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

SanoDano

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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?
Ebbertscrash.jpg


Dont remember the year, but was in San Felipe
 
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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.
So I ratted out Ernie Jr. on the previous post so I gotta take the blame on this one. Yes in 2002 was my big crash. This one is a good story so I will come back after work to share it. A little teaser on the story- It includes- Ivan Stewart, Craig Stewart, Damen Jefferies, an ambulance, a cracked helmet and a PSA on roll bar padding.
 
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Didn’t they hit a booby trap with a box spring in the ground?
It was a booby trap that they hit. From what I remember, there was a jump built after a small rise. It wasn't all that big, but the car landed on it and started to flip.
 
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My big crash..... So on a Monday morning late January 2002 I woke up to my wife taking multiple calls in another room letting our friends and my customers know that I was ok. That's when I figured out something went wrong.

I looked in the mirror after waking up and had broken blood vessels in my eyes and bruises around my eyes. This happens to sprint car drivers when they flip so violently that there eyes try to come out of their sockets.

For several years we invited Inland Truss customers to the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge providing rooms and having a catered dinner on Saturday night in one of the hotel banquet rooms. At this race, I happened to run into Ivan Stewart walking by and he was willing to come in to speak to our group. I don't remember what he spoke about at this event, but at another Toyota event we did together, I realized that Ivan is a great speaker and had some super funny stories about catheter's! Imagine what a bunch of Toyota mechanics and engineers would do when fluid starts leaking out of the PPI truck just before the start of a race. Our customer's were thrilled to get to meet him!

The crash
So we won on Saturday from what I remember by 10 seconds over Wayne Lugo in a brand new Craig Stewart (Ivan's son) built Truggy. On Sunday we lined up next to Craig driving for Wayne and had to beat him or finish within 10 seconds of him. Craig beat me off the line and stayed out front the entire race. About 300 yards before the finish (I was trying to stay within 10 seconds of him for the win) and in heavy dust I hit an embankment with the right front tire and the car started to violently flip. This was in the Laughlin wash between the main pits and spectator hill. We heard from people in the stands quite a ways away that they could see the car flipping in the air above the semi trucks.

I ended up getting knocked out (you could see the impression of the roll cage in my helmet. In this car my head was not close to to the cage. It is amazing how much your body stretches in an accident! PSA- You should always use SFI rated roll bar padding on any tubes anywhere near your head! Ernie Castro Jr. was riding with me and ended up a little sore, but ok and walked away.

At the hospital they cut off the brand new custom made driving suit that my wife (Isabel) just got for me. When they came up with scissors she told them to stop, but they just looked at her like she was crazy and kept cutting.

The accident happened right in front of our pit with my entire family, my wife with our two year old and a big group of Inland Truss customers watching from the observation deck on the Inland Truss semi. My Dad was the first to us while the race was still live and turned off the fuel pump etc. I was knocked out and ended up being taken away in an ambulance. The car was destroyed, but somehow still drivable. Damen Jefferies racing in another class volunteered to drive the car the final 300 yards for a finish! This gave us a shot at the championship that year. I am not sure who came up with the idea to do that as I was being loaded into an ambulance, but I sure appreciated it later in the season. Thanks again Damen!

Jimco was able to rebuild the car in six weeks (remount the engine and trans, replace some arms, rebuild the rear cage and much more) to get us ready in time to race the San Felipe 250.

The best part of the story to me was that we came back to Laughlin in 2003 and won the race overall. I got a lot of questions that year about whether or not I was concerned coming back, but since I had no memory of it, It didn't bother me.

-Dale
 
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