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Olliges Ford Raptor Takes First Flight at The Mint 400

BFGoodrich Mint 400 Image 1Las Vegas, NV Most new race vehicles go through a break-in period. Test laps are run to tune the suspension, all systems are cycled to verify proper function and critical temperatures are constantly monitored until everything checks out. This can take days or weeks to complete. Steve Olliges had so much faith in his brand new Geiser built BFG FOX Ford Raptor that he went straight out to Jean, Nevada with no test time on the truck and finished 6th at the General Tire Mint 400, presented by Polaris. If not for a rock that flew up and cut a brake line, Steve, co-rider Jason Bateman and co-driver John Marking might have been on the podium.

Steve’s great day of racing commenced at the drop of the green flag when his Dougan Racing Engines horsepower won the drag race into turn one. He started 18th but after only one lap had worked his way up through the thick dust into 11th. “The truck makes me feel invincible,” said Steve, “The FOX shocks were perfect right out of the box. The horsepower our Dougan engine puts out and the traction we get from our BFG tires gives you instant throttle response. We were dancing through the rocks and on the dry lakebed, we didn’t just pass people, we blew past people. I could see the ear-to-ear grin on my co-rider Jason Bateman’s face even with his Impact full face helmet on.”

BFGoodrich Mint 400 Image 2The truck was on rails, everything was working to perfection. After lap two, they had worked up to 7th. On lap three, John Marking would take the wheel. With no seat time in the truck before the race, John quickly adapted, getting up to speed in no time. They were steadily moving up the ladder when one of the millions of rocks that litter the racecourse was kicked up striking a brake line. Jason Bateman made quick repairs but it cost them 20 minutes. After getting back on course, they weren’t done. They put the hammer down and worked back up to 6th place at the finish. “The BFG FOX Raptor worked awesome,” said John Marking, “The FOX shocks dominated in the rocks and big holes on the course.”

Steve’s next race will be the BITD, Silver State 300 in remote, Northern Nevada. He will have a chance to open the truck up on long, high speed sections driving the entire way with no relief. The Silver State course goes point-to-point through narrow mountain trails, silt, rocks, water crossings and spectacular scenery. Drivers need to stay focused as the course has plenty of “gotchas” that can end your day if not careful. Steve is looking forward to the Silver State race; he won it in 2008.BFGoodrich Mint 400 Image 3

Photography By Brian Binkert
Bink Designs – www.binkdesigns.com

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