Jackson WINS Pahrump and Back-to-Back ChampionshipsDecember 18, 2017
Pahrump, NV – As in most years, the 2017 TrophyLite Race Series Points Championship came down to the final race of the season, the Pahrump 250, a race for GOLD! This year’s battle was between the 2016 class champion Todd Jackson and a pair of TrophyLite veterans in Jeff Mortis and Chris Wacker. Combined these two teams won 4 of the 5 races leading up to Pahrump and there was no way either team was going to back down for the last grueling 250 miles.
The race began with Ryan Winner, first out of the gate, quickly followed by Todd Jackson, Jeff Mortis, Greg Bragg and Josh Cobb. Knowing the championship is on the line, Todd felt he was in a good spot, ”Winner runs a good pace so our plan was to just stay out of his dust and ahead of Jeff and let the race unfold.” Todd said.
The race would change quickly as the 6048 got a flat around RM6 which gave the 6001 some breathing room and not feeling as much pressure from the back. As Jackson kept with his plan and moving along well, Todd and Mike found the 6068 off to the side at RM 38 with a smashed driveline. Now with clean air Todd was to keep a consistent pace but updates on the radio would confirm that 6012, Greg Bragg was closing in at the 100 mile mark. A flat tire at pit 5 would cause the 6001 to experience some down time and hand over the lead to the 6012. Lucky for the 6001 the 6048 team was there and would help change their flat so not much time was lost and he was back in the race. Now with the 6012 in front of the field, Todd wanted to make no mistake he was the champ and he set his sights on running down Bragg. Todd said “We had some cushion and decided to pick up the pace to see if we could run down Bragg before pit 7”. If Todd wanted to win the race, not only would he have to pass Bragg but he would have to put a minute on the 6012 before the finish which was rapidly approaching. Todd made the pass but Greg would not go away as the two trucks pushed hard to the finish. An unseen rock in the sand would be the deciding factor as the 6012 truck was slowed by a tire losing air. When the decision was made to change the flat, the 6012 team knew they were handing the win and championship to Jackson if he could get across the finish line clean. After passing a couple of UTVs, Jackson crossed the finish line and quickly started his stopwatch to see where Bragg would end up not knowing he had tire issues. Once the watch showed 60 seconds, Todd celebrated his win and his second championship in a row.
Note – Todd and Greg would like to show their appreciation to Adam Householder driving the 24 TT, Adam saw the TrophyLite race in front of him and chose to back off the throttle enough to let the two drivers battle to the finish.
On the behalf of Metro Honda/Acura, TrophyLite would also like to congratulate Todd and the entire team with the $500 Superior Performance award. Metro Honda/Acura is a big supporter of the TrophyLite Race Series so if you are considering the purchase of a new vehicle or are ready for service on your current car or truck be sure to check out Metro Honda / Acura in Montclair or visit MetroHonda.com or MetroAcura.com.
The 6012 GB Racing entry has really made some moves this year and has proven to be a serious competitor. The team was on point all day, pit stops were extremely fast and all within just seconds of the other teams. The 6012 was on the move all day and pushing to the front of the pack until pit 5 where they passed race leader Todd Jackson. Now in first place physically Greg knew and his team they could win this race and as hard as it was to get to the front the real challenge was to stay there. The 6012 held strong keeping a fast pace but the champ worked his way back into Greg’s rear view mirror and eventually got around the 6012. From here Greg was pushing hard to keep within 1 minute and hopefully secure the win on time but a slow leaking tire would force the team to change that tire with just 10 miles to go giving them a second place finish and a great way to finish the season. After two DNFs the GB Racing team has worked out the bugs in chassis 38 and resolved many little issues that hindered the success of the 6012. Look out for this team in 2018.
Greg Bragg and the GB Racing team also take home the $1000 check from the FasTLine Driving School Rookie of the Year award. Congratulations from TrophyLite and FasTLine Driving School.
18 year old Josh Cobb’s season has been filled with some up’s and down’s so heading into the final race of the season Josh was really hoping to wheel the Safecraft Safety Equipment TrophyLite to the front of the pack to give the team a much needed win. With less than 2 weeks between Josh and the 6066 team racing some 800 miles of the Baja 1000 which ended in wrecking the truck and losing the motor. In less than 10 days the team was able to get the truck prepped and ready for Pahrump although looking a little rough and still dirty from Mexico.
The 6066 started the race from the back of the pack in the 5th spot and it wasn’t long before Josh began moving up. By pit 3 they were in 3rd place just behind Todd and Greg and almost even on time. On the way to pit 4 Josh started feeling sick and would ultimately need to get out at the next pit. Father, Jason Cobb was now getting suited up and would take the truck to the finish. Jason had a good run racing the last 150 miles and bringing the truck across the finish line in 3rd. When speaking with Jason at the finish he gave a lot of credit to his General Tires and Monster Seal because he was sure he hit every rock during his stint behind the wheel.
Josh had a strong 2nd season racing his TrophyLite and finished 3rd in the season points. The team only had 1 DNF which was Tonopah where the crankshaft had exited the motor after just 16 miles. Josh ended the season by finishing 3rd twice, 4th twice and an 8th place finish at the Parker ‘425’.
The Challenge Financial Team came into this race just 1 point down from Todd Jackson and the 6048 was slated to start just behind him. The 6001 and 6048 are the closest to NASCAR's version of a two car race team. Jake's Fabworks preps both trucks, they run the same radio frequency during the races, they share crew members in the pits and Mike and Bret work together on pit strategies. So going into the final race knowing that one of the two teams was going to be the champion created a dynamic they hadn’t experienced all season. Typically eating together, talk race strategies and enjoy some fun during the race weekend but for Pahrump there was little time spent prior to the race. The 6048 had to accomplish two things to become class champion, beat Todd and take either 1st or 2nd place otherwise Todd wins.
The team strategy was to keep a healthy pace while taking care of the truck during the first 100 miles because this course can inflict some serious damage if you push too hard. The last 150 miles they planned to evaluate their position versus the 6001 and decide how hard they needed to push the truck. In the first 3 miles Jeff picked up a flat that put the 6048 behind a bunch of UTV's and without any wind to move dust off the course Jeff and Bret found it extremely difficult to drive it back to the front. Bret said, “The rocky course and low visibility really reduced our ability to make up the time lost. That dust just hung in the air!”
Getting around UTVs the 6048 would begin making some progress but two more flats and extra pit stops would hinder their ability to give the other teams a good race. “We had a late chance to put it on the podium when we passed Jason Cobb but another flat erased that opportunity”, said Bret.
The Challenge Motorsports team would like to Congratulate Todd and Mike on winning another championship and Greg Bragg for putting that truck out in front for a long time at this race and Tonopah as well. The class is stacked with great competitors and 2018 is shaping to feature some great racing.
Fabtech Motorsports TrophyLite driven by Ryan Winner was first off the line at this race and was planning to establish a fast pace and keep the other TL teams in their dust. So for the first 6 or 7 miles Ryan kept an easy pace through the rock garden careful not to get any flats then it was go time. By the first pit they had passed a couple of UTVs and started to get some clean air. However, shortly after pit 1 the 6068 came up out of a sand wash and was forced to dodge a sharp rock but when doing so Ryan ended up in a groove and in that groove there was a bigger rock that went straight under the truck and took out the driveshaft. Down for little under an hour Ryan was back on course and poised to make up time. Ryan pushed the Fabtech TrophyLite as hard as he could but there just wasn’t enough miles in this race to get catch up to the pack. With no other issues for the rest of the race Ryan and Co-driver Barry navigated through the silt, dust, rocks and UTVs to make their way to the finish line in the 5th spot. Ryan said, “When we pulled up to the finish line, it was awesome see the TrophyLite family standing there waiting for us to finish. The great sportsmanship of this class made this race well worth finishing.”
This is just Ryan’s 3rd race in the TL remarkably his first time not on the podium. Ryan finishes the season with zero DNFs a 1st, a 3rd and now a 5th. The Winner Motorsports group plans on racing the entire TrophyLite Race Series in 2018 and competing for a championship.
Smashing a driveshaft with a boulder after 35miles of a race could deter many from continuing on so we would like to award Ryan Winner and the Winner Motorsports group the $500 Metro Honda / Metro Acura Hard Charger Award. We appreciate those who overcome difficult situations and continue on to reach the finish line.
The continued support of Metro Honda & Metro Acura provides TrophyLite teams with the opportunity to pick up $1000 in extra cash with the Superior Performance and the Hard Charger Awards. If you are considering the purchase of a new vehicle or ready for service on your current car or truck be sure to check out Metro Honda / Acura in Montclair or visit MetroHonda.com or MetroAcura.com
The 2017 season was another great year of racing over 1900 miles of desert covered in the BITD series. We had a back-to-back champion this year which has not been done since Troy Messer did it in 2012. TrophyLite finished nearly 75% of all entries this year. We anticipate the 2018 season to be one of the biggest yet and with more and more off-road racing enthusiasts becoming aware of TL, our class continues to grow and gain popularity.
TrophyLite would like to thank everyone who follows the TrophyLite Race Series and a huge THANK YOU to all of our sponsors who contribute to products and cash money to our participants. If you haven’t already, take a look at our sponsors below and check out their awesome products and services.
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About TrophyLite – TrophyLite.com
The TrophyLite Race Series was created to provide an affordable alternative to the high cost of racing. Drivers are pitted against each other in identical vehicles that provide the thrill of competitive offroad racing without the million dollar price tag. All TrophyLite race vehicles are precisely constructed to maintain parity and use the finest quality components available. TrophyLite allows you to compete in a fun, fast, race proven vehicle right out of the box.
With generous sponsorship from
Method Race Wheels,
Challenge Financial Services,
Safecraft Safety Equipment,
Metro Honda &
Maxima Racing Oils
Tanimura & Antle
Fast Line Driving School
Southwest Boulder and Stone
Children of the Dirt,
PCI Race Radios,
K&N Filters, and
Photo Credits - Thank you Gene Addison and Rnr Photos for the images. Check out Rnr Photos on Facebook!