LUGO\OLLIGES\SWIFT RACING READY TO DEFEND LAST YEAR'S RACE WIN AND TRICK TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP AT BEST IN THE DESERT HENDERSON FABTECH DESERT CLASSIC Henderson, Nevada (November 30, 2008). Coming off a first place finish in the Silver State...
LUGO\OLLIGES\SWIFT RACING READY TO DEFEND LAST YEAR'S RACE WIN AND TRICK TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP AT BEST IN THE DESERT HENDERSON FABTECH DESERT CLASSIC
Henderson, Nevada (November 30, 2008). Coming off a first place finish in the Silver State 300 nine weeks ago, Team Ford #1 drivers Steve Olliges and John Swift are poised to mount another championship run this weekend at the Best in the Desert Henderson Fabtech Desert Classic. The reigning Best in the Desert Trick Truck champions are currently 21 points behind points leader and Vegas to Reno winner Rick D. Johnson, and need a first place finish in the unlimited Trick Truck division to have a mathematical chance of repeating as BITD series champions in 2008. Also vying for the Trick Truck championship are the Parker 425 winners, Huffman Motorsports, and Terrible's 250 winners Will and Emily Staats. With the championship at stake, the Trick Truck pace over this short Henderson course is expected to be furious.
"We have completed more testing this year than ever before and this truck is really now the best it has been since I have driven it with Wayne," said Olliges of the Lugo owned, Stewart Raceworks built and prepared Ford F150. "The recent incorporation of John's ideas on the King shock valving and the newer motor from Patton Racing Engine's makes the truck faster and easier to drive...even better than the truck we won with last race. I can't wait to see how this thing will turn out. It will be an all out sprint for the win and the championship, and we are definitely ready for the challenge. "
"We have a pretty simple game plan for this race.drive as absolutely fast and smart as we can, and see where the chips fall at the end. We need to win our class to be in the championship hunt and we do not intend to make it easy for anyone else to wear the #1 next year," said Swift, who, under the Swift Racing banner with son Jonathon and Andy Waters, is also the reigning unlimited minitruck champion in BITD class 7200. Their team currently leads the points chase after another win at the Silver State 300 in the identically painted Team Ford Ranger. "I am happy to see that there are a lot of fast drivers with good trucks that are entered in this race, and even some who are not in the series points chase. It will make the championship that much more worthwhile to whomever wins it. I love the competition."
Steve will again attempt to pocket his own money during Thursday's time trials for the Team Ford Pole Award, which includes a one of a kind crystal trophy and $1000 cash. "I'm more motivated than ever to win my first pole," said Olliges, jokingly referring to the economic downturn. "I am happy to contribute even in this modest way to help defray the costs of racing. Every little bit helps these days, even to the unlimited guys."
Olliges returned last week from a successful launch of the Ford F150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000, placing 3rd in SCORE's Class 8 division as the driver of record with Greg Foutz and Randy Merritt. The Raptor SVT is Ford's first foray into a "prerunner" production vehicle, and comes equipped with the industry's only OEM triple internal bypass shocks, an electronic locking rear differential, and an optional 6.2L SOHC V8 with 400 hp and 400 lb ft of torque. The Raptor is 7 inches wider than the standard F150, designed specifically to accommodate the stronger and longer new upper and lower A arms, new tie rods and new half shafts. The Raptor will be available at Team Ford in the Summer of 2009.