SAN FELIPE, Mexico, March 16, 2010 – The seemingly unbreakable combination of Joe Bacal and his Cancer Treatment Centers of America Lexus LX 570 took its second Stock Full class victory* in as many races on Sunday at the 24th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Mexico. Despite drawing the last starting time in the Stock Full class, Bacal caught 2009 class champion Justin Matney early in the race, dicing with him for about 15 miles before taking the lead to the finish.
“Justin and I had a great back-and-forth run for several miles before I took over at about mile 55, but I didn’t see him again after that,” said Bacal, a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor who also uses his racing to inspire other cancer patients.
As with all of the races Bacal has run thus far, the San Felipe 250 course was rough and challenging. Deep sand and silt beds can consume otherwise tough off-road racers but it was relatively easy going for Bacal’s Lexus which ran trouble free for the entire event. Bacal and co-driver Bob Ditner even stopped to help a stuck Class 7 racer at about ¾ race distance. “The guy was in sand up to his axles, so Bob and I yanked him out quick with a tow strap. I think he went on to finish second in his class.”
Bacal credits his early 2010 season success with on-going development, careful vehicle preparation and the durability of his Lexus. “The LX is getting faster and easier to drive with every race which gives me confidence to push harder,” noted Bacal. “I’ve also done a lot of prep work recently and it has a similar effect on confidence. The Long Beach Racers deserve credit, too, for their outstanding race support work.”
Bacal’s approach to preparation is paying off. His win in San Felipe keeps his 100-percent finishing record intact, marking his fifth complete race since his start in the SCORE off-road racing series last year. The team has won three of five races entered since surprising the racing community with a rookie victory at the 2009 Baja 500. And Bacal continues do drive every mile of every race, giving him an edge in the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards points chase.
Joe Bacal and his JTGrey team look forward to their next race at the SCORE Baja 500 on June 4-6 when they return to defend their 2009 title.
*NOTE: SCORE International has indicated that all results are provisional until final posting later this week.