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Mar 18, 2014 - 08:28 PM
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Justin Lofton Toughs It Out At The General Tire Mint 400
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2014 - 08:22 PM
Tidbits
Justin Lofton Toughs It Out At The General Tire Mint 400


The days leading up to the General Tire Mint 400 presented by Polaris were filled with parties, a parade and the crowning of Miss Mint. When race day arrived, the fun and games were over. The unlimited cars and trucks had qualified for starting positions and Justin Lofton showed his speed putting the #AHBEEF / General Tire / Jimco in the fifth spot on the grid.

 

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When the green flag dropped, he was in perfect position to get out front early. The first lap is always the worst for dust and the drivers are bunched up, pumped with adrenaline and hell bent on winning. Justin thrives under that kind of pressure and knows how to stay smart while hanging it out at the limit. Racing against the fastest drivers in the sport is hard enough but the rocky terrain outside Las Vegas makes it even tougher. His General Tires fortified with Monster Seal, Trailready Beadlocks and FOX shocks work with the highly specialized components on his Jimco to handle the punishment but all cars have their limits. On the first lap Justin went very late into a corner before standing hard on the brakes. He hit a sharp, square edged bump that sent a shock wave of g-forces through the car.

The forces were too much for one of the fittings in the hydraulic steering system causing a leak and the inevitable loss of power assist. It takes every bit of effort to muscle these cars around in the rough, rocky terrain with power steering; without assist it’s like wrestling a bear; an angry bear. “At race mile 17 I hit some braking bumps hard and broke the steering,” says Justin, “We pulled into pit A and did everything we could to keep it going. It began a long day of steering problems and regular stops to fill the fluid. We also had a cooling issue that we fixed and lost reverse gear in the transmission.”

The steering issue slowed their pace but they kept pushing forward. By the time they were on their third lap, the temporary repairs were making no difference so they decided to stop long enough to replace the pump. By that time, the race had taken a toll on the entire field; many had blown up, broken or dropped out. Justin’s toughness and the crew’s determination had paid off. With their Baja Designs LED lights shining the way, they not only got the car to the finish but they finished well. They cracked the top ten finishing in 6th or 7th place pending on official results.

“My thumbs are swelled up and bruised but I’m happy we made it to the finish,” says Justin, “We have such good people on this team and great support from Jimco, General Tire and everyone who supports us. We could not let them down. My thumbs will heal; I can’t wait for the next race!” Justin and the Lofton Racing team will line up next at the BITD Canidae Tap It Silverstate 300 May 2-4.

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