EngageOffRoad Racing Arrived to the Del Mar Tuff Trucks Event early Thursday morning, we had two vehicles racing, the 1423 EngageOffRoad/DustforDogs.com F-150 Raptor being driven by Owner Jeffrey Musgrave and Navigators Nate Woods and Robert Zonne, and the EngageOffRoad Pre-Runner 08 Toyota Tacoma being Driven by EngageOffRoad very own Owner Hassim Mendez and Navigating was Elliot Williams from offroadshocks.com.
All the participants attended the mandatory drivers meeting held by WGAS Motor Sports and were anticipating a great weekend of racing. This was to be a Special Weekend as Marine Jason Hallett was going to be riding in the 1423 EngageOffRoad/Dustfordogs.com F-150 Raptor thanx to the Race For the Wounded Program directed by Brett Robinson, a non profit organization that is focused on helping returning war veterans that were injured in action in being part of a team once again thru off road racing. Jason was injured in combat on October 23rd, 2010 where he lost both of his legs, right arm and partail of his left hand. Both Jason and Brett had been in contact with EngageOffRoad Racing and everything was set up for Jason to simply "Arrive and Ride" and have a great weekend of racing. Then Thursday mid day Jason contacted Hassim and notified him that he no longer had a ride to get from his home in Mid City San Diego to the Del Mar Fair Grounds. Hassim at that point told him not to worry about it and he would send an EngageOffRoad Racing Team Member Greg Martinez and his lovely wife Martha Martinez, newly married less than 2 months ago, to go pick him up early friday morning for a great day of racing action.
That Friday morning Greg, Martha and ofcourse Jason showed up to the Del Mar Tuff Trucks Event early in the AM along with 49 other racers to make it a total of 51 entries, one of the largest "Car Counts" in the Del Mar Tuff Trucks Event History. At the Drivers Meeting that friday morning fellow Race Truck Drivers introduced themselfs to Jason and thank him for his duty and especailly for his sacrifice to allow us to have freedom in this great nation we live in. Director of WGAS Motor Sports John Borba, approached Jason and personally thanked him and opened his arms and his event to him and fellow racers applauded the gesture.
Soon it was noon and you could feel the competitive nature growing amongst the Racers that were getting ready to compete in the 1pm Show. As the pits began to clear of spectators, fans and family members, the rumble of 6cylinder and 8 cylinder motors began to make it known that in a few short moments, their would be some serious racing action taking place and amongst all the 51 entries and Jason would be participating and racing in what he described as a "dream come true". As the racers climbed into their Race Trucks and Fastened their 5 point racing harness's, Jason got up from the offroadshocks.com hospitality tent and began to walk to the 1423 EngageOffRoad/Dustfordogs.com F-150 Raptor, Hass called over Aaron "High Tower" Bibb, Crew Chief for the Baja Adventures Racing Program ran by "Pistol" Pete Sohren, to help Jason in the truck. Aaron "High Tower" Bibb is in short a "Baby Huey", he is a monster with the biggest heart, standing at well over 6'ft. 9"inches, he helped Jason get into the Race Truck and strapped him in with out a single issue.
Now it was 1pm and time to go race, the Race Trucks shut off their motors in observance of the National Anthem, and once the announcer said those 4 magical words, "Gentlemen Start Your Engines", the entire Del Mar Tuff Trucks Arena erupted to the noise of over 10,000 Combined Horsepower being ignited at the same time and ready to be unleashed on the arena that day. One by one each race truck ran the race course to set the fastest lap, Jeff Musgrave, Robert Zonne and Jason Hallett in the 1423 EngageOffRoad/Dustfordogs.com F-150 Raptor had placed 5th in the session and were looking to prove a point and give Jason the experience that he had always dreamed about. After the Race Aaron "High Tower" Bibb came over to the race truck, unstrapped Jason and asked him how he would like to go back to the offroadshocks.com hospitality tent. With out hesitation Jason told him to simply carry him back as with out a care as he still had a smile from ear to ear from the experience. "High Tower" did and as he walked fellow racers clapped and gave him a pat on his back.
Now it was 4pm and once again you could notice the Racers begin to get quite and get focused on the 5pm Race, the pits started to clear and Racers began to get series. The rumble of high horsepower engines drowned out the noise of the fair. Jason once again walked over to the 1423 EngageOffRoad/Dustfordogs.com F-150 Raptor and "High Tower" helped him in. Again the motors shut off and you could clearly hear the National Anthem clearly thru out the arena and the pits, and once again when the announcer said the four magic words, "Gentlemen Start Your Engines", the 51 entries erupted with a deafening sound as to pay tribute to Jason and this Great Country. One by One each truck when out and did their fastest lap and Jeff Musgrave, Robert Zonne and Jason Hallett once again place in 7th place to give them a combined position for the day of 6th place over all out of the entire 51 entries that day.
After the Second and final "Heat" of the day, Jason sat next to the 1423 EngageOffRoad/Dustfordogs.com F-150 Raptor along side the entire EngageOffRoad Racing Team as the fans came over and thanked him for his service, sacrifice and for putting on a great show that day. Many Racers came over to shake his hand and congratulate him and take their pictures with him. Now Jason was no longer looking up to the Racers, but the Racers were looking up to him and wanted to learn more about him. Included in those racers where Baja Champion Perry McNeil, the legendary Dan Vance and the fastest man on a skate board Biker Sherlock. It was a great day of racing and even a better day to spend with a great Marine
From everyone here at EngageOffRoad Racing, our families and friends, thank you Jason, you are truly a great American and an inspiration to us all, we hope to see you soon and out here racing with us once again. Engage