NASCARs Greg Biffle will race Best in the Deserts Terribles 250 in FORDs Raptor LIVE WEBCAST April 18

Off-Road 1.com LIVE WEBCAST UPDATE

April 16, 2009





The F-150 Raptor, Ford’s new off-road performance truck was put through its paces by Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle Thursday, at Primm, Nev.

Click to enlarge photo

I was lucky enough to tag along with Biffle as he drove the truck though a course that had been set up in the desert adjacent to the Nevada-California state line. Biffle held nothing back as he pitched the truck sideways through the turns and caught some air on the course’s rough spots.

The Raptor is built to handle high speed off-road driving that would be impossible for a regular four-wheel-drive production truck. After winding the Raptor up to 75 miles per hour on the course’s short straightaway, Biffle pitched the rear of the truck to the right as he used the rear wheels to steer the burnt orange colored pickup through the first turn. I was doing everything I could to try to look cool and unconcerned as we went sideways though the corner.

Biffle and off-road racing champion Rob MacCachren were on hand to drive the Raptor as part of Ford’s efforts to promote the new truck.

MacCachren and Biffle also took turns driving the Raptor R, which is a race-prepared version of the street Raptor that is shown in the photos below. This was the truck that competed in the Baja 1000 and it will be competing in this weekend’s Best in the Desert Terrible’s 250 at Primm.

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Biffle driving the Raptor R/By: Mike Smith


UPDATE April 9. 2009:

Before Greg Biffle makes his way to Phoenix International Raceway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in a couple of weeks, he’ll swing through Primm, Nev., for an off-road race.

Biffle will take part in the Best in the Desert Terrible’s 250 driving a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R. He’ll go from Primm to Phoenix for the Cup race a few days later.

“When I think of Raptor the first thing that comes to mind is a proven off-road piece with its finish in the Baja 1000, and I think it’s a long-time overdue, if you want my opinion,” said Biffle, who is participating in the event’s Fun Run on April 16 before heading to Phoenix for Saturday night’s NASCAR event. “Up to this
point, no manufacturer has built a truck like this. People had to do it themselves, so there’s a definite market out there and I’m excited about it. I’ve been paying attention and watching some of the desert testing that they’ve done and I can’t wait.”

The NASCAR Roush Fenway Racing driver, will be performing in "The Raptor", the off-road performance truck that goes on sale this summer, will be driven by Biffle in the Terribles 250 Fun Run at next week’s Best in the Desert's Terrible’s 250 at Primm, Nevada, just 40 miles out of Vegas.

Raptor SVT

The Raptor is a serious off-road vehicle that will be the nearest thing to a professional off-road racing truck that can be used as a daily driver. It will be powered by a 320 horsepower 5.4-liter V8. A 6.2-liter V8 will be available after the vehicle launch. If you’re into a BIG carbon footprint, this is the vehicle for you! Off-Road 1.com racing fans will be interested in hearing Biffle’s comments on the capabilities and performance of the Raptor.

Before Biffle graduated to the Cup cars, he was a NASCAR Truck Series champion. But this will be the first time he’s raced in an off-road truck.

“I really enjoy off-roading. I enjoy riding motorcycles. I enjoy my sand car,” said Biffle, who will be driving the F-150 SVT Raptor R being campaigned by former Ford Rough Riders Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges in all five Best in the Desert races this year. “I’ve never pre-run Baja or anything like that, and I might do that this year, but I’ve never really been in a specific off-road. I’ve watched the stuff on Speed a lot. It looks fun and it looks exciting to do, so I’d like to mess with it a
little bit.”

Greg Biffle is a racer’s racer who will drive anything – anytime, anyplace – and that includes the new Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R at next week’s Best in the Desert Terrible’s 250 at Primm.

Biffle, who is used to driving his NASCAR Ford Fusion around oval racetracks at close to 200 miles per hour, agreed to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor a couple months ago when Ford engineers were looking for some professional feedback.

“When I think of Raptor the first thing that comes to mind is a proven off-road piece with its finish in the Baja 1000, and I think it’s a long-time overdue, if you want my opinion,” said Biffle, who is participating in the event’s Fun Run on Thursday, April 16, before heading to Phoenix for Saturday night’s NASCAR event. “Up to this point, no manufacturer has built a truck like this. People had to do it themselves, so there’s a definite market out there and I’m excited about it. I’ve been paying attention and watching some of the desert testing that they’ve done and I can’t wait.”

A self-professed Ford truck lover, Biffle won his first NASCAR championship in 2000 behind the wheel of an F-150 in what is now known as the Camping World Truck Series. And while he works on a variety of vehicles at his race shop outside of Charlotte, NC, driving in the desert is something he’s never done until now.

“I think that I would be more of a closed-course guy than wide-open across the desert, not knowing what’s over the next hump,” continued Biffle, who has proven to be proficient in a car as well, having 14 career NASCAR Sprint Cup wins and a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2002. “Just going wide open where you have no idea what’s coming up may not be the thing for me. I don’t even do that on the sand dunes. I get to know my area fairly well when I’m there, and then you can have a lot of fun.

“I think this is going to be somewhat similar. Certainly, it’s going to have some limitations over something like a sand car, but it’s going to do way more than a regular pick-up will do – or anything street legal you want to take off-road,” continued Biffle. “So, it’ll be fun to experience what it’ll be like to drive. I’m looking forward to it.”

Biffle’s personal favorite truck is the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning, which is equipped with a super-charger and by his own admission “really goes,” and while he says he’s hooked on the F-Series diesel models as well, the vehicle he’s eyeing for his next purchase is the new 2009 F-150.

“I’ve always loved to not be limited in what I do, and rarely will you find something that you can’t do in a F-Series that you can do in a car. It goes through a drive-thru, fits in a parking garage, typically, and the trucks are so tough it can do everything you need it to do,” said Biffle. “I like the sight line of a truck, I like being able to put anything in it that I want at any time – to be able to pull trailers, just do anything I want to do. And, let’s face it, the trucks drive so well now that a large percentage of American people use the F-150 or F-250 for their primary vehicle – and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“I love my car, but any day I pick my F-150 over a car.”






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