In a hard fought race that mirrored the level of competition seen all season in Trophylite, top three finishers PJ Jones, Brandon Hollander and Ben Abatti III battled to the very end at the BITD, Henderson 250 held outside Henderson, Nevada. The three Trophylite racers finished fifth, sixth and seventh overall in heat race two. PJ Jones charged hard to build up a slight lead of about two minutes on second place finisher Brandon Hollander who had to contend with Ben Abatti III just thirteen seconds back in third.
Troy Messer was fourth after he had a muffler issue that caused excessive heat to enter the cockpit, burning his seat. His fourth place finish was enough to win another championship title, his second in a row.
For driver PJ Jones and car owner Curt Potts it has been a great season. In four starts, they have accomplished two wins and two runners up finishes. “You can’t afford to leave any time on the table in Trophylite,” says PJ Jones, “We killed a boulder in the dust; I knew the tire was flat but the Generals are so tough I thought I could make it to the next pit. Eventually, it shredded and we had to stop and change it. You need perfect pit stops, good preparation and a little luck to take the win. When you look at the finishing times, we’ve been splitting minutes with the competition all season long. I have to hand it to the Messer’s and Rodney at Bear Race Cars for putting us in a position to win. Being a driver himself, Curt has the best attitude possible as a team owner. He tells me what every driver hopes to hear, do whatever it takes to bring home a win. That’s what we work for every race.”
“We caught PJ and passed him but he got us back in the pits,” said Brandon Hollander, “We have some new crew members on my team. There was a mix-up when we got fuel on the first stop. We had to dump a second can on the last stop, that’s when PJ got past us. It was a good test for my crew and me; I’ve been out of the truck for a while. It was a strong run, one we are proud of; we look forward to running the full season in 2013.”
The Henderson 250 course is tough on trucks and tires. The only relief from the countless rocks that litter the course is the deep silt and pounding whoops. Despite the tough conditions, all the R4 Trophylites that started were able to make it to the finish. It’s a testament to the design of the Trophylite that makes it easy to maintain between races. Each team is responsible for their own preparation but we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the excellent preparation done all year by Bear Race Cars of Kingman, Arizona. Their meticulous work on the Trophylites of Troy Messer and Curt Potts resulted in four wins and nine podiums, a great accomplishment.
The Trophylite R8 of Jim Riley was taken out by a mechanical issue but not before wrapping up the 6100 class championship. Jim and his General Tire, Azunia Tequila team worked extremely hard to set the benchmark for all those who follow in 6100. “We had a great season in the Trophylite R8,” said Jim Riley, “it was a year of discovery and making the truck competitive. We pushed hard to be at every race with a solid team. Our sponsors have been very supportive all year and we are grateful to be working with them. Special Thanks go to General Tire and Culhane Transmissions.” The class is expanding rapidly with several trucks racing now and new trucks under construction at Geiser Bros, Racer and Mason for 2013. Turnkey Engine Supply has built 14 engines for next season so expect to see some new trucks at Parker.
There was a time when the Messer’s looked unbeatable but a wave of new teams coming into the Trophylite ranks made 2012 one of the most competitive ever. With Gary Messer moving up to 6100 next season and Troy planning to install a bigger engine in his truck to race in the 7200 class, it leaves next year’s crown open to a long list of competitors able to win races and put a successful championship run together. The Trophylite model of putting drivers in matching equipment and letting them battle it out on the course has proved to be a good one and General Tire, KC Hilites, Mastercraft Safety, Method Race Wheels, Azunia Tequila, Maxima Racing Oils & Impact will all be back for another exciting year of Trophylite racing in 2013!