Baldwin Races Class One and Trophy Truck at SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
Newport Beach, California. – The 2007 off road racing season is upon us and Baldwin Racing is off to a solid start. With driver Josh Baldwin campaigning the team’s # 86 Trophy Truck and the newly built Jimco Class One, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge was a busy event for both driver and pit crew. “We pulled double duty this weekend in the one car and the Trophy Truck,” stated Baldwin on Sunday afternoon. Structured as a two day event, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a short track style desert off road race located in Southern Nevada.
The weekend started off strong as Baldwin took second while flying to a distance of 123 feet on Thursday evening in the famed Laughlin Leap in the high horsepower Jimco Class One.
Saturday’s race action:
Saturday morning saw Josh Baldwin and his #86 Ford starting first off the line in a field that featured 31 Trophy Trucks. Baldwin unfortunately lost the hole-shot but was able to quickly work his way through the infield section. As he was headed toward the desert portion of the course he had contact with another vehicle which resulted in a cut tire. After a making his way to his pit crew, a quick 58 second hot pit tire change put him back on the track and up to speed.
Baldwin was able to get back into his rhythm and the # 86 Ford performed flawlessly as he continued his assault on the short but difficult course. “The course was extremely technical which made line selection critical. My experience in CORR (Championship Off Road Racing) really paid off this weekend,” stated Baldwin who also campaigns a Pro 4™ (all wheel drive full size) truck in CORR (a closed course off road racing series that combines technical wheel to wheel truck racing action with spectator friendly venues).
In completing his six laps Baldwin had roared back to a 7th place finish for the day and just 2:25 back of the first place vehicle with an average speed of 45.91mph. Of the 31 trucks that took the green flag, just 20 completed the course. By virtue of finishing in the top 10 Baldwin would be included in the drawing for the top starting position on Sunday.
Class One Unlimited:
Facing a rear start in a competitive field of 46 Unlimited cars, the odds were stacked against Baldwin for a top finish. Having just battled in his #86 Trophy Truck, Baldwin and co-driver Brent Bauman immediately buckled into the team’s Patton powered #144 Jimco. Having 6 laps under his belt from his Trophy Truck race, Josh looked to use that knowledge to have a successful run in his first Class One race in eight years.
Taking the starting line Josh settled into a pace that saw him making pass after pass on the course. With the Jimco working fantastically right out of the box and Baldwin feeling extremely comfortable, he set his sights on the class leaders. By the time the dust settled Baldwin had roared ahead from a 44th to a 6th place finish in the class with a blistering speed of 42.7mph and just three minutes back of the first place car.
Sunday’s race action:
Motivated by his previous day’s results and drawing a 5th place start Baldwin had his sights set on the class leaders. Upon the completion of lap one Josh was amongst the fastest drivers. With consistent lap times it was evident that running two classes the previous day provided Josh with an edge. “Running both classes yesterday really helped with my lines today.” Unfortunately on lap four while in a right handed high speed drift the # 86 Ford suffered a left rear flat tire. “We were laid into a right hander when I felt the tire go away. We got the truck to the hot pits and our crew made a super quick tire change.” Baldwin would eventually take 6th place for the weekend.
Class One Unlimited
Having drawn the first starting position the car would be a serious contender in a class that saw just 24 of 46 cars complete the required laps on day one. Baldwin focused on a possible class win. The first laps saw Josh setting the pace on the course and he found himself making up crucial seconds. The course was quickly deteriorating after a long weekend of racing. “The course is hammered. We had to get creative out there with our lines. The holes have gotten huge.” With just one lap remaining, Baldwin was a mere seven seconds out of the lead and within two seconds from second place on adjusted time. With Baldwin focused on the win, he was plagued once again by tire failure. “We over corrected in a turn to miss a hole, getting the car sideways and blew the tire off the wheel with a half a lap to go.” Josh was able to limp the car through the infield on just a right rear rim and still complete the race for a weekend finish of fourth place. The new Jimco had proven itself with a fantastic showing in a race that saw just 17 unlimited cars cross the finish line of the 46 that entered the race.
Event Combined Results
Trophy Truck – 6th Place out of 31 vehicles.
Class One Unlimited – 4th Place out of 46 vehicles.
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