Friday, October 10, 2008


Mesquite, NV - September 27, 2008: Driving the #7101 Dixon Bros. Racing Ford Ranger,
Aaron Dixon and navigator Ed Ramirez soloed Best in the Desert Racing Association’s ‘Silver
State 300’, to win their third consecutive race this season. The win moved the #7101 Dixon Bros.
Ford into the Class 7100 points lead with only the ‘Henderson’s Fabtech Desert Classic’ left on
Best in the Desert’s 2008 racing schedule, December 5-7.
Aaron started the race in 3rd position, behind the #7102 and #7114 Fords. There was a
mild breeze, but dust was still hanging in the valleys. The plan was to settle into a moderate pace
and see what competition materialized. Around mile 15 they began to close on the #7102 truck,
but attempting a pass was not worth the risk. Five miles later they encountered some thick dust,
when suddenly the #7114 Ford appeared out of nowhere, lying on it’s side in the middle of the
course. “We almost scraped our door on their roof but made it around the outside of the corner”
Aaron said. “A few miles later the #7102, who was not running on Goodyear’s, was pulled over
with a flat rear tire.” Now in the lead, the #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford found some clean air and
quickly started to catch up to some of the race traffic that started in front of their class. So far the
course had been tight and technical with no room to pass because of the rocks lining the road’s
At mile 85, bouncing in and out of some silt ruts, the steering started to get tight. Aaron
was having flashbacks of the previous race where we lost our power steering due to a cracked
rack and pinion housing. “As my face shield was showered with what seemed to be power steering
fluid, I kept driving only to later see our engine coolant temp. quickly approaching 280
degrees. We pulled over to find the serpentine belt missing and an empty radiator. We quickly
installed a new belt, as we were being passed by a convoy of vehicles that started behind us.
Moving forward again, we limped into Pit #2, a few miles across the valley, and filled the radiator.
I really thought the engine was cooked, but the temperature held and we were back in the race
in second place behind #7104”.
For awhile Aaron took it easy on the truck, to check the engine temperature, before turning
up the wick through Pit #3. They passed #7104 who was parked in the pit with no one working on
their truck. The #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford Ranger was now back in the lead headed into what they
knew were going to be tough miles. During the pre-run, this area developed some pretty deep ruts
filled with powdery silt. “As we crested one area, what was once a single line had turned into a
giant silt field littered with stuck vehicles trying to dig their way out by hand”, Aaron said. “We
mashed the throttle down and gave it everything we had. I headed left at the beginning and, as our
truck bogged down, I quickly downshifted to first with the engine screaming at full throttle.”
200 East Laurel Avenue ❑ Lompoc, CA 93436 ❑ 805.570.3685 (Office) ❑ 805.736.5513 (Fax)
The Dixon Bros. Ford was moving slower and slower as the relentless silt-beds got deeper. Aaron pointed the
truck downslope toward the left more and more, inching their way along, finally reaching some hard pack. Knowing
that was only the beginning, he slowed a little to keep out of the dust spewing from other vehicles. “Sometimes, it’s
more important to see where you are going, than to try to be fast”, As Aaron would later say. “Our next test was a
small hillclimb we could see in the distance. One truck was stuck halfway up, then another to the left, and another...
I didn’t feel like joining them, so we took a quick left up the side of the hill, narrowly missing a stalled buggy and
clawed our way over the top. At this point, I knew that if we stopped for anything, we could easily get stuck and lose
hours trying to get out. We repeated this at the next hill, just barely getting over the top having to dodge trees, cars,
and people. Miles later, a buggy stuck around a blind corner franticly waved at us to go left. It was too late, there was
nowhere to go as the track was lined with trees and thick mesquite brush. Reacting, I turned the wheels all the way
left and headed directly toward a huge 6' Mesquite tree. The truck jumped up and over the old dead branches as I
heard the driveshaft grinding away at the limbs. We quickly got blinded by the cloud of dust and I kept the throttle
down as we hit another huge tree. Somehow, we made it around the buggy and several other racers buried in the silt.
The race was quickly turning into a quest for survival, not just a finish.”
Somewhat beyond the halfway point of the race, the course began to clear up but Aaron knew that many racers
behind him were having problems. Time splits from the pits indicate that what was once a 6 minute lead, is now a 45
minute lead!!! It becomes apparent to Aaron that everyone else is stuck and the race is ours to lose. The #7101 Dixon
Bros. Ford had no troubles driving over the narrow mining roads into Pit 4 for the final gas stop. Long washes with
tight first gear corners and power robbing loose sand lead the way into Caliente at race-mile 228. “It’s wide open
from Caliente to the finish, was the talk among drivers on Friday”, according to Aaron. “I’m not sure what some
people think this means, but the course remained very technical with plenty of places to end your day, but the Radflo
Shocks never let us down. Up and down, tight corners lined with pine forests, loose gravel roads, occasional rain
showers, and dust from a vehicle ahead of us made the last 60 miles seem an eternity. As day turned to night, we
turned on our KC Hilites just in time to shine on the checkered flag waving at us. It was a long, hard 300 miles, but
was easily soothed by the sense of accomplishment in winning one of the toughest races we have ever entered”.
The #7101 Dixon Bros. Ford took the win after just under eight hours on he race course beating the second
place #7102 Ford to the finish by 2 hours, 12 minutes. The win moves the Dixon Bros. into the Class 7100 lead by
nine points over Heidi Steele, in the #7114 truck and put them on a path to win their second consecutive Class 7100
points championship in Best in the Desert’s Silver State Series with only one race remaining on the 2008 racing
schedule. This would be their fourth Silver State Series Points championship in the past six years.
The final race of the season for Dixon Bros. Racing is Best in the Desert’s ‘Henderson’s Fabtech Desert
Classic’, scheduled for December 5-7 in Henderson, Nevada.
- grt -
To learn more about Dixon Bros. Racing visit our website at For more information about Ford vehicles, go to

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fabtech “State of the Company”

“State of the Company”
Recently it has come to our attention that slanderous statements were recently made by our competitors that “Fabtech filed for bankruptcy and that is why they are not at the Offroad Expo.” This is not true. We are still in business today and functioning as we have for 19 years.
It is no secret that as with all businesses today we are affected by the downturn in the economy. To aid us during these difficult times we have seeked out equity for the past few months and have obtained offers to support us in this area, which will come to fruition in the next 90 days. In addition to finding equity, we have analyzed our overhead and cut expenses to adapt to the downturn as we see fit. We do not need approval by our competitors for us to cut expenses such as the Offroad Expo. We make our own decisions that are not always understood by others. The decision not to attend the Offroad Expo was much like we did three years ago when we did not attend the Sema Show. Simply a cut in overhead expenses. Nothing more than that.
The slanderous statements made by our competitors will be handled with legal action against the individuals within the companies that started the defamatory remarks at the Offroad Expo. These individuals have already been identified by name and have been presented to our attorneys for legal action.
In closing it is unfortunate that our competitors feel that the only thing they have to talk about is us and not their own success. Fabtech is open for business today and ready to ship you the quality product that you have come to expect from the leader in suspension.


Speed Technologies is pulling out all the stops this weekend in Barstow, CA as the girls (the real power behind the team) take to the dirt to compete in the world’s largest female off-road race – The Damzl Powder Puff Race. The race, a benefit for women’s breast cancer and the Cedar Sinai Women’s Breast Cancer Research Center, is held each year in honor of women across the nation who battle the disease. Kody Harrah, daughter of Speed Technologies owner John Harrah, and Pamela Johnson the CFO of Rancharrah and Speed Technologies, will pair up to battle it out with some of off-road racings most famous counterparts. The girls will be competing in a Pro-Lite truck sponsored and supported by Speed Technologies.

“Speed Technologies is both honored and proud to be part of this event,” said team owner and driver John Harrah. “We understand the importance and the need to support fundraisers such as this – they are key when it comes to supporting cancer research.

The Speed Technologies team will also be giving away over 200 t-shirts to fans and participants, as well as gift certificates. The team, which is headquartered in Reno, NV and operates two Class 1 cars, a Class 10 car and a full motorcycle team, is a avid support of local, regional and national charities.

This is the third year that M.O.R.E Racing has been hosting the Damzl Powder Puff Race as a fundraiser for breast cancer research and awareness. Each year the race gains popularity among female off-road fans.

About Speed Technologies

Established in 2006 Speed Technologies is owned by John Harrah and headquartered in Reno, NV at Rancharrah. The team operates an off-road car and motorcycle team as well as developing cutting edge off road and aquatics products and designs. Competing in the SCORE Desert Series, Best in the Desert and Championship off Road Racing, Speed Technologies is a full-time operation supported by a full time staff as well as additional chase and safety crews. Speed Technologies is committed to safety both on and off the track. For more information on Speed Technologies please visit or call 775-851-7492.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Baja Edge of Control In Depth Review - PS3

I have been calling game stores in the Phoenix area for the past 36 hours pestering the staff for a copy of Baja. I first saw and played an early version of this game nearly 2 years ago and I have been jonesing for it ever since.

I got a copy today and rushed home to try it out. The intro movie is full of actual race footage, much of it familiar from the Dezert People and Bajaflo series among others. I was initially torn between being thrilled and disappointed.

I find I am looking at the game from two viewpoints. As a person involved in off road racing I love it. The developer has done a great job modeling real racecars we all know and love. It does not have one generic Trophy Truck reskinned with the various paintjobs, it has many individual trucks. Plus there are familiar cars from Class ½ 1600, Class 10, Stock Full, Class 3, 7 Open, Class 11, Class 8 and the driver names to go with them.

That’s not all, throughout the game you will see logos from Race-Dezert, Crystal Bay and Bullydog which gives it a homey feel. The audio lives up as well. Realistic engines sounds that vary within the same class, and well as detailed audio. When you drift through a corner on the gas you hear the dirt and rocks hitting the fenders, when you bottom out you hear the chassis smack the ground and you even here the sounds of the shocks on a hard landing.

The locations catch your eye also. When racing in Primm the rollercoaster cruises right next to the course. In Laughlin you drive across the river and you can ever pull into the hotel valet lanes that look like the real hotels there. The sections of the course where you are on pavement even have regular vehicle traffic you must look out for, or just nerf.

This is what desert racers, crews and fans have been waiting for. A realistic desert racing game, with real drivers, racecars and locations.

The old gamer inside of me takes a different view of Baja however. Once you look past the window dressing the news it not all good. To begin with the graphics quality is a letdown. Sony showed us what can be done with Gran Turismo 5 in 1080P. Sadly Baja’s graphics seem moderately above what’s capable on a Wii or PS2. However I can overlook so-so graphics if the gameplay is great, but it too, is missing several things.

Many of the cars are very hard to control and there is a fairly steep learning curve to them. The steering is sluggish and vague. At corner entry the car pushes which is often followed by the rear end oversteering. Combined with the slow and there is a lot of fishtailing about the course. This is especially true with the entry level class in the game. Whether it’s a 5-1600, a ½ 1600 or a Class 11 they all do it to a degree.

Not all of the vehicles are that bad though. The Fabtech Class 7, Jesse James Trophy Truck and the McBeath brothers Class 10 are some of the better more responsive vehicles. On the other side of the coin many of the open wheel cars cant wait to flip over like a commemorative silver dollar at the Superbowl after the slightest steering input. After a few hours of play you get used to the handling of the cars but it does need work.

The AI fairly good and still fun to race against, except on the start. All the AI vehicles seem to have F1 style launch control where you feel as if you have 700 horsepower on skinny bicycle tires.

There is an upside though. Many racing games start a car reset counter the instant you put one tire off course with a 3 second limit. Baja embraces the x feet within the marked course rule we all know. You can drop all 4 wheels and drive that way for awhile before you get a 5 second counter. This is a refreshing change for a racing game and it gives you some leeway in the lines you choose, just like the real thing. There is also a manual reset command for when you are in a heated battle for 8th place and you don’t want to watch your car yardsale down a cliff.

The controls need work as well. If you don’t like the standard button layout you have 10 presets to choose from but there is no option to customize them. Older racing game fans like myself who have years of muscle memory built up from the old Gran Turismo or ATV fury series will feel slighted. X is still the gas pedal but for some reason they made the brake the circle button which is to the right of the gas instead of the traditional layout of the square button (to the left) for brakes.

The online multiplayer is functional, barely. The lobby needs work and there needs to be a join friend’s game command. Chatting is missing as well which is a big letdown. Half the fun of gaming online is talking smack to your buddies. Once you get past those issues the MP experience is a lot of fun. You are not limited to a few gametypes, maps or vehicles as in Dirt. In Baja you get them all and races can be setup for same class only, competitive vehicle types only or free for all.

Despite my mixed feelings and split personality it is a pretty fun game that desert people will probably enjot, though the more serious gamers may be disappointed


Realism: 8/10
Graphics 6.5/10
Gameplay 6.5/10

Foddrill Motorsports Pre-Season Show 'N Go Event

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Mesquite, Nevada (September 27, 2008). Over 300 miles of awe inspiringly scenic but brutally unforgiving terrain, Team Ford #1 drivers Steve Olliges and John Swift out ran some of fastest off road racers on earth to capture their first win of the year in the unlimited Trick Truck class. The reigning Best in the Desert Trick Truck champions held off a furious charge from class points leaders Jerry Whelchel and Chet Huffman, whose lone flat was likely the difference in the win, as the Lugo owned, Stewart Raceworks built and prepared Ford F150 finished less than 3 minutes ahead of the Huffman Motorsports entry. Despite running at a blistering pace for 6 hours and reaching speeds of over 120 mph, Olliges and Swift had another flawless day in their BF Goodrich shod, Patton Motors powered truck, which has finished every mile of every race both this season and last.

“What a great race we had with everyone this weekend,” said Olliges, who owns Team Ford in Las Vegas. “We had our best qualifying effort ever with a second in class on Thursday, finishing a few seconds behind Jerry Whelchel, who everyone knows is super fast. We were feeling really good about our chances for a first place finish in Trick

Truck in the race, and thought with our “secret weapon” John Swift driving the last portion, we might even be able to chase down the buggies for an overall. We just missed and ended up with a 5th overall.” Sam Berri in a Class 1500 Unlimited Buggy claimed the best 4 wheel overall time both in the race and in qualifying, and won the Team Ford Pole award, pocketing the $1000 cash prize for the second time in his career. Berri and Olliges are both in contention for the 2008 BITD King of the Desert Championship, awarded at the end of the year to the driver who is the fastest to finish every race mile of the season.

“I am just so happy that John is racing with us again. He is not only one of the fastest and winningest off road racers ever, but also he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.” Olliges’ and Swift’s last win together was over 10 years ago, when they were teammates on the legendary Ford Rough Rider team. During those years, Olliges became the winningest stock full driver in history and Swift compiled a record as one of the best off road racers ever, capturing countless wins and multiple championships in both his Ford Rangers and the dominant Ford Explorer. Under the Swift Racing banner ( John, along with son Jonathon and Andy Waters, is the reigning unlimited minitruck champion in BITD class 7200 and their team currently leads the points chase after another win the Silver State 300 in their identically painted Team Ford Ranger.

“I want to first thank Wayne and Steve for giving me the opportunity to race with them this year. There is nothing like driving a 700 or 800 horsepower Trick Truck, and this one that Craig Stewart built is really a rocket,” said Swift, who is no stranger to the podium. “We made a couple of changes during testing in preparation for this tight, technical and fast course, which this really truck likes. Steve’s driving style is well suited to this type of course, and I really liked it too.”

Based on their qualifying positions, the #1 started three minutes after Whelchel in the #40. “Steve had a great race all morning with Whelchel and they exchanged the lead a few times. When I got in, we were leading slightly but were second physically on the course. I got stuck for awhile behind a buggy that was a little slower than us, and after I got around him, I decided to stay within a couple minutes of Huffman all the way to the finish to ensure the class win,” Swift reported, abandoning any chance for the overall. “My son Jonathon got a chance to ride with me at the end and he was a great help too. I had a blast in the truck with him and after I found out that our Ranger won too with Andy driving to the checkered...well…It was a really good weekend for all of the Team Ford trucks.”
Watch the in car video of the #1 Trick Truck winning at the Silver State 300 at

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