Jones Motorsports Rallies For 3rd Place Finish at BITD Parker 425 Litchfield Park, Arizona: Challenged by some of the most grueling race conditions in nearly a decade, the Jones Motorsports crew put two trophy trucks into action in the...
Jones Motorsports Rallies For 3rd Place Finish at BITD Parker 425
Litchfield Park, Arizona: Challenged by some of the most grueling race conditions in nearly a decade, the Jones Motorsports crew put two trophy trucks into action in the Arizona desert along the shores of the Colorado River. The Parker, Arizona desert has been starved of precipitation for over 180 days pre-empting difficult race day conditions.
Jesse Jones, the reigning BITD Trick Truck Champion, started in third position after qualifying on Thursday afternoon. The 2005 SCORE Baja 1000 Champions (Motorcycle) -- Honda's Steve Hengeveld and Mike Childress had the opportunity to get into the Jones Motorsports #76 Trick Truck for this race and qualified in 25th position out of the nearly 80 race teams that ran in the optional BITD time trials.
Nearly 200 race teams officially entered the race including a large field of over 20 Trick Truck teams and 30 plus Class 1500, cars pushing the field of unlimited 4-wheel vehicles over 50 cars and trucks. BITD reported this was the most entries ever in a BITD race.
Jones set a rapid pace early in the race, as he chased down the competition in the first 200 miles. The morning race conditions were eerie as racers faced some of the worst dust conditions ever in Parker, Arizona. Coupled with no wind the conditions were less than desirable for most teams. However, that didn't stop the Trick Truck Champion from charging hard.
The Jones Motorsports crew set down NASCAR fast pit stops and the #1 Fabtech/Toyo Trick Truck was positioned for a solid run towards a top three finish, however at race mile 225, the torque converter suffered irreparable damage, forcing the crew to complete a transmission change after 260-miles.
While the crew swapped out the transmission, the #76 Jones Motorsports Trick Truck continued moving through the field after starting in 25th position.
Honda's Mike Childress set a fast pace as he piloted the Trick Truck through the first half of the race before multi-Baja 1000 champion, Steve Hengeveld, took over behind the wheel of the 600 horsepower machine.
At the driver change, Childress jumped out of the driver's seat leaping over the top of the truck roof as Hengeveld exited the passenger side running around the front of the truck and entering the driver's seat. The crowd at the Jones Motorsports pit cheered the Dukes of Hazzard style driver/co-driver change as the motorcycle champions roared away from the main pit.
The wily desert racing motorcycle champions continued their rampage through the Arizona desert, working through the field of some of off road racing's biggest teams, before they turned towards the finish line on the east shore of the Colorado River.
Steve Hengeveld said, "Mike did an awesome job. He put us in good position after two laps and we got to the finish line. Thanks to Jesse Jones, Toyo Tires, Fabtech Motorsports and DirtNewz for the opportunity to race here at the Parker 425."
Finishing on the podium in third place in the elite Trick Truck Class, the #76 Toyo Tires/Fabtech Motorsports Trick Truck set in motion another wild season of championship racing from Jones Motorsports.
Team Owner -- Jesse Jones commented, "Mike and Steve did really well today and I'm glad they were able to put the Toyo/Fabtech Trick Truck on the podium. My #1 truck suffered a torque converter problem which took us out of the race, but we'll be back running strong and ready for the next race in San Felipe."
Jones Motorsports hosted several hundred fans, family and sponsors to a post-race celebration at the Jones Motorsports pit zone as the #76 Trick Truck garnered the well-deserved fanfare after a terrific performance.
Jesse Jones will be back in the racing action on Saturday March 11, 2006 in San Felipe, Baja California at the SCORE Tecate San Felipe 250. Watch for the new Jones Motorsports website to be announced in the coming weeks as Jones Motorsports blasts into the 2006 off road season.