There will come a time when you are sitting in the stands at a Lucas Oil Off Road Race and you will ask yourself “who the hell is Eric Barron, and where did he come from?” We only know this, because we did it ourselves. Instead of sitting around and wondering, we decided to take a few minutes to sit down with Eric Barron and get An Inside Look.
When you hear the screaming sensation of a fire breathing Toyota TRD Pro 4 Unlimited V8 motor, two names are instantly associated with the sound: Johnny Greaves and the late Rick Huseman. Although he is still labeled as “The Dark Horse”, Eric Barron will soon become a household name among off-roaders. They might not remember which name he went by at the race due to Barron’s colorful display of factitious race car superhero names displayed on the side of the #32 Pro 4 Unlimited (i.e. Mad Max, Ricky Bobby, Stroker Ace etc.), but soon enough the scream of a Toyota TRD V8 will say “Barron”.
Eric Barron spent most of his life living in Southern California (North County San Diego) where he grew up driving anything with wheels that he could put his hands on, from Go-Karts to BMX bicycles. Barron wasn’t the run of the mill “rich kid” who was handed the best of everything to go and have fun with. Eric had to earn everything he ever wanted, and most typically he was racing with old hammy-downs from his older Brother (Indy Car driver Alex Barron) or whatever he could get his hands on at the time.
After starting an off-road company out of San Diego, California (BFD Off-Road) and dabbling in Pro Buggies, Pro Lites and Eventually Pro 2’s, Barron decided that he would test his skill in the Pro 4 category. Barron instantly wrangled up 5 of the best guys he knew and went in search of a Pro 4 “just to try it out”. He found himself behind the wheel of a Terrible Herbst truck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and walking away with a respectable 6th place finish in his first Pro 4 race ever. Although it was his first time out in a Pro 4, Barron already had it in his head that he wanted to build his own Pro 4, he didn’t want to build just any old Pro 4 Unlimited but he wanted to build a winning Pro 4 Unlimited.
“Our 2012 Pro 4 took us a year to build from start to finish. This truck is 100% built by these two hands (holds hands in front of his face) with every inch of blood sweat and tears that I have. All of these guys on this team including myself have touched every inch of this race car and the dedication that these guys put into this truck is what really makes us successful” commented Barron. Barron went on to say “we’re a smaller grassroots team and that’s the way I like it, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Hell, if there were a sponsor out there that was willing to give us 3 million dollars today, I still wouldn’t change a thing. I’d still have these same 5 guys a part of this program and we’d still be covered in grease doing it all ourselves. We don’t have the budget of the larger teams out here so instead of replacing a tranny every time we have an issue, we take it out of the truck, take it into the trailer and rebuild it ourselves, it’s what we do.”
Utilizing the knowledge he has gained from being around Indy Cars, Rally Cars and high-end racecars, Barron’s Toyota utilizes a lot of characteristics from those disciplines and translates them into shortcourse off-road racing. It may look like other Toyotas out there, but it’s not, even the Toyota Tundra bodies are one-off hand made bodies made by Eric himself.
“I’ve never been this serious, and I want to do it right. We have put in a ton of time with; LAT Racing Oil, Rancho Performance Transaxles and Maxxis Tires to help them develop the best products possible, and it’s my job to make sure I do everything right out on the track because I know my crew has done all that they can to get me there.” Barron commented.
It is without a doubt that you can see the fire in Eric Barron’s eyes when he talks about racing the #32 Pro 4 Unlimited. With great tools, great people and now great finishes; it’s only a matter of time before the sound of a Toyota TRD V8 says “Barron”.
Eric Barron is full of life and always entertaining on and off of the podium, be sure to keep an eye out for the Pro 4 Unlimited #32 of Eric Barron towards the front of the pack.
To find out more information on Eric Barron, please visit www.ericbarronmotorsports.com
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