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Go racing with the 2017 Ford Raptor (pictures)

We take you through a day in the life of a race truck as the 2017 Ford Raptor race truck tackles day one of the Best in the Desert Laughlin Desert Classic, held over two days in May 2016.

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Emme Hall
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1 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

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.

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Tech and contingency

The LED light bars on the Raptor race truck are not offered on the production vehicle, but everything else on that front fascia, including the skid plate and Ford logo, are stock.

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3 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

Veteran truck racers Greg Foutz and Tim Casey share driving duties. The duo brought home finishes in the infamous Mint 400 and in the most recent Laughlin Desert Classic.

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4 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

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.

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5 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

Ford hasn't released full specifications yet, but the new 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost engine is expected to make over 400 horsepower.

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Tech and contingency

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.

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7 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

The last stop is technical inspection, where safety features like seat belts, lights and horn are examined. Helmets and fire suits are checked to ensure they are within current safety regulations.

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8 of 30 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tech and contingency

Yes, Mr. Inspection Guy, those are real working doors with the panels still installed. The race Raptor is about as stock as you can get.

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Tech and contingency

We passed!

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Race day

After a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call, the team meets at their pits at 5 a.m. to button up for the 6 a.m. heat.

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Race day

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.

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Race day

Affixing the all-important GoPro cameras.

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Race Day

All vehicles must run an amber light in the rear for visibility in the dust.

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Race day

The fuel cell is topped off and the spare BF Goodrich KO2 tire is strapped down and ready to go.

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Race day

Navigator Travis gets a last-minute pep talk.

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Race day

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.

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Race day

The Raptor race truck still has the stock dash, complete with air conditioning and satellite radio.

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Race day

Starting three wide, the Raptor gets the jump on the competition.

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Race Day

The Raptor shares the race course with both trucks and buggies.

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Race Day

The Raptor easily hit 90 mph in the dirt.

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Pit stop

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.

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Pit stop

Wrenches at the ready.

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Pit stop

Team mechanic Jake Seehagen making sure the heater core hose is attached properly.

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Pit stop

Might as well check the driveline if the truck is stopped in hot pits.

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Finish line

The Ford Raptor race truck coming in to the final stretch.

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Finish line

A little dirty but none worse for the wear.

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Finish line

With the unexpected pit stop No. 1201 was only able to complete three laps on day one of racing. They would go on to complete four laps on day two.

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Finish line

Getting that all-important interview for the cameras.

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FInish line

Driver Tim Casey shows off his wings in homage to a joke among team members.

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Finish line

It takes a village to get any race vehicle around the track, and it's no different with the Ford Raptor.

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