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Picking up where he left off last season with his third consecutive win in San Felipe, Las Vegas driver Rob MacCachren overpowered a talent-laden field of 207 starters to capture the weekend victory in the 26th Annual SCORE San Felipe 250. B.J. Baldwin, MGM CityCenter chief Bobby Baldwin’s son, finished second just four minutes behind and then immediately flew back here for this morning’s Mint 400 Great American Desert Race announcements at the downtown Golden Nugget.
“Rockstar Rob,” 46, roared over and through the sandy, rocky and dusty 248.64-mile course in 4:25:03 at an average speed of 56.29 mph. It was his 48th career win, and he is now tied with Las Vegas brothers Ed and Tim Herbst with the most race wins in the 18-year history of SCORE’s premier class. The victory also was Rob’s fourth in the past six SCORE races, this one 120 miles south of the U.S. border in Baja California alongside the Sea of Cortez.
Rob’s win came with a four-minute margin over friendly rival B.J., who won this year’s first round of the series in Laughlin. B.J.’s finish time of 4:29:08 scored an average speed of 55.43 mph. Tim Herbst finished 5th. These YouTube videos provide a great overview of the excitement of the SCORE races in Baja.
Said Rob: “At mile four, there was something buried in the ground. We were going 80 mph, and there was no way to miss it. It popped the left front tire immediately. At about mile 100, I hit a bump, and the truck just took off into the desert like I had no control. I thought something broke in the steering, but everything felt fine. Everything on the truck was awesome.”
B.J. added: “We started far back, and the only wind we got was a tailwind. That just made the dust worst. I don’t think today was one of my better days. I didn’t perform as well as I usually do. I’m a little dissatisfied, but I’m satisfied with a podium finish for sure, and we didn’t have any flats. “
BUSY DAY DOWNTOWN: Details of the new Mint 400 Great American Desert Race were released this morning when former champions and competitors from the first race in 1967 to current Trophy truck champ B.J. met at the Golden Nugget. Fifty trick trucks will thunder down Fremont Street on March 21. Practice runs start March 22, and racing starts out in nearby Jean on March 24, with Fremont Street hosting the post-party.
It all wraps March 25 with the awards brunch at the Golden Nugget. Miss Mint 2012 will be crowned March 22. The Mint 400 resumed in 2008 after a 20-year hiatus. And this afternoon, former Mayor Oscar Goodman was recognized with the unveiling of a bronze bust and a tribute wall at Symphony Park for his extraordinary legacy of landmark projects that have contributed to the revitalization of downtown.
PORN PUBLICITY: Las Vegas porn princess Sunset Thomas is featured in the current issue of Britain’s Esquire magazine in an article written by Mick Brown, who penned “The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector” and “Richard Branson -- the Inside Story.”
This time, he reports on a day in the life of Sunset in her hometown. “It’s really a very charming and insightful article,” Sunset said. “He was in town writing a feature about Las Vegas for a London daily, and now I’m honored he found me worthy of getting into further.” (Pun, no doubt, intended!)
TV NOTES: Donald Trump didn’t mince words on Sunday night’s “Celebrity Apprentice” when he fired comedian Adam Carolla and racecar driver Michael Andretti, but our Rio magic headliner Penn Jillette lived for another week after the men’s team lost another challenge. And chef Akira Back of Yellowtail at the Bellagio will be featured on NBC’s “Today” on March 21 cooking one of his family’s recipes known as Galbi Jim.
Academy Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri begins another run of his critically acclaimed one-man “A Bronx Tale” at the Mirage, opposite his former home at the Venetian. He’s here through March 20 while Terry Fator is on vacation; check out his interview with Senior Editor John Katsilometes posted today. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts begins its inaugural season with Grammy Award-winning quartet Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. DJ Pauly D hosts a VIP cocktail party to celebrate his new reality TV show and his residency at Rehab in the Hard Rock Hotel this summer. The Fifth Annual Summer’s Back party kicks off the pool season for the topless Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage. Set Your Goals, Last Call, Rivalries and The Letter You are at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. And rapper Lil Jon plays DJ for the kickoff party of the Nightclub & Bar Convention at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore -- check out the Royal Robin Rundown of Nightclub & Bar events posted today.
The $4 million-plus gamble that the Smith Center took with its star-laden TV special recorded Saturday night, and Joshua Bell reveals secrets of his $10 million Stradivarius.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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