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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

MasterCraft Steps Into JIMCO Baja Trophy Truck

MasterCraft’s CEO Robbie Pierce stood alongside his new sleek MasterCraft JIMCO-built Trophy Truck, smiling after he recently took possession of the state-of-the-art race truck. Continuing to forge his two-decade relationship with off road race truck builder – Mike Julson, MasterCraft’s Robbie Pierce stepped up to the latest advanced creation in race trucks after racing his so-called “Prophy Truck” since entering the elite Trophy Truck ranks.

Pierce commented, “We are very excited and proud to race a state-of-the-art Trophy Truck, let alone that it was designed and built by my good friend, Mike Julson. Mike and I have been discussing this for quite some time and when the JIMCO Trophy Truck arrived to the SCORE Baja 500 contingency, it was emblazoned in shiny black and red MasterCraft colors.

“A quick glance at the truck and I decided it was time to move forward and make this deal happen. We have not only enjoyed a friendship for years, but we’ve grown our businesses together, forging long term friendships. Mike has offered JIMCO’s full support, as well as support in modifying the drive train to our specifications. We are thrilled to move forward with a race truck of this caliber.”

Mirage Racing will prep and maintain the JIMCO-built Trophy Truck, along with the other MasterCraft sponsored Trophy Truck raced by Staats Motorsports #42.

Bill Varnes, who splits driving time with Pierce, will continue to bring three decades of off road racing experience to MasterCraft Racing. Besides his vast amount of off road racing experience, Varnes will oversee the change over of the drive train to a Mogi T400 Automatic.

“When I’m driving, I’ve got enough going on behind the wheel that I prefer the Mogi T400 Automatic to anything else. I’m looking forward to climbing in this new Trophy Truck and venturing into a new world with JIMCO’s latest design,” said Pierce.

In early June, MasterCraft Racing roared off the start line of the SCORE Tecate Baja 500 in 25th position and upon reaching race mile 281, they had moved into 11th place physically. “We had a really good start. Like a well-orchestrated machine, our chase crews performed flawlessly and gave us every opportunity to run a clean race. At one point, we were running at about 100 mph on a straight road and I looked over at my co-driver, Joey Westhoff, he was relaxed as if he was watching a big screen TV,” recalled Pierce.

Pierce and Westhoff found their groove early in the race, even though they had to overcome a few electrical gremlins that shut down the GPS every so often. Westhoff commented, “The helicopters were above us all day long, so I knew we were in the hunt of the leaders. Robbie pushed the truck hard and drove a great race. At the driver change pit location, Bill Varnes and Bob Howle swapped out spots with Robbie Pierce and Joey Westhoff and reeled in the top ten race trucks, but only 40 miles from the finish the right front got caught up with a large embankment and damaged the right front spindle beyond repair.

Pro Truck racer, Rick L. Johnson offered up replacement parts in order to extricate the race truck from the Mexican countryside. Afterwards, the team loaded up the tired and beat up race truck for the trailer ride back to Ensenada.

“We were very close to a great finish, but we couldn’t get it done. I’m very proud of everyone involved in the team effort to charge as hard as we did. With the new MasterCraft JIMCO-built race truck to debut later this year, I expect some great racing in the near future for the MasterCraft Trophy Truck,” said Pierce.

Founded in 1970, MasterCraft is a market leading manufacturer of Rubicon ™, 3G™, Pro and Original off-road, racing, performance, recreational seats and mounting hardware. MasterCraft also produces SFI approved restraint systems, window safety nets, suspension limit straps, safety equipment and utility tie-down products. MasterCraft has long been the choice of top off-road racers and sportsmen. The company markets its products internationally through its network of distributors.