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John Stewart

Team General Tire Scores in Baja 1000

“This is a banner day for Team General Tire.  The Baja 1000 is the marquee event of the desert racing season, and to have multiple teams on the podium is a stellar accomplishment,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. “What makes this an even sweeter victory is that this is just General Tire’s second season since its return to desert competition, so Rick’s results -- not just in this race, but all season long -- really validate everything we’ve been working toward the past two seasons.  We are very proud of Team General Tire drivers and all they have accomplished this year! ”

One of the highlights of the race was Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s return to the Baja 1000, to race the new Toyota 4Runner in Class 3.  The Toyota 4Runner was equipped with the General Grabber Competition tires.  Stewart and his team were able to grab the 2nd place finish in Class 3, igniting a media frenzy around their completion at the finish line.

Marc Burnett in Class 6 secured a 3rd place finish, which set the stage for his 2nd place SCORE Championship in Class 6. Burnett’s determination to finish the race despite overcoming transmission and axle issues was a true testament to the heart and drive this team has, to take on Baja and any other race.  Burnett won the Baja 1000 in 2008, San Felipe 250 in 2009 and took 3rd place at Vegas to Reno.

Brandt Anderson, always a solid contender in Class 7sx, was able to hold onto a 2nd place finish for Synergy Motorsports.

Team GT’s 1st place finishers were Team Trophylite in Class 7.2 and Pancho Bio in Class 9.  General Tire is the spec tire on Trophylite vehicles, and having the Trophylite compete and win in Class 7.2 is a stellar accomplishment. Team GT has been working with the Bio teams for a couple of years and they always seem to make their mark on Baja. 

“This course was brutal; one of the toughest Baja 1000 courses I can remember,” Rick D. Johnson said. “It was very tough -- I was fighting the wheel at times, and we lost our GPS communication for the majority of the race. The truck performed great, the tires kept us on course, and we just held on to the finish.  We’re stoked to be here -- we'll take third!”

“Our hat’s off to all of the Team General Tire members for an awesome effort,” Roffler added. “We couldn’t do this without their skill and dedication.  This is a grueling race, but they made us all look good today!”

General Tire is again ‘unleashing the fury’ in off-road performance for 2009, in the second year campaigning its Grabber competition tire.  Designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen™-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions, the Grabber also features a newly-developed competition-specific tread compound. In addition, the Grabber name and General Tire logo are prominently featured on the sidewall in red and white letters.  The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37x12.50R17 for class 8 and trophy truck/trick truck and 35x12.50R17 for class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, stock mini and Protruck.

General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light truck market, including the new Grabber DOT-approved off-road tire (to be released in 2010); the Grabber HTS, which delivers the perfect synergy of comfort, durability and performance; the Grabber UHP, which sets a whole new standard in performance and ride quality for SUVs, light trucks and crossover vehicles; and Grabber AT2, designed for aggressive all-terrain traction in all weather conditions.

General Tire has over 90 years of offers a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs.

General Tire is a proud supporter of Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late- Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, Boost Mobile FreestyleMx.com Tour, Spec Tire of Trophylite and Pro Truck.  Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including BJ Baldwin, Carl Renezeder, Rick D. Johnson, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell, Jason/Rich Voss, Scott Steinberger, Ed “Clyde” Stout, Ted Hunnicutt, Marc Burnett, Kent Kroeker, Mickey Childress, Carey Hart, Josh Merrell, Robby Woods and Sean Geiser.

General Tire is part of Continental Tire North America, Inc. (www.generaltire.com).  As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate.

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John Stewart

Team General Tire to Take on Baja 1000

Trophy Truck: Rick D. Johnson #71, Bobby Baldwin #96, Scott Steinberger #7, BJ Baldwin # 1, Ed "Clyde" Stout # 13, Jason Voss # 35, Jerry Zaiden/Jason Campbell
Class 8: Ted Hunnicutt, Jason McNeil
Class 6: Marc Burnett # 602, Mickey Childress/ Robert Pickering
Class 7SX: Brandt Anderson #742
Stock Full: Kent Kroeker

"Team GT has really proven itself during a very a successful 2009 season, and we are confident that our drivers will be up to the challenge of this important race," said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. "The Baja 1000 is the event that all desert racers strive to conquer, and we're confident that the combination of their outstanding driving skills and our Grabber competition tires will take them straight to the top."

In its second season of desert racing since General Tire's return to competition, Team General Tire members are well-acquainted with the winner's podium.   BJ Baldwin won the SCORE Trophy Truck Championship in both 2006 and 2008; this year, Rick Johnson won the Baja 500, the Terrible 250 and took third place in the General Tire Mint 400; Ted Hunnicutt took first place in Class 8 at the 2009 Mint 400; Mike Horner is a five-time Baja 500 champion; and Marc Burnett won class 6 "Ironman-style" at the 2008 Baja 1000, and he also took class 6 in the 2009 San Felipe 250.

Real-time team progress reports will be available during the race at www.twitter.com/teamgt.  Also, go to generaltire.com and link to live tracking report provided by IRC www.racetheworld.net.

General Tire is again 'unleashing the fury' in off-road performance for 2009, in the second year campaigning its Grabber competition tire.  Designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen™-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions, the Grabber also features a newly-developed competition-specific tread compound. In addition, the Grabber name and General Tire logo are prominently featured on the sidewall in red and white letters.  The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37x12.50R17 for class 8 and trophy truck/trick truck and 35x12.50R17 for class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, stock mini and Protruck.

General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light truck market, including the new Grabber DOT-approved off-road tire (to be released in 2010); the Grabber HTS, which delivers the perfect synergy of comfort, durability and performance; the Grabber UHP, which sets a whole new standard in performance and ride quality for SUVs, light trucks and crossover vehicles; and Grabber AT2, designed for aggressive all-terrain traction in all weather conditions.

General Tire is part of Continental Tire North America, Inc. (www.generaltire.com).  As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate.
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John Stewart

Kevin Yoder Takes First Place at VORRA Hawthorne 250

GRASS VALLEY, CA (Sept 8, 2009) - Kevin Yoder took First Place at the Hawthorne 250 in the Sportsman class on Sunday September 7th.  With four 55-mile loops to complete, he outran and outlasted all of the competitors to the checker flag.

With twelve vehicles starting in the Sportsman class, Yoder pulled the pole position for his class.  He hadn’t pre-ran the course, so the first lap was relatively medium paced.  Ready to take it up a notch for the second lap, he started to get a lot more play in the steering, sometimes taking a half turn of the steering wheel to get the tires to move at all.  With the attrition rate high on the course, Yoders focus was to finish, so instead of stepping it up, he slowed down to be consistent and stay on course.

On mile 20 of lap three, Yoder finally pulled off the track to visually inspect the steering problem and the loud banging in the drive train that was getting worse by the mile.  When he stopped, he lost his lead to Tom Wayes who had been chasing him all day, and now the table was turned.  But on mile 8 of lap four, Yoder took the lead again when he passed Wayes with a front left shock mount broke and through the hood.  Knowing he had the win captured with just finishing, Yoder and co-pilot Dean Reed stopped to help a couple of other competitors upright their rigs and get unstuck in the nasty desert silt.

As the Yoder Racing 34 car headed towards the finish line, there wasn’t just silt dust flying behind it, but dark gray clouds of smoke too.  The rear end had grenaded and sprayed rear differential fluid everywhere. The 150 miles of knocking that they had heard would later be associated with the rear ring and pinion and ARB.  With only a half-mile to go, and the finish line in sight, the transmission locked up stopping the car. Not giving up, Yoder put the car into low range and could still only find third gear with it feeling like it was going to lock up too.  He used momentum and pushed the car to the finish line for his second First Place finish in a VORRA desert race.

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John Stewart

Kevin Sacalas Wins Vegas to Reno Ultra4 Class

RIVERSIDE, CA  AUGUST 27, 2009:  Kevin Sacalas takes the Best In The Desert (BITD) Vegas to Reno the Long Way win in the Ultra4 class August 20-August 22.  Sacalas was the only Ultra4 driver to iron man the event and successfully cross the finish line all three days in the longest off road race in the USA.  This win also secures him a starting position in the 2010 King of the Hammers.

The new Ultra4 class in BITD allowed “rock crawlers” to compete in this epic desert race.  Without a vehicle to participate in this class, Sacalas spent five months designing his first attempt at fabricating a complete car, but naturally the bulk of the build was completed in the 9 days prior to the race.  The first day of the race was the second day in the vehicle, the only testing was the weekend prior when Bilstein tuned in the shocks for the mighty load.  The vehicle worked with only a handful of mechanical difficulties, mostly related to the heat which plagued all teams during this intense race.  “The heat was brutal,” said Sacalas, “we had to replace melted bushings and contend with overheating just to name a few obstacles.”

The Viking Offroad team competed against eleven vehicles in the Ultra4 class.  With a tracker that didn’t work on Day 1, no one even knew that Sacalas was getting ready to cross the finish line after being on the course for close to eleven hours.  As Sacalas learned to drive the vehicle, and lost his clutch due to silt, he made the decision that it would be unsafe to put someone else into the driver’s seat. He would have to accomplish this race on his own with co-driver Doug Williams by his side.  Day 2 offered more setbacks, but the team continued to push through to the finish line, and was the only Ultra4 vehicle to finish the first 2 days.  By the morning of Day 3 they knew they just needed to finish to win and by this time Sacalas had adapted to the vehicle and the terrain “we felt more comfortable driving in the blind silt for minutes at a time,” said co-driver Williams.  They successfully completed Day 3 with no rear brakes and a poorly functioning clutch. The feeling of accomplishment was evident at the finish line as they took the checkered flag for the win.  After adjusted time, Sacalas 4435 finished in 31 hours 12 minutes, 2 hours ahead of the second place team.

Viking Offroad took a chance and sponsored a team that was an underdog going into this race.  Their car was unheard of and their names were not among the elite.  But now, they are in the record books as the first ever winner of the Ultra4 class in the longest BITD race in history.  “I am addicted!  It was fun and I would like to do some smaller races,” said Sacalas.

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John Stewart

Four Qualify for 2010 King of the Hammers

Eleven Ultra4 rigs crossed the starting line on Day 1.  The attrition rate was high, only two cars finished Day 1: Jeff Knoll and Kevin Sacalas. With teamwork and dedication, all eleven cars once again showed up the starting line on Day 2.  There was more heartbreak for seven of the eleven teams, with only four crossing the finish line: Ben Napier, Brandon Watson, Dean Bulloch, and Kevin Sacalas.  That qualified five drivers to start Day 3: Knoll, Sacalas, Napier, Watson, and Bulloch.  Of those five cars, four finished the race at mile marker 996: 1. Sacalas, 2. Watson, 3. Napier, 4. Bulloch. Only one racer completed all three days: Kevin Sacalas.

“I was proud to be able to race with this quality group of racers.  They put on an amazing show with unbelievable commitment to finishing,” said Hammerking Productions and racer Dave Cole.  After wrapping up a long week, Casey Folks from BITD said, “from our side it was fantastic, we are very proud to have the Ultra4’s with us.”

The final pre-qualifier for 2010 King of the Hammers will be December 12-13 at the Pima Motorsports Park in Tucson, AZ. Competitors will be given a chance to compete at the WERock “Put-Up or Shut-Up Shootout” which has a reputation for being a grueling event even for the most talented rock crawlers.

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