Jones – SCORE Baja 500
Phoenix, Arizona. – Jesse Jones had the deck stacked against him at the recent SCORE Tecate Baja 500. “We lost first gear in the transmission right out of the gate during qualifying,” Jones shared. “It was a tight, technical course and we had to run the whole thing in second gear.” Traditionally a strong qualifier when the pressure is on, Jones started 16th in the middle of the 37 Trophy Truck field at the Baja 500. The 2010 SCORE Trophy Truck champion did not let this rattle him though.
“Bryce Menzies and I spent two weeks in Baja prior to the race,” Jones explained. “We prerun the whole course, finding the fastest lines, places to pass, and best locations to pit.” The truck that Jesse uses for pre-running is equipped with the same FOX 3.0 Factory Series Coilover and 4.4 Factory Series Bypass shocks, BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires, and KMC beadlock rims found on the #76 Trophy Truck to limit variables when race day arrives.
All of this hard work and experience allowed Jones Motorsports to overcome their poor starting position when the green flag dropped. In the first 100 miles, the #76 Trophy Truck was the leading the race on corrected time. Within the next 100 miles he had passed ten trucks and was physically in sixth place. “I knew that this was a tight course and we wanted to get in front of as many trucks as possible and soon as possible to have a clean run. We passed half the trucks when they were on the side of the road and the other half at race speed.”
While he was in the lead on corrected time through Race Mile 400, Jones was physically behind teammate Bryce Menzies. “It is always fun battling on the race course with a friend and teammate,” Jones explained. Unfortunately disaster struck at RM 325 when the oil pump belt parted ways with the front of the engine. Jones and co-driver Joe Weining were able to quickly fix the belt and get back on the road to stay in the lead on corrected time, but once the front pulleys had become damaged the duo lost five power steering belts in the last 100 miles of the race. In the process they also lost the lead to teammate Bryce Menzies, who took the victory at the Baja 500. Never one to give up, Jones persevered and finished the race on the podium in third place overall. Despite the issues and multiple stops, when the dust settled the #76 FOX Trophy Truck finished just six minutes behind Menzies.
Next up for Jones Motorsports is the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno race, the longest off-road race in the United States. After battling through the Nevada desert, Jones will once again join forces with Bryce Menzies for the SCORE Baja 1000 peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.