At this years NORRA Mexican 1000 many were surprised to see a ’73 F100 leading the pack ahead of the mega dollar trophy trucks and luxury prerunners. Whoop scissors in their full glory slicing their way down the Baja peninsula driven by Baja veteran Craig Smith.
We caught up with Craig and the “Farm Truck” after the race to check out the “knife that won the gunfight” and snapped a few photos while we chatted near his home in Imperial Valley. The truck is a little beat up from 1300+ miles of Baja but she’s still a beauty.
“I’ve owned the truck for about 13 years.” Said Smith. “I saw it at a cruising the pits at a MDR race and fell in love with it. It came up for sale a few months later and I bought it. It was owned by multiple people in the San Diego area before me and rumored to be built by multiple fabricators none of which has ever been verified. Originally it looked to have been built in the mid 90’s. I remodeled most of the truck in my garage over the first few years. Over the last 7 or so years Jimmy Weitzel of Weitzel Motorsport has handled all the fabrication changes on the truck. There have been a number of major changes to the truck since we got the crazy idea to race NORRA. Mostly strengthening the cage and moving weight around to get the truck to handle correctly.”
“I really want to thank my crew Darren Hardesty, Dan Morales, Eric Ellerman, Troy Hutchinson, Mark Martinez, Chris Hoppe, Robert Kennedy, Jason Wilson, Jeff Dickerson, Dorothy Smith and my Dad Bruce Smith and my navigators on this run, Justin Morgan, Cameron Corfman and my son Dyson.”
Model: 1973 Ford F100
Engine: Turn Key Trophy Truck spec motor approximately 535 hp.
Transmission: Culhane Turbo 400
Suspension: Fox shocks serviced and tuned by SDG shocks
Wheels: Method Race Wheels
Tires: BFG Projects
Wiring: Mark the Wire Guy
Axle Housing: Dirt Tech
Rear Links: Scott Baker
Beams: Jimmy Weitzel and Craig Smith
Steering design: Jimmy Weitzel
Radio and intercom: PCI installed and tuned by Wise electronics
Sway bar: Pro Am bar with BMS arms
Fuel Cell: Harmon Racing
For those of you who were caught a little off guard with Craig in the overall at NORRA, he’s no stranger to the top spot. Here’s some stats on the man behind the wheel.
Kawasaki Team Green off-road team from 90-97
– multiple Score Championships in the 125 and 250 class
– overall motorcycle winner of the 95 Score San Felipe 250 teamed with Danny Hamel
-overall winner of the 95 Score Baja 500 teamed with Paul Krause and Dave Ondas
American Honda off-road team from 98-2000
-1999 24 hour world record holder from the 24 World Endurance Championship teamed with Johnny Campbell, Greg Bringle, Ron Wilson, and Torsten Bostrom
– Overall winner of the SCORE Baja 2000 teamed with Johnny Campbell, Steve Hengeveld, and Tim Stabb
-2001 24 hour world record holder from the 24 Hour World Endurance Championships teamed with Johnny Campbell, Steve Hengeveld, Tim Stabb, Jonah Street, and Greg Bringle with a total mileage of 1362.3 miles
AMA National Hare and Hound Vet Champ in 2009
Multiple AMA District 38 Championships from 90-2010 in the 125, 250, 500, and vet classes.
6 time King Of the Desert winner.