For those familiar with desert racing’s rich history, the names John Swift and Steve Olliges are instantly recognizable. John Swift was an original member of the legendary Ford Rough Riders factory team, racking up an impressive list of wins against competition like Ivan Stewart and Rick Mears, while Olliges joined the team four years later in Class 8S. Olliges and Swift are not content to just talk about the “good old days”, on the contrary they are still making history. For 2011, the duo will team up for the entire Best in the Desert schedule and select SCORE International and SNORE races in their new No. 28 BFGoodrich / MasterCraft Safety Trick Truck.
Swift and Olliges’ last win together was in 2008 at the Silver State 300, so the duo is not unfamiliar with being at the top of the podium. The new BFGoodrich / MasterCraft Safety truck will debut on February 6th at the Parker 425, BITD’s season opening race for 2011. Coincidently, this is the same venue where Swift and Olliges last raced together, finishing 2nd in the Trick Truck class in 2009. “Steve and I have very high expectations,” John Swift recently commented. “We are racing for the season championship.” The task will not be easy, with a record number of Trick Trucks slated to run in the Best in the Desert series this season.
To help reach their quest for victory , Olliges and Swift are armed with their new Geiser-built Ford Trick Truck with the distinctive retro paint job laid over the latest in cutting edge desert racing technology, including 39-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires damped by huge 4.4-inch Fox Racing Shox bypass shocks. No detail was overlooked on this new truck, right down to the No. 28, the same number used by John Swift on his Rough Rider Ford Ranger in years past. Motivation for the Geiser Trick Truck comes from a Dougan’s Racing Engines-prepped Ford backed by a bulletproof Rancho Drivetrain transmission. Inside the cockpit, a host of MasterCraft Safety products, including 3G suspension seats, six-point harnesses, and window nets keep Steve and John safe at race speeds.
“There are a lot of tires involved in desert racing now, and I think that the competition and exposure is great,” explained Olliges. “For us the choice to run BFGoodrich tires was an easy one. From the history of the Ford Rough Riders on BFGoodrich, to Frank DeAngelo’s association with that program. Plus BFGoodrich has supported desert racing for decades and they have more wins than all other tire manufacturers combined. We hope to add to that impressive win list this season.”