Toyota Debuts Tundra TRD Pro Trophy Truck, Announces BJ Baldwin as Driver
BJ Baldwin’s race-winning career elevates Toyota’s off-road racing pedigreeby Mark McNabb, on
Long-time off-road racer BJ “Ballistic” Baldwin has joined forces with Toyota for the upcoming season of SCORE International and Best in the Desert and will pilot a Tundra TRD Pro Baja truck custom-built for high-speed desert running.
“Joining the Toyota Racing family in an all-new Tundra is really an honor,” said Baldwin. “As a kid I’d watch Toyota trucks dominate the field with one of my all-time heroes, Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart, behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to continuing the winning tradition and returning Toyota to the top of the winner’s circle!”
Toyota certainly has an iconic off-road racing heritage, so it’s no wonder the automaker is looking to continue its legacy. Baldwin is perhaps one of the best drivers in modern times, having won five U.S. national off-road racing titles that include three SCORE International championships, one Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 first place finishes. Baldwin even holds a class championship in the famed Dakar Rally.
“BJ’s successful racing record, his adventurous attitude, and his ceaseless dedication to honing himself and his craft speaks volumes to Toyota’s core ‘Let’s Go Places’ and kaizen philosophies,” said Cooper Ericksen, Toyota vice president, vehicle marketing and communications. “We look forward to having BJ and his Tundra involved in this next chapter of Toyota’s desert racing story that so far includes 11 Baja 500 and two Baja 1000 wins.”
Toyota and Baldwin will begin competing this summer with the custom-built Tundra TRD Pro. Toyota has not released specific details on the truck, but expect it come with a high-horsepower V-8, massive suspension parts, and a hand-built, tube-frame chassis.
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Why It Matters
Off-road racing is a growing segment in motorsports that is gaining a lot of attention these days. It’s clear Toyota is looking to snag the spotlight with its recruitment of BJ Baldwin. Nearly no other off-road racer is more widely known. Much of that is thanks to Baldwin’s “#Recoil” videos done with his last sponsored team, Chevrolet. Those videos include some insane stunts that demonstrate just how awesome Trophy trucks really are. Though Baldwin’s new Tundra TRD Pro Baja truck hails from a different brand, it’s fully capable of keeping up with his Chevy-branded machine.
We expect to see plenty of highly competitive racing from Toyota and Baldwin this year, so stay tuned for updates.
Read our full review on the Toyota Tundra here.