Montclair, CA: The Green Army made the march north to Reno recently for the 2nd Annual HDRA Eldorado Reno 500 in the ongoing quest to capture the top spot in the chase for the HDRA and World Championship standings. The tireless efforts of the team to prepare the truck for battle after their top 10 finish at the grueling Baja 500 gave team driver Justin Davis confidence heading north to battle a stacked field of the best Trophy Truck teams in the world. “We have worked really hard in the shop to make sure our Jimco Trophy Truck can go out and consistently run up front to challenge for the win. We showed we can win against the best at Ridgecrest and we went to Reno hoping to do the same thing.”
As with any top contending team, the preparation that began at the shop continued with pre-running. After running a few laps around the course, it became clear that rocks and the ability to make clean passes were going to be an issue and the winning team would go into the race with a solid strategy for surviving race-day. “Our BFGoodrich tires are the best and toughest tires in the world, but the only smooth part on this course is in the air,” said the #85 co-driver, Troy Holes.
After qualifying 5th out of 17 unlimited vehicles on Thursday, team owner Kevin Davis and Crew Chief Josh O’Neal went to work on what they hoped would be a winning strategy come race-day. “The truck is prepped and ready to run hard. Justin has shown he can run up front and the team is ready to do everything we can to help make that happen,” said Josh.
On Friday, the entire Green Army Team attended the all day car show and tech inspection in downtown Reno on historic Virginia Street. Amidst signing autographs and answering questions for fans, the Green Army Team also participated in the Pit Crew Challenge. Knowing that “perfect practice makes perfect,” the team set out to perform the quickest and cleanest tire change they could, just as they would on race day. When the air guns and floor jacks were put away, the team won the contest by completing the tire change in 42 seconds with no penalties. The pressure of the contest would be nothing compared to the pressure the pit crew would face on race day when it really counted.
When the green flag dropped on race day, Justin focused on balancing being smart and being fast early in the race. As other competitors encountered problems, the #85 continued moving up in the field the first two laps looking for an opportunity to reel in the leader of the race, Larry Roeseler. Implementing the pre-race strategy of fuel and fresh tires every lap, the Green Army crew got the truck in and out of the pits in sub-forty second pit stops to maintain Justin’s position on the road. As the lead group of Trophy Trucks ran the third lap, hard driving and good fortune allowed the #19 of Larry Roeseler to gain some distance from the field prior to their driver change where Tim Herbst took over driving duties. While attempting to make this time up on the fourth lap, the #85 Trophy Truck suffered a flat tire. “I felt like it was time to take up a notch and came around the corner only to find one of the huge rocks that had been on the side of the course was right in the track,” said Justin Davis. This minor setback set Justin nearly 8 minutes back of the leader as he came into the main pit for his final fuel and tire stop.
The Green Army Pit Crew knew if there was any chance to catch the leader, the pit stop would have to be perfect. The crew stepped up and changed tires and fueled in a team best 31 seconds. Fueled by his teams passion and execution, Justin set out to finish the race and put the Jamar brakes and King Shocks to the test. In the closing 60 miles of this endurance race, the Dougan’s Racing Engine ran just as strong as the first 60 miles, and Justin pulled to within 90 seconds of 1st place Tim Herbst on corrected time. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough miles left in the race to make up the time and the #85 Green Army finished 1:30 out of first place, adding another solid podium run to their HDRA season.
In his “rookie” year in the highly competitive Trophy Truck class, Justin has shown the Green Army Trophy Truck will be a force to be reckoned with. As the team prepares for the final HDRA race of the year, the #85 will be ready to light up the night with their Rigid Industries LED lights and compete for the win and HDRA Points Championship at the Moapa Big Horn 300 night race. Knowing how rough and rocky the desert north of Las Vegas can be, the truck will undergo a complete prep using WRP Premium Threadlocker.
Green Army Motorsports is proud to represent the finest companies and products in off-road racing, including: Jimco Racing, King Off-Road Shocks, Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Jamar Performance, BFGoodrich Tires, K&N Filters, PPM, CBR Performance Products, Reel Drivelines, Howe Performance Steering, Replay Cameras, Walker Evans Wheels, Lucas Oil Products, Dougans Racing Engines, Checkers, Race Proven Alternators, Momo USA, Fast-Aid and WRP Premium Threadlocker.