Growing up near the dunes of Plaster City, California, it was inevitable that Justin Lofton would return to the sand after competing in the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he was the 2009 champion. Lofton has also tasted victory at Best In The Desert and The Mint 400. His father Bob raced with former FOX Motorsports director John Marking in the early 1990s. A FOX-supported athlete since 2016, Lofton is the third featured driver in our new FARTHER video series for FOX Stories.
Lofton grew up watching his dad race off-road, and he knew eventually it would become his career path. Living down in the Imperial Valley with Glamis 30 minutes in one direction and Plaster City 30 minutes the other certainly helped.
“It was a natural progression in my life to get behind the wheel of an off-road car,” the 36-year-old explained. “Spending time in other racing disciplines always helps in what you’re currently doing, because you can pull from different experiences at different times. I’ve raced on different course races in the rain, to 200 miles an hour at Talladega. My dad had the biggest influence on my career because he was the one racing and I was watching him; he was the one presenting all the opportunities throughout my entire driving career.”
“My history with FOX goes back into the early `90s with my dad and John Marking working together; watching John go from working on race cars and building race cars to actually working at FOX and putting bypass tubes on shocks, trying different things and watching the development from Class 1600 all the way up to where it is today. It’s a really cool thing that I get to represent FOX the way I do and have the famous logo on the side of my truck.”
With Lofton, suspension for off-road racing is by far the most crucial thing there is.
“I was the first driver to race a Live Valve-equipped trophy truck, and it was a perfect application at the Best In The Desert BlueWater race a couple years ago,” he said. “The course continually digressed, getting rougher and rougher every lap we went over it; I was able to not only maintain the same speed from when the track was smooth, but continually go faster throughout the day because my suspension was able to adapt and go through the bigger holes better. And the faster I drove it, the more it reacted and the better it worked. If you can’t go over the holes, you’re not going to go fast; Live Valve is extremely important.”
“I chose FOX because it was a natural progression from being around the technology with my dad,” Lofton added. “But then it became a friendship and a partnership. And in any good partnership—as long as both sides are doing their part—FOX did their part on developing suspension and continue to develop it and make my trucks better and faster. Ours is a very seamless relationship and it’s been great.”
“And what I see in the future is going to keep me on FOX, hopefully one day putting my son on them. Live Valve brings a lot because comfort is a big thing when you sit in a truck for 12, 14, or 18 hours.”
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