A trip to the SCORE Baja 500 wasn’t originally on “Monster Matt” Burroughs’ radar, but a last-minute decision to give the event some much-needed support proved to be a defining moment of his racing career. Like many of his fellow desert off road racing counterparts, the Senior Vice President at Monster Energy had concerns about the impact COVID-19 was having on Mexico. The country had been hit hard, and many of the cities across the Baja California peninsula that have become hubs for the sport were suffering even more given that one of their main revenue sources had all but been eliminated. The once bustling 800-mile strip off Mexico’s mainland was a virtual ghost town, and it brought immense uncertainty to SCORE International’s annual trips south of the border.
After being forced to alter its 2020 schedule, the updated SCORE World Desert Championship consisted of just its two most iconic events - the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. Traditionally run in June, the 500-miler was moved to the end of September, which provided for dramatically different course conditions and added another wrinkle to an already complex challenge. Many racers made the difficult decision to stay home but SCORE International went to great lengths to ensure the health and safety of those who elected to make the cross-border journey and chase victory by making the event exclusive to competitors.