty-four teams including McMillin and Menzies have registered for the Baja 400 in the six days since sign-ups began. Race day will take place on 16 September.