Not too long ago, Blake Wilkey debuted his JAWS Baja Bug Trophy Truck to the world. This unique creation is a one-of-a-kind and very unique purpose-built off-road racing machine. Wilkey had the vision to build and race this exotic larger than life Baja Bug at the Mint 400. That dream will come true this week at the 2022 Mint 400 taking place in Las Vegas on March 11-12. Before we get there, we must provide some context and tell you another crazy story.
Before the 2020 Mint 400, Blake decided he wanted to build and race a Class 11 VW Baja Bug. The only problem was that it was about thirty days before the event would take place. Blake Wilkey, already a well-versed off-road mechanic and fabricator, began scrambling for parts and rallied a team of VW experts and Class 11 purists. They completed building a competitive car according to the rule book and raced to a 2020 2nd place podium finish. This amazing feat inspired the next long-haired-brained idea.
Sometime in 2021, Wilkey pulled the trigger and started the costly investment of time and resources to build the next bigger and baddest of the bunch Baja Bug. The new mission really started only a few years back with a wild scheme and a dream. Blake eventually began the creative fabrication to proportionally enlarge a Baja Bug shell by combining three stock-sized shells into one XXXL shell. After a little over a year, Wilkey and his crew got it done and fired up in early 2022. You can read all about the awesome reveal and what it took to build the car from scratch in the Off Road Xtreme exclusive: Blake Wilkey’s Garage Built Jaws Trophy Truck Baja Bug Is Awesome!
The Mint 400 With Blake Wilkey
With the Jaws Baja Bug Trophy Truck complete, tested, tuned, and race-ready, it is time to prepare for this next race. The Mint 400 is not just any race. It is labeled “The Great American Off-Road Race” for very good reason. It is an iconic motorsports event that enjoys immense prestige with the likes of the Indy 500, Daytona 500, and the Baja 1000.
So far, Blake Wilkey has a pretty good race record at the Mint, finishing twice on the podium with the elusive win just out of his grasp. Either way, Blake knows a thing or twenty about race prepping off-road cars. Even before his 21st birthday, Wilkey was working in professional off-road motorsports as a Pro 4 Crew Chief on a competitive short course team. Besides that, his VW Class 11 Slug Shark has raced 19 events, finishing all 19, and 16 race wins racked up in the last two seasons. Finishing and winning that many races in just a two-year time span does not just happen without a lot of know-how and meticulous hard work.
Race Prep With Blake Wilkey
In this feature, Off Road Xtreme goes up to “Shark Den” for a sit-down interview with Blake Wilkey. We learn what it takes to race and prepare to race the 2022 Mint 400 in his brand new JAWS Trophy Truck and his Class 11 Baja Bug.
Wilkey’s JAWS Trophy Truck Baja Bug Walk Around
Off Road Xtreme gets a walk-around tour of the JAWS Trophy Truck. Wiley’s partner, Quixotic Motorsports Kevin, and the designer behind this one-of-a-kind XXXL Baja Bug shows off some key details.