Joe Bacal Captures Second with Marathon Drive in Baja 1000

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Cancer Survivor Goes the Distance Solo in Punishing Race
ENSENADA, Mexico, November 23, 2009
– After taking an “out of nowhere”
victory at the Baja 500 earlier this season, cancer survivor and
off-road rookie sensation Joe Bacal nearly stole the show again with an
epic 27-hour drive in the Cancer Treatment Centers of America / JTGrey
Lexus LX 570 to finish runner-up in the 42nd running of the Tecate
SCORE Baja 1000 last Friday and Saturday.

Bacal’s tough to narrowly miss the big prize, but just crossing the
finish line in the biggest off-road race and doing it after battling
cancer is a victory, both professionally and personally, said Bacal. Even after driving straight through the night, I felt good at the
finish.  I was dialed in and so was my Lexus this was fun!
Bacal and navigator Gerald Smitty King stormed out of Ensenada
at 11:59 Friday morning in the LX 570 and quickly settled into a
comfortably quick pace, making good time early on.  King Shocks new
suspension setup made the LX fast and easy to control, observed
Bacal.  But the infamous Baja 1000 lived up to its reputation.  Many
competitors noted that it was one of the toughest in memory, with dust
and visibility a near constant challenge that made passing a precarious
process at best. There were a number of times that I came up to pass
slower cars and had to wait a long time because the dust was so heavy
and going off course (to pass) was very risky.
Driving through the dark desert night without the dust presents
its own set of visibility problems but Bacal credits the banks of KC
HiLiTES on his Lexus for helping him through. The big KCs really
light up the desert, he noted.
Aside from scheduled stops for fuel, there were few other
surprises as Bacal used his considerable off-road skills to keep the
big Lexus out of trouble for most of the race.  As in his previous
races, the BF Goodrich tires never failed, but Bacal did have one
mechanical issue that required two stops to finally sort as the
pounding desert landscape took its toll. Another unscheduled stop to
free the rig after getting stuck briefly and Bacal and King never
looked back, arriving back in Ensenada in just over 27 hours.
Their extraordinary effort was only the third race for Bacal and
his Cancer Treatment Centers of America-sponsored team, but his
consistently high finishes also earned him a remarkable second place in
SCORE International’s driver points for the Stock Full class. I think
we surprised a lot of people with our racing program this year, noted
Bacal. My team, sponsors and family also made huge contributions. 
Another special mention goes to Long Beach Racers for their excellent
race support. NBC Sports will provide delayed coverage of this year’s
Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, currently scheduled to air on December 19 at
2:00 p.m. ET.
# # #
For more information and updates on Joe Bacal, visit
Bacal and the JTGrey team acknowledge the following companies for their outstanding products, services and support:
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (sponsor)
Lexus (LX 570)
BF Goodrich (tires)
Toyota Racing Development (wheels, performance parts)
King Shocks (suspension components)
KC HiLiTES (lighting)
Long Beach Racers (race support)
Head First Design (graphics and marketing support)
Old Man Emu (off road accessories)
Débaufré Swiss Watches
Sparco (seats, safety equipment)
Mechanix Wear
Chet Huffman Motorsports (expertise)
Geiser Brothers Racing (vehicle build and prep)
Powertank (CO2)
Zeal Optics (sunglasses)
IonEarth (global race positioning)
About JTGrey:
JTGrey Performance Driving, LLC was created in 2007 by Joe and
Teresa Bacal to provide expert high-performance 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, Arizona.
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
Copy by: Flipside909


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