Pennzoil Goes Off-Road with Bryce Menzies
JUNE 4, 2015
Pennzoil is taking off-road racing to the next level with six-time champion Bryce Menzies and Menzies Motorsports.
As the Official Supplier of Lubricants and Motor Oil to Bryce Menzies and Menzies Motorsports, Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus Technology™ will power the No. 70 Ford Trophy Truck in events like the Mint 400, Frozen Rush, Baja 500, Baja 1000, and the Lucas Oil Off Road Series.
We caught up with Bryce, his dad, and some off the Menzies Motorsports crew at their Las Vegas headquarters to learn more about their journey to off-road glory.
We’re still finding sand in the bottom of our shoes.
What drew you to racing?
Bryce: Seeing my Dad race offshore boats and riding dirt bikes as a young kid. That feeling when you win. That energy. Going to the races with my whole family. Just being out there as a group.
How did you get started?
Steve (Bryce's father): In 2007 he asked me about CORR, Championship Off Road Racing. I didn’t really know what it was. Like any father, I said, what’s that gonna cost? We built and worked on the car until the night of his first event in Lancaster, California.
Bryce: I’d never driven a stick shift or anything like that.
Steve: It was like a LeMans start. I’d never heard of that either. We didn’t have any stickers. No radio. We didn’t know what we were doing. He ended up winning his second race, and I kind of got hooked. Every year we’ve been more and more successful.
Bryce: We’re focusing on a fourth Baja 500 win.
Steve: I get to follow him around in a helicopter. You couldn’t ask for a more fun thing to do as a father. It’s great to see these guys grow and mature.
What's your ultimate goal as a driver?
Bryce: Ask anybody in the off-road world. It’s Dakar. Fourteen days of racing up to 500 miles a day. I want to be the first American to win that race.
What about the different trucks you drive?
Bryce: In desert and short course, we run small block Fords. The short course motors are pushing out around 900 horsepower for about 20 minutes, so we’re trying to get as much performance out of the engine as possible. The desert truck is lean, around 800 horsepower. We’re going for endurance. It has to make it to the finish line, which sometimes takes 19 hours.
And where does the motor oil play a part in all of that?
Bryce: It’s huge. The engine is the heart of the race truck. We run it on the absolute edge with all the horsepower. It has to be able to go the distance.
Pete Mortensen (Crew Chief): It’s about keeping the engine cool in hot conditions and being flexible enough to lubricate everything properly in the cold. It also helps in tear down too.
So have you noticed anything since making the switch to Pennzoil?
Bryce: It’s always a good feeling to tear down the engine at the end of a race and have our engine guy come back and tell us everything looks perfectly clean, and we can use the pistons again.
Pete: Essentially, it has helped us to save money on parts and be more competitive.
Bryce: It definitely gives us the confidence to push hard to make those late race passes and make up time. Performing from the beginning of the first mile until the thousand mile mark is really key in the off road industry. It’s pretty incredible that the motor oil we use in our race trucks is the same oil you could buy off the shelf.
Okay, last question. When you're not racing or training, what do you like to do?
Bryce: Honestly, I’m always watching some sort of motorsports, whether it’s NASCAR or Formula 1. It’s always cool to see different types of racing and to see the energy it takes to perfect those cars.