Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008


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. Visit and for more information about the production Raptor and the Raptor R.

Lugo\Olliges\Swift Racing is proudly sponsored by Team Ford (, BFGoodrich Tires (, King Shocks (, and Stewart’s Raceworks (

New! Durka Photo TV! at BITD Henderson

Stay tuned this weekend for the debut of Durka TV! WE will be broadcasting our prerun live as well as qualifying results and some footage from raceday itself.

More info at

Live streaming video by Ustream


25 November 2008


SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – The 2008 SCORE Baja 1000 was marked by relentless terrain diversity and technical sections not seen in over ten years. Fresh from an important victory at the Primm 300, General Tire’s Team KORE was poised to tackle the course.

“We felt like this was going to be our race; everything was lined up for the win. Our success at Primm proved we have the speed to beat anyone in our class,” said John Zambie.

But after just a few miles of racing, bad things started happening. With Rodolfo “Rudy” Iribe at the wheel and Zambie in the right seat, while passing another vehicle, a low-hanging oak tree took the Power Wagon’s upper light bar clean off. They had to get off the course and salvage the remaining lights, then stop again at their first pit to offload the lights to the crew. This put them not only behind the entire Stock Full class, but also many other race vehicles.

Rudy drove hard, making up time, passing everyone except Chad Hall in the H3. It was a dark and dusty night with no wind. At Race Mile 284, minutes behind Chad, Kent Kroeker and Frank Martinek took over driving duties.

“There was no time to replace the upper light bar. We just had to suck it up and race with the Soltek LED’s we had on the bumper. They have great coverage, but limited range, so we were constantly overdriving them. It was kind of scary sometimes, but you do what you have to,” said Kroeker.

Kroeker had been suffering from the stomach flu all week. Near the end of the San Felipe whoops he remarked to Martinek that he was not safe to drive the truck to the finish because he was starting to “gray out.” Martinek radioed ahead to the pit to have Rudy get ready to drive again.

A driver swap and some minor repairs at Race Mile 400 put the Power Wagon back in the fight. Heading up the beach toward Santo Tomas Rudy had the truck minutes from the lead. Approaching Erindera, they hit a huge, man-made booby trap – a giant hole dug with a back hoe.

“There was nothing we could do. We were doing about 60, so Rudy just down shifted and pinned in. We hit the other side so hard it bounced the truck about ten feet in the air. We rode the front end, looking at the ground for a long time. I was amazed we didn’t go over,” said Martinek.

Then parts started flying off the truck. First the front drive shaft, then a brake caliper. With no four wheel drive, they got mired in deep silt. Digging for hours while Chase brought parts to make repairs, their chances for the win disappeared.

“Chad drove a perfect race and deserves that win 100%. We had some weird luck, but getting second in this year’s Baja 1000 was like my driving experience: Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t puke in my helmet, pass out and yardsale the truck, but it still made me throw up in the pits,” said Kroeker.

“Second Place Blows.”

# # #

For more information contact: KORE

P.O. Box 2628

Valley Center CA 92082


41st SCORE Baja 1000 Title Escapes Reigning Trophy Truck Champions - Riviera Racing Finishes 4th Among World's Top Desert Racers

Nearly 300,000 fans lined the 631.35 mile race course cheering desert racers throughout the darkness of Baja's pitch black night

November 25, 2008 - Desert racing champions, Mark Post and Rob MacCachren, arrived at the start line of this year's SCORE Baja 1000 along the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Ensenada's Malecon. They donned nearly identical Riviera Racing Alpinestar Nomex race suits and mingled with fans and racers awaiting the start of this year's 631.35 mile race.

Nearby, the whispers from others were apparent as many looked on, speculating which driver would enter and start the #1 Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations SCORE Trophy Truck.
Among the hustle and bustle of the start line activities, SCORE CEO - Sal Fish signaled the start of the 41st edition of the longest point-to-point race in the world, as fans and crews moved away from the roar of the 800 horsepower Trophy Trucks.

Rob MacCachren kicked his right leg into the cab and pulled himself behind the wheel of the winningest Trophy Truck ever. The BFGoodrich Tires shod FORD F-150 fired up the mean sounding Patton Racing Engine and lined up among the greatest off road desert racers in the world for what would be yet again, another incredible SCORE Baja 1000.

For more than four decades, the SCORE Baja 1000 has been the ultimate test of man and machine and this year's race proved once again, racing throughout the mystical Baja Peninsula is not for the faint of heart.

MacCachren took the drop of the green flag just after 10:36 a.m. and began the race for Riviera Racing. The two weeks leading up to the event saw Rob MacCachren prepare for this adventure as he preran each of his two legs of the race over and over and over.

While MacCachren hit his marks early in the race, seated in the right seat of Riviera Racing's helicopter, Mark Post watched the action from above. Mark commented after the race, "Rob really performed well in that first 130-mile section. Our strategy heading into race day was to set a fast pace that would put us in position for a charge towards the Ensenada finish line from inside the final 150 miles."

With the army of Riviera Racing chase and pit crews strewn out throughout the race course, all systems were running near perfect, as the truck arrived to the 130-mile pit stop, where Post entered the race truck.

MacCachren exited the race truck and entered the chase truck explaining, "The truck ran perfect and we ran fairly hard to put this truck in the top five and so far everything is right on schedule. If we can stay close, we'll be there in the end."

Not long after Post accelerated away from Pit 1, a distressed radio communication came across the race radio frequency signaling that Post could not communicate with his co-driver, Kelly Courie.

The dream of the repeat Baja 1000 victory was slipping away ever so quickly.
For nearly two-weeks, Post and Courie, ran their 300-mile section day after day, compiling 800 notes that were plotted into the race truck GPS unit. Those extensive notes were useless as Courie sat in the navigator's seat attempting to signal direction and major obstacles merely using hand gestures.

Post was relegated over the next 300-miles to race at top speeds using only his memory of prerunning for the last couple weeks. A near impossible task when racing against the world's top desert racers, using the latest in advanced racing technology, coupled with teamwork and dedication from a small army of supporters.

Hours later, Post exited the glossy black race truck and MacCachren got in for the final charge to Ensenada. Although, by that time the race leaders had gained too much distance to make up unless there was catastrophic failure by one or both of the top two teams.

What Rob didn't know was that his race night was about to become befuddled even more when racer Garron Cadiente was stopped on the race course unable to move his truck. Facing a steep embankment on one side and a short cliff on the other, MacCachren was relegated to push Cadiente out of the way in order to continue racing.

"We had no other choice than to push him out of the way in order to keep moving forward. That easy push from our truck ruined our front light bar alignment, making the lights nearly non-existent from race mile 460 onward," said the disappointed MacCachren.

It wasn't particular a glamorous day for the defending SCORE Baja 1000 champions. In hopes of repeating their 2007 SCORE Baja 1000 victory, they fell short by just less than one hour. Finishing the race in 13:31:11 and averaging 46.70 mph, the Riviera Racing Trophy Truck finished fourth overall. The winner claimed the victory in 12:40:33 averaging 49.81 mph.

Post said, "Rob MacCachren started this race and did a fantastic job. I got in at race mile 130 when we first gassed up. We were in position and then we immediately had communication problems. We couldn't talk, we had no navigation, no notes and we ended up getting behind a little bit there. Then Rob, when he got in his section, he was doing fine but then he lost his lights so we were going backwards for about the last 200 miles. We're happy to be in Ensenada. It's a great race, but we didn't have everything go right today to win."

Chasing the Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations #1 race truck was Rockstar General Manager, Mike Kelso. "I was up in the air with Post during the first 130 miles and it's truly incredible to see the amount of people alongside the race course. It was wild! When the race truck arrived to the Baja Fool's pit for the second driver change, I discovered they had built a small compound in the middle of the desert complete with food and drink and a few thousand of their favorite fans. It was a Rockstar Oasis in the Baja desert," commented the elated Rockstar VIP.

Riviera Racing ends the 2008 SCORE Desert Racing Series with a total of 386 points placing them in 3rd position overall among 44 total entries in the 2008 SCORE Trophy Truck point's championship.

Desert racing teams live and die by the character and personality behind them. However, the harsh Baja Peninsula does not differentiate among teams, personalities and the living characters that make up each and every team.

Baja is a story in and of itself and is only experienced by those who dare to venture into the remote deserts of the peninsula. Riviera Racing will return in 2009 with their well-known spirit and character creating an indelible impression on those that make racing in Baja so incredibly special.

Riviera Racing thanks all of their sponsors, including Monarch Grand Vacations, Rockstar Energy Drink, Makita Industrial Power Tools, Pacific Monarch Resorts, BFGoodrich Tires, PIAA Lights, Ultra Wheels, Javier's Cantina & Grill, Anaheim Hills Auto Body, Patton Racing Engines, DirtBagz, K&N Air Filters, Borla Exahust, Ron Davis Radiator, Sinister Films, and Sunset Signs.

About Monarch Grand Vacations: Leader in Worldwide Resort Development
Since its founding 19 years ago, Pacific Monarch Resorts Inc. has gained an exemplary reputation as a leader in resort development, offering exceptional value with the highest level of professional hospitality and resort management expertise. Our senior executive team is directly responsible for our strong growth and healthy financial portfolio with aggregate sales in excess of $725 million. With more than 100,000 guest arrivals each year enjoying their vacations at nine, Pacific Monarch Resort locations offering more than 1,550 luxury villas, our legacy is prominent in the industry.

About Rockstar: Bigger. Better. Faster. Stronger.
ROCKSTAR is the world's most powerful energy drink. Enhanced with the potent herbal blends of Guarana, Ginkgo, Ginseng and Milk Thistle, ROCKSTAR is scientifically formulated to provide an incredible energy boost for those who lead active and exhausting lifestyles-from athletes to rock stars. PARTY LIKE A ROCKSTAR!

About Makita Industrial Power Tools: Dedicated to Quality
Makita owes its reputation for building outstanding quality power tools to the drive and determination for excellence that began over 90 years ago as a manufacturer of electric motors. In 1958, Makita introduced their first electric tool. Today Makita is one of the world's largest power tool manufacturers with seven manufacturing facilities globally and a selection of over 350 superior, innovative tools and well over 4,500 accessories.

Barrichello wins Massa's kart race

Rubens Barrichello took overall victory in the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champions on Sunday, a charity race organised by his Brazilian compatriot and fellow Formula 1 star Felipe Massa.

Barrichello held off stiff competition from a field that included Michael Schumacher, Massa and Lucas di Grassi – as well as a host of big names from other motorsports such as NASCAR's Jeff Gordon.

The annual event took place over two races and in front of a 12,000 strong crowd at the Ingleses kart track in Florianopolis, Brazil.

Barrichello won the first race from di Grassi, but only after his ex-Ferrari team-mate Schumacher span out from a promising second position.

Massa then took victory in race two but couldn’t stop Barrichello taking the overall honours; a fifth place finish was enough for the Honda driver to pip di Grassi by a single point in the final standings.

Barrichello and di Grassi are two of the drivers fighting over a drive at Honda next year, Barrichello having raced there since 2006 while di Grassi took part in an evaluation test at Barcelona earlier this month.

The pair fought wheel-to-wheel in both races, but it was the veteran of 270 Formula 1 races who finished on top.

Last year’s event winner Schumacher could only manage eighth overall, after a combination of his mistake in race one and a loose exhaust early in race two ruled him out of contention.

Other ex-Formula 1 drivers present were Luciano Burti, Antonio Pizzonia, Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer and Force India’s third driver Vitantonio Luizzi.

Yet another country to lose F1 status?

Germany could be without a Formula 1 race for the first time in a half-century in 2010.

Hockenheim's ability to stage the 2010 race came under threat when the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, where the track is located, announced on Friday that it would not provide funds for the troubled organisers.

The officials from the Nurburgring said it, too, would be unable to host a 2010 German GP should cash-strapped Hockenheim withdraw
Two tracks have been alternating with the German GP
. "We cannot afford that," general manager Walter Kafitz told DPA.

Hockenheim and the Nurburgring have in recent years alternated with the German GP; the 2008 event was at Hockenheim, 2009 is scheduled for the 'Ring.

"There will be no more F1 at Hockenheim without state funds," Hockenheim boss Josef Schmidt told a German Sunday's paper. The track owed more than €5-million (about R60-million) after the 2008 race; a similar loss was expected in 2010 and Kafitz said the Nurburgring lost about the same in 2007. – Sapa-DPA

Two Firsts for a Woman in SCORE Baja Racing History for Heidi Steele

Heidi Steele and team finish second at 41st annual SCORE Baja 1000 and she becomes first women to win a SCORE truck class championship

Steele will also be the first ever women to receive the Toyota True Grit award for completing every SCORE race mile in 2008.

With the championship in view the Desert Assassins mid size truck team went to the 41st annual Baja 1000 with a plan, fight the battle but win the war.

The war was the class championship for modified mid size trucks known in Baja as class 7sx. The Lucas Oil/Yokohama Tire FORD Ranger team of Heidi Steele/Rene Brugger/Danny Street Jr. took the green flag with an 8-point lead in their class after recently winning the 40th annual SCORE Baja 500. They would work the plan to shadow their main competitor but still be aggressive enough to put them in position for the race win even though that was by far the less important of the goals to finish up the season.

In 2005 Heidi earned her first class championship after winning the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 in class with her team. That was her first year of racing and after winning handily out of the gate she felt the pain of learning a new class when she moved from buggies to the coveted truck classes. Her first full year in a truck was 2007 and although the team found the podium they were not winning which is always frustrating.

For 2008 Heidi’s husband Cameron, a 20 plus year veteran of Baja, decided she had learned enough and the team made the commitment to make their FORD Ranger as competitive as possible and put forth a complete effort in the goal of winning the SCORE Championship. SCORE is the organization that hosts premiere desert races in Mexico and the US including the granddaddy of all Off Road events the Baja 1000.

Timmy Lawrence of TLR Fabrication took the truck and converted much of it to winning standards. Tim also joined Heidi as a driver for the first two SCORE races of 2008. The Laughlin Desert Challenge was first where they not only won their class but also were the only truck to finish in a mud bog after torrential down pours the night before and during the event. Tim and Heidi would also battle the San Felipe 250 where the team missed the podium for the only time in 2008 by a mere few minutes.

Prior to the Baja 500 Heidi made an arrangement to race the remainder of 2008 with Baja native and one of the kingpins of West Racing Rene Brugger. Rene had raced with the team at the 2007 Baja 1000 and is one of the most respected drivers in the sport although he is the last to tout his skills.

The newly formed team that also featured navigators Alan Trimble and Danny Street Jr. would stomp all takers at the Baja 500. Rene would play the hero roll at the Baja 500 putting more than thirty minutes on the competition in the dreaded silt beds of Uruapan near the end of the race. Leading the points the team would again earn a podium finish at the SCORE Primm 300 in September.

While battling the formidable John Holmes in SCORE Heidi and team were also waging war this year with a whole other set of drivers in the Best In The Desert (BITD) series. Heidi and team had raced 8 races leading into the Baja 1000 and led the points in both major series with three wins, three podiums and only one non finish in their Lucas Oil/Yokohama Tire FORD Ranger.

A mere 30 miles from the finish of the Baja 1000 the team was just a few minutes out of the lead and a quick team discussion took place as the sun rose over Baja. With only minutes separating Heidi, Rene and Danny from the Baja 1000 win the radio conversation was clear that the goal was to win the championship and 2nd place at this Baja 1000 would lock it in.

Heidi and team would finish 2nd in the race and would not only win the championship but would be one of only 14 vehicles out of approximately 400 individual entries in the SCORE season to complete every mile of every race. Heidi will be the co-recipient of the Toyota Milestone award for drivers completing every mile of every SCORE race and she will be the first woman in history to do so.

The team will now wear the championship number in SCORE for 2009 but they are not done working for 2008. On Dec. 6th the team will face off for the points championship in BITD where they lead the points by 7 going into the last race of the year.

The Desert Assassins/West Racing effort would like to thank…..
Lucas Oil Products/Yokohama Tire/ATX Wheels/FOX Racing Shox/Currie Enterprises/Camburg Engineering/KC HiLiTES/Blue C Advertising/MasterCraft/Deaver Springs/VP Race Fuel/PCI Race Radios and UNI Filters.