Trick Truck Driving 101 with Professor Justin Lofton

Becoming a race driver is nearly every child’s fantasy. The thought of getting paid to race was just as attractive as the end of year pizza party.  However as the childhood illusion slowly faded and racing became a hobby or grass roots garage effort, we can still live vicariously through YouTube tutorials. Today’s YouTube professor is none other than the famed off-road champion Justin Lofton sponsored by Method Race Wheels! So, if you’re ready to relive your childhood dreams, then sit down, quit talking and start listening, because class is in session.

Lesson 1  Introduction and Syllabus with Professor Justin Lofton

Professor Justin Lofton has a PHD in off-road racing. Lofton has won the Mint 400 three times, 2009 ARCA championship, 2003 Colorado Hill Climb Rookie of the Year, and a NASCAR Truck Series Winner. Some say, “those who can’t, teach”. Nothing could be further from the truth as Lofton’s racing pedigree is long and chock full of W’s. Lofton covers the basics answering questions regarding off-road racing, unlimited class rules and shares what it takes to build a champion winning Mint 400 truck.

Lesson 2 Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.

“When you fall off the horse you get back on.” Unless you’re a professional bull rider it’s hard to do that with broken bones. Thankfully, Justin Lofton explains the safety gear checklist required to keep you safe in the unavoidable crash. The use of proper gear results in less time spent in rehab and more time learning from your mistakes therefore making you a faster driver. Find out what gear you need to stay in the saddle.

Lesson 3 Banging Gears and Shifting Feels

Lofton switches gears on us and sends us on a transmission seminar. He explains the pros and cons of automatic versus manual transmissions in off-road racing. Will you choose the automatic allowing no lift shifts or the manual transmission with a variety of final gear ratios optimizing top speed and performance? However both have their downfalls. So keep watching to make sure you choose the correct transmission for your racing application.

Lesson 4 Ladies and Gentlemen Start Your Engines!

Before starting any race truck Lofton explains the importance of a preflight inspection. Checking body panels, tire pressures and inspecting loose items can be the difference between a winning race and some heated finger pointing in the pits. Lofton gives us key details in this video on what to familiarize yourself with and what gauges are most important. So tune in and listen up before starting that 540ci Danzio Big Block.

Lesson 5 Hitting Corners on the Track

Aside from drag racing, there are few tracks offering only straight lines. In off-road you are usually racing corner to corner and encountering all sorts of angles and camber including decreasing turn radius ones. Lofton teaches up how to navigate the corner with the use of throttle and brake. Knowing how to properly handles corners allows for you to shave seconds off your time. Pay attention as Lofton teaches us how to make the turns shorter leaving you with a longer straight away.

Look ahead , adjust speed accordingly, turn steering wheel and use throttle and brakes to continue radius of the corner.

Lesson 6 – Expect the Unexpected

Professor Lofton speaks words of wisdom when talking about expecting the unexpected. Knowing your environment can make sure you are hitting holes at the correct speed and time. Find out what it takes to hit every whoop with proper weight transfer. Learn how to nose in or squat the rear depending on the obstacles.

Lesson 7 –Full Throttle Ahead! ..Well almost Full Throttle

So you think racing is just pushing the accelerator to the floor and saying a little prayer? Well incorrect you are. Lofton explains how the unlimited trucks create lift from the massive hood and wheel travel. Lofton clues us in on how to modulate the throttle making sure 100% of available power and traction is being used.

Lesson 8 – Get A Good Wipe

Lofton is no stranger to catching up to competitors. While driving in the dust dodging shot gun velocity pellets of rocks and debris can be quite difficult. Lofton explains what tactics you can use to get around the competition and stay on track.  Lofton emphasizes the importance of a good wipe after passing. So keep your head off your desk and pay attention as this part gets dirty.

Lesson 9 Bright Lights

Wake up! Professor Lofton turns the lights on and keeps us focused with a tutorial on lighting. Lofton explains the differences between white, amber and blended lights while racing at some of the darkest places. Lofton makes this a two-part lecture elaborating on the psychology of night racing as well. Tune in and find out what goes on inside the heads of professional racers at night.

Lesson 10 – Celebration time

You’ve done it! You’ve followed Professor Justin Lofton 9 step process to victory. Now it’s time to celebrate. Justin Lofton explains the steps from finish line to party time.  Who to thank, what to wear and who gets the Champaign shower.

Find the guy with the most expensive camera out there and point [the Champaign] it right at him. They love it.

 

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About the author

James Elkins

Born into a household of motorsport lovers, James learned that wrenching takes priority over broken skin and damaged nerves. Passions include fixing previous owners’ mistakes, writing, and driving.
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