Cancer Survivor to Challenge Baja 500 with Lexus SUV

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by woody, May 8, 2009.

  1. woody

    woody the internet is just a fad... Staff Member

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    Cancer Survivor to Challenge Baja 500 with Lexus SUV​


    New Off-Road Racing Team Relishes Test after Personal Ordeal



    PHOENIX, May 7, 2009 – Joe Bacal is no stranger to difficult challenges. He has successfully driven the notorious Rubicon Trail without incident, for one. Surviving Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer was a much larger test. Now he is taking on the more interesting challenge of racing a Lexus LX 570 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 this June 5-7. He wants to win this one, too.

    Backed by the company that helped him regain his health, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), Bacal’s newly-formed JTGrey Racing team began preparing a new Lexus LX 570 for racing duty in February, with plans to contest several additional Best in the Desert series races in 2009 and 2010. The LX will compete in the Stock Full/4100 class and is expected to be the first Lexus SUV to be raced off road.

    “It may seem unusual to race a large luxury SUV in the desert, but I’ve worked quite a bit with Lexus vehicles and frankly, I think I’ll have an advantage,” said Bacal, owner of JTGrey Racing. “Lexus SUVs are capable and extremely durable—both key factors in successful off-road racing.”

    Although the chance to compete in the Baja 500 in his own vehicle is the realization of a dream, Bacal has prepared well for the task ahead. In 2007 he raced a Toyota Tacoma in the Baja 1000 as part of the Long Beach Racers team. Though they were not able to make it to the finish in the grueling race, the experience was valuable and made him hungry for more.

    An important part of Bacal’s preparation has been his “day job,” in which he provides pro driving services to clients around the country as owner of JTGrey Performance Driving, LLC. It’s an outgrowth of years spent working as a test and development driver for carmakers such as GM, Nissan and Toyota, where he honed his driving and technical skills over a 17-year period. During this time, Bacal trained with renowned off-road racer Ivan Stewart. Taking inspiration from the legendary driver, Bacal plans to drive all of his races solo as well.

    The concept for Bacal’s business and the dream of racing really crystallized during his ordeal with cancer. Confronted with his own mortality, he became focused on achieving important goals now rather than later, and with a new resolve.

    The excellent treatment and positive support he received from the CTCA was an inspiration as well, and not long after starting JTGrey, Bacal took the idea of sponsoring the race team to them for mutual benefit. With the new partnership established, Bacal assembled an experienced team of successful off-road racers to support his efforts for the season ahead. The team is currently working flat out to prepare the new Lexus for its first desert test later this month.

    In addition to the Baja 500, the team plans a limited schedule for 2009 as shown below:

    Vegas to Reno 1000: Best in the Desert series, August 19-23

    Bilek Silver State: Best in the Desert series, September 25-27

    Henderson Fabtech: Best in the Desert series, December 4-6

    JTGrey Racing and the CTCA Lexus LX 570 will make their competition debut on June 6 in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. The race begins in Ensenada at 6:00 a.m. PDT.

    # # #

    About JTGrey:

    JTGrey Performance Driving, LLC was created in 2007 by Joe and Teresa Bacal to provide expert high-performance driving services (on and off-road) to the auto industry and related companies such as parts suppliers, print advertising and marketing agencies and the commercial and feature film industries, among others. The company is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

    JTGrey Racing was created by Joe and Teresa Bacal in 2008 to support Joe Bacal’s off-road racing efforts. It is also based in Phoenix.
    JTGrey LX 570 Rendering.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. woody

    woody the internet is just a fad... Staff Member

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    nothing quite like cutting up a $85,000 SUV....
    front1.jpg racebar.jpg
  3. woody

    woody the internet is just a fad... Staff Member

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    and a few more pics....
    raceside.jpg IMG_0078.jpg IMG_0079.jpg
  4. Weedhopper

    Weedhopper

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    HUH ? Oh..... CT
    LOL !! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do !!
  5. JBHorne

    JBHorne

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    For now it just looks just like a stolen lexus from AZ that made it's way down to a mexican chop-shop!

    jk, I wish him the best of luck! Basically though, I don't get why they started with a Lexus and not the LC, as they removed all things lexus about it (AHC for one).
  6. woody

    woody the internet is just a fad... Staff Member

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    step one about racing: never question your sponsor :)

    They've got a 'used' Trail Team Edition FJC for a chase rig too...only ~30k on it, and Rubicon tested ;)
  7. uzj100

    uzj100 SILVER Star

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    Where is the champagne holder and grey poupon?
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  8. Wow, finally someone worse then me! This takes the cake, I hope he wins.
  9. lexwoody

    lexwoody

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    Looks great. Keep us updated!
  10. uzj100

    uzj100 SILVER Star

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  11. cruiser88

    cruiser88

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  12. JO MAOMA

    JO MAOMA

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    just in case anyone is interested the truck is running strong @ race mile 145 with a 27mph average so far....
  13. awesome! so where are the pix of it???
  14. JO MAOMA

    JO MAOMA

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    @ mile 220 26mph average, halfway home....
  15. JO MAOMA

    JO MAOMA

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    with a little more than 100 miles to go the lexus leads their class...
  16. Thanks for the updates
  17. cruiser88

    cruiser88

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    :grinpimp:
  18. uzj100

    uzj100 SILVER Star

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    Any update?
  19. JO MAOMA

    JO MAOMA

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    sorry, had to get some sleep. they won their class in a time of 16:22:26 @ 26.41mph....



    ...a pic from someone at RDC.

    [​IMG]

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