Montclair, CA: Heading into November, the Green Army Motorsports team was focused on continuing the hunt for the top spot in the Inaugural World Championship Chase. Countless hours were spent at the Southern California shop preparing the #85 Jimco Trophy Truck to battle the best for the top spot in the 46th Running of the SCORE International Baja 1000. Not only was Justin focused on preparing the truck, he was busy preparing mentally and physically by spending 2 hours a day, 6 days a week at the gym. Having won this race multiple other times in different classes, driver Justin Davis knew the preparation at home would be pointless without spending weeks pre-running the peninsula to see what Baja had in store for race day. The advance team headed off to Baja California shortly after the first of the month to make the peninsula their home until race day.
Challenges pre-running confirmed the rumors that this would one of the most difficult Baja 1000 courses ever laid out. The 2013 Baja 1000 course presented mile after mile of rough sections, technical sections, silt beds and every other type of challenge people associate with a race through this beautiful strip of land. Based on his 2nd place standing in the World Championship Standings, Justin revisited his original strategy to solo the race and made the decision to invite another Baja veteran to drive a stretch of the race. The Green Army Motorsports Team knew that the bonus points involved with this race would likely mean if any of the top 5 in the World Championship standings won the race, they would also take the season points title. Multi-discipline driver Danny Ebberts was called and he was in Baja the next day to begin pre-running his section.
As TT #85 lined up for qualifying, Justin displayed the poise of a veteran twice his age knowing he had as many miles in Baja, and as many wins in the desert, as racers who had spent a lifetime chasing the checkered flag in Mexico. His goal to qualify in a top 5 spot was derailed after a fuel issue caused the truck to stall out in qualifying for 22 seconds. Despite this bobble, he was able to get the truck re-fired and bring the truck across the finish line in the 13th starting position. While heading back out the dirt road towards Ojos Negros, the team received a phone call that Justin and Robby Gordon were being offered an additional qualifying lap due to being dusted out on their qualifying laps. Not wanting to hurt the truck with a half-done fix for the fuel issue, the decision was made to start 13th and see how the brutal course would play out.
Race day started with Justin and co-driver Donnie Gehnert of Jamar Performance working their way out of Ensenada, through Ojos Negros and towards the first highway section. When the Motec indicated they might be losing the transmission early in the race, a quick stop to confirm it was just a bad sensor resulted in losing a few positions on the road. The team settled in and worked to maintain the game plan executing quick pit stops and understanding the truck had to be in a position to charge hard towards the end of the day. As the day continued on, Justin continued to stay calm and collected clicking off miles and running on pace with the leaders despite running in the dust of the lead pack. As night fell over the race course, the Rigid Industries LED lights pierced the darkness and illuminated the course. Justin delivered the truck to Danny Ebberts at RM520 who stepped in like the professional he is and drove 140 miles of the most technical and unforgiving portion of the course. He drove his section flawlessly delivering a truck that was in 7th position on the road from RM660. Clearly the training and preparation had paid off as Justin got back in the truck fresh and ready to continue his charge to the finish.
Justin now had his regular co-driver Troy Holes in the right seat as they ran hard up the coast before turning east towards Mikes Sky Ranch. They began working their way up through the field and were battling for a podium position based on corrected time as Justin re-entered Ojos Negros to head back towards Ensenada. The team waited at the finish line for the sound of the Green Army TT returning on the city streets of Ensenada, but the wait was interrupted by the sound of the satellite phone ringing with Justin on the other end stating the truck was not running just 30 miles from the finish. Maintaining the “never say die,” never give up attitude, the chase teams loaded into the trucks as they reached the 24 hour mark without sleep. Despite the best efforts of the entire team, it was determined as they saw the second sunrise of their day that the truck was not able to be repaired and would have to go back to Ensenada on the trailer.
Despite the disappointing and premature end to the Baja 1000, the Green Army Motorsports team looks forward to building on their first year’s successes running in the premiere off-road racing class. Thanks to the following sponsors and racing partners, the #85 Green Army Trophy Truck team finished the year with 4 top ten finishes including two overall wins and a second place finish. Taking what they have learned in their rookie year in Trophy Truck, Green Army Motorsports will be back to compete again in 2014 chasing down the top spot.
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, Extreme Rope Works, Fast-Aid and WRP Premium Threadlocker.