On the northeast side of the Baja California peninsula is San Felipe, a postage-stamp-sized town normally home to hard-working locals, fishermen, and the occasional tourist. But during the second week of March things get hectic in San Felipe. That's when the SCORE circus comes to town -- the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, a 252-mile race that traverses rocky landscapes, seemingly bottomless silt beds, and dusty, sandy washes.
Celebrating its 25th running this year, the San Felipe event is the little sister to the mighty Baja 1000 endurance racing extravaganza. Where the 1000 has a 45-hour time limit that allows for pretty much anything to happen, the 250 has a cutoff time of 11 hours, which puts a premium on driving fast but careful, and smart but bold. With nearly 250 entries from multiple countries there's no shortage of racing heroes. But one name that sticks out on the entry list is No. 54, piloted by none other than Jesse James.
Yes, that Jesse James -- the tattooed custom bike shop owner and TV personality whose name was splashed across the tabloids and TMZ in recent months. But what you may not know about James is his involvement with the SCORE Baja series, which he has been campaigning in since 2002. After selling his bike shop earlier this year, he decided to race full time. He'd be competing in the Trophy Truck division in his custom-built Chevy Silverado.