Jones Leads First Day Of Laughlin Challenge
LAUGHLIN, Nev. — Defending SCORE Desert Series Overall champion Jesse Jones outdistanced the field Saturday to take the overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck lead after the first of two days in the season-opening Laughlin Desert Challenge.
After a late arrival Saturday morning and starting 30th in the 32-truck field, Jones ran a steady pace in the No. 1 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150, crossing the line seventh despite posting a best elapsed time of 55 minutes, 59 second at an average speed of 53.59 miles per hour in eight laps over the 6.25-mile race course.
“When you’ve got momentum like that, it kind of feeds on itself and you start feeling really good about the way that you’re driving and the way that the truck is handling,” Jones said. “We just got through them. I’m a big believer in momentum. It just helps with the team and everything else. The guys did a great job prepping the truck for this race. This is a really tough race on the race trucks.”
First across the line but second to Jones was rookie Bryce Menzies, who navigated the course in 56 minutes, 3 seconds at 53.52 mph after outdueling Gus Vidosola, Jr. and passing early front runners B.J. Baldwin and Robby Gordon, both of whom suffered mechanical issues.
Mark Weyhrich trailed Jones and Menzies in third with an e.t. of 56 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by Pete Sohren and Robbie Pearce, who tied for fourth place with times of 57 minutes, 38 seconds.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver and second-generation Justin Lofton led the unlimited Class 1 with a time of 58 minutes, 32 seconds at a speed of 52.25 mph, good enough for ninth overall.
Other class leaders after Saturday included: Luke McMillin (Class 1-2/600), David Caspino (Class 6), Dan Chamlee (Class 7), Elias Hanna (Class 7SX), Noah Ostanik (Class 8), Joe Bacal (Stock Full), Kevin Carr (Class 5), Michael LaPaglia (Class 10), Jamie Huerta (SCORE Lite), Justin Matney (Class 11), Jessica McMillin (Protruck), Wes Bevly IV (Class 7-2), Clyde Stacy, (Class 4).