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JOHNSON VALLEY, CA – Bryce Menzies kicked off his racing season with a win yesterday at the 2020 Toyo Tires® Desert Invitational Presented by Monster Energy. Held during King of The Hammers in Johnson Valley, CA, the open-desert, off-road race features the harshest of terrain for T1 trucks. Menzies’s first place finish earned him the grand prize of $100,000, while BJ Baldwin finished the race in third place overall earning $10,000. Both depended on championship-winning Toyo® Open Country M/T®-R tires to get them to the finish line.
“This race has some of the most different terrain throughout each lap. We’re seeing sand, compact dirt, boulders, lava rock, up-hill climbs and 130 mph straightaways,” said Bryce Menzies. “I love the challenge that this race has to offer and am so pumped to start the year off with a win.”
Menzies and his #7 Red Bull / Toyo Tires / KMC Wheels AWD Mason Motorsports T1 Truck finished this year’s 3-lap, 300-mile circuit in a time of 5 hours, 29 minutes beating out the 16 other invited competitors. Menzies started the race in the pole position after placing first in the morning prologue and never lost the lead on his way to the finish line during the main event. Baldwin and his #97 Monster Energy / Toyo Tires / Method Wheels Toyota Tundra finished the race in 5 hours, 51 minutes.
The Toyo Tires Desert Invitational brought unlimited off-road racing to Southern California with 16 of the most elite drivers invited to compete for $125,000, one of the richest prize purses in off-road racing. The unique format calls for drivers to qualify during the morning of the race on a 40-mile desert track with the prologue determining the starting order. For the second consecutive year, Bryce Menzies was the fastest of this first phase. The 2020 course proved to be challenging with four of the 16 invited drivers unable to continue to the main race and only half of the remaining field able to finish.
“What an amazing way to start the off-road racing season with two of our drivers on the podium. Congratulations to Bryce Menzies and BJ Baldwin for their successful finishes at the second annual Toyo Tires Desert Invitational,” said Stan Chen, senior manager, sponsorships and events, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. “Our Toyo Open Country M/T-R tires have proven to endure through the toughest of terrains helping to provide the performance needed to edge out the competition.”
Menzie’s win continues an impressive streak for Toyo Tires and Team Toyo drivers who have won many of the major desert races since April of 2019.
To learn more about the Open Country line of tires for light trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and outdoor adventure vehicles visit https://www.toyotires.com/open-country-tires.