The past several years has seen Yokohama Tire make a significant investment into its return to major off-road competition, and today doubled down on that effort with the announcement that Trophy-Truck champion Justin Lofton (pictured above) and Ultra4 star Levi Shirley have joined the Team Yokohama roster for 2020 – joining Pro UTV champions Wayne and Kristen Matlock.
Both drivers will compete on 39X13.50R17 GEOLANDAR M/T-Spec R race tires that represent the culmination of an expanded engineering and development program from Yokohama, a company with a long successful history in off-road racing and high-performance light truck tires.
“We welcome Justin and Levi to the Yokohama off-road family. They are top drivers in their class and proven winners,” said Fardad Niknam, Yokohama’s senior director of consumer product planning and product marketing. “We’re excited to have them on our team this season competing on the rugged M/T. We spent two years developing a race-winning tire on different desert terrains with various drivers, and now it’s ready for Justin and Levi to compete on. It’s a tough tire and offers great traction and durability.”
With the huge 2020 King of the Hammers events just a few weeks away, all four of the Team Yokohama efforts are expected to compete for top honors in the rugged desert of Lucerne Valley, California. Former NASCAR racer Loftin is a three-time overall Mint 400 winner and considered one of the sport’s top drivers. Among Shirley’s many career highlights was being named Ultra4 Sportsman of the Year in 2011 and 2014. Wayne Matlock is a six-time SCORE champion, including the 2019 Pro Turbo UTV class title, while wife Kristen Matlock was a solo driver and won the Pro UTV NA class in the 2019 Baja 1000.
Lofton, Shirley and the Matlocks are also part of Team Yokohama, a prestigious group of all-star drivers, lifestyle athletes and influencers. All are featured in an exciting new “reveal” video directed by Boyd Jaynes and produced by Michael “Skiny” Power:
Yokohama’s extensive list of 2020 North American-based motorsports activities – both on- and off-road – includes the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West, Porsche Air-Cooled Cup USA series, Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West Invitational, the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama, Global Time Attack and Super Lap Battle USA, 24 Hours of Lemons, Crandon International Raceway partnership, Subaru Motorsports USA partnership, TrophyLite, One Lap of America, Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 and Yokohama Sonora Rally.
RACER.com will take a closer look at Yokohama’s return to the sport in the coming days.