The day before the race all vehicles must go through contingency and a technical and safety inspection. This is a great time for spectators to see the trucks and buggies up close and meet their favorite drivers.
The race Raptor comes with 3-inch diameter Fox Racing Shox with external bypass. The team can easily adjust the suspension before each race. The production Raptor will have the same diameter of shock, but the bypass will be internal, limiting the adjustability.
After waiting in line, the truck finally makes it to contingency. Companies offer prize money to winning vehicles using their products and running their stickers. It can be anywhere from a $50 gift certificate to $10,000 cash.
Navigator Travis Leach is suited up and ready to go while the team goes over the truck one last time. The race consists of two days of heats on a 17-mile course. Teams have an hour and a half to do as many laps as possible. The Ford team hopes to make four laps.
As the truck waits on the grid to start, team owner Greg Foutz chats with driver Tim Casey. Grid can be a nerve-wracking place, as start-line jitters course through the racers. The Raptor, however, is known for blasting heavy metal out of the satellite radio on the grid, another benefit of racing a stock truck.
Day one was a little rough for the Raptor, with a hose coming loose from the heater core and filling the cabin with a mixture of smoke and steam. Navigator Travis held it together with his bare hands until the Raptor was able to pull into the hot pits.