“The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a man’s imagination.” – Tommy Lasorda
Last fall, the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their 60th year in the City of Angels by bringing home their 23rd National League pennant, earning their second consecutive trip to the World Series. But while Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Kiké Hernandez, and the rest of the Dodgers are starting the 2019 season, their owner is headed south of the border for a different kind of Opening Day.
Dodgers owner Bobby Patton and the No. 240 Jimco-built Fastball truck will make their 2019 off-road season debut in the 33rd SCORE International San Felipe 250, coming to San Felipe, Mexico on April 3-7. Now extended to a record 349.91 miles, this year’s event in San Felipe will feature one of the most challenging courses in event history. Patton will partner with friends Tim Vail and Barry Karakas to run the event.
“I can’t wait to bring Fastball down to San Felipe to kick off the 2019 SCORE International season,” said Patton. “April is an important month in both baseball and off-road racing, as each sport’s top teams work hard to establish themselves early in the year. We know we’ve got the players to do that with the Dodgers, and we’re hoping to match that intensity and those results with Fastball.”
Patton’s off-road journey began at the 50th Anniversary SCORE Baja 1000, where he and a group of friends entered a 1973 Toyota Land Cruiser in the Vintage class. In the middle of the night, Patton’s team, believing itself to be hopelessly out of contention to finish the grueling event, decided to call it a race, pulling the car off course, booking a hotel, eating dinner, showering, and catching some well-deserved rest.
In the morning, the team called the GPS tracking company to make arrangements to return their tracker, when they were notified that not only were they not out of the race—they were leading! Refreshed by both the good news and a good night’s sleep, the team returned to the race course, crossed the finish line, and won off-road racing’s answer to the World Series in their first try.
“Our adventure in Baja was just the start of an incredible adventure,” said Patton. “When we found out we won the 50th Anniversary of the sport’s most prestigious race, we were hooked! But more importantly, we were ready to step out of the minors and work our way up the system, and that’s why we worked with Jimco to bring a brand-new Trophy Truck Spec build to the desert.”
But this weekend’s ride is no Land Cruiser. The Jimco-built Trophy Truck Spec ride that Patton and company will take down to San Felipe boasts significantly more power under the hood thanks to an LS3 motor by Danzio Performance, 26” of front suspension and 32” of rear suspension travel via Fox Shocks, and all the all-star performance parts that a Jimco build entails. Add an eye-catching coat of Dodger blue paint, and this is one truck ready for the big leagues. Take a look here:
To prepare for the season, Patton held a personal Spring Training of his own to get acclimated to the new ride. Legendary off-road racer Ricky Johnson was drafted in as Patton’s pitching coach of sorts, dialing in Fastball’s top speed, its sliders and curveballs around the corners, and giving the team all the tools to pitch a perfect game in their season opener.
Patton and the Fastball team are excited to head down to Mexico, where the Dodgers boast an incredible amount of fan support thanks to both Los Angeles’ proximity to the Baja California peninsula and top players like Mexican-born starter Julio Urias. Like the perfect battery of an ace pitcher and savvy catcher, the combination of Dodger blue and off-road racing is sure to be a winning combination in San Felipe this weekend.
“We can’t wait to see all the off-road fans wearing Dodger blue this weekend in San Felipe,” said Patton. “Our two fanbases have plenty of crossover, as we’ve seen plenty of fans of SCORE at Dodger Stadium over the years. Hopefully we can give them a new team to root for, and pay off their support with wins both on the field and in the desert this year!”