The goal of any “spec” racing class is to have equal vehicles and let the drivers sort it out. Nobody gains an edge by spending more money; anyone can win. When the Trophylite series showed up to the Best in the Desert series Blue Water Challenge race in Parker, Arizona, all eyes were on the super competitive points chase between Andrew McLeod and Jeff Proctor
Chris Hall Takes Trophylite #1 To Number One At Blue Water Challenge

Chris Hall Takes Trophylite #1 To Number One At Blue Water Challenge

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Parker, AZ

The goal of any “spec” racing class is to have equal vehicles and let the drivers sort it out. Nobody gains an edge by spending more money; anyone can win. When the Trophylite series showed up to the Best In The Desert series Blue Water Challenge race in Parker, Arizona, all eyes were on the super competitive points chase between Andrew McLeod and Jeff Proctor and who might be leading after back-to-back days of heat-race style competition. Instead of running 500 plus miles like the previous Vegas to Reno race, competitors would run three frantic laps each day on a course that was not even 30 miles long. Overall position was determined by your combined results from both days of racing.

Trophylite, General Tire, Children Of The Dirt, Method Race Wheels, Bink Designs

The battle up front on both days was between one of the newest Trophylite builds containing all the latest and greatest technology, driven by Todd Jackson and the very first Trophylite truck built, chassis number one, driven by Chris Hall. Jackson is a very accomplished racer with lots of experience and a strong program.

Trophylite, BWDC, Todd Jackson, General Tire, KC Hilites, Bink Designs

Hall is a newcomer to racing who scraped together enough cash to get in the game but with no sponsors, he only races when he can come up with the funds. Despite the assumed outcome of the race, it was Hall who came out on top in Trophylite and second overall in heat two after Jackson lost a motor while leading on Sunday. Jackson is a great competitor and gracious in defeat. He does not know what led to the engine failure but summed it up by saying “it was a heart breaker.”

Hall won with the oldest chassis and did it racing on the original Trophylite tires, the street legal, General Tire AT-2 all-terrain; most are running the race bred, red letter Grabbers or new mud terrains. Hall’s win earned him a $1000 purse ($700 Check / $300 TL Bucks), a paid TL entry to the Henderson 250, ($1300 Value), a $300 FOX Product Credit, $100 PCI Race Radios Gift Certificate, 1 Bottle of Azuñia Tequila Añejo, 2 Pairs of Kreed Sunglasses and the Metro Honda / Metro Acura superior performance award and $500 cash bonus; a huge shot in the arm for the neophyte racer.

“We were having a blast, it was a great race,” said Hall, “Everyone in Trophylite has been very nice. We started in eighth place and just chased the lights ahead in the dust. Once we would catch the truck in front, we would take after the next one. We finished 34 seconds behind Todd on day one. He came over and shook my hand afterward and told me it’s not easy to track him down like that. It was the same thing on day two, Todd and I had a gap on the rest of the field. The dust was really bad; we were driving by GPS some of the time. When we came around a corner and saw him stopped, we knew we had a chance at the overall win. We had a lead but our truck was sputtering so we had both fuel pumps running just to keep us going. A few miles from the finish it died. We pulled the fuel filters apart and cleared them, but we got passed by a couple trucks while we were stopped. We finished third on Sunday and it was enough to take the overall win in only our fourth race in the desert.”

Chris Hall, Best In The Desert, Trophylite, Bluewater Desert Challenge

Second place overall was Ed “doc” Chantler who was anxious to get back in his PJ's Performance, Southwest Title Loans Trophylite after missing a few races due to a broken tibia. The ER Doctor likes to get behind the wheel of his Trophylite to unwind after a stressful work schedule. “I have not driven the Trophylite since the 425,” said Chantler, “It was good to get back into it. We were having some fuel delivery issues 15 miles from the finish, maybe it was due to the heat. We had some luck going past other racers; we also had some luck in a corner that was very dusty. We could not see anything and came a foot from going off a steep drop. My co-driver on Sunday, Dale Wright and I are counting our blessings. My co-driver on Saturday was Steve Kirkby. Hall made a clean pass on us on Saturday, congratulations to them on the win. Our truck was running strong with a new tune by Adam Wik. It was great to be on the podium and we hope to be ready for the Henderson 250.”

Trophylite, Parker Arizona, Southwest Title Loans, Ed Chantler

Chantler got lucky in that dusty s-turn but the dust was thicker for Jason Pellanda who was driving Meagan McLeod’s truck. He went straight off, landing on the front bumper and rolling end over end. He and co-rider Eric Henderson were kept safe from major injury by the strong chassis design of their Trophylite and their Mastercraft Safety seats, belts and window nets. They got out to change a tire but after the adrenaline wore off they made the wise decision to go get checked out by a doctor. Another team that was struck by bad luck was the Abatti’s. Just before the race started on Saturday, a crack in their engine block was discovered. Looking for a solid finish at Blue Water, the defending championship winners and their young driver Braden Abatti were instead forced to sit this race out.   

The competition was very intense both days with Doc Chantler and Jeff Lewis, who was driving Rick Mendoza’s truck, running the exact same times to tie for third place on Saturday. Lewis is very experienced and highly skilled behind the wheel having raced a Trophy Truck for the McPherson team in the 90’s. Doc Chantler’s ability to match the time of Lewis shows just how competitive you can be in a Trophylite. The truck’s responsive handling and excellent components and support from General Tire, FOX, Mastercraft Safety, Impact, Method Race Wheels, Metro Honda / Metro Acura, Maxima Racing Oils, K&N Filters, Magnaflow Exhaust, PCI Race Radios, Currie Enterprises, Azuñia Tequila, Children of the Dirt Apparel, Tanimura & Antle and Kreed Eyewear by Fortress give every team an equal path to success. Chantler won the Metro Honda / Metro Acura Hard Charger award and $500 bonus with his strong run.

Metro Honda / Metro Acura Awards

Probably the most consistent finisher in the series has to be Jeff Mortis. He has more third place finishes, and bottles of Azuñia Blanco Tequila, than anyone. He grabbed another third place podium and bottle of Blanco at the Blue Water Challenge in his Challenge Financial Services, Turn2 TV Productions truck. His consistency has paid off in the points chase, making him a solid contender going into the final Henderson race in December.

Trophylite, Challenge Motorsports, Jeff Mortis

Fourth place was Lewis and Mendoza in the Elite Laser Cutting truck followed by Andrew McLeod’s Southwest Boulder & Stone truck in fifth.

Rick Mendoza, Elite Laster Cutting

Sixth place was Jason Crabtree who was racing an older 2.2 liter motor. Seventh was Jeff Proctor in his Metro Honda, Metro Acura, Turnkey Marketing truck who overcame temperature issues due to an air bubble in the cooling system.

Jeff Proctor, Metro Honda, Metro Acura. General Tire, Trophylite, Bink Designs

Eighth place was the Tri State Equipment Rentals truck of Craig Spitz from right down the road in Lake Havasu City. Ninth place went to PJ Guglielmo who broke the wheel studs off the rear axles of his Children of the Dirt sponsored truck. All twelve Trophylite trucks that entered made the finish on Saturday and 9 out of twelve on Sunday. Besides Jason Pellanda who crashed in Meagan McLeod’s truck and Todd Jackson who lost an engine, Ken Olson dropped out due to a broken power steering fitting.

Trophylite, Megan McLeod, Genral Tire, KC Hilites, FOX, Maxima Racing Oils

The Blue Water Challenge saw the true parity that exists in the Trophylite series. When the Trophylite series returns to a typical one day, 250 mile desert race at the Henderson 250 on December 4-6 in Henderson, Nevada, It will be the final round of racing in 2015. Everyone will be pushing hard to gain as many points as possible. Those in the points chase and those with nothing to lose will both be going all out for a win.

Photos By: Bink Designs

General Tire Trophylite Race SeriesAbout Trophyite 
The General Tire 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 General Tire, KC Hilites, Metro Honda, Metro Acura, Currie Enterprises, Mastercraft Safety, Impact, Method Race Wheels, Azunia Tequila, Maxima Racing Oils, FOX, Children of the Dirt, K&N Filters, Magnaflow, PCI Race Radios, Tanimura & Antle & Kreed Sunglasses you can cash in on the prize money that is up for grabs during the 2015 season.

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About General Tire
For 100 years General Tire has offered 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 Series, Best in the Desert Racing Series, Major League Fishing, Chili Bowl, Pro-Pulling, Late-Model Dirt Series, Drag Boat Series, World Cup of Softball, American Sprint Car Series, Tour, Zero One Odyssey, and Spec Tire of Trophylite and JeepSpeed. Team GT supports off-road and short course teams including Mikey Childress, CJ Hutchins, Doug Fortin, Harley Letner, Jim Riley, Macrae Glass, Randy Merritt, Ray Griffith, Ryan Beat, Carl Renezeder, Robby Woods and Camburg Racing.

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