TrophyLite-Silver-State-300-5-9-13Ben Abatti III had a great race at the Best in the Desert Silver State 300. He drove the first half of the race and then turned his Trophylite over to his father Ben Abatti II to complete the race. They built an insurmountable lead on the rest of the field, taking the victory by over 11 minutes. If the story ended there, most would be happy but that is not the case. The team was penalized 15 minutes for a race incident. It’s safe to assume that Casey Folks does not like to hand out penalties to his racers but the problem with most rules, they don’t weigh intent and in order to be consistent they have to be held to the letter, which is not always fair. The Abatti’s drove a great race and took the news hard when they learned of the penalty at the awards ceremony.

“This race was important to us,” said Ben Abatti III, “My Dad has been racing for a long time. There is no way he would break the rules on purpose. We had a big lead; we didn’t need that fraction of a second off our time. We were unable to talk with Casey before the penalty was applied, we had no idea we did anything wrong. If we broke the rules then give us a penalty but why not ten minutes instead of fifteen so we can keep the win that we earned?” The 15 minute penalty dropped the Abatti’s back to third.

Fort Mill, SC –  As the 2012 Best In The Desert (BITD) season came to a close at Henderson, Nevada, General Tire celebrated three class championships with members of Team GT.  For the second straight year, Jim Riley topped the points in the 6100 Class with his Azunia Tequila Ford.  Riley battled the rugged deserts of the southwest to post three wins in 2012, including a win at the coveted General Tire Mint 400.  Through it all, it was the “team” mentality that helped Riley to the class championship.

“BITD puts together a variety of tough races throughout the year, the only way to win a championship is to be consistent and never give up,” said Riley.  “As a team we focus on structure, discipline, perseverance, persistence, luck, and the TEAM.

“This was the first full year of racing in the TrophyLite R8.”  Riley continued, “As a whole we learned a lot about the new truck and its capabilities. We worked with a number of manufactures to fine tune the equipment and have been especially happy with our Currie and General Tire products.  We have also seen consistent performance from our Culhane Transmission, Mastercraft Safety products, and PCI Race radio support. I am happy that we showed up to every race and gave 100% regardless if we were able to finish or not.”

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.

As the dust settles on another great year for the General Tire TROPHYLITE Race Series a new champion is crowned. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree in the Messer family and Troy Messer is living proof.  Troy takes the rein as champion from his father Gary Messer who was our 2011 General Tire TROPHYLITE Race Series Champion.  We saw some of the best and closest racing in the 2011 season for the TROPHYLITE R-4 class and it brings us yet another champion to add to the coveted list of winners.

The racing at the Best in the Desert Transit West Ford Henderson 250 was great and started out with some tight battles for the lead early.  The Championship battle going into this event was between Troy Messer and the team of Steve and Joe Hengeveld.  An early electrical problem caused an early retirement for the Hengeveld team.  This was a shock to everyone since the Hengevelds have finished every race they have entered since joining the TROPHYLITE family.  “We always finish races, this is just not who we are” commented Joe Hengeveld when asked about the problems they encountered.

Troy Messer crossed the finish line first in class and won the race and that was exactly what he needed to clinch the championship.  At the finish line Troy was interviewed.  “First I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I also want to thank everyone on the Messer team and everyone from TROPHYLITE for an awesome year of racing.  Its great to win and get the championship.  I know my dad and my team will be excited. ”  commented Troy when asked about his win.

With the close of another great season for the General Tire TROPHYLITE Race Series we set our eyes on the future.  The 2012 race schedule will be one of the toughest in the history of TROPHYLITE and teams will have to endure 3 of the longest and toughest races in all of off-road racing.  Look for some new teams in the TROPHYLITE family for 2012 and some great racing.

2012 General Tire TROPHYLITE Race Series

Race Schedule

Round 1

Best in the Desert

Blue Water Resort and Casino Parker “425″

February 3 – 5

Location: Parker Arizona

Round 2 **Bonus points

Best in the Desert

General Tire Mint 400

March 23 – 25

Location: Las Vegas Nevada

Round 3

Best in the Desert

Canidae Tap It Silver State 300

May 4 – 6

Location: Mesquite Nevada

Round 4

Best in the Desert

General Tire “Vegas to Reno”

August 16 – 18 (race on Friday)

Location: Las Vegas Nevada – Reno Nevada

Round 5 **Bonus points

Best in the Desert

Blue Water Desert Challenge

October 12 – 14

Location: Parker Arizona

Round 6

Best in the Desert

Transit West Ford Henderson “250″

November 30th – December 2nd

Location: Henderson Nevada

**** 2012 General Tire TROPHYLITE series championship will be calculated on the best 5 of 6 races for each participant

The TROPHYLITE teams have been battling all season in the chase for the coveted 2011 General Tire TROPHYLITE race series championship. Now it all comes down to this one last race of the year.  Only a single point separates the top two competitors. Troy Messer and the team of Steve and Joe Hengeveld lead the top  of the points with only one point separating them.  Troy has the advantage going into this event which leaves the Hengevelds in the catch up spot.  Hungry for their first Championship these two teams will surely leave it all on the track in the hunt for the title.  In the third spot is new comer Ramsey ElWardani who is just behind the two leaders in points.  This is his first full season in the General Tire TROPHYLITE race series.

The racing should be great with several teams that have nothing to lose by pushing hard to try and get a win for the year. Several teams have made big changes in their trucks in preparation for the next season that should prove to bring some new speed to their teams which may surprise some of the competition. The new 2.4L engines are installed in most of the trucks now and teams are already talking about next year and having the increased power when the TROPHYLITE rules will allow the removal of the restrictor plates that have been installed for the 2011 season to ensure equality between the teams that have not upgraded the engines yet. Going into the 2012 season the restrictor plates will be removed allowing the teams to have the full power of the new engines. The Ford powered trucks will also see a new power plant for 2012 that will bring more horsepower to their trucks. The all new 2012 Ford focus engines will be available to those teams to keep the speed and power equal to the GM powered trucks.

Look for great racing from all of the TROPHYLITE teams this weekend at the race. Come out to Henderson for all of the festivities starting this Friday for technical Inspection and contingency row in downtown Henderson Nevada. For more check www.BITD.com for information about time and places for the race events. You can also check the race teams during the event by loging on to www.racetheworld.net and tracking your favorite teams. Look for class 6000 for the TROPHYLITE R-4 trucks and class 6100 for the TROPHYLITE R-8 trucks.

2012 General Tire TROPHYLITE Race Series Race Schedule

Round 1

Best in the Desert

Blue Water Resort and Casino Parker “425″

February 3 – 5

Location: Parker Arizona


Round 2 **Bonus points

Best in the Desert

General Tire Mint 400

March 23 – 25

Location: Las Vegas Nevada

Round 3

Best in the Desert

Canidae Tap It Silver State 300

May 4 – 6

Location: Mesquite Nevada

Round 4

Best in the Desert

General Tire “Vegas to Reno”

August 16 – 18 (race on Friday)

Location: Las Vegas Nevada – Reno Nevada

Round 5 **Bonus points

Best in the Desert

Blue Water Desert Challenge

October 12 – 14

Location: Parker Arizona

Round 6

Best in the Desert

Transit West Ford Henderson “250″

November 30th – December 2nd

Location: Henderson Nevada

CHANDLER, AZ – The TROPHYLITE teams have been battling all season for the coveted title of 2011 General Tire TROPHYLITE season champions.  With Messer and Hengeveld leading the pack into round 4 the points battle is tight and the championship is up for grabs.  With only 2 races left in the year this event is critical for all of the teams.

Even with the tight points battle this season the teams continue to grow for TROPHYLITE.  The addition of 2 new trucks from the Sourapas stable will be at Parker to compete for the first time.  New comers Brett and Christian Sourapas will battle with the TROPHYLITE teams in the desert surrounding the Blue Water casino.  We can look for another new comer to the TROPHYLITE family in Gary Dircks.  Gary formerly raced in the Trick Truck class and after taking some time off will be racing for the first time in his TROPHYLITE at Parker also.  This marks the most new teams at a race for the TROPHYLITE family in quite some time.

In addition to the battle we will see for the TROPHYLITE R-4 teams Jim Riley will also be back for the 2nd race in the all new TROPHYLITE R-8.  The all new V-8 powered truck just came off a win at the Vegas to Reno off road race and will be on display all day with the TROPHYLITE tech and contingency team outside of the Blue Water casino on Friday.  Come check out the next generation of spec class race trucks and get in on the action.

TROPHYLITE is a spec off-road race truck that has its own General Tire TROPHYLITE race series for the off-road community. The TROPHYLITE trucks are spec trucks which means that all of the trucks must use the same parts and are heavily regulated to keep the costs in line. TROPHYLITE has been building and running the race series now for about 3 years and just crowned their most recent series champion Gary Messer. For more on TROPHYLITE please visit www.TROPHYLITE.com

CHANDLER, AZ – July 24, 2011-  TROPHYLITE™ teams have raced the General Tire TROPHYLITE race series in some of the closest racing we have ever seen in this 2011 championship season.  With wins from Hengeveld and Messer the points race is close as we head into the darkness for the next event.  The KC HiLITES Midnight Special.  The race will be held in Primm Nevada near the Nevada and California state line.  Primm has been home to many off-road races over the years and provides some of the roughest and most challenging racing in the desert.

Look for very close and competitive racing that will start with the teams Technical Inspections on Friday July 29 mid day and the first round of races that evening.  Teams will have to rely on their KC HiLITES to navigate the night time races starting at 10:00 PM.  This unique event will be held over 2 days of racing and the final results will be a combination of the 2 days finishes by the teams.

Steve and Joe Hengeveld are looking for another win to try and win the championship for the 2011 season and steal the crown from the defending class champions the team of Gary and Troy Messer.  After a commanding win at the General Tire Mint 400 the Messer team knows what they need to do to try and hang on to the championship for this new year.

In addition this will be the first event that will showcase the TROPHYLITE trucks with the upgraded engine program that was introduced into the rules just after the General Tire Mint 400 just several weeks back.  The new 2.4L engines will be restricted with a restrictor plate for the rest of the 2011 season to ensure equality in the class.  At the close of the year the teams will be permitted to use the new 2.4L engines with no restrictions to bring the overall engine performance up by nearly 20% overall.

Join us in Primm Nevada for the excitement.

LAS VEGAS – Team General Tire crushed the competition, sweeping the podium at the 2011 Mint 400 in Las Vegas March 26.  ‘Ballistic’ BJ Baldwin continues to unleash his fury this season.  Leading the pack for the majority of the race, BJ crossed the line victorious, followed by his father Bobby Baldwin in second and Mikey Childress in third.  New GT drivers Randy Merrit tookfirst in Stock Full followed by Macrae Glass with a first place finish in Class 8.  GT spec class drivers Perry Coan received first place in Jeepspeed Challenge and Troy Messer took first in Trophylite

Stealing the off-road racing spotlight in 2010, BJ, a Las Vegas native, was determined to prove again his title as the king of the desert in 2011.  After qualifying first at the Mint, the unstoppable BJ was off to a great start, ready to once again battle the unforgivable Las Vegas terrain.

“I was on a mission last year, and this year’s mission is an even bigger one.  On Team GT, it’s go big or go home,” said BJ after taking the podium in Las Vegas Saturday.  “This race couldn’t have been more perfect.  These drivers out here really know how to tear it up and there’s some serious competition, but with the Grabbers and with the force of Team GT and Monster Energy, Baldwin Motorsports was determined to be the unstoppable force, and we proved it.”

Off-road race fans looking to get in some race action while waiting at the doctor’s office or just killing time will want to check out the new Trophylite Rally application for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Players can race with with the Lincoln Electric rally truck in the game, as Lincoln Electric has partnered with TROPHYLITE and 2XL Games as an official sponsor. The game features a virtual Lincoln Electric rally truck and trackside banners sporting the company’s logo.