Team General Tire captures podium finishes at the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Battling one of the toughest courses to date, Team General Tire captured multiple podium finishes in Trophy Truck, Class 6, Class 7sx, Class 9 and Class 3, at the 2009 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which hailed the return of Ivan “Ironman” Stewart to Baja racing.
Rick D. Johnson brought home a 3rd Place overall and class finish in the Trophy Truck class with a time of 15:02:36. The finish capped an outstanding 2009 season for Johnson, who also won the Baja 500 and the BITD Terrible’s 250. He also took third place in the General Tire Mint 400.
“This is a banner day for Team General Tire. The Baja 1000 is the marquee event of the desert racing season, and to have multiple teams on the podium is a stellar accomplishment,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. “What makes this an even sweeter victory is that this is just General Tire’s second season since its return to desert competition, so Rick’s results -- not just in this race, but all season long -- really validate everything we’ve been working toward the past two seasons. We are very proud of Team General Tire drivers and all they have accomplished this year! ”
One of the highlights of the race was Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s return to the Baja 1000, to race the new Toyota 4Runner in Class 3. The Toyota 4Runner was equipped with the General Grabber Competition tires. Stewart and his team were able to grab the 2nd place finish in Class 3, igniting a media frenzy around their completion at the finish line.
Marc Burnett in Class 6 secured a 3rd place finish, which set the stage for his 2nd place SCORE Championship in Class 6. Burnett’s determination to finish the race despite overcoming transmission and axle issues was a true testament to the heart and drive this team has, to take on Baja and any other race. Burnett won the Baja 1000 in 2008, San Felipe 250 in 2009 and took 3rd place at Vegas to Reno.
Brandt Anderson, always a solid contender in Class 7sx, was able to hold onto a 2nd place finish for Synergy Motorsports.
Team GT’s 1st place finishers were Team Trophylite in Class 7.2 and Pancho Bio in Class 9. General Tire is the spec tire on Trophylite vehicles, and having the Trophylite compete and win in Class 7.2 is a stellar accomplishment. Team GT has been working with the Bio teams for a couple of years and they always seem to make their mark on Baja.
“This course was brutal; one of the toughest Baja 1000 courses I can remember,” Rick D. Johnson said. “It was very tough -- I was fighting the wheel at times, and we lost our GPS communication for the majority of the race. The truck performed great, the tires kept us on course, and we just held on to the finish. We’re stoked to be here -- we'll take third!”
“Our hat’s off to all of the Team General Tire members for an awesome effort,” Roffler added. “We couldn’t do this without their skill and dedication. This is a grueling race, but they made us all look good today!”