General Tire debuted its 2014 Team GT driver lineup for the Best In The Desert (BITD) series this past weekend in Parker, AZ at the “Parker 425”.
Team GT’s off-road efforts are led by four top-contending 1500 teams with a group of young, edgy and extremely competitive drivers behind the wheel. Leading the team is off-road expert and NASCAR standout, Justin Lofton, who finished second in the overall BITD 1500 point standings in 2013 while capturing three wins at Silver State, Henderson and Blue Water. Lofton is primed and ready to win a championship on Grabbers in 2014 in the 1500 class.
“We will do exactly what we did in 2013,” said Lofton. “Go out and try to win every race. We had a few mechanical issues at the bigger races last year that we have resolved and as long as nothing new comes along, we will be right where we need to be to claim the title in 2014.
“It’s great to be back with General Tire in 2014. The durability and performance of the Grabbers tire is fantastic and I’m proud to represent them on and off the track. Anywhere is truly possible with General.”
In addition to Lofton, C.J. Hutchins, Harley Letner and Ray Griffith. Hutchins is fresh off a 1500 class win at the General Tire Vegas to Reno event along with a third-place class finish in the overall BITD point standings. Letner and Griffith joined Team GT in 2013 and demonstrated tenacity, finesse and grit during their respective campaigns. Look for big things from all three drivers in 2014.
Team GT will sponsor two veteran entries in the 6100 class with Camburg Racing and Azunia Racing. Jerry Whelchel, desert guru, will pilot the Camburg machine while a rotation of drivers take their turn in the navigator seat. Jim Riley welcomes Andy Grider to the team to share in driving duties behind the wheel of the Azunia machine.
General Tire continues the tradition of sponsoring the KC Hi-Lites-sponsored vehicles with Randy Merritt in the 7200 class, Macrae Glass in 8000 and Steve Alexander, who will debut a new truck in the 6100 class. Steve La Roza will also race his Ford EcoBoost truck in the 7200 class on Grabbers tires for the second-year running.
As if this lineup wasn’t stout enough, Team GT continues their partnership with Banning Motorsports and their distinguished list of sponsored teams. General will also continue to sponsor Jeep Speed and TrophyLite. Overall, a diverse group of drivers who are bound to roll into victory lane many times before the 2014 season comes to a close. It’s a team that General Tire’s director of marketing believes in.
“I feel we have a really strong Team GT lineup in the off-road space this year,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “The level of experience and depth of talent is remarkable. We’ve made a lot of history in the BITD Series with Team GT and we’re looking forward to writing another chapter in 2014. We’re proud to be represented by each and every one of our drivers and teams and we wish them all the best of luck this year.”
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.