Fort Mill, SC – August 19, 2014. To win the General Tire Vegas to Reno race, one must endure 540-miles of pure grit, determination and obstacles. At 533 miles, and over eight hours, the Vegas to Reno stop on the Best in the Desert (BITD) schedule is America’s longest off-road race, and not for the faint of heart. And for the fourth year in a row, a member of Team GT claimed victory in Class 1500. Justin Lofton crossed the line in 9:00:12:670 with the help of co-drivers, Derek Balcunas, Wheeler Morgan and Donald Robison, to take top-honors in the class.
“Winning the longest off-road race in the states is awesome,” said Lofton. “We came so close last year that it just made me want it even more. I went 100% the entire race and it paid off.” Justin for the Win!
“Hats off to Justin and his entire team on their win at the General Tire Vegas to Reno race,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “To race at such an intense level for 533 is not an easy task, yet Justin and his team made it look easy. We applaud Justin and all our Team GT members for their tenacity and effort at one of the toughest races in America.”
Considerable rainfall left the course full of washouts and sharp rocks but Lofton and crew navigated the treacherous North Las Vegas desert with ease. Striking the perfect balance between caution and high speeds to get the #Ahbeef buggy to the finish line.
“This race is not an extremely rough race when it comes to holes and whoops.” Lofton continued, “But it is rocky and what is even more treacherous is the high speeds we have to keep pace with. That will bite you more than anything will.”
Lofton’s win marks the fourth year in a row GRABBERS have crossed the line first in Class 1500. Garrick Freitas, posted back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012 and, CJ Hutchins, took the top spot last year. Born from competition, this extreme traction tire provides exceptional off-road grip and durability, balanced with on-road driveability.
While the GRABBER is Team GT’s choice to tackle the rocky, silty and treacherous conditions the western desert’s present in competition, they also choose this same tire to get to and from the track and around their hometown’s.
The strength and durability of the General Red Letter GRABBERS also helped power, Harley Letner, to a third-place finish in the 1500 Class, a mere 13 minutes behind Lofton. The podium marked Letner’s best finish at the historic race.
In Class 8000 action, Macrae Glass, drove his KC Hi-Lites truck to another win. Navigating rugged hills, numerous washouts, sharp rocks, and the twists and turns of the desert, Glass drove the entire race with no flat tires proving that once again, the durability of the GRABBER is second-to-none. This marked 12 races in a row the Arizona-native has competed without a flat tire. For those counting, that’s two years and 4,300 miles.
It was the Banning team who took top-honors in Class 1100. Driven by Steve Melton, Hayden Melton and Jake DeWitt, the No. 1178 buggy captured the win in 11:17:41.652.
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For more information on Team GT, or to locate a dealer near you, please visit www.generaltire.com.