Inland Truss Retro Footage from 2003 SCORE Class 1 and Overall Championship Winning Season

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My daughter Madison found this old DVD and was able to post it on YouTube. Carlos Rosas put this video together for us just after winning the SCORE Class 1 and Overall Championship in 2003. Ernie Castro Jr. and I did the driving that year with help from my brother Darren in the Baja 1000.

Thank you to Ernie Castro Sr. and Dan Irwin for supporting the Inland Truss Team. The team raced from 2001 to 2006. During that time we were able to win the Class 1 Championship in 2003 ending Troy Herbst's and the Terrible Herbst teams six year championship winning streak in the Landshark. We were the first to win the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Overall more than once, multiple Pit Crew Challenge wins and overall wins at Vegas to Reno, Parker 425 and San Felipe.

During this season we were able to develop the Inland Truss Toyota V8 car utilizing the Toyota/TRD factory built Tundra engine that was raced in Ivan Stewart's truck (1 of 2 V8 engines built for the PPI truck). The car was built by Jimco. It was really fun to collaborate with Mike Julson and John Vance with Jimco, John Marking with Fox, Toyota TRD, Bruce Nogrady, FAT Performance, Weddle Engineering/Albins, Roy Debahn of Kartek/ProAm, ADS and Larry Storck. Larry did an amazing body that ducted air into the radiators that were behind the seats. The car ultimately won the 2005 Laughlin Desert Challenge overall.

Carlos did a great job editing this video....Thank you! It was fun to have the memory of that season then and even more so now 18 years later. Madison (the little girl in the video) and Ezra (the baby in the video with his mom Isabel) are now racing with me in our Pro Buggy and Class 10 car. I did my best to keep them focused on other things besides racing, but probably not possible when you grow up with it. Both are great drivers and Ezra is a very talented mechanic. He is now working towards a mechanical engineering degree at UNR. Thank you also to YouTube and Trapt for allowing the video to be played with the copyrighted song "Headstrong" by Trapt.

You might recognize some of the in-car camera footage from the original Dust to Glory movie. In particular, the night footage as their camera crew had technical difficulties, so our footage was used (might have something to do with all of the lights we had on the car!).

Special thanks to our supporters then and still to this day- BFGoodrich Tires, Fox Shox, ZLT, Ebbco and Cabe Toyota. Thank you to our crew as well (most of whom were shown in the video).

Dale Ebberts

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Tom_Willis

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Pretty cool to see a class 1 nerfing the Herbst truggy! (@2:20). I remember seeing the Inland car with that crazy wall of lights, too. Those were some great seasons back then.
 

BajaJT

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Dale, very good, brings back great memory's, saw lots of people in that clip from the old days, thanks for sharing and Congratulations to you,Ernie Jr and Sr!
 
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Thanks Tom and John! In the middle of racing and a racing program you are just focused on doing your best. You take for granted the opportunity you have been given and how long it will last. It is definitely fun to look back.

Racing against the Herbst was always super fun. Troy Herbst and Larry Roeseler made quite the team. It was nice to win a battle or two going up against them, but they were dominant.

The lights shown at the end of the video were still a few years prior to our final setup. I don't know how many times I have heard the comment of doesn't that hurt top speed! -Yes it does, we tested it. Top speed in the V8 car without lights was 138mph and 120-125 with the lights. We always figured that driving 125mph at night was plenty fast and if the lights helped us get there it was worth it.

I love seeing the old footage and photos that show up on Race-Dezert from before I started racing and after. I really love what Marty Fiolka, Rory Ward, NORRA and many others have been doing with restoring old cars.

I noticed after posting this that the picture on the worn out autograph card was taken by Jason Zindroski at High Rev Photo. He has been taking great pictures for quite a few years now!
 

btshannon

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My daughter Madison found this old DVD and was able to post it on YouTube. Carlos Rosas put this video together for us just after winning the SCORE Class 1 and Overall Championship in 2003. Ernie Castro Jr. and I did the driving that year with help from my brother Darren in the Baja 1000.

Thank you to Ernie Castro Sr. and Dan Irwin for supporting the Inland Truss Team. The team raced from 2001 to 2006. During that time we were able to win the Class 1 Championship in 2003 ending Troy Herbst's and the Terrible Herbst teams six year championship winning streak in the Landshark. We were the first to win the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Overall more than once, multiple Pit Crew Challenge wins and overall wins at Vegas to Reno, Parker 425 and San Felipe.

During this season we were able to develop the Inland Truss Toyota V8 car utilizing the Toyota/TRD factory built Tundra engine that was raced in Ivan Stewart's truck (1 of 2 V8 engines built for the PPI truck). The car was built by Jimco. It was really fun to collaborate with Mike Julson and John Vance with Jimco, John Marking with Fox, Toyota TRD, Bruce Nogrady, FAT Performance, Weddle Engineering/Albins, Roy Debahn of Kartek/ProAm, ADS and Larry Storck. Larry did an amazing body that ducted air into the radiators that were behind the seats. The car ultimately won the 2005 Laughlin Desert Challenge overall.

Carlos did a great job editing this video....Thank you! It was fun to have the memory of that season then and even more so now 18 years later. Madison (the little girl in the video) and Ezra (the baby in the video with his mom Isabel) are now racing with me in our Pro Buggy and Class 10 car. I did my best to keep them focused on other things besides racing, but probably not possible when you grow up with it. Both are great drivers and Ezra is a very talented mechanic. He is now working towards a mechanical engineering degree at UNR. Thank you also to YouTube and Trapt for allowing the video to be played with the copyrighted song "Headstrong" by Trapt.

You might recognize some of the in-car camera footage from the original Dust to Glory movie. In particular, the night footage as their camera crew had technical difficulties, so our footage was used (might have something to do with all of the lights we had on the car!).

Special thanks to our supporters then and still to this day- BFGoodrich Tires, Fox Shox, ZLT, Ebbco and Cabe Toyota. Thank you to our crew as well (most of whom were shown in the video).

Dale Ebberts

View attachment 229738
This video is the same one that was shown at the SCORE awards ceremony?
 

bajafox

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I was a HUGE fan of this car back in the day as well as Dale (he had a 4WD dark grey TT around the time I think also) mostly because of the Toyota powerplant but until now, I had no idea it was the same motor package ran in Ivans TT.

During this season we were able to develop the Inland Truss Toyota V8 car utilizing the Toyota/TRD factory built Tundra engine that was raced in Ivan Stewart's truck (1 of 2 V8 engines built for the PPI truck)
 

Tom_Willis

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I was a HUGE fan of this car back in the day as well as Dale (he had a 4WD dark grey TT around the time I think also) mostly because of the Toyota powerplant but until now, I had no idea it was the same motor package ran in Ivans TT.
Those PPI engines sure got around!
 
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Thanks Bajafox and Zac! Bajafox- I think your mixing in another Dale. Dale Dondel had the TT. One of our Laughlin overall wins was when we edged him out by a small amount. He did have the rougher course though as TT went after Class 1.

Tom- It was pretty thrilling when Toyota/TRD said that they liked what we were doing with the Toyota V6 and decided to give us a $60,000+ factory developed Toyota V8 engine.

The car would have been more successful, but came just before torque converters took off in Class 1. It would twist 300m axles in a short amount of time. Roy at ProAm developed some AR100 axles that did much better, but still had a limited life. As a precaution we practiced axle changes. Only in one race after switching material did we have to change an axle on course, but we were able to do it in under 8 minutes (in-car camera verified).
 

rkracing

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That car had to be one of the best looking and sounding during those times, always a favorite at the races. Cool to read some of the history behind it, I wonder if it is still racing today?
 

notime

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Always one of the favorites in baja, remember a good story about hiding tires at certain spots in San Felipe during a race, never know if was true or not
 

bajafox

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Thanks Bajafox and Zac! Bajafox- I think your mixing in another Dale. Dale Dondel had the TT. One of our Laughlin overall wins was when we edged him out by a small amount. He did have the rougher course though as TT went after Class 1.
Ah yea, thanks, I feel so stupid but thanks for the correction. It was in Laughlin where I saw Dondels 4WD truck

It was a ton of fun rooting for your car back in the day
 
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Always one of the favorites in baja, remember a good story about hiding tires at certain spots in San Felipe during a race, never know if was true or not
Notime- Yes we did hide tires in San Felipe. It wasn't an original idea on our part as the Trophy Truck guys would do it. They would do it going over the Summit to make sure that they didn't run out of spares. We did it to save weight by running without a spare. We figured our Toyota V6 was down on power to the V8's and the Chevy V6's so we ran the San Felipe race with no spare. We hid tires in several spots on the course so that it would be a short distance with a flat if we got one. We programmed in each tire on our GPS so that we could find them in a hurry. We had no flats and won the race so it worked. Never did it again though. We never did retrieve every tire. Note-Our crew wasn't super excited about retrieving tires on Sunday before going home after celebrating a win the night before.

Zac and RKracing- The V8 car went to Australia. I haven't heard anything about it since.

Another cool part of the car was that it had two fuel cells under the seats that were linked together by a tunnel. The seats were fairly close together and the fuel cell wrapped up the sides of the seats with dry breaks out of both sides below the radiator ducting. All of this and other things were done to get weight forward. Weight front to rear was nearly equal which is rare with a buggy. My thinking on it was that most buggy front ends have to transition from nearly no weight under acceleration to nearly all of the weight while going into a hole under braking. Tough to setup a car with that much weight transition.
 

Dezertpilot

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Did this car yard sale pretty hard like really hard once in Mexico? This sure was a rad cl1, thanks for sharing.

Did this car go to Australia with the Toyota motor or was it taken out and given back to Toyota?
 

AZracefan

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I always remember this car starting 03' off real strong winning Laughlin. If i remember correctly, i believe the car wrecked hard at Laughlin 02' and came back claiming Laughlin in 03. It was a constant battle with the TSCO buggy that year too.
 
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Did this car yard sale pretty hard like really hard once in Mexico? This sure was a rad cl1, thanks for sharing.

Did this car go to Australia with the Toyota motor or was it taken out and given back to Toyota?
Yes it did. That was Ernie Jr.'s one big crash. Luckily him and the Co-driver Steve Elliott (from Dependable Off Road) were not hurt. It happened on the high speed graded road just south of San Felipe. The rear of the car was smashed. I think the rest was all pretty good. The only body part that was hurt was the beautiful rear cover over the engine, trans and spare tire that Larry Storck made.

With the damage to the rear, the car came back with two vertical spare tires. I believe this was the first time it was done on a mid-engine car. It made it nice in a race if you got one flat. You could still push hard and then decide when you wanted to stop for a replacement. The cantilevered weight also helped the handling of the car. I believe the idea came from either Mike Julson or John Vance at Jimco.
 
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