Joe Bacal Survives First-Corner Hit to Win Laughlin Desert Challenge
Bacal and Lexus Take a Beating but Never Falter in Fast-Paced Race. In a heart-stopping beginning
to his second year in off-road racing, Joe Bacal put his Lexus LX 570
ahead of his closest class rival as they raced flat out to the first
corner at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge 2010 season opener on
Saturday, only to feel the full force of competition slam into him as
he headed for the apex.
Rival competitor Justin Matney left a major wound in Bacal's Lexus as he pushed his way through, but the adrenaline-fired Bacal re-passed Matney shortly after and was never headed again en route to another Stock Full-class victory this past weekend.
This is not to say Bacal never looked back. "This is one of the
most difficult races I've done," said Bacal. "The longer races like
Baja require a more conservative approach to make sure you finish. But
this was a sprint race and pretty much flat out - I didn't even have time
to wipe my visor. It was crazy but the Lexus is a rocket ship."
And like Bacal, apparently hard to break. Despite considerable
damage sustained in the crash, Bacal, co-driver Bob Ditner and the
Cancer Treatment Centers of America Lexus continued unabated after the
first-corner dustup - important because the other competitors weren't
letting up. With a comfortable lead at the end of the first leg on
Saturday, Bacal and Ditner stayed in front throughout the Sunday
portion to take the win.
The two-part format gives competitors a chance to race on Saturday
and repair/refresh their vehicles for the second part on Sunday. The
event is the first on the 2010 SCORE calendar and Bacal's victory gives
him a nice lead in the Stock Full class championship after just one
race weekend. "It's the best possible way to begin the new season,"
noted Bacal. "I have to thank Bob (Ditner) and my team for such a great
Significantly, Bacal and his BF Goodrich-shod Lexus also extended
their perfect finishing record. This was their fourth event since the
JTGrey team began its off-road racing campaign with a surprise win at
the Baja 500 last year. The LX 570 has been severely thrashed on the
tough desert courses but has finished every time, remarkably with zero
flat tires in over 1500 miles of hard desert racing. Bacal has driven
every mile. Joe Bacal and his JTGrey team race next at the Mastercraft
Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, March 12-14.
# # #
Bacal and the JTGrey Racing team acknowledge the following companies for their outstanding products,
services and support:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (primary sponsor)
Lexus (LX 570, original parts)
BF Goodrich (tires)
Toyota Racing Development (wheels, performance parts)
King Shocks (suspension components)
KC HiLiTES (lighting)
Head First Design (graphics and marketing support)
ARB and Old Man Emu (off road accessories)
D©baufr© Swiss Watches
Sparco (seats, safety equipment)
Geiser Brothers Racing (vehicle build and prep)
Tomo Therapy (Joe's radiation treatment)
JTGrey Performance Driving, LLC
was created in 2007 by Joe and Teresa Bacal to provide expert
highperformance driving services (on and off-road) to the auto industry
and related companies such as parts suppliers, print advertising and
marketing agencies and the commercial and feature film industries,
among others. The company is based in Phoenix, Ariz.
JTGrey Racing was created by Joe and Teresa Bacal in 2008 to support Joe's off-road racing efforts and is also based in Phoenix.
Credit: Lexus USA, BN Communications
Photo Credit: AEugenioPhoto