Great Race Cars Succeed in the Great American Off-Road Race:
Jimco Wins MINT 400
Justin Lofton came into the weekend of the 2016 Mint 400 with his Jimco Trick Truck, as the previous overall winner and winner in his class. After qualifying first, it became clear to all that his intentions were more than just to participate in the legendary Great American Off-Road Race, but he wanted to win.
After approximately 35-minutes into the first lap, Lofton began to lose precious seconds to the #35 Jimco Trick Truck of Jason Voss. By the time the first lap was complete, Lofton was a full minute behind Voss on time. The desert began to put up a good fight against Voss during that second lap, and the lead on time was up for grabs between pristine drivers like Rob MacCachren, Bryce Menzies and Eduardo Laguna, with Andy McMillin looking to get a piece of the top spot as well. By the end of the 2nd lap, Lofton was sitting in fourth place on time, 2 full minutes out of first place while Jason Voss was back in the 8th spot.
Both Lofton and Voss knew their Jimco Trick Trucks could handle their determination on that final lap and through down their gas pedals. Photographer Eric Minks said this of Voss’s effort: ” I have to say, some of the most impressive driving I had seen all day was Jason Voss. He launched down a whole hill never lifted and was trying to give it all that truck had!” At the mid-point of the last lap, Voss had cataputled all the way to 5th place on time, less than 1-minute away from Bryce Menzies, who was holding on to third. Meanwhile, Justin Lofton had reclaimed the top spot… and that is where he would remain.
The champagne rained down for 2nd generation Jimco driver Justin Lofton, and his crew, as he became the first driver since 1972 to hold the title of Back-To-Back Mint 400 Overall Winner.
Jason Voss diligently crossed the finish line in 3rd place.
Other Trick Truck finishers include the Jimco builds of Troy Vest, Justin Summers, Robbie Pierce and Kevin Curtis.
The Father/Son Parkhouse team has had their fair share of more than enough 2nd place finishes in Best In The Desert races, but their #1501 Jimco is now a Mint 400 class winner, and also holds the fastest lap-time!
Cody Parkhouse was structured in a side-by-side start and dropped the lead position to Kevin Thompson. Parkhouse spent the first lap fighting to get his time to the number one post, and by the beginning of the 2nd lap, the fight was won. Through every timing check from there on out, including the third lap when Brian Parkhouse took the driver’s seat, the lead extended. Congratulations to Brian and Cody on their team effort!
Cory Keysar and Erick Jacobs enjoyed finishing spots in the Top-10 for their respective Jimcos, while Jimco drivers Pat McCarthy and Sam Berri can claim they too finished the 2016 Mint 400.
Jason Coleman stands among the Mint 400 podium, for his second consecutive Best In The Desert race, with his #1071 Jimco.
Like Parkhouse, Coleman also had to display patience with a side-by-side start. It was between Coleman and Roger Starkey as to who would set the pace for the first lap of over 30 other cars in their class. The two competitors flipped back and forth between the lead position, and also took turns getting flat tires over the rocky topography. Approaching the third lap brought new challenges; like lap traffic and a torn up track. Being the smart driver that he is, Jason chose not to risk more flat tires with hazardous passes and finished the race 2nd physical, 3rd on corrected time, 10-seconds away from the 2nd place mark.
Miguel Torrel and Shane Earn also celebrated top-10 finishes in their Jimcos, for the 1000-class.
Still hyped-up from his impressive San Felipe run, Brad Wilson was unstoppable at this years Mint 400 in the 1100-class.
Brad started in the 3rd position, but stole the lead early in the first lap and never looked back. Finishing first physical hinted to a win on the clock, and as the other drivers finished their races, it was confirmed that Brad held the best time by a huge margin of almost 25-minutes. Unsurprisingly, Wilson also holds the title for fastest lap-time.
The UTV Turbo and UTV 1900 classes were graced by the Matlock’s podium presence, as both Wayne and Kristen stood proudly in second place, in their corresponding classes.
Wayne Matlock chose to take a slow but even pace at first, understanding the contour of the land. Flat tires plagued his Jimco UTV Turbo , but Wayne was able to charge on the last lap and launch himself in second place.
Kristen Matlock secured the second place finishing spot, in her second ever Best In The Desert Race. The previous race she ran in her Jimco UTV 1900 was also a second place finish. Two consecutive races, Two consecutive second place finishes… this could be the start of a very successful UTV racing career for Kristen in her pink Terabit Racing Jimco. “I can’t believe this,” Kristen exclaimed on the finishing stage, “I’m so excited! [Wayne and Kristen] finished second, we finished the Mint-400 and I’m super happy!”
Races next up for the Jimco elite:
The ARB Griffith 400 – March 18/19/20 – NSW, Australia
The AORC Sunraysia 600 – April 8/9/10 – Mildura, Australia
The CODE Night Race – April 8/9/10 – Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico