Team General Tire makes a strong showing at Vegas to Reno race
When the dust had settled, Team GT’s drivers Rick D. Johnson placed third in the Trick Truck class, and Marc Burnett finished third in the 7200 class.
The event, which took place August 19-22, 2009, was billed as the longest off-road race in the United States, thanks to a new twist this year: instead of a straight run from Las Vegas to Reno through the Nevada desert, the event followed a 1,000-mile course over three days. And because of the three-day format, the race brought excitement and hardship around each corner.
On Day 1, Team GT driver Ballistic BJ Baldwin finished 2nd with less than 45 seconds off the leader and Jason Voss took the 3rd place position in the Trick Truck class. Ted Hunnicutt finished 1st in the 8000 class and Marc Burnett finished 2nd in the 7200 class.
On Day 2, Baldwin held the lead for most of the race until transmission issues dropped him out of contention for a podium. Rick D. Johnson took the bull by the horns and finished the day with a 2nd place in the Trick Truck class. Driver Marc Burnett also finished the day with a podium in the 7200 class.
On Day 3, Johnson, Baldwin and Burnett were the hope to bring home podiums for General Tire. At the end of a day of harsh racing, Johnson finished with a 2nd place podium. Baldwin did not podium, but put on a huge show at pit 5 for all the spectators and Marc Burnett completed the day with a 3rd place podium.
In addition to the actual time on the course, each team had just one hour to work on the vehicles before the trucks were impounded until the next morning. Team support was forced to take it to the next level by wrench on the trucks in record time or face penalties. Marc Burnett’s team had to do a complete transmission change one of the nights.
“This race was so challenging just to complete for both the drivers and team support. We are extremely proud of the efforts and their dedication,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire.
“After winning the race last year, I really wanted to make it a back-to-back, but the course and the format was very challenging. We are still proud of our overall 3rd place podium in the Trick Truck class,” said Rick Johnson, driver Team 71. “We look forward to coming back for another chance at a win in 2010.”
“Three full days of all-out racing makes for a very unique event, both for spectators and for the drivers,” said Marc Burnett, MB Motorsports. “This was a true test of skill and endurance, and we were excited to get General Tire on the podium.”