Lofton Takes to the Desert; Testing for Baja 1000 DENVER, N.C. (October 24, 2008) -- With the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season in the rearview mirror, Justin Lofton climbed behind the wheel of a completely different No. 20 Lofton Cattle vehicle...
Lofton Takes to the Desert; Testing for Baja 1000
DENVER, N.C. (October 24, 2008) -- With the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season in the rearview mirror, Justin Lofton climbed behind the wheel of a completely different No. 20 Lofton Cattle vehicle yesterday and transitioned from asphalt to sand. Lofton will drive the Lofton Cattle Chevy Trophy Truck in the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
"The truck is amazing!" said Lofton after his first day of testing. "It is definitely different than the stock car I have been racing all year. We put about 200 miles on the truck yesterday testing out in Plaster City [California]. We stayed out late so that we could set up the lights and practice running 100 mph in the dark. We also practiced changing tires in the middle of the desert with no light."
Lofton is no stranger to desert racing and has an ace up his sleeve: his teammate and father, Bob Lofton. The elder Lofton has been competing in desert racing for over 22 years and has claimed victory in his division in three Baja events. In 1993, Bob Lofton and JIMCO Racing CEO-Mike Julson won their first SCORE 1600 Championship and in 1995 the duo claimed the SCORE Class 1 Championship in JIMCO's first front a-arm suspension car.
"My dad is probably one of the best racers in the dark and has been teaching me how to win this event, said Lofton. "I will be driving the first 400 miles with Matt Loiodice in the navigator seat. At mile 400, my dad will be getting into the Lofton Cattle Trophy Truck and taking it to the finish line with Rusty Szymanski riding as his navigator."
Despite being his first run at the famous "Baja 1000", Lofton has raced in the desert and has managed to rack up some pretty nifty accolades of his own. In 2004, Lofton was named the Best in the Desert (BITD) Series Rookie of the Year. With Loiodice as his teammate, Lofton claimed the BITD Class 1000 Championship that same year, winning the Parker 400, Vegas 200, and Henderson 300.
Unlike the races in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the Lofton duo will be racing against the clock and not beating and banging for position with a fellow competitor. With a time limit of 31 hours to run the 629.74-mile course, drivers run at top speeds under the sun and under the stars. Race dates for the Tecate Baja 1000 are November 20-23, 2008 in Ensenada, Baja California.
"I think we have a good shot at winning this race," added Lofton. "I'm really excited to race again with my dad. He has been a huge supporter of my dream to race professionally and has been my sounding board throughout my career and especially this year."
Stay tuned to www.teamesr.com for updates on the Lofton desert adventure!
The No. 20 Lofton Cattle Truck Team:
Drivers: Justin Lofton / Bob Lofton
Navigators: Matt Loiodice / Rusty Szymanski
Here's the skinny on the No. 20 Lofton Cattle Chevy Trophy Truck:
Chassis: JIMCO Trophy Truck
Transmission: Optional Automatic and Manual Configurations available
Track Width: 92"
Shocks: Fox 4.3" Bypass
Front: Fox 2.5 Coil Over
Rear: Fox 3" Coil Over
Rear End: TubeWorks / Gear Works 3rd Member
Steering: Howe Performance Rack
Jack: Howe Hydraulic Jack System
Tires: 39" BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR
Brakes: Alcon Engineering
Body: Rusty's Race Car & Truck Prototype Bodies