SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal-August 2019

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 74 of 109

Playing In The Big Leagues Los Angeles Dodger Baseball Team Owner Bobby Patton’s New Jimco Trophy Truck Spec Car By Dan Sanchez Photography Courtesy Jimco Racing Los Angeles Dodger Owner Bobby Patton is used to driving his team from a comfortable air conditioned seating area in Dodger Stadium. But in 2019, he enjoyed driving a new Baja race team from a hot, dirty, and sweat soaked seat in a Jimco built Trophy Truck Spec car. The idea came after Patton got hooked into SCORE off-road racing when he and a group of friends decided to enter the Vintage Class at the 50th Anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000. Thinking they were entirely lost and calling it quits, they discovered they were actually leading the class and ended up winning it. “When we found out we won, we were hooked,” said Patton. “But more importantly, we were ready to step out of the minors and worked with Jimco to bring us a brand-new Trophy Truck Spec build to bring to the desert.” Patton formed a team with friends Tim Vail and Barry Karakas and named the team Fastball Racing. Jimco started with its Spec Trophy Truck chassis that has a wheel base of 125-inches and a 92-inch track width. A Danzio Performance LS3 V8 is outfitted with a set of custom stainless steel headers created by Robert Butler, that’s attached to Borla mufflers. The power from the GM power plant drives a Gearworks Turbo 400 automatic transmission to deliver the power to the drivetrain, which is made up of a Gearworks differential with Strange Engineering axles and drive flanges. The combination makes for a solid Trophy Truck Spec drivetrain, that Patton can rely upon at speed in the Baja terrain. Jimco added Fox Factory Shocks and coil-overs to the front long-travel front suspension and trailing arm rear suspension system. Outfitted with 40-inch diameter BFGoodrich KR3 racing tires mounted on 17-inch Trail Ready Beadlock wheels, the Fastball Trophy Truck Spec has 26-inches of front, and 32-inches of rear suspension travel. That is enough for Patton and his teammates to handle the “whoops” sections of Baja and land safely after catching air on high-speed portions of the course. Controlling this 5,100 lbs. vehicle is dependent on Patton honing his skills and operating the Howe rack and pinion steering system and applying the four-wheel disc brakes with Jamar Trophy Truck calipers when necessary. On the team’s first race at the 2019 SCORE San Felipe 250, they finished the race in 20th place, then moved up to finishing in 11th place at the SCORE Baja 500. Considering team Fastball is competing against some of the toughest and most experienced off-road racers that are at the top of their game in SCORE Trophy Truck Spec, their finishes are nonetheless respectable by any standards. Besides, they were also coached by one of the best off-road racers currently around, Ricky Johnson. Johnson helped Patton and the team handle the truck and dial in its top speed and prepared the team for the rigors of Baja. SCORE fans who are also avid Dodger Fans, cheered on the Dodger Blue painted vehicle as it roared by, showing off its LA Dodger insignia on the side along with a string of bright Baja Designs LEDs across the top and front of the vehicle. The paneling was created by both Jimco and Larry Stork Designs, that models the truck after the Ford Raptor pickup. The rear of the Fastball truck is typical of full-race vehicles with an added spare, tools and spare parts, and a Jimco custom aluminum fuel cell with Pyrotect bladder. Inside, Patton’s new office is much more sophisticated than what he needs to run and own the Dodgers’ baseball team, but here he has total control with Motec digital instrumentation, a Lowrance HDS5 GPS system and a Kenwood 50W radio and PCI intercom for communication. At the helm of the Fastball Trophy Truck Spec, Patton gets and adrenaline surge during the race, but also knows he’s well protected with Impact Safety HS1 racing seats that are outfitted with Impact Safety harnesses and window nets. The action and support for the team has already caught on with Dodger fans back in Los Angeles, some of who have heard, but never seen or experienced a SCORE International Baja race. Patton and the Fastball team is not only learning and enjoying a sport filled with action and adventure, but they, along with Jimco Racing, are also the latest ambassadors who are spreading the news and action of off-road motorsports to people across the world. SJ

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