Look to build on promising first half of the 2016 desert racing season
The 2016 desert racing season is approaching its halfway point with the upcoming SCORE-International Baja 500 this weekend in Ensenada, Baja California. With only one SCORE-International race in the books, the overall points championship is up for grabs and this mid-season race is a pivotal point in the season.
Earlier this year, the San Felipe 250 fielded eleven Trophy Trucks and Dougans Racers Apdaly Lopez and Gary Magness finished third and fifth, respectively. This year, Baja 500 entries look to be as strong as ever and include the most seasoned off-road racers in the sport.
Dougans Racing Engines is coming off a SCORE-International Engine Builder of the Year award winning 2015 season. The award is determined by points accumulated by finishes of their racers. With Tavo Vildosola’s win at the 2015 Imperial Valley 250, Lalo Laguna’s win at the 2015 Baja Sur 500 and Apdaly Lopez’ win at the 2015 Baja 500, Dougans Racers took four of five 2015 SCORE-International races and earned the coveted award for engine supplier, Dougans Racing Engines.
“This SCORE Award was something that we as a company had our goals set on long ago,” said Fields in issue 1. of the SCORE Journal. “So once we knew it was final, my reaction personally, was a feeling that is hard to describe. All my life, I had been working to be just considered in this conversation. Now for it to come true was very satisfying. After all of these years to be recognized at this level, may very well be the highlight of my career.”
As this weekend could be the deciding factor in the four race SCORE series, Dougans racers have already established themselves in a tight Best in the Desert points race. With RPM Off-Road’s Eduardo Laguna in 2nd, Tracy Graf in 3rd and Justin Lofton in 4th, Dougans racers currently sit in three of the five positions in the overall standings, highlighted by two monumental wins.
RPM Off-Road’s #4 Justin Matney kicked off the season with a win at Best in the Desert’s Parker 425 in his Geiser-built Rigid Industries RPM Off-Road 4WD Trick Truck. The historic win marked the first overall win for a four wheel drive truck in the modern era. The #4 Trick Truck is powered by a Dougans 8 stack engine package and earned the overall two-plus minutes over Dougans’ #58 Tracy Graf. Andy McMillin finished 3rd in the #31 TSCO Racing built Trick Truck outfitted with a Dougans engine. Matney’s 4WD Trick Truck became proof of concept at the Parker 425 and may have secured the future of desert off-road racing vehicles.
#41 Justin Lofton piloted his Jimco built unlimited Trick Truck nicknamed “Bad Co.” to the overall win at the The 2016 Mint 400 with an official time of 05:36:10.647. With his second consecutive Mint 400 win, Lofton made history being the first competitor to win on 4 wheels back-to-back in The Mint 400’s 49 year history. Two time Mint 400 Champion, Andy McMillin, ran with Lofton the entire race and after over 360 miles of intense off-road warfare, the two Dougans racers finished 42 seconds apart. The 2016 Mint 400 had 50 Unlimited Trick Trucks and 27 Class 1 cars, making the largest and most competitive race of the year.
Most recently, RPM Off-Road’s #17 Eduardo Laguna earned Dougans a 3rd place overall finish at Best in the Desert’s Laughlin Desert Classic. Laguna started in 10th place on day one and moved all the way to fourth on the road by the start of lap two. Soon after, Laguna lost an oil belt, forcing him to stop and repair the issue. On day two, Laguna averaged 60.6 mph and finished +00:00:43 off on the day and finished 3rd overall to secure Dougans Racing Engines yet another podium finish on the 2016 race season.
RPM Off-Road’s Apdaly Lopez charged out of the gate in the #5 Trick Truck on day 1 of the Laughlin Desert Classic to take the first day overall by +00:00:06 over Josh Daniel. On day 2, Lopez beat Daniel out of the infield and was leading out front for two laps before suffering a flat. At that point, there was only one speed for the Dougans powered #5 Trick Truck. Unfortunately, in pushing the #5 to its limits, Lopez suffered a driveline failure that ended his day and hopes at the overall.
Dougans Racing Engines was also named the 2015 Performance Engine Builder of the Year by Engine Builder Magazine. Engine Builder Magazine is one of the best-known business magazines serving the machine shop, custom engine, production engine and small parts rebuilding markets. Ray Field, owner of Dougans Racing Engines, was presented the award by Engine Builder magazine publisher Doug Kaufman at the Performance Racing Industry Show (PRI) in Indianapolis, IN.
Dougans has been machining and building engines for more than 30 years, offering engines for off-road applications such as Trophy Trucks, Class 8, pro trucks, prerunners, short-course racing, Pro 2, and Pro 4. More recently, Dougans has been involved with drag boats, both IHBA and NJBA, and circle track racing with APBA. Other series include stock cars, both dirt track and pavement, sprint cars, street stock, super stocks, and superlate models at local and divisional tracks.
About Dougans Racing Engines
Dougans Racing Engines (www.dougansracing.com) specializes in high performance engines for the top off-road competitions including the Best In the Desert and SCORE racing series. With over thirty-five years in the industry, Dougans offers high quality engine packages for trophy trucks, Class 1 trucks, and prerunners. We build complete engine packages that have gained a reputation in the racing world as consistent, powerful, dependable winners. Along with our engine packages, we provide dyno testing and personal track support to ensure that our customer’s needs are met all the way to the finish line. At Dougans Racing, customer satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to keep you running hard and winning races mile after mile.
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